I had a chance to talk with Nate McMillan today at practice about tomorrow's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers which is a 6 p.m. start time. Here's some of what he had to say.
On LeBron James’ improvement:
“Down the stretch, I think he’s one of the top fourth quarter scorers, making decisions. He has the confidence now down the stretch to carry a team and understand what needs to be done and how he can take advantage of his skill. He drives to the basket but he’s not settling. If you look at that Lakers game, he got to the rim a few times. Smarter, mature, he’s stronger and more confident than he was a couple years ago.”
On how to slow LeBron James down:
“Just like any other guy like that, you try to limit their touches and not give him anything easy. He’s one of those guys that slashes and gets to the rim. We’ve got to keep him in front of us.”
On the problems that the Cavaliers pose for the Blazers:
“They’re a team that’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. They have guys who can shoot the ball and play off of (LeBron James). After making it to the Finals, they feel that now they’re getting their rhythm back this last month or so. Very confident team, a solid team with a strong bench also.”
On the importance of the home stand:
“Every game is important. I think that the standings are showing that this time of the year is when you know teams are starting to look at the standings and their position. But every game is important. A game in November is just as important as a game in January, February or March. The thing is to take it one game at a time. That’s all you can control.”
On paying closer attention to the record of other teams:
“I know where we are and I know where other teams are. I don’t watch (the scores of other games) than I did before. We just focus on the game in front of us.”
And for more quotes from Trail Blazers, don't miss James Jones on PrimeTime tonight at 5:30 PM on KFXX 1080 “The Fan” and Channing Frye on John Canzano’s Bald-Face Truth at 7:20 PM tonight on KXL AM 750.