The Portland Trail-Blazers have been gaining a reputation as one of the league’s worst defensive teams of the season, and the statistics nor the footage haven’t lied to anyone.
If you missed it, I took a pretty steep dive into what improvements should be made defensively for the Blazers, back in early-December.
If you haven’t seen it, click here.
But for a team that’s in the bottom-half of the NBA in Points-Allowed, Opponent Field-Goal Percentage, Opponent Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage, and are ranked dead-last in Defensive Rating, there’s a world of improvements that needs to be made for this organization. It’s a reoccurring issue on that side of the floor, and it’s cost them plenty of ball-games.
What’s been rumored though, is that the Blazers have gained interest for their division-rival Phoenix Suns’ Center, Tyson Chandler.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) January 7, 2017
Interestingly enough about this current Portland-team, is that they lack a veteran presence for most of their core players. There’s great youth when we think about names such as Mason Plumlee, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, and also Meyers Leonard, who’s been miserably failing to meet high-expectations this year. But again, no veteran presence for this team. I speak that particularly in their front-court.
What’s ironic though is that like Portland, the Suns have a significant amount of big-men as well. Alex Len, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and you can even count Alan Williams, all account for a quality rotation to build on.
Unlike last year, when he put up some low-numbers in his first season with the Suns, the 34 year-old Chandler has shown that he’s more than just a complimentary player for the Suns. His recent play on the court has him pinned into a full-time starting role, over the other four Centers I listed above.
In 29 games, Chandler is currently eighth in the league in Rebounds at 11.6 and is averaging 7.5 Points in just 27.3 Minutes. However, he’s averaging a career-worst 0.4 blocks this season, but just for him having an interior presence has been helpful for Phoenix.
Overall, I’m not too sure if a potential trade for Chandler would relieve Portland of their shoddy defense, as they are just as helpless on the perimeter as suppose to the interior. I mean, they did just sign ex-Warrior Festus Ezeli (hasn’t played this year) for $70 million in the offseason. Whether he will make his season debut or not this year remains to be seen.
I also question it because there’s more than a few Centers out there who are more than willing to decamp from their situations. Names such as Nerlens Noel, Andrew Bogut, and my personal under-the-reader favorite who hasn’t gotten as much attention — sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein.
The NBA trade-deadline is approaching very quickly, and the Blazers have plenty of assets to package for a capable defensive player, that’ll ultimately make them a little more fearsome. Whether they overthink it or not, remains in question.
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