After another disappointing game, I wanted to look closer to see if my impressions were accurate. Based on the first 6-minutes, I think Leonard is showing good improvement, and the play-calling sucks. Judge for yourself.
Tip-Poor jump by Leonard, LA wins the tip.
Good man defense to start the possession, forces LA to pass to Harris. Crabbe was supposed to be guarding Harris, but was too far away after hedging the help defense. Harris drove right past him when he ran out to cover. Harris missed but got his own rebound and got the phantom foul. Hits 1 of 2 from the line. Good box out on the second (missed) shot and Leonard bats the rebound to TRob.
The first possession has Barton on the low block, yes 180 pound Barton. Leonard is at the 3pt line, I'm assuming in an effort to draw out Sacre. Barton moves out toward the 3pt line to receive the pass from 3J, who moves to the top of the key around a Crabbe pick. 3J's man is able to get around the screen to meet 3J and prevent a pass. Sacre was there waiting anyway (Leonard is just standing in the same spot).
3J clears the paint and moves to the far side corner, Crabbe also clears out to the far side. TRob moves to set a screen for Barton. Rather than use the screen, Barton dribbles AWAY from the screen and TRobs man moves to cut him off. Sacre also moves across the lane to deny any dunk/layup. Leonard is still in the same spot.
Barton is stopped by TRob's defender and TRob moves to the free throw line and receives the pass, taking one step before putting up a short range jumper right in the face of Sacre...and 4 other defenders who have all collapsed on the play. Leonard is still in the same spot.
The shot is missed and TRob attacks the rebound, Barton hedges closer to be an opportunistic rebounder, 3J is already headed back on defense. Leonard and Crabbe are at the 3pt line just watching. TRob manages to corral the rebound and try again, but misses...and grabs the rebound again...trys again and misses. By the time the rebound is corralled by LA, Leonard has taken his first step across the 3pt line toward the rebound. Too little, too late.
TRob was slow getting up after the missed shot and LA had a 5 on 4. Landry went to the 3pt line and Leonard moved out to guard him, leaving Sacre open. Fortunately, after one bounce he lost the ball on the way up. Turnover.
3J brings it up and the Blazers set up in a standard formation. 3j passes off to Barton and moves to the far side 3pt line. Leonard moves up to set a pick, which Barton uses. Sacre blocks the move, effectively using the sideline and a wide base to block dribble penetration. Leonard rolls and Barton is able to get him the ball. LA rotates quickly to cut off any drive and Leonard quickly passes the ball to a wide open 3J. Swish. That's better.
After effective P&R defense, LA is bailed out by a bad 3-sec technical. It was two seconds, I checked.
A poor shot attempt by LA is a miss, but they get the rebound and make a sloppy pass that Barton picks off. The resulting fast break is spoiled by a mishandled/poor pass from Barton to TRob, but possession is retained.
3J quickly brushes off a quick screen by Leonard for some space and rises up for a 3pt shot that misses. Rebound LA.
Hudson gets a quick screen from Sacre to brush off 3J and cans the 3pt shot.
Barton initiates the offense. TRob moves to set him a pick, which Barton doesn't use...again. TRob's man stops the brief penetration and Barton is forced to pass out of the double-team to a wide open Trob...at the 3pt line. With a wide open area, he dribbles into the lane and goes to the spin move when he's met. Rather than attempt a jumper in traffic, he passes to a wide open Leonard who moved into the open space to receive the pass. Leonard cans the shot. Nice.
A perfect defensive possession. Everyone was in the right spot and adjusted to the ball and player movement. Missed shot, Blazer rebound.
Again, Barton initiates and moves away from the pick, this time set by Leonard. When he's blocked he passes to an open Leonard who...launches a 3pt shot. Miss. Well, he was open. It was followed by offensive rebounds and misses by 3J, Barton, and TRob culminating in a foul for TRob to shoot 2. Makes the first, misses the second.
Another good defensive series with Crabbe sliding well to get in front of a driving Harris and drawing the charge.
Barton initiates again, this time from the center of the court and again moves away from the TRob pick. This time he's got a driving lane and attacks, collapsing the defense and he kicks out to the open Crabbe for the alleged 3pt shot (his foot was on the line).
LA moves quickly to the P&R and TRob completely whiffs hedging the screen, giving 3J's man a free lane to the hoop. Rotations came after the shot and Leonard goaltends the shot. TRob never moved.
3J is harassed bringing the ball up but fights through the pressure and gets fouled.
After the inbounds 3J gets control and passes to Barton who goes one-on-one in space, driving into the lane. He fights to get a shot up that misses. Rebound LA. Fast break LA. Layup LA.
3J brings it up and the ball swings to Leonard on the low block who sells a foul on Sacre. After the inbounds 3j dribbles around, gets a bit of space and rises up to nail a 3pter. Not much of a play, but effective.
LA brings the ball up and a weak pass is picked off by Barton and returned for a dunk, thank you very much.
Another good defensive series with everyone in the right spots. It resulted in another picked off pass, this time by Crabbe who runs it back for a shot that misses but is put back by Barton.
LA quickly comes back, throws the ball into the low post and Harris spins toward the hoop only to be fouled by 20 Blazers. He fell. He makes 2.
Barton brings it up and passes to Crabbe who's confused as to why he's getting the ball. He reverses the ball to the far side and 3J tries to drive but is met by a double team in the corner. Ball out of bounds off LA. 3J gets the ball off the inbounds and the clock down to 3 and launches a rushed 3pt shot that misses. The missed shot is tipped out of bounds by LA. 3J again gets the inbounds and plays P&R with Leonard who is stopped short and passes to the open Barton at the 3pt line. His shot misses but he collects the rebound and scores with a nice reverse layup.
Decent defense by PDX, although Leonard was a little out of position to defend the P&R. He recovered enough to influence the shot which missed. The rebound was chased down by 3J and quickly passed ahead to a streaking Leonard for the layup. Sweet.
LA quickly sets up an off-ball screen and Crabbe can't keep up. #10 collapses the defense and passes to Sacre who's open because Leonard has moved to block the shot. Dunk Sacre.