It was an evening of pure nostalgia with Portland playing its first preseason game of the 2019-20 season in the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum.
The Blazers went deep into its bench with 17 players on the active roster seeing the floor. Portland got out to a slow start with Denver leading 27-22 after one quarter. Both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum only saw action in the first half and then were shut down for the rest of the game. The Blazers backcourt played 15 minutes each. It wasn't a great shooting night for the duo, but hey, it's preseason. They combined for 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
Three Quick Takeaways:
A quick first look at Whiteside
With Hassan Whiteside tweaking his left ankle during the first week of training camp, Tuesday's game action was most likely the most run Whiteside has had in the last couple of days. It was pretty apparent he was a little gassed, especially in the second quarter when he was a step behind when rotating on defense. He played just 12 minutes.
Super Mario running the break, running the point
The Blazers' second unit of Anfernee Simons, Anthony Tolliver, Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja, and Skal Labissiere, turned up the heat late in the first quarter. The second unit got out and ran. More often than not the outlet pass would get zipped out to Hezonja. Between Ant, Super Mario, and Bazemore, the three carried the point guard duties.
It was Hezonja who had Blazers fans extremely excited in the first half. It was as if there wasn't anything Hezonja couldn't do. He was running the point, running the break, finding his teammates either out in transition or in a set play. He was also getting out and running and finishing with dunks on the break. Hezonja was having fun and in turn, the fans were having even more fun.
Baze the spark plug
A team can always use a guy that comes off the bench to light a fire under the rest of the team. It looks like that guy for the Blazers could be Kent Bazemore. Diving for loose balls, getting out ahead of the pack and running, or any of the dirty work on the defensive end -- Bazemore is here for it all.
Check back here throughout the night and tomorrow morning for interviews and videos with the players!
Instant Analysis: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Blazers 1st Preseason Game originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest