In Game 1 of the Grizzlies-Blazers series, Memphis rolled to a fairly easy 100-86 victory over a hobbled Portland team. Marc Gasol filled up the box score with 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while playing his usual stellar defense. Gasol is the hub of the Grizzlies’ on both sides of the floor, directing traffic in the lane, constantly communicating on defense, passing out of the high post; he is the Grizzlies’ lynchpin.
However, the Blazers appear to have little respect for their Spanish counterpart. The Oregonian reports that a laminated sign inside the Blazers locker room reads “We don’t lose to Spanish players”:
The Blazers have a laminated motivational card affixed to the television monitor in the visiting locker room. It’s titled, “We are Rip City.” It lists all the ways in which the No. 4 seed Blazers will find a way to win this series against the No. 5 Grizzlies. It begins with “We will be tougher,” and ends with, “Staying together through adversity.” But the middle part is what has to alarm anyone following this matchup closely.
Because that middle section included such oddities as, “We don’t lose to Spanish players,” and “Nobody can beat us eight times in one year.” Also, it includes a vow to, “Win the dog fight,” and, “We will play as a team and outwork Memphis each and every night.” Also, “We are better when we come to play,” and a promise to be, “(Expletives) on defense.”
Instead, Portland was mostly a sloppy pushover.
Also, the Blazers just lost their fifth straight to Marc Gasol (See: Spanish player).
Ironically enough, the Trail Blazers have lost eight games this year to Spanish players Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio. The battle-cry is even more odd when you consider Portland recently had two Spanish players, Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver, on their roster.
The Blazers trail 1-0 in the series and are without Wes Matthews and Arron Afflalo, the latter of whom could be coming back in Game 2. Even if Afflalo, there are likely more losses to Spanish players in the near future.