The team answered my questions from yesterday with a resounding “12th pick please!” From ‘So you’re saying there’s a chance’ to ‘Nope’ in about the first 3 minutes of game time. The front court really came to play last night. They allowed Reggie Evans to go OFFFFFFF! with 22 points, 26 Rebounds (12 offensive) on 9 of 13 shooting. It was basically the most pathetic showing on the glass that I have witnessed in a long time.
I have been seeing some maturation and comfortableness with Leonard’s game the past month but last night against Evans he wilted. He flailed each time he got pushed or popped as if he was looking for a whistle that clearly was not going to come. The Heat/Bulls game was on before this abomination and in it LeBron James got smacked in the face hard on his way to the hoop by Gibson and Boozer. After his free throws and back on defense, Boozer runs up to his left shoulder to set a screen. Lebron glances over to the oncoming Boozer, dips his shoulder and just rams right in to Boozers chest. That is what I want to see from Leonard. Get pushed or smacked, smack and push back. Stop with the flopping and flailing. It puts him out of position and he will just continue to get abused by both opponents and the refs.
The game didn’t turn on Leonard’s play but it was just one example of what was endemic of the team’s effort last night. They were slow to rotate, slow to defensive rebounding positions, slow to move the ball on offense, slow at everything. There are 11 games to go; I hope I don’t see that pathetic effort again.