Dec 08

NBA StatsCube Dishes On Defense In Trail Blazers Season Preview

By sarahhecht Posted in: geraldwallace, RaymondFelton
The NBA StatsCube is back and burgeoning with previews for all 30 teams in the league. The most important, naturally, is the Trail Blazers, so off we go!

Overall this piece has solid points supported by the numbers put up by Portland players last season. Shockingly my favorite points made by John Schuhmann aren’t regarding stats at all. More the reunion of two former defensively-minded Charlotte Bobcats in Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton.

First off, I’m a sucker for Gerald Wallace. His bang-up, put your body on the line style of play takes me back to the early 90s when I fell in love with the game. He’s enthralling to watch and there’s never a doubt he’ll give 100 percent every second he’s on the court. But I’m not going to turn this into a Crash love-fest—though I easily could—instead I’ll focus on his rock-solid defense and how it shores up the Portland line. For the offensive tidbits, and there are plenty, check out the full article.

From StatsCube:

Gerald Wallace has a (deserved) reputation as a great defender, but after the Blazers acquired him at the trade deadline from Charlotte, they scored a ridiculously efficient 112 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor.

That was easily the highest on-court offensive rating for any rotation Blazer last season. Second on the list was point guard Andre Miller, who the Blazers traded to Denver for Raymond Felton on Draft day.


The Draft-day deal for the ex-Bobcat Felton reunites him with Wallace, who he played with for five seasons. The last time the two were teammates, they were anchoring the No. 1 defense in the league and leading Charlotte to the lone playoff berth in franchise history.

I’m loving Schuhmann’s point here. Pairing up Crash and Felton should be pretty seamless with the two having history together. And the defense, oh the defense!

Casey Holdahl, Dustin Hawes and I we were talking about the potential for a defensive powerhouse just the other day. Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Marcus Camby, Wallace and Felton will put a kink in many an opponent’s offensive plan.

Postulating on the flip side of offensive development I continually fall back on an old adage instilled into me as a youngster. Defense creates offense. Period.

If our guys pack as much defensive punch as they’ve demonstrated in past exploits and Felton pushes the offensive pace, we could see an exciting brand of basketball develop over the next few months.

Many thoughts brought up by this preview can be narrowed into a few simple questions. As camp opens tomorrow what will the major focus of the Trail Blazers be? Perfect a defense that will inherently lead to offense? Or target an offense that will likely have a different and more-uptempo feel in the hands of Felton? If I was a betting kind of girl, I’d say Nate McMillan and company will attempt to cram as much of both into the abbreviated training schedule as physically possible.

Based on the read over at StatsCube, or your own personal research, what do you think? Defense? Offense?


  1. Miss Sarah, sideline reporter.
    You didn't mention LMA as defense. He is not noted for his defense, but he has fast hands and can stay in front of the guards that try to pick and roll. He was a little light trying to body up to post players, but if you were a betting girl, I would bet you the house that Wheels doesn't own that LMA will be able to hold his own this year. Last year BRoy was a liability on D because of lack of lateral movement, but if his body is moving good, he may not always be great but then if he is just adequate, we don't have to hide him, but team defense would help anyway, because no matter how good Felton is with the NBA rules no one can defend a top notch pg, but for the same reason no one can guard Felton either.

    Pushing the ball up the floor is very important, but getting defensive rebounds and starting the ball up the floor is more important; having Camby healthy, and I hear from Barrett's blog that GO has signed with us so our rebounding should improve. BTW, I wouldn't mind having Joel back for that reason also.

    The more I think about our possibilities as a team, the more exited I get. I don't know if you remember from last year or not, but I am not a championship or nothing Guy, I just want them to play good BB and I think we will if the injury bug stays on the normal side of things.

    I think the defensive side of things will be the most important, I read, so I am sure that most of the younger fans wants the run and gun offense because it is exciting, and it works at times if you can get the rebounds to start the ball. Nate says high tempo starts with playing d, forcing turnovers or getting the rebound. And that is on the defensive players shoulders.
    I feel our half court offense is as important as our fast pace. Just saying a fast pace with no other options is to easily taken away from us. The Mavs took our fast pace away by not turning the ball over and getting all their rebounds. They also were able to muscle LMA out of the post and we couldn't hit our butts over the top. So we need half court execution, shooters hitting and good post ups. But to me it all starts on Defense.

    Sorry Miss Sarah, for the rant, but you do get me wound up with your blogs.

    by Hg on 12/8/2011 4:39 PM
  2. Can't wait for this line-up to click especially now that CP3 is a Laker (grrr!)

    by blazerdarren77 on 12/8/2011 5:12 PM
  3. Defense, Defense, Defense. Roll on Blazers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by mbmurr1 on 12/8/2011 8:26 PM
  4. Sarah, I could not help but notice your pink apple Sorry, this was way off topic.

    by L.T.G on 12/8/2011 9:20 PM
  5. Miss Sarah hecht:
    I got to watch the video of the show today with Mike Barrett. Very good.

    I am excited about the possibility of seeing, Greg, LMA and BRoy on the court togheter

    by Hg on 12/8/2011 9:59 PM
  6. @Hg, I'm glad you got to watch the show! MB is a gem and so full of knowledge, I make a point to learn as much from him as I can.

    You're right that I didn't mention LMA for his D, and I didn't for the exact reason you mentioned: he's not a defensive specialist. You're also right in that he'll be able to hold his own just fine.

    @blazerfan77, this whole saga is going to be interesting...

    @L.T.G, pink is my fave color!

    by sarahhecht on 12/9/2011 9:24 AM
  7. Miss Sarah

    I know you can't comment yet, but the rumor that BRoy is going to take a medical retirement is all over the blogs.

    This doesn't really upset me because I have always felt that BRoy's injury would eventually win, but when it did win he would hang up his sneakers.

    It was reported that maybe as early as today and it was because he didn't want to take a reduced roll. That is scary but I can rationalize that an agreement was made between him and The Blazers big three that he wanted to give it a go and if he couldn't make it then he would rather take a reiirement whether then an amnesty. Any way that could be as quick as today,

    I have to go to work about the time you start televising training camp, so I am not asking you to give me the scoop just to blog anything you have. I know you will do this because you are a sweet heart. How is that for manipulation?


    by Hg on 12/9/2011 10:16 AM
  8. Miss Sarah:

    The report on OR-Live by Joe Freeman is false, If he plays he may never walk again. I have two wonderful Titanium and plastic knees and I can walk very well with no pain.

    by Hg on 12/9/2011 10:50 AM
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