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Losses, frustration mount as Trail Blazers make playoff push
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BASKETBALL NEWS:
Losses, frustration mount as Trail Blazers make playoff push

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – While Damian Lillard doesn’t think that what’s bothering the Trail Blazers is irreversible, the truth is that time is going out for Portland to snap out of its downturn.

Portland has actually lost 5 straight video games and 9 of the last 11 to be up to seventh in the Western Conference standings, simply a half-game up on Memphis. The Grizzlies simply beat the Blazers in back-to-back video games.

The Trail Blazers (32-28) have actually kept an eye out of sorts. They’ve fallen by 2 points or less in 4 of their last 6 losses – video games the Blazers may have won in the past in “Lillard Time,” when their All-Star point player creates those deep 3-pointers he’s understood for.

However Lillard‘s shots recently have actually been uncharacteristically off. He air-balled a late-game 3-point effort on Sunday versus the Grizzlies.

“I’m on the floor,” Lillard stated later. “That’s the best way for me to put it. I’m on the floor because I feel like that’s what gives our team the best chance to win. And I’m doing all the things to allow myself to be on the floor. So, I’ve just got to be better, man.”

Blazers coach Terry Stotts confesses there’s frustration as the losses mount with simply 12 video games left.

“I think as a team we’re very together. We’re committed to winning. And we’ve come up short in some close games – which can be a test, certainly. It can be a test,” Stotts stated. “But I don’t think we’re caving under that. I think we come out and compete.”

Lillard has actually had a series of injuries and knocks this season, however he’s generally not one to take some time off. Previously this month, he sat for 3 video games since of a hamstring concern.

In April, he’s balancing 22.1 points and 6.1 helps, well off his March averages of 29.8 points and 7.4 helps.

“I think he’s competing,” Stotts stated about Lillard. “He’s missing some shots that he normally makes, but I think he’s competing.”

The Blazers were hurt by the extended absences of both CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic because of injuries, but now both starters are back. Portland also added small forward Normal Powell.

Lillard said the issue wasn’t cohesion, despite all the moving parts. He said he understands that losing is hard, but he tries to preach patience to his teammates.

“You never really know when it’s going to click or when you’re going to come out of it or turn a corner. So you’ve got to make sure you keep your mind all right, and you’ve got to make sure that you’re strong enough in your heart and in your mind to deal with whatever comes with those hard times,” he said. “I think that’s been my message: We’ve got to stay with it.”

Lillard knows that it will be a fight to the finish line, just to make the playoffs. The Blazers are at Indiana on Tuesday night, before facing the Grizzlies again in Memphis on Wednesday.

“Bottom line, we just have to keep doing our work and move forward and let the chips fall. I say that understanding we have to do a lot of things better, and I have to be a lot better than I have been if we are going to do that,” Lillard said. “But it’s real adversity, I will tell you that. It’s real adversity.”

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Hmm. yes i understand the
question, you know it's been at least
15 years since I've been following the news, no 10 my folks do that, hmm. what was the question again !?
Excuse me, do you remember
where you read about this ?
Are you kidding !?
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