NBA Analysis: Big Problems for Brandon Roy, Blazers

| by Dwight Jaynes

One more chance for Nate McMillan to make a post-game statement that his team needs to “knock down open shots.” OK, heard that before.

Thing is — and perhaps you’ve heard this before — they are not getting good shots and the guys shooting them aren’t good shooters. Coach, this isn’t that Sonics team with Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen, OK?

I cannot believe we have to keep saying this, but when you don’t get points in the paint and you don’t get fast-break points, you’re going to struggle to score — and that’s why you shoot 37 percent and score only 79 points against a poor team like the 76ers. You might want to come to grips with that if you really want to see offensive improvement.

And quit going to one-on-one stuff for players who cannot beat their man off the dribble.

Of course, now the Blazer players are doing what we’ve been doing for a while — questioning their own talent and ability to win:

“It just depends,” Roy said. “Do we have enough to win a game here and there? Yeah. But we’re thin. I don’t think that’s a secret.

“I just think we have to be realistic with how we continue to approach these games. We’ve almost stepped back into a developing phase. We’re developing guys again. I think we’re developing our bench. I think that’s some of the frustrations we’re having.”

It’s early in the season and there’s still plenty of time for the Blazers to right their listing ship. But there’s little debate that a team once brimming with confidence has lost it.

“Confidence is low,” Roy said. “It hasn’t been this low since my rookie year. It’s hard to say exactly what’s wrong, but I think some of it is definitely confidence.”

It almost sounds to me as if Roy is developing an excuse, rather than thinking about developing players. He talks about being “realistic.” But that sounds a little like running up the white flag. Surrendering. I mean, isn’t that an easy out for losing? Even if it’s true, I’m not sure you go public with it. I don’t think you allow yourself to use it as a crutch for not performing, do you?

And when your leader, your best player, is talking like this… well, it can become the mentality of an entire team. And when that player is a guy who had no field goals and just two free throws in the second half of the game, it sounds a little like he’s making an excuse for himself.

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