4 Simple Steps:
Game 3: Start Andre Miller with the ball in the post, LaMarcus in motion and Camby at the top of the key. Use Roy minimally. Take care of business. Bonus Plan: Put Roy in during the second quarter and tell him to get ejected in under five minutes.
Game 4: LaMarcus Aldridge in the post and Wallace starting the half-court set, looking for those two guys to combine for 55 points. Use Roy minimally. Take care of business.
Game 5: Start Brandon Roy in the first, third and fourth quarter. Post him up as your primary option. Back to basics with Aldridge, Wallace and Miller getting double doubles. Slow it down, slow it down, slow it down and get back on defense!
Game 6: Rose Garden baybe!
Long version follows, and a poll...
When we talk about adjustments, it's always meant in relation to the previous game (or quarter). Sometimes that's necessary, but in a best of 7 you need to try and use your crystal ball. We've played 8 quarters against Dallas now, and we're down two. The players aren't going to change and we know the individual and both teams' strengths. However, the element of surprise can still be our best strength.
We have two home games which gives the Blazers a huge advantage. Now is not the time to tinker, or experiment, but if Nate has been up at night, he should have developed a plan that builds up starting in Game 3 and ready to go full force during Game 5. I can see Coach Nate running into two possible traps:
- Relying too much on a new game plan when and if Dallas is expecting it.
- Tipping Dallas off to our new game plan before we're ready to exploit it.
Regardless, we need a new plan so it's got to be done. I've been hard on Brandon Roy for years, so it may be selfish right now but I'm advocating to use his passion and begin playing through Brandon. Obviously the plays have been drawn up and rehearsed for years. Coach just has to dig out his old plans for realsies and Brandon has to get er done. He's got limited mobility (duh) but he can post up Dallas's small guards. I suggest we use him as our first option, followed by LMA and then Wallace. It probably means reduced minutes for (and poutiness from) Miller and Fernandez, and it means Nicolas has to be deadly from range when we need him.
The biggest problem I foresee with "the Brandon Solution" is he's going to get sore after one full game, and I don't want to waste that opportunity in a home game that we should win outright. On the one hand, the next two games are the ideal time to generally use our regular offense but get the Brandonball plan warmed up. On the other hand, if you tip off the Mavericks they'll have it fully scouted by Game 5.
Therefore, I think we need to use Games 3 and 4 to mix in not only some Brandonball but also 2 or 3 alternative changes of strategy consistently enough so they don't know which one to plan for. Red herrings so to speak. I haven't given them a lot of thought but they have to be something we haven't tried lately and they have to have promise. Having promise means they shouldn't consist of Brandon, Nic, or Rudy canning threes with consistency. Off the top of my head I can try and think of a couple options: (1) start Andre Miller with the ball in the post, LaMarcus in motion and Camby at the top of the key. (2) Bring back the three guard lineup with Andre, Patty and Rudy/Wesley for strategic possessions (whoo whoo!). Unfortunately those aren't really going to shake up Rick Carlisle enough so therefore here's my final suggestion: (3) In Game 4, (after we win Game 3) we concentrate on getting Gerald Wallace on fire. Maybe he can light them up for 35-40. That would give them something to focus on back in Dallas.
Regardless of whether Roy is your solution or your red herring, it's critical that we have a multi-tiered plan to take them off balance. I can just see him planting his feet in the lane, maybe getting called for an offensive foul or two, maybe taking a T for good measure, but also going like 8-12 and drawing as many fouls.