Damian Lillard thinks Blazers played ‘tired’ in Game 1 vs. Nuggets
The Portland Trail Blazers came out flat in Monday’s Game 1 against the Denver Nuggets. After taking care of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round with ease, Portland couldn’t pull out the road victory against Denver.
Their 121-113 defeat made the problem very easy to see. Their scoring was fine, as star point guard Damian Lillard led a strong offensive effort. But according to Lillard, the defense wasn’t there, and he thinks it might be because of they were tired.
“I think more so early than late,” Lillard told Harrison Wind of BSN Denver. “In a game like that you want to try & jump on them because they played two days earlier but I thought we were tired. Our pace was pretty slow, we weren’t moving around fast enough defensively or offensively.”
It’s very tough to win when you allow 121 points, especially to a great team like the Nuggets. Denver finished the regular season with the second-best record in the Western Conference, behind only the Golden State Warriors.
The Blazers made quick work of their first round opponent, beating the Thunder in just five games. They thought the extra days of rest would work in their advantage. But instead, they came out flat against Denver in Game 1.
It took the Nuggets seven games to get past the San Antonio Spurs, but they maintained their rhythm from their Game 7 victory on Saturday.
Damian Lillard did everything he could. The All-Star led both teams with 39 points. Through Portland’s first six postseason games, Lillard averaged 34.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
The teams will meet again on Wednesday night. Portland’s defense will need to be much better, or else they could risk falling behind 0-2.