The Portland Trail Blazers faced the Bulls on Saturday night. The game was too close for comfort, but Damian Lillard dazzled with a spectacular performance.
Damian Lillard scored early and often leading the Portland Trail Blazers to a comfortable first half. Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen dissolved that impressive first-half lead as Chicago turned the Blazers double-digit lead into a two-point deficit by the closing seconds of the game.
The Blazers held a solid lead heading into the second half and just needed to hold it. The team struggled to do so, however, and were nearly the victims of a comeback.
The offense and the defense both struggled in the second half, which led to the Bull’s resurgence. This thrust the Blazers into the backseat, where they had to climb back uphill.
It’s no secret that the Blazers’ defense is in question. The lack of natural defensive ability on this roster, paired with recent injuries, makes it no surprise.
A similar statement can be made about the offense. Obviously, the team would take a step back without CJ McCollum but the hope was that the rest of the roster would rally and keep the team afloat.
The complete game needs to be talked about, though. Anfernee Simons and Robert Covington were solid but not much more, while Carmelo Anthony was throwing up shots like they were going out of style.
It’s far from the first game like this Melo has had, and it’s likely the last. No one expected him to be the star of Denver or NY, but he has taken a noticeable step back.