PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Trail Blazers continue their quest for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they dropped a tough game to the Los Angeles Clippers yesterday
Here are some takeaways from a brutal loss:
1. Dame won’t miss those free throws
Although Damian Lillard missed two crucial free throws that potentially could have won the Blazers the game, something that most fans, players, and coaches know is when the game is on the line, you want Lillard taking the last shots. Even though he was unsuccessful this time, more times than not, Lillard is making those free throws and the Blazers win the game. Unfortunately, you can’t win them all.
2. Clippers just shot the ball better
Sometimes, teams just hit their rhythm and can score the ball at will. The Blazers ran into a Clippers team who has been shooting the ball extremely well from both the field and from the 3-point line. Against the Blazers on Saturday, the Clippers shot 50 percent from the field and just under 45 percent from the 3-point line.
3. Another impressive game from Gary Trent
This guy has burst onto the scene since the return of the NBA. Trent has been an all-around phenomenal player for the Blazers and he showed again why he is so valuable. Trent finished the game with 22 points and made six out of his 10 3-pointers. Again, Trent is going to be key for the Blazers if they hope to make the playoffs.
4. Poor late game execution
The Blazers had their chances in this game to grind out another win. But against both the Clippers and the Celtics, the Blazers didn’t perform well in the late game situations, which were both games the Blazers should have come out on top. The Blazers were just sloppy with unnecessary late-game fouls, which led to free throws for the Clippers, and they didn’t execute offensively. It’s going to be tough for any team to overcome adversity and win a close game when they do not execute well on their side of the floor.
5. The Blazers looked gassed in the fourth quarter
These past few games the Blazers have been playing have been extremely exhausting, both mentally and physically. These games have been hard-fought and down-to-the-wire. On top of that, the Blazers are in a situation where they have a huge amount of pressure with each and every game. After you throw all these factors into the Blazers situation, it was apparent that they just looked exhausted in the fourth quarter. I think this is what could have led to the poor late gameplay, just because they were so exhausted.
6. Poor free throw shooting
The Blazers just didn’t cash out on their free opportunities at the line. The Blazers shot a disappointing 70 percent from the free throw line even though it was just five points that they missed out on, the Blazers needed those points that could have given them an extra boost in the game.
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