I admit, I really expected the Blazers to shock the basketball world and win tonight. But having seen the game, I'm not sure the loss was a bad thing.
I've argued for the value of the Blazers making the playoffs this season, even if they were to get whipped by the Spurs or Mavs, because there's no substitute for playoff experience. Well, tonight the youngsters got the next best thing. They played a motivated, physical veteran team that contested every dribble, pass, and shot. They did this in a hostile environment where they were subjected to shoving, taunting, and some biased whistles. Add a little crowd noise (which was generally absent), and that's a reasonable facimile of playoff ball.
Roy said afterwards that the team had been mentally prepared to compete with Celtics but not to beat them. Next time around, he implied, the Blazers will have a much better idea of what it takes to win a playoff-style game--both mentally & physically. They'll certainly be motivated to make Garnett regret the insults. So I'd say tonight's loss may have been more valuable than the average win. Do you agree?