Is it time for the Trail Blazers to implement the Norman Dale rule?

The ball movement has been an issue for the Portland Trail Blazers all year-long and there have been no signs of improvement.

The Trail Blazers lost to the Bucks at home last night and the stat that remains the constant is the assist column. Portland finished with just seventeen assists in this game which happens to be less then what they average as a team (19.5) which ranks dead last in the NBA.

This brand of basketball lacks entertainment. Watching a team move the ball and play for each other is what makes this sport so special, yet the Blazers think that the one-on-one game plan is going to pull them out of this hole.

It’d be one thing if they were winning basketball games. You can’t argue with success, but the success is nowhere to be found. And, I understand the injuries are demoralizing and tear this team apart, but they can still trust each other and battle through it together.

The Trail Blazers are dead last in assists (19.5) like I mentioned earlier, second to last in total passes per game (242.4), dead last in potential assists (37.4) and second in the NBA in isolation points per game (10.7).

It’s an ugly style of basketball and I can’t believe there has been no attempt to fix it. Is it time for Terry Stotts to use the well-known philosophy from Norman Dale in Hoosiers?

Four passes every possession should be preached at this point. Trial run it for a few possessions and see what those possessions look like compared to the pick and roll style that this team follows.

Speaking of the pick and roll, I’m assuming only Trail Blazers fans would guess this correctly because they’re stuck watching it every other night, but who do you think leads the league in pick and roll points per game?

It’s Damian Lillard, at 14.7 points per game coming from pick and roll he ranks at the very top of the list. Dame averages 26.7 points per game and while 14.7 of those come off the ball pick, another 6.7 come from the line meaning he only averages 5.3 points per game elsewhere.

It’s very tough to blame Lillard, the team around him doesn’t pack the strongest punch offensively, but testing the power of ball movement for a game or two could do wonders for this struggling Trail Blazer team.

Terry Stotts should walk into their practice yelling ” four, I want four passes every possession before a shot attempt. ” This would have a major effect on the offensive obviously, yet send a message to his players at the same time.

Next: Three scenarios for the Trail Blazers at the trade deadline

This team is still battling for a playoff spot and I’m not sure it’ll come without a change of play style. Trust each other, move the ball and see what comes with it. Also, it never hurts to increase time of possession for a team that struggles on defense.

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