Playing at home without your team leader is hard enough (Friday's loss to the Hornets being exhibit A), but on the road without Roy, against the Lakers no less? That's a lot to ask.
And for the first half, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum answered the call, allowing Portland to go into the intermission down by a single point.
Aldridge finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block while also playing solid defense on Pau Gasol.
And then there's Batum. Nic turned in easily his best game of the season with 17 points, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, including an impressive 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. He also tallied 5 boards, a steal, and a couple thunderous dunks.
But other than those two performances, there weren't many positives for the Red and Black. The guards went an ice-cold 11-for-28, with many of those makes coming when the game was already out of reach.
Aside from that, Travis Outlaw couldn't get it going on either side of the ball and Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla couldn't sneeze without being called for a foul. Ball game. So it goes.
When playing without Brandon Roy, basically everyone else has to perform perfectly in order to get a win on the road against a team like the Lakers. That didn't happen tonight, and so the Trail Blazers return to Portland 20-14.
On Trail Blazers performance during tonight’s game
“Well it’s just the way you got to play; it’s as simple as that. There are opportunities for guys to play and we are not getting production and you know there is an opportunity for guys out there.”
“Our bench needs to help us, we are not shooting the ball well we have some opportunities where we have guys with open looks that normally we knock down those shots .We are not shooting the ball well and we need to get our bench productive.”
On Brandon Roy being out tonight
“Well we don’t have Brandon; Brandon is not with us we know that he is not with us. This is an opportunity for other guys to play and we have other guys and we have to get it done without Brandon until he gets back. So we can’t sit and wait for Brandon to come back, first because we don’t know, and we have games before that happens. We have guys, who want opportunities, and we need everybody to play well and we are not getting that right now.”
On Greg Oden’s performance tonight game
“I thought he was more aggressive and a little bit more relaxed out there. A little calmer than he was in the first game and he was able to get some deep low-post position and make some plays out there for us. But again we need both groups playing well.”
On Lakers performance tonight
They are a good group, they are on a mission. They definitely know what they need to do to win. And right now everybody is healthy for that group. And Phil can push a lot of buttons. He has a lot of different combinations that he can go with as far as playing big playing small. You know those guys are playing ball, all of them playing well.”
“That was a tough loss. We had control most of the first half and they made a little run starting in the 2nd. They came out with the momentum in the 3rd and took over the game.”
“A lot of guys had open shots. We just didn’t make them. Myself and I think everybody had good looks. They weren’t going down for us. It was a tough 3rd. We stuck in there in the 4th. Kobe kind of took over and did what he do.”
On being compared to Andrew Bynum
“A lot of people try to make [the comparison] cause we’re around the same age. But then you think and he’s been in the league four years and this is my first. [Facing him] is very exciting because he is a big 7-footer.”
On whether he sees the Blazers as legitimate challengers to the Lakers
“We try to be. We try to be scrappers. We just want to come out there and try to scrap every game. We are young guys and we know that a lot of these teams have a lot of vets and they’re not going to beat themselves. Us, as a young team, we have to go out there and win it from them. We have to take it from those guys.”
“Los Angeles is a very good team. I think it’s 12 players and sometimes it’s Pau, sometimes it’s Kobe, sometimes it’s Odom, Fisher. I think it’s a very good team. But I think the first half we had great defense. If Kobe is tired he goes to Vujacic or Ariza. I think this is a very good team.”