By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups saw his team getting demolished 145 – 111 by the Boston Celtics for the team’s fifth loss in the last six games. The 145 points mark the most the Blazers have ever allowed in regulation in the club’s history.
The Celtics got a 21-point lead 10 minutes into the game and the Blazers had to play catchup ever since. They managed to reduce the deficit to two points near the end of the first half with the help of the bench squad.
“We’ve been making a habit of that,” Billups said. “Playing really soft at the start of the games and then we depend on our bench to kind of get us back in it. A lot of times they do. Even at halftime, I said to them. “I don’t understand. I’ve never seen a team that we need our bench to inspire our starters. And that sh-t is crazy to me. It’s supposed to be the other way around. We continue to do that. But at the end of the day, we all got to be better. I got to be better, they got to be better. We got to do it together.”
The Blazers fell apart after halftime and were obliterated down the stretch, with the margin going above 40. They ended up getting blown away for a second straight game, after losing 114 – 83 to the San Antonio Spurs.
“That competitive fire and that pride,” Billups said when asked if pride is something that is coachable. “That’s something you either have or you don’t have. And that’s not something you can turn off or turn on. That’s unfortunate. We didn’t show any of it tonight. These are young dudes, they don’t know the NBA, they don’t know the politics of the league, they don’t know the etiquette of the league. They don’t know when the game is open and a guy goes crazy… they don’t know what to do. But that’s what our vets should be teaching them. They should know. After tonight, it was embarrassing for them. And I felt like, I wasn’t worried about them. I was more worried and angry at the starters for putting them in that situation. So it’s really a starters/veteran issue. It’s not a young guys issue”
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