Friday, March 20, 2009
Sound Off: Trail Blazers Lose To Cavs In OT
I'll be honest: Prior to the start of last night's game, I thought Nate McMillan would have done well to rest Brandon Roy. I didn't figure we had much of a chance to beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland with both LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum in streetclothes. But once again I was reminded why Coach McMillan is highly-regarded in NBA circles and why I'm some dork working on the internet.
The Trail Blazers gave the Cavs, a team that has lost all of one time at home this season, all they could handle. It wasn't a pretty game, it rarely turns out that way when the Blazers and Cavs get together, but it was a hell of an effort from our boys, an effort deserving of praise. Too much LeBron and not enough ... impartiality kept the Trail Blazers from shocking the world, but a 97-92 overtime loss in the fourth game of a five game road trip on the second night of a back-to-back is nothing to hang your head over.
“We had a shot," said Nate McMillan. "I thought our guys came out and they played. We gave ourselves a chance and down the stretch, we needed to execute. We missed some shots down the stretch. We have to make plays down the stretch and we didn’t do it; they (Cavs) did. They made buckets when they needed to. They got stops when they needed to.”
True enough. You could tell the Trail Blazers bench was out of gas when the overtime rolled around (making Roy's would-be attempt at a three to win the game in regulation all the wiser), but you can't say there was any quit. There wasn't.
Do we come out on top if Aldridge and Batum are available? We'll never know. Both Travis Outlaw (17 points, 7 rebounds), who had a monster dunk which you can watch here (it's at the 1:39 mark) and Channing Frye (14 points, 4 rebounds) had nice games filling in, so who knows if the absence of LA and Nic was the deciding factor.
“Things like this are going to happen, where you have injuries and you’ll be shorthanded," said McMillan. "We don’t play to get close (to winning). I thought the effort was there and we put ourselves in a position to win this game. I thought our guys definitely gave the effort."
That's about all you can ask for. I guess you could also ask for a fair shake, but what would be the point?
Speaking of which, Travis Outlaw, who looked like he might have been fouled during a last game three-point attempt in the corner, had this to say of LeBron's performance:
“He hit some shots. He hit some big shots. I think he did good. He got his other teammates involved. He did other things that helped them.”
Anyone want to take a guess of what those "other things" were that Trav is alluding to?