Postgame quotes: Nuggets-Blazers
BLAZERS POST GAME QUOTES
Friday, Dec. 25, 2009 – Final Score: Portland 107, Denver 96
COACH NATE McMILLAN
“This team is playing basketball the right way, they’re playing together, and they’re playing 48 minutes. Tonight, 26 assists by these guys and defensively we tightened up…. We ran a lot of schemes early and felt that we wanted to go back to keeping Carmelo in front of us but I thought it was enough to just keep him guessing as far as defensively what we wanted to do. We had to clean up our rebounding – they really pounded us the first half on the boards and we’re much smaller without our centers. I thought our guys tonight did a good job of coming back and helping on the boards in the second half. Offensively, I thought we did a better job in the second half moving the ball. Brandon was hot but we didn’t have the ball movement that first half. We got it moving in the second half and it opened up some offense for Bayless and Blake and those guys.”
“I thought Bayless made some mature plays late. When they tried to trap him, he got it to Howard and Howard was able to make the right plays.”
“Brandon – he wanted this game. He really did. We knew when we got back that he was going to play and he came out tonight, he was aggressive, he looked fresh, and we just played off of him.
“I thought he did a great job of just reading and getting to the open spot. Denver does a lot of zoning. They trap and they zone and you’ve got to move but you’ve got to move the ball also. Tonight, late in that fourth quarter – 33 point fourth quarter- you don’t get that if you don’t have good ball movement. I thought Bayless and Roy, those guys who were playing with the ball did a nice job of giving up the ball. Blake got himself open and when he’s spreading the floor like that and knocking down his shots, it just opens up our offense.”
“I think Howard has really stepped up and kind of been that veteran leadership that we need. He’s not allowing these guys to give in to all the adversity that we’ve been facing. He’s playing good basketball. Our guys are feeding off of that. Bayless stepped in and has really given us a lift coming off the bench as well as starting. The rest of the team is just playing good basketball. Now we’re starting to see guys play up to their potential. Brandon is playing at his level. Jeff, we needed another body and a big body. He’s given us some good minutes. Miller got off to a good start tonight. We’ve got guys playing well and we’re going to need that.”
“My shot felt good. Teammates were finding me and I was able to make some shots.”
“This whole past week has felt great. Everyone is playing well and we’re doing the things we have to do to win. We’re just playing good basketball.”
“They’re one of the better teams in the NBA so it makes a good statement about our team. Now we have to follow it up with another performance.
“He looked like he was really focused out there. HE was playing great and looked really smooth the way he was getting people involved and making shots himself. He was great for us.”
“I got the news that my shoulder was okay, it was just strained. I said I’m going to go out there and try to play if I cant hurt it further. I just wanted to be there for the guys. They stepped up huge in San Antonio and I just wanted to be out there with them. Tonight was a chance for me to go out there and just help them get through this game a little bit.”
“It was Christmas day… I felt like I didn’t prepare the team last year – when we came out, we enjoyed the day a little too much. Today I was focused all day long and I wanted to come out and play well tonight. The guys did a good job of staying ready and we got a huge win. It was Christmas and we enjoyed it but this was a division game that we really needed. I wanted to be focused and the guys did a great job of staying ready.”
“My message to this team and coaches is just let’s give ourselves a chance every night. That’s why we still play these games, because anyone can win them. We have every opportunity to put our head down, but doing that won’t help us so let’s go out there and play hard and play loose. Let’s have fun and we’re doing that right now and we’re doing a great job of beating some good teams.”