Canzano on Game 2: Blazers let it slip, will they hear Durant’s mocking?

Damian Lillard Game Two Getty
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After a tough 114-111 loss in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals, the Blazers find themselves trailing the best-of-seven series 2-games-to-none to the Golden State Warriors.

Yes, they’re the two-time defending champions.  Yes, they’re in their fifth straight conference finals.  Yes, they have the most dynamic shooting backcourt in the history of the league.  But the Blazers were right there.  They were Right.  There.

But the Warriors erased a 15-point halftime deficit in a flurry, and in Steve Kerr’s words, “stole” a Game Two victory from Portland.

Our own John Canzano was at Oracle Arena, and wrote his thoughts in his post game column for Oregon Live {Read the entire column here}:

“We stole that game,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

No coach, your team won it. It made the plays, take the win. Even as Portland blew a 15-point halftime lead, and an eight-point fourth quarter lead, and missed a pile of shots, more than anything Golden State seized that victory.

That’s what world champions do.

Canzano brought attention to the clip that was captured in the tunnel after the game that showed the injured Kevin Durant congratulating his teammates on the comeback win by chiding the Blazers, saying, “Finals?…They don’t want to go there.”

Was Durant talking about the Blazers? If so, it’s a lie. Portland really does want to go there. Badly. It wants to beat the Warriors in this series, get to the NBA Finals and break a 40-plus year title drought.

It just doesn’t have the map. Also, it happens to be playing a team that is loaded and has won three championships in four seasons.

That’s why I hope the Blazers took notes, and will watch film, and lose sleep. Also, it’s why I hope they heard what Durant said after it was over. Because what Portland really got on Thursday was a lesson about how to close out a playoff game put on by the greatest team on the planet at doing so.

 

Still, even down 2-0, the series is coming back to Portland and Canzano says the Blazers still have a chance:

This series isn’t over. Not just yet. Portland plays its best basketball with a chip on the shoulder. Also, it demonstrated in the loss that it could play close with the Warriors in the playoffs on their home court.

Maybe there was something learned.

Game Three is Saturday night at Moda Center.

Tune in for more of Canzano’s thoughts on The Bald Faced Truth weekdays at Noon on 1029/750 The Game and 1029TheGame.com.

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