If there’s anything to take from the Blazers’ 117-100 loss Monday in Sacramento, it’s that Portland’s zone defense needs work, so explains The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, who was on the scene:
Stotts only started implementing the Blazers’ zone four or five days ago, mostly during game-day shootarounds, so he expected Monday night might be a bumpy road. At least he didn’t have to wait long to see the struggles.
Now, I don’t want to prematurely jump the gun on any scheme less than a week old—much less anything that happens in a NBA preseason game—but Monday’s struggles may well be indicative of the Blazers’ most significant deficit entering the 2013 season: defense.
Sure, the Blazers’ have a few guys who can find the hoop. But how many times will they lose high-scoring games? As the saying goes: “Defense wins Championships.”
But perhaps that old axiom ought to be amended to read something more like:”Defense wins basketball games.”
Just about everybody—save the currently unemployed Mike D’Antoni, and the long lost but still loved Don Nelson—would agree. Somewhere, perhaps quietly, they’re nodding too.