In Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Portland Trail Blazers were historic — but for all of the wrong reasons. Not only was their 132-92 loss their largest defeat since Nov. 21, 2018, but their 54-game streak of hitting at least 10 three-pointers came to a halt.
After the game, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian highlighted Damian Lillard’s comments that touched on Portland’s abysmal shooting night.
The Blazers, who rank No. 2 in the NBA in three-pointers attempted per game, shot 9-of-41 last night, a cold spell that permeated throughout the entire roster from the top down. Lillard’s comments could be foreshadowing, if not something to watch for going forward.
“We really depend on our offense making threes,” Lillard said. “Anytime me, CJ and Melo go 0 for 16 from three, we’re not going to have much of a chance, especially when the other team is shooting the way they did.”
As evidenced by their ninth-ranked three-point percentage (38.0 percent), having a night where the entire offense struggles to thaw from long range is rare. The odds of Lillard, McCollum, and Anthony shooting a combined 0-of-16 are not great. Lillard, for one, isn’t overly panicked by the loss, especially with Portland being tied for the most wins in the Western Conference in March, at 7-3.
“We haven’t had one of these in a while,” Lillard said. “We came out and laid an egg. It’s one of those games that you get irritated by, but it happens.”
The Blazers’ next three opponents—the Nets, Heat, and Magic—aren’t exactly what the doctor would prescribe for teams seeking to rediscover their touch. The Heat and Nets are each among the top-10 in defending the long ball. But, it offers an excellent litmus test towards getting back on track, starting with Tuesday’s game against Brooklyn.