Blazers Season Recap


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The Blazers hope to improve their record for next season after missing out on playoffs.

For the first time since the pandemic began, the NBA season returned for a full 82-game season. The Portland Trail Blazers were among many Western Conference teams determined to compete for a playoff spot. With the Blazers making eight consecutive playoff appearances, the longest active streak in the NBA, the expectations were high for this 2021-2022 season. 

After parting ways with Terry Stotts after nine years of service, the Blazers hired new head coach Chauncey Billups. With new coaching staff, the Portland franchise hoped to shake things up after a few mediocre seasons.

The season began with a home game against the Sacramento Kings. In a tightly contested game, they fell 121-124. Throughout the beginning of the season, the Blazers struggled to stay consistent. In the first ten games, their record was 5-5. 

The situation failed to get better as the season progressed with injuries taking a toll. Most importantly, the Blazers lost Damian Lillard to an abdominal injury. He only appeared in 29 games for Portland this season, playing his last game Dec. 31. In January, Lillard got surgery which led him to miss the remainder of the season. In February, starting center Jusuf Nurkic was also forced out with an injury. 

With their star guard out, the Blazers continued to lose games with a young starting lineup. They struggled with barely any veterans to lead the team. One bright spot was Anfernee Simons, who put up impressive numbers until his knee injury on March 5. He averaged 17.3 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.6 rebounds over the course of the season. The team also began focusing on developing certain players such as Greg Brown, Trendon Watford, and Keon Johnson.

As the Feb. 10 trade deadline approached, the Blazers traded away some of their starting players, including Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers. Also, the Blazers parted ways with long-term guard CJ McCollum. You can find an article about that here

The most notable player that they got in return was guard Josh Hart, who the Blazers will look to build around. He showed out in the games that he played, his best performance coming against the Washington Wizards as he dropped 44 points. With these changes, it was evident that Portland had decided to look towards the future. 

The fans started to believe that the team was determined to “tank,” which is losing games with the goal of getting a good draft pick. It became a normality to see the team lose by big margins. They went on an eleven game losing streak from March 23 to the end of the season. On Apr. 8, the Blazers suffered a 128-78 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the fourth biggest margin loss in the history of the franchise.

The Blazers finished their season on Apr. 10. They lost to the Utah Jazz 111-80, and ended with a record of 27-55. As the thirteenth seed in the Western Conference, the Blazers missed out on the playoffs. The future looks bright with the return of Damian Lillard and many developing young stars that the Blazers can utilize. 

This year, the 2022 NBA draft will be on June 23rd. The Blazers are guaranteed a top ten pick, and currently have a 36 percent chance of getting a top four pick. It is likely the Blazers will select Keegan Murray, a 6’8” power forward from Iowa. With a strong selection of guards, Murray may be exactly what Portland needs to make a playoff push next season. 

Even though it was an underwhelming year, fans hope that the Blazers can turn it around and improve for next season.