photo via oregonlive.com
Another disappointing loss was handed to Portland Sunday night by the hands of the Golden State Warriors, who rallied late in the game and were able to beat the Blazers by one point. Every Blazer fan watching the game felt the wind immediately leave their sails at the sound of the horn, and to the locker room went the disappointed team, many of whom had their heads hanging below their shoulders.
What exactly the issue is is not clear. They just came off of a long losing streak, before cracking it with a win over New Orleans, and against Golden State they showed a promise of making a strong comeback as they try to reclaim a top four playoff seed, but alas, Curry and company were able to douse the spark before it turned into a flame.
The good news is that we know now that personnel is not the issue. This team is solid, the right pieces are there to make a deep playoff run. They do, however, clearly have an issue with keeping a lead, and finishing strong. Watching this team is like watching a sprinter in a cross country race; They get out to a strong start, and then just sputter in the end, allowing their opponent(s) to catch up and eventually beat them.
While it is the job of Terry Stotts to find the missing link and fix it, it is the responsibility of the players to dig deep within themselves to find the extra juice needed to close out games. They playoffs are rapidly approaching. If they don’t want to get bounced in the first round, the Blazers need to find the right patch for this hole that has been discovered.