Originally Posted by LX
A lot really depends on where this team develops. They have one thing going for them right now - the running game. And running has often cost them defensively at some point. Last season it hurt them more than helped them overall, as they just lost their legs in second halves. This season marks progress in terms of being more of a legitimate running team. But I'd say they've reached a ceiling as far as that part of their game is concerned.
A lot was made of this team stressing ball movement. It ain't happening folks. This is a team with very little of any kind of half-court attack, and unfortunately the one-pass and done idea is a little contagious. As much as we've heard about the struggle of the wing guys, a lot of that has to do with an overall lackluster halfcourt attack. If this team ever gets to the point where they actually do move the ball well, then we'll see the same kids we are bitching about now, looking not so bad at least. But I don't think that happens all that much this season. It's the kind of thing that takes time, and the guys that have the ball in their hands the most, just aren't much as passers. When Jose is playing out of his mind, it changes that a bit, but otherwise, they have the running thing going for them.
The other area with some promise is defense. We've seen flashes of some improvement. It's only really been flashes though. It's still a bad defensive team. But there are some good, and some improving, defensive players here. Can those guys be put together properly to make this a passable team on that end? Or will the bad defenders continue to negate the play of the good defenders? And will the mindset of the franchise in general stress the need to get really good on that end of the court? I'd love to see that sort of thing develop by the end of the season. To me - that is the NBA Finals moment for this particular collection of players. Please find a solid defensive identity, and change the thinking enough to make it necessary to ship some players out in order to build upon that properly.
I agree with LX.... this team has too many wing players that don't endorse the ball movement philosophy, don't promote a focused attitude on defensive accountability, and refuse to get back on every play when other teams run against us. There are signs that it can happen, but largely it doesn't happen.