Okay, so it was only Sam Houston State but after back to back physical games at the Garden last week it was nice to get a breather tonight. It was a chance to work on some things and we accomplished that and on top of that Rick Barnes gets win #500.
We were sloppy with the ball in the first half but tightened up on that in the second 20. Defense was pretty solid and offense continues to show improved flow and spacing.
Biggest positive I thought was seeing Cory Joseph look for his shot early. He looked really good curling off screens and knocking down mid-range jumpers. His stats weren't huge but I think we saw signs of things to come with him as he continues to get comfortable.
The biggest negative offensively was Thompson not getting a lot of touches. We shot the ball well but there really shouldn't be nights that he's only getting four shots, especially against this competition.
Jordan Hamilton is sort of a poor man's Kevin Durant in his ability to score somewhat easily. He's extremely efficient offensively and in a refreshing way, his biggest mistake on offense was passing up an easy look off a screen in the paint and forcing a pass inside which resulted in a turnover.
Except for playing a bit out of control (is that really new?) J'Covan had a rock solid night and had no real blow-ups. Definitely a night we'll take from him and move along.
Balbay did what he needs to do on offense and that's get to the rim. He continued to show a solid form at the FT line. I like that our FT shooting is trending up and guys are sharing the ball.
The absolute worse part of the cupcake home games is having to put up with Phi Slamma Jamma alum Reid Gettys go on about Jai Lucas' contributions and how the offense flows better with him in the game. The flip-side is that a game like this is tailor-made for Lucas to chew up minutes and give the other three guards more time to rest.
I'm not sure I've ever seen a less explosive small man of color on a basketball than Lucas. But he did his job tonight. But the mute button will come in handy in the next two broadcasts. One more point as it relates to Lucas, or more specifically, a question to ponder. Why is it that we always get the less talented brother in basketball families? Dating back to Thomas Hill's brother years ago, to Lucas, and hell, even to Melchionni. Just food for thought.
Anyway, a nice bounce back game. This team is really showing improvement in so many deficient areas from last season. Offensive flow. Defense. FT shooting. It's a team that's only getting better and is a lot of fun to watch.