Tag: Joel Freeland

Shawne Williams, Joel Anthony, Joel Freeland

Blazers’ Joel Freeland, Pistons’ Shawne Williams suspended one game for headbutting each other


Shawne Williams and Joel Freeland have each been suspended one game for “head-butting each other,” the league announced on Saturday via official release.

The incident occurred near the end of Portland’s blowout win over the Pistons on Friday, and seemed completely unnecessary.

Williams took offense to a shove from Meyers Leonard, and then when Freeland stepped to Williams to stick up for his teammate, Williams went for the headbutt, and Freeland responded in similar fashion.

Neither player is of great importance to his respective team, so this matters little in the grand scheme of things.

Williams will serve his suspension Saturday when the Pistons play the Jazz, while Freeland will serve his suspension on Sunday when the Blazers face the Raptors.

Joel Freeland, Shawne Williams ejected for headbutting each other near end of Blazers-Pistons (VIDEO)

Shawne Williams, Joel Anthony, Joel Freeland

The game was essentially over, with the Blazers up 21 points on the Pistons with just 1:05 left. But to Detroit’s Shawne Williams, there was evidently something worth fighting for.

The nonsense began when Myers Leonard appeared to give Williams a shove in the back. Williams had words for Leonard, but got even more upset when Joel Freeland chimed in to stick up for his teammate.

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Williams gives Freeland a little headbutt, Freeland retaliates in similar fashion, and the two were ejected from the contest.

Freeland’s reaction can be seen in the clip below.

Wesley Matthews says teams don’t fear the Trail Blazers

wesley matthews
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The Blazers were off to a strong start this season, winning 30 of their first 38 games and, if Wesley Matthews is to be believed, were striking fear into the hearts of their opponents at the very same time.

But injuries to big men Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland significantly impacted the defense, and Portland has lost eight of its last 10, partially due to their absence.

There are other issues at play, too — like some low-percentage outings from Damian Lillard, and a general inability to close the opponent out. The games have been close; all of the losses during this slide came by seven points or less, save for one rough outing on the road against the Spurs in Kawhi Leonard’s return from injury. But what’s really missing, at least in the eyes of Matthews, is a certain level of swagger that at one point had other teams concerned before the opening tip.

From Mike Richmond of The Oregonian (via Basketball Insiders):

Whatever the reason for the down turn over the past ten games, Matthews knows the Blazers need to figure it out and get back to the execution that made them elite group in the first 40 games of the season.

“It’s about getting better, It’s about winning, it’s about playing the right way, it’s about getting back to what we were and who we were when we were feared,” Matthews said.

“We’re not feared right now. I don’t think teams come into the Moda Center and fear a game. I don’t think teams know that when they wake up and have shootaround at their place that the Trail Blazers are in town. That was like that earlier in the season. We’ve got to get that back and we can.”

To be fair, the amount of teams each year that are truly feared, even in a small capacity, is a very short list. It might have been the Heat and the Spurs last year, and it might be the Warriors, Grizzlies and possibly the Cavaliers this season.

Being feared (which seems silly the more we keep saying it) is a luxury that is earned by running your opponents off the floor by wide margins on a seemingly nightly basis. Portland was that good at times earlier this season, but it’s questionable at best whether their opponents ever gave them quite that level of pregame respect.