ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)Allthe talk has been about the adjustments interim coach Kaleb Canaleshas implemented in the Portland Trail Blazers offensive package sincehe was appointed head coach for the rest of the season.
Playerssay he's introduced a couple of new sets that has multiple optionsthat require you to just read and react.
Butone noticeable adjustment was the positioning of LaMarcus Aldridge intheir win over the Chicago Bulls Friday night. Aldridge spent a bulkof time at the elbow spot.
Aldridgesays he's been wanting to be there for a long time.
Ilove it at the elbow. I feel comfortable being there and it's hardfor teams to double me there, Aldridge said. I can take my manif I want to, see the floor, or take the jumper. There's so mayoptions for me at that spot.
Beforethe season started, Aldridge spoke with CSNNW.com about playing moreat the top of the floor. But, that never happened until Friday.
CSNNW.comasked Aldridge why is that?
It'sjust a different coach. It's nothing towards Nate (McMillan),Aldridge said. I think I've worked with Kaleb more and he's reallyseen what I can do at the elbow so I think he might have moreconfidence in me at the elbow.
Oneadvantage an assistant coach may have over a head coach is that theysee a different picture being that they're not entrenched in the gamelike a head coach is. Also, Canales personally works his players outand knows their strengths and weaknesses better than anybody.
Sowhen he took over, he made changes based on what he felt they coulddo.
Injust watching film over the years, I know he's (Aldridge) verycomfortable at the elbow with the ball in his hands and makingreading react decisions, Canales said. From a schemeperspective, it is a harder spot for teams to double-team him. LikeDirk (Nowitzki) or what Oklahoma City does with Durant. So, obviouslywe're gonna try to keep improving in that area.
JamalCrawford has seen his role go from backup point guard, to his normalposition at the shooting guard role and that's where he prefers to beat.
CoachK is just putting us where we're comfortable out on the floor,Crawford said. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious and youcan't help but not to root for someone like that.
Canalessays he hasn't done anything drastic. He just credits the historyhe's had with his players and said that has helped build arelationship with the guys to where they're comfortable withaccepting modifications when he presents it to them.
Suchas moving Aldridge to the elbow.
Ithink again I mentioned the sweat equity that kind of developed withthese guys the eight years since I've been here, Canales said. Ithink I've guarded LaMarcus at the elbow like a thousand times overthe course since he's been here and we've been here together.
So,understanding that that's one of his strengths and trying to put himin position where he can have different options and play to hisstrengths.