The Backs are up against the wall for the Portland Trail Blazers, and depending on how they do to end the season, Head Coach Terry Stotts may lose his job.
After losing two straight to the Memphis Grizzlies and seemingly not playing the best caliber of basketball throughout this season. The Portland Trail Blazers have turned the corner in the last few games and beaten the teams that have a better record (games in which the Blazers have not been able to win early on this season).
Like many years in the past, the Portland Trail Blazers have been hit by the injury bug this season. While a lot of people are asking for the GM and the head coach to be canned, there is not much that you can do when 2 of your big 3 are out. But at that exact time, the Blazers were also having players in and out of the lineup with minor injuries as well.
But, Knock on Wood. The Blazers are now healthy, and are staring to mesh. After only playing 23 games before his hand injury. Jusuf Nurkic struggled this season. But in the past six games, Nurk Fever has been running hot for the city of roses. He has been a big part of the Blazers on both sides. He communicates and lets everyone know where they need to be on defense. He has excellent vision on the defensive side, something that Enes Kanter lacks in his game.
But with the backs up against the wall the Blazers know what they need to do:
“We’re getting there man, we’re getting used to each other, figuring out what plays we can run. Obviously, Norm has been here for a few weeks now, so being able to open up the play book a little bit more. Nurk is getting implemented into the offense. Getting more minutes, so it takes time. Great things take time. We are playing better basketball at the right time, understanding the severity of each game.” – CJ McCollum
The three-guard lineup has been working for the Blazers in recent games. As the Torchers (Dame, CJ and Norm) can all get very crafty with the ball in their hand, and score the ball at will. On top of them doing their thing the Beast has shown signs of being the player he was before that gruesome leg injury.
After just one loss the dominoes had seemed to fall for the Blazers, but the the domino effect has ended and the Blazers know what they need to do to get in a good spot to play a good brand of basketball when it comes time for the playoffs. If Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum can prove the experience that they have in crunch time, it is starting to peak through the clouds, as is the potential of this team as well.
After the Blazers win tonight, they have entered fifth place. It is a three-way tie for fifth with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.
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