A lot of time is spent bemoaning the lack of interior offense with the Blazers. Some point the finger at LMA for settling for jumpers. Others point at the lack of sets run for Oden. Perhaps the biggest impediment to our post game is just getting the guys the friggin' ball!
Is anyone else getting sick of seeing Greg or LMA establish position in the post and the passer being unable to get the ball to them?
In a typical post passing situation, the passer needs to decide whether to bounce it in via a low feed or lob it up high. Making the proper decision involves noticing where the defender is, and where the hardest spot would be for the defender to reach the ball. A great post pass means that a post player does not have to relinquish an inch of the position they've worked so hard to establish, but the post player must come to meet the ball if necessary. Most players have a preference of whether they like to receive a post pass up high or have it bounced in. Those are things you learn over time and during practice conversations.
Increasingly, we're seeing teams switch to "fronting" the post player. In this case, the post player essentially must do a "reverse" post by pushing the defender away from the basket enough that the passer has enough distance between the player and the basket to lob a pass in.The Blazers have shown ZERO ability to get this done. Once a team decides to front our post players, it's pretty much game over. And once again, it's not because of the post players. Greg is pushing his defenders almost to the free throw line, but the pass rarely, if ever, is attempted.
Now, I acknowledge that lobbing a pass to a post player who is being fronted is more difficult. The reason being that: (1) it's a feel pass more than a direct pass (2) there is almost always a weakside defender ready to sandwich the post player should a pass be attempted. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be attempting the pass. In fact, we are ignoring one of our nightly advantages by not attempting that pass. When you do get a weakside defender rotating over, it's always means someone is open. As we have all painfully witnessed with the Blazers, slow or incomplete defensive rotation leads to some of the easiest buckets in the NBA.
That's not even taking into account the very real possibility of the fronted post player getting the ball with nobody between them and the basket, which can happen when a weakside rotation is late or nonexistent.
Frankly, with the lack of interest and persistence I've seen in post passing on the Blazers, it's no wonder why a guy like LMA would choose to float out and shoot jumpers. Banging in the post is hard work, and not getting any benefit for that work is unacceptable.
This is something I put directly on the coaches. Post passing is not a natural skill for many ball players. It can, however, be taught. Practice post passing routinely. Get on players for missing post players who have established position. Reward players who show a proclivity for post passing with more playing time.