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Chauncey Billups Praises Deandre Ayton for Rockets Victory

The coach is happy with his center’s performance.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers were able to overcome the Houston Rockets in overtime to earn a 137-131 win. Head coach Chauncey Billups sat down with the media after the game to discuss the close win.

You can see the full video here or in the embed below. Following that are some key quotes from Billups.

On what helped them hold on for the win:

We had to hang in there. I thought we got off to a start that our energy wasn’t great in the first half, excuse me, first quarter. But we hung in and we were ok. Went to the bench and I thought the bench gave us a great life. Man there was just so many people who played well in the game.

I thought [Deandre Ayton], man in the paint with the rebounds, six offensive rebounds was a really big deal. Giving them one shot was important for us. Obviously [Anfernee Simons] got going in the second half. I thought [Matisse Thybulle]’s minutes were a big deal. He was incredible in his minutes. He shot it well, but his defense, he was all over the place just being ‘Tisse.

On the play that led to Jerami Grant sending the game to overtime:

He was the second option. And what I’ll say is that great players make coaches look good. He had a heck of a shot. It was a good pass by Malcolm [Brogdon]. He had pretty much a mismatch, he had a smaller guy on him. He just rose up and knocked it down. He gets all the credit on that.

On Malcolm Brogdon’s impact for the team in the win and throughout the season:

He’s just mister reliable for us. He makes shots when we need it. He gets rebounds when we need it. He’ll get a defensive stop when we need it. He makes plays, assists and stuff, when we need it. He just does it all for us. He’s a savvy veteran that’s in his prime still that can impact games.