Having just played two tough games against Western Conference contenders Oklahoma City and Houston, the Trail Blazers would seem to be stepping down in competition Monday night when they play host to the New York Knicks in Portland.
That's not the way the Blazers say they are looking at it, however.
"We won't overlook (the Knicks)," Portland point guard Damian Lillard said. "We're not one of those teams that can afford to do that. We have to be a certain way mentally. We have to play a certain way on the floor to win games.
"We don't have a luxury of a Kevin Durant or Steph Curry. We can't just hit a switch. We have to be prepared for that game. That's how we've been able to be successful, with that type of approach."
The Knicks will be coming to Portland off of two days of rest after an exhilarating 119-112 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles, snapping an eight-game losing streak. New York had dropped 13 of its previous 14 outings. Afterward, they celebrated hard, even if the Lakers were without LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo, all sidelined with injuries.
"When we win, we celebrate like it's the Super Bowl," coach David Fizdale said. "Why not half?" >> Read more