From coach Nate McMillan's perspective he put the players on the court he thought gave his team the best chance to win. Since coming back from knee surgery Brandon has struggled with his consistency and his confidence. Truth be told he looked a bit shaky out there in game one. As a coach it is Nate's job to make tough decisions that may not be popular and may hurt some feelings. In his estimation Brandon wasn't able to compete at the level the Blazers needed to win.
From Brandon's perspective it's the playoffs and he wants to leave it all on the court. He's carried the Portland franchise for years and even though he's lost a step or two he can still contribute in a positive manner. There's no way to tell if he's going to be a "liability" if he doesn't get the chance and opportunity to prove himself. It's inexcusable to have an all star capable of scoring 30 points in a game sitting on the bench for fear he may not be able to perform. In Brandon's mind he's earned the benefit of the doubt.
I'm pulling for Brandon. As a Seattle native I root for all the 206 guys, but especially Brandon. He's taken the leadership role to heart and wants to win more than anything. My guess is coach McMillan will increase his minutes in game three. Let's hope Brandon seizes the time.