We're going to begin our season review with a look at how the team did statistically compared to the rest of the league and their own performance last season. Since so much was laid at the feet of the offense this year we'll start with the offensive side of the ball. Defense, rebounding, and a couple other items will come tomorrow.
Here's the offensive breakdown. Keep in mind that the Blazers ranked 29th in the league in pace so theoretically raw numbers much higher than that are to the positive.
|Points per Game||99.4||14th||95.4||+4.0|
|Points in Paint*||38.3||18th*||30.8||+7.5|
|Field Goal ATT||79.2||23rd||79.8||-0.6|
|Field Goal Makes||36.8||16th||35.8||+1.0|
|Field Goal %||46.5%||8th||44.8%||+1.7%|
|Free Throw ATT||24.2||16th||22.5||+1.7|
|Free Throw Makes||18.5||20th||17.2||+1.3|
|Free Throw %||76.5%||17th||76.7%||-0.2%|
*The stats with asterisks (points in paint and fastbreak points) were only available with the playoff games included, but they give you a general idea of the season progress anyway even though they're a shade off of the strict regular season comparisons. The Blazers may shade a spot higher or lower in these categories versus the rest of the league.
Several things jump out here.
The Blazers improved in nearly every category from their performance last year. The right side of the table is flooded with plus signs.
The Blazers made some astronomical leaps in certain categories. Points in the paint and offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions) are the eye-popping gains but gains of 1.7% in field goal percentage and 2.0 in effective field goal percentage are also significant. Keep in mind we're talking an entire team here, not just one guy who got comfortable or saw his role increase.
The fast break numbers didn't go up much, either in raw terms or compared to the rest of the league. The Blazers are getting more makeable attempts but they're not coming on the break.
Despite the fantastic overall efficiency Portland doesn't actually rank that high in any given area amongst the rest of the league. This could be spun a couple of ways. On the one hand you could say the Blazers' multi-pronged attack is difficult for opponents to shut down entirely. You can control certain facets of the Blazers' offense but you're not going to be able to contain them everywhere for the whole game. Somethings' going to give. On the other hand you could say the Blazers' offense is decent-to-good in many areas but consistently overwhelming in none. Portland is going to get matched up with teams who have those great, near-unstoppable assets. Often great in a couple things beats out decent in everything.
Do keep in mind, though, that because of space considerations I'm separating rebounding--including offensive rebounding--from the rest of the statistics. That would be the one area offensively where Portland could lay some claim to greatness. Then again, getting manhandled by Houston in that aspect of the game may throw us back to the "Jack of all trades and master of none" line.
What jumps out to you offensively? And what do you think were the biggest offensive strengths, weaknesses, and improvements this season?