The Portland Trail Blazers received their first loss of the season at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. Big games from Damian Lillard, Moe Harkless, and Mason Plumlee kept the contest close, but a retooled Clipper bench outscored the Trail Blazers’ second unit by a full 25 points. CSNNW brings us the post-game interviews.
Looking at tonight’s game, how frustrating was it to get in that early foul trouble and kind of take you guys out of that rhythm early?
It’s never good to get in foul trouble. It changes the complexity of the game, but that’s not an excuse or anything like that.
I know that talking about officiating is a little bit of a faux pas, but when it comes down to just the cadence and the pace of the game, was that a little bit difficult to kind of battle through and find that rhythm for you guys?
It’s just another aspect of the game. Some people slow down the game. Older teams, you know what I mean, they make it a little more chippy, different things like that, in order to psych you out in different ways. I take it as a learning experience. It’s a different type of a game and we have to learn how to play through that. They do a great job of getting into it, dadada, just in the third, and we have to learn to block that out and continue to do what we need to do.
When you talk about the chippiness of the game and how contentious this battle has been for you guys, just how do you block that out? Is it more about a pace for you guys to kind of internalize, or how do you kind of get rid of what those extra curriculars entail?
That’s what you got to figure out. That’s the million-dollar question, I guess. We’ll go back, look at the film, figure out different little ways that we could do it, and as a team we’ll just talk and stay on each other. When those little lulls in the game do happen, me, as a teammate, I should go up to other guys and different things like that and remind them that these are those moments that have the lulls that happen. I think that being conscious of it will help as well.
Farouq, given those two early fouls, how did that affect your game?
Well, getting in foul trouble puts you on the bench, so in that way it affected my game. It just throws off your rhythm a little bit, but at the same time, you have to be a professional and when you get back out there be ready to play.
It threw us out of our normal rotation, first of all, but I wouldn’t even say it threw us out. It happens. We’ve all been in the league and sometimes you pick up fouls, you got to go off of feel. Things change. You got to make adjustments and you got to figure it out. I thought, over the course of the game, we stuck with it, not making shots like you just said, them getting it going a little bit; we just stayed the course. We was always right there and took the lead in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, they just made more plays than we did.
How can you guys get Evan (Turner) going?
We just got to continue to support him and allow him to be him. I think tonight he did a great job of getting to the spots, to that pullup jumper, getting in there, getting to his spin move. He finished one of them, but in practice he’s getting to the same spots he’s getting to in the games and the shots are going in, so he just has to continue to get his shots up after practice, keep believing in what he does, and I think real soon it’s going to click for him.
A tough loss, just because I don’t think we shot particularly well. We gave them a lot of second chance points, but it’s early in the season and we’ll get better.
What happened with DeAndre (Jordan) there when you kind of went into the stands?
I was sitting on a little kid just trying to get off him and I don’t remember, I just know he slapped my hand. It’s always something extra after the play, so I just got tired of it.
With him you mean?
No, just tonight in general. Everything was stuff after the play all night, so (I) just had enough of it. It is what it is.
Do you feel like you guys were distracted by the officiating?
I would like to say ‘No,’ because if you’re a mentally tough team you don’t let that bother you, but I’ll go back and watch the game and see if that was the case. We got to play through stuff.
The rivalry with the Clippers, I mean, is it building even more now?
Yeah, it’s a good matchup every time we play. I think our coaches counted, like, with preseason, the season, and the playoffs, we played them, like, 12 or 13 times in the last year. It feels like they’re related to us, but we see them a lot and it’s always a good game when we play.
Yeah, I guess I just meant, like, from distance, free throws, threes. Those are the things that we count on, so we’ll be better. It’s one game. I thought we played hard. I thought we competed and we’ll get going.