Blazers' Loss to Boston Spurs Criticism of Jusuf Nurkic's Performance
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 320
The Portland Trail Blazers suffered another defeat, this time at the hands of the Boston Celtics, with a score of 126-112. Damian Lillard finished with an impressive 41 points, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Blazers from losing their fifth consecutive game.
With just 12 games remaining, the Blazers' chances of making the playoffs are dwindling. Al Horford, who contributed 12 points and 11 assists for Boston, acknowledged the importance of playing with urgency at this point in the season.
"This is the time of year where teams, you know, you can't wait until the next step. But you have to play these games. We need to continue to play good basketball and get better," said Horford. Despite the loss, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups was proud of his team's effort against a superior opponent. "We haven't had many games where we don't give it our all.
Game like tonight, we played a team that's let's face it, better than us. But we kept fighting, we kept scrapping," said Billups.
Blazers' Playoff Hopes Fade
However, the same cannot be said for Jusuf Nurkic, who had a modest performance against Boston.
Nurkic played only 25 minutes and scored just six points while taking only six shots and grabbing eight rebounds. His performance drew criticism from both dissatisfied fans and media outlets. The RipCityProject portal went so far as to call for Portland to part ways with Nurkic, citing his injury-prone history as the main reason for their dissatisfaction.
Nurkic has only played in 150 out of a possible 297 games since 2019 due to frequent injuries, and the portal argues that the club needs to find a new center.
With the Blazers currently sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference, their playoff hopes are fading quickly.
It's time for the Trail Blazers to cut their losses and use one of the assets they acquired at this year's trade deadline to sweeten a Jusuf Nurkic deal and move on from the overpaid, oft-injured centerhttps://t.co/YNn0Qjdt6M — Rip City Project (@ripcityproject) March 17, 2023
Despite Lillard's heroics, the team has struggled to string together wins in recent weeks. With just 12 games remaining, they will need to turn things around quickly if they hope to make a push for the postseason. The Blazers' next game will be against the Detroit Pistons, who are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference.
It will be an opportunity for the Blazers to get back on track and build some momentum heading into the final stretch of the season.