Shootaround Notes: Kings-Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said lineup changes may be coming for tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings at the Rose Garden, but added that he plans to wait until as late as possible before publicly announcing them.
“That’s for us and we don’t need to talk about it,” McMillan said. “It’s not important for us to talk about right now.”
He added: “It just depends on what you’re doing. You have to let people know about changes and you let the team know about the change.”
Asked how he normally handled letting players and teams know about lineup changes, McMillan said, “I’ve done it a number of different ways.”
“I know I may have talked a little about changes,” he said. “I try not to talk about … again, it doesn’t help us. Everybody will see if there is a change soon enough.”
McMillan said Portland will look to push the tempo more. However, he is more concerned with the Blazers’ recent tendency of taking contested shots with the shot clock running down.
“We should get a shot much quicker than what we’re getting” McMillan said. “We’re playing too late in the clock. And I think that’s due to, again, slippage in your execution — you’re not setting screens, you’re not freeing each other up. So, therefore, the defense is able to stay with you. And now you’re playing against the shot clock in isolation.”
He added: “We do want to play faster. I want to see this team attack. Right now, we have for the most part, one, maybe two guys attacking the basket. … Brandon (Roy), Andre (Miller), (Jerryd) Bayless, when he’s in there. And even though they are attacking, I would like to see them attack even more.”
Blazers guard Andre Miller said he spoke with McMillan, but that the conversation was mainly about defense, and turning defense into offense.
“We just talked a little bit about what we need to do as a team,” Miller said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Asked if there was a chance he would return to the team’s starting lineup tonight, Miller said, “We’ll see.”
Blazers guard Steve Blake continued shooting for about 20 minutes after his teammates had left the court.