This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. A year to build some cap space, let Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard learn, and try and compete next year. Then the wins started rolling in, and as late as February 4th, the Blazers were two games over .500 and in eighth place in the Western Conference as they started a five game road trip.
Sometime along that trip, the wheels came off the bus. Seven straight losses, five of them to teams under .500, punctuated by a 36 point blowout disaster February 13th against the 20-37 New Orleans Hornets. The skid mercifully ended upon Sunday in Portland, where they held off the Rondo-less Boston Celtics, 92-86.
So what went wrong?
Was it that opposing teams finally figured out Damian Lillard? The rookie had been an efficient scorer all season to this point, even if his passing skills were not quite at an NBA level yet. During the seven games, Lillard shot 38 percent, not an altogether bad performance, but was wildly inconsistent...