Owned yet again.
James: "Hmm, coach, what should we run?"
Byron: "Pick and Roll. Obviously!"
Asst. Coach: "But we just ran that 17 times in a row!"
Byron: "Don't question my Princeton offense."
This game doesn't tell us much in terms of actual basketball play. I'm not that disappointed that we lost to the San Antonio Spurs in January, without our starting center. I am peeved at the way this team reacts to adversity. We saw a stark contrast in how a team can respond to questionable calls and tough situations last playoffs; the Spurs consistently shook off tough calls and kept their heads straight. We often lost our heads, picked up ridiculous technicals, and plowed into our opponents on offense to take out our frustration. None of that has really changed. James Posey picked up a horrible tech. David West picked up a horrible tech. Chris Paul routinely charged head-first and out of control into Tony Parker, simply to "avenge" perceived no-calls on the other end. Look, I'm not saying this game was officiated perfectly. There were plenty of... odd calls. But what exactly is gained from a expletive-filled tirade at an official? What's gained by colliding head first into a defender? The Hornets need to do a better job controlling their frustration, or this team will go nowhere, with or without Tyson.
Let's start with shooting. David West was ice. James Posey was ice. Michael Finley was the opposite of ice. I think that about sums up shooting.
As far as rebounding goes, we actually had a sizeable advantage on the boards. Problem was, most of our offensive boards were Hornets' players blindly attempting to tip back their own missed layups. I think that about sums up rebounding.
On to some bullets:
- James Posey has been quite bad on the defensive end for a few games now. Now obviously, Ginobili is one of the best offensive players in basketball. But Posey couldn't come even remotely close to slowing him down. This is after getting burned to a crisp by Corey Maggette in the second half. And all this is not to mention the offensive side of the ball. He broke up at least two possessions tonight to take fadeaway 18 footers over his man. What the hell? This is NOT the Posey we watched for two and a half spectacular months.
- This was the first time I've had to mute an opposing team's commentators. I've used League Pass the last couple years, so I think I've gone through every team's commentary pair in the league. The Spurs' guys rank up there with the Celtics' (probably unbeatable) duo in terms of homerism. Honestly, it makes me kind of sad- one of the commentators is Sean Elliot, one of my all time favorite players. I just had to hit mute to keep my pristine image of him.
- David West is still really rusty, especially his jumper. By design, not many plays were set up for him to knock down the 17 footer. When he did take it, the shot was generally ugly. Overall, I'm fine with it. While his shot isn't there right now, it allows him to work on other parts of his game- specifically, rebounding. The shot will definitely return at some point, so if he can keep up his improved rebounding through this stretch, he'll be much better for it.
- Michael Finley absolutely torched us. Covered us in gasoline, threw us into a vat of kerosene, and lit a dozen matches.
Final note: this game belongs in the Byron Scott Idiocy Hall of Shame. What was up with Chris Paul sitting the first 9 minutes of the second? Someone pointed out in the game thread that Byron must have been anticipating Paul playing the entire second half. And Antonio Daniels wasn't playing terrible ball. But still, benching perhaps the entire player in the NBA for 9 straight minutes? In a game that you're down double digits? Makes no sense at all. Of course... he ended up not playing the entire second half. Why? Oh, because he hit five threes in a row, of course, and clearly needed to sit. Great job Byron Scott. Waste away the skills of possibly the best offensive player in basketball by sitting him in crucial minutes, and waste away his skills when he's on the floor by running one of the most simplistic and unimaginative offenses in the entire NBA.