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Bounce Back or Flatten Out?

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I'm really interested to see how the Blazers will proceed following last night's game.  Let's face it...we have been pretty flat the last couple of outings.  It took a ton of determination and good fortune to beat the Hawks.  Is the flatline due to opponents keying in on us, our own physical fatigue, or many of our players not being used to the mental/emotional grind of the season?

I rather suspect it's the latter, which makes this next game very interesting.  This team, as most young teams do, depends on emotion and conviction to win.  They're at their best when they're rooting for each other, attacking the game with vigor, hugging and jumping on the way off of the floor after a victory.  When the wind goes out of the sails we're not that good.  Anyone remember the stunning loss in Philadelphia precipitating our worst losing jag of the season?  On the other hand a big reason we won out through December was our (perhaps naive) belief that we could win no matter what the circumstances.

Last night's game was a classic example of winning no matter what the circumstances.  Will this bounce us back into energetic, winning play?  Or will the lethargy make a comeback, overwhelming that brilliant, sparkling fourth quarter?

It'll be interesting to see what kind of opposition LeBron finds when he comes to town.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

P.S.  If you liked the little interview on 1080 The Fan last Saturday you're in luck.  It's becoming a regular feature.  The time slot will be 10:10 every Saturday morning on the Sports Saturday show.  It won't be a long segment, but we'll have time to discuss the week's trends and a few other interesting questions.