Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Notes and Quotes: Blazers 100, Chicago 97

The Blazers played well at some times, not so well at others, but a win is a win. And with a tough four-game road trip coming up, they really needed this one. Nate McMillan will tell you that no one game is more important than any other, but I get the feeling that losing this one would have been a big deal.

I've got no notes for you tonight, so lets go straight to the quotes.

Coach Nate McMillan
“It seems we refuse to do things the easy way. We knew since they were short handed that they would play with effort. When teams are short they really come after you. But I was pleased that down the stretch we did get the stops we needed.

“I thought Brandon just saved us tonight. If some of those shots didn’t go in I felt we would have come up tight and perhaps lost. The last couple of games, we’ve been a little flat. Tonight I thought we got a break because they had some of their main guys out.

“I changed the starting lineup inserting Jarrett for Martell largely to get more ball movement. I sort of like having three guards in the game if we can match up that way---three guys who can handle the ball. I was comfortable with the rotation even though Joel and Channing got into some foul trouble.

“As for the home stand, we had the opportunity to win two games and we didn’t we had control of both of those games---one to Cleveland, an NBA Finals team last year, and Denver, which is a good team in our division. You have to understand that we’re not a team that is going to blow you out. Some of that is because we don’t always get the defensive stops we need. This is still part of growing up. We’ve got to learn how to finish games. But overall, its been a pleasing season.”

Jarrett Jack
“It was really surprising (getting the start). I came in to shoot-around today and coach called me into his office. I thought, ‘Uh, oh. That doesn’t sound good.’ Coach said he wanted to mix it up a little bit and that he wanted more of a spark because of our third quarter struggles. A lot of the times it seems we settle for the outside shots too much. I put it on myself to draw fouls and get to the line. This game was crucial. We were able to finish good before the break. We had good energy and good effort tonight. We’ll be all right.”

LaMarcus Aldridge
“Tonight we played better as far as team defense and rebounding. We were able to pull it out. It (the lineup change) didn’t really change me as much as it helped coach have shooters in the second group.”

Coach Jim Boylan
“The guys played really hard tonight. I knew our guys would come out and give a great effort tonight. We were shorthanded but I knew the guys who would be on the court would reach down and pull out something extra. It was a good effort but we came up short. We had our chances down the stretch, it was anyone’s game for the last five or six minutes. They made some good plays. They’ve got some good young players over there. Every time they made something happen we responded. They made a couple big shots down the stretch and were able to keep that lead on us for the last minute and a half or so.”

“Thabo had a tough assignment covering Brandon Roy. Brandon had a great game. He made some tough shots that were really impressive. Thabo was on him so I don’t know what else he could have done. On the other end he came aggressively offensively. He made some things happen and was taking the ball to basket some. He was also pulling up and hitting his jump shot. It was a good all-around game for Thabo. It’s nice to see him progressing as a player on both ends of the floor.”

Thabo Sefolosha
“It was tough, were really battled. On offense they were hitting shots. At the end it was just tough and we couldn’t stop them when we needed too. We lost two of our best guards so somebody had to step up and take a couple more shots. Chris Duhon stepped up, Tyrus Thomas played well too but I knew I had a couple extra shots to take tonight. I think we did pretty good and we played hard and we played with heart. I don’t really see what we could have done different.”

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