After the Portland Trail Blazers lost to the previously winless Washington Wizards on Wednesday, veterans Wesley Matthews and Jared Jeffries reportedly addressed the team with the hope of rallying the troops for the final four games of a seven-game road trip.
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports...
Sitting in his chair, an emotional Matthews urged his teammates to continue to believe, to continue to play with pride and passion and resolve.
As Matthews told the Blazers to keep the faith, Blazers sage Jared Jeffries added his own pointed message. The Blazers have approached a crossroads and they have one of two paths to take.
"Games like this define your season," Jeffries said. "Because after this game, either you bounce back and you say, ‘This is who we are, this is who we're going to be.' Or you let this loss linger and you look up and you are one of these teams that can lose 11 in a row, 12 in a row. I don't think we have that kind of character. I think we're better than that."
Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports..
Following the game, Wesley Mathews and Jared Jeffries addressed the team in a stern and direct manner and according to Damian Lillard, it was something the team needed to hear.
"We said we're either going to try to make a run at the playoffs, or we're going to be a team like tonight," Jeffries said. Which is it?"
"It's a team we shouldn't have lost to," Matthews said. I'm not going to take credit from them. They played well, they played hard, but we shouldn't have lost this game."
Freeman added on Twitter that Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge preferred the silent approach.
Some of you are asking about LaMarcus Aldridge's involvement in the Blazers postgame chatter. It wasn't his deal, but I asked Aldridge if he planned to talk to team or do anything else Thursday to help end skid.
His response: "Nah, time out for talking. I've been in this position before last year. It's time to do it. We just have to learn from our mistakes and just do it."
Haynes also reported on Twitter that Aldridge re-injured his back, which forced him from a game against the Brooklyn Nets this weekend.
LaMarcus Aldridge re-aggravated his back in first quarter: "It's painful right now. Bu it's something I have to play through."
Like last time, there was no contact, LaMarcus Aldridge's back just flared up again. He says he's not worried about any long-term damage.
Dave's analysis is here.
Aldridge finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal on eight-for-19 shooting in 41 minutes.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter