NBA 2016-17 Latest News & Updates: The Portland Trailblazers Hits A Wall, Struggles To Take The Next Step
After a strong start to the season, it looks like the Portland Trailblazers have hit a wall. After their success last season of the NBA, they looked like they were poised to taking that next step towards becoming a legit contender in the wild west, but that isn't how things are looking right now.
The Portland Trailblazers are currently 8-8 and are not getting enough consistent offense outside of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard in the NBA 2016-17 season. They are also not getting it done on defense as they currently rank near the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency and points allowed.
Even though much of the offense are carried only by Lillard and McCollum, they are still scoring 111.9 points per game. During the offseason, the The Portland Trailblazers signed versatile swingman Evan Turner and re-signed Alen Crabbe to give their second unit some scoring punch. However, the two have not contributed consistently to take some of the pressure off of their two leading scorers. The rest of the second unit also has yet to figure out how to be effective as a whole.
"We need everybody clicking in order to win," Turner said. "Right now I think [the reserves] are slowly starting to find more chemistry outside of our main contributors," he added.
On the defensive side, things are not much better for the The Portland Trailblazers in the NBA 2016-17 season. They are allowing opposing teams 107.9 points per game. Their defense is not at an elite level to begin with and it just became worse when Al-Farouq Aminu went down with a calf injury. They also haven't had the services of center Festus Ezili since they signed him in the offseason.
"We've just got to keep our focus and execute on defense," Mo Harkless said. "We're scoring enough. That's not the problem. We've got to get stops," he explained.
The Portland Trailblazers are 1-5 against teams with winning records in the NBA 2016-17 season, and their lone win came against the Utah Jazz who were without their star Gordon Hayward who was injured at that time. They also had to play catch up in several games especially coming out of the first quarter. They currently rank last in the league in points allowed in the first quarter by giving up 29.9 points.
If the Portland Trailblazers want to make noise in the wild west, they have to do better than how they are performing right now. "I think it just shows how far we have to go, how much better we need to get to compete with these teams," Lillard said. "We aren't beating really good teams and they're doing things we aren't doing. They're playing at a level we aren't playing at," he added.