When I tuned into the Grizzlies game I was hoping that the Trail Blazers would play the same type of pressure defense that they played last season when they beat the Bulls by 40. I knew that they probably wouldn't and even if they did they probably wouldn't do it well because they haven't played fullcourt defense this season. I figured if the Trail Blazers didn't come out aggressive playing pressure defense they would play a poor defensive game. I know the team well enough to sense stuff like that and unfortunately I was right.
That right there is a red flag. If you are good enough to shock a team with a fullcourt defense that helps spur a 40 point victory then you have to make that a part of your arsenal. This is especially true when you have so much depth. They should force teams to run just to get it up the floor. That should be a staple for the Trail Blazers. They don't need to pressure to force turnovers they need to press to make their opponent work and to boost their own intensity. They didn't press until they were down by 20. They simply need more aggression in their scheme. It wouldn't hurt to trap the pick and roll every now then too.
Two years ago in the 07/08 season the team played some of the best zone defense in the league. They did a fine job of finding the shooters around their zone and defensive rebounding. I remember they played zone for the majority of the game against a healthy Hornets team and didn't give up many uncontested threes. When they play zone this season they give up many more open shots and offensive rebounds and they did when they were 41-41.
Nate should have never let their zone defense regress and they should have been comfortable pressing in the preseason.
With the offball movement I have always wondered why Webster doesnt run off of picks like Richard Hamilton or Reggie Miller. Now I wonder the same thing about Rudy. Rudy does it but I would like to see more with him and Roy. The Blazers have so much talent that they generate a ton of open shots without good movement. The extra movement will help them get open shots against good defensive teams which the Trail Blazers haven't faced, it will help them score in the paint which is lacking, and it will make their oponents work which again plays well with their depth.