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User Blog

The Blazers Offense is Just Ridiculous

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Hopefully this isn't the high point of the season since the Blazers are just putting up some amazing offensive stats. I just feel like jotting down some of those stats before they likely fall closer to league average. The Blazers are 1st in points per game after the Philly game, as most people probably know. They are also 1st in offensive efficiency, which was already true prior to the Philly game. Now the difference between 1st and 2nd (Houston) has only grown to the point where the two teams aren't even on the same tier offensively. The difference between Portland (114.0 points per 100 possessions) and Houston (110.2 ppp) is greater than the difference between Houston and #11 Minnesota (107.0 ppp). So the Blazers after the Philly game are the best 3-point shooting team in the league. They lead the league in 3-point percentage at 41.9%. They also lead the league in 3-point field goals made, despite shooting 68 fewer attempts in the same number of games as second place Houston. Everyone's talk of Portland's 3-point shooting regressing back down to earth probably has some merit, but at the same time Portland intentionally got three of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the league for the past few years (Matthews, Batum, and Wright) without even including 90%+ free-throw shooter Lillard. Despite being best-known for their 3-point shooting this season, the Blazers are not leading the league in eFG% (FG% adjusted for the extra point from 3-point shooting). They are only 6th because of their average ranking (15th) in 2-point percentage. It's a good thing that eFG% is not the best of their Four Factors then (the four statistical categories that explains 95%+ of a team's win total, which is actually eight factors since one calculates it for both offense and defense). The Blazers are 2nd in the league in offensive rebound percentage, grabbing 30% of their misses. So the Blazers shoot well (6th in eFG%), they don't turn the ball over that much (7th in TOV%), and they grab a lot of their misses (2nd in ORB%); the jump-shooting Blazers are also decent at getting to the free throw line (tied for 11th in FTM/FGA). Okay, that last factor kind of cheats since Portland is second in the league in FT%, increasing the FTM portion of the factor. They are still a decent enough 19th in just getting to the free throw line; shooting well enough to improve the team's ranking from 19th to 11th though is a pretty good thing. It's similar to Portland shooting well enough at the 3-point line to improve from 4th in attempts to 1st in makes. So basically, the Blazers are awesome on offense because they are good at everything and elite at a few things. It's kind of a reflection of the Blazers starters. The lowest PER is Lopez at an above average 16.4 and then you have Aldridge at 8th in the league. Some individual offensive stats to wrap it up: Matthews is 1st in the league in Offensive Rating (individual offensive efficiency not accounting for usage) among players who qualify and third in true shooting percentage, Lopez is 7th in ORtg, Lillard is 18th in ORtg (Mr. Low Traditional FG%), Aldridge is 9th in usage rate and 16th in low turnover rate, and Batum is still chugging along at 11th in true shooting percentage and one of the highest assist rates in the league among forwards.

Draftexpress Projects an Awesome Draft for the Blazers

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#10: Steven Adams #39: Archie Goodwin #40: Nate Wolters #45: Alex Abrines // Those choices are basically who I want the Blazers to get. Adams is my favorite center prospect outside of Noel, Goodwin has upside as a raw athlete, Wolters looks like he has an excellent chance of being at least a decent backup PG, and Abrines would be a Euro stash since no one wants four rookies again.

Projecting the Draft (with stat analysis)

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From SB Nation blog Canis Hoopus, the author attempts to find how well stats translate from college and the combine. Additionally, a rough model is used to estimate how successful some of the prospects in this year's draft will be. There's not a lot of confidence in many of the findings, but I liked the attempt to use solely objective stats. The projections are pretty entertaining too (like who's likelier to be a star between Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond).

Big Addition to basketball-reference.com

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"It is with great pleasure that I announce the debut of Basketball-Reference.com's latest and greatest set of research tools: Play Index+. Play Index+ utilizes over ten years of play-by-play data, allowing the user to sift through and summarize millions of plays with just a few clicks of the mouse." There are a lot of cool tools for stat geeks to play with here.

Cranston: Gerald Wallace Won't Play Tonight

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Mike Cranston, a Charlotte Bobcats beat writer for the Associated Press, tweeted: "Higgins says Joel Przybilla will arrive in CLT Sat. DJ White later today, but Nazr won't be in OKC in time for White to be eligible tonight" and also "Bobcats will have only 8 players dressed tonight vs SAC." With no physical for Przybilla, Wallace's first game for the Blazers will likely be against the Hawks on Sunday. Joe Freeman of The Oregonian also reports Blazers center Marcus Camby is out tonight. Jay Allen of 95.5 The Game reports: "Nate says he doesn't expect to have Wallace for tonight. Nate says Nic will play some center tonight vs. Denver. Rudy will start tonight against the Nuggets." ed: bumped to front page

Portland's Slow Pace Isn't Entirely Due to the Offense

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"* As Henry Abbott has often pointed out, Portland’s high offensive rebounds and low turnovers mean they don’t play nearly as slowly as Pace Factor indicates. Their Speed Index value supports this notion; by Speed Index, they’re still in the bottom half of the league, but they’re much faster than their Pace lets on." This is an interesting look at offensive and defensive pace. San Antonio is still a somewhat slow offensive team, Phoenix is still the fastest offensive team, and Portland's offense is actually not abnormally slow.

The Blazers are now the worst 3-pt shooting team in the league.

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I'm not sure if it has happened before in this season, but the Blazers now have the lowest 3-pt shooting percentage in the league at 32.6%. That beats the Thunder (32.7%), the Raptors (32.9%), the Clippers (33.0%), and the Cavaliers (33.4%). The only rotation player shooting above league average is Wesley Matthews. Ed: bumped to front page

Oden NOT done for season?

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Doctors have not ruled out Oden's return to this season yet.

More Statistically-based Previews

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WS has the Blazers in 3rd place. http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=747 SCHOENE has the Blazers in 5th place, but 1st in the Northwest (4th by default). NBAPET has the Blazers in 6th place.

Pelton on Aldridge's Extension

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"While extensions are inherently a tricky business, none of the players of Aldridge's ilk signed contracts their teams have really come to regret. The negotiations on Aldridge's extension were difficult, complicated by the fact that the two sides had to try to hit a moving target in terms of next year's salary cap, which will depend on how much the NBA and the economy in general rebound over the next six months. Using history as a guide, it appears that the Blazers and Aldridge did a fine job of reaching a deal that is equitable to both sides."

Patty Mills Eyes Final Portland Spot

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He's flying back to Portland because he wants to be in the NBA rather than go to Europe.

ESPN's Power Rankings

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It has the Blazers at 8th. I've never liked Marc Stein's rankings, but they're from a large site.

One other note concerning the Blazers. As you probably know, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and...

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One other note concerning the Blazers. As you probably know, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden were invited to play for the USA Basketball Select Team in Las Vegas this summer. While Oden and Aldridge will play, Roy will not. The Blazers, along with Roy, decided some rest is perhaps more in order, and that certainly seems like a good decision. We have, however, learned that Jerryd Bayless has now received an invitation, and will play on the select team against Team USA. This is huge for Jerryd, as he'll join the group of about 16 players in this prestigious event. Bayless will once again play for the Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League, and then will stay and play with the select team. The Blazers will be coached by assistant Joe Prunty in the summer league. - from Mike Barrett's blog

Playoffs Stats for 82games.com Are Available

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Roy, Aldridge, and Oden look good; Przybilla and Batum do not. Of course, there's not much to extract out of a six-game sample.

Derrick Rose contributes to Blazers fans' dreams of having an elite point guard. (AKA Derrick Rose...

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Derrick Rose contributes to Blazers fans' dreams of having an elite point guard. (AKA Derrick Rose accidentally puts on Rudy's warmups in the Rookie-Sophomore game.) HT to bustabucket.com

Batum Mentioned in Draftexpress

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"There was a big buzz around the team about local product Nicolas Batum—the player we came to scout this time last year—now starting for the Portland Trailblazers after being drafted in the first round last June. He had 15 points and 6 rebounds in the evening before the game, and is really acquainting himself well with American basketball. One of the journalists we met, Bruno Palmet of local newspaper Le Maine Libre mentioned having spoken to him that day and passed on how happy he is in Portland at the moment. The people in Le Mans are very happy to see Batum succeeding, as they put a significant effort into helping him develop. It’s funny to look back a year ago and think about the evaluation we offered up back then—talking about a super versatile talent with incredible physical tools, but questioning whether he has the aggressive mentality required to be a lottery pick. A huge amount of confusion regarding the diagnosis of a minor heart problem, combined with his physical magically disappearing following a workout he conducted with the San Antonio Spurs, led him to being drafted by the Houston Rockets and then sent to Portland on draft night. It’s not hard to pick up on the irony here. The team that diagnosed Batum with a heart problem—the Toronto Raptors—ended up selecting a player (Nathan Jawai) who’s career is now in doubt due to concerns over heart problems, while Batum is looking like one of the biggest steals of the draft. His perceived biggest weakness back when he was considered a potential lottery pick—a lack of aggressiveness—is exactly the reason why the Trailblazers love having him on the floor with their starting unit, as he brings an incredible amount of versatility to the table with his terrific defense, passing skills, basketball IQ and athleticism. His biggest weakness is now his biggest strength, having landed in the perfect situation, and he looks well on his way from what we can see early on."

Preseason stats: Information or Noise?

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"While it's best to be cautious of such players, don't throw out preseason stats altogether. The evidence indicates there is some predictive value to how players play even in seemingly meaningless games." - Kevin Pelton, former Sonics stat geek The tiny sample size of preseason rather than the lower competition appears to be the major factor for why it's not more predictive. Nevertheless, it does a surprisingly nice job of showing who put up stats in the regular season.

Quick's Sunday Update

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Quick writes about Outlaw's role, Rudy with Roy starting at the wings, the players who will sit out of Sunday's game (Blake, Frye, Rudy, Przybilla, Roy, and Aldridge), and a few thoughts on Batum.

No Rudy or Przybilla Next Game

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"Not everyone is making the trip though. Rudy Fernandez (left ankle sprain) and Joel Przybilla (bronchitis) are staying staying behind to heal. I haven't heard about Martell Webster (broken bone in foot) or Steve Blake (pulled hamstring), but I bet they're not on the trip either. " From Casey's blog, we will be down to only Oden and Hill at center and only Roy, Outlaw, Batum, and Jackson for the wings.

Microfracture Under the Microscope

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"This is great news for Oden and the Blazers, who were very conservative following his surgery and immediately ruled him out for the entire 2007-08 season instead of trying to rush him back late in the year. On opening night, Oden will be 13-and-a-half months removed from his microfracture procedure, marking the second-longest rehab on record (Kittles, one of those two players to improve coming back, sat out 16.5 months, making him the top right dot on the chart)." "Based solely on the length of his rehab, Oden would be expected to lose 4.7 of his per-minute productivity following the surgery. Add in the training-camp factor and that gets as low as a negligible 1.8 percent. Of course, as the first player to undergo the procedure prior to his rookie season, Oden does not have an established level of performance, but his college numbers project very nicely indeed. Using the translation system I introduced before this year's draft, Oden rates as the second-best prospect to enter the NBA dating back through 2000." From former Sonics stat guy Kevin Pelton, microfracture doesn't appear to be a huge detriment in both the long and short run.

FanPost
14

Nate is a good coach.

Here's evidence that Nate is a good coach. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120846936079424371.html?mod=googlenews_wsj It would be pretty simplistic to say that this is absolute.  Our offense may...

FanPost
8

Wow, where's the defense?

I stumbled upon a site that looked at team efficiency.  This site is different from others in that it can show how good a team is in efficiency at home versus on the road.h...

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