The Portland Trail Blazers have turned heads with their dogged and energetic play through the first two weeks of the season.
Brian Windhorst, Marc J. Spears and Kirk Goldsberry discussed the Blazers as one of the NBA’s overachieving teams through the first two weeks of the season on the Hoop Collective podcast.
The ESPN analysts all praised roster construction had done over the summer with Spears highlighting Coach Chauncey Billups as his pick for leading the Western Conference Coach of the Month race.
Goldsberry spoke to the team’s improved defense, particularly given the fact that defensive specialist Gary Payton II was yet to play.
“The question in Portland for me has always been on the other end of the court. Over the last three seasons, it’s been a bottom three defense each and every time.”
“You mentioned my favorite acquisition of their’s already, he’s not even playing, Gary Payton II. If you talk to people around the Warriors, they think the loss of Gary Payton II hasn’t gotten enough attention. They loved that guy.”
“How he brings so much to a defense especially, they haven’t even had him and as of our taping, they rank nineth in defense, which is great for them, that’s a great early sign.”
“If Chauncey and company can get a good defense here, Damian will have the offense going, that’s a good team, period.”
You can listen to the discussion here at the beginning of the podcast.