Moe Harkless describes struggles, challenge of team always playing through 3 players
Moe Harkless has seen the frustrations of playing along an All-Star backcourt comprised of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, now along with center Jusuf Nurkic, which has resulted in a lack of touches for him — unable to prove his value on the court.
“I just feel like I’m just out there to be out there… I don’t know,’’ Harkless said Wednesday after he had only one point, zero rebounds, zero assists and zero blocks or steals in the Portland Blazers’ 101-81 loss in Philadelphia, according to Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest.
Wednesday’s outing spelled nightmares for the Blazers, as Lillard got his 30 points on 27 shot attempts, while his backcourt mate McCollum went a woeful 1-of-14 from the floor.
One would come to reason that McCollum would turn into a facilitator once he saw his shot wasn’t falling, but no — the Lehigh star recorded zero assists, with Lillard only getting two of his own, despite being the primary ball-handler.
“I’m just out there, and that’s frustrating,’’ Harkless said. “I’m just out there playing defense, which is cool … running back and forth. Out there running track.’’
Nurkic was effective enough, grabbing a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, but turning it over six times, as Portland’s Big Three combined for 12 of the team’s 17 turnovers.
“We gotta figure out ways… not only me, but ways to get other people going,’’ Harkless said. “Every game it’s the same thing … we play through three people.’’
The Blazers’ trio of Lillard, McCollum, and Nurkic had 54 of the 89 shot attempts in the game (60.7 percent), and accurately accounted for 60 percent of the scoring, while the Sixers were one Robert Covington point shy of having all of their starters in double figures.
Evan Turner, who swallowed most of Harkless’ 18 minutes on the floor, was a mere 2-of-7 from the floor, while forward Noah Vonleh converted one of his two attempts from the field through 19 minutes in the 20-point loss to the Sixers.