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News / Sports / Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers Week in Review

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers Writer
Published: January 17, 2016, 8:27pm
3 Photos
Philadelphia 76ers&#039; Robert Covington reacts to his 3-point shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia 76ers' Robert Covington reacts to his 3-point shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola) Photo Gallery

Blazer Beef

I have to say that the team set me up pretty well this week for this section of the week in review. Saturday night’s 25-point blowout loss to the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers was the low-point of a 3-1 week.

The Blazers are just the fifth team to lose to the 76ers this year. They gave up 114 points to Philadelphia, who this week were profiled by Jared Dubin for Sports Illustrated as one on pace to be one of the worst ten offenses in NBA history.

After trading for a competent NBA guard in Ish Smith and adding Mike D’Antoni to the coaching staff, the offense has been a little bit better and they’ve been competitive. Win-sanity got the Blazers on Saturday night, but even though they’ve improved some, the way in which they were blown out by a team with a chance at the worst record of all time is inexcusable.

Blazer Bravos

Damian Lillard’s 17 points in the final three minutes of last Sunday’s home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder was a performance to remember. Lillard has had plenty of scoring explosions and late-game heroics, but 17 points in three minutes impressed even himself.

Lillard’s week in general was worthy of Player of the Week honors, although his candidacy was probably derailed by the Philadelphia loss. The Blazers still went 3-1 and Lillard averaged 24.8 points and 7.8 assists a game.

Allen Crabbe also stepped up big for the Blazers off the bench in Friday’s win against Brooklyn, scoring 19 points. Crabbe got loose by moving without the ball against Brooklyn’s shaky perimeter defense. Al-Farouq Aminu was also a defensive machine in two of Portland’s wins, getting eight blocks in their wins over Utah and Brooklyn.

The Week Ahead

Monday at Washington Wizards (11 a.m., CSN): Bradley Beal is back from injury in a limited capacity, but the Wizards have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments and find themselves currently outside of the playoff picture.

Wednesday vs. Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m. KGW, ESPN): The Hawks look poised for home court advantage in the playoffs again and the Blazers will look to avenge their Dec. 20 loss in Atlanta when they were without CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard.

Saturday vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7:30 p.m., CSN): Health permitting, Saturday will be Kobe Bryant’s final appearance in Portland.

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Columbian Trail Blazers Writer