Evan Turner says Portland is winning ‘the right kind of way’
The Portland Trail Blazers are ready for the NBA Playoffs. After finishing with the third seed last season, only to be swept in the first round by the New Orleans Pelicans, the Blazers feel like they are in a much better place this season. Evan Turner spoke with Sports Illustrated on the differences he sees in this season’s team and how they are taking care of business:
“We’re beating teams in the right kind of way. It’s hard to explain it, but we aren’t having the same type of errors we had in the past. Last year, we couldn’t close a game out. This year, we’re like 90-percentile [winning] going into the fourth. That, and the depth we have been using, finishing games, that’s it.”
The confidence is obviously there for Portland, as it should be. They have remained in the top of the Western Conference playoff picture since the start of the season and are currently owners of the fourth seed. Their 38-23 record has them a game and a half in front of the fifth seed Houston Rockets and four and a half out of the top seed in the West.
The Trail Blazers aren’t scared of any other team in the league, though. The team is currently riding a five-game win streak that has seen them take down the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics. With the fifth best offense and 15th best defense in the league, Portland knows they can ball with the best of them on any given night.
Part of their success as of late has come from some roster additions the team made recently. After being bought out by the New York Knicks, Enes Kanter was brought aboard and has been a big help for the second unit in Portland. Since arriving, he has averaged 12.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game in the four games he has played with the teams. Trading for Rodney Hood has given them some extra depth along the wing as well, though his scoring has been off to a slower start than Kanter’s.