Honest to God people I really was trying to hold off on doing another one of these until we had a win, but with this team.....
I feel really bad that I did not get any up during the win streak so I don't want people to think that the only time I want to post something is when we lose.
Having said that, let's move forward.
Ok, like everyone else I got the message that we were changing our starting lineup. In all honesty it is hard to argue against the coach making some kind of move because the previous two games were a little rough, in particular the Bobcats game.
Needless to say I just don't agree with his choices of who he benched and who he started but hey, it's his call to make.
Do I start off with the good or the bad from this game? Yes, surprisingly there was some good in this game. Not much mind you but some.
Yeah let's do that first.
Tyler showed me a new aspect to his game tonight. Defense on a star player.
Folks he stopped Chris Bosh dead in his tracks on two straight plays in the second half. Actually Bosh was a player I wanted to try and compare Tyler to for physical size because I think Chris is deceptively strong. However there was no comparison. Tyler was literally a tank and could go wherever he wanted and there was nothing Bosh was going to do to stop him and on the other end Bosh could not go inside on Tyler.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not claiming that for the game or any game for that matter that Tyler is now a defensive stopper. But in this game he showed me signs that he can at least play defense.
Why he played so few min. is a real shame, I would say mystery but we all know why he did not get many min. in this game.
Again for a player that I expected nothing from I am being pleasantly surprised in more games than not.
Danny Granger had a good second half from the field. I hesitate to put this in the good part of my thread but that is really how far we are reaching here to get some positive.
Folks there is something wrong with Granger. I don't know what it is. It could be his heel, he could be fatigued, the losing could be getting to him or something else or all of the above. I don't know what it is but something is really wrong with him. If you watch him on the floor he looks like a zombie at times and really only displays any form of emotion after something really big or if he doesn't get a call from a ref.
This is not the same Danny as last year who looked excited more times than not to be on the floor and was cheering on his team mates with every possession. It's not the fact that he is shooting poorly, God knows he has not been very good from the floor this year, but it is the way he is shooting. Almost as if he is just settling for the first thing he can get. That is why I am really not that thrilled with the second half performance. I mean really he just started to drop his three's. If they hadn't dropped?
I hope itís just the heel.
Roy Hibbert pick and roll to the basket with Danny was very nice. He played scared almost all night though. Hard to blame him for that, he wasn't given very much confidence that he could play against the monster that is the Raptors front line.
As to anything else good from the game? Lester Conners did not blow snot from his nose onto the court.
Ok, thatís it that is all of the good I can think of from that game.
Now let's look at the bad.
Troy Murphy makes Brad Lohaus look like Charles Oakley.
In the first quarter of the game Troy was back on defense (ok that statement in and of itself is pretty much a joke but you get my point) and one of the Raptor guards (I think it was Calderon) ran right up next to him to get off a shot. No pressure, no attempt to get in his path, hell not even a foul attempt was made on this play.
The only thing missing from him was the red cape and the highly colored outfit because in my mind he pretty much just yelled Ole' as the guards went past him.
Look I don't hate Troy Murphy, in fact I freely admit I wanted him on the team and was thrilled with the trade when it happened. But I thought I was getting Brad Miller light with him.
I was wrong, pure and simple.
He is what he is and his skill set would help many teams. He can shoot, he has made himself be able to drive a little and he does collect rebounds at a pretty amazing clip.
But right now he is NOT what this team needs. Uncle Buck said at the party that there has never been a player he has missed less when he was injured than Troy and he was not wrong.
The fact of the matter is that I would much prefer that every single min. he is on the floor right now be divided between Tyler, Solomon and Jeff.
Do you have any idea how a player must be for me to want Jeff Foster in the game above them???
I know Troy has his fans and I am sorry for coming down so hard on him because in a way it is not his fault. He is who he is and everybody knows this. But with the way our coach demands he be used I just have to say I would much rather he not be here.
This brings us to our coach.
So let me get this straight you were afraid that Roy would not be able to defend the Monsters of the midway (obviously they must be feared beasts because of OíBrienís reaction to them) so you thought it best to bring in Jeff Foster who is not in game shape, still injured and 103 years of age. Oh and to help with that killer defense you wanted to play you decided it was in our best interest to take out our best defender and considered by many in the NBA one of the most fierce defenders and replace him with the stay puff marshmellow man? However since the marshmellow man can shoot three's he helps spread the floor for your great interior attack that you had planned by, well by, um..... anybody? How about nobody.
Look I gave O'Brien credit last week for his coaching so I feel completely justified in ripping him here.
I understand that players play. I understand that O'Brien does not tell them to just go out there and jack up wild outside shots. I understand he wants them to take good open uncontested shots.
But at what point in time does the coach become responsible for player not understanding what a good shot is? When does it fall on him when they just settle for jump shot after jump shot?
It would be one thing if he was over on the sidelines yelling to do something different. It would even be another thing if he was taking players out after failing to move the ball or settle for jump shots. But he just stands there, much like when Jamaal did his thing with the Suns a couple of years ago. He just stands there and thinks that because they practice this and he shows them film clips of this that he does not have to do anything other than say "keep doing what your doing" and they will magically transform into the 90's Bulls driving the lanes.
I hate talking about O'Brien because what is going to happen is what happens every single time. Somebody is going to come on and call him a lousy coach and want him fired right now. This is overstated and wrong.
Only to be outdone by the people who now feel the need to be the O'Brien defenders who really are not defending O'Brien but they are just going after the first set that are over reacting.
It will just devolve from there.
I will say this. Jim is a middle of the road coach. He is not 100% right and he is not 100% wrong. However there is truth in the fact that he employs an unorthodox offensive system. So it does open him up for criticism.
However for the Raptors game, lousy coaching job from even before the tip off for making Roy afraid of his own shadow. To me you don't hide Roy and tell him "you just can't compete against these guys so better to sit over here and watch". You put him out there and if he fails he fails but he can learn from doing, not from being told he can't.
Ok, enough about him.
Let's lighten this up with a
Brandon played ok, I mean ok for him. His defense was about what you would expect from him but he did appear to at least seem more interested in helping out on offense. Not a great deal of success mind you, but he did try at least which is a step in the right direction.
D. Jones had an off game. I guess you could say that it was from having his role changed but he really seemed to be a little off tonight as well.
Actually overall the body language was pretty poor. It was so poor in fact that Clark Kellogg talked about it on the broadcast.
I didn't see the T.J. thing between him and O'Brien so I won't comment on it.
I know that he once again seemed to be active on defense but also reverted a couple of times into jumping in the air without knowing what he was going to do with the ball.
After watching Calderon again tonight I can see why they benched Ford.
Head and S Jones both did what we pretty much expect of them given their new diminished role on the team.
Watson at least hit a shot tonight; I was beginning to wonder if he ever was going to hit one again.
Jeff Foster was Jeff Foster. Solid player who should be getting spot min. in a veteran leadership role. Not starter who we once again are depending on to defend the best interior player and stop the pick and rolls.
I dread Mike Dunleavy's return.
Not because I don't like Mike, I do. I just dread how this coach will be using him again.
As of this moment I have almost zero doubt that we will once again be treated to Ford, Dunleavy, Granger, Murphy and Hibbert in the staring line up and we will once again be wondering why we are losing but scoring over 100 every game.
Here is hoping we can snap out of this funk tonight.