The Portland Trail Blazers are in a predicament at the moment. By the end of their fourth game of the 2019-20 NBA season, the Blazers had lost most — if not all — of their top defenders who fell victim to either injury, trade, or free agency. As a result, the team’s journey through the last 38 games hasn’t been comfortable.
We all know that a top NBA team needs a solid defense to win games. And by eliminating these valuable pieces to their roster, their defense rating has taken a considerable hit, placing them in the bottom third of the league. Be that as it may, Portland’s offense is full of potential, thanks to the dynamic scoring of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, and Anfernee Simons.
Take their last game against the Toronto Raptors as a case study. The Blazers fell behind by as much as 14 points in the second half, and it seemed like they were well on their way to yet another loss. But after the break, Portland fought back hard and battled their way back into a position to win the game, thanks to their offense. With 4.1 seconds left, Anthony pulled up for a foul-line jumper to seal the comeback victory, 101-99.
Let’s face it, this year, the Blazers are never going to be active on defense. So they should flip the switch and dominate on offense. Twelve of Portland’s next 16 games are against teams who are probably going to make the Playoffs. To me, they have a better chance of winning games with exceptional offense rather than average defense. But if they don’t boost one or the other, things could get extremely ugly.
Catch you Monday.