As the San Antonio Spurs and Portland trail Blazers get set to clash tonight, Project Spurs' Quixem Ramirez spoke with Blazers blogger Dane Carbaugh of A Young Sabonis to breakdown the game.
Portland is 7-8 in their last 15 games, and they've been crushed defensively (27th in DefRtg) in that span. Is this trend worrisome?
Absolutely. They've really struggled lately and it's in large part to their fairly mundane strategy on defense and their lack of execution. They play really low ICE pick-and-roll defense and it's meant they've given up a lot of midrange jumpers rather than simply forcing them. That's a key difference I don't think they've realized yet and it's really hurt them since mid-January. Percentage-wise, they are a top three team in defending the rim which sounds great on paper. However, opponents are taking the second-most shots at the rim against them in the league while shooting 55 percent. Their defense is so porous that they are relying on their posts to try and help defend at the rim from the wing instead of using their help defense as a last resort. I honestly do think they need to play tighter off the pick-and-roll but I doubt Terry Stotts makes that change.no comments