Trail Blazers Left Searching for Consistency after 'Disappointing,' 'Underachieving' Road Trip
After a 2-4 road trip, the Blazers find themselves with a lot of work to do.
DENVER — Their overall position right now could be worse, but the Trail Blazers are heading into Christmas with a lot of work to do and a lot of things to figure out.
A 2-4 showing on this six-game road trip that ended in a loss to the Nuggets following two winnable games dropped in Oklahoma City is not what anybody wanted.
"I'm very disappointed in this trip," head coach Chauncey Billups said after the game.
Damian Lillard agreed: "I think we underachieved."
Jerami Grant: "Not a great one for us."
The Blazers team limping into the holiday at 17-16 and ninth in a crowded Western Conference is a far cry from the tough, connected, aggressive team whose 10-4 start to the season surprised everyone, including most in the organization.
That team is still in there somewhere and shows itself in flashes, like the version that blew the doors off Denver in the second quarter on Friday to take a six-point lead into halftime. But just as common are the defensive lapses and self-inflicted turnovers that lead to things like the following third quarter, where Portland was outscored 36-17.
"We're two different teams," Lillard said. "We come out and be one team, we win. And then we come out and be another team, we lose. I think the biggest takeaway from that is it's not easy to sustain. That's a major area of growth for us."