I could probably have ended the post with Rondo’s expression. Nevertheless, here are some observations from watching the game, which I’m sure a lot of you out there already share:
- Our rim was getting abused so much by Detroit in the first half, they probably had to change it at halftime. Our defense was obviously not catching up with their extra passes.
- Small lineups get abused on the low post. Suffice to say that while not every team is built like Detroit’s hulking roster, we will be getting mauled from time to time. And of course, Josh Smith just had to stop taking those silly jumpers and start tearing us into bloody smithereens right now. Well done Pistons, you’ve managed to accomplish what I deemed an impossible feat last season – playing a rational Josh Smith who realises he’s most effective in the low post.
- Avery has two main options on offense. Push the ball hard and get a shot, or take a screen and pull up with a long two. Neither of them are what I’d term appealing options for a point guard. Can we play Crawford as the starting PG until Rondo returns?
- Jeff Green works best on transition, or with a ton of space in a 1v1 situation. Or both. I winced when he crashed into Josh Smith while passing the ball in mid-air, and got called for an offensive foul.
- I wilt a little more every single time Avery or Jeff make a one-handed pass at the arc. My paranoid mind constantly translates that as a potential steal and fast break opportunity.
- Vitor is fast becoming an irreplaceable piece this season with his superb contributions on both ends. Inside, outside, you name it, he does everything short of taking a charge.
- Olynyk – great hands, great body control, great guy in the paint.
- Turnovers galore, too many careless passes. No finger pointing, everyone had a piece of it.
- Bass had to get out to the three line and catch the ball out of his usual range several times, which nullified his offensive potential somewhat. What would you have him do out there, jack a three? Of course he took a dribble and handed it off.
- Until our team is capable of having all five guys pull the trigger from downtown without hesitation, spacing will be tough, and we’re stuck in the no man’s land of pass-and-screen-and-try-to-make-something-happen. Which doesn’t seem to be working quite well for now. I like the way the ball’s moving though, it’s a marked improvement from the dead ball movement of last season.
- The C’s went to a super small lineup of Olynyk/Sully/Brooks/Bradley/Crawford in the fourth quarter. Very interesting. I think taking Bradley off the point helped a ton.
On to the next game! It’s still too early to tell, and really, how much worse can we get?
Really? Maybe I should take that back.