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Defensively, I think they're sound. Of course there's always room for improvement, but I don't think that's the area of concern. A line up of Anderson, Wells, Pippen, Wallace, and Davis is actually one of the best defensive units out there. They even kept the World Champions in check throughout the season, and especially in the first round series, despite using the insufferable Stoudamire.

This team needs help putting the ball in the basket. Smart teams know they can hurt the Blazers by pressuring Stoudamire out on the perimeter. The old "cut off the head of the snake" trick. Even if Stoudamire finally gets the ball into the post, Sheed or Bonzi get the ball out of deep position or without ample time to do anything efficient with it. And, should the Blazers' scorers get good positioning, the opposition only needs to collapse on them, force the ball back out to the perimeter, and allow us a lower percentage shot, as our perimeter dwellers aren't reliable (with the exception of Wallace).

So how does Whitsitt modify the roster, fixing these offensive problems, but not hurt the Blazers' already solid defensive strengths?

Keys to Betterment



-- If Stoudamire can't be dealt, he certainly can't have a large role within the team. His shortcomings hurt the team too much. 12 to 18 minutes per game is about all the team can give him. These numbers go down in the post season. When Bonzi and Wallace aren't on the floor is when he can go to work. Let him shoot his heart out and then yank him.


-- Let DA, Pip, and Kerr lead the charge at point. Have DA defend the smallest player on the court. Get that ball into the post, swing it around to either DA, Wells, or Kerr on the perimeter when the double comes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


-- Put Bonzi's back to the basket more this season. It's still his strength. Abuse the other two-guards. Make them work.


-- Pippen shouldn't force as much as he does. And he shouldn't have to with Damon having a limited role. I would expect his percentage to increase, if the offense is humming along.


-- Wallace needs to just do his thing.


-- Send Davis and Randolph to Philly for Mutumbo. I'm pretty sure Davis will walk away after this season, leaving Portland without a critical defensive key. Mutumbo may be old and declining, but he can help groom Boumtje-Boumtje into a starter and give Portland a legit shot at contention for the next few seasons. Portland would obviously improve both defensively and offensively, plus be more prepared for the future.

-- Give Patterson and Kemp the same roles as last year.


-- Give Boumtje-Boumtje about 10 minutes per game, as long as he shows an increased sense of court awareness during the Rocky Mountain Revue. Defensively, he's above average. Refine those skills and work on developing offensively. Teach him to play within the team scheme.

This would give Portland a championship-worthy defensive line up. And, hopefully enough offense to get by Sacramento, LA, and Dallas.

Thoughts?
 

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Originally posted by Spurs4Life
Defensively, I think they're sound. Of course there's always room for improvement, but I don't think that's the area of concern. A line up of Anderson, Wells, Pippen, Wallace, and Davis is actually one of the best defensive units out there. They even kept the World Champions in check throughout the season, and especially in the first round series, despite using the insufferable Stoudamire.

This team needs help putting the ball in the basket. Smart teams know they can hurt the Blazers by pressuring Stoudamire out on the perimeter. The old "cut off the head of the snake" trick. Even if Stoudamire finally gets the ball into the post, Sheed or Bonzi get the ball out of deep position or without ample time to do anything efficient with it. And, should the Blazers' scorers get good positioning, the opposition only needs to collapse on them, force the ball back out to the perimeter, and allow us a lower percentage shot, as our perimeter dwellers aren't reliable (with the exception of Wallace).

So how does Whitsitt modify the roster, fixing these offensive problems, but not hurt the Blazers' already solid defensive strengths?

Keys to Betterment



-- If Stoudamire can't be dealt, he certainly can't have a large role within the team. His shortcomings hurt the team too much. 12 to 18 minutes per game is about all the team can give him. These numbers go down in the post season. When Bonzi and Wallace aren't on the floor is when he can go to work. Let him shoot his heart out and then yank him.


-- Let DA, Pip, and Kerr lead the charge at point. Have DA defend the smallest player on the court. Get that ball into the post, swing it around to either DA, Wells, or Kerr on the perimeter when the double comes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


-- Put Bonzi's back to the basket more this season. It's still his strength. Abuse the other two-guards. Make them work.


-- Pippen shouldn't force as much as he does. And he shouldn't have to with Damon having a limited role. I would expect his percentage to increase, if the offense is humming along.


-- Wallace needs to just do his thing.


-- Send Davis and Randolph to Philly for Mutumbo. I'm pretty sure Davis will walk away after this season, leaving Portland without a critical defensive key. Mutumbo may be old and declining, but he can help groom Boumtje-Boumtje into a starter and give Portland a legit shot at contention for the next few seasons. Portland would obviously improve both defensively and offensively, plus be more prepared for the future.

-- Give Patterson and Kemp the same roles as last year.


-- Give Boumtje-Boumtje about 10 minutes per game, as long as he shows an increased sense of court awareness during the Rocky Mountain Revue. Defensively, he's above average. Refine those skills and work on developing offensively. Teach him to play within the team scheme.

This would give Portland a championship-worthy defensive line up. And, hopefully enough offense to get by Sacramento, LA, and Dallas.

Thoughts?
I'd say you covered everything in your post, but I do think Mutumbo is getting a little too old to be effective to help the Blazers out of their doldrums.
 

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Yes, I have a question. Where does Qyntel Woods fit into the equation? I'll be first to say if this guy pans out, he will be better than DA or Pippen. It's also a shame everyone has forgotten about Zach Randolph, a potential 20 10 guy, but then again, the Blazers still have Rasheed. I hope to god Qyntel and Zach find a way out of Portland...
 
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