Mike Conley just posted a new post over at his Yardbarkers blog. It is a good read. I love it that him, Hak and Casey all have blogs.
Conley talks about the "hostile" atmosphere playing Unicaja at their home in Malaga:
Yesterday we had our first pre season game and i had nerves running all through my body! It was different because of the hostile environment. I had never played over seas before and the fans love basketball. You could hear random whistles coming out of the stands and all of the different horns that people would play.
I love the thought of having whistles and horns in the stands, though I think that might not be allowed in NBA arenas. Maybe it is, I don't know. What I do know is that home court advantage would mean more if we could use devices to make it even louder in the FedEx Forum.
Next is the quote that might be the most important and candid quote I've read after our disappointing loss on Monday.
I thought we weren't mentally ready to play from the beginning of the game.
I hope the coaching staff realized that too and will correct it for next game. Conley then admits what everybody else saw watching the game.
But in the second half Kyle Lowry really stepped up when no one else was and helped get us back into the game.
I like the fact that Conley will give props to someone he is competing with for playing time. It really emphasizes the team aspect we have going on right now. But as long as Kyle Lowry is 3rd on the PG depth chart despite being the best PG during actual games, I am going to be somewhat frustrated. I am under the impression that every spot except for Pau's is up for grabs. I just hope that Lowry has a fair shot at the starting PG spot and that Conley's draft status or Damon's veteran status doesn't keep Lowry off the court. I want the best PG to play, regardless of draft position or age.
I touched (again) on the PG battle in this post. I've said previously that the PG battle is the storyline I'm most interested in this preseason.
Chris Herrington had this to say about the PG Battle following in a post about yesterday's loss.
On the first chapter in the preseason point-guard battle: I know a consensus storyline so far is the return of Damon Stoudamire, but I’m not buying the hype just yet. I’m trying not to prejudge this since I never liked the Stoudamire signing to begin with, but even though he does look better than he did last season, he still looks slow to me.
Clearly, Stoudamire is the least important point guard on this team in terms of long-term value — and I do think that needs to be a consideration. But, I also suspect he’ll be the least effective point guard on the roster THIS YEAR, especially relative to the style the team wants to play. Lowry outplayed Stoudamire (and Chucky Atkins) last season prior to his injury. He outplayed him yesterday. I don’t see any reason this is going to change.
Though Lowry outplayed Conley yesterday, I did like what the rookie showed. Remember this is his first preseason game: He’s going to be a work in progress all year. But he got the team into the offense quickly, was aggressive looking for transition opportunities, and showed his quickness off the dribble, getting into the lane pretty much at will.
Great thoughts by Chris. And like usual, I agree with his stance. Damon, even if healthy, is still going to be slow compared to normal PG's and REALLY slow compared to Conley and Lowry. Conley showed glimpses yesterday of being able to initiate the break or the half-court offense very quickly. Lowry showed his usual tenacious defense and the ability to raise the level of play of everybody else. Add with that the fact that Conley and Lowry are our future PG's and I'm not sure Damon should be seeing more court time.