I know, I said I was done, but that was only after three quarters. Again in the fourth, like the start of the third, Casey watched James and Davis continually screw up and did nothing to change the team on the floor. Foye had just finished up a fairly long stint in the game - and played fairly well - so he wasn't really an option when James was struggling. But where was Hudson? I never thought I'd say this - and this marks the second time this season I've said it - but I was begging for Troy to be on the floor instead of James. His defense was horrid and he did nothing but stagnate the offense. There needed to be a change in the game for the Wolves and Casey didn't do anything.
James isn't soley responsible for how badly he played because the Spurs defense really keyed in on him and made it difficult to do much with the guys they had on the floor. His shot wasn't falling, he had a tough defensive assignment, and he looked utterly confused when it came to running the teams offense. If I were the coach and was watching my point guard having a tough time, I may not have pulled him, but I would've made a substitution to change his role on the floor - like bring in Troy Hudson at the point and move James off the ball. Turn him into a catch and shooter, an outside threat, and run your offense though KG in the post. Change something so that the Spurs have to adjust to what you're doing instead of beating your head against a sharp, brick wall. Or - hey - try bringing in some guys who can run the floor, bang around on the boards, and general give you a fresh spark of energy. Say, maybe, Justin Reed? Anything to make the Spurs shift out of what they're very clearly comfortable defending.
Now, I'm obviously very upset with the lack of good, consistant basketball that Casey claims his team is playing - they're not - but there were some good things in the game last night.
Defense - When this team is playing well on defense, they're very hard to score on. They seem to communicate well and are helping eachother out. Marko and Hassell are tough on the perimiter and Blount has proved he can actually play a little D when he's in the mood. Ricky comes in flashes and Randy Foye, while showing he's still a rookie, has been fairly dependable on the defensive end of the the floor
Mark Blount - When we traded for Blount I was excited because we got rid of Kandi and got a guy who atleast looked like he tried sometimes. Then, as I watched his game over the last half of last season, I realized he was soft and really liked to shoot too much. He was getting beaten to rebounds by the likes of Earl Boykins, Spudd Webb, and Mugsy Bogues. This year however, he's looking like he really cares about rebounding and defense. I heard some stat while watching the game that over the past 5 games he and KG are combining for 4 blocks a game, with KG at 2.2 and Mark at 1.8. That's a huge help to the perimiter guys defensively. He also had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals last night. Watching him play yesterday, I've decided that, while I'd rather have a big banger, I'm comfortable with Blount as our starting center.
Craig Smith - It seems that every time I watch a Wolves game, I'm more and more impressed with this kids game. Yes, he's young and he's made a few mistakes, but when it comes to hustle and smarts, there's no question he's one of the better in those categories on the team. That and he's built like a brick wall. Whether it was Hoiberg or Chapman that clued McHale onto this kid, it's nice to see that the team can atleast get something out of a second round draft pick.