PHOENIX — The Portland Trail Blazers moved to 0-3 in preseason play with a 119-74 loss to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday afternoon in front of a crowd of 9,772 at Footprint Center.
“It was a horrible effort, I thought, by us,” said Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups. “You know the preseason, you’re always trying to work on something. We’ve talked as lot about trying to create a defensive mentality here and that takes time, right? But you’ve got to keep getting better and I just felt like our urgency on the defensive end from the very start of the game wasn’t there. We just didn’t stop anything.”
While it’s never pleasant to lose by 45 points, if Portland had showed progress on either end of the floor Wednesday afternoon, at least something of value could be taken from the end result, regardless of the deficit. But starting preseason 0-3, and with none of the games being especially close, it’s a bit difficult to assess whether this year’s team is going to be markedly better than last year’s.
“Tonight, we started off getting some good looks but it’s more just like in spurts,” said Damian Lillard. “We’ll have a few good possessions where we play good defense and then we give up an offensive rebound. Or we’ll be in a good position and the wrong person will rotate then it’ll be two people guarding one person, they swing it to…