One Team, One Stat: Triple-Threat


VIDEO: Schuhmann’s Advanced Stats: Portland Trail Blazers

NBA.com’s John Schuhmann gets you ready for the 2015-16 season with a key stat for each team in the league and shows you why it matters. Today, we look at the Portland Trail Blazers, who still have a guy who can make defenses pay.

The stat

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The context

20151022_por_basicsAmong high-usage ball-handlers, Damian Lillard wasn’t the best shooter or most likely to shoot, but he took a lot more 3-pointers off of pick-and-rolls than any other player.

According to SportVU (different data from that above), Lillard led the league with 207 3-point attempts as a pick-and-roll ball-handler. Next on the list was Stephen Curry with 135. Lillard only shot 32 percent on those 3-point attempts, but because 3 > 2, they were worth more than his twos (45 percent) and he was the highest scoring pick-and-roll ball-handler in the league.

Like Curry and Kyrie Irving, Lillard is a triple-threat when he comes off a screen, with the ability to pull-up, get to the basket, or make a pass. He ranked second in the league in 3-point attempts and fourth among guards in shots in the restricted area.

In a league where more teams are going toward a conservative pick-and-roll scheme with big men hanging back in the paint on pick-and-rolls, scoring/shooting point guards like Curry, Irving and Lillard will alter a defensive game plan.

Of course, Lillard is the only player left from a starting lineup that played more minutes than any other lineup over the last two seasons.

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The Blazers will obviously take a big step backward on both ends of the floor with the departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews. But they’ll look space the floor for Lillard, a guy who will still cause problems for a lot of opposing defenses.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

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