Workplace Injury Prevention Offence
Right from the start I want to give credit where credit is due this topic was brought up to me by Josh Laurie. All of our calls start off by naming a player on the Blazers roster and breaking them down, Damian Lillard, go! Last week's conversation Josh brought up how healthy the Blazers have been this season; he credited Terry Stott‘s offence for a healthy roster. I'm calling his offence the workplace injury prevention offence.
We all know about the injuries the Blazers have endured over the years and some notable ones came with Nate McMillian’s non-movement, one on one style of play. I’m not saying that Darius Miles, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden would still be playing today if they played in the current Blazers offence I’m just saying look at the results of McMillian’s offence with the caveat of Zach Randolph because his feet never leave the floor.
Injuries are part of the game, just look around the NBA this season; you will see a lot of point guards on the Injured Reserved or players that don’t play in back to back games. Can you blame the style of play for some of these injuries to players like Tony Parker (a high points in the paint scorer, hurt a few times a season), Dwayne Wade (sits out back to backs), Gerald Wallace (aka Crash), Rajon Rondo (IR), Derrick Rose (IR), Eric Bledsoe (IR), Chris Paul (IR), Deron Williams (IR), Jrue Holiday (IR), Russell Westbrook (IR), Devin Harris (IR) and Steve Nash (IR) all these players seem to spend a lot of time healing rather than playing. Thinking back Michael Jordan got hurt before the Triangle offence was in Chicago and now you see Kobe hurt now that it is gone.
If you look at the Blazers offence this year you see Damian Lillard shooting more 3’s rather than attacking the basket every play. The same goes for Wes Matthews who in the last couple of seasons always seems to be banged up one way or another as a result of driving to the basket every other play. The Blazers are picking and choosing when to attack the basket. This is possible from all the ball movement to open shooters, 3’s and top of the key jumpers by Aldridge. To me this is a much more exciting style of play as you get the more dramatic drive to basket when the game is on the line as we have seen Lillard/Aldridge do so well this season. With this offence you also get to see Lillard, Mathews and Aldridge on the court instead of wearing street clothes on the bench. There is the Batum exception, somehow he seems to get hurt no matter what the style of play is but everyone is healthy and happy this season as other teams in the NBA have their point guards in street clothes.
I know others are saying the Blazers style of play is unpredictable but I disagree as they have the weapons to play inside and out but why do that two man game when you have four weapons out there that can shoot the 3 and a bench that can score. This all adds up to a healthy playoff roster.
The Spurs, Lakers, Bulls, Pistons, Rockets and Mavericks have all won NBA titles with an offence that involves player movement, ball movement and 3’s. The Triangle being the winner of 11 rings as well as making Steve Kerr, Robert Horry and John Paxon jump shoot heroes. I know we can add the Blazers to this list of NBA Champions and add Batum, Wes Mathews, Mo Williams, CJ McCollum, and Dorell Wright to the jump shot heroes list.