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Blazers vs. Kings ‘Felt Like a Playoff Game,’ Says Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton and the Portland Trail Blazers fell in overtime to the Sacramento Kings.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t expected to compete for the playoffs this season, and possibly not for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean they won’t play in postseason atmospheres throughout the season.

Through eight games this season, the Blazers have already played in some tight games. They’ve already seen overtime twice, including Wednesday in a loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Deandre Ayton felt the energy in the arena and likened it to a playoff game.

“It felt like a playoff game and we could tell that we was putting on the show,” Ayton said. “Both ends both teams was doing their thing because how that environment was and you know just riled us up as players to you know lock in and even play harder. So it definitely gave that playoff feeling for sure.”

For someone like Ayton who has played in many playoff games throughout his career already, including six NBA Finals contests with the Phoenix Suns, this feels legitimate.

The back-and-forth throughout the game against the Kings was a strong test for the Blazers. Even though key players like De’Aaron Fox, Scoot Henderson, Malcolm Brogdon and Anfernee Simons were out, the Blazers were still competing hard, ultimately falling in defeat to a Kings team that finished third in the Western Conference a year ago.

If the Blazers continue to compete in these games, they are going to gain something whether they win or lose and that’s valuable as they begin their true rebuild.