Trail Blazers can use drubbing over Thunder as "good learning tool" for young players

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Jamie Hudson
·2 min read
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Trail Blazers can use drubbing over Thunder as "good learning tool" for young players originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

What can one make of 48-point victory?

Well, for starters, there are plenty of “learning tools” for the young players who play extended minutes late in the game.

That’s what Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts pointed to postgame.

Portland dismantled the depleted Oklahoma City Thunder, 133-85, Saturday night to hand the Thunder their fifth loss in six games.  

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And not only was the 48-point margin tied for the second largest margin of victory for the Portland Trail Blazers, it was the largest at Moda Center.

And it was also a chance for the Blazers to give the end of the bench players a lot of run.

Portland’s second unit was challenged with keeping OKC under 90 points.

That was the Blazers goal at halftime after leading 65-46. 

After Harry Giles, CJ Elleby, Nassir Little, Anfernee Simons, and Enes Kanter completed the team goal, Coach Stotts was very proud of that group's performance.

What I liked most out of that group is that we wanted to continue with defense. We wanted to hold them under 90 and we did a good job with that.

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

“We’ve had games, not many, but we’ve had some games where that group would come in and give up a lot of points and so I was most pleased with what they did as a group defensively and maintaining the margin that we had.”

Portland held OKC to 26 points in the final period.

Simons led the way in scoring for the Blazers' second unit, notching 16 points in 23 minutes of play on 5-of-11 shooting.

But in the final period, it was Harry Giles who brought the energy and the hot three-point shooting.

In 16 minutes of work, Giles drained all three of his three-point attempts to help him finish with 12 points.

Now with the solid time on the floor, there is a lot of value in that for the end of the bench players moving forward.

Watching video with the coaches afterwards and learning from it is probably the best thing as developing players in those situations.

Terry Stotts

“It’s a good learning tool.”

Not to mention, actual game experience is always a great way to develop young players.