Yeah so we lost, BUT...
I think we made progress. I'll give props to Carlisle for making some nice adjustments to the offense to help us get easier baskets, I like the fact that he threw Orien Greene in the mix with a point guard to give us a defensive presence, and I'll even give Carlisle credit for keeping this team focused last night.
A couple of people mentioned that Granger is still in his slump, and I'm going to disagree. Ok, yes from three-point land he's not knocking them down, but twice last night I saw him split a double team -- once for a dish to Ike for a layup + free throw, and the other time he split it for a nice layup. He had a couple of other aggressive baskets as well. I'll take him attacking the basket [I wish he'd try to draw more fouls] any day over him wasting his talent camping out beyond the three-point line.
I liked Dunleavy's aggressiveness, I liked Murphy's aggressiveness, and I liked the fact that Jermaine did his thing without dominating the ball. I think what lost us the game tonight was Tinsley's slow feet on Bibby. In the 4th quarter Bibby knocked down a series of jumpers off a few screens -- screens which Tinsley was extremely slow at recovering from.
Back to Carlisle though. I've said a lot of negative about him even though I don't dislike him at all, I've felt he's not the right coach for this team. It'll take a lot more than one game to convince me that he's the right guy, but last night he made some changes I thought he'd be too stubborn to make.
The biggest thing he did was he made Jermaine's game blend in with the rest of the offense instead of Jermaine dominating the offense. In addition to that, there was non-stop ball movement all-night-long. It didn't even look like we were the same team we've been offensively all season. Sure, it was against the Kings, but we all know we're known for making other teams' defense look good. We actually shot a good percentage from the field even though we were 1-16 from three-point land. I also noticed that even when Jermaine did get the ball, he'd quickly make his move and shoot the ball instead of waiting for the double-team and causing the rest of the offense to stop.
Our defense even showed up late in the 4th quarter, but obviously that was too late. I hope they continue working on the defense, and keep the offensive scheme they played last night. The offense was 100% unpredictable, it was effective, there was good rhythm, and it was also fun to watch. But yeah, lets get that defense going...
Tonight vs. the Jazz we're really going to need our defense to step it up. Jerry Sloan's teams always seem to put on a basketball clinic featuring layup drills. If our defense shows, I think we can win.