The Blazers need Lillard to have a stronger shooting night, but he has to navigate the balance between forcing the issue and making the right reads against a defense loading up to stop him.
"You don't want to go out there and try to play hero ball (with) two guys guarding you and a help defender waiting for you," he said. "You don't want to go out there and try to force it too much because a guy might be open. But that's a part of it, just finding a way."
If you're reading between the lines that essentially means less Dame Time, fewer forced shots against the trap, and smarter play from the fourth year point guard. Unlike before Game 2, instead of discussing some of the game plan before tip-off, the Trail Blazers seem to be mentioning more generalities and speaking in platitudes, perhaps being a bit more coy this time around.
Where the Blazers did talk specifics, it was all about DeAndre Jordan's defense. "He's right up there with the best defenders at the rim," Gerald Henderson said of Jordan. "You go in there you got to be cognizant of where he is and either make your shot or make a play for a teammate."
Blazers coach Terry Stotts complimented the Clippers defense, calling them a "very good" and "very smart" defensive team. But in his eyes, Jordan is only one part of the equation and the Blazers just need to make their open looks.
"He's had his blocks," Stotts said. "I don't know if that's been one of our downfalls. He's had an impact on the rim when we've gone in there. But, like I said, we had 18 points in the paint in the fourth quarter (of Game 2). We have to shoot the ball better from the perimeter."
Richman wraps up his piece harkening back to a sentiment that has been echoed around here for quite some time now, that the Trail Blazers are a resilient team and they've done rather well with their backs up against the wall. That may have been true of the previous few years, but it still remains to be seen if this team can really claw and "show some scrap."
Stotts said his players have been great all season at staying positive when adversity strikes. But all the Blazers polled on Friday said the team's laid back demeanor stems from their head coach and the "positive environment" he fosters.
To read Richman's piece in its entirety click, here.