Believe me when I tell you Iím not Mr. Statís guy by any means & donít EVER look to me to provide you with an advanced statistical break down but I canít start tonightís post off without reviewing two statistics that donít only stand out to me they offend me.
First & foremost we shot the ball 26 times from behind the three point arc This is the first sign of the damned in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with using it as a tool but for Godís sake this tool became a sledge hammer & it was used against us. Our offense was just beyond horrid & thus this is the shot we resorted to.
Second & as important (if not more important considering we lost by one) is that we missed 11 free throws. WE MISSED ELEVEN FREETHROWS!!!!!
Needless to say tonightís thoughts are not going to be filled with comfort & joy, but weíre not going to panic either. We are just going to step back & look at this as best we can.
So letís begin.
We have played two games and letís just be honest here we have not played well in either of them. Some of it we are the lucky recipients of playing opening night in two teams arenaís, some of it is we are now a known commodity and thus teams are bringing it at us & frankly some of it is just purely crappy play by our team.
Letís not let the coaching staff off of the hook either because as much as I love Frank he has to take the blame for this absolutely pointless offense & honestly some real questionable substitutions.
I mean letís just look at tonight. He takes out the two players (Tyler & Lance) who almost by themselves have brought us back into the game & replaces them. Not because either was slowing down or being less effective. He brought them out because it was time to bring them out. As suspected the team stagnates and we are never able to get over the hump. He plays George Hill an enormous amount of time when in fact he has been horrible on both ends of the floor and limits Augustin when he was very effective at running the offense.
He has a bad habit that I think he learned from you know who about not getting a time out when teams make big runs and by the time he does do it our team has to usually come back from a double digit deficit.
He obviously did not have the team prepared to handle a full court press and then a standard 2-3 zone and sorry but that is his job.
Look it was pretty obvious that the Bobcats were going to not let Roy dominate the game as they were coming at him with triple teams early & often but where I was disgusted was in the fact that our team does not cut or move off of the ball. Again this is a coaching issue because if they are not doing it put someone in who will.
Iím not giving up on Frank but he needs to take these past two games and learn from them.
Letís do the good the bad & the ugly.
The Good: (yes believe it or not there was some good out there)
Tyler Hansbrough came in and imposed his will on the game. If only he could play in Carolina 82 games a year he might well be an actual star in our league. As it is we will just have to enjoy the couple of times a year he getís to go there. Honestly what more could you ask from him. He scored, he rebounded, he hustled & he even blocked two shots. Heck he even set a screen (it was a moving screen but whoís counting) that gave Lance Stephenson a wide open three point shot. So while the team did poorly it had nothing to do with Tylerís play he did very well.
Lance Stephenson also was good. In fact he was better at running the point tonight than Hill was and yes guys he played the point position on offense quite few times tonight. He was quick with the ball he made good decisions and most importantly of all he attacked their zone defense. If he continues on this path I would definitely think we should consider him with the starting five & moving Paul to the three if Gerald canít snap out of this in a hurry. I donít expect this every game but when it does occur you just shake your head and wonder why it canít happen all the time. Iíve said it before & Iíll say it again he has the perfect body and he has the skill the only thing that has ever hindered him is him.
D.J. Augustin shot very poorly so I really donít feel good in putting him in the good category but since our offense was so abysmal whenever he wasnít in I canít avoid it either. He will improve Tyler by just hitting him with these picture perfect passes and it has already happened two or three times tonight. Defense wasnít as bad as it was in the pre-season either but then again anything would have been better that the one legged defense that Hill put on Walker.
Ian getís honorable mention, not that he was all that good but at least he didnít look like a toad like our starting unit did. He played better in this game than he did in Toronto so that is a positive sign.
Can I just say our starting unit & coaching staff and leave it at that?
George Hill was just abysmal all night long on both ends of the floor but never more so than when he was trying to run our half court offense. There were at least three times that he dribbled the ball out top of the key and waited till the 9 second mark for West to come out and set a pick by then it was late in the shot clock so he put up some rushed off balance clunker. Now a lot of this is the fault of West or one of the other players for not rotating out to help (really a lot of this falls on Frank) but George has to move with the ball and not just stand there with it. Get the offense moving with penetration and stop just looking to make an around the horn pass for one of our abundant three point shot attempts. Iíll give him a break on Walker going off because he is playing on a bum wheel but he really did not handle the pressure defense at all tonight.
Gerald Green is just out of his element right now. Only two games so there can be no long term proclamations made here but I think itís safe to assume he would be better playing in the second unit against second unit defenders. Not his fault mind you as he is playing a role he was not ready for but I think a lot of people on here who watched pre-season and got all excited have to have some disappointment right now.
Paul George did not play bad, really if we were just looking at him objectively we would just put his game in the ok to maybe even low side of good category. But here is the problem, we have been told by everybody that this guy is ready to break out and there have been many people who have said get rid of Danny because he his holding back Paul. When we look at this game under the microscope of ďis this a franchise playerĒ I think that we have to say that this was a bad game. At no point in time did he ever impose his will on the game, he never made the Bobcats adjust their team defense to adapt to him, he never took over the game defensively. These are the things that stars do and right now Paul is supposed to be a star. Again understand what Iím saying here, he didnít have a bad game when we just look at him as Paul George starting wing player for the Pacers, but when you look at him as Paul George breakout star of the Pacers I think it was a bad game.
I wish I could find the video of it but Gerald Green made two bounce passes (one to Tyler & one to Paul) that hit the ground about one foot away from both of them causing two turn overs. He will never be confused with Tim Hardaway.