Is it too early in the season to call this a MUST WIN game? At this point in the season, we have been embarrassed by teams who have figured out that we rely totally on the outside shot to win games. We don't rebound well if at all being dead last in rebounds per game at 34. We can't stop perimeter players from lighting us up – Tayshaun Prince with 27 and Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby with a combined 85 against the Pistons and the Hawks in our losses.
This team quickly needs to re-establish itself as a balanced team that can play perimeter defense or teams need only shut down our interior and send in all their offense from the wing! The Bobcats have 5 players averaging between 10 and 20 points per game. Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafur, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustine. Though they average only 90 points per game, most of their scoring comes from the back court and the wings! Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Jose Calderon MUST play some defense or this will quickly become a very frustrating season. With Chris Bosh averaging 26 a game and Jermaine O'Neal averaging 11, our front court should be able to out-play the Bobcats. The question will be can Jamario, Andrea Bargnani or Jason Kapono step up and grab some rebounds! Until we commit to the glass, we will have a very hard time winning games in this league! Our defensive rotation the past 2 games has been awful! It is time to step up and shut down the slashing and box someone out!
When i watch the guys in time outs and on the bench, they seem to have become shell-shocked at what has happened the past 2 games. They have watched two very good teams eat them for lunch from the wing. We have seen our front - court struggle to score at times with inconsistent play from Andrea Bargnani and Jamario Moon, this team has been destroyed when the second line is on! Larry Brown is a good enough coach to not only recognize this, but exploit it as well! Can Sam find answers to these issues? He had better, and quickly. With the Celtics coming up and then the 76ers agains, the Magic and it won't get any easier as the season moves on! we are the WORST rebounding team in the league at 34 boards a game! we are consistently - 9 or -10 on the boards! This game will show us what these guys are made of as the issues are plain to see by anyone who has ever watched a basketball game! Ball control, attack the glass and play some tough defense both man up and as a team!
Let's hope these guys play the game we all know they have and Sam can convince them that they are a good team and to continue to play as a team! Especially on defense!