I came *this* close to turning off this game in the first half and going to bed. It looked like we were mailing in another flim-flam effort like we gave against the Pistons. I hung in there, though, because I’m tough.
A few thoughts about the Nets game below the fold.
Did you notice that 48MoH dusted off Varner and Gordian in the last two games? It’s like it’s 2009 again.
Graydon mentions in his recap that he asked Kawhi and Jack about the defensive adjustments for the second half of the Nets’ game and that they both said, “there weren’t any, it was better effort”. While Graydon is skeptical (but I appreciate all his hard work in covering this game for us), I’m buying in wholeheartedly to this explanation. Watch the first 5-6 minutes of the second half again and you will see a Kawhi Leonard who was hell bent on making some plays defensively. I don’t care what kind of schemes you have and what kind of talent, if your effort sucks the ways ours did in Detroit and the first half against the Nets, then your defense will get torched more times than not.
Gary Neal found his shot for a game. Man that is nice to see. More please. Maybe it’s because his wife was at the game.
Kawhi was an animal for a stretch there in the second half. He’s just so damn disruptive. And if you haven’t seen it, you should check out Andrew’s post on Kawhi’s defensive highlights. Obviously, I loved his left-handed dunk off the break.
I usually give the refs lousy reviews and horrible pre-game grades. But, I really thought last night’s crew was solid all the way around. They rewarded the aggressive teams and just called a pretty solid game. Kudos to them.
Keep an eye on Aron Baynes’ left hand. He makes a whole mess of plays with it. Last night he tipped an offensive rebound out to the guards with it. I know it sounds dorky, but the ability to make plays — block shots, tip rebounds, tip shots, make layups, etc — with your off hand is huge. It’s gives a player a whole lot more physical range in which they can make plays.
Boris needs to start grabbing some rebounds. I’m not sure how many he finished with, but he entered the fourth quarter with one and that was off of a missed Tiago free throw.
I think Tony might be objecting to the conditional everybody uses when they mention him. That whole “best point guard after Chris Paul” thing. At this point, I think he should be considered the best point guard along with or just ahead of Chris Paul. No offense to Chris Paul. Tony’s just playing balls out at both ends.