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Chauncey Billups Praises Trail Blazers Hustle, Defense

The coach has positive vibes, a few reminders after Portland’s victory in Detroit.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Detroit Pistons 110-101 on Wednesday night, coming back from an 18-point deficit to claim their second win of the season.

After the game, Head Coach Chauncey Billups sat down with reporters to discuss the game.

Here are some key quotes from the interview.

On Portland’s resiliency in the comeback:

Super, super, super proud. We talked all day today about what it was going to take for us to win this game. I just kept saying, “The team that wins the hustle game is going to win this game.”

...In the first half, they beat up on us. They really did. I really got after our guys and challenged them at halftime... We came out and just turned it around.

On Shaedon Sharpe’s masterful performance:

Shaedon was incredible. We got on his back...

We use him a lot as a playmaker. Shaedon was great the entire second half.

We know he’s going to be capable of these kind of offensive nights. But I’m demanding a lot from him on both sides of the floor. And when he doesn’t, which is what you seen at the end of the first half, I took him and Scoot out. “No. No, this game might be too big for y’all.” So I took them right out, let the other guys finish. They were ready to go when we put them in in the second half.

He tells me he wants to be great. Well, there’s a price to pay for that.

On Scoot Henderson’s status after rolling his ankle:

Sore. Sore. I’m not sure how bad it is. But he was the first one—typical Scoot—he was the first one outside the locker room congratulating everybody, giving everybody high-fives.

On the emergence of center Deandre Ayton:

He’s starting to relax a lot more. We’re starting to find him in his sweet spots a lot more. Him and Scoot, I thought they were really good today in the pick and roll...

...We’re just kinda getting to know each other. I thought he was really good defensively out there. He’s starting to show us what he’s capable of.

Billups also talked more about his team’s defense, his complex relationship with Sharpe, the play of his bench, and emerging rotation players Jabari Walker and Toumani Camara.