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Blazers Don’t Have an ‘Alpha’, Says Billups After 41-Point Game from Simons

“On the offensive side, you want to start games and get the ball moving,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “We don’t have an ‘alpha’-type dude on our team.”

Phoenix Suns v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers may have lost 118-117 to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night, but there was some positives coming out of the game.

Anfernee Simons scored a season-high 41 points (four shy of his career-high), giving the team hope that there is a guard to build around moving forward. However, Chauncey Billups doesn’t quite see it that way... yet. After the game, Billups explained that the team lacked an “alpha” player.

“On the offensive side, you want to start games and get the ball moving,” Billups said via Rose Garden Report’s Sean Highkin. “We don’t have an ‘alpha’-type dude on our team. It just is what it is. We’ve got some helluva players, guys that are going to be All-Stars in this league. But right now, we don’t have that dude that you can throw it to and he’ll get us going for the first four or five minutes of the game. We just don’t have that. So we’ve got to do it collectively.”

Granted, Simons started off the game slow with just eight points and got hotter as the game went on, but as of now, he’s Portland’s best player. While Jerami Grant has probably enjoyed the best career prior to this season and Scoot Henderson represents the highest ceiling out of anyone on the roster, Simons holds the title as Portland’s best player for this season.

Simons, 24, has been limited to just nine games for the Blazers this season due to injury, but in those games, he has shined. He’s scored 18 or more points in all but one appearance and has scored 25 or more in five of those games. He’s averaging a career-best 27.1 points per game and if he can continue this trajectory, maybe he can become the “alpha” for the Blazers.

Simons and the Blazers are back on the court tomorrow night against the Golden State Warriors. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT.