Saturday, December 22, 2007

Postgame Thoughts: Memphis vs. Philadelphia - 12.22.07

I decided on the way home that I was going to put all my thoughts down before heading over to the message boards to see who they pinned the blame on for this loss. Here's what I came up with during that 20-minute drive.

Pau Gasol
He shouldn't have left so much time on the clock when hitting the shot to tie the game.
He should have blocked Igoudala's game-winner.
He should have done more than leading the Grizzlies in points, rebounds and assists. He should have led in blocks, steals and 3-pointers as well.
He's soft and can't play defense. That's why Andre Miller, Kyle Korver and Andre Igoudala combined for 66 points tonight.
He shouldn't have slacked off in the 2nd half -- he scored 17 in the 1st half, but only 14 in the second stanza. Slacker!

Marc Iavaroni
He should have subbed for Rudy in the obvious must-foul situation late in the game so that he could have contested Iggy's game-winner.
He should have fouled on the inbounds pass.
He should have played Kyle Lowry more.
He should have drawn up Gasol's game-tying shot to be a 4-point play, so that Iggy's game-winner would have only tied the game.

Mike Miller
He should have been more "mentally tough" so that he could have played better defense, hit more shots and committed fewer turnovers. By "mentally tough", of course I mean he should be a Jedi master who can control his opponents' thoughts.
He should have cut his hair. Not sure how that assigns blame to him, but I'm sure it will be brought up.

Damon Stoudamire
He should stop being so old.

Casey Jacobsen
He should stop existing so that Iavaroni couldn't sub him in.

Rudy Gay
Nothing. Seriously, the kid is perfect just the way he is. He's a hero, a leader, a great cook and a fine dancer. At least that's what I've been brainwashed to believe on the message boards.

That's it. No real commentary about the game and no analysis. I'm sure Chip and Zack will be along to do that for me. I just wanted to vent while waiting for the Tylenol to take my headache away.

Chipc3 Thoughts:

Seems like this Grizz team is the anti-thesis of the 2003-04 team that was able to win every close game. This year's model is now 1-7 in games decided by 3 points or less. Iquodala made a great shot that was contested. Great players make great players and there is no question Iquodala is a great player.

Still the game should never have been that close at the end. Philadelphia was playing like a team ready to go home in the first half. Memphis was careless with the ball and didn't seem to have the killer instinct when the 76ers were vulnerable and that allowed the Sixers to get confidence heading into the 2nd half and especially into the fourth quarter. Every time Memphis had Philly right where they wanted them they let them off the hook. Call it inexperience, youth, poor coaching, whatever, the reality is this team hasn't learned how to finish off teams and that puts them in the position to be defeated at the end of games.

Gasol may only be the 2nd option now (and I definately believe that to be the case) but he is still a very good player who can take over games for periods of times. It was encouraging to see him take over down the stretch when it was apparent Rudy was struggling against Iquodala.

Rudy has to learn how to play slashers better. Everytime Rudy is matched up against a player who drives the ball well he gets into foul trouble. The foul trouble throws off his flow in the game and makes it difficult to be the player he is capable of being night in and night out.

Mike was Mike. 100% effort, good eye for the basket, nothing in the late stretches of the game. Mike is essentially an on-looker and passer in the closing minutes of games. In the 4th quarter tonight Miller had 3 turnovers, one missed shot and a single rebound. It may be fatique after playing more than 44 minutes but the dropoff was easy to notice.

Kyle is officially in a funk. Nothing really wrong with his game but teams have adjusted to his style and now he has to adjust to their adjustment. He is basically a rookie and he is struggling to do this but I believe he will figure it out. I was surprised to see him play only 14 minutes tonight but he wasn't very effective when he was in the game. Remember this period of adjustment when Conley gets back. He will have great games and then struggle as well. It happens to young PG's in the league. Kyle will figure it out and improve. Andre Miller is a very experienced PG and he exploited Damon's size and Kyle's inexperience.

Speaking of Andre Miller, he should ask to be traded to Memphis. He absolutely loves playing here.

The Christmas intermission couldn't come at a better time. Gasol, Milicic and Conley all could use a break to heal up and the rest of the team can use the time off to collect their wits.

The front line was changed again. Memphis will struggle defensively until they can put 10 games in a row together with the same front line. I personally don't think it matters much if it is Gasol, Milicic and Gay or Miller, Gay and Gasol. Just put the same people on the court for a stretch of games. Great teams play together enough to learn tendancies and Memphis has not had a chance to do that. We won't know how good or bad they really are until they get the opportunity to log consistent minutes together.


Anonymous said...

In your summary of the message board, you forgot the all emcompassing excuse of "so and so player has no confidence". What ever the hell that means. A guy can be told he's the best in the world but feeling like you are doesn't make it so.

Anonymous said...

It should say encompassing

hptmatt said...

hey Sparty...funny stuff.

Why do you think we lost the game?

I'm gonna go with the old favorite, ZERO perimeter D.

When you get to the end of a game and say "well, we just didn't have an answer for Andre Miller", you suck at perimeter D. Period.

Oh. And letting the other team go on an 11-0 to start Q4 doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, but this whole "perimeter players scored 66 points and it's not pau's fault" is garbage. defense is a team concept and i think everybody will agree with me there. when rudy or juan or kyle or damon or mike, gets beat off the dribble help is needed from interior players. a good defensive big man knows to stay between the slasher and his own man (to prevent a dump off for an easy basket) and as much as he can cut off the slasher from the basket or try to alter the shot. i wish i could put joey dorsey's defense in pau's head. he would be the best player in the league. no shit.