raymond felton

Raymond Felton can’t shoot. Gerald Wallace isn’t consistent. LaMarcus Aldridge is fading down the stretch. Jamal Crawford has tied his mind into a pretzel. And Marcus Camby is injured.

But the Trail Blazers’ biggest problem?

They are too nice.

The players said so Wednesday night after the Blazers lost 92-89 in Atlanta, their fourth loss in five games.

That character flaw was addressed, some players said, during a players-only meeting following the game. It was organized before coach Nate McMillan came into the dressing area of the locker room and aired his disappointment about the team’s effort. When the coach left out a side door to address the media, where he told the cameras and microphones that “we’ve got to play harder,” the players turned their chairs to face each other. LaMarcus Aldridge then informed a Blazers spokesperson to keep the media out.

Players-only meetings are common throughout sports for struggling teams. The Blazers had one last season during their winless four-game trip in early December. The benefits are debatable. Usually it’s to air grievances about a coach, or the attitude of a certain clique, or to just generally gripe.

– Reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian

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