Trail Blazers: Player grades from disappointing loss to Nets

The Trail Blazers fall short against the Brooklyn Nets Friday night as they lose their fourth straight game in a row.

Damian Lillard’s historic 60 point effort loses all value as the Trail Blazers couldn’t walk away with the win. The Blazers have now started 0-3 at home for the first time since the 71’ season and have the opportunity to change that Sunday Night when the Atlanta Hawks come to Portland.

It was a disappointing night in the Moda Center for the Trail Blazers, but for now here are their individual player grades from Friday night’s action.

DAMIAN LILLARD

60 PTS, 19-33 FG, 7-16 3FG,

A++

Damian Lillard held nothing back Friday night against the Nets. He played as excellent as possible, but the support wasn’t there for this team to come away with the victory. Dame set his career-high totaling 60 points in what was a game for the ages setting the Trail Blazer record for points in the game. Not only did he score 60 points, but he did it extremely efficiently. Lillard shot 19-for-33 from the field and managed to connect on all 15 of his free throw attempts. Lillard was historic on Friday night and its to bad it ended up being all for nothing as the Blazers lost their third game in a row.

CJ MCCOLLUM

8 PTS, 4-19 FG, 0 AST,

D+

The slump continued for CJ McCollum who was horrendous once again. McCollum shooting 4-for-19 was not ideal for this Trail Blazers team who have been desperate for a win as they now have dropped four straight games. Not only did CJ struggle to maximize on his shot attempts, but he failed as a facilitator finishing the game with 0 assists. His shot wasn’t falling and he wasn’t able to set up his teammates meaning he was somewhat useless Friday night which needs to change for the Trail Blazers to get out of their rut.

HASSAN WHITESIDE

10 PTS, 15 REB, 5 BLK,

A-

Hassan Whiteside has been exceptional protecting the paint as he totaled 5 blocks Friday night. Whiteside has been great recently for the Trail Blazers who have needed him to step up in the absence of Collins, Nurkic and Gasol. The game Friday night against the Nets came with Whiteside’s fourth straight double-double. Whiteside has performed exactly how the Trail Blazers have needed him to yet the losses continue to pile up, but he’s definitely not to blame.

ANFERNEE SIMONS

15 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST,

B+

The energy from Anfernee Simons has been incredible and such an upside for this Trail Blazers team that has struggled as of late. Simons scored in double-digit figures for the fourth straight game becoming the Blazers leader off the bench and the main spark for this team as he’s had to pick up the slack for McCollum. The importance of Simons cannot be understated as he has kept the Blazers afloat during the McCollum slump that hopefully comes to an end sometime soon. If Simons can continue to grow and CJ can find his stroke again then this team has the potential to have the most lethal guard rotation in the NBA.

NASSIR LITTLE

8 PTS, 3 REB, 1 BLK,

B+

Nassir Little got his first real minutes Friday night against the Nets and he definitely capitalized on the opportunity. Little brought energy off the bench and succeeded when called upon. Little shot 3-for-5 from the field totaling 8 points and even added a few rebounds to his stat line as well. The Trail Blazers have to take all the help they can now and if Little wants to step up the opportunity the minutes will be there for the rookie out of North Carolina. The potential for Little is obvious, but it came down to when it would show and tonight was a good sign. Look for Little to obtain a bigger role in the Blazers rotation moving forward.

MARIO HEZONJA

6 PTS, 2-9 FG, 9 REB,

C-

The shooting from Mario Hezonja continued to be below par Friday Night. He shot 2-for-9 from the field and seemed out of place for the second straight game which led to Little getting the minutes he did. Hezonja started at power forward for the Blazers yet he only got 20 minutes of playing time due to the poor performance while on the court. The struggles of Hezonja have brought the Blazers down as they have needed him to rise to the moment, he appears unequipped for the spotlight.

Luckily, the Trail Blazers are back home Saturday night with the chance to get back on track against the Atlanta Hawks.

Next: Portland Trail Blazers expected to stand pat in free agency
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