Max Mandel's Blog

Max Mandel

Oct 27

Second unit provides the spark for Trail Blazers

By Max Mandel Posted in: TravisOutlaw, AndreMiller, Blazers, Rockets
Over the course of an 82 game season, depth becomes one of the key factors for any team. With the addition of Andre Miller over the summer, the Portland Trail Blazers have arguably one of the deepest and most versatile teams in the league. In the season opener, head coach Nate McMillan put that depth on display, as eight guys played over 24 minutes.

Leading the way for the second unit was Travis Outlaw. Outlaw put together an outstanding performance, as he scored 23 points and grabbed four rebounds. McMillan used Outlaw as both a traditional small forward and also as a face up power forward. Outlaw excelled at both positions and was a match up problem throughout the game for the Rockets.

Rockets head coach Rick Adelman tried to slow down Outlaw by using a power forward on him. However, Outlaw used his athleticism and outside shooting to make it an advantageous match up.

"I was trying to play with a bigger guy on him, hoping we might hurt them inside," Adelman said of trying to slow down Outlaw. "But it didn't work out that way, he did a nice job."

The second unit for the Trail Blazers offers a much quicker tempo then is typically seen by the starting five. This quicker tempo seems to be perfectly suited for how Outlaw plays.

"You know, when the second unit comes in, it's great because it's a change of speed," Outlaw said after the win. "I do think we can take advantage of match ups when I face up."

The catalyst for this uptempo second unit is Andre Miller. The experienced point guard has already made life easier for Outlaw.

"It's great. He (Andre) gets you easier shots and helps you find a rhythm," Outlaw raved about the veteran point guard. "It's not you creating and having to shoot, it's just a lot easier out there."


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