Just an hour away from the tip here at Staples. Nate McMillan just got done with his pregame media availability and hopefully, technology permitting, I'll have that up before gametime.
But in the interim, lets discuss anticipation. Or rather, lets let the players discuss anticipation. I asked some of the players and coaches about their thoughts on the build up to tonight's affair. No surprise that all mentioned the positive vibes they've been getting from you, the faithful Trail Blazers fans.
Brandon Roy: “I feel it from the fans. But I think the good thing about this team is that we’re not over-excited for it. It’s like, this is our business. It’s great for the fans to be excited, great for the media to be excited but we’ve got a job to do and that’s to take out time, go out there and play the best basketball.
But we are excited. It’s Game One. We’re happy about it, but it’s a long season and we’ve got to be prepared for it.”
Kevin Pritchard: "People are excited. Every team in the league right now is looking like, ‘Man, I can’t wait for this season!’ But it’s the teams that know this is a marathon and not a sprint. And so, it goes back to: Are we a better team at the end of November than we are at the beginning of November. And if we are and we can say that every month, I feel very confident we’re going to get to where we want to go.”
Travis Outlaw: "Well, this is the most anticipation since I’ve been here. I’ve heard the playoff days were crazy, but since I’ve been here, yes. You can’t even walk around without people saying, ‘We can’t wait for the first game!’ It’s a big difference."
LaMarcus Aldridge: "I definitely feel it from the fans. Going to the store, being out and about, the atmosphere is better. People love seeing you out, the love talking to you. They always say, ‘I got season tickets’ or ‘I’m going to be at this game or that game.’ So I think you can definitely feel a different atmosphere right now.
"Everybody is excited to play. Guys are ready to play. It was a long offseason, so guys are ready to play."
Nate McMillan: "I’m ready to get going, start playing so our guys can get out there and see what it’s all about. As far as expectations and our goals that we’ve set and people having expectations and you having expectations of yourself in a time where you can basically shape the future of this franchise."