7 Things Trail Blazers can take away from 2023 NBA Finals

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers and Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers and Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
7 of 7
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Soobum Im – USA TODAY Sports /

Blazers takeaway No. 7: The importance of efficient offenses

The Heat and Nuggets were the two best 3-point shooting teams in the playoffs, connecting on 38.6 percent and 38.5 percent of their threes, respectively. The defending champion Golden State Warriors were second in the regular season at 38.5 percent.

The Nuggets, Heat, and Warriors have similarities in playmaking centers and efficient 3-point shooting. In addition, the Nuggets and Heat were top five among playoff teams in offensive rating and effective field goal percentage.

Effective field goal percentage is an excellent indicator of successful teams. For context, the top five playoff teams were the Nuggets, Celtics, Bucks, Suns, and Heat; these are arguably the five best teams in the NBA this season.

The Blazers’ strengths are offense and shooting. However, they only finished 14th among regular-season teams in effective field goal percentage at 54.9. Regarding offensive rating, Portland was tied for 19th among regular-season teams at 114.0.

While most of the focus is on the Blazers improving their defense with more size and versatility, they still need to improve their offense.

Portland has 3-point shooters in  Lillard and Simons – however, as a team, they were average, ranking 13th in the NBA in made threes at 36.5. Whether through the draft, free agency, or trade, the team must continue improving its shooting; this is especially important this offseason, given that Simons is involved in trade rumors with the No. 3 pick.

Regardless, the Blazers need to double down on their shooting strength. Some smaller trade possibilities mentioned in another Rip City Project article include Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanović and Indiana’s Buddy Hield.

Next. 5 Boom-or-bust free agents Blazers could take a swing on. dark

Regarding Portland’s draft situation, the No. 3 pick is seemingly set between Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson. Some solid shooters could be available at pick No. 23, though, including Michigan’s Jett Howard, Iowa’s Murray, Duke’s Dariq Whitehead, or Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis.