Bouncing back from a difficult loss against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers decimated the San Antonio Spurs on Monday 147-127. It was a night the Trail Blazers needed. With the win, the team snapped a three-game losing streak and put itself back on track to regain momentum as they look to make noise in the West.
Prior to the game, Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups acknowledged that there are things he can do better as a coach who is still learning. When asked about these comments by reporters, star point guard Damian Lillard praised Billups for accepting a portion of responsibility for the team’s recent struggles.
I think he’s done it as a player, so I think he knows better than anyone that it’s a collective thing. We all play a part in our success; we all play a part in our failure. And that goes for us individually as players and that goes for our coaches too. We all make mistakes, we all can do things better, but I think it’s big of him to just come out and say it. It’s not easy to take the blame or to hold yourself accountable to that level when you don’t have to. It’s easy to point the finger, especially when things don’t go well, so for him to put his self among us and our struggles, I think that’s what makes a team stay together. You know that your coach is with you and they willing to take a piece of the blame as well, and that’s how you continue to grow and move on in hard times.
The Trail Blazers remain intent on making the playoffs and being a dangerous team this season, but sit at just 22-25, good for No. 13 in the Western Conference standings. But the race is tight. Any team that puts on a burst in the second half of the season has a good chance at a playoff berth.
Portland is, if nothing else, unified. And coach Billups is a big part of that, for better or worse.