This game is why Frank makes the big bucks and we don't. All us jr coaches made suggestions for fixing the rotation. Don't remember any of us suggesting sitting Lance and playing Chris at the 3. What a nice move. Open up the court and suddenly the bench looks and plays like a real NBA team. Kudos to Frank.
Love our bench production off the bench. Scola has 19 pts and 6 rebounds, Turner gets 6 pts and 7 assists, and 5 pts in only 10 minutes is pretty good for Copeland
Copeland looked really good defensively as well. He had no problem staying with Snell and Dunleavy and that's something that I didn't really expect. He seemed a little bit quicker than I remember.
Some quick thoughts...
1. I missed the first 2.5 quarters. First part of any game I missed all year. So I'll take credit for anything good that happened.
2. Biggest thing I noticed, besides Scola hitting again, was Roy Hibbert owning the damn ball. He and Mahinmi were both brilliant in rim defense, but just noticed a lot more aerial aggression and "that's mine" rebounding efforts. When the Pacers tally those kind of extra possessions, good things happen.
3. Thought this might have been closer to a 20-point win were it not for some truly godawful officiating in the late 3rd, early 4th. They made up for it by fouling Gibson out on a pansy call, but still, the missed kick ball and missing PG24's block were just brutal, brutal calls.
4. That said, related to point 3, this team still gets WAY too attached to officiating. I sit the fence here tonight because I don't blame PG24 for getting T'd up at all. I'd have the same reaction. But it still does worry me, given Joey Crawford Specials (not that I'd want anyone else officiating IND-MIA if that series happens anyway), that this team is so dependent on neutral/positive officiating mojo. Anything negative throws the brakes on way too much.
5. Wish they would have closed out the game being a bit more aggressive in going to the rim. Were it not for Scola's jumper falling, this would have been a much more uncomfortable finish.
6. Turner looked brutal minus his dish to Scola in the time I saw him, so maybe I just caught the wrong stretch?
7. Remember when fans were rushing to figure out ways to get Mahinmi off the team? The man has reinvented himself, and there has been a big enough sample size to make that claim now. Good for him. Proud of him. I love that he looks to be the no-nonsense power guy now. He's not going to let you finish at the rim unless you get a step on him, and he goes for at least one power dunk each game that at the very least results in a foul. Good for him. I hope the attitude is contagious. Love to see his teammates playing with equal confidence and dictation at the rim.
8. I've conceded ever trying to figure out George Hill on offense, but defensively, few guys I'd rather have at that position.
9. When this team dominates, it stems from defense. I was grinning like Christmas morning watching these guys D up tonight. Took away Noah and gave Chicago a bunch of Boozer mid-range jumpers. You couldn't script the game better if you had an invisible Wayans brother sitting on the rim. They dictated what Chicago could do and forced them into relying on low-percentage shots and predictably mediocre players. I also just love something about daring Boozer to beat you. It amuses me. I dislike Boozer, a lot.
Whats with the final play of the 3rd quarter where Lance came over and demanded the Ball from Turner. Then Turner back pedals to the corner with his hands out in frustration while Lance proceeded to go into Bad Lance mode for the final shot. Lance bricks the shot and then starts shooting stink eyes all around as he moses over the bench looking back at his teammates.
You can't get champagne from a garden hose.
What you own is your own kingdom
What you do is your own glory
What you love is your own power
What you live is your own story
Ian has been playing fantastic ball for months and you want LaVoy to play over him, out of position, because of one game against the worst team in the league? No way.
I still can't get over Frank sitting Lance to play Chris though. Very 'outside the box' thinking. Adds a shooter and forces more passing. Clever.
Copeland has not looked like a bad defender at the 3 or 4. I never thought he was, certainly not worse than Scola. He should continue to get playing time IMO, but I thought he should have for most of the season.
"Just look at the flowers ........ BANG"
Also, good to see Scola got the mid range jumper back at least for tonight. He was slowly recovering as the year has gone by, and he blew up with it tonight it seems
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Our 3rd quarter defense was championship level. It's good to see that switch flipped.
Last edited by imawhat; 03-21-2014 at 11:12 PM.
In retrospect, it recreates the bench as it was supposed to be at the beginning of the season. Using Chris to take the Danny Granger role, using Evan to take the Lance role and it keeps Lance's minutes down to a reasonable amount. Lance played 30 min tonight instead of the 35 to 40 he's been playing. Lance is the energizer bunny, but getting to play less minutes has to make it easier to play harder when he is on the court.
Lance and Evan do have trouble playing together, especially without CJ. Just not enough shooters. This puts a shooter back without taking Luis out. Evan does a nice job of taking Lance's ballhandling role. Making the bench a strong point of the team even with CJ out. Genius move.
Copeland had 2 blocks tonight by the way.
Yea, we need to continue with the
lline-up when healthy
I'm not a huge Copeland fan, and I generally don't want to see him on the floor at all, but if you can stick him on somebody that won't score like Tony Snell (tonight), then his defensive liabilities aren't as important. Maybe he can guard Battier when we play the Heat. It's possible there's an opportunity there.