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Chauncey Billups cites return to ideals in Blazers’ win over Kings

The Portland Trail Blazers cruised their way to an impressive 130-113 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, their signature victory of the season thus far. After the victory, Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups took to the podium to celebrate and talk about the game.



You can watch the interview here. Below are the main exceptions from Billups’ responses.

On what’s changed in this game:

We got a little lost defensively… When we play well, it’s our defense that fuels the offense. There are so many times we’ve gone out thinking we could outperform shooting teams and offensive teams, but we’re not built that way right now. We came back there. I thought our defense was flying all the time. We talked about the importance of getting off to a good start. We talked about the need to play better at home. There are certain things we must do. And that’s what we’ve done. Today we did a very good job. We talked about our crash. We’ve had some downfalls and losses over the last five or six games. We just wanted to get back to what we were trying to do all along. I thought today, from start to finish, we did it, playing against an offensive heavyweight. Knowing that our defense would be put to the test today. Look at what De’Aaron (Fox} and also (Domantas) Sabonis did. It was impressive, but we were able to absorb it because we had so many different efforts from everyone.

Bench production against Sacramento:

Our bench was incredible tonight. To be honest, our bench has been so good for most of the year. But tonight was obviously an exceptional night with Duop (Reath) achieving his career high in points and rebounds. I just thought he was so focused and locked in. I criticized him for needing rebounds and being better defensively. And I also tell him: “If you don’t shoot when you’re there, I don’t know what advantage you’re giving us. You have to see what you have. You have to be there to shoot. If you have an opportunity, you must take it. » He took full advantage of it. I thought he was amazing. This evening. He gave us an option. They tried to bag up the paint and throw it away. They starred in this cover. He hurt them.

I thought Scoot (Henderson) was amazing. I really did it. I thought he was amazing, just his rhythm, his tempo, attacking that basket. He played with ferocity tonight, and that’s what I’m always rooting for about him. I’m still on him. “Scoot, you should just play fast.” Be athletic. I live with mistakes. Don’t worry about errors. Just play aggressively. And man, I thought he was phenomenal tonight. And on both ends of the floor too. I thought his decision-making was really good, very sound. Damn, he gave us a big boost. He really did it. He gave us a huge, huge lift.

And ‘Bari (Jabari Walker)… this is becoming a bit normal for Jabari. He plays, he’s so competitive. And he plays with so much fire. The things we need. And he’s a very good rebounder, another area we need.

On the relative lack of turnovers in this game:

It was a great moment. It was a great moment. That’s one thing that I think really hurt our defense, turning the ball over. It’s tough…I just felt like we played with such a rhythm tonight, lifting the ball, that there was no like, ‘What are we in?’

We knew four or five pieces that we wanted to play on and I kind of gave them the keys to do it. Until the fourth quarter, I was like, “No, I got it.” We will perform a play each time. Let’s learn from a lot of our fourth quarters. Let’s just slow down and get some good shots.

I was very happy and very impressed with the way we took care of basketball.

Billups also talked about Anfernee Simons as a key player, perimeter defense and the play of centers Moses Brown and Ibou Badji, and facing the San Antonio Spurs and hype machine Victor Wembanyama this week.

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