Although the Blazers were without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Monday's 97-106 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, they were not without their bright spots. Everyone had to step up in the absence of the team's leading scorers. Point guard Tim Frazier experienced the biggest change in expectation, receiving his first start in a Blazers jersey and playing almost all 48 minutes. CSNNW brings us the post-game scoop.
How do you anticipate your body will feel tomorrow when you wake up?
Same it felt this morning.
Really? After 48?
Yeah, I feel like same as this morning. I think we got the training staff to take care of it and, like you said, it’s all mental. My body I’m sure will be sore, but it’ll be sore just like if I didn’t play any minutes, you know, just going through the workouts and stuff, but I’ll be back tomorrow.
Are you fazed or daunted by the day you’ve had? In this moment, what is that?
For the most part, I’m pretty upset we didn’t get the win. That’s the bottom line is team first. I’ve always been team first and that’s all I focus on. Obviously, it’s a tremendous opportunity and I’m truly blessed to be part of the organization, even get a start on the road, and be on the same floor as all these guys we have on our team, but you look at it just as another day, another game, and you go out there and try to give it your all.
I know you have confidence in yourself, but is this in any way a validation of your abilities, the way you played tonight?
I wouldn’t say that. Once again, we didn’t get the win, so it’d be good if we got the win and everybody came down and everybody played well, but, you know, that’s not how the game goes. Atlanta; they played a great game tonight and they pulled it out.
Do you wish you had gotten that extra 25 seconds? Played all game?
Nah, man. That doesn’t mean anything to me. It was 25 seconds. But, like I said, go out there and get ready for New Orleans.
How do you feel from a stamina standpoint after playing that long?
I’m alright. I’m fine. The biggest thing, unfortunately we didn’t come away with a win. You know, that was my ultimate goal, so that’s just the biggest thing. I wanted to get a win tonight.
How’d you feel you played?
I did alright. Obviously I had some turnovers and the bottom line is we didn’t get the win, so I didn’t do enough, but I think we showed some fight out there tonight from top to bottom. Everybody came out and played. We got two of our best players down and we had to step up tonight and I think everybody did that from top to bottom.
From a critical standpoint, what do you wish you had done better individually?
Oh, man. So many things. You can always say get a rebound here, an assist there, no turnover there, make a shot there. You know, I think it’s tons of things.You can’t really nitpick at everything. We made a run at the end. Unfortunately, the Hawks made some big time shots and got big rebounds at the end.
Was it tough to go from basically not playing much this entire season to playing 48 tonight, or did it flow easily?
I wouldn’t call it tough. You prepare yourself, like you said, in the beginning and before the game I said I spent time with Dame all summer and worked out with the coaches. The coaches have prepared me for whenever my name’s called to be able to go out there and help. I think that was my biggest focus tonight was just to go out there and help as much as possible.
How would you describe your guys’ effort tonight?
It was good, man. I mean, obviously it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted, but I feel like we fought hard as a team, you know, without Dame and CJ. We had a couple plays down the stretch where we could have made a shot here or there and maybe the game could have been different, but I feel like our effort was really good tonight. It wasn’t like we were just coming out here and we were like, ‘Oh, we’re just going to fold because Dame and CJ weren’t there.’ I feel like everybody came and played hard and contributed in the right way.
How would you describe Tim Frazier’s play today?
It was good, man, 48 minutes is crazy. I mean, he happened to guard Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder the whole game. The way he played, he didn’t take any plays off. Just got to give him credit for what he did. Ran the team well, got us in our sets well, and executed—found people and made the right plays.
I thought it was a very good effort. Obviously, we were without CJ and Damian. It was different dynamics to the game, but I thought we gave a really good effort. I thought Tim Frazier played hard for almost 48 minutes. We came up short, we made a nice run at the end and that was encouraging, but it was a tough game.
Beyond playing hard, how would you assess what Tim brought?
He brought energy, he ran the offense, he was good defensively. I thought he had—other than—there were times to be expected because the ball was in his hands a lot, he had some turnovers and got caught in the crowd a couple times, but it’s hard playing 48 minutes against Schroder and Teague, who are two guards that are a tough matchup at both ends of the court.
What did you see that was big from Maurice Harkless in the second half?
It was good to see. It’s good to see him being aggressive, taking the ball to the basket. I felt bad for him, he got caught with the ball probably three or four times with the shot clock running down. I think that kind of skews his shooting numbers, but I really liked his aggressiveness to the basket, in particular in the first half.
How strange is it to outrebound a team by 19 and still lose?
You know, rebounding is, um… I don’t know, rebounding is a funny stat. I usually look at shooting percentages and things like that. Rebounding is—if you miss more shots, the other team has a chance at more rebounds. I don’t know. Like I said, I liked the energy that we had. Offensive rebounding has been very good for us this year and I think it helped tonight.
Did you expect Tim to play 48 minutes?
Yeah, I was actually kind of disappointed I took him out that one possession. I would have liked to have had him 48:00, but he had three fouls. It was the right thing to do, but I would liked to have played the whole 48.
Did you have a backup plan after he picked up his third foul there? You were out of guys.
He was playing 48. That was the backup plan.
We’re deep, man. We got guys that can come in and play and compete. I think we moved the ball well; I think a lot of our field goals came off of assists, and we improved. I would say we improved. Again, talking to y’all after a loss, but we improved tonight.
Was your mindset different coming into this game, just because two of the main guys were out?
I don’t think s—I mean, from the standpoint collectively of people have to step up and be ready, I’m sure Tim’s mindset was a little different coming into tonight, but we stick to how we play and try to execute. There’s not as much free money when you don’t have those guys on the floor, if that makes sense, so—
Like room for error?
Yes, that’s a good way to put it. I use Coach K’s way of saying it. Free money. But, yeah, there’s not as much room for error, so you just have to close possessions and then execute on offense.
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