The Portland Trail Blazers were surgically picked apart by the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, falling behind by more than 30 points in the fourth quarter. With Damian Lillard (31 points) hounded on offense, forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless struggled from the field, combining for 0-9 from 3-point range. The evening did end on a high note, however, with rookie Jake Layman scoring 17 points in his 8-minute garbage time debut. CSNNW brings us the post-game interviews.
Do you feel like it’s affecting any part of your other game, or are you able to block that out?
I would like to think so. Yeah, for sure. I would like to think so.
How do you attack stuff like a slump? Do you get extra shots up? Do you stick to your normal routine? How do you approach something like that?
Stick to my normal routine. You know what I mean, creature of habit. I like to do what I do and get up my shots and try to trust the work that I’ve done.
So, overall, how do you feel about your guys’ play?
Overall, I mean, we lose by this much, you know you didn’t do a great job tonight, which is disappointing in front of our home crowd. But, that team, they going to teach us some stuff that we going to need to learn down the road. They the team that they are for certain reasons. I think we learned a lot tonight, so every opportunity you find different things from wins, you understand different things, and from losses you understand different things, and we have to be able to weather storms and understand them and learn how to attack them. I think that’s something that we’re going to be able learn going forward from this game.
Obviously, the way you guys are constructed, guys try to take away Dame and CJ (McCollum), and that’s going to leave a lot of opportunities for you and Moe. So, just kind of what is your mindset as you go into games knowing you’re going to get those opportunities?
To play hard, I guess. It hasn’t changed from last year when people try to take Dame and CJ out of the game. We have to play hard, do our part, and do what we do best.
We got to be better in the third. I think the last two games, it’s like our energy isn’t there, but I think part of it is how well we do in the first half sometimes. We move the ball well, we have energy, and the when we come out we got to understand that teams adjust. And really good teams, they really adjust, so the things that was there in the first half is not going to be there as easy as it might have been in the first half.
They going to try to take what was successful away from us, and it seems like we take a little bit longer to adjust to that. A little bit lackadaisical, letting teams tip passes, not getting back on defense with the same amount of urgency, and we got to tighten those things up. I think once we put together better third quarters and get the game going down the stretch, we can play with anybody.
We didn’t communicate as well as we did in the first half. We need to do a better job of it in the first half. In the third quarter we slipped up. We allowed them to get clean looks, they got it going, they made plays. Every mistake that we made, every turnover, every offensive rebound that we gave up, every miscommunication in coverage, it seemed like they took advantage of it.
A lot of times, we was allowing that to be Steph (Curry) in transition and loose balls. The ball kept finding him and once he hit a couple off our mistakes, he started hitting tough ones. Then they started setting screens and we were so worried about staying attached to him, they started slipping to the rim. It just got away from us. It’s a learning experience for us, but, at the end of the day it’s one game out of 82.
Coach called it a measuring stick. Do you see it that way in terms of where you guys are?
I think it just shows that elite teams find a way to do what they do best. In the first half, we got with them. We were right there and they just stuck with it. They kept doing what they do, they were physical on defense, they had active hands, makes and misses; they pushed it out, they screened for each other, they played their game. In the first half, we were right there. In the second half, they stuck with it. Their defense was more consistent than ours and their offense was more freely than ours was. We needed to have more of a presence. So I think he was right. It shows what we need to do better to be able to stay in a game like that.
Dame, how much does that affect you guys when your forwards aren’t (indiscernible)?
When your forwards aren’t able to hit from three.
You have nights like that. Like I was saying, when we aren’t making shots and they are making shots, we got to be able to do those small things. We got to limit them to one possession, we got to help each other out on off-ball screens, we got to protect the paint, we got to have a tighter shell on the weak side when that’s happening so when we aren’t making shots, we got to make it harder for them to make shots as well, and tonight we didn’t do that. But missing shots, it happens.