OK, that game sucked. But we shouldn't be surprised. The young Blazers got hit with the equivalent of Game 1 of a first round playoff series on the road vs the world champs. In other words: exactly what the guys are likely to face if they get the #8 seed this year. The media spotlight was every bit as intense. The opponent was just as geared up--especially defensively. So predictably, the kids folded like a tent. (With the notable exception of "rookie" Rudy Fernandez, who has the most big-game experience on the team, followed by Steve Blake.)
The good news is that the Blazers now know EXACTLY what it is they need to prepare for. There will be no surprises when the team makes the playoffs (whether that's this season or the next). This is a great teaching opportunity for the coaching staff. There will be no getting all giddy about five point wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. The bar has been set now.
So while I found that game as painful to watch as any Blazer fan, I also think it may end up being a blessing for the team.
Oh, and for you Chicken Littles out there: GO stepped on Derek Fishers' foot. That scenario ALWAYS causes a sprain to the guy doing the stepping, regardless of who he is. Assuming today's MRI is negative, you guys need to take a chill pill. Just repeat the following 10 times: "Greg Oden is NOT Sam Bowie or Bill Walton!!"