Blazers Notebook: Leonard getting back to normal

Portland center making most of minutes he gets

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer

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PORTLAND — Monday was Meyers Leonard's second game since injuring an ankle in practice. He said that probably the biggest issue he faces is getting his conditioning back.

"I have to get in game condition which comes from game minutes," he said. "We've been doing extra stuff before and after practice to get my wind back up."

Rebounding, especially on the defensive end, and his defensive awareness in general is something that Leonard is still working to get better at.

Leonard's minutes have been scarce most of the season, but he has still been happy to be part of a team that has had so much success. The Blazers have not practiced as much without the wins, but Leonard trusts that those areas will improve.

"It's difficult," he said about getting better without the minutes. "But now with more minutes and live action, I'm getting better and understanding the game. I just have to continue to prove to them that I can be on the court and help the team."

Leonard, a big believer in nutrition, has also changed things up in that regard. He said that he has been eating more than he had last year in addition to adding more carbohydrates to his diets.

He mixes in a cheat day every now and then, but he's stuck tinkered with his program a bit.

"Kind of what they call carb loading," he said. "Having more energy but I'm always eating healthy."

"Dr. Jack's" eatery opens at Rose Quarter

The Blazers opened up a new restaurant across from the Moda Center in the Rose Quarter, named after legendary Blazers coach Dr. Jack Ramsay.

They are considering their current opening a "soft opening."

The Blazers got the blessing of Dr. Jack and the Ramsay family to name the restaurant after him.

The Blazers are encouraging fans to go to Dr. Jack's before and after games. It will only be open on game nights to start.

The release from the team says that the offerings will be "warm, hearty small plates and quick bites," with a full selection of local beers and wines.

Lakers coach D'Antoni has praise for Lillard

After an epic battle between Damian Lillard and Kobe Bryant on April 10 of last season, Mike D'Antoni remarked that Lillard was one of the best rookies he'd ever seen.

"He just keeps getting better with experience," D'Antoni said. "He's hit a lot of big shots at the end of games to win games. He just keeps getting better. You could see he was an old pro last year, so you know he was going to get better this year."