I wrote about this on the game thread, but I'll repeat myself here.
Once every 4 or 5 games, Damon puts a nice shooting streak together - like he did in the 4th quarter tonight. I'll take it each and every time. But all it does it point out the kind of player he is. He's a one-on-one player. He'll get hot from outside and shoot. He'll drive to the middle and put the ball in. But his hot streaks/best moments on the court are NEVER about distributing the ball, helping his teammates to get better shots, etc.
So, he's either shooting great but not benefitting his teammates, or he's not shooting well and not benefitting his teammates. That's what you get with Damon. At his best, he'll score a bunch. At his worst, well you get what I'm saying.
Even at his very best, he's not worth having. Not given his defensive liabilities and his streaky nature.
I'll give credit to the guards for taking too many shots and freezing the big men out of the offense, and loosing the team yet another game. I will give credit to Mo Cheeks for being bright enough to leave Damon in as a defender on the last play of regulation(note sarcasm). Last but not least, I will give Ruben Patterson credit for at least hustling and keeping the team in the game with his effort.
Shooting, schmooting. Frankly, I don't care how many points he scores. He's supposed to be our starting PG, which means he's supposed to be running the offense, distributing the ball, raising the FG% of the other players we have on the floor, and leading us to wins.
I give him credit for owning up to and fighting his addiction (if he stays clean it will be one of the greatest personal triumphs in recent sports history), and for turning adversity into motivation, but I don't see anything in his game - as a PG - this season that's very credit-worthy.
"Isn't it funny how most of his best games come in loses"
The Blazers are 7-5 when Damon scores over 15 points. Not exactly record setting, but compared to their 9-15 record when he scores under 15, it's not too shabby.
I'm not going to try and defend all of Damon's many short-comings but it gets pretty old seeing him constantly made to be the scape-goat. The guy scored 17 fouth-quarter points and Along with DA kept us in the game. The next day he gets called out for freezing out the post and not being consistant all game long.
We all know that he's "shorter than your aaaaverage point guard" (picnic basket, anyone?).
Most shorter PG's use speed and superior ball-handling to survive in this league. Boykins, Webb, etc. But Damon is no faster than your average PG. He's even slower than taller players like Marbury and Parker. He's not a great ball-handler, again he's about average when compared to other PG's.
If Damon were able to regularly blow past his man and penetrate (to score or dish), I'd be more willing to overlook how his height is a detriment on defense. But he can't.
Last night, for example, he had - what, 3 penetrations of the lane in regulation? (I missed the OT period because of an important phone call) He shot and missed in the first half, then shot and scored twice in the second half.
In his case, there's no advantage to being shorter. It's only a disadvantage. That's not his "fault" per se, but it does prevent him from being the kind of PG that I want to see running the Blazers.
Damon is actually playing shooting guard offensively (McInnis brings the ball up the vast majority of the offensive sets, it seems to me), and 17 points in a quarter is remarkable whether it's Shaq, McGrady, or Damon. He kept us in the game, with a lead, for most of the final quarter.
The thing is, that along with both the defensive issues that we all know about (and Dan highlighted) and the KIND of shots he was getting (from the perimeter, freezing out everyone else except DA, who seemed willing to be playing a 2 man offense with Damon, each of them taking turns shooting long jumpers) is that it is almost CERTAINLY going to feed to fuel Damon's fire to just "play his game" (meaning "jack up lots of shots")... and it might convince Mo Cheeks and Nash/Patterson that it's a good thing having Damon on the court.
I think we have a lot of good information on this board, and a lot of insightful posters.
But seriously, you'd think the coaching staff would have access to this type of information and even better statistical evidence that shows what Damon is all about...
The fact that they don't do anything about it really makes me wonder. Jeff has done better so far this season than anything I've seen out of Damon since he's come here - as far as setting up the offense, consistency, shooting efficiency - not sure about defense, he's getting lit up by shooting guards, but probably wouldn't be as much by the point guards.
Get Damon out of the lineup! Put in DA or Wes, STAT!
The fact that we're still running this lineup tells me that Mo is afraid of making a decision, since it is clearly way past time to continue this nonsense. The decision should be easy...