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