The Portland Trail Blazers lost a tough 125-112 contest with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. Following the game, Head Coach Chauncey Billups addressed assembled media members on the team, style of play, referees, and the difficulties of developing young players.
Here are select quotes from the interview.
On the Dallas game:
I thought we responded well. We came out and had a tough, really tough, first quarter. I told our guys even before the game, I said, “The way we’re going to be running around you’ve got to hang in there. You’ve got to hang in there. No matter what happens, we can always get back in the game, as hard as we play. We’ve just got to be able to make some shots.” That’s what happened...
...We stayed in there and made it a game. We could just never really get control.
On earning respect from officials as a young team:
Oh man...don’t get me started, bro. It’s Christmas time. I don’t want to give any of my money away. I’ve got four girls in my house, my wife and three daughters. I’ve got to keep my money.
I don’t know how we gain it. I’ve always just had this defensive mindset, even as a player. I feel like when you are the aggressor, most times you get the favor. Or at least they understand how you play and everything is not a foul. There have been several times I’ve sat up here and I didn’t complain at all about the calls they called against us because we play aggressive. And we foul more than I like, but I know you can never really have one without the other. If you’re going to be very aggressive, you’re going to have to live with some fouls. We’re an aggressive team most times. But when we’re attacking and doing the same thing, the inconsistency really bothers me. I don’t know. I don’t know how you do that, but we’re going to keep plugging away, just doing the best that we can.
On whether 53 three-point attempts against Dallas was too much:
I don’t think so. The way that they play, they just pack the paint on us... We try to have the mentality of trying to attack the paint, but when you attack it and there’s four guys there, kick it out and we live with the results. We just couldn’t make enough, but no. No I don’t mind that.
On the return of Anfernee Simons
You can see. He changes things for us. Having him back, it helps everything. I think he’s even been really good defensively as well, to have him back, scrapping out there. But just from the offensive standpoint, he just gets different coverages. Having him out there opens up a lot. You talk about these 53 threes that we shot. A lot of those come from them trapping and blitzing Ant. Then we’re getting shots on the weak side.
It just kind of sucks that just when he came back, our other vets aren’t playing, are banged up. One day we’ll see what it looks like.
On the struggles of Scoot Henderson:
I thought he struggled tonight. All of it. I thought all of it tonight, he struggled...
He took a lot of shots that are just not the shots that we want. I thought defensively he struggled a little bit. He likes to pressure, but they were blowing by him, putting pressure on the back of our defense. He struggled there.
I thought Toumani [Camara] struggled as well. he took a lot of shots that are just uncharacteristic of him. He’s iso-ing out there. It just was too much.
Those two dudes really struggled in the game today. It happens. These are pups. They’re youngins. How can you learn if you don’t struggle?
But other than today, since Scoot has been back, I think he’s been really good. With the exception of today I thought his push, his pace, his defensive toughness, and he gets a tough rebound, he’s been really good since he’s gotten back.
We’ll wash this one off in the shower for our young guys. You’ve gotta have a quick and short memory in this league. We’ll move on.
Billups talked more about the difficulty for young players playing without veterans, the advancement of rookie Kris Murray, If you can’t see the interview above, you can find it on YouTube at your leisure.