The Cavs surrendered the No. 1 spot in offensive efficiency to Portland. This is an insider piece from John Hollinger, so for those who can't see it I will post the Blazer related info.
1. One casualty of Cleveland's recent "slump" has been that the Cavs surrendered the No. 1 spot in offensive efficiency to Portland. Yes, Portland. The Blazers offer an interesting case study because they get very little post scoring and shoot a ton of jumpers -- an approach that traditionalists instinctively frown upon.
In the 1990s, this was indeed a bad idea. But in this decade, you can score big by spacing the floor with shooters and putting good decision-makers in the middle, and that's exactly what the Blazers have done under Nate McMillan.
The other interesting note is that the Blazers are playing the league's slowest pace, which has made some folks really, really slow to catch on to just how good Portland's offense is -- the Blazers are only 14th in points per game, a category that the league still insists on using to rank teams in the official stats.
This is very interesting to me, as many fans, (myself included) don't like the offense the Blazers run. Personally I would like to see more inside scoring, off cuts, and movement, but you can't agrue with success can you?
Hollinger also had this to say about Canzano's recent article about Oden vs Pryz.
2. The Oregonian's John Canzano, who ranks right behind Henry Abbott on my list of favorite bald writers from Portland, pointed out in Monday's column that Joel Przybilla is still outplaying Greg Oden, and we've got almost half a season under our belts, so maybe Portland ought to think about starting Przybilla and having Oden play with the subs.
The column reads like a knock on Oden, but the real story here is Przybilla, who has just been way, way, WAY better than anyone had any right to expect. The dude is shooting 75.5 percent and leading the league in rebound rate at 22.0. In addition he has been a force on defense with his shot-blocking, partly making up for the Blazers' softness on D at the other positions (they're 21st in defensive efficiency).
Oden's numbers are actually decent -- a 16.36 PER, a strong rebound rate, 53.5 percent shooting -- and in a vacuum he'd be worthy of a starting spot. Once he figures out that he can't allow 300-pound centers to post him up three inches from the rim because he can't count on being able to block the shot like he did in college and high school, he should be as much of a factor on D as Przybilla is, too.
But for now, Canzano is dead-on: Przybilla has been fantastic, and his reward should be a starting gig 'til further notice.
I don't agree, but the stats don't lie, Joel is out performing him. The biggest thing to me is this, Greg's development is more important to this teams future success than Joel's affect on this years team winning games.