The Golden State Warriors have ruined everything. Or I should say that has ruined everything.
In trying to figure out what sustainable offense looks like, what is a new trend of action, and what is just a fluky stretch of shooting excellence, the Warriors and Curry have skewed things when it comes to the perimeter attack. Curry and his incomparable ability to take long jumpers off the dribble have flooded the highlight reels that once housed nothing but big dunks on top of ill-prepared big men. It’s only natural to see this start permeating into other team’s identities.
The came into the season with low expectations — at least outside of their own locker room — after losing 80 percent of their starting lineup and 66.7 percent of their roster. Perhaps the low expectations hoisted upon them have caused their opponents to not take them as seriously as is clearly necessary, but it’s more likely the Blazers have used it motivation to come out in search of dropping a ton of points on the opposition in front of them.
Or, perhaps we were all just wrong. Perhaps good shooting makes for good teams.
Through the first two weeks of the regular season, the Blazers have had some impressive offensive performances. They rank seventh in offensive rating (104.1), third in effective field goal percentage (52.8 percent), and second in 3-pointers made per game (10.4). We knew Damian Lillard could shoot and deep down we all knew C.J. McCollum could do the same (though we’d be lying if we said we saw this hot a start coming from McCollum), but still, this level of overall shooting, and winning, from the Blazers was not something anyone was expecting. And whenever something unexpected comes about, the first thing to do is question whether it’s sustainable over the long haul.
Where the Blazers seem to blow you away is with the ability to make shots off the dribble, which is propagated by Lillard and McCollum. With Lillard, it’s his sheer strength as he bounces defenders off him before rising up with perfect form. For McCollum, there’s a silkiness to the way he dissects the defenders in front of him while he glides to the open spot on the floor to fire off his shot.
Lillard is second in the in points off pull-up jumpers (9.1 per game). McCollum ranks fourth (8.8) while shooting an impressive 44.3 percent on those attempts. Their growth as initiators looking to score as a tandem has replacel Pellegrini says they haven’t changed their style after victory at Watford.Having picked up a first win of the season, after a heavy home defeat to Manchester City and a draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, Pellegrini believes his preferred style od the once vaunted ball movement-heavy system of Terry Stotts. Instead, the Blazers have gone from a team cutting through and swinging the ball with reckless abandon to the team looking to break you down with dribble penetration. Their passes per game are down six percent while potential assists are down 10 percent from last season.
Now, in theory, the idea of shooting more off the dribth boss Eddie Howe hopes for late transfer business this week.Bournemouth are preparing for their fifth season in the Premier League and have signed four players in this transfer window – Lloyd Kelly, Jack Stacey, Philip Billing and Arnaut Danjuma.Hoble and passing less doesn’t seem conducive to consistency. It makes it easy to doubt what Portland’s offense has been doing because it’s a rare skillset to produce at such a high level. The problem opponents face should correct itself.
Portland Trail Blazers’ 2014-15 and 2015-16 Shooting SplitsType of shot14-15 Freq14-15 eFG14-15 Rank15-16 Freq15-16 eFG15-16 rankOff the dribble 20.6% 41.4% 8th 26.9% 48.7% 3rdPull-up 28.0% 42.9% 4th 30.9% 49.3% 2ndCatch-and-shoot 33.9% 51.1% 12th 28.2% 54.5% 4th
The frequency of shots off the dribble and pull-up jumpers (these are only recorded outside of 10 feet) has increased significantly with an even bigger increase in accuracy. The Blazers were already a very good shooting team last season, but beiFootball Federation of Australia (FFA) has confirmed the appointment of James Johnson as its new chief executive, reports, /.Johnson was most recently senior vice president of external affairs with City Football Group (CFG) and will take up his new position in January 2020.ng able to not only maintain that accuracy but also improve upon it with such a new core has been remarkable. With those increases in shots off the dribble and pull-up jumpers, the catch-and-shoot frequency has decreased even though they’re more accurate than last season.
Stotts and his team are playing to the strengths of their newfound youth and athleticism by letting them attack more off the dribble. Because Stotts’ system is often so good with spacing, it doesn’t matter if they’re using that spacing to create for themselves or move the ball for others. Either way, it’s keeping the opponent from being able to crowd the shooting spots with multiple defenders and increased pressure.
It’s why we’ve seen a 2.7-point per game and 4.2 field goal percentage increase in Lillard’s scoring off the dribble. It’s why McCollum’s been able to go from being a nice surprise at the end of last season to a 20-point per game scorer and one of the best players in the NBA off the bounce. Even someone like has gone from being a complete non-factor a year ago to a player who is thriving with opportunity and the space to do work on offense.
All of this leads you to believe that not only is Portland’s shooting sustainable — it may even get better.
You’ll notice that the Blazers look impressive nearly everywhere on the floor except for the corner 3-point shots. Without having guys like and camped in the corners, it’s been a tougher transition for connecting on what are generally the most efficient 3-point shots you can take. Even if their above-the-break percentage goes down (they’re one of only four teams at 40 percent or greater), the baseline for their corner 3-point accuracy should increase to at least 32 percent, as only eight teams in the last 15 years have been under 32 percent from the corners, and six of those teams happened from 2001-03.
Listen, the Blazers are going to keep shooting. The question is whether they can ultimately get enough stops on the defensive end to make it ultimately matter. Portland is currently 11th in defensive rating, which isn’t terrible at all. They do a poor job of forcing turnovers (28th) and opponents live at the free throw line (28th) against them.
Portland’s team won’t be confused with the Warriors on the defensive side of the ball any time soon, if ever. But the shooting and the offense might be able to exist on at least a similar plane.