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The Blazers’ innovative ‘strategy’ to leave Nuggets shooters wide open and scream at them, explained

This is probably not a deliberate strategy by Portland ... we think.

The Portland Trail Blazers are under-manned in their efforts to beat the Denver Nuggets and reach the Western Conference Finals. With center Jusuf Nurkic out with a fractured fibia and tibula, the Blazers no longer have the rim protection they had in the regular season. To compensate, they’ve created corner three-point shield by using their ... voices.

Allow us to explain. Led by assistant coach Nate Tibbets, Meyers Leonard, and Enes Kanter, the Blazers have used the age-old tactic of screaming and flailing from the bench in order to distract Nuggets corner shooters from sinking otherwise open shots.

And it’s working! In two games, the Nuggets have played 48 minutes in front of Portland’s bench — the first half of each game. In Game 1, Denver took and missed just one three in the space of the Blazers’ bench contingent. The Nuggets ended up scoring 121 points in a victory.

But in Game 2, they were almost welcomed to launch from in front of Portland’s bench. Portland allowed the Nuggets to take EIGHT attempts from the left corner. They bricked each and every one.

Tibbets was the most animated courtside attendee. The five-year Blazers assistant coach has stood up on Nuggets shots from deep, and at times has seemingly reached his arms outwards as if he’s about to play actual defense himself. He’s really had to be pulled back!

Tibbets wasn’t the only one to interfere on that Monte Morris three. Check out Kanter, running a few steps laterally in his bright red uniform, yelling lord-knows-what white towel clenched in an aggressive fist.

That wasn’t the only Blazers bench bonanza. Watch as Evan Turner rises from the abyss behind Gary Harris to mock-swat him.

Look closer now.

The joint effort was STRONG on this early first-quarter Harris three, too, with everyone being their quintessential selves.

Tibbets’, the catalyst for the night, pointed at Harris, which ignited the deep bench mob (Jake Layman, Anfernee Simons, Leonard) to rise and shout. Turner then yelled from his chair and Seth Curry muttered something from a wall-sit position(?)

Will this strategy work for an entire series? Probably not. There’s no supporting data to suggest that vocal annoyance is a sustainable way to stop elite basketball players from making open shots. Also, in theory, it is utterly ridiculous. If seven-foot arms in these guys’ faces don’t work, screams will?

Not to go super-nerd, but corner threes are also the shortest distance from the basket from deep range. Teams shouldn’t be leaving these open!

But for now, for whatever reason, the Trail Blazers’ Monsters Inc.-level scream power is prevailing. Don’t question it.