Feb 18

No Moral Victories, Even At All-Star

By caseyholdahl Posted in: allstar, WesleyMatthews
Sometimes, players can get used to losing. You end up on a team that always seems to be rebuilding, always looking to next season, and after a while, maybe the sting you felt after a tough beat is eventually replaced by subtle indifference. There are plenty of players in the NBA who, despite starting their careers as fiercely competitive, are slowly worn down by losing to the point where they don't much care if their team ends the night on the wrong side of the final score.

Wesley Matthews is not one of those players.

"I'm mad right now," said Matthews after he and his fellow sophomores lost 148-140 to the rookies Friday night in the first main event of the 2011 All-Star weekend. "I wanted to win that."

That much was obvious for anyone who knows him. You could tell from the change in his demeanor from the post-practice media availability to the post-game availability that, while he probably wouldn't be losing much sleep over ending up second to the first-year players, he was less than enthused with losing a game that, in the grand scheme, was meaningless.

The game played out as many events at All-Star weekend often do, with the first three-quarters of the game passing without much effort exerted (at least on the defensive end) before everyone gets serious for the deciding minutes leading up to the final buzzer.

"Basketball is always fun, but it's a different kind of competitiveness." said Matthews of the urgency, or lack thereof, that typified the majority of Friday night's game. "The last eight minutes it turned up a little bit as far as trying to get stops and make plays. It really came down to winning at the end."

Matthews did his part with a 15-point, six-assist, four-rebound performance that featured numerous appearance from the Three Goggles (both from Matthews and a few of his teammates), but a record-setting 22 assists from John Wall and a 33-point, 15-rebound double-double from DeMarcus Cousins lead the rookies past the sophomores from the second-straight season.

"(The rookies) were making plays, they were making shots," said Matthews. "It seemed like every time we'd get a good possession in they would hit one tough bucket."

Despite the loss, Matthews said he enjoyed the opportunity to mingle with the glitterati of the NBA and catch up with good friends Stephen Curry and Jerel McNeal all while representing the Portland Trail Blazers in the home of their most hated rival.

"It was cool," said Matthews, "other than losing."


  1. i like the fact that wesley has that competitive edge, even in a meaningless game; it will be that type of spirit that will make this team win for years to come.

    by blazerdarren77 on 2/19/2011 12:47 AM
  2. Yeah I wanted to see Wesley win too. I don't care much for some of the rookies this season. The Sophomores took some dumb shots, and it lacked the teamwork the rookies had. I don't get why Wesley wasn't in the game much. Didn't seem like he got a lot of playing time but it seemed when he was in the sophomores were playing better and more as a team.

    It was fun to watch, but just shows how defense is 50% of the game. For a high scoring dunk fest, that was pretty boring. I guess I'm like Mathews, and wanting to see the competitiveness come out.

    by Herr on 2/19/2011 4:46 AM
  3. I thank you for the Post Casey. I missed most of the game and had no idea how Matthews played.

    Thank you for the update


    by Hg on 2/19/2011 4:55 AM
  4. Tell me again why we traded James Jones???

    by pioneerfan on 2/20/2011 8:11 AM
  5. We didn't trade him we didn't resign him because he wanted to take his chances in the free market.


    by Hg on 2/20/2011 9:17 AM
  6. Yeah Mathews is very compitive guy. Nice to that among alot of guys who dont take the game seriously, play any defense and seems happy when the other team scores. Its just another valid point that the all star break is a very unserious affair.
    Ofcourse Blake won the dunk contest. He was going to win that no matter what,unless he had some very bad dunks. His first dunk was his best and quite good. But over the car? Haha. From the free throw line over the "top" of the car...yes! that would have been awesome...but few feet from basket over the hood of the car?? Thats fairly easy for Blake, and honestly for alot of nba players....any nba player who can dunk from 5-6 feet from the basket can do that dunk. Just matter of making it look clean, keep your knees up so your feet dont hit the car.

    Mcgee's last dunk was not work of art either, but I thought he was alittle more impressive overall. Just burns me alittle that pretty much the majority of fans and media have their face up Griffin's a$$ soo bad this year. He has talents and is powerful and I like his style of basketball, but Im not gonna get on my knees and lay the red carpet down everytime I see him, Id rather he Aldridge handle him easily inside the paint, yet get NO attention from it because hes more humble and quiet. Speaking of LA...too bad Melo has his all star spot!...I say this because their is just WAY too much talk going on again, Melo will be playing on another team after all star break. Melo might as well just put on that East all star jersey on. Well thats the end of my rant, everyone enjoy your weekend and allstar game.

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/20/2011 12:12 PM
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