The Trail Blazers finished a seven-game road trip Sunday night with a 111-95 loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City. And while a win would have been the preferred outcome, there seemed to be some solace taken in knowing they played better at the end of the trip than they did at the finish.
The following quotes from Raymond Felton, Joel Przybilla and LaMarcus Aldridge in the post-game locker room all contain a twinge of optimism we've not seen out of this team even after victories (save the most recent against the Bulls).
Raymond Felton regarding the play of Nolan Smith
"Nolan has been great, man. Nolan's been waiting for this opportunity and now he's getting the opportunity. I'm not surprised. We all not surprised. We knew he could do that. By him out there playing, getting that comfort, getting that confidence, he's only going to get better. I'm proud of him."
Joel Przybilla on what the team needs to do going forward
"We've just got to continue to compete the way we have been the past couple games. As long as we do that, we're going to win ball games. This is a tough place to play against one of the best teams in the league. They've been struggling and they came out tonight and played hard."
LaMarcus Aldridge on this performance
"… I didn't play well so I put this loss on me, but I think guys are playing hard. I think that's the biggest thing right now."
"… I didn't feel great coming into the game and I thought I would shake it off, but I didn't. I was in this little funk, didn't make shots. Had a lot of great looks that I didn't make. Then every time I did try to get going, I try to go off the dribble going toward the basket they would come with another guy and I'd be doubled. It was me and them, but I think it was more me, so I put this game on me."
"If we get a few more calls our way our that we should have got, if I don't play like trash tonight, then this is a whole different game. We've beat this team twice. One of them didn't go in the books, but we beat them twice. We definitely have the talent."