Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic upset with Oregon newspaper for tweeting story highlighting Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum criticism
As if falling into a 0-3 hole against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals was not bad enough, the Portland Trail Blazers are now the butt of the joke in a recent piece by hometown paper, The Oregonian.
Writer Tim Brown decided to put up an article that aggregated a number of social media posts which were tremendously critical of both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum following Portland’s Game 3 loss — which was also the second consecutive game that the Blazers had blown an 18-point lead.
Aside from an endless thread of memes and analysis, Brown stated:
The Blazers got a heroic performance from Meyers Leonard in the first half, but Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum again failed to show up when their team needed them most in this series.
The paper tweeted out Brown’s article on their own account, which prompted a blunt response from injured Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic.
— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) May 19, 2019
Needless to say, the Blazers would not have come close to reaching the Conference Finals without the heroics of Lillard and McCollum in the first two rounds.
All the same, Portland’s backcourt has struggled against the Warriors. Both Lillard and McCollum are shooting under 40 percent and averaging barely over 20 points through the first three games, with Lillard shooting below 33 percent from the field.
Considering that Stephen Curry has scored at least 36 points in each game of the series, the Blazers have not gotten the same level of production from their stars.
Still, the blame does not lie solely with Lillard and McCollum. While Leonard provided some heroics in Game 3, he looked just as helpless in pick-and-roll defense as Enes Kanter, and Portland has also been dominated on the glass.