Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thoughts on Rockets-Lakers

  • Can anyone else almost hear J.R. (of WWF fame) screaming "OH NO! NOT THIS! ANYTHING BUT THIS!" in the background every time Brian Cook enters the game at any moment of relevance? When he checked in last night, I told my friend I would prefer Aaron Brooks' chances at securing the rebound.
  • Typically when a team is extending itself as this group has, it begs the question "can they really sustain this type of energy over the course of the season?" This isn't the Boston Celtics the year Rick Pitino implemented that ridiculous '48 minute full court defense' that wore half the roster out within 2 months. This energy is sustainable for no other reason than that these guys don't even know of any other way of playing basketball.
  • My favorite part of each game is becoming the pre-game analysis when the other team's broadcast crew discusses the big advantage in the middle for their team (over Chuck Hayes). It's pretty humorous. No, Chuck Hayes is not "hard-working", "tough", "rugged" or any of that other back-handed bullshit. This is an elite All-NBA class defender. It immediately brings to mind the Chris Rock bit on Colin Powell where he remarks that people compliment Powell saying "oh wow, he speaks so well!". Rock says "what do you mean 'he speaks so well?' this is a f****** educated man."
  • Leaving Artest for that '3' was absolutely the right call to make. I would do it again. In fact, I would have just left him open the entire overtime and invited him to shoot. The funny thing last night was hearing the excitement from the Lakers' announcers every time Artest did something well. It was almost as if they were trying to convince themselves that this was somehow a good idea.
  • Brooks: Speaking of Chris Rock, he could really use Tracy out there.
  • Speaking of Tracy, two thoughts immediately came to mind upon the culmination of that game:
  1. Damn, a dosage of Tracy would have been real nice in those closing minutes.
  2. Damn, there's no way in hell McGrady fits in with this 'cutting/slashing/run you to death' thing we have going.
  • Which brings up an interesting idea. If you could somehow keep Tracy on the bench the entire game and only bring him in for the final few possessions of a close game, I think you would really be onto something. This would be, in a sense, bringing literal meaning to the term 'closer.' And yes, the issue of wearing out the bullpen would definitely be at relevance here.
  • You have to wonder how long Rick continues perpetuating this 'dress Trevor Ariza up as Tracy McGrady' shtick. It's an experimental season, yes, and for that, I have no problem finding out what Trevor can and can't do (though it's pretty clear already.) But you have to believe Rick is pretty aware that he has a 'Coach of the Year' award on the line here. 43 wins and it's his. He knows this. That's why I'm guessing Ariza probably won't be handling the ball as much by January.


ElPigto said...

I agree with all of the article except when you mention Rick being aware of "coach of the year" award. I believe rick doesn't even care about that award especially considering the history of it (coaches getting fired).

Overall it was a great game and we definitely need Tracy out there healthy. Brooks could become and even better threat and play off the ball once in a while. I'm hoping for Tracy to come back healthy which will also make Trevor Ariza a better player. My only fear, like yours, is Tracy not really fitting into this style.

cabbage said...

re: rick, agreed. that was meant facetiously. but i do think allowing ariza to handle hurts our chances overall. so you wonder how he will strike that balance between player development and winning this year.

Anonymous said...

Hey man, great blog.
My thoughts are winning should be the goal over player development. Once a team gets used to losing, sometimes its hard to get the winning mentality back. Thats why so many NBA teams are stuck in mediocrity despite high draft picks. I think Rick will feel everything out for a few more weeks though.
I wanted to get your thoughts on end-of-games situations. It seems likes so many teams run a high S/R with 10 seconds left. I think this is a bad idea, because if the defense traps the ballhandler, it often leads to a panicked shot (like last night). I'd rather give Brooks a shot to break his man down by himself, with some cutting/motion to discourage help defense. At worst, he can shoot a long jumper.

Anonymous said...

Is Trevor Ariza's ceiling any higher than what we see out of Battier? I dig his hustle, I admire his game but consider me skeptical that he amounts to any more than a reliable third option albeit, a solid defender.

Chuck Hayes is well on his way this season to gaining "underrated" status on a national level that it's going to become tiresome.

David god. At least attempt some defense in the paint. Chuck Hayes signs for 65 over 5 with your height and stroke.

I like the set-up of this post. It's a clean follow-up to an introspective Artest look.

Jim Ross is in Houston December 8th. Yes, I'm there.

Post a Comment