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Portland Trail Blazers on historically bad six-game losing streak

Elijah Hughes and the Portland Trail Blazers haven’t been competitive in their past six losses.

Elijah Hughes and the Portland Trail Blazers haven’t been aggressive of their previous six losses.
Image: Getty Images

The Portland Trailblazers usually are not the worst group within the NBA. They’re removed from it truly. However, their previous six video games would point out in any other case. They’re tanking like there’s no tomorrow. Since their Feb. 24 matchup at dwelling towards the Golden State Warriors, the Trail Blazers have misplaced each sport they’ve performed, and so they haven’t simply misplaced, they’ve been laughed out of the constructing.

Not one in all these video games has ended with the rating inside 10 factors. Only as soon as have the Trail Blazers scored greater than 100 factors. Not as soon as have the Trail Blazers held their opponents below 120 factors. If you’re considering that doesn’t sound like a great combo, it isn’t. Over their previous six video games, the Trail Blazers have been outscored by 194 factors. That’s greater than 32 factors per sport. There’s zero probability any group that’s truly making an attempt to win loses by that a lot that persistently.

There have been lots of dangerous groups within the historical past of the NBA. However, being outscored by even 150 factors in a six-game stretch has occurred solely 11 different instances in NBA historical past (this 2021-22 Blazers group holds two of these distinctions, extra on that later). That being mentioned, it’s occurring extra typically lately. In 2021 alone, there have been two such situations of groups being outscored by 150-plus over a six-game stretch.

Between May 1 and May 9, 2021, the Oklahoma City Thunder went 0-6 with a degree differential of -152. The stretch kicked off with a 57-point loss at dwelling to the Indiana Pacers. However, the Thunder held their very own within the video games instantly after. Where the Trail Blazers haven’t been capable of maintain a single sport to inside single digits, the 2021 Thunder battled onerous with a number of aggressive groups. The night time after being trounced by 57, the Thunder nearly took a sport from the eventual Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns, in the end shedding 123-120 although. Two nights later, the Thunder fell to the Sacramento Kings 103-99. Yes, I do know the Kings weren’t good, but it surely’s nonetheless a detailed sport and that’s greater than the Blazers can say proper now.

The different notorious streak in 2021 additionally got here by the hands of the Thunder. Crazily sufficient, these two streaks had no overlap with each other. They had been simply that dangerous twice in the identical season. Starting April 2 and ending April 10, the Thunder went 0-6 with a degree differential of -171. Their first three video games of that stretch noticed the Thunder outscored by 109 factors (36.3 factors per sport). However, the group was capable of collect some dignity of their following three losses, shedding at dwelling by solely 11 to the Hornets, ONLY 27 to the Cavs, and ONLY 24 to the 76ers. Think about that. I simply talked about two 20-point losses in three video games and that was sufficient to not be the worst six-game stretch in NBA historical past. That’s how dangerous the Blazers have been. While Portland hasn’t suffered any 50-point losses throughout their stretch, they’ve slogged by way of 5 losses of not less than 30. That has by no means been performed earlier than in such a brief period of time.

There have been two different such streaks since 2010: the 2018 Phoenix Suns, Feb. 2 to 12 — outscored by 160 factors, and the 2014 Philadelphia 76ers, Feb. 9 to 24 — outscored by 154 factors. It’s no coincidence that almost all of those streaks occur in February or later. That’s when tanking season is in full impact.

You know what’s even crazier about this present Portland streak although? The Blazers received their Feb. 16 sport towards Memphis, their most up-to-date sport earlier than their terrible stretch began. Their subsequent 5 video games alone had been so horrendously dangerous that, even with a win on their resumé over their earlier six video games, the Blazers nonetheless had been outscored by 152 factors. Hence why I mentioned earlier that the group had two six-game stretches the place they had been outscored by 150 or extra.

What occurred, man? The Blazers had received 4 straight video games previous to this streak. They beat LeBron James and the Lakers, then defended dwelling court docket towards the New York Knicks. They went on the street and knocked off Khris Middleton and the Milwaukee Bucks (Giannis didn’t play) then beat the Grizzlies — at present the 2-seed within the Western Conference — in Memphis. How did that group go on to have the worst six-game stretch in NBA historical past instantly afterwards?

Well, in fact, the NBA All-Star Game most likely had one thing to do with it. Just because the group was getting right into a groove and battling powerful with some nice groups, they needed to take put a cease to their momentum and watch Steph Curry, the man who eradicated them from the playoff 3 times in a four-year stretch, knock down 16 three-pointers on his method to a 50-point sport and the All-Star MVP Award. That most likely simply pissed them off.

Of course, there’s additionally the truth that Damian Lillard hasn’t performed a single sport in 2022, however he wasn’t enjoying earlier than the All-Star Game both, and like I mentioned, they had been enjoying effectively, or not less than competently, earlier than then. The Jusuf Nurkić foot harm which has stored him sidelined because the All-Star break undoubtedly stings, however I don’t assume anyone anticipated the group to harm this dangerous in his absence.

On the brilliant aspect, the Blazers do face one other struggling squad tonight within the Washington Wizards. Washington has misplaced two straight and 5 of their previous seven. They’re on their second night time of back-to-back street video games on the West Coast. If there’s ever been a possibility for a group struggling as mightily because the Blazers have been to stroll away with a dub, it’s now. I assume we’ll simply must see how robust Portland’s tanking effort is. Will or not it’s sufficient to lose by 30-plus once more? That is the query.

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