Known for their offensive attack, the Portland Trail Blazers took it to one of the best defensive teams in the NBA on Thursday night, hammering the Charlotte Bobcats, 134-104. Charlotte allowed the fifth-best opponent effective field goal percentage going into the game, but Portland absolutely shot the lights out, hitting 21-of-33 (63.6 percent) from distance.
Let's take a look at how the Blazers converted on so many open looks.
Forcing Charlotte to provide help on penetrating guards
The Blazers have struggled lately with creating quality three-point attempts as teams have started to close out on their wings in order to stop their barrage from deep.
Portland took the opportunity to force aggressive Charlotte defenders to help as they penetrated deep into the defense, drawing shooters into open space.
Taking advantage of the double-team in the post
The Bobcats' upper wing defender collapsed often on Portland's post players, whether it was LaMarcus Aldridge or Wesley Matthews. The Blazers took advantage of the quick pass out after the second dribble, lining up above the block for an easy jumper.
High post ball and flare screens
Portland gave the Bobcats fits with their high post offense as they dribbled ball-handlers into the corners. On the flare screen above, Wes Matthews waits patiently as Robin Lopez sets a screen on his man to the middle of the floor. It was too much for the Bobcats defenders, who seemed to be locked-in to anyone attacking with the dribble at times.
The Blazers became the first team in NBA history to hit more than 20+ three-pointers in two games in the same season. Crucially, they were +19 in assists against the Bobcats, indicating they are not only willing shooters, but willing passers as well. It was the Blazers' assisted three-pointers helped them dominate Charlotte on Thursday night.