geewillie33's Blog


Apr 22

Against the Rockets

By geewillie33
The starting 5 I have selected is an approach I believe we should take against the Rockets. The main problem we have faced against their defense is Yao ( and Pryzibilla or Oden, sometimes both ) clogging up the paint. The beauty of this team is that we have everything we need ( as far as personnel ) to counter every kind of defense. What the Rockets are doing is playing tight on the perimiter and funneling all handlers to Yao. So let's break down the pick and roll. Artest and Battier are both natural small forwards. They are both big and strong and under the right circumstances can even effectively defend a power forward, especially against the jumpshot. So they let Roy get around the pick because Yao is there to meet him. Yao stays out of foul trouble because hes so big he doesn't have to leave his feet to defend a guard coming into the paint. Even though he does foul people the refs see him standing flat footed with his arms straight up in the air. So it appears to the refs that the offensive player is initiating the contact even though Yao is the one leaning into the player. The key to scoring against this kind of defense is to get Yao out of the paint. If we start Aldridge at center it will force Yao to defend him out on the perimiter. Then Roy and Outlaw can run a pick and roll on the opposit side. It will force Artest and Battier to flash out on the pic and create more mismatches. Then if Yao tries to come back into the paint to defend the driving guard, it will leave Aldridge wide open. Another factor to consider in this scenario is that Outlaw is a bad matchup for Scola. It will also force Scola out to the perimiter as well where he will not be effective defensively and then it will be wide open for Blake and Batum to cross eachother along the baseline and be open to help with weakside rotation and make threes. I love McMillan as a coach but hes said himself that our offense needs more motion. Putting Pryzibilla and Oden in together is definitely not the answer because more HUGE guys only clogs the paint more and slows down the flow of your offense tremendously. Nate, don't fight fire with fire, fight fire with sand. Then theres Yaos offense. The most effective way to neutralize a monster like Yao is to make him work hard at both ends of the floor. Especially now that Mutumbo is gone ( Thx Dikembe, it's been a privilege watching your career ) the burden on Yao has grown exponentially. Nate, every time Yao is on the floor take it to the paint with a vengence. If he is forced to leave Aldridge out on the perimiter to try and defend the paint he will get tired and start getting in foul trouble. Not to mention how often Aldridge will be open, at least for a weak side rotation. I know that conventional wisdom says don't change what got you here but the Rockets are probably the worst matchup the Blazers will ever see. Not to mention that Roy and Aldridge are the only guys that should be guaranteed a starting spot and as far as I know noone is whining about minutes. Go Blazers!


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