Playing without starters Jusuf Nurkic and Josh Hart, the Portland Trail Blazers faced an uphill battle on the boards last night against the Toronto Raptors. It resulted in a 45-27 rebounding disadvantage and a 123-105 loss for Portland.
In the postgame locker room, Blazers guard Anfernee Simons told reporters Portland’s deficit on the glass cost the Blazers the game.
“Obviously, we was pretty undersized tonight, so that was [an emphasis] to crash the glass. They big dudes so it’s hard to box them out every single time and keep them off the glass, so I think that was the difference. ...We just didn’t have the size tonight, but I think we still did a good job of making it a game at certain points during the game. There’s only so much you can do, especially [with] rebounding the ball when we obviously overmatched with size and athleticism and height.”
Within that 45-27 rebounding disadvantage, Toronto demolished Portland on the offensive glass 15-3, leading to a 22-5 lead in second chance points. As noted above, the absence of Nurkic and Hart put Portland at a severe disadvantage. Nurkic and Hart are Portland’s top two rebounders this season, with Nurkic averaging 9.7 rebounds per game and Hart averaging 8.1.
Stepping into the starting lineup in place of the injured duo, forward Nassir Little grabbed three rebounds in 30 minutes and center Drew Eubanks had three rebounds in 22 minutes. Blazers forward Jerami Grant led Portland with eight boards.
Simons finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 turnovers on 7-12 shooting in the loss.