Saberestar wrote:Spoiler:GREY 1769 wrote:4TH Q: SPURS 111
Well we hung with two high-powered, high-calibre teams and were in both games, essentially but for our 3 shooting.
Doug bounced back from a poor night for a career-high 7 made 3s on 11 attempts, but the rest of the team combined for the other 3-everything else: 3-27. Great that we put up 39 3s, but Jesus are we ever labouring to make them.
Lonnie was 7-15, but 1-8 from 3. He led the bench with 17 points and the next highest scoring bench Spur had 4 points. The bench scored 32 points on 14-33. Much better than 18 yesterday, but they were 2-17 from 3. Lonnie was the leading scorer at the half with 13. And that's the Jekyll/Hyde issue with him. I still don't trust him with the ball, and he's having far more chances to do something with it.
We parted with DD and yet his early career developing his O game seems to embody Lonnie. LWIV over-dribbles, takes too long to make decisions, misses easier plays (pass to corners with open players) to over orchestrate more difficult chances (pull back, reset, allow defenders to set up, drive over screen against multiple defenders for contested shots). It wasn't the only thing he did, and made good shots but man oh man he's that guy who needs everything set just so to read the play and create something. Still. When he drove he missed teammates when he drew multiple defenders to him. Just a lot of wasted possessions. Hate to say it, but it's either a mental thing that gets in the way or his BBIQ is just not quite there. Athleticism through the roof, but he needs the same kind of conditions to score, and I don't trust him with the ball in his hands, neither his decisions with it, nor his shot selection, nor his execution.
He wasn't the only one. DJ looked bad tonight. He got 10 points, but it seemed like it was from racking up points late in the game to get his stats up. He looked lost for a lot of the game. He made his patented steal and dunk, moved well off the ball for a back door cut and dunk, but how oh HOW does he not recognize that his drives to the rim with Giannis waiting there will most likely result in blocks?!
We were determined to get Lonnie and Keldon going this game, and when DJ's role is to defer to set up others. He has these games where it looks like he forgets how to PG. Derrick was assertive and effective in his drives, though another subpar 1-5. Keldon was all kinds of wonderful again with moves we've not seen in each game so far. Great energy. He's been our most consistent and impressive scorer so far. Jakob looks more assertive on the O end, is wonderful with O rebs (team-high 6), and is finishing with excellent efficiency on O (5-9). Devin finally broke through a scoring drought with some clever spaces he found in the key for Js.
A word on Primo. Less than a minute of play time, yet was impactful on both ends. He didn't look at all fazed and in fact geared up for the defensive challenge of going up against Middleton, forced him to the outside, and contested very well for a miss. Then on O he skied for an O reb putback. Like this young man just gets it. You can see it and feel it. He has a way about him, he's smart, and he looks to make an impact each time he's out there. Not even a minute of game time, yet still left an impression.
It feels as if different players are featured in different games so far. I don't know whether that's by opportunity or design just to get various guys the experience of figuring out ways to score. It'll pay dividends with more reps. But like Sean said during the broadcast, we are missing simple plays. Some like the ones I mentioned earlier, others like what Sean pointed out. GSW runs a high screen for off ball mover (Klay) to get him open space up top. Instead, Derrick dribbled up left, Jakob rolled, to the rim, and Doug's man followed him, and although Derrick drove and got the 2, we missed a chance to get the ball to the hot hand. Reps will also only be as useful as the various plays we use them on. We still got 29 assists despite the woeful non-Doug 3 shooting, and despite good drives, we only got to the FT line SIX times. The disparity was 22-6 in FT chances, and 18-5 made FTs. That's a 13-point difference in a 10-point game. At home. Okay, NBA...
So we missed some opportunities on O versus a team that has plays like I said so ingrained that it's like they're automatic. We put up more shots but They made some flat out well defended and contested shots. Our D was flat out excellent for the most part. We allowed some drives inside, and we sagged on some pull up Js and gave away way too much space, but we were way better in contesting 3s, our switching was great, and our help D and running back in transition were all on point. Derrick stepped to take, I believe, three charges, and Jakob took one. He was called for a foul on another that was identical as the charge he took, but that's the risk. Just very active, smart, disruptive, clean defense throughout the game.
That we stayed with them on the second game of a back-to-back in a different time zone (as both coaches pointed out) showed a lot of solid play. Third game, third high scorer, with all five starters in double figures, six in total. A few tweaks on O and more chemistry there and we'll be making the right reads and making the shots we need to. We have to keep pushing through and keep the faith that the work will reap good results.
As a Suns fan I am interested in why Thad Young doesn't play for you guys. Do you know if they are just waiting to trade him?
I would understand to not play him close to the trade's deadline but this early is even weird.
It's a fair question. Pop's line was that you can't play everybody meaningful minutes every game. But in the games he has played, Thad's looked awkward. I don't know if our system is so hard to adapt to (Doug has zero issues with it) but we're not getting the guy who scored at a career-high efficiency the previous season.
I think it indicates that we want to integrate guys we know will be here, we want to preserve Thad so he's healthy, and want to still give him some game reps to acclimate him more. I was happy we acquired him even if he wasn't going to stay long-term.
The deal that was apparently floated about was Saric/Smith for Thad, but it's either a case of us not wanting to take on salary for next season that cuts into our max cap space with Saric or we want a 1st round pick for Thad, or both.
The bottom line is that if he looked less out of place he'd play more. It seems to be taking a bit longer to acclimate him to our system.