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“Past few years… We probably would’ve lost by 18 or 20” - Damian Lillard highlights difference between new look Trail Blazers and previous rosters 

Brooklyn Nets v Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard in action for the Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard isn't worried about the Portland Trail Blazers' inconsistent run during their homestand. The Trail Blazers are 10-6 for the year and 4-4 at home. They are on a two-game skid during their current home run. After the team's 118-113 loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday, Lillard said (via Sean Highkin):

"I'm not concerned. I think this is part of it. We've had game-winners, we've won tough games, we've won road games, we've had a good start. We're 10-6 with a tough schedule. We've played some good teams.
"You've got to understand that this is part of it. If you don't understand that and think it's the end of the world … We didn't play great, but gave ourselves a chance. The past few years, we probably would have lost by 18 or 20 tonight."

The Trail Blazers revamped their roster midway through last season. They moved pieces like CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Robert Covington after struggling to achieve postseason success.

Portland relied on Anfernee Simons to step up as Lillard's new backcourt partner while adding pieces like Jerami Grant and Josh Hart. The Trail Blazers have assembled a well-balanced roster, helping them secure a winning start.

Damian Lillard's assessment of the team's current situation seems valid. They have had a tough schedule, but that hasn't stopped them from winning and playing well consistently. That may not have been the case with their previous roster.

The Portland Trail Blazers were consistently one of the worst defensive teams during those years. Their roster wasn't as equipped to sustain playing at a high level on both ends during the playoffs, hampering their chances of making a deep push in the postseason.


Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers miss out on securing the top spot in the West

The Portland Trail Blazers could've gone atop the Western Conference standings with a win during Saturday's home game against the Utah Jazz. However, the Jazz came out on top behind Malik Beasley's 29-point effort off the bench. Beasley put on a shooting clinic. He made 6-of-14 shots from 3-point range.

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Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers struggled offensively, with Damian Lillard misfiring. He had 14 points on 2-of-14 shooting (1-of-12) from deep before he exited with a calf injury. Portland committed 17 turnovers, while their bench was outscored 55-26.

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Damian Lillard and Co. have registered three losses in four games, their worst stretch of the season thus far. However, all of these losses have been closed. The new-look Trail Blazers remain a threat in the West. The new-look roster hasn't gelled well on the court, but that will likely improve as the season progresses.

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Edited by Arhaan Raje
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