Exclusive GAME# 67: HEAT @ BLAZERS - MARCH 12, 2018 - NBA Quote Book

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by SlyPokerDog, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Postgame Notes - March 12, 2018
    Portland 115, Miami 99
    Game #67 • Home Game #34

    TEAM
    • The Trail Blazers won their 10th game in a row, extending the longest active winning streak in the NBA. It is Portland’s longest winning streak since the team won 11 straight from Nov. 8 - 25, 2013.
    • Portland won its seventh straight home game, improving to 16-1 in the last 17 games at Moda Center.
    • The Trail Blazers won their fifth consecutive game against the Heat and swept the season series for the second season in a row.
    • Portland improved to 41-26, matching last season’s win total with 15 games left to play.
    • The Trail Blazers held the Heat to 99 points, marking the fifth time in the last nine games that Portland held its opponent below 100 points.
    • Portland shot 14-of-36 (38.9%) from the three-point line, while the Heat shot 10-of-31 (32.3%)from deep. It was the fifth straight game that the Trail Blazers made at least 10 three-pointers, matching their longest streak of the season.
    • The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Heat, 50-46, and had six blocks to Miami’s four blocks.

    PLAYER
    • Damian Lillard scored a game-high 32 points (8-19 FG, 7-14 3-PT, 9-10 FT) to go with five rebounds and 10 assists. It was the ninth double-double of the season for Lillard and the eighth time in the last 12 games that he scored at least 30 points.
    • Jusuf Nurkic recorded 27 points (12-18 FG, 3-5 FT), 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. His 12 field goals matched his career high (four times).
    • Jusuf Nurkic is the fifth player in the NBA to record at least 27 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in a game this season. He is one of two players in frachise history to record that line multiple times as a Trail Blazer (twice, Walton - three times).
    • CJ McCollum finished with 17 points (5-11 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 5-6 FT), two rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.
    • Evan Turner recorded 13 points (5-11 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, three assists and two steals. It was the third time in the last five games that he scored in double figures.
    • Zach Collins had 10 points (3-5 FG, 2-3 3-PT, 2-2 FT), four rebounds and one block. Collins has reached double figures in three of the last five games.
    • Goran Dragic led the Heat with 23 points (10-17 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 3-3 FT), two rebounds and two assists.
    • Justise Winslow recorded his third career double-double, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds
     
  2. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    HEAD COACH TERRY STOTTS

    What was your message in timeouts in the fourth quarter?

    “We had to take care of the ball. They made their run off of our turnovers and our poor offense, and also the way they got back into it was forcing turnovers and shooting threes. We kind of gave in to both of those when they made their run.”


    Did you feel an advantage with Nurkic:

    “Well Nurk got – well, yeah – but Nurk got most of his on pick and rolls. I thought Damian especially really did a nice job of finding him and it was probably his best finishing night of the season. The advantage was that they gave a lot of attention to Dame and CJ and we did a nice job of finding him in the paint, and he did a great job of finishing.”


    On Collins hitting turnaround, step-back shot – have you seen him work on that?

    “I don’t know if he could do that again, but it was a great shot. Very timely too.”
     
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  3. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    DAMIAN LILLARD

    Were you concerned when they cut the lead in the fourth?

    “They made a run. We know that it’s a game of spurts. They’re a playoff team so they’re going to keep making a run for it and they got some shots to fall, we turned the ball over a few times and allowed them to get out and get some easy ones. We had to regroup. Coach called a timeout and we just had to once again weather that storm, come out and get some good execution, plays had to be made. Nurk made some huge plays. Chief hit a big three in the corner. We got stops. Guys weren’t just getting to the rim uncontested. We were riding the drive, contesting. We made them miss and we secured rebounds and brought it home.”


    On Nurkic:

    “He was huge. That’s the Nurk that we need, just a beast, taking his time scoring on the block, making plays off the block, rebounding the ball, blocking shots. I think his presence was really felt on both ends of the floor.”


    Why do you think Nurkic has been finishing better recently?


    “I think he’s been focusing on it, even in our practices when we do things live, you could tell that he’s trying to focus on being physical and finishing his shots. Playing through the contact, going to the rim instead of shying away from it as soon as he feel he get fouled just flipping up a shot and leaving it up to the referees to call it or not, I think he’s just playing and I think it’s showing.”


    Were you making an effort to get Nurkic the ball or was it the way things developed?

    “Each time that he set a screen, he was setting really solid screens so I was coming off and the big kept stepping up so it was just the right play to make. I always tell him, if the right play is to get you the ball, I’m going to give it to you every times. He knows I’m going to continue to make that play. He got into a nice rhythm, he started to take his time and finish strong and that’s what we need.”
     
  4. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    JUSUF NURKIC

    It looked like Lillard and McCollum were looking to get you the ball tonight:

    “I feel that every game. They trust in me through the year, always when you work, it pays off in time.”


    Why do you think you’ve been finishing better around the rim?

    “I really don’t know. I’m not doing anything different. Maybe because we’re playing at home, I have more time to work and trust in myself better so to be honest, I didn’t do anything different.”


    What did you like about your play?

    “The most important thing, we got a win. Tonight it was me and Dame and CJ, and every night somebody step up. Last game was Ed and Zach, so everybody have a good role and play good minutes. That’s what we need every night. We don’t look at winning streak, we just look game by game and that’s how we approach.”


    Does it seem like each game is more and more important to get the win?

    “Like I said, I really don’t care about that streak winning, we just care about the next game and that’s how we approach. Every next game is going to be important for us and we’re not looking that far out. We’re in a great position and just trying to do every game to keep that spot.”
     
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  5. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    HEAD COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA


    What did you find most pleasing about how the team didn’t close-up shop after being down 19?

    We have competitive character in that locker room. We’re not going to pack up the tent and try to get out of here. That’s not in the DNA of our guys. But we needed a much more complete effort on the road against a team that’s playing as well as anybody in this league right now. We played about a 10/12 minute stretch in the second half where it was very competitive basketball, winning a lot of the skirmishes and using that force to generate some offense on the other end. It would have taken, literally, 48 minutes of that throughout the course of your rotation. You don’t have to play perfect basketball, but you have to play with that competitive edge to give yourself a legitimate chance to win on the road. We’re capable of that. We’re expecting that kind of effort, and we just didn’t do it consistently enough. That fourth quarter is much more indicative of the habits we’ve been playing with in recent weeks. But you do have to credit them. They are playing at an extremely high level. They even seem much different then when we played them in December. You do have to credit them for that, and obviously Lillard at the end of games. He’s a handful.


    After being a demon on the board all night, Justise then taking over on offense, what did you like about his performance?

    He was facilitating, getting us organized into offense, and then when it was time to be aggressive he dropped his shoulder and got to the rim a few times. Probably could have drawn a couple fouls. Lots of contact on those drives, but he’s been doing that. He’s been training that way recently and the 13 rebounds were notable. Defensively, he was in the right spots in the second half, but then you also noticed him when he had to take on the challenge with their two main guys. He was up there into them and there for that challenge.


    For the first three quarters Goran was up there doing it almost alone, there wasn’t much help for him:

    They’re a good defensive team. They force you to have to execute, and we didn’t really execute with force or purpose until really end of the third quarter, fourth quarter. A lot of one pass shots without a lot of purpose to them in the first half. Goran was able to shake free, but we weren’t able to sustain it for a long period of time, which would have been needed against a team that was defending like that.


    Do you see this as a losing streak now at 8? Or do you look at it was 8 individual games?

    Yeah. I don’t care about any of that right now. It’s about what happened in this game, and what’s going to happen in the next game, and that’s it. This wasn’t like the other ones where we would legitimately have a chance to close it out. This was different. This team is, like I said, playing extremely well. I don’t know if there are any other players in this league right now that are playing at a higher level than Lillard. Obviously, you know the names that are in the MVP conversation. The way he’s playing right now, and the way they’re winning, he should be in that conversation as well. And it’s not just about him being a great player. It’s the timing of his greatness that’s so unique. Every time there needed to be a big time play or there was momentum going our way, he made that play. Exhibit A: when we were down 3 or 4 with the big 3 that he made over Rodney in the deep corner, out by the hash, those are the type of plays that great players make.


    Was this a type of life lesson for Bam, with the beef and bulk in the NBA that sort of the way Nurkic played?

    There’s a lot of elements to that. It’s sort of having the resilience to play through some things. He had a rough start at the beginning. Gave up a quick foul and a bucket and missed a chip and then he missed probably 3 or 4 in the paint that he normally makes. Well, who cares. Get on to the next play. Things happen, and you have to be able to move on. There are a lot of moving points that are happening pretty quickly in this game with our pick-and-roll coverage and then going back to a very capable big that can score. I’m not concerned about Bam. He’ll process all of this and be better the next time.
     
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  6. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    JUSTISE WINSLOW

    On the game:

    “No, I just kept playing, I kept fighting. The whole team, we kept believing, it wasn’t going our way but we stuck with it and unfortunately our run was in the fourth quarter and wasn’t in the second or third quarter but it’s a game of runs and that’s just how it goes.”


    On the challenges they faced:“I think some of their complementary pairs made some big plays down the stretch. [Damian] Lillard did a good job of distributing, [Jusuf] Nurkic found the open man and [Al-Farouq] Aminu and them hit some big shots. They’re a tough team and third in the West for a reason so hats off to them.”


    On matching his career high in rebounds:

    “Defensively we try to end each possession with a rebound and so guys were out there battling. I think Nurkic was killing us, so early on I just had the mentality to try and go get as many rebounds as possible and get out and run. Goran [Dragic] did a good job at running with that first unit so I knew he’d be open if we could get some stops and get some rebounds so no matter who’s out there on the floor, for us, I’m going to try to do my job and get as many rebounds as possible and they were just falling my way.”



    TYLER JOHNSON

    On if the team looks at the standings daily with the playoff race so close:

    “We’re not looking at the standings everyday, there’s still a lot of basketball to be played. If you start obsessing over that, it kind of brings something a little different, an outside stimuli, into the locker room when there’s so many things that you’ve got to worry about during an NBA season that when you start checking that, then you’re just worried about another thing so I think our biggest thing is to just take it game by game. I think there’s what, 15 left, 14 left? 14 left so we have Sacramento and all we can do is learn from this one, go to Sac and take care of business there then go to LA, take care of business there and then how many more road games do we have after that? 4 more after that so I mean defend home court so I don’t think it’s that much more work.”


    On facing Sacramento:

    “That’s been one of the things that we’ve kind of struggled with is the young, athletic teams. The Lakers came in and did kind of a similar the Kings did so all that we can do is learn from what happened tonight, which wasn’t necessarily the same problems that we’ve been having on the road, which is transition defense but all we can do is learn from tonight and go up to Sac and get a win.”



    GORAN DRAGIC

    On the difference tonight:

    “Intensity defensively. I think they were the more physical team on the floor and they’re making plays.”


    On the hardest part of trying to fight back from their deficit:

    “Dame, he makes great reads of blitzes. He feeds Nurkic and he’s a big body to take advantage of that. He scored some easy baskets under it and then we blitz a couple of times and there’s a miscommunication, then there’s those threes. It’s like a domino, you know? You hit one and then everything goes wrong.”
     
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  7. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    WOW!
     
  8. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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  9. DollaBel

    DollaBel Active Member

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    Everything Dame said about Nurk making a concentrated effort at finishing at the rim more physically instead of floating up those shots was really encouraging. Then Nurkic came in and ruined it saying he has no idea whats changed and that hes doing nothing different. :biglaugh:
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  10. KingSpeed

    KingSpeed Veteran

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    hahahaha I thought the same thing! Nurk doesn't know he was dunking instead of throwing it at the hoop?
     
  11. stampedehero

    stampedehero Play On>>>/ SRV

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    When the Heat and our team were plodding through the fourth quarter and they were within single digits in the 90's, I felt like we got this and we shouldn't have any anxiety to close the game out. It just felt Positive------- lotus.gif
     
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  12. KingSpeed

    KingSpeed Veteran

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    Well it was so obvious that all we had to do was put Dame in to hit a couple threes. He did that and we won.
     
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  13. Lanny

    Lanny Original Season Ticket Holder

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    Dragic looked good. Wish we could have gotten him.
     

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