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Interview with Coach (of the Year) McMillan and Quotes from Roy, Camby, and Aldridge

Some interesting info from the SportingNews released in the past day or two,

so I combined it all for us to enjoy, so here ya go! Mcmillan_medium

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QUOTES

LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy claimed they don’t care who they’ll face in the first round of the playoffs.

"We feel like if we finish out strong, we could easily go to sixth," Aldridge said. "But it doesn’t really matter. Every series is going to be hard, but you have to finish strong for your own sake, not for who you play."

The Blazers already know they’re headed back to the playoffs for the second straight season after a five-year absence, but Roy doesn’t think his teammates are looking ahead.

"All we’ll do is keep playing, and when the official standings come out, we’ll figure out what we have to do," Roy said. "You can’t be worried about where you match up or who you want to play."

"It feels really good to be headed to the playoffs. After two years off, it feels good. It doesn’t matter who we play. We can compete." Camby said.

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NBA AWARD BALLOTING

Coach of the Year: Nate McMillan, Trail Blazers

Runners-up: Scott Skiles, Bucks; Larry Brown, Bobcats

The winner: The Blazers lost two centers, had seven players undergo surgery and had 13 players miss a total of 300 games. They had to get by with Juwan Howard(notes) getting major minutes, and had to adjust to the arrival of free-agent signing Andre Miller(notes) early in the year. Yet, Portland is on track to win 50 games and earn a playoff spot. So they say: McMillan deflected credit, telling SN, "My coaching staff, they always do a good job, but they’ve done a good job of preparing our young guys to be ready to play, and then it goes to the players."

The argument: It’s likely that Scott Brooks of the Thunder will win this award, because voters are almost programmed to pick the guy whose team went from bad last year to good this year. That’s how we’ve had Sam Mitchell and Byron Scott as past winners. But no one has put up with more adversity than McMillan.

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INTERVIEW WITH McMILLAN

Sporting News: How have you guys been able to have a successful season despite all the injuries?

Nate McMillan: My coaching staff, they always do a good job, but they’ve done a good job of preparing our young guys to be ready to play, and then it goes to the players. The players got the opportunity and made the most of it. They were productive out on the floor once they got that opportunity. And in situations like that, when you have as many injuries as we have had this season, you need those guys that are healthy that are in the rotation to raise their level of play. So we’ve gotten both. Guys like Andre Miller(notes) and Brandon Roy(notes) and LaMarcus, Juwan Howard(notes), we needed them to raise their level of play, and then our young guys who had to fill for the guys that were injured, we needed them to be productive, and we were able to get both this year.

SN: Was there at any point this season where you wanted to throw your hands up and say, "Why us?"

NM: You wonder what could happen next, and it seemed like we quicksand that, because things kept happening. But for us, it was just, move on. Injuries are a part of it, and we kind of took that approach that injuries are a part of the game, it presents the opportunity for someone else. … That was our approach, that was my message, that really shouldn’t change how we look out on the floor, the effort must be there, being together must happen for us, and we’ve got to be the hardest-working team out on the court. And our guys have responded to that.

SN: You mentioned the role the younger players have had to take on. Regardless of what happens this season, will that be a positive moving forward?

Read the rest here: http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Baseline/entry/view/62077/nate_mcmillan_weve_got_to_be_the_hardest-working_team

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