The Blazers are playing some remarkable offense this season -- fluid, dynamic, balanced, and exciting. They put on a show every night. As a longtime Blazers fan, I'm as thrilled as anyone watching them play...and more often than not (for now), win!
But here's my thing -- I was around in the Nate McMillan days. Back in those days of the plodding half court offense, the maddening slow starts, and the horrendous 3-point shooting, what I could always depend on in close games against good teams -- of which there were a lot in those troubled days, same as now (when they win more of them) -- was for the Blazers to make a defensive stop when they needed to.
These days, I watch stellar offensive possession after stellar offensive possession, but as soon as the ball heads the other way, I find myself with no faith in this team's ability to get a stop. I'm not saying they never do -- but it sure doesn't seem to happen in a lot of these close games this year. Every game is instead a shoot-out -- just a matter of who gets the ball last or who makes their shots.
I find it baffling. There are good, proven defenders on this team -- i.e., Batum, Wes, LA. But my layman's eyes sees a team that won't be able to stop even the Philadelphia 76ers or New Orleans Pelicans if their shots happen to fall. And, I'm sorry, a team bound not to make it far. I am reminded of the mid 00's D'Antoni Phoenix teams -- thrilling, exciting in the season, but ultimately seeing their flaws revealed during the postseason.
So I wrote this cause I'm dying to know if I am alone in this. What are other people thinking about defense in this era of the Blazers? Are they as bad as they seem? And how can they improve? And will this prove a fatal flaw?