"Guys who know how to play"
Old 12-07-2012, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Guys who know how to play"

That's a quote my brother says a lot when referring to basketball players.

Now, why am I quoting my brother? Simple. Because he knows a crap load more about basketball than I ever will. Some background? Beyond a select few guys here I would actually give you his name and you would be able to google him and see some of his stats. No, he didn't play CIS, played OCAA and was a pass-first PG. He knew how to run an uptempo offence and a half court offence. Heck, if he really wanted to, he could've played pro/semi-pro in some European country (Finland, Denmark, Sweden etc.) but well he didn't want to. I speak of him, because I just want to provide SOME context as to why I trust his opinion. He knows this game.

Anyways, when we were watching a few weeks ago (beyond his dismissal of Kyle Lowry) he mentioned talent helps you but you don't win because of talent alone. It's about having a bunch of guys who know how to play. I asked him what he meant by that. His reply?

"The game becomes more 'fun' because you're not worrying about when you'll get your shot, or if you'll get the ball back. You know they'll help you on offence and you know they understand their role."

When we spoke about last year's team, we talked about how last year's team maybe didn't have talent, but everyone knew how to play. No one tried to do too much and everyone played to their perfection. They wouldn't win many games (because of a lack of talent) but they competed because of who they were as players. There was trust among the guys.

That brings us to this season. Talent doesn't win. It helps, but these guys just don't trust each other. Not on offence and not on defence. And when you don't trust each other, you're not willing to play that much harder. You just kind of let your talent do the work. The last few games, I don't see that extra effort. That isn't on the coaches. That's on the players.

So, when all of us are clamouring to fire the coach, understand, its the chemistry of this team that's off. It's not having guys who know how to play. It's a bunch of guys who don't trust each other and really, it's only getting worse. Don't let the close games fool you.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I completely agree, it was either the pheonix game or the comeback in denver, when the ball movement at one point was really working well, everyone was passing it, and we kept scoring. We need to get that going, no more of passing to andrea at the 3 pt line with 20 seconds and him taking a shot, these guys need to trust each other and pass it. Even lowry where we are down, ye he gets us back, but you can see how he feels, if he doesnt do something by himself we are going to get blown out. I think the only way this happens, is for the coach to keep preeching it, and when we finally get a couple breaks and get 2-3 wins in a row, that is when we will start playing really well like everyone hoped
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree, but the chemistry issues are most prominent with the starters.

Not sure how much Casey's Random offense has to do with this, but sometimes players look lost as to what play is being run etc..and when to expect a pass
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Agrreed.... last season they all trusted their best player, and you heard it in interviews.... I'm not sure anybody on this team knows who's leading and who to follow. it's kind of a clusterfuck....

Casey seems to have lost his command but he can easily get it back... that said, we're not hearing negative stuff surfacing and we're really still trying to figure out how good our young players can be. I'm not convinced it's going to get worse yet but I do think time is incredibly important and Colangelo may have jinxed himself by suggesting we'd be accelerating the process this year when we actually need this year to gel more.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Curious as to why your brother "dismissed" Lowry... because in my estimation he's the very essence of a "player who just knows how to play". Does whatever it takes for his team to succeed.

A healthy Fields is another one who would fit that mold.

So would Amir.

Pietrus might be in there too (too early to tell).
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, role definition is one thing this team sorely lacks. You never know from what one night to the next who is going to do what. The only ultimate truth is that Bargnani will get his minutes and shots because we have to ride him come hell or high water.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I remember watching OKC and Memphis a few years back, and it was painful. I've always said talent is overrated. At the same time the trust and chemistry doesn't just happen instantly. I just want to see something develop in the next couple months, and have this team settle on an identity they can build around rather than looking for a single player to build around. I think they can find a number of 2-way players that can depend on each other enough to sense some progress before this season is over. They desperately need to get the focus on defense, and converting the defense to some easy baskets. Then Colangelo needs to do his job and plug in the right player or players that add to that and maybe improve offensive execution overall.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
Curious as to why your brother "dismissed" Lowry... because in my estimation he's the very essence of a "player who just knows how to play". Does whatever it takes for his team to succeed.

A healthy Fields is another one who would fit that mold.

So would Amir.

Pietrus might be in there too (too early to tell).
I'm not willing to speak for him, but his concerns have always been:

A. looks off his teammates
B. plays out of control

Also, don't confuse, playing hard and with abandon, by knowing how to play. Knowing how to play involves a lot more than that.

Now, remember what I said in the post. He was a pass-first PG growing up. That fuels his opinion more than anything (and makes it hard to disagree with him sometimes).
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Pietrus knows how to play Torap... dude had a little guy on him and he went to work, down low. He knows where to spot up, he knows to keep his hands ready on D.... you can tell he's learned how to play the game and his vet experience has really been demonstrated. We need more of that, we're too young and the inconsistency is killing us. Also, role def is huge and we lack it. Always seems we're trying to forcefeed either AB or DD but never with a plan that it will lead to others getting involved. That's troubling.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
I'm not willing to speak for him, but his concerns have always been:

A. looks off his teammates
B. plays out of control

Also, don't confuse, playing hard and with abandon, by knowing how to play. Knowing how to play involves a lot more than that.

Now, remember what I said in the post. He was a pass-first PG growing up. That fuels his opinion more than anything (and makes it hard to disagree with him sometimes).
Eh.... not sure I'd agree with that. Lowry has been more than willing to pass the ball and get others involved in the 1st halves of games. Seems like he only goes into "Mike James mode" when the team is struggling and needs offense badly. And then most often it's him getting to the line (and stopping the clock) rather than chucking long jumpers. That's what smart players do.

I love pass-first PGs more than anything... believe me (#1 Rondo fan remember?)... but I think your bro is being a little harsh in this case (IMO). Depending on the makeup of a team a PG might have to score more to make things work. And with Bargs being utterly unreliable... leaves a pretty big hole that needs to be plugged.

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Originally Posted by carp View Post
Pietrus knows how to play Torap... dude had a little guy on him and he went to work, down low. He knows where to spot up, he knows to keep his hands ready on D.... you can tell he's learned how to play the game and his vet experience has really been demonstrated. We need more of that, we're too young and the inconsistency is killing us. Also, role def is huge and we lack it. Always seems we're trying to forcefeed either AB or DD but never with a plan that it will lead to others getting involved. That's troubling.
Yeah, it looks like it. I've already confessed to being very impressed with him.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's only taken three games for Pietrus to look like the most high-IQ NBA player on the team.

How many times Bargnani looked him off in the post against Brooks makes me assume Bargnani still has no clue.

Kyle doesn't trust his teammates.

At Iverson's pinnacle he was good enough to take 1/2 his team's shots, but also maintain the respect of his teammates. His teammates believed in him and played hard for him. He was good enough.

Lowry is not good enough to be that guy; he needs to trust his teammates a little more, and stop yelling at refs on failed drives to the net.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It's only taken three games for Pietrus to look like the most high-IQ NBA player on the team.
It's quite sad that a player practically no team wanted (mainly because of salary demands though) has (arguably) the highest IQ (basketball wise of course) on the team.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It's only taken three games for Pietrus to look like the most high-IQ NBA player on the team.

How many times Bargnani looked him off in the post against Brooks makes me assume Bargnani still has no clue.

Kyle doesn't trust his teammates.

At Iverson's pinnacle he was good enough to take 1/2 his team's shots, but also maintain the respect of his teammates. His teammates believed in him and played hard for him. He was good enough.

Lowry is not good enough to be that guy; he needs to trust his teammates a little more, and stop yelling at refs on failed drives to the net.
Very true
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm not willing to speak for him, but his concerns have always been:

A. looks off his teammates
B. plays out of control
Sounds about right. Not always but often enough that its a problem. Could add shot selection.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't think its Lowry not trust his team mates so much as Lowry trying to find his role on this team. The team needs him to be a threat he needs to look off his team mates to establish that. He was brought here to score and to beat people off the dribble. I think he is doing a good job get people there shots.

The one thing this TEAM needs to do, is to give Jonas opportunity score, there is genuine lack of trust in the rookie abilities to finish at the rim. He has to be give opportunities even if they end failure, The guy is working his ass off trying sell the pick and role and seldom gets the ball. That will to run it with determination is going to die.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What this teams needs is a coach capable of devising an offensive scheme involving more than 2 players at a time. And if Casey is doing that - then players who'd actually do it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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On the defensive end I think two things extremely hurt us. One is that we got rid of James Johnson, who made a difference. Two is that we put Valanciunas beside Bargnani. This franchise would never admit something like present day Valanciunas being a god awful defender, but he is. Bargnani is a nice fit with Amir, because Amir is experienced and a very smart help defender. The Bargnani-Valanciunas combo is a help defense disaster, even worse than Bosh-Bargnani was back in the day. I also think Bargnani is just trying less defensively than he was last year.

This team would've won more games this year with a lineup of 24mpg Amir, 13mpg Gray and 11mpg Valanciunas at center to start the season. Rookies often have much less impact than their stats, which is why winning teams work them in slowly. Valanciunas is the 5th best big on our team and he's getting the 2nd most minutes. He's getting 9mpg more than Ed Davis who has clearly outplayed him. That's the kind of thing you don't do in a season where you're supposibly trying to win rather than tank

Last edited by The MVP of West Hollywood; 12-07-2012 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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edit dp
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
I'm not willing to speak for him, but his concerns have always been:

A. looks off his teammates
B. plays out of control

Also, don't confuse, playing hard and with abandon, by knowing how to play. Knowing how to play involves a lot more than that.

Now, remember what I said in the post. He was a pass-first PG growing up. That fuels his opinion more than anything (and makes it hard to disagree with him sometimes).
I like how your brother thinks a great deal. He's right.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Getting the bigs involved in the post is a problem. Not much happening with pick and rolls. Amir is popping out well beyond the free throw line. There are some good passes between Ed and Amir in the paint, but beyond that there is a lot of forcing passes inside when they aren't there, leading to really bad turnovers.

I think overall there has to be a reassessment of the personnel, proper trades made, and then a hoping for a tipping point where enough 2-way players can trust each other and help each other properly define their roles. There's a lot of work to do here, and maybe Casey isn't the best person to take it on, but I can't see getting a new coach mid-season when it's not clear who will be the GM at the end of the season.
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