Before the season we gave a rundown of every player, their assets, the challenges facing them this year, and a little bit of prognostication regarding how much they'd contribute. Halfway through the season seems like a good time to look back and see how things have gone. Unlike many sportscasters nowadays, who make all kinds of predictions and afterwards only highlight the parts that prove them right, I have relatively little problem showcasing where I got surprised (or fooled). But maybe right or wrong isn't the main point here, rather how things have changed (or not) in the last few months.
The quotes from the pre-season previews are in gray.
Hmmm...pretty solid on that one. His jumper has improved and we've done well in the games when he's penetrating aggressively and drawing fouls. The pick and roll has become a staple, but all the guards run it, not just JJ.
Pretty solid there too, except he's coming a lot closer to being the savior certain nights than I thought he would.
I didn't even DO a preview on him because who knew three weeks before the season that he'd make the team? Given that, I'd say Ime is doing one heck of a job.
This is more mixed. On the one hand several of these characteristics, good and bad, remain true and are seen nightly. On the other hand some of them--defensive rebounding, free throw shooting, conditioning--have improved and you can also see that nightly. What I'm most interested in is the last sentence. I still wonder about this. As I said a couple weeks ago I am curious to see how (and how much) he'll play after the trading deadline and after the focus switches from the record to developing for the future. And even if that goes well, why do I get the nagging feeling that we're one more behavior incident away from him laying the "I don't want to be here anymore" bomb on P-Town?
Yeah, OK. What happened to THAT Joel?
This is pretty much holding to form. Fortunately we are seeing more consistency out of him and he's getting lost out there less and less.
That last thought is part of the reason we're having trouble winning consistently even though many guys on our team are having pretty good seasons (for them, anyway).
Not so much on the free-throw thing, but everything else is pretty solid.
I was totally wrong. You take your chances giving him the ball even if it is a dunk.
Obviously he's a LOT farther ahead of schedule than that. In this case it's a pleasure to be wrong...or at least wrong on the timing. A ton of credit should go to Lamarcus.
Pretty true to form here too.
(sigh) I was trying to be optimistic and kind. Now I'm paying for it. He hasn't managed even that much. (Forget "limited and specialized" and just go for "limited".)
BZZZZT! Thanks for playing. Here's your consolation prize. :::pat, pat, pat::: Sergio has obviously exceeded my expectations by a yard or two. He still has some of those holes in his game but sometimes his offensive contributions are so overwhelming that you don't notice them.
I also did a preview for Darius Miles. I'll spare you the bulk of that. Here's one sentence from it:
Moot point. And at this point it looks like that's for the better.
All in all I don't think I did too badly. The team seems to be pretty much on course. I didn't think they'd have this many wins though. Turns out maybe
there their overall drive was higher than I guessed it might be. That and the rookies are developing pretty quickly. Let's hope there will be more happy stories at year's end.