Postgame quotes and notes: Blazers 118, Knicks 90
Official postgame quotes and notes following the Portland Trail Blazers’ playoff-clinching 118-90 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday evening at the Rose Garden.
BLAZERS POST GAME QUOTES
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 – Final Score: Portland 118, New York 90
COACH NATE McMILLAN
On clinching playoffs
“I think it’s a great accomplishment to have the opportunity to play postseason basketball. That’s what it’s all about. At the beginning of the year, losing so many guys, we knew it was going to be tough and it was going to be a challenge, but it remained our goal to get here. Now we get that opportunity again. This is what it’s all about. This is what we play for. We still have games remaining that we’re going to focus on and tomorrow, as far as we’re concerned, is still and important game against Denver. We want to continue to work, win games, and see if we can move up. We’ve been able to clinch and now let’s see if we can move up and continue playing good basketball.”
“This is just the first step in the goals that we set at the beginning of the season. Things were looking a little shaky early because of so many injuries but I really believe if you play this game the right way, which these guys have done, you stick together, which they’ve done, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win. They did. We had to have guys to step up and raise their level of play at different times – from Andre to Brandon to LaMarcus – these guys who are in our normal rotation. And then our young guys – Bayless and Nicolas and Dante and Jeff – all had to step in and be productive and they were. We gave ourselves a chance to be in this position.”
On tonight’s game
“Tonight’s game was a mental game. It was a mental challenge in the sense that New York, record-wise, they hadn’t been winning games and they’ve lost a number of games. For us, mentally, we need to come out and be about business. I thought the guys took that approach. They came out right from the start. That first unit jumped right on them, executed on both ends of the floor. I told our guys you should play three quarters tonight. That was pretty much the gameplan – get three quarters in, get some rest, and get out of here and get to Denver. They were able to do that.”
“Business approach tonight.”
“Even with all the adversity we faced, our goal was always to try to make the playoffs. To finally hear that we clinched is great, but we want to do more. I felt we played great basketball down the stretch of last season and we’re doing the same thing now. The important thing is just, when we get to that first game, we’ve got to do a good job of putting the season behind us and getting ready for the playoffs. Right now, we’re just trying to get as hot as we can then see what happens.”
“We’re playing good basketball now. We finished so strong last year, it’s hard to say ‘we learned from last year.’ We finished really strong so the biggest thing is try to get as hot as we can in the standings. Once the regular season is over with, we know that it is a new season and we can’t say we’ve won a certain amount of games, it feels good. No, we’ve got to say it’s a new year and try to go as far as we can.”
“Even with all the injuries, we felt like making the playoffs was our goal. Coach came in and said congratulations, you guys clinched and then it was kinda like ‘alright, we’ve got Denver tomorrow. Let’s try to go in there and get a good win.’”
“There were a lot of moments [this season] where we could have put our heads down but guys just stayed positive and coach always kept reminding us that we make the playoffs last year and this is something we want to continue to do each season. We made the deal to get Camby and it’s paying off well for us. We’re playing really good basketball. It feels good to have clinched but again, we’ve got to try to get as hot as we can.”
On getting easy win before heading to Denver:
“It feels good. It looked easy out there but no victory is easy. We did have a chance to rest some guys up and get ready for a well-rested Denver team and also in that altitude. I don’t know how much success Portland has had in Denver. I know they’re a tough opponent, especially with that home crowd that they have down there which I know so well.”
KNICKS POST GAME QUOTES
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 – Final Score: Portland 118, New York 90
COACH MIKE D’ANTONI
“We played against a really good team longer than we are and I just don’t think we moved the ball at all to start the game and had no energy on both ends of the floor and when you do that against a really good team who is trying to solidify everything that they do for the playoffs, there are going to be nights like this, but I don’t think we came out and had the kind of fight like we had in Utah, this is kind of like we did with Phoenix and hopefully we’ll do better the next game.”
“Some of them tried to battle, and it’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take us playing full out and still might not win but we need to play with a reckless abandon on both ends of the floor and see what happens. But if we come out like we did tonight; soft on defense and not moving the ball then we have no shot…We didn’t guard a whole lot of people but they are good. They made good shots and then we didn’t, but it carries over, when you don’t have energy on the offensive end it you don’t have it on the defensive it, and we didn’t switch, we didn’t talk, and we kind of just looked around and there were balls we didn’t go after, it just wasn’t a good effort.”
ON END OF SEASON
“Hopefully we’ll be back against Golden State…We just have to fight and see what happens.”
“Having that time off for a year and half and coming back from micro fracture surgery is not an easy task but I’m making progression…I’ve made drastic change to how I feel on the basketball court.”
“For me it’s great, this is my second home for me, I had a pretty good time here, and the fans were amazing to me while I was here. I really appreciate how they received me today and how they were for the three years I was here.”
“They played great but we also played bad. When we are playing bad we don’t have nothing to lose, so we have to bring a sense of urgency and try to play better the next game.”
Portland 118, New York 90
March 31, 2010
— Tonight marked the 109th straight Trail Blazers sellout at the Rose Garden (including playoffs), dating back to Dec. 21, 2007.
— With tonight’s win and losses by Houston and Memphis, the Trail Blazers have clinched a spot in the 2010 Western Conference Playoffs … Portland will compete in the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2002-03 … Their 28 playoff berths are tied for third-most in the NBA since the Trail Blazers joined the league in 1970-71.
— The Trail Blazers have completed the month of March with an 11-2 record, the second-best mark (by percentage) in March in team history (13-2, 1996-97) … Portland is 22-7 in March over the past two seasons.
— Portland has now won nine of its last 10 games for the first time this season and 12 of the last 14 to improve to 46-29, a season-high 17 games above .500 … The Trail Blazers are only two games behind their 75-game pace from 2008-09 (48-27).
— Portland won its sixth straight home game tonight, tied for its longest home winning streak this season (six, Nov. 6-25) … The Trail Blazers allowed fewer than 100 points for the 13th straight game at the Rose Garden.
— The Trail Blazers have won three straight meetings with the Knicks at the Rose Garden and nine of the past 10.
— The 28-point margin of victory ties for Portland’s largest win of the season (106-78 vs. Minnesota, Nov. 21) … Portland’s 27-point lead at halftime (65-38) is its largest lead at the break this season … The 66 first-half points are one shy of a season high in scoring for any half … Portland’s 95 points through three quarters are two shy of a season best, 97 vs. Milwaukee on Jan. 13.
— The Trail Blazers are now 15-5 after the All-Star break, the fifth-best record after the break in the NBA this season … Portland’s 22-8 second half last season marked a franchise best (by percentage).
— Portland improved to 13-2 with its starting lineup of Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Brandon Roy and Andre Miller, including a 6-0 mark at home … The 15 games are the most of any starting unit this season for Portland.
— The Trail Blazers have now won each of their last 12 games against sub-.500 competition, dating back to Jan. 18 in Washington … Portland is 25-7 overall in games vs. teams below .500.
— Portland has not turned the ball over more than 12 times in any of the past eight games … The Trail Blazers have now forced their opponents into more than 10 turnovers in 22 consecutive games.
— The Trail Blazers have now recorded at least as many steals as their opponents in 19 of the last 21 games, gaining a 173-97 advantage in the category in that span.
— Portland won tonight by 19 points or more for the ninth time this season … The Trail Blazers have only lost by that margin once this year, a 96-76 defeat vs. Boston on Feb. 19.
— The Trail Blazers never trailed in tonight’s game, winning wire-to-wire for the seventh time this season.
— Portland limited an opponent to fewer than 100 points for the 53rd time this year (40-13), the most by any team in the Western Conference.
— The Trail Blazers improved to 15-1 this season when scoring at least 30 points in the first quarter, including 14 straight wins dating back to Nov. 20 at Golden State … Portland has outscored its opponents in the first quarter in eight straight games.
— Tonight marked Portland’s final game against the East this season as the Trail Blazers finish with a 17-13 nonconference record … Portland posted a 22-8 nonconference mark last year, the West’s best record against the East.
— The Trail Blazers’ 50 field goals and 95 field goal attempts tonight marked season highs.
— Portland held a 39-16 rebounding edge (14-2 offensive) at the end of three quarters before finishing with a 50-30 advantage.
— Nicolas Batum scored 20-plus points for the fourth time this season and fifth time in his career.
— Martell Webster’s 14 points are his most since a career-high tying 28 points Feb. 16 vs. L.A. Clippers.
— David Lee posted his 30th 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season and 48th double-double this year.