MAILBAG: Is Deandre Ayton the Trail Blazers' Center of the Future?
Plus questions on ownership, Portland's WNBA bid and Mike Schmitz's impact on the front office.
So, how about that ending?
Returning to Oklahoma City, the site of the 62-point embarrassment, less than two weeks after the fact, the Trail Blazers almost got their best win of the season on the road against a genuine contender.
And then Malcolm Brogdon and Chauncey Billups both tried to call a timeout when Brogdon was trapped by two defenders at midcourt, the referees somehow missed it, Brogdon was called for a double-dribble and Billups was given two quick technicals and ejected.
It took me watching it a few times to see what actually happened, but it’s pretty hard to miss the attempts by both Brogdon and Billups to call timeout.
Crew chief Bill Kennedy conducted an interview with a pool reporter and said that Billups got the two technicals for making contact with the official, and that they missed Billups’ and Brogdon’s attempts to call timeout because they were focused on the play.
The Blazers are filing a protest with the league office to challenge the result of the game, a league source confirmed (ESPN first reported that they were protesting it). Only eight protests in the history of the NBA have been upheld, with the most recent coming in 2008, when the Miami Heat were granted a redo of the end of a game against the Atlanta Hawks when it was determined that Shaquille O’Neal was incorrectly fouled out when he really only had five fouls.
It’s extremely unlikely that the Blazers will be granted their protest in this case. If they are, they could potentially replay the end of Tuesday night’s game before the fourth and final meeting between the Blazers and Thunder this season, on March 6 in Portland. Filing the protest is more about formally registering their displeasure with the officiating — an ongoing issue around the league this season — than it is with expecting anything to come of it.
Now that they’ve filed the protest, they have five days to provide the NBA with evidence to support their case, and then the league has five more days to make a ruling one way or another. We will continue to track this story.
Anyway, here’s part two of this week’s mailbag.
The Rose Garden Report is a fully independent, reader-supported publication. Purchasing a premium subscription unlocks exclusive content and helps sustain the website and make the coverage of the Portland Trail Blazers the best it can be.
Do you think Ayton is still the center of the future or do you think it's possible we see him in another uniform in the next few seasons? I think it's fair to say his play has been underwhelming (not all his fault) and with his huge contract it may not be very tantalizing for other teams.
- Kegan S.