Mar 03

Crawford: ‘If we’re serious about the playoffs it has to be now’

By sarahhecht
It was another rough night in the Rose Garden as the Trail Blazers fell to Minnesota Timberwolves 122-110. The loss drops Portland to below .500 with an 18-19 record for the first time this season. And after the hot 7-2 start and a coveted 11-1 home record it’s left not only fans bewildered and flustered, but the players as well.

Jamal Crawford—a bright spot in tonight’s loss with 23 points—spoke candidly about the character of the team, the playoffs and the work ahead.

Here is his post-game interview.

Does this feel like a low point in the season?

“Yeah, in some ways definitely. Like I said, we’re gonna reveal who we are coming up here soon. We’re gonna show if we’re the team that can dig ourselves out of it and show that we have a lot of character and a lot of heart or we’re gonna lay down. It goes one way or the other. There’s no in between. We have to. We’re gonna step up to the challenge.”

Is there still fight in this team?


What makes you believe that?

“The guys in this locker room. I mean, it wasn’t a good showing, but then at times it was a good showing tonight. And to come back and show that resolve but we’re gonna reveal who we are. We have no choice at this point. We have one more game and a tough seven game trip and with 29 games left, 30 games left, whatever it is. If we’re serious about the playoffs it has to be now. There’s no more waiting.”

Do you feel like you know which direction you’re going to go when you reveal who you are?

“I do. I think I do.”

What is that?

“A better one. The team is gonna step up and get back in that playoff race.”

Why do you think that?

“The guys in here. The guys in the locker room.”

“Now, it doesn’t matter what I say or what anybody else says, our actions will show if we’re serious or if we’re not. It’s gonna come down to what we do on the court. Enough talk. Let’s get out there and if we’re serious about it we’ll show our actions and if we’re not we’ll do what we been doing.”

What accounts for the slow starts?

“I have no idea. I honestly don’t. But that’s putting us behind the eight ball because that puts pressure on your offense to be flawless and perfect. We can’t allow a team to shoot 50 percent from three. Or over 50 percent, whatever it was. We have to know that.”

Despite the slow start you still played well in the fourth quarter...

“See, that’s what I mean... We’re gonna reveal who we are. One way or the other.”

What do you talk about on the bench in a game like this?

“That we have to hang together. We have to step up. Like I said, in every game there’s a moment of truth. There was a moment of truth in the fourth quarter where it was tied, or like you said we were up one or two, and we could have stepped on them there, but they made the plays and we didn’t. There’s no excuse for that.”

Was the locker room different after tonight’s game?

“We were sitting around in shock a little bit.”

What did you talk about?

“Just knowing the importance of this game. And the importance of every game, honestly. Like I said, there’s 29 or 30 left so every game counts. Every single one counts. We don’t have the time or the luxury to flip a switch and turn it on. if we’re gonna do it, it has to be now. If not, we’ll show that side too.”


  1. Hey Miss Sarah:
    What a predicament this turns out to be; nevertheless, it is still a great time to be a Blazer fan as it makes us tougher :).
    Do you think our bad play is related to the dreadful trade dead-line? each year, all players that has their name come up in rumors seems to go off in inner space and can't keep their heads in the game.

    It seems to me as though they are trying to be a great offensive team without playing any defense; to do that you have to make more shots then what we do.
    I am not usually a finger pointer, but this is more then losing games, I sense there is something terribly wrong. I see glimpses of our greatness in Gerald and Batum, but in the most part they seem to be scattered sheep in a field waiting for the sheep header to blow the whistle to get them to come together. Maybe Nate swallowed his whistle.

    What I am saying is I just don't get the "I don't give a ____ attitude.

    by Hg on 3/4/2012 3:00 AM
  2. Did not watch the game; but to win you must also Love; and he was playing in the other team.

    PS: There´s somthing that could be done to make them feel like a true team; the Coach should talk to them.

    by sopadeajo on 3/4/2012 5:14 AM
  3. That's right J-Cross, it's "put up or shut[out] time!" The teams that don't make it to the playoffs= bad teams (in the West it's stiffer competition BUT that's no excuse for a team to be satisfied ending up in 9th place saying i.e., "well... if we were in the East we'd have easily made it."). Our Blazers ARE NOT A BAD TEAM but if things cont. this way... our record will b that of 1. The Larry O'brien trophy only sees/knows final placement in the standings; 2nd place or finishing slightly lower when the finals r over may signify an elite squad BUT it's a zero sum game & THE trophy only goes home w/ the best. I know it seems that I'm jumin' the gun w/ this championship talk; yes, #1, it's an uphill battle to EVEN MAKE THE PLAYOFFS right now but I have faith in our team! Once in the playoffs, this team can make some serious noise; no 1 thinks that we can contend for a championship (this is our advantage bc we haven't much/any outside pressure so our guys can give it their all w/o being nervous; unlike a MIA or OKC ;) Our Blazers have beaten OKC & MIA b4 & they can do it in the playoffs/finals 2!

    Sincerely yours,
    Homer ;)

    by Simpson on 3/5/2012 12:15 AM
  4. Simpson:
    The Blazers should always strive to be champions that is what they are getting paid for. Nevertheless, somethings are out of our control, and a championship opportunity is slim; The main goal is to always strive to be the best that you can be. That starts with not taking games or plays off; the team should push themselves to play their best for forty-eight minutes every game. In that way if we win the championship that be great if not that can't be helped, but either way the team should always play to the utmost of itheir ability; Anyway that is what I am looking for;

    Some of the teams you refer to has gotten better as the season progressed, that is out of our control. What is in our control is we should get better as the season progresses and that doesn't appear to be happening. Why?

    by Hg on 3/5/2012 4:48 AM
  5. Well said Hg, absolutely; I agree w/ & have believed in everything u just said. I was hoping our guys would read my comments above (or they would b passed on to them somehow) & they could help in motivating them & let them know there's still those of us out here RIGHT NOW that still believe in them. :) I didn't want to introduce a lot of negative talk, criticism, or analysis; just some good ol' fashion support :) Our guys need that more than ever right now; w/ trade rumors swirling (> usual, which I'm against; keep these guys 2gether!), I think they just need our support so they can concentrate on workin' over the opponents. GO Blazers!!!

    by Simpson on 3/5/2012 9:29 AM
  6. actions you say jamal? there is still fight in this team? this team is going to reveal itself? all these questions have been answered night in and night out jamal. every single game has started and ended the same damn way, which is a very slow and dull start and giving up an average of 37-38 points in the 1st quarter then its halftime with us being down by double digits. then its the second half where hey we are down lets show that we have heart and climb back into this one. as nate has said time and time again, you cant flip a switch. getting beat by horrible teams such as the pistons, wizards, timberwolves, nuggets, golden state and utah doesnt show me that you are giving your all, it shows that you hate your coach and you have tuned him out for your own purposes. its funny hearing this from jamal considering he can leave at the end of this season. all we have are below to average players and this is a washed up year.

    by Imwytdashyt Epps on 3/5/2012 6:22 PM
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