The Stepbacks title has a second meaning today. This team has taken a step back in the last week or so. Can they use that space they created to take an open look of find some room to drive forward? We’ll see. On to the stepbacks.
- This is actually a great teaching moment for Brad Stevens. He has an object lesson to point to which drives home the point that focus and execution down the stretch (even when you have a big lead) is critical to getting wins. It is easy to say that and I think the players understand that ...in theory. However, watching a game literally slip through your fingers has a way of driving the point home that no amount of words can accomplish.
- Kemba is a closer. He’s not perfect, but he’s not anywhere near as bad as he’s been lately. I suspect it may have something to do with being less than 100%. I still have faith in him.
- Marcus Smart is Marcus Smart. He giveth and he taketh away, but we love him and trust him.
- I miss Jaylen Brown.
- Enes Kanter, on the other hand, feels like he’s being phased out. Brad Stevens is giving him a quick hook when he’s being targeted by other teams and the team finally has other options to go to. Robert Williams isn’t going to be mistaken for an All Defense guy anytime soon, but he has the sheer athleticism to make up for his bad positioning at least some of the time. Kanter just can’t move fast enough to guard the pick and roll.
- I have nothing to say about the Nets situation. Nope, not a thing.
- Romeo Langford and Grant Williams both have a shot of being part of the 9 man rotation come the playoffs. That says one thing about their progress and poise and it also says something about the lack of other options.
- Pacers today won’t be easy. Bucks on Thursday (maybe without Giannis?). Then after that we get the Wizards, Bulls, and Knicks. Hopefully an opportunity to get rolling before we meet the Raptors again.
- Be safe out there people. Don’t panic, but be thoughtful, responsible, and courteous of others.