Portland Trailblazers Coach: “We’ve Got to Close It Out”

Portland was in prime position to steal Home Court Advantage in Game 2 of its series against Golden State, but an awful fourth quarter doomed the Blazers. Terry Stotts, head coach of Portand, had this to say at his press conference.

Q. Do you feel like you guys missed a big opportunity in this game?
TERRY STOTTS: Well, yes and no. I mean, we played three really good quarters, and we showed that we can compete with them, and it got away from us in the fourth quarter, obviously. It was disappointing to lose a game that you’re competitive and you’re in a position to be in the fourth quarter. But we’ve got to close it out.

You know, it was an opportunity to get a win on the road, and we’ve got to learn from it and be ready to go get one in Game 3.

Q. What did you see from the Warriors defense in that fourth quarter particularly on Lillard?
TERRY STOTTS: They got more aggressive. They got more aggressive on the pick-and-rolls, both pick-and-rolls with Damian and C.J. Ezeli came in and had an impact on the game at both ends of the court. Because we didn’t get stops, we couldn’t play in transition, and as I said, they got into us not only on pick-and-rolls. But just they’re much more aggressive.

Q. You shuffled the defensive assignments. What was the rationale and if you like what you saw?
TERRY STOTTS: Yeah, I thought we made Thompson work for his shots. I thought Mo did a nice job of staying with them and contesting and trying to make it a little more difficult for them and Gerald when he was on him and even C.J. in the second half. He had 27, but certainly we did a better job on him tonight than we did in Game 1.

Q. How much confidence is still in that locker room? You guys have been in this situation before, down 0-2 and come back.
TERRY STOTTS: I think we have a lot of confidence going back to Moda Center. I think the fans are going to be great. We can get a little momentum on how we played in Game 2. You know, Game 3 is pivotal, obviously.

We did a nice job with the Clippers. We won Game 3, and with a toughness with the home court, and we’re going to need that same approach on Saturday.

Q. Could you talk about the difference between Game 1 and Game 2?
TERRY STOTTS: Obviously, the first quarter is the biggest difference between Game 1 and Game 2. We came out and were very aggressive at both ends of the court. We play with confidence. You know, Game 1 we were out of it and down 20 in the first quarter. So I think the way we came out and played in the first quarter put ourselves in a position to continue that throughout the rest of the game.

Q. This is going to be a longer gap than usual between games, between games 2 and 3. What affect, if any, do you think that will have on your team?
TERRY STOTTS: I think both teams will take tomorrow and rest a little bit. You know, we’ve been going at it for a while, and I think Thursday and Friday will be good for us. We can look for some things and see where we can get better. I’m sure it’s going to be the same for Golden State.

But the rest will certainly do us some good. Golden State’s been resting for a while. So, that going into our home court should be pretty good for us.