Game Three had all the looks of a blowout. All the signs were there,
from the Trail Blazers' inability to score early to the crowd being
fired up to the phantom technical on Joel Przybilla. Nothing went
Portland's way. Nothing.
But unlike in Game One, the Blazers got
their collective act together enough to make a ballgame out of Game
Three. It wasn't flawless or pretty, but it worked, at least it almost
did. And while there's no going back now, making a run late in the game
gave the Blazers something to take moving forward.
what you take from (Game One) is that we didn’t play well and we had a
chance to win the game," said Nate McMillan. "What we showed on film
today was the things that we didn’t do and things we did. We had some
success against this team. So having a shot of winning that game and
not feeling that you played well, yeah, you feel the next game you have
a shot of winning it."
You could see what McMillan was talking
about today on the faces of the players at today's practice. It was
nothing like the day after Game One. Rather than being despondent over
a missed opportunity, they were optimistic and in good spirits thanks
to having made a run in the second half of Game Three.
just got to play basketball," said McMillan. "All the things that I saw
last night we didn’t do, we can do. If we can do them we’ll have a shot
at winning the game. We didn’t play well as far as execution last night
and had a chance to win that game."
Coaches often talk about not
letting a loss beat you twice. If the way guys acted at practice today
said anything it's that's they're not going to let that happen tomorrow
in Game Four.