Although Klay Thompson and Steph Curry have the brand, the real splash appears to be going on in Portland.
Check the leaders for 3 Point Attempts
And 3 Point Field Goals
Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard are leading both of the Dubs from behind the arc. Lillard’s 3PA percentage is 39.1% while Matthews is 40.2% with both of them averaging just a smidge above 7 attempts a game.
They are also both shooting above 45% from the field, Lillard with 45.8%, Matthews with 47.9%. So how are they able to get that many looks and clean-enough shots to be in the top three?
A 6’11” 240 pound power forward who can post and has a sweet shot is top 6 in field goal attempts and top 5 in field goals. It also helps that Nicholas Batum is down there in the front court as well, but his offensive threat becomes stronger as the fourth option than the first. And there’s also Robin Lopez (when he is healthy) who was still averaging 9.6ppg with 7.2 rpg.
With a huge production of Portland’s offense running through Aldridge, he has to be given a ton of respect on the halfcourt. That opens up Lilliard, but mostly to Matthews. He can become an afterthought that get the floor opened up for him easily.
Although the Blazers get attention, and depending on how deep you’re willing to go into the deep caverns of NBA twitter Illuminati – a lot of attention, the shooting prowess seems glossed over.
The Blazers were the first team in the NBA that reached 26 games. Aldridge was suffering from an illness and missed three of the last five games and the Blazers won four of them. The Western conference has come back to earth a little bit after a hot start, only 4 teams now have a win percentage over .700. But the Blazers are one of them, now in second place in the division. They’ve won 9 of their last 10 and went on a wild streak in November where they won 9 games in a row mostly against the Eastern Conference.
They’re bench has some worries, but was solidified by adding Chris Kamen and Steve Blake in the offseason, but the Blazers were knocked out in one of the best first round series against the Rockets. It’s a threat to happen again this playoff season too. But it is worth watching either way.