The Trail Blazers are dangerously close to missing the postseason for the second straight season. It is also the second year when Chauncey Billups is the head coach of the team.
Some attribute Portland’s disappointing performance to Billups but the team’s star Damian Lillard thinks the circumstances have played a major part in this.
He pointed at the fact that the Blazers have a young team which makes it more difficult for a rookie coach to be successful with.
Via Jason Quick of The Athletic:
“A lot of things go into a team struggling, and I’ve never been a fan — even going back to Terry — of blaming the coach,” Lillard said. “I think there are a lot of things on the court, and that you can see in film, that us as players have to be better about. The last two years, we’ve been really young, and I think it’s hard for a first-time coach to have a young team, where you have to do so much teaching.
“But that’s the way this goes: You lose games, you struggle and people are going to be saying, ‘We need a new coach!’ We made the playoffs for eight years and they were saying the same thing about Terry.”
With 12 regular season games left to play, Portland (31-39) is 13th in the Western Conference – the same place in which the team finished last year.