The Portland Trail Blazers Struggle in the Early Season
Shaedon Sharpe Shines, Three-Point Shooting a Concern
The Portland Trail Blazers have had a rocky start to their 2023-24 regular season, currently holding a 2-3 record. The team faced drama as they dropped their first three games before finally securing two consecutive wins. The inconsistency of the Trail Blazers has become a topic of discussion among fans and analysts alike, as they are unsure of what to expect from the team on any given night.
One player who has pleasantly surprised observers is Shaedon Sharpe. Known for his scoring ability, Sharpe has shown a commitment to other areas of his game, particularly rebounding. He has been actively fighting for rebounds against both his teammates and opponents, showcasing his determination. Additionally, Sharpe’s defense has been exceptional, standing out as one of the best on the team. Considering the team’s overall lack of cohesion due to new players and the adjustment to the NBA game, Sharpe’s passing game has also been commendable. Although his turnovers have been high, it is expected given the circumstances. Notably, Sharpe has been shooting an impressive 90% at the foul line, further highlighting his improvement and dedication.
Despite Sharpe’s positive contributions, there have been some negative surprises for the Trail Blazers. Initially, the team struggled to utilize Deandre Ayton effectively, but recent games have shown signs of improvement in this area. However, the most concerning issue for Portland is their three-point shooting. It was anticipated that the team would have a decrease in shooting compared to previous seasons, but the current 28.5% aggregate three-point percentage is lower than anyone expected. Only reserve guards Malcolm Brogdon and Matisse Thybulle have been shooting the long ball well, while the rest of the team falls below average or lacks enough attempts to make a significant impact.
Furthermore, the Blazers’ defense against the three-point shot has been subpar. Although their overall percentage allowed of 34.5% is slightly above average, it is evident that they have relied on opponents missing shots rather than actively defending against them. This approach is concerning, especially considering the team’s quickness and athleticism. Allowing opponents to freely shoot from beyond the arc is a major weakness that needs to be addressed.
Portland’s struggles extend beyond the three-point line, as they have also struggled to defend in the paint and in transition. The team has been giving up easy points, further highlighting their defensive weaknesses. With their own shooting not compensating for these defensive lapses, the Blazers face an uphill battle to improve their performance.
As the season progresses, it remains to be seen how the Trail Blazers will address these issues and find consistency in their game. Fans and analysts are eager to see improvements and hope for a turnaround in the team’s performance.
What surprises have you noticed in the Trail Blazers’ early season? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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