I haven't written much lately and I have a lot of little things piling up in the vast empty space above my shoulders that is interfering with the ability of the air to circulate in the house.
Time to clean up. I'm talking about everything. Enter.
The International round up has taken a couple weeks off while the EuroLeague was on vacation. They started back up today so I'll be back strong next Tuesday with your highlights and stats. In its absence, I want to throw a little Chinese basketball observation at you. If you took all the guys from the American guys from the Chinese league and made a team, you'd get a pretty decent NBA roster. Three years ago. Currently toiling Southeast of the great wall are:
- David Harrison
Stromile Swift - put up 40 and 17 in his last game
- Smush Parker
- Marcus Williams - averaging a cool 22 points and 11 boards
Andre Emmett - who put up 53 in EACH of his first two games
- Rodney White
- Coach Bob Weiss (former Spurs head coach)
- Coach Sidney Moncrief
- Andre Brown
- DerMarr Johnson
- James Mays
- Cedric Bozeman
John Lucas - the young one
Garrett Siler - giant young man from summer league
Brandon Robinson - just missed making the Cavs
- Jelani McCoy
- Mengke Bateer - former Spur and owner of an NBA championship ring
Maurice Taylor - prototypical Clipper
- Donta Smith
I just finished reading a book called 'City of Thieves'. It's about world war 2 St Petersburg. A really good read and I highly recommend it. One of the characters grows up playing chess at the local club called Spartak. That's the Russian St Petersburg basketball team. I thought, "Hey, I know what that is".
The Toros haven't played a home game since December 11th and they don't play another until January 19th. They are sitting at 8-7. Four of their losses have been to Rio Grande Valley. They have only made one roster move so far this season dumping Ryan Bright and picking up Eddie Basden. None of their guys have been called up, which is a good thing. Alonzo Gee is averaging 22 per game for them. Curtis Jerrells is putting up 21 a game. Dwayne Jones is averaging 17 and 15.
Our offense is awesome. If this is what we do when our offensive chemistry is low, I hate to see what we do when we are all comfortable. We are shooting 48.4% from the field which is third in the league. Hoopdata has us 5th in offensive efficiency. I can live with that.
We are shooting 38.9% from 3-point this season. Good for third in the league. I know we like to say that you live by the three and die by the three, but I'm starting to wonder if that is valid. Check out these 3-point percentages. We are 13th in the league in attempts. There are a bunch of teams that just suck at it all the time and they keep shooting. One of those would be the Lakers who are 8th in attempts and are shooting just 34.3%.
At this point, I think we can monitor our chances at a championship by tracking the defensive improvements. Right now, we are 8th in the league in defensive efficiency. If we can get that to creep higher and really start to lock up some opponents, we will be a really tough out.
I am still slightly concerned that we are winning so many games on the offensive end. I want to see us knocking out some ugly wins. Detroit was ALMOST close to an ugly win. We just shot too well. But that fourth quarter defense was a start.
Random Bits of Spurs Data
In an interview question, I asked Coach Pop if he played Blair 35 minutes in the Knicks game to just throw him out there or because DeJuan was getting more comfortable. He said something to the effect of "you play well, you earn more minutes". So, I think we can say that if DeJuan is playing a lot then he is playing well.
I spent a lot of time with Graydon over the break. One of the things we talked about at length is the Spurs '4 Down' play where they feed Tim the ball and the feeder cuts through baseline. We were trying to figure out what the point of the cut baseline was. They do it every time, but they never pass the cutter the ball and the cutter never runs the cut like they expect the ball. Well, we asked Pop the question. Really, Graydon asked Pop the question pre-game for the TWolves matchup. I'll let Graydon give you Pop's super-fantastic smart-ass funny response. But, the point is that it is part of the play and the cut is, in fact, run to be a threat to score. Sure as shit, in the game, RJ is posting up and Manu cuts and RJ hands him the ball and gets a 3 point play. My question is "Why doesn't Tony ever run that cut like he expects the ball?" I'll let Graydon answer that one.
Going into the Pistons game, we are the second best rebounding team in the league. As much as I and everybody else like to complain about the rebounding, we are a really strong rebounding team this year. Chemistry or no chemistry, we are taking care of that part of the game. I think we'll just have to put that complaint to rest for a little while.