Game Thread Game #24 - BLAZERS VS CELTICS - DECEMBER 4, 2021 - SATURDAY - 7:00 PM (PDT) ROOT SPORTS

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by Chris Craig, Dec 2, 2021.

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What do you prefer?

  1. A boring easy win

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  2. A close win

    2 vote(s)
    6.3%
  3. Doesn't matter as long as it's a win

    27 vote(s)
    84.4%
  1. OneSport3

    OneSport3 The Knowledge Hoarder

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    It’s also tough to tight rope trade values. If you sit RoCo/CJ/Nurk, you are essentially tanking their trade values.
     
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  2. andalusian

    andalusian Season - Restarted

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    You can say the same if you continue playing them...
     
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  3. blazerkor

    blazerkor Well-Known Member

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    Yeah whatever is going on with RoCo, his lack of effort is unacceptable but what is and has been going on with Nurk is more dangerous because Nurk teases you with a good effort every now and then but then fucks you over with shitty effort the rest of the time. At least we know what to expect out of RoCo right now... on offense he'll make the right pass and make an efficient number of open threes and on defense he will let the opponents do what they want. He's no longer the disruptor and energy guy he was and I think that's all mental. While Nurk has always been a headcase.

    RoCo would do well with a change of scenery. I think another team could think that they know the key to unlocking Nurk. So I think both could be traded for some returning value.
     
  4. OneSport3

    OneSport3 The Knowledge Hoarder

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    Exactly, that’s why I said it’s tough to tight rope the situation.
     
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  5. OneSport3

    OneSport3 The Knowledge Hoarder

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    I’m wondering if the speculation over the summer about Dame’s future with the team affected the team chemistry. Dame essentially said this team as constructed was not good enough to win a title. I’m wondering if some guys took offense to that and said fuck it. This team has always had great chemistry but this season seems to be way off.
     
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  6. MickZagger

    MickZagger Well-Known Member

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    lol.
     
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  7. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Postgame Notes – December 4, 2021

    Boston 145, Portland 117

    Game #24, Home Game #13



    TEAM

    • The Trail Blazers lost their second straight home game, bringing their record at Moda Center to 10-3. The Celtics improved to 7-7 on the road.

    • The Trail Blazers lost their third straight game to the Celtics in Portland.

    • Portland outscored Boston in the paint, 54-50.

    • The Trail Blazers attempted a season-high 32 free throws, connecting on 25 (78.1%). The Celtics shot 26-of-29 from the stripe (89.7%).


    PLAYER

    • CJ McCollum finished with 24 points (8-21 FG, 3-9 3-PT, 5-7 FT), one rebound, six assists and one steal. It was his 13th game this season with 20-plus points.

    • Dennis Smith Jr. scored a season-high 21 points (7-14 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 6-8 FT) to go with four rebounds, six assists and three steals.

    • Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting (6-7 FT) to go with five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. He scored 10 of his points in the first quarter.

    • Cody Zeller scored in double figures for the second time this season, finishing with 10 points (4-8 FG, 2-2 FT) and eight rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.

    • Larry Nance Jr. recorded nine points (4-5 FG, 1-2 3-PT) and five rebounds in 26 minutes.

    • Dennis Schroder finished with 31 points (10-16 FG, 5-7 3-PT, 6-6 FT), four rebounds and eight assists. It was his second game with 30-plus points this season.

    • Jayson Tatum had a double-double of 31 points (9-17 FG, 4-6 3-PT, 9-10 FT) and 10 rebounds to go with four assists in 31 minutes. It was his second straight game with 30-plus points and his ninth such outing this season.

    • Enes Freedom scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting (1-2 FT) to go with a season-high 15 rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes off the bench for the Celtics.

    • Payton Pritchard scored 19 points (6-12 FG, 5-10 3-PT) to go with two rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes.
     
  8. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    HEAD COACH CHAUNCEY BILLUPS

    On if the ending of tonight’s game bothered him…


    “Yeah, it did. I mean, lack of pride—of course that bothers me. I just think if that don’t bother you, then there’s something going on. Obviously, teams play well; you come out, it’s not your night. It’s cool, it happens. But there’s a way that I’m willing to lose, and that’s not the way that I’m willing to lose. It was embarrassing; you got to give them a lot of credit though. They came out, dug deep, coming off a back-to-back, getting in really late, scoring 130 points on the road last night. I thought that was an unbelievable, astronomical number, and then they come put 145 on us. Man, that was shocking but you’re going to have some of those type of nights in all honesty, but you still got to show some pride. When you don’t have no pride, you don’t have nothing in my opinion.”

    On whether pride is coachable…

    “Nah, nah, nah. That’s something that you can’t put in anybody. You can…skill development, you can make a guy better in this or that, or guy, girl whatever. But that inside—that competitive fire, that pride, that’s something you either have or you don’t have. That’s not something that you can turn off or turn on and that’s unfortunate. We just didn’t show any tonight, and I don’t expect that at the end of the game. These are young dudes, like, they don’t know the NBA they don’t know the politics of the league. They don’t know the etiquette of the league. They don’t know to—when the game is open like that, and a guy starts going crazy on them like that. They don’t know what to do, but that’s what our bench should be teaching them, or I should be. They should know, but they’ll know now after tonight. It was embarrassing for them, and I felt like—I wasn’t worried about them. I was more worried and angry at the starters for putting them in that situation. So really that’s a starter-veteran issue, that’s not a young guys issue.”

    On what went wrong at the start of the game…

    “They got off to a good start. We seem to be making a habit of that—playing really soft at the start of the games and we depend on our bench to kind of get us back in it. A lot of the times they do, and even at halftime I just said to them, ‘I don’t understand. I’ve never seen a team that we need our bench to inspire our starters.’ That shit is crazy to me. It’s supposed to be the other way around. We continue to do that and continue to do that, but at the end of the day, we all got to be better. I got to be better, they got to be better. We got to do it together.”

    On whether the team has that competitive spirit…

    “Not with any consistency. I feel like there’s some nights obviously—we sat in this room at this time and have been like, ‘Wow what a game. The guys played really hard, they played together, they competed defensively.’ We’ve said that many nights, and then we have these type of nights. Which is kind of unexplainable. So, I don’t know what the trigger is. I don’t know if it’s that we got to make shots, to play defense, got to get to the ball. Nights like tonight we’re selfish, selfish on both ends of the floor. And that’s unfortunate.”


    On addressing the team after a loss for the first time…

    “For the first time. For the first time all season, I spoke tonight after the game. And it wasn’t emotional; obviously I keep that between the team and I, but. I wasn’t emotional, I wasn’t yelling—I’m not a yeller. I’m speaking with this tone, but just speaking real. But yeah, tonight was the first night.”
     
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  9. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    JUSUF NURKIC

    On the team’s struggles without Damian Lillard…


    “I don't know. I don’t have a comment as far as what we try. I think it’s just in the NBA, if you aren’t ready, shit’s hard. I think sometimes we're just getting caught and we don’t get hot, [not] making shots. And if we’re not then the defensive end is really what we should rely on but we’re not. They played last night. So we know that they came here and bust our ass, man. So for us there’s not much to say.”

    On not being able to start strong…

    “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to do my job. I don’t know the problem. I really believe when I look at myself in the mirror that I am doing the job that they are asking from me. Coach and his staff, that’s their job to figure out, right? So I won’t point at anybody and I’m trying to do the best I can in my position that I am. I’m just trying to win the game.”

    On organizational changes with Neil Olshey…

    “I don't know personally, I don't know. I don’t have a comment there.”

    On if lacking competitiveness is an issue of pride…

    “You know, when it’s bad like this, like tonight, [it] probably is. I think we have a great locker room, great guys. Sometimes I feel like we are better off the floor than on the court which doesn’t make sense. We don’t have a problem guy. It’s a great group of people. So what’s not clicking? I don’t know. Probably that Dame’s not here. I don’t know how many games we play without Dame for the career. It’s everything. What we do with him. I don’t think it’s too special to figure out that without the best player you’re going to need somebody else to step up and if you’re not ready like we didn’t show up tonight, then it’s going to be ugly.”
     
  10. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    DENNIS SMITH JR.

    On the slow start of the game…


    “Same thing that’s been happening all year. I don’t think we were physical enough, we didn’t set the tone, we’ve been kinda relying on the second unit to come in and get us back into the game and we just gotta match their [the Celtics] physicality and their effort. They’re off a back-to-back. It was a tough game last night. I watched their game against Utah last night. There’s no excuse for starting like that and I was out there so that’s partially on me.”

    On how he felt on his performance tonight…

    “I think I was solid with what the team asked me to do. I guarded the ball. I got into foul trouble early and that was me trying to attempt to set the tone. I got two fouls early, bad fouls. But I did what the team asked me to do. I was trying to get to the paint, get guys involved, guard my man, and be a good help defender as well.”

    On getting to start tonight…

    “I love to play basketball so of course. But I want to win. I’m all for the team winning so whether I get 5 minutes or 36 [minutes] tonight, I want to win the game for sure.”

    On struggling without Damian Lillard…

    “Yeah. He’s one of the top 75 Players ever. Like you said, he’s a super star. He’s always going to be an All-Star in this league. His presence is definitely missed but that’s not an excuse for how we’re playing as next man up. You know we gotta go out and perform. That’s all that matters. We didn’t do that. We haven’t been doing that.”
     
  11. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    CELTICS HEAD COACH Ime Udoka

    On regaining control of the game…


    “We got back to what we did in the first quarter. I think we got bored with what was working for us and started going isolation heavy in the second quarter and that got them out and running in transition. We stressed to them not to get bored with success and what got us that lead, but to keep doing what we’re doing. Similar to the pace we played with last night against Utah, we emphasized that at half time and we got back to that in the second half.”

    On what’s changed offensively for the team the past few games…

    “The pace is the first thing. We talked about that going into this road trip, increasing our pace. With Jaylen [Brown] out, we got two guards that can really push it. Quick decisions are what we always preach to Jayson [Tatum] and those guys and once the shots start to fall the numbers look better. Really increasing the pace and ball movement that’s how we have less isolation, less stagnant play, and really moving the ball from side to side.”

    On Marcus Smart being aggressive attacking the basket and using his physicality…

    “We felt good about attacking the basket in general. We didn’t feel like they had a lot of rim protection and that we could really attack against certain matchups and so we didn’t want to settle, we wanted to get down hill and if the help comes then kick out and that’s what we saw in the first quarter especially. But that’s what has really improved over the last 10-15 games, is us attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line and that continued today.”

    On Payton Pritchard hitting shots in front of hometown crowd…

    “Yes, you want to see him do well. Obviously, the crowd was very supportive; he’s a hometown hero basically. It got a little out of hand to some extent with our guys getting a little overzealous. Payton is a guy who’s playing well and shooting it well. We would have liked to slow the ball down, hold it, and respect the game. So, I apologized to Chauncey [Billups], and would have liked for us to have a little more understanding but at the same time he’s caught up in playing well in front of his hometown so you’re happy for him. But there’s a line not to cross there.”

    On Dennis Schroder assists to turnover ration tonight…

    “Yes, of course, it’s finding that balance. He’s a guy that can get to the basket against pretty much anybody and if they’re going under the screen on him then it’s him shooting the three-point shot; he made five threes tonight. We always stress, picking his spots. When you can penetrate and create for others in isolation that helps, and he did that tonight. He took good care of the ball, eight assist and only one turnover. He played at a high level scoring 31 points, so I’m happy with his performance.”
     
  12. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum

    On the offense getting into a rhythm…


    “The team moved the ball, especially the bigs. Getting them the touch on the edge with them [Portland] blitzing. Getting the ball moving and hitting shots. Seeing some go in and shooting the ball well from three.”

    On Payton Pritchard tonight...


    “Obviously happy for him, with him coming back home. It hasn’t been ideal for him but he’s always ready when his number is called. I know it felt good for him to see some shots go down, especially being back home.”


    On seeing that they can win games with their offense compared to winning with their defense…


    “It’s about time that we as a group on the same night hit some shots. I know it’s something we’ve been waiting for. Guys are always in the gym, putting up extra work, putting up extra shots so it was only a matter of time. It’s that much more rewarding when you start to see them go down. Hopefully we can continue that the next couple of games.”
     
  13. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard

    On getting out there and having crowd support…


    “I mean, it feels good just to come back and play in your hometown. Obviously, I played high school ball here, grew up here, and then played college ball, so Oregon is a special place to me. For me and my team to come out here and play well and to get a win out on this west coast trip feels good.”

    His thoughts on the final minutes of the game…

    “I mean we are hitting shots, so I don’t know what they want us to do. At the same time, I get it - we were free balling it, but we were just playing ball and hitting shots.”

    On if tonight was a confidence boost for him…

    “You never want to say your confidence is wavering. So for me, this is a new experience from last year. Some games you don’t play, sometimes you get in. So for me it’s just finding that confidence so I will stay ready - just having to do my work and my daily habits.”

    On things he is doing to stay ready…

    “Do you work, staying in shape, conditioning after the games, always getting your shots up, playing on off days and grinding is what you got to do to stay ready.”
     
  14. blazerkor

    blazerkor Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right. I think that there was a ride or die type of vibe with these guys before Dame woke up and realized he could only ride with them to one playoff series victory here and there but nothing meaningful. I'm sure he had a hard conversation with CJ. I'm also sure that the comments and change to the system have fucked with RoCo's mentality. Nurk's head has always been fucked.

    The fact is that I don't think any of that matters to Dame or Chauncey because they expect these guys to be adults about it, professionals even. Get out there and give it their best effort even if it's not for loyalty to a team they'll be on forever... just do it because they each individually have some fucking self respect.
     
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  15. THE HCP

    THE HCP NorthEastPortland'sFinest

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    But a better record.
     
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  16. MickZagger

    MickZagger Well-Known Member

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    I’m at amateur soccer games every Saturday and I say the same thing. I’m still supportive of a kid that plays any sport though. That’s all I did growing up was play sports
     
  17. royo

    royo Well-Known Member

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    Can't listen to Nurk. He needs personal coach to fix his head. At this poin, I think he would be better at writing poems.
    Can't stand CJ, who was happy little pony all his days under Stotts. Add RoCo and trading those three is obvious first move by new GM.
    It is sad, cos I believe all three have great basketball skills.
    Give Billups young guys, that want to work and develop. Trade primadonas till they still got value
    I was optimistic, but they just spoiled kids.
     
  18. THE HCP

    THE HCP NorthEastPortland'sFinest

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    It’s a trip, I’ve always been a soccer fan. Played it as a kid and grew up, and going to Timbers games with my parents. I can totally understand why people don’t watch it though.
     
  19. Buffalo Custard

    Buffalo Custard Well-Known Member

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    Just when I thought I couldn't get any more depressed about this team.
     
  20. KSF-ERIC

    KSF-ERIC Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we make lottery with Simmons on our team.
     

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