As for your Ross comment, what are you talking about? the guy BARELY played tonight.
EDIT* I don't think Demar faded away from the physicality of the game. He got to the free throw line, looked to make something happen more often than not, and was very aggressive. But, he was being guarded by one of the best - if not THE best - perimeter defender in the league.
What killed the Raps tonight? No post or inside presence.
This is why BC needs to go and trade for Boozer.
Clearly when the shots arent falling, you need to get to the inside to alleviate the pressure from your perimeter guys. A post player can also open the lane with double teams. If they had Boozer last night, it would have been cutter and curl galore. Gay Lowry and Demar couldnt penetrate because of two hulking big guys in the middle, but if they had Boozer to play back to the basket, one of those guys wouldve been occupied with Boozer and those three couldve gotten into the lane with ease. If it gets too crowded, kickout to either AA or JL3. Simple but effective basketball.
You cant blame Rudy or Demar. I'll give Rudy a pass because its his former team and facing them for the first time of course he'd want to do as much as he can to impress. Demar tried his darndest but Allen is just pesky and he kept running into 2 brick walls in the paint. On paper, it wouldve been logical to put Bargnani and make him camp out on the 3 point lane to make either Gasol or Zbo pop out, but their defensive rotation is just off the charts so they dont mind having the two bigs in the middle and let either Prince or Allen handle the perimeter.
I don't know, I think the thing that killed them was a lack of ball movement and offensive flow. Don't know if having a post presence would've helped as the passing was abysmal all night. Casey needs to seriously re-organize our offense. I know Memphis is an amazing defensive team, but in general since the trade there is absolutely no method to the offense. Either they spend too much of the shot clock running movement off the ball just to get a jumper for someone, or they do an iso/pick'n'roll with the ballhandler with everyone standing around. This also means that other than the perimeter players, it's damn near impossible for the bigs to get involved now.
What we saw tonight was the main reason Rudy Gay has never taken the next step as an elite player: he is unwilling or unable to be a facilitator. Memphis ran bodies at him and he simply wasn't able to, or was unwilling, to make good passes out of those pressure situations in traffic to open teammates. It's been a huge problem of his for years and is reflected, in part, in the low FG% because, rather than pass out of trouble, he ends up taking really tough shots.
Not sure it can be changed at this point in his career but it's something Casey has to think about if he is going to simply run the old isolation offence.
However, he has shown some good court vision and the ability to make the pass. Even last night he had 3 assists.
The big issue last night, I think, is Rudy had a major case of "I'll show you muthaf*ckers." I hope it never becomes an issue again.
A low post threat last night would have been awesome for opening some lanes as well. *cough*BOOZER*cough*
when the shots werent falling for memphis, who took over the game? Zbo. He kept bashing his way inside.
Passed out after the first quarter, terrible game at least these two enjoyed being reuniting again.
Tony Allen played pissed off and with a purpose. Whats troubling is that he said he figured out Demar's game in 15 minutes by watching film.
It is definitely true that Demar only has a few moves. He has improved his handles but not well enough to completely improvise in a free flowing dynamic situation. Which is why he gets tied up so often on doubles. His only answer is to try and bull his way through by taking a shot and frequently getting stripped. Opposing players are expecting that spin into a shot and know he holds the ball at a certain height when spinning, so they are ready.
I'm not complaining about Derozan's play. He is much improved, but it is not very sophisticated at this point. And teams/players can certainly prepare for him right now.