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Friday
Oct292010

Portland Trailblazers Season: 2 Games Down, 80 to Go

We are only two games into the season, but some interesting statistics have developed early for the Portland Trailblazers of 2010-2011. While it is early, take them for what they are worth.

 

A lot is made of which team can score the most number of points overall. If you are interested in that sort of thing, then Portland’s ranking at 13th in average number of points per game is probably not all that impressive to you, but if you are like me,  I’ve always thought that metric that is more important when judging the offense of any sport team is the point differential between the team in question and their opponents.

Often, it may seem like a team may not put up a ton of points, but as is often the case, a team may not have to if they are playing extraordinary defense and winning by more than ten points, while implementing a solid offense. If you look at the stats with that in mind, Portland is the only team in the league that has played more than one game, and averages an 11 point spread on the margin of victory, and ranks #2 after Houston in overall number of points per game averaged by teams who have played more than one game so far.

 

When we look at the defense side of the ball, we see that the defense of the Blazers is definitely driving their offense. They are second in the league in outrebounding their opponents by a whopping 14 boards/per game, and they are averaging nearly 5 more steals per game than their opponents, whichis  also a best in the NBA for teams that have played more than one game during this season.

 

What is really extraordinary is that the Portland Trailblazers are achieving this with only one starting center, Marcus Camby, and a journeyman in Argentinian Fabricio Oberto, who did not get a chance to  practice with the team at all prior to stepping on the court in his first game as a Trailblazer.

 

We’ve been hearing from Coach Nate McMillan about what kind of defense team he wants, and it is beginning to look like he is starting to finally get that kind of defense that he has wanted out of this year’s team. Especially from LaMarcus Aldrige, Armon Johnson, Wesley Matthews, Marcus Camby, and Brandon Roy.

 

Their defense has really shined in the fourth quarter of late. Portland outscored the Phoenix Suns 31-11 in the fourth quarter of their season opener at the Rose Garden, and then outscored the Los Angeles Clippers 28-17 for a combined total of 59-28 in the fourth quarters of the last two games. If it were one game, I might be inclined to think that their opponent just had an off night from the offense during the fourth quarter, but when it happened again the next night, on the road no less, against a Los Angeles Clipper team that looks like it should have a better record than it did last year, it seems farfetched to say that it was just a coincidence.

 

Could this be the beginning of a solid season for the Portland Trailblazers, or merely the dumb luck of drawing two teams that are going to turn out to be much worse this season than they were last year? Who knows? But I’m feeling pretty good about the former.



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