The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled in recent games, failing to put opponents away as they now have lost seven games in a row. While their performances at home were once a bright spot, six of those losses took place in Portland. Despite the difficulties, the team is hanging in there together, reports Casey Holdahl of Trailblazers.com, while building a culture of accountability under head coach Chauncey Billups.
After the loss to the Phoenix Suns, Nassir Little recognized what Billups is doing.
“Everything you guys hear is nothing that he doesn’t say to us personally,” said Nassir Little. “It’s not a matter of him saying something to the media and not coming at us with the same type of tone. He says it to us before he says it to you guys, so it’s no surprise. That was the thing when he got here: he’s going to hold us accountable, he’s going to tell us the truth and he’s gonna tell us what it is.”
Holdahl reports that Billups is also holding himself accountable as he learns to be a head coach.
“I’m doing that first and foremost,” said Billups. “I’m looking at when I call timeouts — Is it the proper time? Are they on a run? What can we do? How do we do out of timeouts? — start of quarters, things like that, rotation patterns. I’m doing that first and I learn all the time, to be honest with you. I mess it up quite a bit too and try to learn from that stuff. I always look at myself first in the mirror, then I go on to see as a team how we could be better.”
For team star Damian Lillard, it’s about keeping it going, even when it’s tough.
“We’re not the only team that’s going to have a struggle like this, we not the only team going through this struggle right now,” said Lillard. “But what we not gonna do is be one of the teams that fold. It’s ugly at times, it doesn’t feel good at times but we got to keep going and we’ve got to find a way because that’s just what we do.”
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