The Los Angeles Lakers surprisingly lost Game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, which made some analysts write them off as title contenders.
But, for the Lakers players the defeat was of no concern, says Jared Dudley. It was followed by Los Angeles winning four games in a row to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
Per Silver Screen & Roll:
What was the mood of the team when the Lakers went down 0-1 against the Blazers? Any concerns at all?
No, because if you saw what happened we had so many wide open shots that we missed. It wasn’t like they had good defense. We were wide open. We shot bad from the field, three-point line, and free-throw line. They shot a crazy amount of free throws and we still had a chance to win. That’s not happening four times. We’re not shooting that bad again. Plus, their depth—their minutes were so high. For us it was, let’s just take away the easy threes, the fouls off three pointers, and make these role players have to make shots, and they’re not gonna make enough twos to beat us. And that’s what ended up happening. So there was no panic. It was about being more disciplined with what we had to do. Everyone was cool, calm, collected. Nobody was losing sleep. We knew what had to be done.
Dudley also thinks that the Houston Rockets would be a tougher opponent than the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round.