Maurice Harkless returns from knee surgery for Blazers

Forward Maurice Harkless returned to action for Portland in Game 2 of the playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

Harkless, who checked in with 4:53 to go in the first quarter, had a minor procedure on his left knee in late March and had missed 11 games.

“When you get married,” Snyder says, “you’ll realize that’s how it works.”

The last clip of the session features an awkward pick-and-roll dance with Gobert. With the shot clock down to eight seconds, Mitchell rushes and jacks a contested pull-up 3 that misses short after Gobert doesn’t get much of a screen on Larkin.

Bryant, who had mentioned moments earlier that eight seconds is an eternity in a half-court possession, blames Mitchell for not giving Gobert a chance to set a good enough screen.

“Let him get in the channel, retreat dribble, keep [the defender] on your hip, let Rudy flip it,” Bryant says. “Now you can attack there.”

Adds Snyder: “It’s the patience.”

FAST-FORWARD TO the following week, when Mitchell coverts a dazzling drive and and-1 layup over LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan that was featured on all the highlight shows. It’s a high pick-and-roll with Gobert, and after the initial pick isn’t much of a hit, Mitchell spins and takes a dribble with his left and crosses back over.

The move brings Clippers forward C.J. Williams right into Gobert and gives Mitchell a clear runway. He changes speeds and directions as he goes to the basket, getting Jordan on his heels before accelerating toward him.

Mitchell draws contact while executing a “goofy-foot finish” — a technique Bryant taught him, catching shot-blockers off-guard with a quick, right-handed scoop while leaping off the right foot.

Mitchell listened, learned and executed.

In his sixth NBA season, Harkless played in 59 games for the Blazers in the regular season, starting 37, and averaged 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds.

“But I’m telling you: Rudy makes this play.”
jets_032

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *