The Trail Blazers usually get together the day after a game at the
practice facility to watch film. Players and coaches meet as a team and
in groups separated out by position to go over what went well and what
didn’t, and depending on the ratio of good to bad, it’s either an
enjoyable overview of a well played game or a tortuous reminder of a
subpar performance. Either way, it’s a good opportunity to learn from
the game before and apply those lessons learned to the game ahead.
after Saturday night’s 108-81 loss to Houston, coach Nate McMillan
switched up the routine. Rather than going over every detail of a game
most on the team described as their worst of the season, McMillan opted
to run a regular practice, sans film session.
“We’ll watch film
(Monday),” said McMillan. “I thought today we needed to get into the
gym and get to work. It wasn’t about the film today as opposed to
getting out and getting in a good hard practice.”
decision to hold off film for an extra day would seem to have a couple
benefits. First, it allows the team an extra day to put Saturday
night’s blowout behind them. While there’s undoubtedly much to be
learned by watching Yao go 9 for 9 and Aaron Brooks carve up the
Blazers defense, it’s probably more important at this point for the
players to focus on themselves at this juncture. Figure out what they
need to do as Trail Blazers before addressing what they need to do to
stop the Rockets.
Putting off film for an extra day also keeps
the loss fresh in their minds for Tuesday’s game. The word
“embarrassing” was uttered in the locker room more than a few times
after Saturday’s game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if McMillan wanted
his team to remember what that embarrassment felt like before talking
to the floor of the Rose Garden Tuesday night. Using that loss as
motivation is one of the few ways to turn an otherwise negative game
into a positive.
Finally, this team simply hasn’t had an
opportunity to get in much time on the practice court over the last
month. Prior to Saturday night’s game, the Blazers had played 13 games
in 26 nights; a game every other day. Factor in travel, and that
doesn’t leave much time for scrimmage.
“We haven’t practiced
in the last few weeks because of the schedule and some injuries,” said
McMillan. “I just felt that we needed to work today.”
way Saturday night went down, it’s probably safe to say putting in work
was something the players could look forward to.