Thunder Gets The Lakers
Now that Portland has officially avoided a first-round meeting with the L.A. Lakers, Blazers coach Nate McMillian said after his team’s 103-95 win over Oklahoma City on Monday night what Thunder players and coaches are in no position to admit.
“The defending champions, you don’t really want to face those guys in the first round,” McMillan said. “Even though they have lost some games, you know they are going to get their stuff together. So you try to take your chances somewhere else.”
Because it lost four of its past five games, sliding from sixth to eighth in a matter of days, the Thunder is now forced to try its hand at the defending champs. And players and coaches are saying all the right things.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We’re playing the best team in the NBA, the defending champs, the best player, one of the greatest coaches of all time in all sports. It’s a great opportunity for our guys to go out there and compete. We feel that if we compete and we leave everything on the floor like we’ve done every game up until this point, you have nothing to be ashamed of. But playing against one of the best teams and, like I said, the best player, it’s a good opportunity for us to go out there and show the improvement we’ve made as a team.”
Nick Collison might have said it best.
“We’ll have to play our best basketball,” he said. “You know, you’ve got to run into everybody at some point.”
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