Practice Report: Back To Work On Defense And Three-Pointers Are Here To Stay
After an off day yesterday the Trail Blazers returned to work for a day of practice before their next challenge on Friday when the Houston Rockets come to town.
Head coach Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews all had words on today’s workout.
Stotts on LaMarcus Aldridge
“He looked good. Obviously his wrist was bothering him a little bit last game. He went through a full practice and it didn’t seem to affect him at all. When he came in to day he said he felt it a little bit, but I don’t think there was a lot of pain. It was still tender against Sacramento, but with a day off yesterday and treatment he’s doing alright.”
Stotts on the focus of today’s practice
“Defensively working on screens, off-ball screens, pick and roll screens, transition defense and went through a lot of our basic offensive sets.”
“There’s always things to improve on, the obvious one is our defense, primarily transition defense. Protecting the rim, protecting the paint, that’s been our biggest concern and lead to a lot of high shooting percentages from the other team. Offensively, just being consistent, trusting each other, trusting the pass, screening. On the whole, you look at the games, we’ve been competitive in the games. We certainly wish we’d won two or three of them that we didn’t, but there’s good and bad. I know when everybody saw the schedule come out our first six games were against very high quality opponents and we were competitive in those games. A couple of our comebacks came up short, obviously Atlanta was a game at home that you need to win, but we got two road wins out of four games, that’s a positive as well.”
Stotts on J.J. Hickson’s recent performances
“J.J had 19 points and 18 rebounds and I ran one play for him. I think everybody has there role and I think J.J.’s found his niche and it’s not to say I’m not gonna run plays for him, but he’s an opportunistic player and we need that from him. Every team needs a guy like J.J.”
Stotts on three-point shooting
“I like our good three-point shooters shooting threes. They’re not gonna go in some nights, but if Nic and Wes and Damian, if they’ve got open threes they gotta take them. Now forced threes, quick threes, if they’re not quality threes then not necessarily, but I like all our guys taking quality threes when they’re there.
Lillard on practice today
“We come every day and we go over stuff that we need to go over for the team that we’re gonna play and we fix things that we could’ve did better in the last game, so that was pretty much the same.
Matthews on taking threes
“When you’re making them it’s hard to pass ‘em up. It comes with the flow of the offense and if you got a rhythm going threes can just kill teams.”
Matthews on practice today
“I like what coach did today, he mixed the teams up guys that typically don’t play with each other we’re playing with each other. And that’s what we did, we competed and got after it after a day off.”