Interview: McMillan, Miller reflect on loss to Mavericks

Transcripts of interviews with Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and guard Andre Miller conducted Saturday at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin, Ore.

McMillan on the issues he saw when reflecting on the Blazers’ offense during Friday’s loss to Dallas:

Spacing and reacting to double teams. Our execution wasn’t good. We allowed that team to trap us, and we didn’t get ourselves to the open spot, and they basically just loaded up on the ball — which is what you’re going to see. You’re going to see that; we’ve seen it a lot this year, where teams are just loading up on Brandon (Roy) or LaMarcus (Aldridge) and forcing other guys to make shots. And when that happens, it’s gotta be like clockwork — there are spots you’ve got to get to. Brandon’s got to move the ball, and you’ve got to knock down those shots.

On Roy’s postgame comments that it felt like Dallas knew exactly what was coming, and that the situation was similar to last season’s playoff series against Houston:

They do. You’re not going to surprise teams now. Nobody’s going to be tricked now. You’ve all year to learn their sets; you’ve probably played them four times. You’re going to add some things, some new things. But when you play a team four times — you’ve got to beat them four times — if they don’t know by the first or second game, they will know by game four. So, you’re not going to surprise. What you have got to be able to do is react to what teams are doing. The game becomes simple in the playoffs. You’re going to get it to your best guy. If they double team, you get to the spots, make your shots; if they don’t, your best player gotta make plays.

Miller on the loss to the Mavericks:

You try to say it’s a regular-season game, but everybody said it’s a playoff atmosphere. It’s just a game that both teams needed. I thought we did all right, we just didn’t make plays at the right time.

On whether Portland was taken out of its game:

I think we just got caught standing around a little bit too much. Some one-on-one a little bit. We did try to get the ball to the basket and try to get to the free-throw line; we just didn’t get those opportunities as much as we could’ve.

On it being difficult to succeed when opponents heavily double team Roy, and several other Blazers don’t hit open shots:

It was the same with both teams. (Dallas’) Dirk (Nowitzki) is really the only one who shot the ball well and was aggressive to the free-throw line. So, it happened both sides. It was a game where both forwards controlled the game. It was just that they got to the free-throw line more than us.

On whether the Blazers’ matched Dallas’ intensity in a playoff-like atmosphere:

I’ve been to the playoffs before, know what I’m saying? The playoffs that I’ve been in, they say that the game get a little bit more physical, but it’s really not. It’s just the intensity and the crowd — the atmosphere of being in the playoffs. … It’s still basketball. But as far as the refs letting you play and the game being more physical, I don’t really see a big difference.

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