Coach Not-So-Smart's Dream NBA:
Nice rotations coach. Ya chucklehead.
Also, I have been very complimentary of John Salmons' reinvention this season, but Smart has to tear those autographed Salmons posters with the little hearts scrawled on them down from above his bed, and realize that a John Salmons centric offense is not going to win you anything late in an NBA game. Certainly not on a night when he shoots 4-15 while the other 5 main rotation players all shoot .500 or better.
But hey, the team is still here, there was a good turnout at the old barn, and The Grading Consortium is back. For the second game in a row:
The Grading Consortium is...
Stats: 38min 11pts (4-15, 3-10, 0-0) 1reb 4ast 2stl 0blk 4TO
Salmons ( C- ) -- Sort of a mixed bag with John tonight. He certainly played with energy, and if his shot had fallen, he probably would have had at least a B-. But it didn't. He missed his first shot of the game, a 3 pointer with the clock running down. He did play good defense on Marion. He had a nice play where he just blew by the defense to the basket for an easy layup. It looked at that point like Salmons was going to pick up where he left off in his last game. He made two nice passes in the same set, and at least one should have been an assist, but both shots were missed. He had another miss with the shot clock running down, and then almost turned the ball over. He came back into the game with 3 minutes left to play in the second quarter, and turned the ball over. He finally hit a three on a second pass from Cuz after missing one, on a pass from Cuz on the same sequence. He started the second half with a 3pt shot, and it was basicly all downhill from there. He did hit a huge three with 50 seconds left in the game, but that was about the only redeeming thing he did. Other than that, it just wasn't Salmons night. --Baja
Stats: 30min 6pts (3-5, 0-0, 0-0) 3reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 2TO
Thompson ( D+ ) -- and of course as soon as we start to have some chatter about what a nice solid big Jason is, and how he's the one great consistent in all the maelstrom, of course he comes out and lays an egg. No offense early, but no problems with Dirk on defense (few have this season). Got one quick drive with a tough finish he normally does not hit, but otherwise was in a deep offensive slumber. If he was rebounding that would have been ok, but he wasn't doing that either, which may have opened the door for Smart to justify to himself his disastorus smallball experiment in the 4th. Picked a good time to get his second bucket in the mid-4th on a post on Dirk, and looked a little more lively for a few minutes. Did not lead to anything however, and he closed his night the way he opened it: quietly. Gotta rebound as a PF to get a better grade. --Brick
Stats: 39min 29pts (9-14, 0-0, 11-17) 9reb 4ast 1stl 1blk 5TO
Cousins ( A- ) -- and yet another big game marred by an incident at the end when his frustation at selfish teammtes and stupid coaches boiled over into clocking Vince Carter, who was pretty frustrating himself and playing the refs like a violin. Was active and efficient from the beginning in this one. The jumper was on in a big way, he added another of his every game steals up top and breakways the other way, and a great spin move as well while scoring around Kaman at will. When he returned in the 2nd quarter was quiet, and missed a beautiful spin attemot at the halftime buzzer. Got on the boards in the third, and started to real hammer inside and get to the foul line again and again. Added a big time power move and dunk as per the highlight above and was having himself a big game. There was a change of tone by the time he came back int he 4th. For three quarters he had been a very willing passing, notching an easy 4 assists again and with almost non sicky fingers. But a wave of experimental chucker lineups and John Salmons in particular suddenly forgetting his pay grade, had turned the passing septic by the late game, and DeMarcus responded predictably by getting forcey and 1 on 1 himself with turnovers and diminshed returns. Got visibly upset in the final 3 mintues when we went to Salmons on the right side rather than Cuz on the left. Waving arms calling for it, but swung the other way. Then when he did get it in the final 2 minutes the passing quit and he forced it into traffic. By the OT though he was once again the man. Well, Salmons apparently thought he was the man. But just for the wrong team. But DeMarcus was carrying us beasting inside with power moves to keep us in it despite a defensive collapse. But then the Carter incident happened, and it may have finished us. Not only losing DeMarcus -- he fouled out on the play so the flagant call was irrelevant for that -- but also giving hte Mavs FTs and the ball. Calling it a flagrant 2 was ridiculous BTW. Reputation again. Let's hope th league doie not compound the stupidity with any more suspension shennanigans. Oh, BTW? Cousins last 4 games have been 31pts 20rebs, 28pts 11rebs, 10pts 8rebs (tired), 29pts 9rebs. For the month he is beasting to the tune of: 33.6min 22.8pts (.536 .739) 13.0reb 3.3ast 1.5stl 0.5blk. Don't let Seattle steal this guy just as he's finally arrived. --Brick
Stats: 33min 13pts (4-8, 2-5, 3-3) 4reb 3ast 0stl 1blk 1TO
Garcia ( B- ) -- started the game with excellent activity on help defense, coming up wiht multiple tips and blocks, but for 3 quarters and one overtime period of this one Cisco was a ghost again offensively. Oh, he was moving the ball as we had some great ball movement, but he was not able to hit anything, and after a while lacked the confidence to even try. But for one period -- the third -- all of a sudden he was the recipient of multiple excellent ball movement sequences and started knocking down the open shots thus created. May have been aided by the Mavs who foolishly fouled him on a three point attempt to kick the run off -- hell, the way he has been shooting I wouldn't even have been guarding him. But they did, they fouled him, he knocked down all 3 FTs, and then in the space of about 3 minutes he knocked down 2 threes and a long two as part of our run to open this one up to what should have been an unassailable lead. Promptly redisappeared therafter whoever. With the ball movement dead late, so was Cisco's ability to be useful, and eventually was subbed out for Reke in OT. --Brick
Stats: 31min 18pts (6-11, 1-1, 5-5) 2reb 4ast 2stl 0blk 2TO
Thomas ( B ) -- Didn't move well without the ball, but was able to consistently knife to the basket with the dribble (Damn the Dirk, full speed ahead!) and gradually built his scoring total up. Got a decent number of assists but generally set up Cousins in the post, which doesn't show up in the box score. Kings were extremely ineffective with their PG-free lineup on the floor in the fourth, but IT came back to hit the Hero Three v1 (Bank Style) to send it to OT. Unfortunately, Thomas played notably bad D in the OT period. He did end up making a big steal which looked like a momentum changer but ended up being nothing but hope pyrite. After Carter's two misses at the line, IT missed as badly on Hero Three v2 as on the first, but this time didn't put it into the glass to give it a second chance. --Capt.