So I’ve had a little time to think about last night’s game, due in part to the served changeover happening at Fansided, and I think a bit of perspective is actually just what a Blazer fan needs to digest a 40-point blowout of the hottest team in the NBA.
I had the inkling, the minute after I published my game preview saying how important it was for Portland to get a big win against a good team to keep things from going from bad to worse, that this being the Spurs, and their head coach being Gregg Popovich being who he is, the Blazers might not get a shot at the A-squad. Lo and behold, Pop did the thing he does, sitting Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, and his second unit–which was basically a third and fourth unit–got run.
At first I was angry. I wanted Portland to have a shot at the good team, and win or die trying. Then I was pretty stoked. The Blazers put on a show. They went from scoring seven in Monday’s opening quarter to 41 in Tuesday’s. We got to see Elliot Williams go HAM and Luke Babbitt make a three and the Rose Garden fans get Chalupas in the third quarter. Awesome, right?
I think so. That being said, 24 hours later, I think beating San Antonio by 40 is no better or worse than any of Portland’s 18 other wins. They needed a win. They got a win. End of story.
The situation now is that the season is half way over. Following Tuesday’s win, coach Nate McMillan acknowledged that this team should be doing better. That there are issues that need to be addressed, and that the second half is going to be about catching up.
Tuesday, the Blazers left for the break in high spirits. That counts for something. If Portland had lost to the Spurs’ bench guys, you can be sure that the attitude post-game would have been markedly different.
By the time the All-Star Break is over, there’s a pretty good chance nobody will care all that much how Portland played Tuesday night. What carry-over there will be will be minimal, if noticeable at all. What these Blazers need to do is find someplace nice to relax for a couple of days, try not to think too much about the first half of the season, or at least how they lost to Detroit and Sacramento and were inept away from home, and prepare for what is going to be an absolutely INSANE stretch run.
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