Another Game 1 report

I won't do a total game recap, since others have posted. Just some individual player observations.

I think before the end of the season, Aldridge will be the second or third best outside-shooting big man in the NBA (Dirk #1 of course, then probably Okur). His shots were beautiful, almost casual, unstoppable. He was 9-9 from the FT line and they were perfect swishes. He was relaxed, cool, and smiling. He will be an All-Star someday.

Martell is noticeably slimmer and playing with more drive. On most of his shots, he caught the ball then made a couple moves and dribbles before shooting - throwing the defender off and getting the shot he wanted. Better hustle on defense too. Great job.

Joel gave good defensive effort and absolutely nothing else.

Travis could not get a shot to drop, but he looked fine - got some rebounds for a change.

Point guard minutes were split 4 ways. Jack did not show much other than 1 3PT - did not really notice him on the court. Blake seemed sharper to me, more in command. Sergio looked pretty bad to me. Yes, he had 7 assists in 17 minutes which is great. But he actually stalled the offense by overdribbling most of the time. He would hold the ball at the 3PT line for 10 seconds then make his obvious drive to the left which everyone saw coming. No ball movement. And he could not complete his drives. He botched some fast breaks and was humiliated on defense by Cassell (Cassell killed Jack as well). Green looked much better than Sergio, frankly. Green played better defense and showed he could run an established offensive plan. Don't know how Pritchard will manage it, but I'm guessing Green is here for the long term. Sergio will likely have to go away.

Frye was very active on offense. He should average over 10 points a game. We need more rebounds from him, though. Solid player, nice FT touch.

Nice overall game from James Jones. Most of the time he did simply run to a corner and wait, but he has a quick release and it worked.

Lafrentz can get around this year. I personally believe he makes a better overall contribution than Pryzbilla on the court. He has a better feel for the game, is a much better shooter and a much better passer. I think they are about equal blocking shots.

The crowd was smaller than I expected - less than half full in reality. The new big screen is truly amazing. Team has a very nice new collection of T-shirts and other clothes for sale.

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