Hollinger on Blake

Lots of good stuff from today’s ESPN chat with sections bolded by me for emphasis:

Matt (Portland): Do you think Roy and Aldridge have become complacent after signing long-term contracts?

John Hollinger: I actually think they’ve become impatient. They want to badly for all the good stuff to start happening that everyone’s told them is coming that even minor doses of adversity have been really frustrating for them. Roy needs to re-learn how to play off the ball — he’s actually really good catch-and-shooting off screens but rarely does it, and that type of thing could make Miller-Roy a lot more workable.

Of course, the Blazers need to set good picks for this to work with any consistency, but it’s not hard to see how much easier things would be for Roy if he let others create for him and he didn’t have to break his man down on-ball whenever he wants to takeover.

Jeff (Portland): Why do Steve Blake play SO MANY minutes for the Blazers when they have better players on the bench.

John Hollinger: Brandon Roy loves playing with Blake and McMillan has given Roy a lot of rope, but they need to look really hard at this. Blake is a backup. Period. If Blazers are going anywhere this year, and I’m not necessarily sure they are, it will be with either Miller or Bayless running point.

See Re-Thoughts last night for my thoughts on this. I do get the feeling that Dean Demopoulos doesn’t want to start handing Bayless a ton of minutes without Nate being around, though, so it might not happen until the end of this road trip.

Ben (Portland): John, do the Blazers have to make a deal this year? KP has struggled to complete in season trades so far, but with only 9 healthy players and really only 6 healthy rotation players left he has to make something happen right? Would Orlando give up Bass? Or Washington give up Miller for what the Blazers can offer?

John Hollinger: Blazers will look really hard at any deal for a stretch 4 who can replace what Outlaw was giving them. That’s the big priority right now. I also think they wouldn’t mind dealing for a true 3, and it’s my sneaking suspicion that if Caron Butler came available they’d say yes in a nanosecond.

Hollinger isn’t the first one to bring up Butler, who is about to turn 30, is in the midst of one of his worst seasons, but only has one season at $10.8 million left on his contract. My question is, if the Blazers wouldn’t include Batum in a deal to acquire Gerald Wallace, would they include another young talent for a veteran? Keep in mind that Butler has an effective field-goal percentage of .441 right now.

Topics: Blazers, Brandon Roy, Caron Butler, Jerryd Bayless, John Hollinger, Trades

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  • Vic De Zen

    Butler’s EFG% is crap, but that can’t continue, can it? I feel like Washington is just messed up right now and, from the games I’ve watched, he’s just not being used comfortably and no one on the team is sure of his role. I think a fresh start would be great for him and he’d fit in very well in Portland. That contract, though…

  • http://Blazersedge usmcr3049

    Coup,
    I couldn’t agree more, I don’t know why Roy is resistant to playing off the ball more, but once he comes around to the idea, this team should be the better for it.

    Blake is a back up, but he is Nate’s backup, and he loves him some Blake. Not sure why that is, Blake is steady, and the coach knows what he should get from him each night, but that is about all I can see. With the injuries, Bayless needs to be given his time to shine. He did well last year when called upon, and is playing very well this year, (his PER is 2nd on the team among heathly players).

    That trade question was actually my question to John, must have been a slow day for the chat. I would like Butler, but only if they can get him for just expiring deals. For example Blake, Outlaw, and Pendergraph would work for Butler. But I don’t see the Wiz taking that deal unless they just want to save a few million this year, and $10+ next year. They are over the cap and luxury tax, but that is not much talent in return for Butler, who dispite his play this year, is a proven player in the NBA.

  • Earl Lackerel

    The only prob about makin moves is back to the old chemistry issue

  • http://ripcityproject.com Coup

    I don’t see much chemistry on the court as it is right now.

    The change of scenery argument might carry a lot of weight with Butler. We should also remember he has never been the healthiest fellow.

  • http://www.couriernewculture.blogspot.com Travis

    I don’t want to see Butler in a Blazers uni.

    Martell is fine for now. (I know, I know, I know.)

    Batum is going to be great.

    Move Blake and/or Miller for a backup 4 or 5 and press on with what we have in Portland. It’s clear to even casual fans that Blake shouldn’t be playing ahead of Miller and Bayless.

  • http://www.couriernewculture.blogspot.com Travis

    Posted these thoughts on the Blazers Edge entry on Bayless, which I loved. But I take exception to Blake being a good pick-and-roll defender:

    The more I watch Blake on the pick and roll, the more infuriated I get. He’s been a bit better the last two games because he’s playing against awful pick-and-roll teams in NY and Indiana.

    There’s just no way that Blake is the best pick-and-roll defender at PG on this team. If you’ve ever played a lick of organized ball, you quickly recognize how bad he is there, and how much better Bayless is defending the pick and roll.

    I haven’t read every post here, but has anyone talked about what a PG must do to defend the pick-and-roll well? Here are a few thoughts:

    1. Don’t get picked. Slip over it, fight through. Blake can rarely do this. I’ve seen him actually chasing the play from behind both the picker and the G.

    2. Make the big do something he doesn’t want to do, if you get picked. Blake never pressures that big.

    3. Rotate to pick up the guy who is picking up for your defense. Blake’s not good here because he’s smaller than anyone he’s going to rotate to.

    4. Cut off ball to prevent pick and roll. Blake rarely tries this because the PG can then blow by him and force the defense to rotate.

    5. Trap the ball. Blazers don’t try this very often, and Blake is rarely in position to try this because he goes under the pick all the time.

    So, if it’s not clear:

    It’s not always Blake’s guy who is scoring, or even the guy setting the pick. His poor pick and roll defense is often responsible for guys getting open looks all over the floor.

    If Brandon ever realized that this is why he is coasting, tired, to try to pick up shooters like Wilson Chandler, he wouldn’t object to Blake playing less.

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