Thoughts on a few games
Detroit vs Indiana
Greg Monroe gets into foul trouble early in the game so Lawrence Frank goes to his bench and brings in Jason Maxiell. So at this point, the Pistons are going with Jason Maxiell (center vs R.Hibbert) and Jonas Jerebko (big forward vs D.West) … man, the Pistons are going to get killed in the paint, again, this season.
Jerebko clearly looks over-matched physically in the post against David West early on. Not convinced about those reports of added weight / muscle / power. Jerebko does look more fluid offensively and comfortable/confident in his ball-handling though.
Pistons Starting Backcourt
Rodney Stuckey makes a couple of nice moves early in the game before heading to the bench in foul trouble. Clearly too big and too physical for Darren Collison to cover effectively.
Shame that Stuckey is being forced to defend P.George on the other end of the floor though. Detroit should really consider bringing in a defensive two as a part time starter to allow Ben Gordon to come off the bench. Similar to DeShawn Stevenson’s role with Jason Terry (6th man) in Dallas last year.
The Pistons are just hurting themselves with this starting backcourt.
Pistons Backup Backcourt
Ah crap, Will Bynum just checked into the game. You have got to be kidding me!
Detroit is going to play Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon (starting SG), Brandon Knight and Will Bynum … as their rotation in the backcourt? My gosh, they are going to get killed defensively in the backcourt.
Just checked the box score. Bynum got 13 minutes, Knight 11 minutes, Stuckey and B.Gordon got 33-34 minutes. They are using those four guys as their backcourt.
Another year, another mess in Detroit.
New Orleans vs Phoenix
I continue to like what I see out of Belinelli when he is at the point.
I expect Trevor Ariza to shoot the ball much better from the floor this season without Chris Paul around. Ariza no longer has to stand in the corner while his PG routinely dribbles off 12-15 seconds off the shot clock at the top of the key.
Eric Gordon will be good for Ariza. As will PGs who don’t dominate the ball.
Robin Lopez has knocked down a few sweet looking long jumpers.
Only 5 of his 12 shots came in the paint. Of the other seven, five came from 15-20 feet. A couple of makes from the baseline (either side) and a pair from the top of the key. I don’t know whether it was fluky shooting or what but R.Lopez was even looking good on shots he missed. Might have added a jumper to his repertoire for this season.
Perhaps, no longer just a garbage man on offense?
I really like the look of Markieff Morris. He should be a Udonis Haslem type PF (or better) in the NBA. He should be a very nice glue guy in the NBA.
I hope he can work his way into that starting lineup ahead of Channing Frye. I think he’d give the Suns some much needed possession creation + improve their physical toughness and overall defensive ability. The unit would see a decrease offensively (minus Frye’s floor spacing) but I think that is a necessary loss.
Time for Phoenix to adjust their style of play from run and gun to more of a grind it out team. It’ll still be a PG-centric offense that relies on Nash to create everything but a less glamorous version of what we have to come to know from the Suns.
San Antonio vs Memphis
I only watched a small part of this game (third quarter) mainly to see the following:
Splitter and Duncan
Nice to see Popovich use Tiago Splitter alongside Timmy Duncan in the third quarter last night.
Pop was so reluctant to do so last season. I thought that really hurt the Spurs. I always wanted Pop to be more willing to experiment with and develop that big man combination. They needed to get Timmy more help around the basket and that was their best in-house option + Splitter is clearly talented enough to offer a lot more than he has so far.
Makes a real difference (to have Timmy + Splitter out there together) to San An’s length around the basket. On both ends. A lot more activity.
2 blocks, 2 steals and 8 rebounds in 33 minutes. Nice work from Splitter.
Splitter still looked apprehensive when on the ball offensively though.
Poor Performance from Memphis
The Grizzlies had something like 17 turnovers midway through the third. Looked deflated from all their miscues. Their bigs weren’t working hard enough on team defense either. Thee team as a whole just didn’t seem to have the same energy (hustle) as late last year.
Marc Gasol wasn’t as aggressive as in the playoffs either. He was back to regular season Marc Gasol (13/7 regular Gasol vs 15/11 playoff Gasol). Hopefully, that is just a one game thing and not a sign of things to come from him.
High Pick and Rolls
The Spurs had a couple of nice pick and rolls where their bigs set their picks about 5-7 feet beyond the three point line.
This gave Parker/Manu a huge amount of space to build up a head of steam and charge right at Z-Bo/M.Gasol off the dribble. Abused them each time they went to it. Too slow (Memphis).
Jeremy Pargo looked solid. Physical. Long arms, active defender. Aggressive. He should fit right in in that Lionel Hollins defensive system.