PORTLAND — After their longest stretch of sustained success, the Blazers ended a stretch of six consecutive home games on a sour note.
The Blazers became the talk of the league during that stretch. They found themselves, becoming something better than any thought possible, but now is time to see if the Blazers can take that show on the road.
“We won 10 out of 12 games, we have to stay of the same mindset,” Damian Lillard said. “We got to know that it’s going to take a lot to win on the road against good teams and get it done. We have to go out there and be road warriors.”
And the Blazers won’t so quickly put their nationally televised failure against the Rockets behind them, because forgetting about it isn’t going to fix it.
“We can’t put it in the rearview mirror because it’s something we need to grow from,” Lillard said. “We need to see what happened out there. A lot of guys that were out there we feel it. A lot of guys that weren’t playing the game they watched it. They know. They know we need to address it. Just because we can’t be comfortable with what we’ve done over the last 15 games.”
“Everybody knows man, you have to let it go,” Moe Harkless said. “You can’t hold on for too long. You got to learn from it. It’s frustrating but you have to move on.”
The trip begins on Saturday in Chicago against a Bulls team that’s been juggling a bad fit all year between their new head coach Fred Hoiberg, their roster and have also been hit by a host of injuries.
The latest injury to Jimmy Butler has weakened them the most. But the Bulls are also dealing with injuries Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, although they did get reinforcements in Mike Dunleavy.
Just as the Blazers have found their recipe for success, they still know themselves well enough to know that their past success won’t help them even in the favorable match-ups on this trip.
“Stay hungry,” Harkless said when asked what keys to this trip would be. “Just come out and play hard and play harder than the other team. We can’t lose any games for not playing as hard as the other team did.”