FanPost

He's on Fire!

The saying goes: defense wins Championships.

What is often not stated, is the silent expectation that you also have an above average offense, or have the best defense in the league by a large margin.

This year, only 8 teams have a relative offensive rating of more than 3.0:

Relative Offensive Ratings:

Portland: 8.6
Miami: 5.2
San Antonio: 4.7
Dallas: 3.9
LA Clippers: 3.8
Houston: 3.6
Oklahoma City: 3.4
Minnesota: 3.2

On the flip side, let us look at teams with a relative defensive rating of less than -2.5 (you want a negative relative defensive rating):

Relative Defensive Ratings:

Indiana: -10.5
Chicago: -5.4
Oklahoma City: -4.1
San Antonio: -4.0
Golden State: -3.6

We see a couple things immediately:

* Indiana is on a whole other level on defense from the rest of the league, but have the 16th best offense
* Portland is on a whole other level on offense from the rest of the league, but have the 20th best defense
* San Antonio and Oklahoma City are on both lists(usually a good predictor)
* Miami isn't.... having a relative defensive rating of -0.9 (They've had some struggles and haven't turned it on yet; that said, they still have the second best offense in the NBA, and will likely improve their defense come playoff time)
* Golden State has the 5th best defense (but an offense that is just above average)
* Chicago has the 2nd best defense, but almost the worst offense (Their offense is so bad that it completely eliminates them from the discussion)
* Houston and Minnesota have at the cusp of where they need to be on offense, but are both basically average teams on defense (They'll need to improve in one of those areas to become a contender).

I've discussed basketball-reference's Championship probabilities in other posts, so I won't go into too much depth here.

But, if you look at the probabilities right now, the only teams predicted to have a realistic chance of winning the Championship(40-1 or better) are:

Indiana (5-2)
San Antonio (6-1)
Oklahoma City (7-1)
Portland (18-1)
Miami (18-1)
LA Clippers (20-1)
Golden State (40-1)

*As noted above, Miami hasn't been playing all that well to start the season (and we all expect them to turn it on at some point).*

The Blazers offense is so much better than the rest of the league, that it covers up the slightly below average defense.

What I do want to discuss today: the video game mode the Blazers seem to be able to unlock during most games; it's like they're playing NBA Jam...

He's heating up!

He's on Fire!

Boomshakalaka!

One of the things that I enjoy about this years team is that on offense, basically everywhere you look, you have the potential to catch fire... Be it a quarter of dominance, or just one of those 1 to 2 minute explosions...

---***---***---

When Wes makes that first 3-pointer, you fully expect that he's going to be fed that ball the next possession.

When Lillard determines that the game isn't going as planned, you fully expect him to turn on hero-ball.

When the Blazers are playing an elite team, you fully expect Aldridge to dominate for at least one of the quarters.

Sprinkle in the random explosion of Batum and MoDub (and hopefully CJ as he starts to earn more playing time).

It's a beautiful thing...

---***---***---

Damian Lillard

Lillard: 26 points (4th quarter Jan 7 @Sacramento)
Lillard: 17 points (3rd quarter Dec 18 @Minnesota)
Lillard: 16 points (2nd quarter Oct. 30 @Phoenix)
Lillard: 14 points (2nd quarter Jan 15 Cleveland)
Lillard: 14 points (3rd quarter Jan 20 @Houston)
Lillard: 13 points (2nd quarter Nov. 1 @Denver)
Lillard: 13 points (4th quarter Dec 2 Indiana)
Lillard: 13 points (1st quarter Dec 6 Utah)
Lillard: 13 points (4th quarter Dec 7 Dallas)
Lillard: 13 points (4th quarter Dec 21 New Orleans)
Lillard: 12 points (2nd quarter Nov. 2 Spurs)
Lillard: 12 points (4th quarter Dec 17 @Cleveland)
Lillard: 12 points (2nd quarter Dec 21 New Orleans)
Lillard: 12 points (2nd quarter Dec 30 @New Orleans)

Oct. 30: @Phoenix: 2nd quarter(Phoenix up 48-37, 1:05 left in the half):
Lillard 9 points in final 65 seconds of the half (Blazers down 50-46)

Nov. 1: @Denver: 2nd quarter(Blazers up 33-30, 7:33 left in the quarter):
Lillard 11 points in 119 seconds (Blazers lead 46-34)

Nov. 2: Spurs: 2nd quarter(Blazers up 34-31, 3:58 left in the half):
Lillard 10 points in 158 seconds (Blazers lead 46-35)

Nov 15: @Boston: 3rd quarter(Blazers up 63-61, 8:50 left in the quarter):
Lillard 8 points in 120 seconds (Blazers lead 73-65)

Nov 17: @Toronto: 4th quarter(Blazers up 81-73, 10:04 left in the game):
Lillard 8 points in 74 seconds (Blazers lead 89-73)

Nov 23: @Golden State: 3rd quarter(Golden State up 83-75, 0:37 left in the quarter):
Lillard 8 points in 70 seconds (Blazers down 86-83)

Nov 27: @Phoenix: 4th quarter(Phoenix up 99-80, 8:25 left in the game):
Lillard 8 points in 106 seconds (Blazers down 105-88)

Dec 6: Utah: 1st quarter(Utah up 3-0, 11:03 left in the quarter):
Lillard 8 points in 85 seconds (Blazers up 8-6)

Dec 17: @Cleveland: 3rd quarter(Cleveland up 69-61, 8:52 left in the quarter):
Lillard 9 points in 69 seconds (Blazers up 70-69)

Dec 21: New Orleans: 2nd quarter(New Orleans up 49-44, 1:31 left in the half):
Lillard 8 points in 61 seconds (Blazers up 52-51)

Jan 7: Sacramento: 4th quarter(Sacramento up 97-81, 8:09 left in the game):
Lillard 8 points in 59 seconds (Blazers down 102-89)

Jan 7: Sacramento: 4th quarter(Sacramento up 113-101, 1:53 left in the game):
Lillard 16 points in 96 seconds (Blazers down 121-119)

Jan 15: Cleveland: 2nd quarter(Cleveland up 46-40, 3:19 left in the half):
Lillard 9 points in 106 seconds (Blazers up 49-48)

--- ***---***---

Wes Matthews

Wes: 14 points (3rd quarter Nov. 1 @Denver)
Wes: 14 points (3rd quarter Dec 6 Utah)
Wes: 13 points (1st quarter Nov 19 @Milwaukee)
Wes: 13 points (1st quarter Nov 23 @Golden State)
Wes: 12 points (1st quarter Nov. 18 @Brooklyn)
Wes: 12 points (2nd quarter Dec 28 Miami)

Nov. 1: @Denver: 3rd quarter(Blazers up 66-55, 9:25 left in the quarter):
Wes 12 points in 103 seconds (Blazers lead 78-57)

Nov. 5: Houston: 4th quarter(Houston up 88-77, 10:12 left in the game):
Wes 7 points in 87 seconds (Blazers down 93-86)

Nov 8: Sacramento: 2nd quarter(Blazers up 44-38, 3:28 left in the half):
Wes 8 points in 81 seconds (Blazers lead 52-42)

Nov 18: @Brooklyn: 1st quarter(Brooklyn up 12-7, 7:56 left in the quarter):
Wes 9 points in 94 seconds (Blazers down 19-16)

Nov 23: @Golden State: 1st quarter(Golden State up 9-6, 9:09 left in the quarter):
Wes 9 points in 59 seconds (Blazers lead 15-12)

Nov 23: @Golden State: 3rd quarter(Golden State up 76-63, 5:08 left in the quarter):
Wes 8 points in 86 seconds (Blazers down 79-71)

Dec 28: Miami: 2nd quarter(Blazers up 50-48, 2:30 left in the half):
Wes 7 points in 72 seconds (Blazers up 57-52)

Jan 11: Boston: 3rd quarter(Boston up 68-64, 8:01 left in the quarter):
Wes 7 points in 85 seconds (Blazers up 73-68)

Jan 17: @San Antonio: 4th quarter(Blazers up 92-91, 3:46 left in the game):
Wes 9 points in 141 seconds (Blazers up 105-96)

---***---***---

LaMarcus Aldridge

Aldridge: 16 points (3rd quarter Dec 4 OKC)
Aldridge: 15 points (4th quarter Nov 23 @Golden State)
Aldridge: 14 points (3rd quarter Dec 12 Houston)
Aldridge: 14 points (3rd quarter Jan 4 Philadelphia)
Aldridge: 14 points (1st quarter Jan 8 Orlando)
Aldridge: 12 points (1st quarter Dec 1 @Lakers)
Aldridge: 12 points (1st quarter Dec 4 OKC)
Aldridge: 12 points (3rd quarter Dec 14 @Philadelphia)
Aldridge: 12 points (3rd quarter Jan 17 @San Antonio)

Nov. 1: @Denver: 4th quarter(Blazers up 105-94, 3:22 left in the game):
Aldridge 8 points in 108 seconds (Blazers lead 113-96)

Dec 1: @Lakers: 1st quarter(Blazers up 11-2, 7:11 left in the quarter):
Aldridge 8 points in 67 seconds (Blazers up 19-2)

Dec 4: OKC: 4th quarter(OKC up 98-97, 4:21 left in the game):
Aldridge 8 points in 111 seconds (Blazers up 105-100)

Jan 15: Cleveland: 4th quarter(Cleveland up 94-93, 3:18 left in the game):
Aldridge 9 points in 110 seconds (Blazers up 102-96)

---***---***---

Nic Batum

Batum: 15 points (1st quarter Nov. 1 @Denver)
Batum: 15 points (1st quarter Jan 18 @Dallas)
Batum: 13 points (1st quarter Nov 25 @NY Knicks)
Batum: 12 points (3rd quarter Dec 7 Dallas)

Nov. 1: @Denver: 1st quarter(Phoenix up 4-0 9:57, left in the quarter):
Batum 10 points in 114 seconds (Blazers lead 10-4)

---***---***---

Mo Williams

Nov 11: Detroit: 1st quarter(Detroit up 21-20, 3:31 left in the quarter):
MoDub 7 points in 78 seconds (Blazers lead 27-23)

Both MoDub and Lopez have a bunch of 6 point blasts....

---***---***---

Go Blazers!

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