Advanced Scouting: Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs
Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs 2:30 CST December 12, 2010
Portland: 0.46 (14th)
San Antonio: 8.94 (2nd)
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||2 Year Net PER||On court +/-per 48 minutes||Off court +/-per 48 minutes||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Miller,Roy,Batum,Aldridge,Camby: +15 in 229 minutes
Miller,Roy,Matthews,Aldridge,Camby: +26 in 134 minutes
Johnson,Fernandez,Matthews,Cunningham,Aldridge: +38 in 47 minutes
Miller,Roy,Matthews,Batum,Aldridge: +38 in 25 minutes
Preferred method to create shots: Andre Miller on the Pick and Roll
The Portland Trail Blazers have enjoyed great success utilizing Brandon Roy on isolation plays over the last few years. However, knee problems have contributed to drops in Royâ€™s minutes, usage and efficiency this season. At one point in the season, the Blazers even considered scratching the isolation for Roy from the playbook altogether.
Royâ€™s diminished contributions have called for Andre Miller to create more for his teammates. In addition to his increased role in setting up teammates for easy buckets, Miller has also been Portlandâ€™s primary option in running the pick and roll. The Trail Blazers have averaged 0.95 points per possession (PPP) with Miller heading the pick and roll, compared to 0.69 when the pick and roll is run through Brandon Roy.
Portland also feeds LaMarcus Aldridge often in the post, but his production seems to have leveled off in recent seasons, his scoring average has not deviated from 18 points in the past four seasons and his Offensive Efficiency Rating (Points Produced per 100 individual possessions) has dropped from 115 in 2008-09 to 113 last year and is currently 106 this season.
Appropriate Spurs counter: Try to entice Andre Miller to shoot jump shots
Andre Miller is an anomaly when it comes to the outside shot. He has the lowest 3 point all-time percentage among players with 100 made treys and a FT% above 80%. He gets better inside the 3 point line, but the more you can entice him to pull up for a jumper, the better your chances of success become.
Miller also looks to pass off pick and rolls, but since coming to Portland more of his assists have come on jumpers. These passes tend to be less harmful than passes leading to close shots and dunks.
After a slow start, George Hill has seen improved results with his pick and roll defense. A modest increase in his typical minutes to match up against Andre Miller defensively could serve the Spurs well.
Defensive Strategy: Test Roy on ISOs and get to the line
Portlandâ€™s defense allows 95 points per game, good for 7th in the NBA. However, a more appropriate measure of defensive performance is points per possession. In that category, Portland allows 106.5 points allowed per 100 possessions. This defensive efficiency leaves them as an almost perfectly average defensive team.
Not only is Portland average overall defensively, they are middle of the pack of several statistical categories. Over the last two seasons, they have been about average defending the pick and roll, above average defending the post and reasonably good at defending isolations plays. Teams do well when they are able to run on Portland, but increasing the pace against them is easier said than done. Portland is second to only Atlanta in the lowest turnover rate for the past two seasons.
If there is anything that tends to hurt Portland defensively, itâ€™s that they foul at a high rate. Only 6 teams have a higher FT/FGA rate and only Utah is anywhere near average or better. In addition, Rudy Fernandez has moderately struggled defending the pick and roll.
Another thing the Spurs could potentially exploit is testing out Brandon Roy on isolations. Teams have had considerably more success against him on these plays than last year. Perhaps his troubled knee is the culprit once again. The Spurs generally prefer to run the pick and roll, but a few more isolation plays through Manu or Parker could pay off. George Hill and Richard Jefferson are also capable of testing Roy on the isolation if matched against him.
The Spurs and the Trail Blazers are both coming off 4 game winning streaks. The Blazers have impressed many with a double digit win against the Magic and two victories against the Suns. However, the Spurs have impressed all year. San Antonio should once again be clear favorites in this one.