I felt terrible, I mean, so bad for what I had just done. Actually, I guess it was for what I hadn’t done-dunked the freaking ball. Seriously man, I was right there with an open path to the hoop and I blew it. I made an idiot out of myself in front of thousands of people.
I felt terrible, I mean, so bad for what I had just done. Actually, I guess it was for what I hadn’t done-dunked the freaking ball. Seriously man, I was right there with an open path to the hoop and I blew it. I made an idiot out of myself in front of thousands of people. I feel so bad. I am so ashamed.
I guess you could say I was caught up in the moment. I received the ball near the three-point arc, put a quick side-step move on Amare Stoudemire and blasted towards the hoop. Amare was at least a step behind me. And, I know he is a great defender, but he really didn’t alter my shot or make me think twice. I just couldn’t decide if I wanted to finger-roll it in or throw it down, so I sort of went in the middle. I let it go softly, hoping for the best, but it clanked on the rim and bounced out.
After the miss, I can’t really explain how I felt, but it hurt. It was a feeling I had never felt before, like a mix between shock and anger. I was so mad at myself, so disappointed because I had an opportunity to win the game for us, and I messed up.
The biggest problem for me was that I had to face my teammates and the coaches. I knew, they knew and coach McMillan knew that I might have lost a game where we made a huge comeback with my stupid shot.
I still had hope for overtime, but it was all my fault if we couldn’t pull through.
It is safe to say Travis Outlaw lost plenty of sleep Tuesday night. The Blazers’ athletic specimen and hands-down best dunker most likely laid sprawled out in his bed, tossing and turning all night long while the replay of his finger-roll blunder with 1.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter continuously ran through his mind.
After his finesse layup was rejected by the rim and every Blazers’ fan in attendance, Outlaw and his teammates were forced to battle Phoenix for another five minutes.
From the outset of overtime, the Blazers appeared to be caught up with how regulation concluded. Portland looked tired, sluggish and simply uninterested, not putting any points on the board until OT was nearly halfway over. On the other hand, the Suns sizzled like a summer day in the Phoenix desert, jumping out to a five-point lead behind Stoudemire’s inspiring play.
With Portland lying motionless on the ground, Leandro Barbosa provided the kill shot. Barbosa knocked down two huge three-pointers with less than two minutes on the clock, taking the air out of the Blazers and sending the fans home confused and disappointed after a 107-102 overtime loss.
The defeat certainly stings a bit, as McMillan mentioned following the game. But for Portland what stings the most is that a comeback against a premier squad and key performances by Zach Randolph and Brandon Roy were lost as soon as the ball left Outlaw’s fingers.
At this point in the season, the Blazers aren’t playing for wins and losses. Instead, Portland is playing to regain the fan base and instill some confidence in their young stars. They had a chance to make healthy progress on both fronts Tuesday night, making the devastating loss especially frustrating.
Randolph had his typical double-double outing with a little more on the side, hitting big shot after big shot in the fourth quarter on his way 33 points and grabbing 10 boards. Roy, who was honored as rookie of the month for January before the game, continued his impressive antics to the tune of 27 points, five assists and three rebounds.
With stellar performances from their two brightest stars and nearly flawless play down the stretch, it really looked like Portland was ready to knock off an elite team. But, in the end, the Blazers’ youth reared its ugly head again and this time it was Outlaw who walked away the villain. Fans should take solace in the fact that two years down the road Portland is going to complete their epic comebacks and prove doubters wrong. For now we will just have to wait.