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Blazers ‘Competitive’ in Loss vs. Spurs

The Portland Trail Blazers couldn’t pull out a win, but they were competitive in the loss against the San Antonio Spurs.

Portland Trail Blazers v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

At this point in the Portland Trail Blazers season, wins and losses are not paramount. Instead, it’s about giving new players opportunities that they haven’t gotten earlier in the season.

For these players, a late-season game with extended minutes could be the difference in whether he gets another contract by the Blazers or another NBA team next season, and that’s crucial.

While these players may not be as talented as those shut down on the bench to prevent injury, showing an ability to remain competitive in games that don’t have much meaning is the easiest way to earn a future spot on an NBA roster.

And in Thursday night’s loss against the San Antonio Spurs in Austin, center Drew Eubanks felt the team was accomplishing that goal.

“I thought we competed. Last couple of games, we’ve been competitive. It didn’t go our way tonight, but I thought we played hard,” Eubanks said via KENS5’s Jeff Garcia.

Eubanks was the model of that competition, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds against his former team. Considered a veteran amongst the group he was playing alongside Thursday night, Eubanks led by example.

Out of the nine players that suited up for the Blazers, seven scored in double figures, including a season-high 24 points off the bench from Kevin Knox, the most he’s scored in a game since his rookie season with the New York Knicks.

Also among those scoring in double figures were Trendon Watford and the team’s G League contingency of Skylar Mays, Shaq Harrison, John Butler Jr. and Jeenathan Williams. All of those guys should be taking in every second of these final games because it could change their trajectory as a professional basketball player for their entire career if they remain competitive and prove why they should be a regular at the next level.