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Mahoney: Blazers' Late-Game Approach Is "Genuine Curiosity"

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Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game writes that the Portland Trail Blazers needed to run things through forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the overtime periods of a Saturday night loss to the Dallas Mavericks. ------------------------------------- It’s a genuine curiosity that Portland didn’t operate through LaMarcus Aldridge (33 points, 14-26 FG, 12 rebounds, one turnover) on every single offensive possession in both overtimes. Nate McMillan’s teams are typically fantastic at running plays that put the best players in a position to succeed and rely on those players to create (via scores in their comfort zone, passes out of double-teams, etc.), but the Blazer offense was entirely too reliant on Felton and Jamal Crawford (19 points, 6-23 FG, three turnovers) down the stretch. I don’t mean too harp too much on the final 10 minutes alone, but considering how good of a shot creator Aldridge has become, the Blazers’ closing possession distribution was pretty indefensible. Dallas defended Aldridge with Brendan Haywood for much of the game, and despite Haywood’s best efforts to contest shots, deny position, and limit angles for potential hook shots, Aldridge converted bucket after bucket. The man only forced both overtime periods with difficult, contested scores, after all. I’m not precisely sure who should be to blame for Portland’s uncharacteristic misuse of resources (McMillan? Crawford? Felton? Aldridge himself? LeBron James?), but someone in the Blazers’ locker room has some ’splaining to do. ------------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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