Anybody who has read me for more than a week knows that I don't get down on this team unneccessarily. Losses don't phase me much if they're hard-earned (or at least well-earned). But that was seriously one of our worst efforts of the season. Considering the caliber and situation of the opponent (a team with a low-teen win total having just made a salary-dumping trade of all things) it may have been the worst. The only possible mitigating factor is that it is hard to win back-to-back games against the same team...but it's not THAT hard!
For those who didn't see the game, it became evident in the first few minutes that the Blazers were out to lose tonight. The equation, stated early on in the contest, looked like this:
no hustle = no win
We were leaning and grabbing at loose balls we should have been moving our feet for. We were letting one Sonic player outrebound three of ours. After that it was pretty much a fait accompli. We got beat in just about every way possible: shooting, transition, rebounding. If it weren't for a flurry in the fourth quarter when the game was all but decided it would have been more categories. We gave up enough dunks tonight to fill three our four normal games for us. (This is particularly damning when you figure that our tempo and team defense are set up specifically to deny those kind of shots.) It wasn't even close. Anyone who wasn't a total masochist turned it off in the third quarter.
That brings up the one thing you can say to bring perspective: this was one of about three games this year that really deserved to be switched off early. It used to be we'd get two of those per week.
Here's another bright spot: We're playing some tough teams in the coming week and we're not going to lose to them all. You're going to see a heartening, unexpected victory sometime in the next ten days. (And no, that game against the Clippers doesn't count.)
It's long been my policy that in the absence of something extraordinary there are no individual observations on a night like this. When the team plays so poorly they don't matter. Sorry Travis...you had a nice game but everybody has to bring it for anybody to get applause.
Now excuse me while I go dunk my head in my post-workout laundry basket to get the smell out of my nostrils.
And better luck Sunday.