After the Boston Celtics defeated the Portland Trail Blazers for the second time this season, superstar point guard Damian Lillard used his post-game press conference to explain how Boston found success against his team’s defense.
“We didn’t have our low man there at the rim sometimes; they kinda made that adjustment, kicking it out of our at the level coverage,” Lillard said. “Passing it ahead, and then the low man would switch really quick and they were taking advantage of us in that small amount of time. We realized it; we cleaned it up. And, then, we weren’t able to get out to shooters. They were getting good three-point looks.”
The Celtics have struggled for consistency since returning from the All-Star break but have now won their last two games and have begun to look like the offensive powerhouse we saw earlier in the season.
However, the Celtics do need to clean up their fourth-quarter defense, as once again, they allowed their opponent to make a run down the stretch – something that has become an issue for them in recent months.
Chauncey Billups Gives Blunt Assessment
Following the Trail Blazers’ loss, head coach Chauncey Billups gave an honest assessment of his team’s performance, claiming that the Celtics are a better team and that you have to be almost perfect to beat them.
“We played a team that’s, let’s face it, a team that’s better than us,” Billups said. “That’s one of the elite teams in the league. They’re better than we are. So, when you play against teams like that, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot. Because you gotta play pretty much an outstanding game to have a shot.”
Unfortunately, the Celtics haven’t been playing like an elite team recently. However, their fans should be encouraged by the current offensive system and how many quality shot attempts the team is creating throughout a contest.
Marcus Smart Name Drops Damian Lillard
Throughout the March 17 contest, Damian Lillard scored 41 points on 52.2% shooting from the field and 40% shooting from deep as he looked to will his team back into the game.
As he sat in front of the media after the game, Marcus Smart heaped praise on the Trail Blazers’ performance and credited Lillard for his outstanding play throughout the game.
“For us, it’s just moving on to the next play,” Smart said. “We got to have that short-term memory on both ends of the floor. I think a lot of times, we allow, because we didn’t make shots, [opponents’ made shots] to affect our defense. And then because our defense was lacking, we try to come and force another shot. Just having that short-term memory. If you’re open, shoot the ball. If you miss it, oh well, next play. You shoot it again, you get an open shot, you knock it down. And once we start thinking like that, I think that kind of took away a lot of the mishaps that we’ve been having. Those little walls where it just seems like we couldn’t score the ball nor get to stop. And like you said, Dame went off. We still were able to keep our poise and respond.”