The Portland Trail Blazers are going back to the drawing board after a 121-120 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Despite leading by 10 points going into the final frame, Portland could not get the job done, surrendering 32 points to the Nuggets while scoring just 21.
The defensive woes for the Blazers were not limited to just last night’s performance. In their last 10 games, the Blazers rank 29th out of 30 teams in defensive rating.
The Efficiency Landscape. What Jumps Out? pic.twitter.com/8pd6MM0C0F— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) December 9, 2022
While their offense ranks in the top half of the league, the defense needs to catch up. How do you fix that?
Well, the easiest step is to get your best defensive player on the floor.
Gary Payton II is still out while he rehabilitates from his core muscle surgery in the offseason.
After that, the rest of the team has to apply the same energy on the defensive end that it does on offense. The Blazers are an offense-oriented team, and that’s okay. But the defense has to play better than it has if Portland wants to return to the playoffs and make some noise while it is there.