Some thoughts from the Sacramento game. Fair warning: it's late and I'm tired so I'm leaving poring over the boxscore to you guys over the weekend. There won't be much statistical analysis here, just some observations from watching the game.
--There were a few moments of brilliance interspersed in an otherwise pedestrian game. Ime Udoka stripping Ron Artest clean and then canning a three pointer on the other end, Travis Outlaw's two alley-oops, and several drives by B-Roy as well as his block of Brad Miller all qualify.
--We committed a truckload of turnovers early. As Ken mentioned in his halftime diary (to the right) the game was moving too fast for us. Our young guys just don't see the court yet, let alone anticipate what needs to be done or what the opponent will do. Worse, many of the turnovers were on passes or dribbles that would not have accomplished anything in the first place even if the ball or player had reached their intended destination. There was a fair amount of driving into traffic, getting stuck, and then attempting to bail out to a player on the perimeter who was already guarded. Sacramento was like, "Well, if you're just going to give us the ball..."
--There was no transition offense to speak of. The transition defense was surprisingly decent considering the number of long shots missed and turnovers committed.
--With the exception of Brandon Roy in the second half nobody could penetrate on foot or by pass whether or not we had a big guy in the post. It seemed like 85% of our shots were jumpers. It looked like we were trying to open up the middle by starting our big men at the top of the key in our offensive sets but nobody ever got down low. It's a little unfair to judge the offense too harshly with Zach Randolph not playing though.
--Our guards were having trouble handling Sacramento's picks, at least in the first half. You can go over, you can go under, but you can't just get stonewalled and give up.
--That aside, our defense was actually fairly impressive, especially when compared with the last couple of years. We were forcing Sacramento into a lot of jumpers. Part of that is their offense and part of it was the absence of Mike Bibby, but I liked the way we moved our feet. We still need to get our hands up more to bother shots and passes though.
--Our rebounding was pretty decent too. There weren't many times when the Kings got multiple offensive boards.
--This was not Jarrett Jack's game. He had trouble defending, turned the ball over, and the Blazers had Roy and Udoka bring the ball up the court instead of him. Jack did get a chance to set the offense once the ball made it over the timeline but he wasn't that effective there either.
--Ime Udoka IS a good perimeter defender!
--Brandon Roy had night and day halves. He was much better when penetrating. But then again they had Artest locked down on him in the first half and that took away a lot of his game. He still filled up those other stat columns though, which is exactly what you want.
--Juan Dixon was the only guy getting consistent open looks in the first half when everybody else was paralyzed. This is his role.
--Raef LaFrentz got a ton of run. He didn't look horrible on defense but when he runs he looks closer to 40 than 30. He and Przy on the floor together make an interesting combination.
--Magloire stepped up a little bit tonight, at least showing some effort on the boards. It was still way too easy not to notice him though, especially on defense.
--Bet you a doughnut Stephen Graham is gone by Monday.
--I don't normally notice things like this, but those Sacramento cheerleaders in their Halloween costumes...hummida, hummida, hummida.
Everybody sees something different so chime in over the weekend.