Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Post GameThoughts - Milwaukee

Chipc3's Perspective:
Well the post-Gasol era started the same way the Gasol era ended, with a team unable to figure out how to win a game that was in their grasp. The new look Grizzlies looked a lot like the old blowing a late lead by being outscored 12-2 down the stretch to lose by 5 pts to a Milwaukee team missing their top scorer and their hot shot rookie. Mike Miller looked good for three quarters including the fourth but this time disappeared in the 3rd when a halftime lead became a fourth quarter deficit. Rudy Gay couldn't take over the game because of his lack of ball handling skills and the team simply put up too many ugly shots down the stretch.

To make matters worse Pau Gasol scored 24 pts on 10-15 shooting and grabbed 12 boards in his Laker debut.

Darko Milicic looked decent at times in amassing his third straight double-double but his shot selection was highly suspect as was the play-calling that kept putting the ball in his hands. It seemed the plan was to make Darko an offensive threat and he is really is better focusing on defense and rebounding. The problem is that Memphis can't afford Darko to be an after thought offensively. The Grizzlies already attack in the half court set with 4 against 5 as Kyle Lowry is no threat at all. Throw in the fact that Juan Carlos Navarro is in a slump and the Grizz already have a hole at the 4 with no Gasol and it is easy to see why they have trouble scoring in crunch time.

The interior defense is still a problem so maybe that wasn't Pau's fault. They got killed on the boards so maybe that wasn't Pau's fault either. Basically the team looked exactly like they did with Pau only with one less weapon to score with. Still the trade is about the future not the present. Javaris Crittenton looked very promising if a bit raw in his 7 minutes and Kwame looked exactly like we were told he would look. Which means he looked like a player that will give us $9 million in cap space this summer.

The one bright spot was the weather had more to do with the poor attendance than the team.

From Zack


-- Deadly tornadoes in the area limited the crowd size. The upper deck was closed off and those fans moved down.
-- Kwame Brown got a standing ovation when he first entered the game.
-- The refs were absolutely abysmal.
-- A fan got kicked out because of it.
-- Of course, we found a way to lose at the end.
-- The Griz do not defend the pick-and-roll correctly. At all. Even a bit. It's pathetic.
-- Javaris played SG, while Navarro played PG when on the court together. Probably temporary.
-- Navarro is better suited to be a SG, this game showed his struggles bringing the ball down the court effectively against pressure.
-- Best play of the game was a thunderous alley-oop from Kyle to Rudy.
-- The Bucks were depleted. There couldn't have been a less interesting game scheduled tonight.
-- I had a lot of fun at the game, despite the loss.
-- Rudy Gay is awesome.
-- I'm encouraged about what I'm seeing from Darko with Pau gone.

BallHype: hype it up!


the serbian swatter said...

Darko's shot selection was highly suspect? He shot 5-11, and never attempted from further than 7 feet from the basket. Just standard jump hooks (n.b. right and left handed) and post moves. Should he be taking more three pointers? I'm confused...

The bias against Darko is just staggering. He puts together 3 consecutive double-doubles, all in which he demonstrates his ability to create his own high-FG% shot, and yet he still manages to catch shit.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The offense should run through Darko more often. He IS an offensive threat, and he is very good at getting the ball to the open man when he gets doubled. We need less contested three pointers, and more of Darko in the post.

ChipC3 said...

Well I think you and I were watching different games. Darko did take most of his shots close to the rim but not all of them were good shots despite that.

If you re-read what I wrote it was mostly positive. I don't blame him for taking those shots as it was obvious the team was force feeding him the ball. What I questioned was force feeding the ball to Darko instead of attempting to create shots in a more uptempo style. Memphis struggled moving the ball all night. Darko can develop into a fine offensive player but that doesn't mean every possession needs to have the ball in his hands.

Just my opinion. As I said I am glad he is getting double-doubles but we need more rebounds from Darko and to move the ball quicker on offense.

the serbian swatter said...

Would 20 rebounds from Darko be enough for you? 11 to 16 (ie Darko's post-Pau rebounding range) is just fine by me.

The problem with the Grizzlies is most definitely not Darko. It is the very style of play that ChipC3 is lobbying for: erratic, up-tempo, turnover-prone, small ball. When the Grizz go up tempo, they turn the ball over too much, and their transition defense is atrocious. Even when they score on a fast break, they immediately negate those points by failing get back on defense. It simply isn’t a viable strategy.

To the contrary, I believe that the Grizz have better half-court personnel:

1) A big, physical center in Darko;
2) A penetrator in Gay;
3) Shooters in Miller and/or Navarro;
4) A scrapper with a decent jump shot in Warrick; and hopefully
5) A pass-first PG in Conley

Basically, it seems to me that when the Grizz slow it down, their defense comes together, they maintain possession, and they get better shots offensively. Of course, the viability of their half court offense is contingent on Darko becoming a legitimate post threat, which I think we are beginning to see.