Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chicago Recap

Tough night but someone has to write about it.

Best dunk goes to Rudy Gay for his first quarter blow by Luol Deng.

Best defensive play was Lowry stripping the ball from Gordon and going the distance in the other direction.

Best play was the first of the game when Warrick hit Gay with a pass in the lane for a quick bucket.

There are moments of quality play from the team. Unfortunately those are few and far between. When Darko went out last night in the first quarter the chemistry fell apart and was not regained until late in the 3rd. By that time we were down 30 points and the game was over.

Watching the team play gives glimpses of what will come but the reality of the present moment is often painful. Rudy should continue to improve. Conley, Lowry, Crittenton and even Darko should continue to improve. These players are all 22 or younger. Throw in 5 more draft picks in the next three seasons and the future looks bright. It just feels that the brightness is at the distant end of a dark tunnel. Memmphis misses Mike Miller simply because he knows how to get the players to play under control. His range forces teams to open up shots in the paint which makes everyone more effective. Right now the team is facing 5 defenders around the paint most of the time and they are daring Memphis to beat them from outside. No one on this team can do that for 48 minutes.

Those are the positives believe it or not. The negatives are a defense that allowed the worst shooting team in the league to hit nearly 54% of their attempts. They allowed 48 points in the paint from primarily a jump shooting team. They had 8 shots blocked and seven steals surrendered. They had a mere 16 assists on 39 made FG attempts and shot a 42.4% thanks to some hot shooting late. They were below 40% most of the game. Memphis has potential but as Pranica and Touhy pointed out, they need a lot of coaching and that appears to be missing right now. Hopefully it is just an illusion and the basics are being put into place that will forge a better team next season. For now it takes a lot of searching to be excited about the team.

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the next 2 years (maybe even 3-4 since Memphis plays in the toughest division in sports.)
A young team with promise that doesnt know how to win, how not to fall apart for long stretches, how not to panic.
I'd rather watch you kids make young kid mistakes than overpaying some mediocre loser like Ricky Davis, Sharif A.Rahim, Mark Blount, etc.

The SG position is set with Miller/Navarro whether Miller is traded or not.
Still have no read on the PG. Conley shows signs but hasnt jumped out yet and while Lowry has done waht I thought he could but JC is intriguing because of his size and scoring.

Rudy can maybe become 'the guy' or maybe just a Rashard Lewis, which still isnt bad. That's cool. but he has to want to improve each year, spend his summers working one his deficiencies.

Darko has done pretty well for his first full year when you take everything in consideration. I find it strange that his offence is so lacking since we were told he had good shooting skills an wasnt good defensively and here seems much better defensively and worse offensively but that could be the hand injuries.
The way he plays the big centers tells me a lot. Anyone can play the 2nd tier centers well but its the challenge he seems to relish agaisnt the big boys taht impresses me.
I wasnt hoping for an 8pts, 8rb year but still think we are better off that at least half the teams at the position.

At PF Im not sold with Hak.

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