After a 22-point blowout in Salt Lake City, the Portland Trail Blazers suffer their third straight loss and slump to 10-11 for the season.
A major part of their struggles this season have come in road arenas, away from the Moda Center. The 129-107 loss to the Jazz slumps their road record to a dismal 1-10, the second-worst in the league with only the young and rebuilding Houston Rockets having a worse record (0-11).
The team has been able to ride the ship with their stellar home performances, where they have a 9-1 record which is just shy of the best in the league.
Portland was missing a starter in Norman Powell but Monday night’s loss was not an aberration but instead a trend through the early part of this season.
And the issues have once again majorly been on the defensive end of the floor, a category where they rank 29th in the league. That rating and other defensive numbers get worse playing away from home.
“We play with a casualness & no urgency on the road,” Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups said after the Jazz game.
The numbers agree with Billups’ statement, their defense, which is already among the worst in the league, slumps even further on the road. And from the numbers, the biggest concern seems to be their 3-point defense, which is among the league’s worst at home and on the road.
The team’s sole road win this season came against the Rockets, a young rebuilding franchise that had only won one of their first 17 games.
Following this Jazz loss, the Trail Blazers have a chance to rebound from their three-game losing streak as they play eight of their next nine games at home. It won’t be easy extending their home win streak considering a few of their upcoming opponents on their homestand – Phoenix, Minnesota, Boston and Charlotte.
Having said that, if their current trend of home and away performances continue, the Trail Blazers should consider themselves fortunate as they play only four road games of their next 19 until Jan. 9. They have until then to improve their road play because following Jan. 9, they have a stretch where they play 10 of 12 games away from the Moda Center.
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