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Harper: The Blazers Need to Run More

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The Athletic’s Zach Harper explains why the Blazers need to get out in transition more often.

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Portland Trail Blazers v Utah Jazz Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

The Trail Blazers own one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA. Despite having the eighth-best offensive rating in the league, Portland’s offense rarely relies on generating points in transition. The Blazers’ lack of transition scoring caught the eye of The Athletic’s Zach Harper in his recent league-wide rundown.

According to the numbers gathered by Harper, coach Terry Stotts’ squad ranks No. 28 in transition frequency. Harper goes on to explain that the Blazers’ lack of pace can be tied back to two unlikely culprits: Evan Turner and Damian Lillard. Both ball handlers are surprisingly inefficient in transition.

Harper goes on to explain that the Blazers can unlock another gear if Lillard is given the opportunity to get more reps on the break.

Evan Turner is in the 13th percentile in transition scoring efficiency. He turns the ball over an absurd 27.1 percent of the time. Also, Damian Lillard’s 34th percentile ranking is a bit shocking. You’d think his ability to get to the basket with ease and that lethal pull-up jumper would thrive in transition. It just hasn’t so far this season. I would run more and bank on Lillard figuring out that aspect of the game the rest of the season. This Blazers team could be so much deadlier than they already are.

You can read Harper’s complete post at The Athletic (subscription required).