The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly held a team meeting after losing their fourth straight game on Wednesday. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Blazers, 103-90, at the AT&T Center, and Portland lost All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge to a back injury.
Here's a round-up of the post-game reports from the locker room.
Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com writes...
The players had a post-game hash-out session that was initiated by Damian Lillard, CSNNW.com was told. Earl Watson, Mo Williams and Dorell Wright were amongst some of the players to vocally address what was going on and what needed to change from here on out, we're told.
"I just felt like it was something that needed to be said," Lillard responded when ask why he initiated the dialogue. "At some point, it's up to the players."
"It's time for a players-meeting when we see a little slippage," Wright said. "Every team has two or three a year. I love the fact that this was the only one this season where guys really had to step up and be vocal leaders.
His full post is here.
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes...
The team waited to open the postgame locker room well after the 10-minute cooling off period and there was a long and emotional talk behind closed doors. No one was willing to reveal what was said, but the discussion seemed to be optimistic and productive.
"Just staying together," Wright said, revealing the theme. "When the team is going through a little bit of adversity and you drop a few games, the main thing is staying together. So that's all it was. Everybody. We're a team, we're a unit and everybody has a voice in this locker room. That's the only way you're going to get better. And we're going to get better."
His full post is here.
Blazers.com adds a few additional quotes...
Damian Lillard on the loss of Aldridge And recent losses
"I would say it's the most adversity we've had to go against as a team. We lose in L.A., Mo being out tonight, four losses in a row for the first time, it's a really tough stretch. I think it's the type of year that we turn this into (that matters). With us being 42-33, I think we've kind of given ourselves some room for error. (We've given ourselves) some room for times like this where we lose four games in a row unexpectedly. So it's time for us to turn it around. We have to stick with it. As players, we can be the ones that are overly concerned about losing the game. We played against really good teams. Our rhythm has been kind of off, so that makes everything harder. Playing against good teams, closing in on the Playoffs, it's the end of the season. Teams are fighting for their playoff lives. We're getting everybody's best shot, and we're in a tough stretch. That makes everything harder."
Wesley Matthews on causes for losing streak
"The aggressor in every fight wins. I don't know if you've ever been in a fight before, but the aggressor in any fight wins. 17 games left, and it's going to be a dogfight every game. The aggressor is going to win."
Coach Terry Stotts on the team's lengthy discussion in the locker room
"Just talking a few things out."
Stotts on whether this is the most adversity this team has seen this season
"Well four in a row, we knew this trip was going to be tough. We lost a couple of close ones, but this is a league of adversity. Every team goes through it at some point and it's how you come through it that matters."
More quotes can be found here.
The loss to San Antonio completed Portland's first four-game losing streak of the season and dropped Portland's record to 42-23. The Blazers remain in the West's No. 5 seed, 2.5 games behind the No. 4 Houston Rockets and 1.5 games ahead of the No. 6 Golden State Warriors.
The Blazers will visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday to complete their five-game road trip.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter