There isn’t much to this game, nor is there much to talk about. On the second night of a back-to-back, and for consecutive nights, the Blazers had their butts handed to them on a silver platter. The box score is a non-issue. The Jazz shot 60.6 percent and 58.3 percent from the field while the Blazers actually outscored an opponent in the paint, 36-28. Nobody is going to remember those numbers, but they will remember how they felt after the cumulative efforts of two listless games.
Since analysis is both irrelevant and unnecessary — it would just be a laundry list of things the Jazz did better than Portland — I reached out to Twitter and asked Blazer fans for their reactions on the game. Here is what they said:
@ourpdx: couldn’t even watch 4th quarter, starting to think that Nate’s the one who’s out of sync…
@mws_pdx_bc: losing to Jazz on road is expected. The fact that it comes on heels of last night’s unexpected debacle makes it sting worse
@hurrakane212: first time I have ever asked myself if Nate is the right coach.
@girthymac: I think the ridgid sched has caught up with them and they’re gassed. I think they’ll be fine.
@kylemortensen: is something going on behind the scenes? Seems like a completely different team
@debra31098: I do not like that Andre seems to be the scapegoat for BROY. I wish GO would call out the team…and BROY especially.
@kittenwench: It seems like the horrible rigid sub patterns, lack competent advanced off/def schemes got to team, quitting on coach mac?
@ackermaneric: replace Nate!
@rack_free: too painful to watch – went directly to faucet to drink e. coli & put muself out of misery.
@supersetgreg: we never win in Utah. the end.
@tmundal: Roy needs a reality check. Stopped trying once the Ink was dry. Aldridge too.
@blazersedge: playing w/ pride has been this group’s identity and they play & give quotes like they don’t mind that id is gone.
Not exactly the comments you saw following Portland’s win over Chicago, less than one week ago. The truth is, everyone is a little bit right, everyone is a little bit wrong. People are openly questioning both Roy and McMillan — by far the most mentioned — and they have every right to do so. Other than after the Chicago game, things haven’t felt completely right about the Blazers all season. Lineups have been in doubt, starters have been in question, not to mention rotations, effort, defense and everything else. As many other folks tweeted after the game, things have just felt “off” for quite some time.
Sure, there are the back-to-back games and early season excuses, but everyone can see that things are beyond timing and tired legs. The Blazers haven’t been consistent in their execution or their quarter-to-quarter consistency. There have been flashes of things coming together, but relative to the length of the season they have been there and gone in the blink of an eye. Fans, writers and critics alike have come to expect more.
What I can tell you now is that these past two games have offered Portland the greatest moment of on-court adversity the team has been a part of. They have always been young, they have always been improving. When Oden had surgery, the Blazers had a one-year free pass. Last season the expectations were the playoffs, and the Houston series became a learning experience. Now, 19 games into the season with a 12-7 record, they are going through something they haven’t before: they aren’t living up to expectations. Were this five or even ten years ago, it would not be that big of a deal. But this is new. This is an obstacle for the team, and the fans, to get through. But just like success, failure is part of growth, and not just failure when everyone else deems it acceptable to fail.
There’s no need to tell you that things will get better. We’re already skirting the line of melodrama and everyone can see that in one week there have been extreme highs and lows. I’ll just finish by saying that these last two games are less important than the two games to come. Reactions are inevitable, but responses speak much louder.