Tuesday, October 27, 2009
No Looking Back
Last time this season the Trail Blazers were excited, full of youthful exuberance, ready to take on the L.A. Lakers at Staples Center on national television. Ready to turn promise into production. Plant a red and black flag in the backyard of a Western Conference powerhouse.
Then they played the game.
In case you've wiped it completely out of your memory banks, the Trail Blazers did not play well in last season's opener in L.A. No reason going into any more detail than that. But with just hours to go before the start of the 2009-10 season, thoughts might drift back to the unpleasantness that occurred 364 days ago.
But they shouldn't.
"We're a different team," said Nate McMillan," different year, different opponent. Last year we started out with the Lakers on the road. We're starting out with a different team this year. It's about now and not the past and what we want to do starting (Tuesday) on our court against Houston."
This Trail Blazers team is a year older and wiser. They've added veterans. They're in better shape. Contracts have been negotiated and signed. And maybe most importantly, Greg Oden is healthy, confident and playing his 62nd professional game, rather than his first.
"My body feels a lot better (than last year)," said Oden. "Not as much of a grind as it was on my knee with that extra weight . Body feels good, I feel in shape. Guys are playing real aggressive and with a lot of energy, a lot of talking out there. Just hoping we can bring that to (Tuesday's) game."