With Portland Trail Blazers up 2-0 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Blazers’ Edge Podcast takes a look at what is working: why the defense is clicking and how the offense is humming. It might not be the prettiest basketball they have played all season (we miss you Jusuf Nurkic!) but it is fun and effective.
Will it work when the Trail Blazers head to Chesapeake Energy Arena? How will the Trail Blazers handle being in the driver’s seat? We recap notable performances by Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. So much Damian Lillard.
2:00 Thunder are favored to win Game 3 by seven. How did that happen?
4:00 What is going right on defense for the Blazers, including Maurice Harkless.
7:45 Harkless is guarding Paul George and Aminu is helping with Kanter’s assignments and also free to help where needed.
10:50 Why did Paul George get so many open three-point shots in Game 1?
12:15 Lillard has done an amazing job of paying close attention to Westbrook on defense.
13:40 Blazers are getting lots of important momentum plays like the Westbrook miss followed by a three over Raymond Felton.
16:20 Meyers Leonard had a memorable defensive shift against smaller players in Game 2. Kudos to Leonard in general for stepping up.
20:05 Ways that we miss Jusuf Nurkic: big man bounce passes, less ball movement, shot selection
22:00 Damian’s opening shot in the series was probably meant to get the crowd into it.
24:35 Without Nurkic the offense is simplified but it is working. How the Trail Blazers are utilizing Lillard in sets.
27:00 Why aren’t the Thunder trying to smother Lillard?
31:40 Other players not named Lillard or McCollum have been showing patience on their decision making.
32:45 How Damian Lillard’s patience has been contagious and how the other players finding their role has contributed to the team’s success.
34:10 How content are role player to be role players?
37:00 Observations about CJ McCollum and his playoff success.
38:10 Dan can’t stop talking about Lillard putting Felton on skates “It was like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone.”
39:30 Tara thinks the Blazers need to retire alley-oops for the season. Why can’t they do them right?
40:30 Dan fan-boy experience over Andre Miller last week. He could throw anyone a lob.
43:20 What might OKC do to change things up on their home court?
45:00 They will want to try to wear Lillard out.
47:05 How do the Blazers react to being in the driver’s seat?
50:40 How good is Billy Donovan as a coach?
54:25 Tara can’t handle playoff pressure. Dan can’t stop thinking about Lillard roasting Felton.
57:10 From what he has seen so far, Dan can see the Trail Blazers winning the next round too. Tara likes what she sees but doesn’t want to get too high or too low right now. She’s just happy with how they look.
Programming note: a new WHAT podcast will come out this weekend.