The Portland Trail Blazers fell behind the Golden State Warriors early and were unable to fully recover in a 106-118 Game 1 loss. Damian Lillard's chest cold and Anderson Varejao's spat with Gerald Henderson were among potential excuses, but the Blazers did not make any. They were outplayed and are preparing to make adjustments before Game 2. CSNNW brings us inside the locker room.
Gerald, what happened on the ejection part of the second part of the technical? What was going on there?
Ref threw me out from across the way. I guess he could hear what I was saying from across the court, but he threw me out. That’s what happened.
What were you saying?
I can’t even really remember now. He said something to me, I said something back, and we both out the game.
So he initiated the conversation from the bench?
It started before that. We were talking since the first technicals happened, but it’s a lot of talking going on out there. For both of us to get kicked out the game, it was surprising.
What happened after the initial collision.
I mean, I bumped him—not on purpose—he tripped me on purpose, and then I fell hard. I didn’t like it so we came together. That’s what happens and they gave us both technical fouls.
Gerald, will you be able to put this behind you?
Yeah, I’ve been put it behind me. We lost the game. That’s the only thing that matters. I was pissed I got thrown out. We still had a chance to win the game. I got ejected. I got to be smarter regardless of if I thought I should have got kicked out or not. You know, and then we lost the game, so that’s the only thing that matters. We could have won the game, so we just move on to the second game.
Is there anything you guys can take from this, especially when you were able to cut it to nine a couple times?
Yeah. I mean, we fought the whole game. That first quarter was tough. Other than that, we played them head-to-head. We just can’t come out the start of the game like that. It’s the first game and it’s a good team, obviously they play really well together and make shots, but we got to start the game a little bit better in Game 2.
How good is their defense? I mean, you mentioned you still got some open shots, but you and Damian obviously shot much worse than you usually do. Is that mostly their defense or…?
I think it’s a combination of both. They did a good job of making it tough. We got to make open shots. Some of those mid-range shots rimmed out, and that happens, but overall I think they did a good job defensively. I think they played with energy and I think to start the game we played like a team playing the second game in 30 hours. We can’t start like that, especially here.
Are they even tougher in some ways with [Shaun] Livingston in place of Stephen [Curry]. I mean, he’s obviously given them some length they don’t have when Steph’s out there.
I don’t know if they’re necessarily tougher. Steph’s a pretty good defender. I know his defensive plus/minus is pretty high and they all do a great job of switching. Whether Steph plays or not, they switch a lot of stuff and make it difficult.
Is the length of [Klay] Thompson and Livingston a factor defensively?
We’ve been guarded by tall guys all season. You look at a lot of teams, you look at the last series; Luc Mbah a Moute, Jeff Green, a lot of those guys were guarding us throughout the games, so it’s nothing new. We just got to figure out ways to make shots, figure out ways to defend better, and start the game better.
Obviously Klay was going to be more aggressive offensively, so what do you have to do to kind of beat him to spots and try to make him feel uncomfortable?
We got to make him put the ball on the floor. I think tonight, a lot of catch and shoot and he got comfortable and he got to see the ball go in to start the game. I think the first play he came off a double stagger towards the baseline on the inbounds play. Once he got to see the ball go in, it doesn’t really matter how you guard him because he’s comfortable and then he starts to make the difficult shots. So making him dribble and making it more difficult.
Were you surprised Klay was on Damian so much? Did you think he’d be on you?
No. He’s guarded him like that during the season. A lot of times they put Klay on Dame. Even the last time we played here, I think Klay was guarding Dame a lot of the game. They switch on and off and they do a good job of moving Iggy [Andre Iguodala] around, moving Livingston around, and Harrsion Barnes and those guys on me and Dame interchangeably.
Just your initial thoughts on what happened tonight for you guys.
They jumped on us quick. They lead the NBA in first quarter points, so that’s what they can do, man. They can jump on you quick and it takes so much to come back, especially how fast they play and how well they play. Sometimes you just don’t have enough gas or you just can’t make enough shots. For us, that’s what happened tonight.
Did you get a sense you guys were jittery at the beginning? Because it looked that way.
I couldn’t really look in none of my teammates’ eyes and feel that they were jittery or nervous or anything like that. It’s a big game and guys are anxious, but nobody was scared or anything like that, you know. They been waiting on us and they came out, they attacked. Klay was hitting shots and Draymond Green] was getting things going, so they beat us tonight, man. In every way possible, they beat us.
Looked like you kind of got irritated there a little bit. What was behind that?
You talking about when I fouled out?
I didn’t really get irritated, but it was just more I fouled out. I didn’t want to come out the game. I felt I didn’t foul him, but you know how that thing goes. It is what it is. I probably, you know, overreacted a little bit. I don’t really do too much stuff like that, but I didn’t want to foul out.
Have you seen the replay of Varejao tripping Gerald?
Yeah, I just seen it. It was weird. I can’t necessarily say he did it on purpose, but it didn’t look… I never did that play before, so I don’t know. It’s over with. It’s basketball. They both got ejected, they both lost some money, so who cares? It’s over with.
You guys had to make major adjustments after Game 1 against the Clippers. Do you imagine the same thing here?
Yeah, for sure. They had a good game plan today and they did a little funky lineup with [Andrew] Bogut starting out on Moe Harkless], so that kind of hit us off-guard a little bit, but that’s one thing that our coaching staff is going to do. They going to make adjustments and they going to put us in a position to win. We just got to come out and execute the game plan and play well.
Are you sick?
It’s huge for us. We score a lot of points for the team. That gives us our best chance to win games, especially against a team that can fill it up like them. We just got to be better. I got some looks that I need to make. CJ did as well, and we just got to be better offensively if we want to have a chance against this team. I’ve been battling a little bit of a chest cold for the last couple days.