The Portland Trail Blazers were snuffed out by the Philadelphia 76ers in a mortifying 89-114 loss on Saturday. So ends their winning streak, as they try to identify what went wrong. Jason Quick of CSNNW gives us a peek inside the Blazers' locker room.
We can learn that we got to be ready to play every time we step on the court, regardless of the team’s record and regardless of coming off a back-to-back. We got to be ready to play, and tonight we didn’t bring it and they took it to us.
So how does your mind get to a point like that where you’re not ready to play?
I was ready to play, I just didn’t play well at all. Mentally, I was there. I did what I normally do every day. Just give them credit. They beat us handily, they did everything they wanted. Defensively, they got into us. Offensively, they got transition layups, 3-pointers, whatever they wanted.
If you could use an adjective to describe this loss, what would it be?
Brutal. Yeah, that’s a good one.
What can you do to prevent this from happening again?
Learn from it. Make sure that we take advantage of the next game, take advantage of the next time we come off a back-to-back, and make sure we’re all ready to go, and make sure we’re just competing. You can’t control makes and misses. You can control effort, how hard you compete, use your fouls—whatever it takes.
Do you feel it was an effort issue?
I think it was an everything issue. We didn’t do a lot of things right, and they did a lot of things well and whatever they wanted well.
Like I said, they outplayed us and you saw the results.
Do you feel like your guys’ mind was in the right spot coming into the game?
Yeah, I feel like nobody was distracted or anything. They just outplayed us plain and simple.
So how do you prevent that from happening again?
I’m pretty sure nobody is feeling too good about this, so I’m pretty sure we won’t have the same problems on Monday. Pretty sure guys will have a lot of energy and, like you said, a loss like this—30 points—it’s kind of embarrassing, so I’m pretty sure we’ll pick it up in the next game.
I think the fact that they competed and played harder than us let them jump out on us, and then they started believing, got a lot of confidence, and at that point it was their game.
One of the things Terry [Stotts] said is he thinks you guys can learn from this, what do you think you guys can learn from a loss like this?
I mean, this league can humble you, first of all. Regardless of what a team’s record says, anybody can go out there and have a good night, but that also lets us know, as a young team, that we got to show up every night. It doesn’t matter who we playing against, if it’s a back-to-back or not, there’s really no excuse for the way we played tonight.
Was there a time that you knew you guys were in trouble?
I mean, it’s a long game, so in my head it’s always like we going to get a chance to make something happen, but tonight in the second quarter when we couldn’t crack that lead, they kind of broke out on us and we couldn’t crack it, I was starting to wonder, like ‘What’s wrong with us right now? We not getting stops, we not executing real well.’ And then at half time I said ‘Third quarter, we got to try to cut it down to at least 12, get some momentum, and get it going in our direction.’ And they extended the lead just by a little bit and I was just like ‘Man, this is unacceptable by us.’
Could you sense anything pregame or going into this, going to the arena or anything?
Not really. I’m the type that I always watch the vibes and the energy and stuff like that, and tonight it didn’t seem like we weren’t going to have it. We got in late last night and I was still on west coast time, so I was like ‘Man, I’m not even sleepy. It’s almost 4:00.’ You know, I got up today and I felt fine. We didn’t get on the court ‘til 6:00 and I think you asked me ‘Does it bother you?’ and I was like ‘Nah,’ but it just comes down to respecting your opponent, doing the things that give you a chance to win the game, and we didn’t do that tonight.
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