I couldn’t care less…Well I could but that’d mean not writing this post. 109-91, and that was a mercy 91. The Philadelphia 76ers, who actually had 2 fewer wins than the Bobcats coming into the game, dominated the game from beginning to end. So, blurg…..
I don’t know how to describe it, Philly, not very good, starts Meeks for only the second time. Jodie Meeks scored in piles when he was at Kentucky, (via Wikipedia) On January 13, 2009, Meeks broke Kentucky’s single-game scoring record (formerly held by Dan Issel) by scoring 54 points in a 90–72 win against rival Tennessee. In that game he also broke Tony Delk‘s single-game record, which he had shared, for three pointers by making 10 of 15 attempts and was 14 of 14 from the free throw line.
Who was on Meeks when he went 6 for 6 from three in the first quarter? Stephen Jackson. Who was responsible for getting a hand in the man’s face? The entire 5 on the court. No communication on the defensive end to help Jack on the back-picks, no communication on transition defense for when Meeks wasn’t hitting threes. What was the other issue? You guessed it! Turnovers, bad shots which might as well be counted as turnovers. They had five in that miserable first. When you look at the play-by-play chart, you see a lot of “Nazr Mohammed misses 12-foot jumper,” ”D.J. Augustin misses 17-foot jumper,” to me a 19 foot shot is the worst you can take. You are looking at a shot just inside the three point line and you are taking basically the same risk, which is .360 league average, without the reward of the extra point…
So, the team falls behind early, bigger problem than a 16 point offensive output coupled with a 16 point deficit in the first quarter, to me is: Larry Brown has Dominic McGuire is either the first or second dude off the bench. Derrick Brown has been relegated to “Matty Carroll time,” not full on garbage time but it’s not like Larry expects him to make an impact. We joked about “who the hell is” Dominic McGuire? Well, he’s a guy that Larry Brown fully expects to influence the outcome of the game, at least over the last 4 games. Stepping in to play for the ejected Stephen Jackson, he put up good numbers in Milwaukee, playing 31 minutes. He has averaged 22.03 minutes per in the last 4 games. Compare that 22 MPG to Tyrus Thomas’ 18.82 (still talking over the last 4), and to me, we have a lineup problem.
Last night Steve Martin, the announcer not the comedian/banjo player, said “Larry Brown is groping for a rotation.” Last night was the perfect opportunity! Instead he stuck with with what got them there. Wallace, 37 minutes, Diaw 40 minutes, Jackson 36, Augustin 30 minutes. Another baffler, while it’s not easy and probably exacerbated by the 76ers 21 three point attempts, the Bobcats took a paltry 15 attempts from behind the arc. It’s difficult to take 3 point shots when the other team is hitting theirs and thus are closer to your offensive end to get back on D. The bench attempted one, 1 three pointer, and that includes Matt Carroll.
So if I had one of those handy press credentials, I’d have to ask Larry, what was the game plan and where did it go wrong? I’d have to ask, how does a professional basketball team that made the playoffs last year, with an all-star, a handful of players that could be all-stars one day, and a hall of fame coach let one guy who has a career average of 5.4 ppg take over and dominate the first quarter, putting the team in a hole that is rarely possible to get out of? How do you only use one timeout in that miserable first? Is there a disconnect between players and coach?
I’ve only looked at the first quarter and some larger general trends, that’s because basically all that mattered was that the will had been broken. No one took over, or even stepped up after that and I struggled through watching like the rest of you. So…I don’t even know where this team goes, I’m not even sure if Larry, Rod or MJ does. Deeply frustrating and disappointing, as a fan and even more as a blogger because, I have no idea how to describe it. How do you describe someone floundering? You can sum up the coaching with that Steve Martin line: Larry is really just groping in the dark, like someone hunting for a light-switch in a new place. I don’t see it, not right now. However, I do have a bit of faith in this team’s core and although deeply questioning his methods, I have a bit of faith left in Larry Brown.