Tuesday’s game against San Antonio was the type of game you long for as a coach. It’s the time when you can see what your team is made of. And apparently they were made of a 137-97 win over the Spurs.The Blazers flew in late Monday from Los Angeles carrying with them the weight of a bad loss. There are two questions the Blazers have to ask themselves. 1) Can we put the taste of a 7-point first quarter out of our minds? And 2) How bad do we want “it?” By “it” I’m referring to pride and desire. When the Blazers turn the ball over, as they are apt to do, the body language reads: deflated. The opposing team scores on a fast break, heads hang, shoulders sag, and the eyes read: defeated. These guys more than anyone know that turnovers and fast breaks are a part of basketball. So, it’s time to pull up your big boy pants and play with more heart, less head.
Tonight was their annual “Rodeo Road Trip” which is the time of year when they are kicked off their home in court in favor of mutton bustin’, steer ropin’, and bull ridin’. It was also a very weird starting line-up night. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan took the night off for the Spurs. Coach Nate McMillan decided to start Jamal Crawford at the point instead of Raymond Felton. This has been the boldest changing starting line-up move all season save for starting Nic Batum and leaving Wesley Matthews to come in off the bench to earn his PT. Heading into the All-Star break the win tonight was much needed. And putting 137 points on the score board helped a ton too!
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