1. Trying to Explain the Inexplicable -- All year long, most of the BS calls against us are when we are playing D -- and most in the first half. Remember when CBH first came and we started playing that intense D? People thought it "ugly" and unexciting. All year long, first SPTR's, and the pseudo-SPTR's last night, put us in early foul trouble -- and we were forced to back off, some, from our physical D. Could this be an attempt to create more scoring against us? In the same way that baseball juiced the balls, and football protected QB's, can this be a way to get higher scores and more O? This might also explain why the other teams get away with obvious fouls against us. They are not the same threat to hold scores way down that we are. Yes, you might say that this years team is not that strong D team that we've had in the past; but I think part of that is because we've been taken out of our D with foul trouble way too often this year.
And, my theory that they are trying to create more scoring finds support on the "no calls" we've seen all year. Maynor cannot bring the ball up court, or cut with it, without carrying it. He got called for it once, but got away with it all game. We've seen people like Harden push with their off arm and get away with it all season long. Brockman got away with murder all year on his offensive boards
Of course, I may be completely wrong. It may be that the ref's are just bad. How we can have some many bad ref's is inexplicable.
2. Our Rotation: Now we know that DG was out with a concussion; frankly, having a daughter that has had her share of concussions, I really don't see him playing this weekend. If this is his seventh this year, he'll probably not be cleared to play. No, I am not a doctor, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night (and I know the restrictions placed on Jen when she had hers.) Fortunately, ND had a monster game last night -- a double double, with 13 boards. I though he played very well with JK when PAA was out and figured that was why we weren't seeing DG.
I know people wanted to see ML -- I think their full court pressure kept him out of the game.
But, here's the concern all have expressed. Early in the second half I put up a post saying that if CBH didn't put in the youngsters soon, he'd never be able to put them in because he won't want them in near the end of a close game. And, that happened.
At the end of the game, we had the team on the floor that we needed. I would not have had it any other way.
But, they were really gassed. CBH gets paid very well to do the cost/benefit or risk analysis on substitution patterns. I'm glad I don't have to.
3. Senior leadership: Wow! What more can be said about DC, JS, and PAA? JS and PAA had obviously great games. People question DC but he is so clutch -- one of the greatest one on one defensive plays on Maynor, at the end of the game, that I've ever seen. Just good, strong, in your face D -- no foul perfectly played. I love ML and JA, but given the choice, I'd put DC there all the time. BTW -- if there is criticism about going into the prevent -- it is on CBH, not DC. DC doesn't call those plays, he executes them. And, there were some questionable "no calls" on some of those drives. I don't like the strategy. Prevent rarely does. But, I'm not the coach, for good reason. If this is CBH's way, it's my way, too.
JS did everything all game long. In years past, their was a concern that he didn't let the "game come to him". This year, his maturity is showing. Great decisions, great play, a true warrior.
And, PAA -- we hear so often that we lack an "inside presence". That's wrong. PAA is overlooked and underestimated in almost every game. Part of being a presence is leadership and intensity; no one is more present that PAA on those qualities. And, he has been playing extremely well -- without fouling out -- just what CBH told him he'd have to do; he's done it all season. Has anyone taken more hard fouls than PAA? And, last night, one of the fouls he did commit was unique: his scrotum fouled someone's elbow.
4. JH -- I said it last night and I'll say it again: Fuck You Jrue Haters, Fuck You All. No need to say more.
5. Game Day Thread -- My Bruin brothers and sisters, last night you were incredible. It's one of the best threads, in any sport, that I can remember. So intense and active that we bogged it down -- but I agree with Nestor, changing threads is a Karma issue and it was better to be slowed down than changed.
Living in Exile, away from my season tickets, has been tough. Being here on game days is like sitting with my close circle of friends. I can't imagine a game without you.
One last thing -- very little drive by posting last night. How does it work? Do people lurk and get negative when it's clear we are going to lose? Or, do they make special trips over here when we are not playing well. Do they register, in the moment just to trash us? If so, they need to get lives.
See you all, tomorrow.