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Watch Chauncey Billups Calls Out ‘Embarrassing’ Blazers After Blowout Loss To Suns – Google NBA News Youtube HD Video Online
Chauncey Billups doesn’t care about wins and losses within the preseason. He views exhibition motion as a glorified extension of coaching camp practices reasonably than a duplicate of preseason video games, a perspective that may have shielded the Portland Path Blazers from no less than some criticism after their 36-point loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday afternoon. As Billups instructed it matter of factly after the sport, although, Portland’s course of was simply as if no more dispiriting than the ultimate consequence on the scoreboard.
“It was a horrible effort, I thought, by us,” he mentioned. “We didn’t get anything done today.”
To a person, the Blazers have talked rather a lot since official preparations for 2021-22 started late final month about their collective embrace of Billups’ two-way schemes and total strategy to dedication and accountability. Portland’s bright-eyed optimism at Media Day made it seem to be the manifestation of these beliefs on the courtroom could be a formality.
However following a 3rd straight double-digit loss, Billups and Damian Lillard copped to only how troublesome it’s been for his or her veteran crew to interrupt previous habits and depend on new ones as soon as preseason video games have tipped off—a actuality laid naked on either side of the ball towards Phoenix.
“We’re trying to change habits and when you’re trying to change habits you have a lot of bumps in the road,” Lillard mentioned, “especially when you’ve been one way for so long.”
Billups has by no means been below the impression the trail towards altering the Blazers’ two-way ideas was going to be clean. With the regular-season opener lower than every week away, he couldn’t assist however concentrate on Portland failing to make the most of the prospect to make any progress.
“Habits are really hard to change,” Billups mentioned. “But you gotta be chipping away at it, and today we didn’t chip away.”
The field rating from Wednesday’s sport, sadly for Portland, aligns intently with the attention check.
The Blazers positively missed their justifiable share of open jumpers, and Lillard admitted he determined towards taking the reins offensively when the Suns bought out to a giant early lead. It bears mentioning that Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little and Cody Zeller didn’t play in Wednesday’s sport, too, leaving Portland’s revamped bench absent three of its 4 high gamers. Billups additionally didn’t outright dismiss the notion of an odd mid-afternoon tipoff having a destructive impact on his crew.
Nonetheless, there’s no excusing defensive execution and engagement like this, which Billups known as “embarrassing.”
Billups didn’t simply bemoan frequent lapses in communication and extra efforts defensively. For the second straight outing that included the Blazers’ starters, he additionally expressed displeasure along with his crew’s shot choice—particularly on contested three-pointers early within the shot clock—and carelessness with the ball.
Portland doesn’t want Robert Covington to take a contested, early-clock three that resulted from a single move. Lillard and Norman Powell are every culpable for his or her approach too informal disposition on the previous’s transition turnover.
The issues in Wednesday’s sport prolonged far past the possessions above.
The Blazers’ transition protection was uncovered once more after being shredded within the exhibition opener by the Golden State Warriors. Perimeter defenders nonetheless aren’t making life laborious sufficient for ball handlers on the level of assault. Efforts to ping the ball backward and forward within the halfcourt and assault downhill off the dribble had been far fewer and additional between than Billups needs.
“In the preseason all you’re really expecting is—for us at least—to change the mentality a bit, and that’s why a game like today’s is so disappointing,” he mentioned. “Not because you lost or you got beat so badly, but because the mentality wasn’t there.”
It’s too early for Portland to panic.
Whereas clearly annoyed, each Billups and Lillard downplayed the big-picture significance of the loss to Phoenix, alluding to the Blazers’ total physique of labor in coaching camp and the preseason looming far bigger than any single-game consequence. It’s telling that Lillard mentioned he most likely received’t play in Portland’s exhibition finale on Friday, too. If the state of this crew was as dire because it appeared on Wednesday, he’d little question wish to try to proper the ship one final time earlier than the video games begin to actually matter subsequent week.
Nonetheless, there’s not denying the extent of the Blazers’ preseason struggles. What they portend for the common season, although, nobody will know for certain till Portland hosts the Sacramento Kings on October twentieth.
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