It's five games into the season, so it is entirely too early to jump to any conclusions. I think the 20-game mark is a good barometer to anticipate how a team is going to play for the rest of the reason, with a few exceptions. Sometimes teams suck (Thunder and Bucks) or coast through the beginning of season (Pistons and Spurs), but at the very least, after 20 games teams develop a certain identity. Through five games our identity is an over-hyped team, with no go-to scorer, an inept coach and a tendency to beat down horrible teams and lose to mediocre/solid teams. It will definitely be interesting to see how we fare in Orlando tomorrow, against a top-tier Eastern Conference team.
I haven't been able to narrow our struggles down to one problem, but tonight I noticed an attitude change in our team, as opposed to last year. Last year, we came out with energy every game, for 48 minutes. We embraced the underdog role and out-hustled our opponents with our young, hungry, athletic guys. This year I feel like we are playing with way too much confidence. We are trying to make SportsCenter with fancy passes and alley-oops on every fastbreak. We just look like a team that expects to win now, and it's not happening. I don't know how to fix it either.
As for tonight's game, it sucked. There's really no other way to put it. We turned the ball over nearly 30 times, shot under 40%, blah, blah, blah. It's hard enough for me to write this right now, so I'm going to look at the positives. And how very few there are.
-Thaddeus Young. He's so awesome and the only bright spot of the season thus far. His jump shot is silky smooth and he's obviously worked very hard in the off-season. The problem is, for whatever reason, he absolutely goes off in the first quarter and then stops shooting. That needs to change. He's our most effective player right now.
-Lou. The offense still stalls a tad when he's running the show and he dribbles around a little too much, but there is no denying that he's a talented scorer. He continues to impress me with his ability to get to the basket and finish.
-Marreese Speights. What's not to love?
-24-26 from the free-throw line.
Player of the Game: Thaddeus Young
Favorite Open Thread Comment: "Iggy…kinda…sucks"--FuqaManuel