With 6 wins in 8 games, Portland is slowly starting to return to its season, despite Damian Lillard far from the courts. Most observers saw the Blazers sinking more, but the Chauncey Billups guys are in great shape. With the fateful date of February 10 approaching, there is still time to ask the right questions in Oregon. Debrief.
With this great victory in Toronto this Sunday, Portland ends its road trip to the East with a nice record of 4 wins for 2 losses. The days are brightening in Oregon. And yet, a few weeks ago, the Blazers Nation wanted to defenestrate themselves: a blah blah game, a filthy defense, a few involved, a Lillard who has sore abs, McCollum’s lung problems and a record of 13 -22. In short, the kind of season that we did not really expect. But now the new year has allowed a few nuggets to come to light in the absence of the boss. We think of Anfernee Simons who takes on a whole new dimension and whose future will brighten up the next few years for Portland. With averages of 26 points and 7 assists in 50/43/88, over the month of January, Anfernee Simmons shows that he has the makings of a holder on the backcourt of Portland. But he is not the only youngster to show himself and Nassir Little delights with athletic qualities superior to those of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a hustle to make the 2021-22 Jusuf Nurkic blush. Speaking of Nurkic, on the road trip, the 27-year-old’s No. 5 averages topped 19 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.7 steals. He will be a free agent this summer and seems to have understood that he had to play basketball to scratch a nice contract. But its value rises in view of the trade deadline, a luxury that Portland does not neglect.
Anfernee Simons…What a finish. 🔥
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 11, 2022
If there is a team to watch before the trade deadline, the name of its city begins with ” For “ and ends with “Tland”. With the explosion of youngsters – and the fact that they continue to rack up mileage while waiting for Dame Time to return – management might want to move its big names. Yes, CJ McCollum returns rather well, Nurkic is renamed Jusuf Olajukic and Robert Covington interests contenders. What about the desires of Ben Simmons and Jerami Grant, which some insiders have made wind of? Damian Lillard deserves a better squad and accumulate good guards by having peanuts on the other stations is of no use… not much. Even a new pivot, Portland gladly takes. No one is fooled, Jusuf Nurkic must have received a phone call from Rich Paul who kindly asked him to move to bail out his personal coffers, but his form could prove to tend towards a tricky illusion into which his next team. To end this Portland review on a high, where is Damian Lillard? Injured in the abs during the last Olympic Games, he was then advised to have an operation by his compatriot Jrue Holiday. Advice that he put into practice on January 13th.
“Jrue is the first person to pretty much confirm that I needed surgery, because I sat down outside of practice and was like, ‘I can’t move.’ And he started describing every symptom. – Damian Lillard
Always for ESPN, the 31-year-old point guard said it was wiser to “make decisions that work for you in the long term and not just now”. When will we see him in action again? Dame will be reassessed in 6 to 8 weeks, but he does not say he is in a hurry to resume competition.
“My number one goal is to win a championship. I have to be in the best shape of myself to get there. So I’m in no hurry (to come back, editor’s note). – Damian Lillard
Portland is doing better and even very well. The little youngsters are having a blast, the Chauncey Billups touch is a little felt and the viocs are gaining in value. All that remains is to shake up the workforce to take advantage of this great series and regain the level that was that of the franchise a few years ago. Just a ring around lady fingers, please.