FanPost

There's no single fix for what happened last night

I could list a few:

1) The Blazers probably need a point guard that quick, elusive point guards can't run around like they he isn't there;

2) The Blazers need at least one "power forward" who is actually powerful (and Ike Diogu doesn't count);

3) The Blazers need to mature mentally & physically--a problem which only time & experience will solve.

But the top item on my list is that someone on the Blazers needs to level Kevin Garnett.

Garnett is a textbook bully.  He's not really that tough, so he starts with small affronts--physical & verbal.  He then waits for a response.  If none comes, he keeps upping the ante, seeing how much he can get away with.  Finally, if no response comes, he realizes his victim is completely cowed, and that the sky is the limit as to what he can do or say to them.  Kevin Garnett is now at that point with the Portland Trailblazers: taking cheap shots at their best player and getting on all fours--on national television--to taunt them.

For all you "turn the other cheek" advocates out there, I'm sorry to have to say this, but that WILL NOT WORK!  To use a baseball analogy, it's like when an opposing pitcher starts throwing at your hitters.  If the umpires don't intervene, you MUST respond in kind, or else you will never win a game against that team.  Why?  Because your hitters are forced to bat scared--conceding the outside part of the plate to the pitcher and generally not digging in and being aggressive.  Meanwhile, the opposing team's batters are swinging away with impunity.  You might as well just spot them 10 runs at the beginning of the game.

That's where the Blazers are now with the Celtics.  Sure, the Celtics are older, and as Doc Rivers has said, "In the NBA, you win with men."  But the Blazers are too talented and deep to get blown out like they did last night.  The problem is that all the Celtic taunting, elbowing, nudging, grabbing, & shoving has the Blazers completely on the defensive, and in basketball you must be the aggressor in order to win games.

The only way to restore order is to let the "big brother" know--unmistakably--that the "little brother" is not going to be bullied anymore.  I.e., a Portland Trailblazer is going to have to punch or elbow the Celtics leader and head bully--KG.  I'm not talking a love-tap; the message has to be sent loud & clear.  The refs will probably see it, which will probably mean someone--maybe multiple guys--will get fined & suspended. 

Is that the end of the world?  Trust me, it's not.  In fact, it'll pay dividends, as every bully in the league will take note.  The alternative is for what happened last night to start happening more and more often, as the Blazers' rep as a "soft" team grows.

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