BLAZERS’ PLAYS OF THE WEEK

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Welcome to Plays of the Week, where every Wednesday we’ll 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.

Aldridge-less Offense

With LaMarcus Aldridge out we’ve seen even more pick and roll than usual, and the following action has become commonplace. Damian Lillard initiates the offense by using a JJ Hickson screen – in this case a very solid baseline pick – while Batum and Matthews space the court on the weak side. Myers Leonard joins them on the weak side, ducking behind his defender.

As Lillard navigates the screen, Leonard tip toes the baseline waiting for a dump off. Hickson, meanwhile, trails Lillard looking for a possible offensive rebound.

Throw in the two screens that started the play: Matthews coming off a down screen to accept the pass at the top, and Lillard flaring off a Leonard screen to get to the corner, and it’s a nice variation that keeps all five defenders moving and forces them to make quick decisions. 

Here’s the same action, but with Leonard and Hickson switching places

Nic Batum Moving Without the Ball

Poor Klay Thompson.

In this halfcourt set Nic Batum runs the Warriors guard through a gauntlet of screens before threading the needle to JJ Hickson for the and-one. Watch how Nic hesitates off the Myers Leonard screen and then fakes setting a high pick for Lillard before flaring off a JJ Hickson screen. Beautiful stuff. 

Myers Leonard First Plays

In Leonard’s first two starts, Terry Stotts did a great job of getting the rookie centre easy looks to open the game. The play calls are very similar, with Leonard spotting up after setting an off ball screen for Nic Batum. It’s simple but effective action, and it’s great to see Leonard catch and shoot with confidence. 

 

Victor Claver

Anytime a 6’10” rookie picks off a pass then calmly Rondo’s someone for an and-one in transition, it’s making the list. Thank you for being you Victor Claver. 

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