DALLAS -- The Portland Trail Blazers have listed Evan Turner (left Achilles) as probable for Tuesday's game vs. Dallas. Turner did not suit up on Sunday night vs. the Spurs, but has missed just one game due to a tight Achilles. At shootaround this morning, Turner competed in a three-point shooting contest and went one-on-one against Wade Baldwin. The Blazers backup point guard did not look as though he was favoring his left leg.
Turner says he’ll play tonight
After shootaround, Turner said that a day of rest really was good for him. He guaranteed he would playing vs. the Mavericks tonight in a very Evan Turner like response:
“It’s crazy how much difference the word questionable and probable, you know what I’m saying-- He probably going to play, but then it’s a question, but when you do probable—you’re going to see ET lace ‘em up. You’re going to see the number one out there. Not only number one on the court, but number one in your heart," Turner said with a smile.
Do Blazers have road trip preferences?
This is the third road trip of the Blazers young season and with two quick games before heading back to Portland for a two-game homestand, Damian Lillard and head coach Terry Stotts both discussed road trip preferences.
“The one-game trips are tough. Just going for one game you don’t get much of a rhythm, you know, after that I really don’t pay much attention. The schedules, the schedule, but six and seven games that gets a little long,” Stotts said.
“We just had a long one, so I mean, coming off that long trip I think it's perfect, these two games- you know what you gotta do and they’re both close to each other and just knock them out… If it’s only two games it might as well be spread it out. Back-to-back would’ve probably made it tougher, especially the game we played… a hard fought game… I think it was good we had a day in between,” Lillard said.
What needs to be done on the defensive end?
Another big topic of conversation at shootaround was the Blazers defensive struggles. Over the last 10 games, Portland held a defensive rating of 118.2, which has been a league-worst. Lillard knows that a lot of fans are frustrated with the team’s defense, but they should know, it’s not because of a lack of effort.
“We aren’t doing a lot of things at the level that we need to. Our communication isn’t always at the level that it needs to be. The effort is always there… Guys are so good, you mess up one thing, get hit by a screen they’re gonna make an open shot. A big over helps and they come help on the guard and then the guard misses the shot we coming trailing the play they get an offensive rebound—there’s a lot of stuff that goes into it… It might be a slower reaction… It could be a lot of things. It’s hard for fans to understand because they don’t understand how good guys are,” Lillard said.
Lillard also gave an explanation as to why he thinks the Blazers defense has fallen off since their hot start.
“We were just more fresh. At the beginning of the season, you’re just more fresh, your mind, your body’s just more fresh, as the season goes along you breakdown and I think we’re just showing a breakdown right now. We’re kinda of falling apart on the defensive end… I just think we need to tighten up. Obviously, people are probably tired of hearing that and don’t want to hear it, but there’s a reason why we do what we do and they do what they do,” Lillard said.
The Blazers and Mavs tip-off at 5:30pm on NBC Sports Northwest and on the My Teams app.