Probably one of the hardest things for a young team to do is stay focused for the duration of an 82-game season. And as the Trail Blazers continue to struggle after the All-Star break, you might expect that a seemingly lottery-bound team might simply play out the string. It’s an occurrence that has been known to happen on occasion, but with 26 games left to go, it’s the last thing on the minds of Portland’s players.
“We’re starting that last push,” said Martell Webster. “We’ve got a chance. There’s a sense of urgency right now for us to get out here and play the best possible basketball that we can. Try to win over .500. We’re trying to go over .500 and that’s going to give us a chance to possibly make it into the playoffs.”
The Blazers are 1-3 since the All-Star break, meaning that they’d have to finish 14-12 over the final 26 games to fulfill the goal of going .500. It’s a daunting task, especially considering that 14 of the remaining games are away from the Rose Garden, but it’s still attainable if the team can get back to doing the things that made them so successful during the 13-game win streak.
So how do they do it?
“We’ve just got to get back to making every possession count” said Steve Blake, “really focusing from the start of the game to the end of the game, and that’s what we plan on doing.”
With Brandon Roy out of the lineup for at least the next two games, making possessions count is going to be paramount to getting wins.