Sorry to be a voice of objectivity but it is probably best Portland lost to the Boston Celtics on Friday night. They won’t forget that loss. In fact, it will make the Blazers that much stronger as the season grows older – as the team grows older together.
We are, after all, talking about the Boston Celtics. The NBA Champs. Going into their building and beating them on national television is as difficult as trying to beat the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night at the Staples Center under the bright lights.
Wait a minute.
No doubt about it: these were growing pains. This is a level Portland is trying to reach – a peak already reached by Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. But even by standing on their tip-toes thanks to an impressive six-game-win streak, this was a night where Brandon Roy couldn’t save the day. A night when Greg Oden reached and the Celtics teached. A night when Rudy Fernandez couldn’t hit a three. A night where the Blazers seemed allergic to rebounds. A night where a combined 30 points in the second and third quarter didn’t cut it. A night that Portland will eventually look back on knowing they learned a lot from a big loss in Beantown.
The good news – Sunday is another game.
Toronto – after firing their head coach Sam Mitchell on Thursday and being trounced by the Utah Jazz on Friday night – is a team Portland should beat, even on the Raptors floor. It’s not the loss against Boston they have to worry about now. It’s coming out with a hangover in Toronto. If and how they bounce back will speak volumes about the Blazers.
If not….it could be more tough love.
pic via: nba.com