Look we suck at this thing called PnR defense. We aren't bad at other defense but the PnR is AWFUL for us. Now you might say it was Hicksons fault or it is Lopez now or Damian Lillard etc. Now yes, Dame does have issues with the screen but I think that is a smaller problem....you are going to get screened once in a while. LOTS of top point guards get screened off yet it doesn't equal instant buckets. What is the difference?? Coaching and Scheme.
Here is the reality. The NBA is full of top point guards and good screeners, your PG is going to get picked and picked very well at times. PnR defense requires at minimum 3 to 4 people to do it effectively now. The Portland Trail Blazers use a maximum of 2 at any given time. You've heard me complain about this "missing third man in the rotation" since last season. However it is of course more than that. Watch the video below at the 2:48 mark. Look how many people are involved in this from the Bulls.
BULLS: (Pause at 2:52)
Bulls vs Nets Game 7: How The Bulls Defense Works (via BBALLBREAKDOWN)
Now pause at 2:52.
Jimmy Butler an excellent defender gets WELL picked off (normal). Look at how many Bulls are waiting to stop the PnR. They rotate down into position. Its not like Noah is going to dominate Deron. They don't expect Butler to stop the PnR or beat the screen. The guys sagging know that points in the paint will kill them too. They just have to contain Deron long enough for Butler to get back enough. The whole team is watching this and waiting. Bellinelli gives up the corner 3 thinking maybe he can contest it. He knows that there is no way he is giving Deron the lane past Noah. Everyone else on the backside is in the paint waiting to stop Deron if he goes the other way. These guys give up A LOT to stop the paint. They are also preparing to recover immediately in effort to try and contest. The only shot is the corner or Deron's jumper. Both they are willing to give up and hope to contest.
Now pause at 2:53 or 4 and see how many bulls were in the lane. This is what Portland is trying to do with Lopez. Yes he sucks compared to Noah but the reality is that Noah has help here because he needs it against a top flight PG. We Blazers do veeeerrry little of this "help" thing and then moan about Lopez and whatever guard is getting picked off. That is not the problem.
BLAZERS: (pause video at 1:38 ish)
What happened last night against the Suns was simply 2 v 2 in the PnR to Dragic/Blodsoe's delight. No help, no packing the paint or taking away the obvious lanes.
Go here and watch from the Blazers last night 1:37 mark and pause at 1:38:
NBA CIRCLE - Portland Trail Blazers Vs Phoenix Suns Highlights 30 October 2013 www.nbacircle.com (via NBACIRCLETODAY)
Paused at the 1:38 mark. Look at how many of us are in the lane. This is after we have been getting DESTROYED in the PnR all night. Where is the help? The pick will happen...a Center vs PG in High PnR isn't going to win you anything defensively. This is not Freeland fault. Sure he could play it better maybe but any NBA team would take this Suns scenario all night against any center as the odds are in their favor.
Now the missing link is LMA sagging in and taking away the obvious lane. Sure his guy can shoot but LMA can also recover and contest. The Blazers need to give the suns a semi contested 3pt shot there by opposing PF and not the free lane to the FREAKING hoop. PHX shot 21% from 3. They aren't that good. We need to give that shot to them and not the stupid layup. You can't consistently let PG's get that far downhill. It'll result in fouls or points to often.
If you compare those 2 videos shots(Bulls at 2:53 and Blazers at 1:38), the Bulls are packing the paint while we aren't do it AT ALL. The Bulls aren't leaving Noah on some island to make the big play. They know that won't work long term. Its coaching, its the scheme. We have the speed and the talent (besides center) to make this work.
This is coaching and needs to get fixed. Its systemic currently. We saw the exact same thing last year when we were hedging. It was all still 2 v 2 with no help or additional rotations.