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Chauncey Billups praises Celtics as the \’best team for a reason\’ after Blazers\’ loss


Portland’s coach was impressed with Boston’s play.

The Portland Trail Blazers faced a litmus test of sorts on Monday night, falling 121-99 to the Boston Celtics.

The Blazers weren’t expected to win the game, but in a rebuilding year, it’s always an interesting experience to measure your progress against the elite teams in the NBA. On Monday, Portland did some nice things, but saw just how far away they are.

After the game, Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups spoke about what it was like to face the Celtics – who attacked from all angles on both ends of the court – despite missing starters Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday:

“One, you realize how good of a team you played against. Two, the fact that they have so much chemistry. That they don’t have to run many things. They build their team very nicely with all the shooting. So, they can play one-on-one…they create the chase all game…drive, kick, swing, all game. And chances are that the guys that you’re kicking it to are knock down shooters.”

The Blazers coach elaborated on the Boston’s efforts, “One thing I love, is that they don’t get bored playing the right way. They just play the same way all the time and, at some point, the defense is going to break down. And all you’ve got to do is make the proper play. They’re the best team in the league for a reason.”

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While the Blazers have struggled with youth and injuries this season, the Celtics are a definite model of what an elite NBA team looks like. In Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, they have a pair of star offensive players, play solid team defense behind Jrue Holiday and Derrick White, and have a plethora of shooting options both off of the bench and in the starting lineup.

Billups is hoping that he can build the Blazers into that type of cohesive unit in the coming seasons. But it won’t happen overnight. Brown and Tatum have played together for eight seasons, and that type of chemistry can’t be rushed. But while Portland is working on seasoning their young roster it’s often helpful, even if it leads to a loss, to go up against the NBA’s best.

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About the Author

Peter Sampson has been covering all things sports (with a focus on the Portland Trail Blazers) for more than a decade, most recently hosting “The Pulse with Peter Sampson” in Afternoon Drive for 750 The Game. Prior to that, he hosted an NBA wrap-up show that aired immediately at the conclusion of every Trail Blazers game. Peter had previous stops at Blazer’s Edge and XRAY.FM – where his show “Blazer’s Edge Radio” was named “Portland’s Best Sports Radio” in the 2017 Willamette Week reader’s poll. When he’s not telling the stories of your favorite sports team, Peter can be found recording the next garage rock classic in his basement studio, whipping up an authentic Italian meal in the kitchen, or trying to figure out the appeal of Minecraft with his 9-year-old son in the living room.

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