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Trail Blazers Display Improved Defense

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The Blazer’s Edge Podcast examines Portland’s upgraded defense.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers are playing defense in the early going of the 2017-18 season and we’re loving it. Join Tara and Dan on the latest Blazer’s Edge podcast to find out what’s to like, what to keep an eye on and what in the world has gotten into Pat Connaughton?

We go deep on how the Trail Blazers did their best to contain Giannis. We like how even though Jusuf Nurkic struggles at times offensively, he’s still rebounding and staying alert on defense. Damian Lillard is showing up on defense nearly every play--he’s fouling more and chasing through screens aggressively.

And, oh my, Ed Davis, welcome back!

We check back on some of our preseason observations to find out if they are holding up now that every game counts. The pick-and-roll defense shows signs of improving. The pace of the game is slightly higher. And for now it seems like Pat Connaughton is taking most of the shots that were once taken by Allen Crabbe.

All of this and more on the latest edition of the Blazer’s Edge podcast.

References

Unless otherwise noted, statistics are from Basketball-Reference

NBA Video Rulebook

Last 2 Minute Report for Trail Blazers vs Bucks

Highlights

1:45 What can we take away from the Phoenix Suns Game?

4:53 Pat Connaughton steps up!

7:41 A road victory in Indiana, Evan Turner and Al-Farouq Aminu have big night

9:50 Milwaukee game summary.

11:40 Giannis praise. Can’t help it.

15:00 What Portland’s defense did well against Milwaukee: communicating, physicality, pushing guys off their sweet spots. Giannis got 44 points but Aminu, Davis and Harkless all made him work for them.

16:24 Damian seems to have embraced defense.

21:30 Nurkic has struggled offensively but then he wisely goes back to basics--rebounding and defense.

25:37 L2M report from the league--Dan thinks it was a foul, Tara believes the refs.

31:04 How are the Blazers doing defending the pick-and-roll? Slightly better.

36:10 Are the Blazers speeding up the pace? Yes, by just about two possessions a game and four more free throw attempts.

37:40 Three solid minutes of Ed Davis love peppered with some Al-Farouq Aminu appreciation.

40:34 Who is getting Allen Crabbe’s shot attempts? Right now it appears to be Pat Connaughton.

44:20 CJ’s beautiful shot creation and Dame’s sharp shooting.

47:15 Why aren’t the Blazers taking very many corner 3-pointers? Something to watch as the season progresses.

50:50 A moment to enjoy the Steph-KD meltdown in Memphis.

53:35 Injuries ravage the NBA.

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We are part of the Almighty Baller Radio Network. Check out our podcast and all the other NBA podcasts at almightyballer.com.