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Seriously!

We lost another game where we shoot 48%. I'd like to throw all the blame on Damon, cause I hate him, but he has been on succesful teams in the past so it can't be all his fault.

We need to come up with some kind of defensive strategy! If Zack doesn't improve his D bench him let him know you have to play on both ends or your worthless out there even if you score 30!
 

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Wake up

When Damon was on "good" teams in the past, he had other people to defend in critical parts or during a good portion of the game. There is no Scottie here anymore to cover his butt. There is no Greg Anthony. Players shoot over him like they are shooting a jump shot in practice. Its like they get the ball, look at him and think "Oh its just Damon, I'll shoot a casual jumper because he can't block it". Bang, 2 to 3 points on the board.
 

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We need not look further than the players on the team to figure out why we're so bad defensively.

Zach = sub-average defense
Damon = sub-average defense
Wes Person = sub-average defense
Woods = sub-average defense

That's 104 minutes tonight. Out of 240.

Look at who might be considered better than average: Rasheed and Ruben Patterson... who combined for 64 minutes.

Rasheed's not much above average (if at all) at the 5 spot, and we had Dale Davis sleepwalking through his 19 minutes.

Even giving Miles and DA the benefit of the doubt that they're average defensive players, it all adds up to one bad defensive basketball team.

Ed O.
 

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Honestly, the blame lies with Damon in part (because everyone else has to help him), but also because the players, other than Rasheed, don't concentrate on defending as a team the way they should.

For three years, their deficiencies were masked by the exemplary team defense of Scottie Pippen... before him, the Blazers had Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Brian Grant, and Jimmy Jackson - all of them very good defenders.

Without Pippen, though, the Blazers have no one to really direct the defense, and without a core of defensive-minded players, you can't just depend on everyone to do their jobs. Wallace is capable, but he's always asked to defend the other team's best post player. But what we really need is a leader on defense, and/or his teammates to contribute selflessly. But so long as everyone is worried about getting traded, they're more likely to make themselves noticed on offense, rather than defense.
 

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Wes only played 19 minutes and scored 11 points, he is hardly the problem on defense.

Darius 20 mins and 12 points...

I think we really need to name a section or 2 in the RG after our defense...

Matador defense and swiss cheese?????
 

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Originally posted by <b>Trader Bob</b>!
Wes only played 19 minutes and scored 11 points, he is hardly the problem on defense.
I don't think that Person is THE problem, but he's certainly A problem. Whether he scored 40 or 0, that wouldn't affect my thinking. He doesn't play the passing lanes, he doesn't put good on-ball pressure on his man, and he generally is just not a good defender. I don't think that I'm saying anything most people don't already know.

If Person were on a team with a bunch of good defenders, it would hardly matter. But when he's on the court with ZR and Woods, for example, the bad defense has a snowball effect where everybody's weaknesses are exposed and opponents get easy shots.

An excellent coach can scheme to cover up overall team weaknesses, but I don't think there's any of those around Portland way...

Ed O.
 

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I think Wes plays better D than a lot of people (named Ed) give him credit for.

it's not like he's playing matador defense. I don't know what the ratio was, but I got the feeling (from watching the game) that Patterson spent more of his time off of Jason Richardson, (leaving him open for 3's) than Wes did.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Hap</b>!
I think Wes plays better D than a lot of people (named Ed) give him credit for.

it's not like he's playing matador defense. I don't know what the ratio was, but I got the feeling (from watching the game) that Patterson spent more of his time off of Jason Richardson, (leaving him open for 3's) than Wes did.
He's not playing matador defense... and I tried to specifically address that above. He doesn't put any pressure on his man and he doesn't play the passing lanes; he's not quick enough to help on his teammates' men, either.

He has 8 steals in 497 minutes as a Blazer. Now, we all know that steals aren't the final indicator of a good defender (and, in some cases like Jason Williams, his steals are way higher than his actual ability), but a decent defender should have more steals than that, especially as a perimeter player. Stepania has one more steal in fewer minutes than Person, for crying out loud.

I can't prove to you that Person is a bad defender... it's been a fact about him for his entire time in the NBA and if you don't see it or believe it by now I don't know if you ever will.

But Person, and Woods, and ZR, and Damon (and a lack of good defenders getting similar heavy minutes) are MY explanation for why Portland's been so bad defensively.

Poking holes in theories with opinion is fine, of course, but I'd be interested to hear YOUR take of why Portland's getting lit up in spite of having solid defenders like Person.

Ed O.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Ed O</b>!
Poking holes in theories with opinion is fine, of course, but I'd be interested to hear YOUR take of why Portland's getting lit up in spite of having solid defenders like Person.

Ed O.
well, there are several reasons, and they have very little to do with whether or not Wesley is a decent defender (as I say) or a sub-average defender as you say.

Some of the reasons (not associated with Wesleys playing time) are as follows:

Dale Davis doesn't do anything to contend layups.

Damon and Woods both allow their man to blow past them like they were standing still, and since Zach isn't a great shot blocker (or big body) and Dale doesn't do squat anymore (and isn't a big body) it's usually a layup.


Players often leave their man, or don't rotate to their new player.

Ruben Patterson seems to leave his man to "wander" and help on D (sometimes when it's needed, and sometimes when it's not needed for him to do so. I think that could explain a lot for Richardsons 7 three pointers) and there's a misscommunication on the teams part as to switching or rotating to the open player.

No shot blocking presence. Zach doesn't play good post D, which causes other players to collapse on him to help (players who really shouldn't) and they then leave their players open.

They don't play smart help defense even when they do.

rotation. effort. size. shot blocking. smart.

all of which have little to do with wesleys ability to be a defensive player or not.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Hap</b>!

all of which have little to do with wesleys ability to be a defensive player or not.
It'd be easy for me to remove any single item from your list, add Wes's (long-documented) defensive weakness and show that the item I removed wasn't much of a factor in the team's struggles.

Sorry... I don't disagree with your list, but I think that Person deserves his share of the blame for being a sub-par defender.

Ed O.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Ed O</b>!


It'd be easy for me to remove any single item from your list, add Wes's (long-documented) defensive weakness and show that the item I removed wasn't much of a factor in the team's struggles.

Sorry... I don't disagree with your list, but I think that Person deserves his share of the blame for being a sub-par defender.

Ed O.
of course he does, just as everyone else on the team does. But you make his share of the blame to be almost more than whats humanly possible. Maybe thats from your long history of bonzi support thats makes it impossible for you to accept Wesley on the team...

But to suggest that in the limited minutes that Wesley gets in the game, has some direct corrolation to the teams overall crappy defense, is laughable.
 

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a very short PG hurts too... but he is quick, but gets abused badly due to his height issue. He is contantly being posted up by his oppponent.

and I wonder how smart we are at times. We just do not seem to talk at all between players. No help!

How many times haev we seen players drive right up the middle and score, almost completely uncontested this year.... lots!

It will be ineteresting to see if backups Q and Miles can do anything to help us out in that deprtment at the PG spot. Will height help out?

And our guards are constantly being torched by the opponenets shooting...
 

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Originally posted by <b>Hap</b>!

of course he does, just as everyone else on the team does. But you make his share of the blame to be almost more than whats humanly possible.
Please point out, specifically where I attributed more blame than you think he deserves.

To recap my points in this thread, I stated:

-- Person is one of 4 sub-par defenders who got significant minutes tonight (with Person 3rd on the list)
-- there aren't enough good defenders to make up for the sub-par defenders
-- that Person DOES have to bear some of the blame (to Trader Bob's assertion that he wasn't the problem on defense)

And then you and I have been exchanging posts, and I know you read them :)

Maybe thats from your long history of bonzi support thats makes it impossible for you to accept Wesley on the team...
Maybe. Or maybe I'm not saying what you think I'm saying.

But to suggest that in the limited minutes that Wesley gets in the game, has some direct corrolation to the teams overall crappy defense, is laughable.
He played 19 minutes tonight. That's limited in the strict sense, but not insignificant. He's played over 19 minutes a game for Portland... again, not insignificant playing time.

Have I started any threads about Person's defense? No. Have I posted any posts about his defense in game threads? Not that I recall. Have I singled out Person's defense EVER on this board based on what's happened in the games (as opposed to when we were all discussing the Bonzi trade)? No.

The reason I seem to have to keep attacking Person's defense (and it just SEEMS that way, because I'm not attacking by any means) is that some people here seem unable or unwilling to recognize that his good jumper doesn't mean he's a good (or even average) defender... and every time I note that he's a bad defender (or even "sub-average", as I did in this thread (trying to avoid this discussion)) at least two people try to defend his defense.

So, please, show me where you think I'm attributing too much blame to Wes in terms of his defensive failings. If you point it out, I will make every effort not to overstate it so we can avoid these sorts of arguments over opinions and biases. If you CAN'T point it out, then please consider that I don't have an axe to grind against Wes but instead am trying to point out his weaknesses like I do with every Blazer.

Ed O.
 

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Originally posted by <b>NathanLane</b>!
Ed O- is that a picture of you?
Hehe. NO. It's David Brent, from the show, "The Office". You can read the self-penned synopsis of his life story in my .sig.

Ed O.
 

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Defense is conceptual, not individual and unfortunately we have a team of guys that don't know that or don't care. It's not just covering your man it's knowing where the offense wants to go that's playing against you and rotating to take their objective away. Good defense is good chemistry and knowing that your teamate will have your back if at any time your beaten on the court. That does not happen in Portland!

When watching the Blazers you see our guys playing their man but let's say Damon gets beaten at the point and some guy like Speedy Claxton drives the lane, no one picks him up and he makes the easy layup! Reason? No one knows how to play good help defense.

Damon of course is a problem cause any offense can see the court with ease at the point of distribution but he's got four players that react to slow or don't show up at all.

Sheed is a great defender on his man but he often doesn't rotate and let's little guys put lay ups on him uncontested. Dale is always slow to the ball so he picks up dumb fouls. Patterson is a great defender but he'd be even better if he wouldn't do to much and could trust his teamates to pick up some of his slack on back sceens and such. It would keep him out of foul trouble. Zach will get better as he learns the ropes and guys like Q and Miles if they just keep their man infront of them will cause other teams fits with their size.

One a side note:

Interesting enough when I think of great defensive teams I think of Duke. They play great help defense and believe so hard in team defense that it's rare if a team gets and uncontested basket against them at home or on the road. This may shock some of you but Coach K has thought of coaching at the next level and yes Portland was one of the teams he mentioned. Coach K said the reason he wont do that yet is he feels he might not be most effective on this level cause the pros are all about me Vs. team.


Good defensive pro teams believe in the concept of team ball and that's commanded by a coach who they respect. The Pacers have such a coach in Carlise and the Lakers have one with Phil. The Pistons have one with Larry and hell the Pistons don't even have a player who starts that's Sheeds height. That's good team defense and guys who rotate to stop the open lanes to the basket.

Portland can get much better only as "a team" who buy into what the coaches are trying to teach them.


I think the real question in Portland is do they have a team that can be coached into a great defensive unit? Only then can you have a good D.
 

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Some very fine posts Terrible.

This year has made it pretty obvious how important Pippen was to Blazer defense in the past few years. Pippen was/is probably the best there has ever been in the NBA, in terms of counteracting the other team's offensive thrust. He was so good at applying pressure at the right time. I think an argument could be made that Bill Russell helped his team as much or more, but Russ took away the basket. Pip took/takes away about half of the perimeter. We were lucky to have him here for a few years.
 

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An interesting bit of trivia about the GSW game:

Blazers score 38 FGs.
GS scores 39 FGs
Blazers lose by 18?????

Part of the problem was that the Blazers were playing flat and only got to the FT line 10 times on the night.

The other problem is that GS went wild on treys. I agree that the Blazers need to improve their "help" defense......but how do you help a guard who loses his man when he is still 30' from the hoop?

There are nights that Bill Russell couldn't help our backcourt.
 

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OT: In my opinion Pippen was the greatest perimeter team defender to ever play in the NBA.

He could be counted on to shut down a team’s top player (from PG to PF) on the ball, rotate over to give help on post men, plus make it back in time to contest a perimeter shooter.

All in the same possession (on occasion)

In terms of total defensive pressure end line to end line I would have to give the top honors to Pippen (he single handedly took teams out of what they were doing).
In terms of defensive versatility and man-to-man stopping power I would give the nod to the young Rodman (Artest is similar with less versatility).
 

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Originally posted by <b>The Enigma</b>!

In terms of total defensive pressure end line to end line I would have to give the top honors to Pippen (he single handedly took teams out of what they were doing).
In terms of defensive versatility and man-to-man stopping power I would give the nod to the young Rodman (Artest is similar with less versatility).
How do you classify the other two truly great defenders (in my opinion, but in many others', too): Bill Russell and Hakeem Olajuwon?

I think you're the first person I've seen to give Rodman the nod for best man-on-man defender ever, though I agree that Rodman was quite a stopper.

I'm just curious how those other two great defensive players fit into your beliefs.
 
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