The Portland Trail Blazers were officially eliminated from the NBA Playoffs at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, and superstar guar Damian Lillard is ready to head “back to the drawing board” as the team heads into the offseason.
Portland blew a 14-point second half lead at home and lost Game 6 126-115 to Denver, who will now move on to play the Phoenix Suns. Lillard certainly did his part throughout the series, including an epic 55 point performance in Game 5.
“I mean, we didn’t win a championship, so obviously where we are now isn’t good enough,” Lillard said, according to ESPN’s Royce Young. “I don’t know what a shakeup looks like or what changes will be made or could be made, but obviously as is, it wasn’t good enough. We came up short against a team without their starting point guard and shooting guard (Will Barton and Jamal Murray). … Obviously, where we are isn’t good enough to win a championship if it’s not good enough to get out of a first-round series with two of their best three or four players not on the floor.”
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, who could be nearing the end of his tenure with the organization.
“My job security? I’m under contract for two more years. I’m sure, just like the end of every year, we’re all evaluated. Players, coaches, management — we’re all evaluated. So we’ll see what happens,” Stotts said. “We’ll see what happens, but all I know is I’m under contract for two more years.”
“For our season to end on our home floor is disappointing. That’s as far as I am right now,” Lillard said. “I’m not thinking about none of the other s— like change or whatever, man. We’ll see what happens, but I haven’t even thought that far out.”
“We didn’t make excuses and we still don’t make excuses. Disappointing ending, this isn’t what we wanted, but we don’t hang our heads. Just came up short,” Lillard said. “We didn’t do what was necessary to win a series and gotta keep fighting, keep working and keep coming back to battle. Regardless of how it ended, we’re always going to have our heads held high, have class and go about it like real warriors. We lost, they were the better team, congratulations to them. It’s back to the drawing board for us.”