West Notes: Blazers, Deandre Ayton, Warriors, Thunder, Mark Daigneault

Trail Blazers

Center Deandre Ayton said his first year with the Trail Blazers was a success, as relayed by NBA insider Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report.Deandre Ayton, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

“My first season here went amazing. It was a learning experience,” Ayton said. “I truly got to see what kind of player I am.

“What I showed you guys the second half of the season is what I’ve been trying to show my whole career.”

Ayton averaged 16.7 points and 11.1 rebounds in 55 games with the Blazers, as well as a career-high 1.0 steals. The former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick was acquired by Portland after spending his first five years with the Phoenix Suns.

He was part of a three-team trade that sent him from the Blazers to the Suns (along with Toumani Camara) and also involved the Milwaukee Bucks.


Coach Steve Kerr told reporters that the Warriors and Kings are both somewhat different from the teams that met in the first round of the playoffs last season.

Now, they will meet in the play-in tournament on Tuesday.

“We’re both very different,” Kerr said, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “They are without (Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk). Trayce Jackson-Davis and (Brandin Podziemski) are playing bigger roles … Keon Ellis, we didn’t even have a scouting report for him.”

  • The Warriors will be without injured guard Gary Payton II for the play-in game, Kerr told NBA reporters. Payton very well could miss a second play-in game should the Warriors advance, Kerr added, via Andrews.


Coach Mark Daigneault has been voted as NBA Coaches Association Coach of the Year, the league announced in a release. The Thunder averages just 24 years of age and still earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

“Daigneault, 39, has increased his victories total in each season, including significantly in the past three seasons — 24 to 40 to 57,” wrote Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “The Thunder and the Celtics, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, are the only two teams this season to rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency, according to ESPN Stats & Information.”

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