Frank and bold, Chauncey Billups put his foot down on the Blazers

From 29th place (114 points against 100 possessions) to 6th at the beginning of the season (107.6) in the ranking of the best defense in the League, the Blazers simultaneously emerged from the soft belly of the Western Conference, and is currently first in their conference and among the three best results this season.

In the middle of this reversal of the situation, which remains to be confirmed, there is recruitment, but also the work of Chauncey Billups which is beginning to bear fruit. Through a straightforward and direct philosophy, like what allowed him to reach the top of his career as a player for Detroit in the early 2000s.

“He is very good. In this league, if you always show the same configuration to your opponent, you will be eliminated”, Damian Lillard explained to The Athletic. “This is something that has worked in our favor so far. We played “small ball”, we did the zone, we did the all-terrain press, the all-terrain zone, we did a double take. »

“If we have two or three guys who can get through, I’m not the type to drown the fish”

Against San Antonio, Chauncey Billups got it right again by subbing in the smaller, but more mobile and more responsive Drew Eubanks in place of the incumbent, Jusuf Nurkic, to end the game. In addition, he chose a zone defense. Results ? The Spurs only scored four points in the last four minutes of the match!

Badly dealt at the start of the final quarter, the Blazers still managed to survive a good rout, for their tenth victory of the season (in fourteen attempts), the best start for the franchise since 2018.

“It’s something I do according to the feeling of the moment. Nurk started the match with difficulty… It’s not personal. I’ll always do what’s best for the team at the moment. And then Drew gave us a very good minute , on both ends of the field. His quickness on screens gives us advantages. Everything he’s done has been great, and has been since the beginning of the season, really. »

Coach who is close to his players, and especially his back, Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, with whom he can share his vast personal experience, Chauncey Billups gradually gained his experience last season, preparing for the sequel in a season of admitted “tanking”.

Today, we feel this strong bond that binds the Blazers to their coach. A coach who doesn’t hesitate to back them with bacon if necessary. But it is for their own sake!

“I’m not a person who makes big speeches, but I’ll tell you what’s going on”, Chauncey Billups slapped. “There are some areas where I have to push myself and raise my voice. If we have two or three guys who can break through, I’m not the type to drown the fish with phrases like ‘we have to do better defensively in the outside shots’. No, I’ll say who! I’ll give the names and discuss them bluntly. It pays off in the long run for the boys. I won’t cover anything up, because we see it. Will say me, ‘you, you and you!’ »

“I like it straight to the point”

Anfernee Simons can confirm, he is having his best season with more than 22 points average (including 4 assists and 3 rebounds): “He’s behind me 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he smiled. “But I told him, that’s what I want. I will never take criticism the wrong way. »

For his part, Damian Lillard also appreciates the frankness of his coach, who does not hesitate to point out his stars, that is, Damian Lillard personally. The leader relied on the defensive challenge that Chauncey Billups launched against the Spurs, against Keita Bates-Diop in particular.

“I like that he goes straight to the point. It never feels like the end of the world or that we’re not playing well but it’s going to be okay. No, he’s chasing us and he’s showing us examples of what he’s talking about. And we continue. »

The word continues to circulate in the halls of the NBA halls: “responsibility” which can be translated as “responsibility”, but mainly in the sense of assuming one’s responsibilities and holding the players accountable. Chauncey Billups used this term more often to keep the pressure on his troops.

Like his own journey as a player, he knows how important good defense is to aim high. This is his almost daily message to the Blazers. One message received 5/5 so far!

“It doesn’t matter if he’s your best player or a two-way player. They hired me as a coach and I treat everyone the same. I know most [des coachs] I don’t have the courage to do it but I do, because I always appreciate my coaches who are honest with me. That’s what gets the best out of players. I won a title like that. »

Shots Bounces
Players GM minimum Shots 3 points LF Off Def Early p.d bp Int CT party Points
Damian Lillard 9 35.8 46.0 37.9 86.4 1.0 3.7 4.7 6.6 4.2 0.6 0.3 1.6 27.9
Anfernee Simons 12 35.9 42.2 37.6 86.0 0.4 2.6 3.0 3.9 2.3 0.8 0.2 2.2 22.3
Jeremy Grant 13 35.8 50.6 49.3 75.0 1.0 3.9 4.9 2.5 2.2 0.7 0.8 1.9 21.3
Jusuf Nurkic 11 28.1 49.1 54.5 85.3 3.0 7.6 10.6 2.4 2.4 0.8 0.7 3.0 12.6
Shaedon Sharpe 13 21.0 53.3 46.7 69.2 0.8 1.8 2.5 0.4 0.7 0.3 0.3 2.1 9.3
Josh Hart 14 36.2 42.6 30.4 68.3 1.6 6.9 8.6 4.4 1.8 1.3 0.1 2.4 8.6
Justice Winslow 11 26.7 39.3 25.0 66.7 1.7 3.1 4.8 3.5 1.3 1.3 0.5 2.5 7.9
Keon Johnson 6 17.7 35.6 34.8 33.3 0.5 2.0 2.5 1.7 2.2 0.8 0.3 1.7 7.0
Nassir Little 14 15.2 52.4 43.3 64.3 0.3 2.2 2.5 0.9 0.7 0.4 0.1 0.7 6.3
Drew Eubanks 14 18.6 70.2 0.0 70.0 1.4 2.6 4.0 0.9 0.8 0.4 0.7 2.1 5.7
Trendon Watford 6 17.1 47.6 0.0 90.0 0.5 2.5 3.0 2.3 1.3 1.0 0.0 2.5 4.8
Jabari Walker 8 9.0 52.9 20.0 66.7 0.6 1.9 2.5 1.0 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.8 2.9
Greg Brown III 4 5.5 71.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.8 2.5
John Butler 1 9.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 2.0

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