Despite the adversity faced by the Portland Trail Blazers on their recent road trip due to injuries, Damian Lillard and Robert Covington both put a positive spin on the experience, according to Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian. Lillard, who missed the win against the Philadelphia 76ers due to an abdominal strain, reflected that the experience was valuable for his younger teammates.
“You’re putting guys out there for a lot of minutes who haven’t played much, some guys who haven’t really played at all,” Lillard said. “And you throw them in the fire where you’re just forced to grow and get comfortable and find your way. And I think that it’s going to make us a better team in the long run with guys getting this experience.”
“I was really happy with how we played,” he said. “We just did us. We didn’t worry about who wasn’t on the floor and what we didn’t have. We competed, and we got the job done and I think that’s what we’re going to have to do going forward.”
Robert Covington also said those minutes helped the youngsters develop.
Said Covington: “That’s what’s going to help us get over the hump, guys building confidence, just understanding the situation that we’re in.”
The win over the 76ers was particularly remarkable, given the lack of experienced personnel on the court, but Rip City will remember it as a signature win — and the CJ Elleby game! — for years to come.