Ok again right up front letís be clear that I understand this was another pre-season game & therefore everything I say below must be taken in the context that I understand that this is neither a finished product, the lineups we will see or even the lineups of the other team and how it would impact our team.
Now having said that I am here to eat crow on a couple of things.
First and foremost Ian Mahinmi is much larger than I thought he was, I mean much. I honestly never paid any attention to him in Dallas & well I really liked (still do btw) Lou Amundson so I always was aghast when people would say how much happier they were with his size when officially they are listed as only two inches apart in height.
Well allow me right now to put that to bed. Standing side by side on the floor next to each other it wasnít even close. Ian looked more like 7í and Lou looked about 6í7Ē tall and it didnít end there. Ian is also much wider than Lou is.
Also game wise there is just a world of difference between the two tonight (again pre-season but Iíve seen Lou play enough to know what he can give us). Ian looked at times like he was starting center material out there. Iím sure he was playing above his head tonight and Iím not sure how many min. he put up directly vs. Pekovic but what I saw out of him tonight is now making me question how good I think this team can be.
I certainly donít want to base to much on a pre-season game vs. an opponent that isnít fielding itís best lineup but Iíll just say I am much more optimistic after the game than I was before.
This guy not only has legitimate size but he also has soft hands. Paul George rocketed a pass into the post that not a lot of big men could handle but he tapped it back to himself and scored basket.
I donít think we got to see what he can do defensively much tonight as things were played pretty hectically but still anytime you can come away with 2 blocks & 3 steals your doing something right.
I still donít like the trade because he could have been signed outright & Collison could have been used to sweeten a deal to move Tyler, but if I look at it as we traded a high quality backup point guard for a high quality back up center I can live with it.
Ok, here is everybodyís chance to take their shots at me. I really screwed up the Gerald Green vs. Sam Young thing. At least for tonight anyway & I have a feeling since seeing both of them play that this is probably the norm.
Good God Green can sky. I donít know if they showed it on TV or not but when he came down from that alley oop dunk from Ben Hansbrough he saluted Derrick Williams and earned himself a technical foul. If they say it was hanging on the rim just laugh at them because he honest to God saluted him after he dunked that, it was glorious btw.
He is active, he is longer than I thought (in fact I have a feeling that this is going to become a theme this year we now have several long athletic players) and he was able to work over the Wolves defenders pretty handily. His defense also was not half bad.
So between Green & Mahinmi Iím more than willing to eat my words, I was pretty much dead wrong about both of them.
On the other hand, and I know this isnít going to go over real well, I have not thought much of Augustine. Yes he had some good passes but his defense just turns my stomach. Iím not even sure what it is that he is doing so poorly but it just seems like whatever point guard he is playing can just get to whatever spot on the floor that they want to & he doesnít offer much resistance.
Maybe when I see him as the backup & I donít have to see him face starters I will get more used to his style of play, but so far I just havenít been all that impressed.
But if I have to worry about our backup point guard then in reality I think weíve got it pretty good. Remember when not long ago when our third string point guard wasnít that much worse than our starter? My have times have changed, clearly Hill is the top dog & we go from there.
Obviously after tonightís game Ben Hansbrough is on all of our minds. Letís not forget that the outstanding dunk by Green was there because Psycho B made an absolutely perfect pass to him from out of bounds.
Now the question is, does tonightís game really mean anything or was this just one of those special nights that a player hits on every now and then?
Iím guessing he is good but he is not going to be that good very often.
But it brings up an interesting question that Duke Dynamite must be credited with asking.
With what you have seen so far does Lance Stephenson really deserve to make the team above Ben? Youíll laugh at first but then the more you think about it youíll start to wonder has Lance every really had this good of an overall game? I donít know the answer to that btw. I know he has had a couple of really good offensive games but Ben tonight was just everywhere & he was a very large part of why we made a second half comeback run.
Now if you donít want to go so far as to say cut Lance then has what Orlando Johnson shown you so far merited making the team above Ben? Not sure.
Obviously both of them still have that Potential thing going for them but still, I think it would be hard to tell Ben Hansbrough he was cut after tonightís game. Now if he doesnít even come close to producing this again sure. Honestly in tonightís game I thought he was better than Augustine, however I will also point out that he wasnít playing vs. Barea either.
David West certainly has toned up his upper torso more than last year, if such a thing is possible. However he seemed to be moving like he was in cement and made no effort on the boards which was disappointing. But that offense of his sure is hard to stop.
I know it is wrong to say this but Iím sorry from all of the times Iíve seen him on the floor Jeff Pendegraph is limited (that is being very polite btw). Stat wise he did ok but just watching him play hurts my eyes.
Miles Plumlee needs to learn to get after it on the defensive end a little better, there were a couple of times that I thought he either could have gotten to or at least altered a shot and he didnít even make an effort at doing so. But offensively I think he may be a little better than what we were lead to believe.
Overall this was a very fun game to be at and honestly I walk away a little more optimistic than when I went in & I was pretty optimistic going in.
But hey I may change my mind 100 more times (or more) before the start of regular season.