I registered more than mild disappointment after the first game of summer league. Club Optimism was prepared to open its doors, even after a blank and uninspiring FA sequence. But inside the Club there was a sense that it was premature to think of opening up, that we just wanted to see some excitement and positive signs and tendencies. A blowout, in the same manner that the Wiz blew out the Clips, would have generated thinking about opening the doors, but instead we had just the opposite. Cooler heads were skeptical about the Clipper SL squad competing with a team led by John Wall, let alone dominating them.
But then this morning, in the steam after a good workout, I realized what was wrong with the first game. It was simple. It was a coaching decision that led us down the path towards disappointment and even despair. For some reason, it was decided not to unleash the beasts!
What I'm talking about, of course, is DJordan and Sofo playing on the same front line. Sofo got a meagre 14 minutes, and perhaps 2 or 3 of them were alongside DJordan, in the 4th quarter. We saw DJordan featured quite a bit, and he struggled, while JMcGee looked better, pretty good.
But aren't DJordan and Sofo complementary players? We saw pretty good defense and rebounding out of both of them, and wouldn't we like to see what they do side by side? Wouldn't that make for a better storyline and more difficult matchup for the opponent? How do you stop both these guys? Sofo is more comfortable on the block. Will the defense stay on DJordan, or go to double? Can Sofo pass out of the post?
A big thing is not to cut down Sofo's minutes, but to find a lot more of them. And you want beefy minutes for DJordan of course, so how do you do that besides playing them together? What we saw was a semi-disaster, so that didn't work.
And we got a good look at NCM, but he was actually playing out of position. He's not a legit PF, but he's a decent one, playing alongside AFA, for summer league. But why not bring NCM off the bench? Or better yet, start NCM and AFA at the wings, and bring WWarren off the bench. Let's see how AFA does defending smaller wings, although the Wizard wings were solid.
That's a potential second team for the Clippers: DJordan, Sofo, Aminu and Bledsoe, playing with Foye. Sofo isn't slated to be just a third string Center. He's a backup PF. So shouldn't he play PF in summer league?
Bad decision. But that's the good thing, when there's the next game coming up. Get some better lineups out there, and lets see the Beasts out on the court together early and often.
Unleash the Beasts!