In the last two games against the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies, one thing became clear: the Portland Trail Blazers had had enough of the slide and skid into possible post-season irrelevance. Jason Quick of the Athletic outlines the conversations the players had behind the scenes in order to stop the bleeding. Damian Lillard drew a clear line in the sand.
“We said amongst ourselves: Enough is enough,” team captain Damian Lillard told The Athletic. “Simple.”
Carmelo Anthony offered a veteran’s perspective.
“It was said amongst ourselves. We discussed that,” Anthony said. “We really have to understand and grasp how important these wins are, these games are, because it’s coming down to crunch time, and now we’ve got to go, we’ve got to pick ourselves up. We can’t whine, we can’t complain, we can’t point fingers. We got to go play ball.”
CJ McCollum wondered why they haven’t been playing like this already.
“If I had the answers we would have been playing like this a long time ago,” CJ McCollum said. “I guess the season is on the line. If we don’t play well, if we don’t finish strong, we are either going to be the 10th seed, ninth seed or who knows what. So we have to figure it out.”
McCollum said he thought that the difficulty of the upcoming schedule boded well for the team.
“I think we had to go through some adversity,” McCollum said. “A lot of us are better with our backs to the wall. We need to see what people are made of, we need to see what type of mentality people have, and what people crumble under pressure and what people rise to the occasion. I think we have a lot of guys who like to rise to the occasion, so I think it’s going to be a fun end of the season.”
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