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Trail Blazers Coach Chauncey Billups Talks Preparation After Tough Loss

Teams are running, shutting down key Portland scorers.

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Though it was fairly calm compared to the postgame interview of Toronto Raptors Head Coach Darko Rajakovic last night, Portland Trail Blazers Coach Chauncey Billups sat behind the microphone with assembled media to talk about his team’s 112-84 loss to the New York Knicks.

You can see video of Billups’ interview here or in the embed below. Key quotes from Portland’s coach follow.

On the loss:

It was a tough one. They came out...it was really more about them than us to be honest with you. They came out and they were very physical. They took us out of some things. We didn’t really respond. Then they just made shots too, man. There were so many opportunities I thought in that first quarter that we had, some of our shooters had good looks and couldn’t make it. Then we couldn’t stop them. We talked about their offensive rebounds. They’re first in the league in second-chance points. I called the first timeout and they had four already. We did a good job on our first possession defensively and then they put it up on the rim and they got it back. It was tough. It was tough. But you give them credit. They did what they had to do. They played well and we just didn’t.

On the play of Anfernee Simons:

He hit a couple early and then they were kind of top-blocking him, keying on him. They started blitzing him... getting the ball out of his hands. He made the proper play. We just couldn’t capitalize 4-on-3 on the back side. They had some success with it, so they kept it going, as they should have. Nobody was really able to get it going. Jerami [Grant] started going a little. And I thought Shae [Shaedon Sharpe], I’ve got to get him to be a little more aggressive, man. Especially at times like this when we’re struggling to really score. He has to be aggressive and try to get there and make plays. It’s just part of his development.

On New York’s success in transition in the game:

You know, it’s funny. I was telling our guys all day today. I said, “The numbers tell you that they’re like 27th in the league in transition... but me watching their last four or five games, I’m telling you my eyes, they are playing fast as heck. They really are. Kicking the ball up. They’re playing fast. So we’re going to go with my eyes.” So I can’t say that they caught us off guard because we try to prepare our team for it, but they just did a really good job of it, to be honest.

Billups also talks about the ups and downs of the Blazers’ current extended road trip and experimenting with his evolving roster rotation.