The Portland Trailblazers should not the worst staff within the NBA. They’re removed from it truly. Nevertheless, 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 house towards the Golden State Warriors, the Path Blazers have misplaced each sport they’ve performed, they usually 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. Solely as soon as have the Path Blazers scored greater than 100 factors. Not as soon as have the Path Blazers held their opponents below 120 factors. When you’re pondering that doesn’t sound like a very good combo, it isn’t. Over their previous six video games, the Path Blazers have been outscored by 194 factors. That’s greater than 32 factors per sport. There’s zero likelihood any staff that’s truly making an attempt to win loses by that a lot that constantly.
There have been plenty of dangerous groups within the historical past of the NBA. Nevertheless, 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 staff holds two of these distinctions, extra on that later). That being stated, it’s taking place extra usually in recent times. In 2021 alone, there have been two such cases of groups being outscored by 150-plus over a six-game stretch.
Between Might 1 and Might 9, 2021, the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder went 0-6 with some extent differential of -152. The stretch kicked off with a 57-point loss at house to the Indiana Pacers. Nevertheless, the Thunder held their very own within the video games instantly after. The place the Path Blazers haven’t been in a position to maintain a single sport to inside single digits, the 2021 Thunder battled onerous with a number of aggressive groups. The evening after being trounced by 57, the Thunder virtually took a sport from the eventual Western Convention Champion Phoenix Suns, in the end dropping 123-120 although. Two nights later, the Thunder fell to the Sacramento Kings 103-99. Sure, I do know the Kings weren’t good, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a detailed sport and that’s greater than the Blazers can say proper now.
The opposite 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 have been simply that dangerous twice in the identical season. Beginning April 2 and ending April 10, the Thunder went 0-6 with some extent differential of -171. Their first three video games of that stretch noticed the Thunder outscored by 109 factors (36.3 factors per sport). Nevertheless, the staff was in a position to collect some dignity of their following three losses, dropping at house by solely 11 to the Hornets, ONLY 27 to the Cavs, and ONLY 24 to the 76ers. Take into consideration 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. Whereas Portland hasn’t suffered any 50-point losses throughout their stretch, they’ve slogged by way of 5 losses of at the very least 30. That has by no means been achieved 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 the majority of those streaks occur in February or later. That’s when tanking season is in full impact.
You understand 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 have been so horrendously dangerous that, even with a win on their resumé over their earlier six video games, the Blazers nonetheless have been outscored by 152 factors. Therefore why I stated earlier that the staff had two six-game stretches the place they have 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 house courtroom 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 the moment the 2-seed within the Western Convention — in Memphis. How did that staff go on to have the worst six-game stretch in NBA historical past instantly afterwards?
Properly, in fact, the NBA All-Star Sport most likely had one thing to do with it. Simply because the staff was getting right into a groove and battling robust 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 thrice in a four-year stretch, knock down 16 three-pointers on his technique to a 50-point sport and the All-Star MVP Award. That most likely simply pissed them off.
In fact, 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 Sport both, and like I stated, they have been enjoying nicely, or at the very least competently, earlier than then. The Jusuf Nurkić foot injury which has saved him sidelined for the reason that All-Star break undoubtedly stings, however I don’t suppose anyone anticipated the staff to harm this dangerous in his absence.
On the intense facet, 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 evening of back-to-back street video games on the West Coast. If there’s ever been a possibility for a staff 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 sturdy Portland’s tanking effort is. Will or not it’s sufficient to lose by 30-plus once more? That’s the query.