Random thoughts on the random offense thread
First of all, there has been too much fuss about improving the offense going into this season. It sent the message that the defense was somewhat set, and it simply never has been, since they relied far too much on fouling last season. The defense was improved, but it needed to improve much more this season to give a team without an awful lot of offensive firepower a chance. I see no reason why they couldn't score much more off an improved defense, particularly with a guy like Lowry grabbing so many steals. But you have to keep the focus on defense in order to do that, including rebounding, and in many ways they've taken a step back, aside from a few really nice stretches.
But ok fine, let's worry about the offense anyhow. Is it working? It appears to lead to a lot of forced shots, enough so that it almost looks to be happening by design. There is less cohesion than we saw at the end of last season, so in some respects, even with Lowry adding so much, and DeMar much improved, they've taken a step back.
Do we have the personnel to operate a random offense, like Dallas does for instance? We have a lot of guys that are too happy to stand and watch when they don't have the ball. That doesn't leave much for the guy with the ball to do other than eventually force something. And defenses don't have so much to worry about. That's quite different from Dallas where players like Terry and Kidd and Dirk always looked to play off one another, and had a lot of experience doing so. Dallas was always really good at recognizing and exploiting mismatches, and seeing where the defense was breaking down. And they got the most that they could from within every role, just by always playing together, as experienced players are apt to do. We do not have the most experienced players. Still, I think they could manage to work off of each other enough if given a real chance within a rotation designed to get them there. We can't even get a group of 5 with any chemistry to start games, let alone figure out a rotation that goes from there.
The most random thing about the random offense is the combination of players that might be on the floor at any given time. That just has to stop. Jose and Andrea might need to take on smaller roles from what they are used to. Fields might need to work his way back into the lineup to any extent at all. And yet there we have three dudes that the coach needs to appease. It doesn't make for any sense of a strong team core, and without that there's no sense of what anybody's role should be, or could be. It doesn't surprise me that they are starting to look like a bunch of guys playing for themselves, and that would seem to be the opposite of what they are supposed to be doing in this offense.
Without the big weapons it's essential that there is cohesion and trust, and a lot of attention paid to detail, and instead the team's play seems to be structured as if they have the big weapons and that chemistry will develop as long as enough different combinations are thrown out there. Once Lowry comes back they better settle on a rotation, with much better role definition, and a sense of what they are going to try to do. Stand or fall on that together and put egos aside. And make improving the defense the number one priority once again. If that doesn't happen I don't see myself being very interested in this season. I think the players themselves could be in danger of losing interest. In this season that marks what Colangelo calls an acceleration phase of the building process, I could see the whole thing needing to be blown up. Yay. There really needed to be a little more foresight on the part of the beloved GM. Instead we got him pushing the need for offense and promising a competitive team that could be really special.