Crawford on converting 4-point plays

Crawford on converting 4-point plays

By Chris Haynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazer Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)

Its no secret that the Portland Trail Blazers guard, JamalCrawford, has the NBA record for the most 4-point plays converted with 34. Thesurprising aspect about that achievement is that hes tallied that amountwithout using any trickery or gimmicks.

Crawford surpassed Reggie Miller -- who held the record with23 -- and was known for sticking his leg out when he saw defenders closingout on him and deceived the refs into blowing the whistle.

To his credit, Crawford uses no manipulation to get a call and says he gets the whistle due to the way in which he shoots the ball.

Guys just havent figured out my release, Crawford toldCSNNW.com. When I get ready to shoot, guys react late to it and they end upclosing out and bumping me while Im already in my shooting motion. I get fouled a lot justshooting, period.

Crawford does have a two-step hitch in his jump shot andapparently, its extremely difficult for opposing defenses to get their timingdown while contesting. Crawford said hes learned how to focus on nailing thejumper despite knowing when a defender is going to make contact.

When Im shooting, Im zoned in even when I know I'm going to get hit, Crawford said. I gotabout 3 or 4 of those 4-pointers left in me this season. Its not somethingthat I go out and try to do, it just happens from time to time.

Scoring in bunches is what Crawford brings to the Blazerbench. If he can add some more of those 4-point plays to his all-time careerleading total, the Blazers will be in great position to shock the league.

Winterhawks announce 2016-17 regular season schedule

Winterhawks announce 2016-17 regular season schedule

The Western Hockey League has released the 2016-17 schedule, and the Portland Winterhawks will open the season hosting their long-time I-5 rivals, the Seattle Thunderbirds, on Saturday, September 24.

The team will play 30 of its 36 home games on weekends: eight Friday home games, 12 Saturdayhome games and 10 Sunday home games.  

The Seattle Thunderbirds will also be back for the annual New Year’s Eve tilt between the two teams. A full promotional calendar will be released closer to the season, and the venues for all games will be finalized later this summer after the Portland Trail Blazers’ schedule is released.

The longest road trip of the season will come early, as the team embarks on an eight-game trip fromOctober 1 – 15. They open the trip in Seattle, then head out for six games in the East Division, then take on Spokane on the way back. During the trip, the Hawks will take on the defending WHL champion Brandon Wheat Kings on October 11.

While the team is gone much of October, they will play just three road games in November. The team will be home for eight straight games from November 6 – 27. That stretch is one of six where the team has a homestand of at least three games (Sept. 24 – 30, Oct. 25 – 30, Nov. 6 – 27, Dec. 3 – 10, Dec. 31 – Jan. 14, Mar. 3 – 8).

Once again this season, all 72 games will be heard live on News Talk 860 KPAM. Todd Vrooman will have the play-by-play while Andy Kemper will provide commentary. A television schedule will be announced at a later date.

Timbers score three second half goals to beat Houston Dynamo

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Timbers score three second half goals to beat Houston Dynamo

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers scored three second-half goals to erase a two-goal deficit and defeat the Houston Dynamo 3-2 before a sold-out crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Sunday. Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded a brace and an assist, while midfielder Lucas Melano scored for a second consecutive game, as the Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to five games in league play and six games across all competitions.

The come-from-behind victory marked the first time the Timbers (6-6-5, 23pts) erased a two-goal deficit to win a match in regulation across all eras in club history (since 1975). With the win, the Timbers are unbeaten in four consecutive games against the Dynamo at Providence Park, dating back to Aug. 6, 2013, producing a 3-1-1 all-time home record against Houston since 2011.

Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Timbers outshot Houston 11-5 in the second half – including a 6-1 edge in shots on target – and battled back with three goals in the final 27 minutes of the game. In the 63rd minute, the Timbers pulled a goal back when Melano made a well-timed diagonal run in behind the Dynamo defense, running on to a carefully placed pass from Valeri before tucking his effort past Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis and into the back of the net. The finish marked Melano’s second goal of the season and Valeri’s fifth assist in 2016, which is tied for sixth-most assists in the league, as Portland extended its goal-scoring streak to 20 consecutive regular-season games dating back to the 2015 season.

Less than 20 minutes later, the Timbers equalized after being awarded a penalty kick for handball inside the box in the 82nd minute of play. Valeri stepped up to the spot, blasting his attempt into the top left corner to record his sixth goal of the season. Eight minutes later, Valeri notched his second goal of the game from the penalty spot after Melano was brought down by Willis inside the area, with the midfielder chipping his effort down the middle from 12 yards away to give the Timbers a one-goal lead in the final moments of the match.

With the finish, Valeri’s seventh goal in 2016, the Timbers are the only team in MLS to have multiple players ranked in the top eight for goals scored in 2016, with forward Fanendo Adi ranked second in the league for goals (9). Additionally, Portland's nine shots on target were the most by the club this season.

Despite the Timbers creating several chances early in the first half, Houston (3-8-5, 14pts) managed to open the scoring in the 28th minute, finishing against the run of play when forward Andrew Wenger slotted his shot into the back of the net from the right side of the box. Two minutes later, Houston doubled its lead when forward Will Bruin latched on to forward Boniek Garcia’s pass into the area, tucking his effort inside the near post.

Next up, the Timbers return to U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, June 29, taking on the LA Galaxy in the Round of 16 at Providence Park, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The Timbers will return to MLS play on Monday, July 4, when they travel to face the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The match against the Rapids will feature a live broadcast on ROOT SPORTS with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).

Portland Timbers (6-6-5, 23pts) vs. Houston Dynamo (3-8-5, 14pts) 
June 26, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
Houston Dynamo          2           0          2
Portland Timbers           0          3          3

Scoring Summary:
HOU: Wenger (Garcia), 28
HOU: Bruin (Garcia), 30
POR: Melano (Valeri), 63
POR: Valeri (penalty kick), 82’
POR: Valeri (penalty kick) 90+1

Misconduct Summary: 
HOU: Horst (Caution), 42
HOU: Alex (Caution), 90+2
POR: Adi (Caution), 90+4

Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Powell (Valentin, 66), D Borchers, D Ridgewell ©, D Taylor, M Chara, M Zemanski, M Melano, M Valeri, M Mattocks (McInerney, 70), F Adi

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hamilton, M Jewsbury, M Grabavoy, M Barmby, M Asprilla

TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Valeri, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Valeri, 4); FOULS: 16 (Chara, 5); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4

HOU: GK Deric (Willis, 46), D Jalil Anibaba, D David Horst, D DaMarcus Beasley ©, D Rodriguez, M Clark, M Warner, M Alex, F Garcia, F Bruin (Manotas, 83), F Wenger (Maidana, 76)

Substitutes Not Used: D Agus, D Williams, M Rocha, M Miranda

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Bruin, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Bruin, 2); FOULS: 11 (Rodriguez, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 6

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: James Conlee, Anthony Vasoli
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Attendance: 21,144
Weather: Clear, 87 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

Thorns unbeaten streak remains intact with 2-1 win over Orlando

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Thorns unbeaten streak remains intact with 2-1 win over Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Playing their second game in five days, Portland Thorns FC rallied in the final 10 minutes with a pair of goals from midfielders Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Lindsey Horan to remain unbeaten through their first 11 games this season, earning a 2-1 win against the Orlando Pride in front of 7,143 fans Sunday evening at Camping World Stadium.

Taking to the road for the seventh time – the most of any team in the league this season through their first 11 games – Thorns FC (6-0-5, 23pts) kept their unbeaten streak intact, making it the second-longest unbeaten streak in NWSL history. In addition, Portland is now unbeaten in seven consecutive road games (3-0-4), setting a new club record for the longest road-unbeaten streak in Thorns FC history.

Portland registered its third straight win and handed Orlando (5-6-0, 15pts) its first loss of the season at home, battling back to score the equalizer after forward Jasmyne Spencer sent a powerful strike from distance into the top left corner of the goal in the 67th minute. Just nine minutes after entering the match as a substitute, Brynjarsdottir tallied her third goal of the season in the 80th minute to tie the game at 1-1.

Building from the back, defender Emily Sonnett delivered a pinpoint long-range pass to the head of forward Christine Sinclair, who flicked the ball on for Brynjarsdottir running towards the edge of the box. Brynjarsdottir was able to beat the Orlando defender to the ball and calmly chipped it past Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris inside the right post.

With both teams pushing for the game-winning goal late in the match, Sinclair quickly switched the point of attack, finding forward Hayley Raso racing down the left side of the field. Raso dribbled into the box and cut back towards the middle, sending a short pass to the feet of Horan, who placed her shot perfectly into the right side of the net in the 90th minute for her team-leading fourth goal of the season to put Thorns FC in front 2-1.

Defensively, Portland remains the only team in the NWSL this season that has not conceded multiple goals in a match. Goalkeeper Michelle Betos made three critical saves, including a double save in the 28th minute as she made a kick save on a point-blank range attempt from midfielder Dani Weatherholt and sprung back to her feet to make a diving stop on Spencer’s shot off the rebound.

Thorns FC return to the Rose City for back-to-back home matches, starting with a game against Sky Blue FC on Saturday, July 2, at Providence Park. Saturday’s match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) with a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.   

Notes:

  • Portland’s 11-game unbeaten streak is the second-longest unbeaten streak in league history, while the club also set a new record for the longest-road unbeaten streak in Thorns FC history (7 games).
  • Two of Lindsey Horan’s four goals this season have come against Orlando – both were game-winners that came after the 80th minute.
  • Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Horan scored in both regular-season matches against Orlando this season.
  • Portland has scored six goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season.
  • Horan’s 90th-minute goal was the latest regular-season game-winner in Thorns FC history.
  • Midfielder Hayley Raso recorded her first career NWSL assist and point in the match.
  • Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 8-4 on the road this season.
  • Portland improved to 5-0-0 all-time against expansions sides in their inaugural seasons. Posting a record of 2-0-0 against Orlando this season and a mark of 3-0-0 against the Houston Dash in their first season (2014).
  • Defender Katherine Reynolds made her 70th career NWSL appearance in the match.
  • Defender Emily Menges earned her 50th career start in the match, becoming only the third player in club history to reach this milestone along with Christine Sinclair and Allie Long.
  • Forward Christine Sinclair has tallied a point in four consecutive matches (June 12-June 26)

Portland Thorns FC (6-0-5, 23pts) at Orlando Pride (5-6-0, 15pts) 
June 26, 2016 – Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

Goals by Half                            1         2          F
Portland Thorns FC                   0         2          2
Orlando Pride                            0         1          1

Scoring Summary
ORL: Spencer, 67
POR: Brynjarsdottir (Sinclair), 80
POR: Horan (Raso), 90

Misconduct Summary
ORL: Alleway (Caution), 43
POR: Raso (Caution), 90+2

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Betos, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Henry (Weber, 90+2), M Horan, M Long, M Heath (Raso, 62), F Nadim (Brynjarsdottir, 71), F Sinclair ©

Substitutes Not Used: GK Franch, M Boureille

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Heath, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Heath, 2); FOULS: 8 (Heath, Henry, 2); OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 3

ORL: GK Harris, D Bélanger, D Monica, D Alleway, D Catley, M Weatherholt (Witteman, 89), M Kyle (Edwards, 87), M Edmonds, F Spencer, F Morgan ©, F Burkenroad (Fields, 58)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Dorsey, D Pressley, M Evans, F Hagen

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Morgan, Spencer, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Spencer, 2); FOULS: 9 (Kyle, Spencer, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 3

Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga, Hayden Oscanoa
4th Official: Janessa Gunn
Attendance: 7,143
Weather: Partly cloudy, 93 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

TrackTown Tonight, July 1-10 on CSN

TrackTown Tonight, July 1-10 on CSN

From July 1-10 the U.S. Track & Field Trials return to Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, deciding which U.S. athletes will compete for their country in Rio De Jenaro this summer.

CSN will be on site to bring you TrackTown Tonight after each day’s action. TrackTown Tonights offers a look inside look the Trials featuring athlete interviews, event results and previews.

CSN will also present two specials: one dedicated to the athletes of the Trials, and one on Ashton Eaton’s quest for gold. 

And don't forget to check CSNNW.com for even more insights! We also will have a daily live show on Facebook!

Here is a schedule: 

Friday, July 1st, Tracktown Tonight 10PM

Saturday, July 2nd, Tracktown Tonight 3:30PM

Sunday, July 3rd , Tracktown Tonight 9PM

Monday, July 4th, Tracktown Tonight 6PM

Thursday, July 7th, Tracktown Tonight 8PM

Friday, July 8th, Tracktown Tonight 9PM

Saturday, July 9th, Tracktown Tonight 9PM

Friday, July 10th, Tracktown Tonight 8:30PM

If Blazers chase Whiteside, they're running with the big dogs

If Blazers chase Whiteside, they're running with the big dogs

The Trail Blazers are said to be among the teams that will be chasing Miami free-agent center Hassan Whiteside when free agency begins Friday.

But Portland better have its big-boy pants on when it walks into that competition. The other teams reportedly involved in that hunt are the Dallas Mavericks (where owner Mark Cuban's prepensity for treating his players well is legendary), the Los Angeles Lakers (good weather, Hollywood, Showtime, tradition), Golden State (a chance to play alongside some great players) and Miami (where Pat Riley says retaining Whiteside is a top priority).

That's a tough field to beat.

Whiteside is 27 and a max contract for him would be in the neighborhood of $22 million, so he'd possibly be cheaper than some other max players. And while people have a perception that another free-agent center, Dwight Howard, could be a locker-room problem, Whiteside's past isn't exactly spotless.

He came out of college with a reputation of being arrogant and over-estimating his own talent. One story, in fact, features a former NBA front office executive calling him a "jackass:"

Hassan Whiteside, for lack of a better word, was a jackass when he came out of college. He was delusional and would say things that were not commensurate with how great he was as a player.

“It turned a lot of people off. His work ethic wasn’t very good. He had to hit rock bottom and figure out that, ‘Oh my gosh, my approach in life has not gotten me where I want to go,’ and credit to him that he did that.”

Yes, credit to him. But if you're about to write a big check to a player with that reputation, wouldn't you worry about him returning to his previous self? When he gets that major deal, wouldn't you worry that his work ethic might return to its previous state?

But if the Trail Blazers and Neil Olshey could somehow figure a way to land Whiteside, it would certainly -- given the competition -- put to rest forever the idea that the Trail Blazers can't land a major free agent.

 

 

Trail Blazers' guard Pat Connaughton launches a football 80 yards

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Trail Blazers' guard Pat Connaughton launches a football 80 yards

Trail Blazers guard Pat Connaughton posted the video below on his twitter account this weekend, showing off an impressive arm while throwing a football. As the tweet indicates, the toss appears to be about 80 yards in length. In addition to playing for the Trail Blazers, the Baltimore Orioles control his contractual MLB rights. Connaughton was drafted as a pitcher in the fourth round of the 2014 draft by the Orioles.

 

Portland Winterhawks Rodrigo Abols selected by Vancouver Canucks in NHL Draft

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Photo courtesy Vancouver Canucks

Portland Winterhawks Rodrigo Abols selected by Vancouver Canucks in NHL Draft

Portland Winterhawks forward Rodrigo Abols was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh round, 184th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Abols had 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points in 62 games this season after the Hawks selected him in the first round of the 2015 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. He also represented his native Latvia at the 2016 World Championship and helped lead his country to a win in Division I A of the World Junior Championship, earning them a promotion to the top level of the tournament for 2017.

“Being drafted is the first step in a player’s goal of making it to the NHL, and we’re very excited for Rodrigo,” said Portland Winterhawks Vice President, General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “This is a great moment for he and his family as he begins the process of achieving his dream of becoming an NHL player.”

Prior to being drafted by the Canucks today, Abols had attended a prospects camp with them last summer.

The Winterhawks have now had players drafted in eight straight years, with 27 taken in that span.

Former Trail Blazer Brandon Roy to coach High School basketball in Seattle

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Former Trail Blazer Brandon Roy to coach High School basketball in Seattle

Former Trail Blazers All-Star Brandon Roy will coach high school basketball in his hometown of Seattle, Wash. Roy will take over the head coaching position at Nathan Hale High School, according to Chris Fetters, editor of dawgman.com and Seattle Sports Radio 950 KJR contributor. 

Update: Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) will not play summer league for Miami

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Update: Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) will not play summer league for Miami

Update: 

Original Story:

Former NFL wide receiver and Oregon State Beaver, Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) will play summer league for the Miami Heat. 

Yep, you read that right. A spokesman for the Miami Heat has announced Johnson is on the Heat's summer league roster.

Johnson finished his NFL career with 766 catches for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns.

What do you think? Will you watch to see if his athleticism will transfer to the basketball court?

Trail Blazers, Olshey get their target: Maryland's Jake Layman

Trail Blazers, Olshey get their target: Maryland's Jake Layman

Shortly after the college basketball season had ended this spring, Neil Olshey had targeted his player for the 2016 NBA Draft: Jake Layman, a sharp shooting wing from Maryland who could defend and play multiple positions.

“Neil and I have been talking about Jake for the past two months,’’ agent Mark Bartelstein said. “He was a guy Neil really targeted. He told me if he could trade into the second round, he was a guy they would really go after.’’

On Thursday, Olshey did just that in the second round of the NBA Draft, trading with Orlando for the 47th overall pick to select the 6-foot-9 forward.

Olshey gave up $1.2 million and a 2019 second round pick to get his guy.

“Jake is a high character young man with a skill set we value on both ends of the floor,’’ Olshey said in a release from the team. “His ability to defend multiple positions and shoot the ball from range will be positive additions to our roster.’’

Layman, 22, played four years at Maryland where he had career averages of 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three-point range.

But Bartelstein, a long time power agent in the NBA, said there is much more to Layman.

“He’s one of those rare seniors with gigantic upside to his game,’’ Bartelstein said. “He’s kind of a late bloomer. His strength is coming and he has gotten better and better each year, and even late this season. So I think he’s a fascinating guy because he has so much upside. I think he will be a terrific player.’’

Layman on Friday said he can see similarities between his game and that of Utah wing Gordon Hayward.

“I’m not saying I’m him right now, but a guy who I can (model his game after) is Gordon Hayward,’’ Layman said.

He comes from Wrentham, Mass., a town of less than 11,000 located about 35 miles south of Boston and is the son of athletic parents: his dad played baseball and his mother basketball for the University of Maine.

It was in Wrentham where he watched Thursday’s draft, finally getting a call from Bartelstein who told him “It’s a home run!’” before he even mentioned which team had selected him.

“To finally hear my name called … it was a big sigh of relief,’’ Layman said. “I was very excited, especially to be picked up by the Blazers. I think their style fits me well.’’

Bartelstein said he told his client getting picked by Portland was a home run for two reasons: it’s always big to be a team’s only selection in a draft; and it’s important to be a targeted player, not just someone who is picked because they are available.

“It’s really important to come into the league and know a team wanted you enough to get the rights to get your pick,’’ Bartelstein said. “I know how much time Neil spent scouting and watching him, how much he focused on him, and to me, that says a lot.’’

Layman said he will arrive in Portland next week for the start of training camp for the Blazers’ Summer League entrant. The Blazers’ first game in Las Vegas will be July 9.