It was another difficult night for the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Playing, once again, without multiple starters, the team struggled to contain the Atlanta Hawks’ guards, eventually falling 111-129.
This marks the team’s third consecutive loss as the team tries to stay playoff-relevant in the Western Conference. With the defeat, Portland falls behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the standings, occupying the No. 13 spot with a record of 29-34.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups recognized that the Blazers are missing some of their key contributors, but acknowledged that all teams deal with adversity.
I’m not an excuse coach at all. I don’t do that. I don’t condone that with my guys. We’re not playing great and teams are starting to play better than us. I think teams are playing harder than us, for the most part, even though I don’t question the effort of our guys but inexperience really shows up in a lot of our games. We got some really important pieces that we’ve been relying on that are not playing, but that’s how this game goes. Every team has those lapses during the season and that’s just exactly where we’re at.
Those lapses could not come at a more inopportune time, though they do improve the Trail Blazers’ draft position this summer, if sustained. It may be time to think about what can be gained from continued underachievement.
The Trail Blazers have five more games on the road before returning home. They face the Orlando Magic on the first half of a back-to-back tomorrow.