After the Portland Trail Blazers fell 107-95 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, Blazers center Deandre Ayton got candid about his own offense and his place on the roster in post-game locker room interviews. Ayton scored 17 points on 8-14 shooting with 12 rebounds in the loss. For the year he’s averaging 12.3 points and 11.5 rebounds, but he’s averaging only 10.6 shot attempts per game, far lower than his 13.2 last season with the Phoenix Suns. Ayton has the highest field goal percentage of any active, regular Blazers player, but is only fifth, nearly sixth, in field goal attempts.
Here are Ayton’s video and key comments:
On getting back in the game:
[We were] just trying to make the game, you know, lit to be honest. I just felt like in the fourth quarter, we created a little bad habit, just making those simple mistakes when it was really critical in crunch time. I just want us to really work on, when it comes to the fourth quarter, you know how important possessions are... it’s called winning time.
On his own offense:
Mainly crashing the glass. I’ve got playmakers on this team. Shaedon [Sharpe] has been doing his thing, trying his best to get me the ball when we set pick and rolls. Guys like Matisse [Thybulle] and Jerami [Grant] who have played with superstars, who just know the game... I’m just trying my best to move without the ball and call for the ball when I feel like I’m in a good spot to score. Also communicate with coach, tell him where I like the ball. Just giving it time. We don’t have as many guys, so teams are trying to take me out as much as possible.
We’ve got young dudes who are trying to make their name and see their own game and what they’re capable of doing, what they’re going to be doing in this league. Teams are saying, “Go ahead.” Teams are on me and Jerami [Grant]. We’re on the top scouting report list.
The Blazers face the Oklahoma City Thunder tomorrow night at 6:00 PM, Pacific.