David Thorpe watches a ton of NBA games, and lately he has been noticing players who look exhausted—making the kinds of mental errors that they just wouldn’t make when well rested. Later this week for subscribers: small tweaks to the league that would get more out of the league’s best young players.
BY HENRY ABBOTT
One of the Blazers’ expected starters this season—and their only All-Star, Damian Lillard—is recovering from abdominal surgery. CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and Robert Covington were just traded, in moves that were seen as an effort to save money and improve the team’s position in the draft lottery—in other words, to lose.
And yet the Blazers, or what’s left of them, just beat LeBron’s Lakers, Julius Randle’s Knicks, and the defending champion Bucks.
One interpretation: the franchise is so bad, they can’t even get tanking right.
Another: beautiful things are happening. Fielding a team of hungry non-stars, first-year coach Chauncey Billups finally has a roster to execute the sty…
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