Unlike the Orlando-based bubble from the conclusion of last season, the 2020-21 regular season is unfolding in home markets in fan-less cavernous arenas. The Trail Blazers are off to a 2-1 record, but they did not escape a blowout trend that has emerged in the early portion of the season.
Over the weekend, the Mavericks amassed a 62-18 lead over the Clippers with 5:19 left in the second quarter. Dallas ended up cruising to a 124-73 victory after four quarters, but that eye-popping margin in the points column generated comments from around the league.
On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports featured a clip of Damian Lillard explaining how the fan-less environments have created a surprising hurdle for players.
“I would say that is has something to do with the environment that we’re playing in. Now, being in these big arenas, no fans, [a] quick turnaround from last season; I think we are going to have some guys still getting their minds into the season. You’re going to have some guys looking around like, ‘man, we gotta create our own energy.’ There is no true energy in the building.”
The Blazers face the Clippers on Wednesday and face the Warriors twice before returning home to Portland on Jan. 5 to face the Bulls.