Three of the last four Player of the Week winners in the NBA have used the Portland Trail Blazers’ porous defense as a springboard to earn the weekly honors.
The huge nights from Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis and Kevin Love left Damian Lillard pondering the missing element behind Portland’s inability to slow down opponents this season. His solution is straightforward: The Blazers need a mean streak.
“That might be the change that needs to be made … is us just not being the nice team (where) everybody likes each other,” Lillard said following Blazers practice on Monday. “That’s a great story, but maybe we’ve got to play a much more mean game.”
From the outside, it seems like teams don’t feel much resistance going against the Blazers’ defense. Portland struggles guarding pick and rolls and locating opposing players in transition.
Quick Take: The Blazers are 9-10 this season. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are having excellent seasons. But the Blazers’ main story this season has been their defense. It’s been miserable. The squad has a league-worst defensive efficiency, through yesterday’s games.