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  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 2:08 PM

    While watching the interviews with our new rooks, I heard Will The Thrill say something that struck me; he sees himself as being able to play the "Point-forward"... Meaning that he sees his ball-handling and passing skills as solid enough to take the ball up the court and set up the offensive plays.

    This may seem unconventional, but it's been done before, and I'm curious about what it could do for our team. I recently read an article on here, can't remember who the author was but they talked about trying to redefine the positions in the NBA, and referenced back to former greats who would bring the ball up the floor and run the offense, but played either forward or center instead of guard.

    So there's been a precedent set, and it's had proven results... On top of that, not only does Barton think he can be a point-forward, but to an extent that is also Batum's role when he plays outside of Portland; he assumes a larger leadership role, both vocally and offensively on the floor. One of our other rookies, Meyers Leonard, is also known to have exceptional passing skills for a big (I'm picturing him as an eventual Sabonis 2.0 more than Przy 2.0, hopefully)... he might not bring the ball up the floor, but after seeing such loose passing this last season, I feel like it would be a real strength of the Blazers moving forward if we have multiple guys all able to rack up some big assist averages. It would allow for easier shots to be taken, from any of our players on the floor, and would drive Defenses crazy when they can't just focus in on 1 or 2 primary scorers. This could also be a very natural change in style, since our 2 PG's, Lillard and Smith, are both young and inexperienced, and as much known for their ability to score as to pass the ball.

    So, ideally, we'd have a PointGuard who can bring up the ball and shoot from distance to spread the D, a ShootingGuard who can shoot from distance or cut inside, a PointSmallForward who can bring up the ball, cut inside, and hit midrange jumpers, a PowerForward who scores inside/midrange, rebounds, and blocks, and a Center who can Rebound, Block, run the offense from under the hoop, and maybe even throw down some posterizers.

    I'm not trying to take away from any one of the players, but we've all heard this argument before that most championship teams have multiple big-name stars, and the championship teams that don't are those rare gems that have impeccable chemistry and balanced skillsets between all 5 players on the floor. So I guess I my question is, instead of thinking of this year solely as one more to get through on our way up the charts, why don't we look at how to refocus this team in to a unit that is seldom seen in NBA, and one that most other teams would have an impossibly difficult time stopping? I think the real key to making this work would be having a squad that knows each other, has high basketball IQ from every player, and plays together well (read as: stop worrying about trading up and start thinking about using what we've got to their full potential). This kind of balanced attack covers all bases offensively, and doesn't over-commit any player in a way that would stop them from getting back on D.

    How does this appeal to you guys? Obviously it wouldn't be an easy or immediate fix, but I think it gives us alot more to hope for than listening to the naysayer's comments of "lets just get another lottery and be better next year" before this season has even begun. Plus, I think any team with that kind of dynamic offense is going to be more entertaining and exciting to watch than a team that you know where the offense is gonna come from on every play. Even though we're not gonna win it all, and we'll undoubtedly make a trade or three, I'd rather watch high-octane team basketball win some/lose some, than watch a standard NBA team do the same.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 3:00 PM

    I guess the big question is, which is going to be more successful, or mostly successful quickly:

     Do you guys see this roster (or most of it) as being a team that can play solid, both-ends-of-the-floor, 5-man basketball at some point, where it's not about having the best players but about having the best TEAM?

    Or, do you see this roster as having a few good players to keep, and a bunch of other assets to get one more good player, in the hopes that our few good players are better than all the other teams' few good players?

    Obviously you know what my wish would be. I know there's some other intelligent fans on here so I'd love to hear if you like this idea, or if you see some specific hurdles to this goal let's hear it! I just think this is more interesting to talk about (and more realistic to hope for) than constant trade rumors or 3-4year plans on how we might eventually be a playoff team again.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. commontongue
    commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 07/10/2012 3:25 PM

    First of all , we need to get something for Batum. He doesnt want to be here, so lets oblige him. Williams, JJ Barea & Ridnour for Batum and the Wino.
    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
  1. Ricky
    Ricky
    Posts: 541

    Posted 07/10/2012 3:46 PM

    I am not convinced Batum wants to leave Portland.  Either Portland or Min would be okay.   We will cross that bridge when we come to it somewhere between 7/11 and 7/14 let's do what is best for the team. 
    I am a fan of
  1. mbmurr1
    mbmurr1
    Posts: 530

    Posted 07/10/2012 3:50 PM

    As long as management makes some good moves and improves the team I don't mind if our team does not win much. I am not looking for an instant championship (it would be nice), Realistically speaking we are 1-2 years from a championship, unless we get Hibbert and sign Batum, then we are very close to were we want to be. 
    I am a fan of
  1. Simon
    Simon
    Posts: 5

    Posted 07/10/2012 4:14 PM

    Blazer247, thanks for writing something interesting and refreshing amidst all these bad news (rumors?) that I have a feeling will be very real in a few days (Indy matching on Hibbert and Batum actually not wanting to be in Portland - wasn't just his agent after all). 

    mbmurr1: "Realistically speaking we are 1-2 years from a championship" (or closer with Batum+Hibbert) - dude, I hate to break the bad news, but we're nowhere NEAR a championship. I don't know what it is with the guys on this board, but every single off-season people talk in here talk about how we're gonna be the 1-4 seed in the West and go on the the conference finals. People really should come down to earth and - instead of dreaming about how things might go if every little thing went just PERFECT for the entire season and every one of our players, let's be (as you said) realistic and talk about something real. This is nothing personal, but I think it'd be a lot more interesting to talk about the kind of stuff that Blazer247 has written here - again, kudos!
    I am a fan of basketball as an international language and tool to achieve soreness, joy and friendships
  1. Ricky
    Ricky
    Posts: 541

    Posted 07/10/2012 4:21 PM

    Hibbert is gone so where do  we want to go?  What is going on with Batum?
    I am a fan of
  1. Simon
    Simon
    Posts: 5

    Posted 07/10/2012 4:50 PM

    Back to the topic. I'd prefer the Blazers to play ball-sharing, team-first basketball with a balanced, deep roster. I'd love for the organization to try and establish an actual basketball culture, a brand in Portland in these next couple of years. Seems to me that our new GM Olshey isn't interested in here-and-now hotfixes for the team, but would rather establish building blocks for the organization's well-being (both basketball-wise and economically) in the future which suits me just fine. 

    I remember reading a post on the board (quite some time ago) about how we ought to model ourselves after the San Antoni Spurs and I don't remember the exact points, but I agree with the overall idea; start a culture with a front office and coach that see eye to eye and focus on consistent basketball traditions like that of the Spurs: team-oriented basketball with clearly defined roles for everyone to fill. I believe much of the success of San Antonio and the great Pop can be attributed to how all the players that come into the organization (it's not just the team) are asked to stride for very specific goals and focus on these in their development and during games in order for them to grow and be succesful individually and as a unit. San Antonio has had the luxury of having well-disciplined, respectful class act cores for a long time to help pass on that winning basketball tradition, and I think this is something that we should try to look for in the future. Obviously we might not get a Parker-Ginobili-Duncan combination talent-wise but I believe the mentality that I've described can be established as a shared trait within the organization regardless. I have a feeling that Wesley Matthews could be part of that establishment.
    I am a fan of basketball as an international language and tool to achieve soreness, joy and friendships
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 4:57 PM

    WHAT THE HELL GUYS THIS THREAD IS NOT FOR TALKING ABOUT TRADES. DID YOU NOT READ ANYTHING I SAID?!?

    COMMONTONGUE, MBURR AND RICKY: MOVE YOUR TRADE TALK SOMEWHERE ELSE. PLENTY OF THREADS FOR IT. NOT THIS ONE.

    IF YOU WANT TO TALK HERE, PLEASE TALK ABOUT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
    -TEAM BASKETBALL
    -REDEFINING POSITIONAL ROLES
    -HOW TO BEST USE THE ATHLETES WE HAVE AND THE SKILLS THEY POSSESS
    -WHAT WE CAN DO WITH OUR TEAM, OTHER THAN TRADE THEM AWAY FOR PLAYERS WHO ARE BETTER ON PAPER
    -PAST TEAMS WHO PLAYED 5-MAN BALL INSTEAD OF FEED-THE-STARS BALL
    -FORMER PLAYERS WHO'S STYLE WAS LESS CONVENTIONAL FOR THEIR POSITION

    THIS THREAD IS NOT TO TALK ABOUT TRADES.

    Seriously! Simon is the only one of you who even mentioned ANYTHING about what this thread was meant for.

    MOVE THE TRADE TALKS. THIS THREAD IS FOR TALKING ABOUT WHAT OUR TEAM HAS AND WHAT TO DO WITH IT IF YOU WERE THE COACH, NOT WHAT YOU DREAM IT COULD HAVE IF YOU WERE THE GM.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 5:00 PM

    Damn, I was stoked for a second when I came back to the forums and saw multiple responses to my post... I actually had a fleeting hope that people wanted to talk about BASKETBALL instead of the stupid bullshit drama politics surrounding it in trades!

    Thank you, Simon, for being the ONLY other person around here that get's what this is about.

    The rest of you, if you want to talk about your fantasy trades, PLEASE LEAVE THIS THREAD ALONE. Why does this have to be explained?!?
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 5:04 PM

    Sorry to go off for a second, but Common, Mbmurr, and Ricky, you guys are as disappointing to me right now as Batum's lack of control over his agent.

    Gotta say it... REAL fans don't sit there on the trade machine or on NBA2k12. REAL fans don't look to other team's athlete's for the answers. REAL fans look at what their team has, and find a way to deal with that the best they can.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 5:09 PM

    Seriously, I try to make it a point to never post on here without having something legitimate to add to the conversation... it seems like you guys just went "hey look a new post, we must fill that with our inane trade-talking fantasies as well".

    That is really frustrating.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/10/2012 5:11 PM

    Thank you for writing legit posts, Simon. If you have any other thoughts on it, I'd be interested to hear em.

    I'll try and come back soon to respond and carry on a meaningful conversation THAT IS NOT ABOUT TRADES, but right now I've gotta go cool off lol, and try to ease my disappointment in some of the forum posters.

    GO BLAZERS.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/11/2012 12:03 PM

    So really? Nobody except for Simon and I has any desire to talk about their hopes for this Blazer team, outside of involving trade talks?

    I hope it's just that people are too hyper-focused on the FA period and waiting til it's done, because if the only thing that you guys think will help this team is acquiring more big-name stars... I think you'll find that you're in the wrong city or following the wrong team.

    That being said, back to having a discussion about Blazer basketball:

    Like Simon said, I hope that the Blazers can shape this organization into the same type that has been so successful in San Antonio; Each year, people trash the Spurs for being old (not that old, outside of Duncan and Ginobli), and each year, they come away with one of the best (if not the best) regular season records. The Spurs have a legend of a coach (we'll find that eventually), and multiple key players with well-balanced skillsets (Portland's version in the near future: Aldridge, Lillard, and either Batum, E-Will, or Leonard). With that base to build on, they've gone about acquiring system players to fill the gaps, and there aren't many holes in their armor. Consistency is the name of the game, and they get there from having team chemistry, top to bottom... You do not build team chemistry by year-after-year trading away players that we've invested in, in the hopes that you can pick someone up who will perform at 100% of their potential and be that one piece we needed.

    From San Antonio's example, we need to build our team chemistry and balance to use our player's skills to their fullest abilities. Another team I think that Portland should draw guidance from is OKC... the way that Brooks has been able to develop young talent and get the max potential out of them, year after year, is incredible.

    I'm not referencing these two teams because I think they're the best, but because the paths they've taken to get to where they are is similair to that which Portland walks... Youth and energy, team chemistry and balance. We're certainly alot closer to that path than the path of star-player-acquisition, which would only help us flip a coin with other feed-the-stars teams anyway.

    Also, both the Spurs and the Thunder have another thing in common with Portland; high quality of character. Outside of Westbrook and Perkins in OKC, I can't think of a single player on either of their teams who is known for their ego or being a hothead. I think that lack of "me" attitude is a huge contributor to the team chemistry, and both team's success. Portland values that quality VERY highly, so let's use that to focus our team and move forward with our strongest weapons ready and primed.

    So if people are really set on talking about getting better players, who could help this kind of system? I don't want anyone to just spit out "this is my favorite FA" type stuff, so if you're going to suggest someone, PLEASE give some support as to their character and ability to play well with others. Stats are important but secondary, they go up and down every year and have too many variables to be reliable. Character is very reliable, and important for our players. Otherwise, no matter how good they are, they just won't fit in Portland very long.

    But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, DO NOT MAKE THIS A THREAD ABOUT TRADES. This is about Blazer Basketball and how Portland can win, not about NBA ball and how Portland can be a team just like every other.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/11/2012 12:24 PM

    I think the team needs to focus on defense and moving with the ball before we do anything like defining player roles. 

    Since defining these roles has been part of the problem. Lamarcus refuses to play the 5, Batum hates being told to stay in the corner and while I do not blame either of them, part of accepting roles is key to implementing game plans, the same as being willing to make changes some Nate was terrible at. 

    I say this team needs to master the fundamental before we try to implement more complex offensive schemes. Defense, rebounding, moving without the ball, setting screens, fighting through screens and passing should be the teams main focus initially until we master those skills we will not compete with this roster. 
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. boomtown
    boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 07/11/2012 12:58 PM

    Okay Blazer247, you said a lot and I want to try and hit on what I think are the finer points, then elaborate a bit.

    I don't know if people didn't see Barton in college, but watch him in the summer league, please.  I've said before, Barton is more than capable of playing PG, SG, or SF.  He could start in Batum's absence, he could bring the ball up the court if Lillard's in foul trouble and nolan's hurt, or whatever.... he can grab a rebound or block a shot and take the ball up the court himself.... he won't be the guy who's always looking to throw the ball in Lillard's hands because he is competent, and he does have high basketball IQ.

    I look at our whole team and I see high basketball IQ and it's natural.  What I mean is, if you look at Drummond, he has raw skills, strong, fast, shot blocker, pretty instinctive, but he don't always know where to be, sometimes he looks lost, doesn't know what to do... he's not savvy in that regard, thus I do not classify Drummond as high IQ and his biggest problem is that he hasn't been coached well enough.

    Meyers got pushed a lot by coach Weber and he's a lot more savvy now than he was at season's start last year.  Lillard has propelled Weber for 3 years and he's a very smart player, doesn't turn the ball over much.  Barton is mr. basketball to me.  I don't know if he was mr. basketball in high school, but he did it all in college and he was conference player of the year... so was Lillard.  Meyers was in Draymond and Sullinger's conference, so he didn't win, but he may have been on the ballot last year.

    Anyway, these guys are smart, they all do pass well, and they do more than prototypical guys in their respective positions.

    So to your vision of a center who blocks and rebounds, a forward who scores and rebounds, etc... we have that in Meyers, LA, Batum/Barton, Matthews, and Lillard... but these guys are all smart and they bring skills that not all guys in their respective positions bring.  

    Now, all said, if Portland wants to win with this type of lineup, if they want to break the mold so to speak and bring a dimension not seen in other teams, they still need help.

    I would say most prominently they need a guy with toughness like Hickson on the roster... we need strength. that's what I liked in Gerald Wallace... he was a tough guy who was a heady player.  Hickson's not as mature as him, but we've yet to see what all Hickson brings.

    Finally, Portland needs a coach and a playing style that can be tailored to our style... a guy who can bring it altogether.

    Who can do that?  

    Well in another thread we mentioned Sloan.  Why?  Because Lillard is great with the pick and roll because he's an awesome slasher.  Aldridge is extremely heady.  A smart half court offense with all our awesome passing players would be outstanding.  The more I think about it, the more I like sloan as a possibility, or a coach with his style.... we need a SMART coach who can TEACH a SOLID half court offense.  We need to be able to EXECUTE efficiently.  

    Our guys are smart and don't turn the ball over a lot, but you're also asking college players to take on a huge role in the NBA and it's a massive transition.

    Another coaching option I've mentioned twice is Calipari, but he won't leave UK.  Maybe you saw me mention before, but Strickland.  Hell, Elliot Williams played under Calipari and he should be familiar with the motion offense... but we need to get guys like Matthews and Batum  (if he stays) to move without the ball... everyone needs to be involved.

    For your vision to come into place and to get the best out of all the guys who can pass on our team, we need guys moving, we need an awesome transition game... so we need stoppers on the defensive end, we need to get out on the break, and when we back it up and set it up, we need efficiency... everyone involved, slashers, picks.

    I want a well oiled machine with a lot of movement.  

    One fear I have with your vision and our team is that Lillard is a guy who takes it to the hole a lot and he doesn't typically throw it out to the perimeter... and that's the shit I don't wanna see anyway... too many guys stand around when you do that and that's how you get offensive fouls, or start turning the ball over.  If we want an inside out game, we need to have Lillard get the ball to Meyers and let him look for open guys... we need Matthews and Barton to screen and spring one-another open... motion offense, just like Kentucky... Calipari calls it a dribble drive motion offense in which you create opportunities for your shooters with motion, picks, getting your target guy open looks... it's not about standing around and watching the guy with the ball though.  It's not about forcing the issue and getting yourself in trouble.  It's about using your brain and seeing the court.

    So yeah, we have the players in place to run an efficient half court offense.  They need a coach and a style to bring it all together.

    Not sure if I touched on exactly where you were going with this thread, but I appreciate your insight... and again, if you haven't had a chance to see Barton play much, he's a thin, but long, rangy guy.  I don't mean range as in long distance, I mean as in he has length with his wingspan and he uses it to his advantage.  Great player to watch.  And like you said, he is the guy who can hit those mid range jumpers from the small forward position.  Look at his percentages from the floor.  He's not as good when he steps out, but he's very effective in and around the paint, very very under-rated rebounder..  I think he got about 8 per game in college.  He's got hops, athleticism, high IQ player.  no doubt he should not have slid to 40.   My biggest fear with Portland is that traditionally they have let players rot on the bench, but I think there's too many holes in the roster and Barton will get his opportunity and shine.  But I don't know how the addition of Claver is going to impact playing time for Barton... I do think even though he's 6-6, he fits in at Small forward better than SG just because of how good he is in the paint, rebounding, making stuff happen.  I dunno.  

    And he is a point forward.  his all-around game is better than batum, the upside is future all-star.  I think batum could be an all-star too, but I don't think batum is as naturally involved in the offense as barton.  barton just mixes it up and he's all over the court.  I see batum standing still a lot.  And Matthews is improving, but I also don't see him cutting a lot... that might just reflect coaching and playing style, thus sloan or calipari type coach.

    sorry for length.

    I am a fan of
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/11/2012 10:23 PM

    Awesome posts, guys. My faith in the Blazer forums not being solely about trades is restored :) response comin when I get back to a computer... And WWWOOOOOOOT we got JJ back!
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/11/2012 10:39 PM

    Trades are still interesting and needed but we have lots of threads for that
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/12/2012 12:48 AM

    Trades are as interesting as politics; It's alllllllll bullshit speculation until it's done, and at that point people stop caring about it lol.

    Trades are NOT needed for the sport of basketball... they are needed for the business of the NBA. It has nothing to do with sport, and personally, I watch NBA games for sport, not business and politicking.

    I do, however, agree that we have LOTS of otherrrrrr threads to talk about trades, so lets not waste time with it here!

    I'm stoked on your guys posts about how the Blazers can better play the Game, but as much as I want to stay up and give some more input, I just got home from a long day, and the lady has got a beer waiting for me.

    Gotta go, talk soon, GOOOOOOO BLAZERS!
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/12/2012 10:18 AM

    The thing I am most interested in will be our defense. 

    Things to look for
    Meyers Leonard- He posted good defensive numbers in college; however, he struggled getting out on shooters, and he often allowed his man to set up to close to the basket. These are two major concerns as the NBA has a lot of bigs who would rather face up and shoot jumpers than bang in the post. Additionally, NBA players will light him up if he allows them set up anywhere they want. With that being said his isolation defense and post defense PPP numbers were both very solid. If he can make some adjustments he can become a good NBA defender.

    Damian Lillard- This will be the area where playing in the Big Sky will hurt him the most. He is athletic and has nice form but he rarely applied himself on the defensive end. He was solid against spot up shooters and in isolation but terrible against the pick and roll. He also gambled too much in the passing lanes leaving his feet to try steal balls he could never reach thus leaving his man wide open. Lillard will need to be willing to fight through screens and limit his silly mistakes if he wants to succeed. 

    Victor Claver and Joel Freeland- I have not seen enough of these guys to know but I have not seen or read anything that suggests they are defensive stalwarts. How they adapt to the NBA will be important to the success of our bench.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/12/2012 7:25 PM

    Ok, so back to the BEST THREAD ON HERE since it's about basketball playing and not about trades :P

    Cmeese, I agree with your last post about defense, and you make good points with the specific parts of D that our rooks will need to work on and make sure they aren't weak spots. Fortunately for us, defense is definitely part of the Game that can be taught, and the lessons they receive in the NBA will be the next level above what they learned in college. For Leonard, I think allowing his man to set up will be something that's addressed quickly (but I think it's also part of a team effort at this level), and honestly I'm not sure how worried I am about him getting out on shooters; it's not really his primary job, and being a 7'1" dude with his hops I think he's a little underestimated at closing the gap when he needs to. What you mentioned about Lillard, his lack of pick and roll D, I agree is a big thing to address but it's a problem our entire team has had, not just him, so I have no doubt that it will be addressed by whatever coach we land. Same with the silly mistakes part; he's a hard, hard worker and in the NBA now, expect those to be minimized. Overall I have alot of confidence in both of their abilities to step up and play the way we need them to. Like you, I have little prior knowledge of Claver or Freeland.

    About your previous post though: I think we had a bit of a miscommunication! If you read my initial post about redefining player roles, I'm not referring to our guys needing to be comfortable as role players (like how you mention LTrain playin the 5 and Batum playin the corner shot), but actually the exact opposite. I'm saying that I believe our best hopes is for our players to be comfortable playing MULTIPLE natural roles, and playing them well. That's the idea of the point-forward instead of just a point-guard, or maybe a center-forward in Lamarcus' case. What you said in the next paragraph is more about what I was trying to imply; I want all five Blazers on the floor to have rock-solid fundamentals, freeing them from having to be stuck in a specific role. By not being stuck thinking they have to do one specific thing, and having good fundamentals to play many roles, it will confuse and infuriate defenses that can't lock in on our strategy or our primary offensive options, because when they do we'll have enough options from other teammates that it won't slow us down.

    Does that make sense? Basically I'm sayin that instead of aiming for having a team run by 2 or 3 superstars and accessories around them, we are in a position to have 5 players who simply GEL together, all playing smart, well-rounded, fundamentals basketball, and can compensate for wherever our opponents focus their defense by having our offense come from another outlet.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/12/2012 7:48 PM

    And Boom, your post... is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Thank you for the elaboration and details, especially on specific players like Barton.

    It's all about a team that's connected and knows what each other are gonna do. All playing not just smart basketball, but SMART and FLEXIBLE team basketball. The point guard shouldn't be the only one getting a good stock of assists, and the 4 and 5 shouldn't be the only ones getting rebounds and blocks. We need a coach to run a solid system, and we need our players to work together. And for a FULL 48 MINUTES, unlike what we saw last season.

    Wow, way more fun to talk about basketball than trades.

    GO BLAZERS.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/12/2012 7:48 PM

    And Boom, your post... is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Thank you for the elaboration and details, especially on specific players like Barton.

    It's all about a team that's connected and knows what each other are gonna do. All playing not just smart basketball, but SMART and FLEXIBLE team basketball. The point guard shouldn't be the only one getting a good stock of assists, and the 4 and 5 shouldn't be the only ones getting rebounds and blocks. We need a coach to run a solid system, and we need our players to work together. And for a FULL 48 MINUTES, unlike what we saw last season.

    Wow, way more fun to talk about basketball than trades.

    GO BLAZERS.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/12/2012 8:15 PM

    I agree we do not need players that fit a specific mold unless we want to go with a team of specialists. But the problem I have is mostly with LA refusing to be a 5. You want to field the best team possible and moving LA to the 5 would have made this team a lot more flexible. 

    I think what this team needs are 3 versatile starters and 2 great role player/ specialists. 

    Pairing someone like Omer Asik next LA would have been awesome. Asik's energy, defense and rebounding would have made a significant difference on how the other team played. It also would have made a significant difference on our defense. Asik's shot blocking would have allowed our perimeter defenders to play closer to their men. This would have improved our pick and roll defense as well as spot up defense. Not to mention Asik alone would have improved our post defense. His addition alone would have likely lowered the opponents FG% by 1.5-2 a game. That is a potential 4 point reduction in scoring for the other team per game. 

    97 points per game allowed is a lottery team 93 is a playoff team. That just shows the potential impact a specialist can have.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. commontongue
    commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 07/12/2012 8:26 PM

    A thousand pardons for not being as well versed as most of you seem to be. I keep it simple i love the game. A cohesive, competitive squad is all i care about. The politics, i merely poke fun at. I just want to see players on our squad who 1] want to be here and 2] play together. My opinion has no bearing on the end result. Im just an optimist who loves the Blazers, and trusts that we have made at least a few moves in the right direction.Our draft picks and signing JJ was one of those steps. All we can do now is expect the worse and hope for the best.
    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/12/2012 8:50 PM

    Just as long as your not one of those polite fans who thinks a sporting event should be a wholesome family atmosphere. 

    I love passionate fans who yell scream cuss and do not sit for 48 mins of game time. That should be the start of our new style.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. commontongue
    commontongue
    Posts: 1864

    Posted 07/12/2012 10:39 PM

    I always try and keep it civil,but even my tv has taken out a restarining order on me for how i scream at it during games. Rip City !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am a fan of our new roster playing with and for eachother.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/12/2012 10:52 PM

    Civil and Politically correct is over rated
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/13/2012 1:15 AM

    Haha totally agreed on that. I am the fan that when I'm at home watching away games, the dogs are scared to be in the room and my girlfriend (also a serious Blazer fan) constantly tells me to stop yelling or the neighbors will freak. And when we're at home games (this season will be our first as season ticket holders instead of just buying numerous flex packs and steal-of-the-game deals, even though that is actually CHEAPER, you horrible horrible promotions department!!!), I'm screaming as soon as our guys hit the floor. We make signs, we collect those Blazer bangers, we heckle the other team, and now and then we're told to sit down so we don't offend the kiddies. Usually at that point it's a choice between two responses: "Your kids hear worse than this on TV every day", or "If you don't like a live audience, go watch the game at home on TV".

    Speaking of which, I'm still hoping that one day, the Blazers will take a page out of the Timbers book, and do something for the fans; I don't think it would be that hard (or even that costly, on the big scale of it) to take a single section in the 100 or 200 level, and make it either general admission, or scale down the price to resemble the nosebleeds. This would a) give justice to the Real Fans that don't have the funds to afford the ridiculously overpriced seating, b) finally put to rest the question of which NBA team has the most fearsome home crowd, and c) allow the Blazer promotions team to come up with all sorts of new fun ideas as to how to give away tickets, since they don't have to worry about selling the seats cuz they're CHEAP! Most nights it could be for hardcore fans, but now and then you could even bring down the kids' groups that get stuck in the back of the 300 level. I promise, they'd be way happier down low, and you can't deny that letting our players see them would give a little extra motivation :) Anyone who's been to a Timbers game will appreciate the effect that a truly rabid fanbase has on the athletes. And even though about 1/4 of the Timbers' seating is styled like this, those games are still very much "family friendly". So what about this would be bad for the Blazers? And don't you dare say that the organization needs that money. We're talking one section, we're talking Paul Allen, and we're talking $9 beers. Money is not that tight.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. knorton181
    knorton181
    Posts: 264

    Posted 07/13/2012 2:54 AM

    on a topic that you touched upon but ,aybe wasn't the main point, but definitely holds some value, is: Are the playertsa we drafted, the youth, mixed with all the youth we already have here. panned out to be the depth of our team, or a team that tries to revolve around one or two, and likes to see bigger names in the franchise.



    If we're going for depth,this thread makes total sense and I completely see what you're saying, which is idealistic and a bit innovative. A nice spin on the game that could push this organization in the right direction. But no matter what, I definitely see so much upside in our team and the versatility almost every single player provides. It'll be interesting for sure.
    I am a fan of
  1. Blazer247
    Blazer247
    Posts: 591

    Posted 07/13/2012 10:17 AM

    Knorton I don't if it's just cuz of how late you posted this, but I really can't decipher what you're trying to say with that first paragraph lol...

    As for the second one though, you're on the right track. Depth would certainly help, as it would any team out there, but what I'm mostly trying to get at is the idea of "screw needing more big name stars, we just need every guy on our roster to have unshakeable fundamentals in their game". Like you said, our team has a ton of youth and upside, and nearly all of em are known for having an eagerness to improve their skillset. I admit that it may be a bit idealistic, but like I said in the original post, it's been done before, and used to be a much wider accepted model of how to structure your team in a previous generation of the NBA (before all that mattered was using highlight-reel-shooters to sell tickets). With the right coaching staff to teach our youth, and with a little time, the Blazers are the type of organization to bring back Team Basketball in a big way.
    I am a fan of BLAZER BASKETBALL. Not drafts, not business, not trades, not David Stern. Just BLAZER BASKETBALL.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/13/2012 10:35 AM

    More than anything this team needs people with high motors. Man I miss Crash. 

    People like Garnett, Rondo, Crash, Kenneth Faried, Omer Asik,  Reggie Evans those are the kinds of people we need on the team someone who plays hard every second they are on the court. 

    Evans will punch you right in the sack if he thinks he can get away with it and it gets him a rebound. That is what this team needs.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. benh7777
    benh7777
    Posts: 203

    Posted 07/13/2012 10:43 AM

    Up until last year Portland had more depth than nearly all teams in the NBA. Still didn't get out of the 1st round of the playoffs. Portland has nothing to offer in a trade so I won't piss you off again talking about that, so who is it that we have that will develop into that player that will be the go to guy, #1 option when its all on the line? I'm not getting away from the "team" thing, I totally agree, I'll take the play as a team over a one man effort any day but you still need that guy that you can always depend on when it counts.

    In my opinion we don't have that guy, not even potentially.
    I am a fan of Effort
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/13/2012 10:55 AM

    Benh I think Lillard could be that guy he can get his own shot can attack with either hand and can shoot from anywhere in the gym. His iso game reminds me a lot of Brandon Roy's will he become that kind of big moment player who knows but I believe he has potential.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. barnettfan
    barnettfan
    Posts: 392

    Posted 07/13/2012 9:06 PM

    I want to see offense I want to see high FG% I want to see 3pt% I want to see assists minimum 25 a game that is what I want to see. With alot of rookies and euroleaguers I do not think we will see much in the way of defense in the beggining but it will come you can teach defense, you really cant teach offense except getting the best shot by passing and that is what we have sorely lacked the last 2 years. We have to able to score on a consistant basis if we dont have that than we will either never make the playoffs or we will never make the second round. You can have the best defense in the world but if your team FG% is a steady 36% you aint going nowhere. Now how we attain that will be interesting. I do not think it will be a halfcourt team I think our starters are going to run but that will depend on our coach. This season I think will be interesting one way or another.
    I am a fan of
  1. billyamick47
    billyamick47
    Posts: 168

    Posted 07/17/2012 1:27 PM

    I want to see a team who plays balls out the entire 48 mins. Portland needs players who can and will attack the rim. Miami and OKC are so good because over half their shots come 10 feet and closer. It also helps when you shoot 30 fts a night. Attack the basket, make your free throws, crash the glass and swarm on defense and you have a winning team.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/17/2012 4:02 PM

    Yes getting to the line more would significantly improve our offense.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. boomtown
    boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 07/19/2012 12:13 AM

    cmeese, I remember years ago when Aldridge was posting up against centers, he started having some back problems.  I don't think he's strong enough to be guarding the big guys, and honestly he really isn't a center.  He's not a power rebounder or a shot blocker and asking him to change his game, well, it's just not going to happen; you may as well trade him for what you want out of him... get a center.  McGee resigned with denver, maybe we could swing a deal.  

    and barnettfan, about offense, that's exactly what Portland's strategy was in the draft.  If you look at the combined stats from Meyers, Lillard, and Barton's season's last year, we drafted about 50 ppg, about 20+ rebounds per, maybe 6-10 assists, plus if you saw the summer league games, then you know Meyers and Barton are going to block shots.  I love Barton's reach... I already saw him block a shot on the perimeter and took it the other way for a jam.  

    Also consider this.  Lillard and Meyers are really good free throw shooters, I think Barton is too, but not positive of his numbers.  If the jump shots aren't working, we got guys who can create, take it to the hole, get fouled, and knock down free throws.

    I think the biggest problem for portland won't be the offense, but the defense.  We do not have that guy who is automatic to get 10-12 rebounds a game.  If Hickson were starting, he could probably avg double digits and Meyers should be getting 10+ a game, but I dunno if he will.  I just never remember him as a power rebounder in college, so yeah, as people here are saying, our guys need to be taught and they'll have to work hard.  cmeese said that lillard guards on the perimeter fine, but what I saw quite often at Weber was he slipped off his guy to help others, and when the ball was kicked over to the guy he was guarding, suddenly he has a wide open shot.  I think Lillard just tried to do too much and he needs to be much more disciplined in the NBA.  I've already seen him make un-Lillard like sloppy mistakes in summer league, even just handling the ball, losing focus and losing the handle... dumb bullshit that should never happen, specially as good a ball handler he is.  But that was in the 1st half of our first game when the team looks like lost nervous puppies.

    You can all count on this team working hard.  Meyers really does need about 20-30 more pounds so he can better push people around, but he's no wuss.  I dunno how tough freeland or claver are, but they didn't look like tough guys when they were introduced.  looks I hope are deceiving cuz we need some guys who aren't afraid of contact and will get after it, especially defensively.
    I am a fan of
  1. The Unholy
    The Unholy
    Posts: 352

    Posted 07/19/2012 7:34 AM

    well blazer 247 i think you've brought to light an interesting topic. i think chemistry is built less on the players and more on how they actually play. last year i absolutely HATED seeing players playing out of position, crash at 4, crawford at 1, babbitt at 4. shit drove me insane. i like a chunk of the roster where i know each players strengths. have to admit i know nothing about claver or freeland. but one thing i've seen from summer league so far is that barton can really get his hands in the passing lane and even when he wasn't having a great shooting night he was created shots for others and extra opportunities and that is valuable at any position. i also noticed that babbitt struggles when handling the ball and makes bad decisions, lillard's turnovers didn't bother me as much since i could at least see what he was trying to do, but luke looked like he was panicking out there. he needs to play to his strengths as a spot up shooter and moving without the ball as he is capable of being deadly behind the arc. i heard somebody say that the point guards should distribute more, especially to leonard and i agree, the opposing center needs to be on his toes and prepared for myers to get the ball at any time which should tire the defense a lil bit faster. but back to lillard, im hoping the reason for the lack of distributing is lack of running plays. i think that the teams skill set would benefit from the kind of plays that have multiple options. if the team focuses on moving without the ball they can be in a better position to score.  hopefully leonard can set some good hard off-ball screens and i heard he has some range even though he didn't do too well in his pre draft workout. and these are just the summer league players. i have a feeling there may be a few surprises this season on who can do what. we just need the right coach to fit it all together.
    I am a fan of high octane motion offense
  1. The Unholy
    The Unholy
    Posts: 352

    Posted 07/19/2012 8:11 AM

    sorry about the clutter in my last post. i got excited and kind of jumbled it together but dont let it discourage you from reading as i believe i made some valid points. anyways i just realized i completely neglected specifics on what players can do to improve their defense. i think with such a young team the d will be atrocious at times and i think there are simple things that can be done to help.
    for example i noticed leonard was getting killed by the houston center, i can't remember his name let alone pronounce it but if you saw the game you'll know what im talking about. i think myers needs to push his man off the block before he can get position. i think that's a skill that is underrated as it could really bother the opposition's offense. myers would come a little too late as he was focusing on boxing out.
    i want to see the guards leak out on defensive boards for easier transition buckets, but not too much or you'll see the guards getting offensive rebounds. the key is balance.
    hopefully whatever coach we get can stress the importance of switching on d at the right times and switching back to cut down on mismatches. i noticed this alot last year and it was painful to watch.
    I am a fan of high octane motion offense
  1. stacksfan2005
    stacksfan2005
    Posts: 363

    Posted 07/19/2012 8:50 AM

    im all for team ball, the only question is wheter or not the guys on the team are and wheter or not the coaches can command it from them. this is why i love popovich he always gets the most out of his players and gets them to play team ball.

    the answer to teh question is simple, if this roster plays together they can win games. if they don't play together they loose. if guys don't have the right attitude they should be moved, because i dont want to watch boring one on one ball. the 04 pistons were fun to watch because they played team ball.
  1. The Unholy
    The Unholy
    Posts: 352

    Posted 07/19/2012 9:08 AM

    there's enough young guys on the team that egos shouldn't be a problem. hopefully they'll be eager to learn. that's why olshey needs to hire a coach that can be respected by his players
    I am a fan of high octane motion offense
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 07/19/2012 9:33 AM

    I am happy with Meyers activity level on pick and roll he cuts to the basket well and if he continues that he should draw fouls. 

    This team is going to struggle this year simple as that. Leonard needs to work on boxing out. He also cannot try and block everything because it leaves him out of position. Ball denial and post defensive positioning are other things he will need to work on. 

    Barton has got to bulk up as much as he can. He shot is not falling but I like his passing and his aggression in the passing lanes and overall effort on defense. He will be pushed around in the post and by bigger SG and SF's I would like to see him play more point forward but his size will be a major obstacle. 

    Batum has to improve his defense this year. Listen up all you Batum fans the stats do not lie he has not played good defense during his career yet. His isolation defense is pretty good and he certainly has the skills to be a defensive stopper. To do that he needs to stop playing so far off his man. Batum gives up uncontested or late contested jumpers all day long. The 4-6 feet he gives his man is great to stop penetration but it makes it really easy to take jumpers. He also struggles a lot against pick and roll. He routinely plays under picks and thus gets destroyed on switches guarding bigger post players or the ball handler simply takes a wide open jumper. His defensive intensity is not always there and he has miles to improve as a rebounder. He certainly has all the tools but adding about 20 pounds would not hurt and neither would improving his intensity. 

    There is much more to say but this is enough for one post.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
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