Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weakened Pondering: Blazers vs High Scoring Teams

The Blazers currently have 34 wins and 20 losses, good enough for a four seed if the playoffs started today. Have you noticed that a whopping 13 of those losses have come to teams that are in the top 10 in points scored per game? Check it out:

Teams ranked #1-10 in PPG
8 - 13 (38%)

Teams 11-20

12-1 (92%)

Teams 21+
14-6 (70%)

You could explain a team having a lower winning percentage against the top 10 scoring teams as simply a reflection of playing higher quality opponents. That would be true as this group includes the Lakers, Boston, Orlando, and Cleveland. But the group also includes the likes of New York, Golden State, and Indiana. A lower winning percentage would be expected, but one that is 54 percentage points less than when facing teams ranked 11-20 is a bit staggering.

For all Portland's youth and length, it appears that they really don't like playing teams that run and gun. No need to freak out yet, Portland is still very young and has time to figure this out. If they don't solve this it will become a rather large weakness, especially when considering championship aspirations.

Sources:
Portland Trail Blazers team won-lost profiles for the 2008-09 season [82games.com]
Team Offensive Statistics for 2008-2009 [NBA.com]

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