What? Wait, we at this online NBA betting site do not think that the Portland Trail Blazers suck. It’s the Blazers’ very own point guard Damien Lillard who thinks his team sucks. His exact words? “We kind of suck right now.” This candid statement came after Portland lost two consecutive games by a combined 42-point margin – 88-113 to the Chicago Bulls, and 109-126 to the Houston Rockets. Moreover, the Blazers rank 27th in points allowed per 100 possessions (107.3), and last in points allowed per game (111.3).
On Thursday’s game, Portland and Houston were tied at 62 at halftime, and that’s went things went to the crapper for the Blazers. The Rockets outscored the Trail Blazers 38-21 in the third quarter, and Houston’s James Harden finished with his third triple-double of the season. “We’re just not very good right now,” Lillard said. “We’ll get it right, and things will be fine. But I think everybody’s frustrated.” Unfortunately, Portland fans betting on NBA games are not about to dispute Lillard’s assessment of the team. The good news is that there is no way to go but up. Or as forward Evan Turner put it, “s***, it can’t get no worse. Right?”
The Blazers’ success last season – the finished second in the Northwest division with a 44-38 record and made it to the second round of the postseason – may have led online NBA betting experts and fans alike to overlook the fact that Portland’s defense was mediocre at best and at worst the worst in the league for long stretches of time. In spite of which the only defensive upgrade made during the offseason was injured center Festus Ezeli – who has not even played yet. To make matters worse Portland’s best defender, forward Al-Farouq Aminu has missed five games with a strained left calf.
The Blazers have not out-rebounded a team since the season opener, and allowed the Rockets 54 boards and the Bulls a season-best 67 rebounds. And the way Terry Stotts “defends” his boys, he seems more a spokesman for opposing teams than Portland’s head coach. Lillard has been more to the point, calling the Blazers a “quiet” team – and not a cool quiet, like George Harrison – as in they don’t communicate enough on defense. “Communication has to pick up,” Turner said. “Defense is a team game. If somebody misses a read, or assignment, it’s going to have a domino effect.”
Lillard has not pointed fingers at anyone, which speaks volumes of his leadership off and on the court. The former Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star is averaging a career-best 28.8 points per game, as well as 5.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. Furthermore, Lillard has been the Blazers’ top scorer in all but three of Portland’s game, including a season-high 42 points against the Dallas Mavericks in early November. Will the online NBA betting odds change for better for the Blazers? Lillard hopes to “keep working and fighting.”