Jacob (CA): Kevin, what's your diagnosis for Portland's awful offensive showing in these playoffs? Too much 1v1 play? Relying on offensive rebounding too much? Just a great job by Houston? Where does Portland go from here?
Kevin Pelton (Basketball): The thing is, the Blazers' offense should in theory be much easier to translate into the playoffs than teams that rely on transition offense or something like that. That was the premise of a piece I wrote for Sports Northwest Magazine earlier this year. Dependence on outside shooting did make them somewhat vulnerable, but end games in the playoffs are all about 1-on-1 play (as one person remarked during Boston-Chicago Game 5, "We play a team game for six months. Then it's all about the individuals in the playoffs."), so ... . I think a lot of the credit has to go to the Rockets, who made the Blazers really like discombobulated at times in the series.
John (NYC): What do you think Portland does this summer? They are already a good team, but it seems like they are very much an "unfinished" product. The small forward spot, Oden's role on offense, backup pg, all seem pretty much in flux...
Kevin Pelton (Basketball): Oden should be much better next season, and I wouldn't let Nicolas Batum's invisible postseason detract too much from the good rookie campaign he's had. In my opinion, PG is still the biggest area the Blazers need to address. Can Jerryd Bayless be that guy? I'm not sure.