Diagnosing what is wrong with Portland
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  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 03/13/2012 10:44 PM

    *Note I did not want to write this but with tonight's game the Blazers left me no choice.

    There are so many things wrong with this team so I will try to stay organized. 
    I will start with the biggest issue this team is soft. If you do not believe me then you obviously have not been paying attention. For example, how does a team shoot 38 free throws and lose by 17? LA has reverted to the old jump shooter he was and that is not acceptable. He needs to score on the block and he needs to get to the free throw line. Yet, game in and game out he continues to fade away from contact. Draw the foul LA, you are not Blake Griffin, or Dwight Howard from the FT line, so what is the problem. 

    Nicolas Batum is soft, sure, he has some moments where he plays hard and is aggressive but it is on a rare occasion. His season high for rebounds is nine and he reached eight on 3 occasions. The guy is an excellent athlete and stands 6’8” yet he cannot reach 10 rebounds in a single game.  He is clearly capable of reaching 10 as he accomplished that feat six times last season but the effort is just not there. He could learn a thing or two from Paul George about tenacity.

    I will not bother going through every player because LA and Batum are arguably our best players and as they good so does the team. Instead, I will focus from here on team weaknesses. The most glaring weakness on this team is team defense. No one is willing to fit through screens so Nate switches almost every time on pick and roll leaving Portland facing matchup problems routinely. In addition to this, the matchup problems lead to either easy buckets or double teams. The Blazers are incapable of successfully double-teaming a hot scorer because there defensive rotations are terrible. If Portland doubles in the post, you can almost guarantee someone will get an open three point shot attempt. Additionally, the Blazers poor rotations lead to numerous offensive rebounds for their opposition. Just look at what happened when Camby, or Przybilla had to help off of Hibbert tonight no one boxed out Hibbert and the Pacers got 3 easy layups. Nate is a defensive guy with good defenders so something is not right here. Looking at the roster I am having a hard time figuring out why, Felton once considered one of NBA’s better defensive PG’s plays with Matthews and Batum both good defenders to form a solid defensive back court. Gerald Wallace is a former NBA second team defensive player. LA’s not considered a great defender but he is athletic and is capable of blocking shots and Camby is a former Defensive player of the year. In addition to that, Pryzbilla had made his career from the defensive side of the ball. Despite all these good defenders, Portland does not play solid team defense. I just cannot figure it out.

    Looking at the advanced statistics does not help because Portland ranks in the top 10 in PER, EFF, AWS, WS, TOR, TS%, and OffEff. They are #17 is TRR and even worse in ORR but that is not enough to explain this teams struggles. I assumed pace was an issue but Portland has is ranked 11th in overall pace. However, if you switch to some more traditional stats you can begin to see Portland’s issue. They rank in the bottom half of the NBA in 3pt% and free throw attempts per game. In addition, they are ranked 19th in free throw attempts allowed. So essentially the only thing I could find to suggest why Portland is playing so poorly is they shoot too many three points and foul too much.

    Portland clearly is lacking leadership; you only need to look at the teams 0-19 record when trailing after three quarters to see that. This above all other areas is where we miss Brandon Roy the most. He was clutch and was willing to carry the team on his back. However, even when he was hurt last year Portland had another player who was willing to take over in the fourth. The player I am referring to is Andre Miller. Raymond Felton is younger, a better defender and might be a better player but he does not have the leaderships skills that Andre Miller possessed.

    Portland despite all the advanced metrics is failing as a team, they are underperforming and from what I can ascertain, it boils down to a lack of leadership. This is Nate McMillan’s greatest failure as the Blazers coach. Without a team leader, the responsibility falls on the coach. As unfair as it seems to ask Nate to motivate grown ass men to play hard, that is exactly what he should have been doing. You know damn well that Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, and Gregg Popovich would have gotten in someone’s grill and demanded effort. Our team is soft because our coach is soft and it is Paul Allen’s fault. Do you know why the coaches I mentioned were so good at their job? It is because they did not have to worry about the team’s owner firing them on a whim.

    I am not sure Nate is the answer but please Paul do us all a favor and either fire Nate or give him full control. I love Chad Buchanan but he has said numerous times he would prefer to be out scouting talent in the gym. Give the power to Nate and let us see what he can do or fire him and get someone in here that can be a leader while putting up with Paul Allen’s BS.  

    This trade deadline, draft and free agency will determine what kind of Blazer team we will have. Whatever direction we go in Portland cannot be successful without a leader.

    Did I miss something? Am I completely off base? Or do you have suggestions on how to fix this team. If you answered yes to any of those questions then you owe it to yourself and to other Blazer fans to respond. 

    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/14/2012 12:33 AM

    you forgot ugly, lazy, and disrespectful...Shut up and go make me a turkey pot pie !!!
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 03/14/2012 12:45 AM

    throws oven mitt @ Tobyus "make your own pot pie I'm having a beer!"
    I am a fan of
  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 03/14/2012 1:09 PM

    Wow looks like some of the fans have gotten as soft as the play. 
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. flyroy69
    Posts: 64

    Posted 03/14/2012 2:10 PM

    Getting pathetic when "fans" not only bash the team from an arm chair veiwpoint, but also bash each other. Chemistry is not on any stat board, no matter how you try to break it down. The talent is there, leadership is what is lacking.
    I am a fan of A VERY SPECIAL 2013-2014 SEASON!
  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 03/14/2012 2:19 PM

    Well at least flyroy got the jest of my article. Portland has talent and should be better by almost every statistical measurement. We need leadership not a trade for Steve Blake.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Mark
    Posts: 77

    Posted 03/14/2012 5:46 PM

    I hear your points, cmeese. Personally, I just think all of the guys lost faith in coach McMillan. It almost reminds of the Knicks in a way. That's what happened to D'antoni.. a majority of the Knicks players simply weren't buying into what he was saying or coaching and look what happened to him.. He's out the door. Our players have done the same thing with Nate and if they keep playing the way they're playing, he's going to be out the door as well. It just boggles my mind that they gave up on McMillan.. we started the season off ridiculously good. Anyways, we're going to need a coaching change along with some roster moves as well and start preparing for next season. Yes, we have a shot at still making the playoffs but if they keep playing like this, that obviously won't happen.
    I am a fan of having a completely healthy team for once.
  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 03/14/2012 6:01 PM

    Mark things are a bit different in New York that was all about Carmelo getting his way. Portland has an issue where they have no effort and little faith in the coach. This is more than just one superstar but a whole team problem.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. jonthorpe
    Posts: 125

    Posted 03/15/2012 1:59 AM

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, go back to where you found success. Nate's meticulous half court system got him 54 and 50 win seasons consecutively. I think he should still be coach of the Blazers, its Paul Allen and Larry Miller's fault for what has happened. They got so hyped up about "versatility" and "flexible players that can play multiple positions" that nobody has a defined role anymore. They have worked this roster to convert it to a running team while trying to keep a coach that is anything but a running coach. Front office and coach arent on same page.
  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 03/15/2012 9:17 AM

    Nate system was built around Roy, Oden and LA. Oden was meant to be the lane filler on def and to give us a post option on offense. LA was supposed to provide pick and roll offense with Roy and when none of that would work we could allow Roy to create with the ball. Without those three players Nate's system is not effective and he needs to adjust to his team as much as the GM should give him players to work with.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 03/15/2012 1:26 PM

    Not sure trading Crash and Camby does a whole lot but firing Nate was probably needed from a PR perspective.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
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