Joshua Riddell of The Mikan Drill offers a thorough breakdown of center Robin Lopez's pick-and-roll defense and assesses how Lopez's summer addition might fit into -- or influence -- the Portland Trail Blazers' team defense.
In short, although it looks like Lopez is an immediate upgrade to the Blazers poor pick and roll defense, the video shows that this is not quite a slam dunk. If the Blazers have Lopez hedge hard on screens, it is a strategy that will likely not end well for either the Blazers' defense, as it will be easy to expose this weakness of Lopez, or Lopez's minutes, as smart guards will be able to pick up cheap fouls on him as he hedges on the screen.
The best idea is to move to a style of defense Lopez is used to playing (at least in situations where Lopez is defending the screener) which would put Lopez in an area of strength and likely improve the Blazers pick and roll defense. Lopez showed with the Pelicans that he is comfortable in this style of defense and Portland adapting this will shore up one of their weakest parts of their defense. If they stick with their strategy from last season, they will struggle again against the pick and roll and could see one of their most important off season signings limited by foul trouble.
Thanks to Joshua for sharing his work in the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter