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Blazers Identify Celtics' Pace As Biggest Challenge In Loss

The Blazers struggled to stick to their winning methods in the face of an up-tempo Celtics team.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers dropped a tough road game to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. The Celtics smartly pushed tempo to wear down an already tired team, but the Blazers' own mistakes also contributed to their undoing. CSNNW brings us inside the locker room.

CJ McCollum

I just didn’t make shots. I attacked the basket, didn’t finish in the lane, missed a couple jump shots, and that was pretty much it. They went on a big run and the game was over.

How about as a team? What did you see that you guys weren’t doing?

We weren’t getting stops; we were giving up second chance opportunities; we did a lot of things wrong. I’ll have to really take a look at the film on the plane to see different areas we could have done better, but give them credit; they beat us.

It’s been a while since you’ve been on this end of a game like that. What’s it feeling like? Is it unusual?

Yeah, I mean, they whooped us, so we got to move forward and not let this carry over to the next game, learn from it, and we’ll see them next week.

Damian Lillard

They got after us. I think it’s that simple. To start the game, I thought we were doing pretty well, but one thing we knew coming into the game is they push the ball up quick and they attack. In early huddles, we kept saying ‘Man, we got to get all five guys back as quick as possible so they can see bodies. Make them play in the half court.’ The entire game, we just couldn’t get that under control. For the most part, I thought we competed over the top of screens; we contested shots, they just had a little bit more of a bounce with them tonight. They played harder than us to start the second half and we just weren't good enough. We didn’t do a lot of the things that we’ve been doing at the level that we’ve been doing them, so you can’t go out there and let a team at home compete harder than you and not execute the game plan coming in.

Was there something specifically there in the third quarter that broke down for you guys defensively?

Like I said, they were pushing the ball up pretty quick. We didn’t execute great on offense and, on misses, they were pushing the ball out; on makes, they were pushing the ball out and getting our defense off balance. We were scrambling around, and then the big has to help because one of us don’t get back, and then their man gets the offensive tip-in. It was just a lot of plays like that to start the half and they got going. They picked up the pressure on the defensive end . They played more physical and that was pretty much when they took over the game.

Mason Plumlee

I think the easy thing for most people to look at is you guys played for the fourth time in five nights. Is it that simple?

It’s not that simple, man. We got away from what we’ve been doing to win games. We weren’t as quick to the ball tonight—loose balls and rebounds—and I think that really hurt us.

Do you guys just forget about this?

No. I mean, watch the film, learn from it, and draw attention to the things that we’re doing well to win, and then address them and get better.

The start of the second half… that’s where it got away. What was going on there?

The coaches really highlighted why they were ahead of us at halftime—the easy points, the put-backs, and the transition points—and then we just let them get more put-backs and more transition points, so I think we were given the right information, we just had to go out and do it, and we didn’t do it.

So what goes into them getting a lot of those put-backs and offensive rebounds?

Like I said, man, they were just quicker to the ball and we just didn’t… I don’t want to say we didn’t play hard, but they outplayed us. They outplayed us.