caseyholdahl

Apr 25

Done. Done. On To The Next One.

By caseyholdahl Posted in: Blazers, BrandonRoy, LaMarcusAldridge, Mavericks

There's an old sports adage about not letting a loss beat you twice. As in, the negativity, lack of confidence, or whatever the side effects of losing may be for a particular team has the potential to bleed over into the next contest if dwelled upon for too long.

But the same might also be true when a team gets a victory like the Trail Blazers did at the Rose Garden in Game 4. The citizens of Rip City, players included, were understandably enthusiastic after coming back from an 18-points deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Mavericks 84-82 to even the series 2-2, but that game, as much fun as it was, is gone. The Mavs may be bruised after letting a 3-1 series lead slip through their fingers in just 12 minutes, but they'll be ready to play Monday night. If the Trail Blazers want to win a game on Dallas' home court, something they'll have to do in order to win the series, they'll need to be ready as well, and that's hard to do that when you're still thinking about the prior game, be it a win or a loss.

But at practice on Sunday at American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Trail Blazers had the look of a team that has turned the page despite being less than 23 hours removed from Game 4.

"I guess when you're in a series, it's 2-2, as happy as I want to be about (Saturday) night, it was great for tying up the series, but at the same time, (Monday) is a really important game," said Brandon Roy, "We've got a chance to beat this team on their court. We have to beat them here one time if we want to win the series, so (Monday) is so important that I'm thinking about (Monday) more than I've thought about (Saturday) night."

"I think we've learned a lot about turning the page, about moving on," said LaMarcus Aldridge, who played nearly 47 minutes in Game 4. "We came here and we lost two, then we went home and won two, so I think everybody is kinda knowing we have to turn the page and move on. I think it'll be a good momentum thing. Guys will play more confident but I don't think we're going to have a problem with that game because we haven't won here yet. So I think guys are going to turn the page."

It's a shame the team can't revel in the Saturday's excitement, but it's a necessity nonetheless, at least if the Trail Blazers want to continue their season past this weekend. And in a way, forgetting about Game 4, at least in the near term, will do more to solidify the legacy and preserve the memory of that historic comeback than dwelling on Saturday's win to the detriment of the preparation and focus needed to win Game 5.

"The message is that (Game 4) will feel even better if we win Game 5," said Roy. "It will just add that much more momentum to what we're trying to do here. And also just remembering what we set out to do, which is to try and beat Dallas in this series. It wasn't just to win one game or two games, it was to beat this team. Winning (Saturday) put our goal within reach. Got to get guys to focus in and understand that it was big (Saturday), but lets try to carry that momentum into (Monday). I'm interested to see how we come out."

We'll know a lot about how the rest of the series will play out within the first quarter of Game 5, though that sounds somewhat foolish to say after the way things turned out in Game 4. If the Mavericks come out tentative, it will signal that they're still reeling from giving up a 23-point second half lead. And if that's the case, they're done.

Same goes for the Trail Blazers. If they come out and play the first quarter of Game 5 in the say way they played the first quarter of Game 4, Saturday's heroics won't mean a thing. It's time to move on and leave the reminiscing and backslapping for a later date.

"We have to get to the next game," said Nate McMillan. "Both teams have defended home court. We were fortunate enough to pull that (Game 4) out and tie the series. We know that (Monday) is going to be a very important game for both teams. They're going to come out with a sense of urgency, and we have to do the same."

11 Comments

  1. Thanks Casey. Yes, Game 3 is usually the pivotal game especially since it's tied 2-2, because it leaves one team one win away from clinching the series and the other team, with the uphill battle of having to win two-straight games.

    I think it is important that we put Game 4 aside for the time being as you said, because as Brandon alluded to, it won't mean much if we don't take that momentum, that confidence into this game. It reminds me of the '95-'96 Bulls' chime "72 ain't a thing without a ring." Now, while we aren't looking that far ahead (for that team, it was the appropriate thought), I think for us, in the short-term, the Game 4 heroics will lose its shine if we don't win this series. Therefore, in moving towards that goal, to add that final layer of polish to Game 4, we have to step up in tonight's game, because it will bring us one step closer, a game back at the RG, which following a Game 5 win, to putting a permanent seal over that shiny, shimmering Game 4 performance that is still making us teary-eyed more than 24 hours afterwards.

    Anees, from Prague

    by Anees on 4/25/2011 8:13 AM
  2. I like that song... ROLL ON BLAZERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by mbmurr1 on 4/25/2011 8:22 AM
  3. Winning in the NBA playoffs is a hard thing to do. Dallas, despite all the talk about how fragile they are, will not lay down. A win tonight guarantees nothing. The same goes for a loss. Game 4 is history. We are in a fight. One game at a time. One possession at a time. Add the score at the end. Predictions are for fortune tellers.

    by Divotking on 4/25/2011 9:28 AM
  4. Casey thank you for the blog. Tonight's game is of utmost importance, The thing is if we win, we will have to be careful not to lose the sixth game at home. Winning four in a row in the play-offs is rough, unless we have them on the ropes, then you don't let them up for air

    by Hg on 4/25/2011 9:39 AM
  5. I am reading many posts that the Blazers are lucky to be in this series. Did anyone else watch the 1st two games at Dallas? Was is me or wasn't Portland doind very well and dictating the tempo and defense of those games. The issue that I saw was the Portland did not know whom to go through in the last quarter. Dallas sure did. They went throught Dirk and he alone changed the tempo and result of the game. The one thing that Brandon Roy does better then any other Blazer and better then the top 5% of all other players in the league is close a game out. In my opinion game 4 "just poked the bear". I have a funny fealing about this Portland team. They have all the tools and role players and now with the closer role solidified, are just scary. They have no pressure on them if they fail. They have Vets that have been there. They have close down defenders. I had this same feeling about the Pistons the year Sheed left. What if ( Battum can score 5 points in 2 seconds, Loser the # 1 pick in the draft and your # 5 pick in the draft and still make the playoffs, be down 20 points in a game for to a vet team and comeback) What If????

    by grimraider on 4/25/2011 12:13 PM
  6. I'm glad the guys are onto the next one. Game 4 was amazing and I'll never ever forget being there to witness it live but a lot of the luster of that win will go away if we can't find a way to win the series. C'mon Blazers, win it for Rip City!

    by DHawes22 on 4/25/2011 1:08 PM
  7. great points and player perspectives, Casey. the mavs will be ready; no question about that. however, they do not have the momemtum in the series. Brandon Roy stole that from them and brought it to his team. turning the corner means becoming more intense. dallas is bruised; and a solid 48-minute performance, combined with a strong fourth quarter could just be what we need to capture this win. i think we can do it. a lot of our guys didn't shoot so well in game 4, so hopefully that turns around in game 5. that is, at least, my hope.

    by Kassandra on 4/25/2011 1:10 PM
  8. As hard as it is to come back from 23 down in 14 minutes, winning a game on their floor with them feeling like they are backed into a corner, will be a huge challenge. The Blazers will have to impose all of their will on them. Literally step on their throat. Wesley Mathews said it well after game three, while we were down 2 games to 1. Its not about the x's and o's. Its who has the heart. Our boys have heart. Bring it tonight.

    by Divotking on 4/25/2011 1:22 PM
  9. Game 4 was the most incredible thing I have ever seen, and I have seen some good games this season. One hell of a birthday present. I couldn't believe it. I had to cover my eyes and not look several times there at the end. After all that, I got thrown over a shoulder and spun around my row, screaming my head off. It was amazing, and I'll never forget it. That's why I love this team. They can win this series, all our hearts believe they can.

    8)

    by Cristi on 4/25/2011 1:42 PM
  10. Tonight's game is by far the biggest game of the year. The two previous times there was a team that blew a playoff game by 18+ points, both of the teams that choked, won the next game and the series as a whole. I know the history of other teams (heck even history of the Blazer teams) don't mean much since all the personnel is different, but we need to take care of business tonight, for all 48 minutes. Dallas will quit at some point, we found out Saturday, Rip City never will.

    UpRise

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 4/25/2011 3:30 PM
  11. Great game by Dallas. Nobody said it would be easy. Well some did. HOME COURT ADVANTAGE. That's why you play hard regular season. Remember in the Clyde years. They had to learn that lesson too.

    by Divotking on 4/25/2011 7:09 PM
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