Dec 04

Thoughts From The End Of A Massive Road Trip

By antonioharvey Posted in: damianlillard, joelfreeland
Here is what came to me tonight after the game.

This has been one heckuva road trip! By the time we get back to Portland, and it’s all said and done, the Blazers will have traveled to 7 cities in 12 days, and when you factor the round trip to and from Portland, it will be 8 cities in 13 days, a marathon of a trip that will encompass over 6200 miles. I’m tired, Wheels is tired, MB, the Wild ONE and the rest of the TV crew...tired, the staff is tired, and I can only imagine what the players feel like. These guys fight fatigue, hostile crowds, AND the opposition, trying to get victories. Not that anyone feels sorry for them, I mean let’s be real, they stay in the NICEST hotels and fly on charter planes, not to mention the locker room spreads after games, but none of that can keep a man from feeling tired! And the way they started this road trip (4 straight losses, including games at Detroit and Washington, 2 games we ALL thought were winnable,) I could certainly understand how this team could’ve packed it in and waited to get back to the friendly and comfortable confines of the Rose Garden. But this team embodies the spirit of a winner, albeit a YOUNG winner, but a winner just the same. Despite the early losses and the big deficits in the early goings of the last 2 games they have battled back to win them both in dramatic fashion! A double overtime win at Cleveland, followed one night later by a single overtime win at Charlotte. Yes, I know these were considered by many to be wins before the trip, but on the road you never know what can happen and when losses start to pile up life gets a lot more difficult out here.  So here are some of the high points from the trip, as I see them.

1. Damian Lillard is really starting to understand the subtle nuances that go with being a point guard in this league and what it takes to deal with a double team in the Pick and Roll. In the last 2 wins he averaged 24 points and 10 assists. 

2. The Blazers bench has started to come around after getting 29 points from the 2nd unit in Cleveland, led by Joel Freeland with 8 points and 8 rebounds. They turned around a night later versus Charlotte and scored 31 points, led by Luke Babbitt, who poured in 9 points, grabbed 5 boards, sank the game tying 3 in regulation, and scored 1 more in overtime, just for good measure. Oh, and Luke’s defense in p/r (pick and roll) situations was the best the Blazers have had all year. 

3. Joel Freeland is looking like the prospect we thought he was. He is more decisive on the court, playing good position defense and overall, he just looks more comfortable.

4. I am NOT a fan of LONG road trips. As if missing my family isn’t bad enough, and I really miss them, I have managed to lose my cell phone (it was found on the tarmac in Cleveland, must be good karma,) I got off the plane in Charlotte and forgot my wallet in my seat (cleaning crew found it, I got it back, must be REALLY, good karma!) not to mention coming back to the hotel in Cleveland from lunch, heading up to my room (1033,) only to find my key isn’t working any more and having to go back down to the lobby to get re-keyed! Oh, did I mention, my room was actually 833? That would explain why my key was working anymore. 

Don’t laugh, this road thing isn’t as easy as it looks!!!  Well, off to the next city, hope to see you at the next home game.  GO BLAZERS!!!


  1. I really enjoy hearing about life on "The Road". You, Casey, and Barett all give a very down to earth perspective of road trips. I think that these types of blogs really help give us (Blazer Fans) a clearer picture of life in the NBA. Thank you Tone. Glad the things you lost found you. Can't wait for the guy's to get back so that they can experience a 6 game "Home Stand" over the 17 days that follow the game tomorrow in Indiana.

    BTW. You should use your phone to take a picture of your room number as soon as you get it. (Advice from Mike Barett on the Charlotte broadcast)

    Go Blazers!

    by Devon Malone on 12/4/2012 4:21 PM
  2. Hey Tone, I just found your blog, I am a great fan of yours from why back when, except when you played for the Lakers.
    You and I and of course millions of others has the same feeling about Le Bron, I can't stand his personality but he can play BB. Nevertheless watching them play NYK's last night I think when our big three gets more experience as in Lillard, LaMarcus and Batum, but maybe Leonard if he will quit standing and waiting for the rebound, move around a little so they can't box him out. See, I listen, we can play head to head with them.
    OBTW, watching that game, I couldn't decide who was my worst villain, James or Felton, but since I have not passion for James, Felton is still on the top of my bad list☺. He did look good last night, but after rapeing Portland, he will always be bad to me.
    About the Blazers, of course this is after the Indy game, and they did put up a heckofabattle, but Indy is tough, well coached and play better then great D. Which in itself, should show the Blazers what everybody is preaching good D can slow down a great O, but like you have said we need to balance them out. don't give up our O for our D.

    Lillard is for real, he is learning fast and because I have to listen to the opposing announcers, I know he has a big Bulls eye on his back from all the coaches in the 7 game road trip. Like you said, he is learning fast and holding his own already.
    Well now that I found your blog and have it sent to my e-mail, and the comments sent to my e-mail, maybe next time I can catch it when it first comes out. and I thank you for putting in the effort to write your thoughts. I listen to you and Wheels on the pre show, but sacrifice you for TV. I have tried to turn down the volume on TV and listen to you and Wheels, but you are about 10 seconds faster then TV. Which reminds me, I hear many announcers comment on a shot going in or not before it actually goes in, MB commented on it as saying from their angle they can actually tell it is going in, but I bet the house that Wheels don't own that they have a radio on in their headset.
    Well I can talk about as long as you can, but best stop my enthusiasm now.

    Thanks again for the blog

    by Hg on 12/7/2012 5:17 AM
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