After the draft I read up a little on the profiles of our draft picks, and then I read Mathew's college profile on DraftExpress, and I started to wonder if Portland is placing greater emphasis on players who can get to the rim and draw fouls. Consider the players that have departed, or will soon depart. Outlaw, Blake, Webster, and Fernandez all have one key attribute in common: Their offense depends on jump shots, and three point jump shots in particular. None of them spent much time at the foul line or in the lane.
Then consider the newly acqiured players: Miller, Mathews, Babbitt, Williams, and Johnson are all known for their ability to get to drive to the basket and draw fouls. Mathews did not show that part of his game much at Utah, but it is a skill he exhibited at Marquette. Babbitt seems to pull up more for mid-range jumpers, but at Nevada he got to foul line at a very high rate. Then consider Roy, Miller and Bayless. All three get in the lane and get to the foul line. In fact, every 1,2 and 3 on the team except Batum gets to the foul line regularly. (I'm not sure about Cunningham).
I wonder if the Blazers have decided that its easier to teach a player with a good first step to shoot than it is to teach a guy who can shoot to put the ball on the floor and draw contact. I know McMillian said the Blazers were looking for shooters in the draft, and they certainly got one (based on college stats) in Babbitt, but I see a different trend in the recent personnel decisions. Both three pointers and foul shots both increase offensive effectiveness, but few players offer both. Have the Blazers decided they value one skill more than the other?
What does it mean? More iso offense? A more effective offense? A somewhat different offense? Did the Blazers learn something from Miller's (I don't shoot threes) playing style? What does this mean for our bigs: Oden, Aldridge and Camby? Just wondering if anyone else noticed.