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Old 04-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
effin' ineffable

In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 30,070
Default fossil fool: high tide

here's the last bit from the latest blog entry - you can read the whole bit here - fossil fool

There are a group of guys on this team that are young, still improving, and happy to be playing together. That’s a group that can overachieve over the next season or two, and that would allow room to add some pieces that make for a really strong, well-balanced team. For much of this season we’ve seen hard work that doesn’t often pay off. On the offensive end, guys like Jose, Andrea, and Linas have provided some sense that scoring can come easy. I would argue that it has come at the cost of the team relying too much on a bunch of jumpers that can turn a sense of ease into all kinds of difficulties in a hurry. And then the hard work on the defensive end has to overcompensate for the pieces that don’t fit, while offering up transition baskets going the other way off of missed jumpers. It’s been sad to see strong individual efforts lead only to easy baskets for opposing teams. These guys need to know that they are all pulling on the same rope. For the most part we’ve seen two or three guys digging in with all fours just to keep the rope from going slack, while two or three other guys hold on with one hand, if that, while distracting the other side by building sand castles. A lot of that has to do with the personnel. But with the addition of James Johnson, and Ed Davis getting better by the minute, some real results can be had from a more defensive mindset. At least this past weekend has hinted at that possibility. Now can they add the right draft pick and another piece or two to solidify that?

I felt like I was watching basketball last weekend. I missed that feeling. I want more now. We’ve seen hard work that doesn’t prevent easy baskets for the bad guys for longer than I care to remember. Jay Triano is in danger of being defined by the failure that comes from that imbalance. And now we’ve seen a glimpse of how hard work can allow for some easy baskets, in close and reliably, for the good guys. In that scenario Jay Triano can be defined by the improvements of developing players like DeMar, Amir, JJ, and Bayless. The coach can get credit for a team that plays together in order to overachieve. In any case it is something to build on. The sand castles can, and will, just wash away with the tide. There are some pieces with real value that can bring something back in return, in the form of Andre, Jose, and maybe Bayless or Barbosa if a pg is drafted. Those aren’t bad assets to dangle out there. And even if they garner mostly draft picks coming back, it opens up the chance to find the pieces that can work together over time, and gives the group we watched this weekend a chance to get better from season to season. I would so much prefer that as an alternative to always wondering what kind of neurotic identity might eventually take hold.
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