Welcome to Plays of the Week, where we take a look at Blazers’ sets from the past 7 days that caught our eye. If you see a play call or a trend that intrigues you, hit us up on twitter or leave a message in the comments section below.
The No Dribble Offense
While the majority of the Blazers offense is created through pick and roll action and post ups, some of the best looks that the team generates come when all five players are moving and screening for each other.
Here’s a play from early in the Rockets game that features a ton movement, multiple screens, and results in a number of good shooting options.
The play really starts when Will Barton finds Wes Matthews coming off a JJ Hickson down screen. Barton immediately flares off a LaMarcus Aldridge screen as Hickson sets another down screen, this time for Damian Lillard (whose path is shown in grey).
As Lillard hits the screen, Matthews has Aldridge open at the top of the key, and has a slightly less favorable pass to Will Barton, either at the rim or in the corner. Matthews opts to find Lillard and it results in a good look at a three.
It’s a nice wrinkle on the standard horns set, and the Blazers managed to generate open looks with just ball and player movement.
Welcome Back LaMarcus Aldridge
One of the reasons the first play that we looked at worked so well, is that the Blazers often use the same action to isolate Aldridge on the left block.
Instead of using an Aldridge screen, the strong side wing player (Victor Claver in this case) sets a back screen for Aldridge allowing him to establish decent post position.
We all know LaMarcus prefers to turn over his right shoulder to shoot when posted up on the left block, but Asik does a good job of overplaying that, so Aldridge drives to the middle and converts a tough shot while getting fouled.
This clip shows the same action — with Wes Matthews setting the back screen this time — and Aldridge facing up Asik and driving baseline for fadeaway jumper.
The final clip has elements of everything we’ve looked at so far – namely ball and player movement from the horns set – and ends in a favorable matchup with LA isolated against Dirk Nowitzki.
Eric Maynor Lobs
As Eric Maynor gets comfortable with his teammates, these alley-oop plays – both in transition and in the half court – are becoming more common.
Maynor’s ball handling has obviously allowed Damian Lillard to play off the ball in the half court, but’s it’s also allowed him the opportunity to run the wings in transition.
In the second clip, Maynor turns the corner after using a very high screen and finds a cutting Will Barton with a perfectly timed lob for an easy finish. If the Blazers are unable to re-sign Maynor this summer, here’s hoping they are able to find someone that combines steady play with a flair for the dramatic.