Saturday, November 24, 2007

Game 13 - 3.5 Quarters Domination; .5 Abomination

A win is a win, but...

You've got a 2-10 team, a young team, a coach trying to break back in, a team swamped by relocation rumors, a crowd chanting Save our Sonics! A team that has not yet won at home...

Just out of curiousity, with the Nets now an almost respectable 6-7, lets look at the margins of victory/loss...

Avg Margin of Victory: 5
Avg Margin of Loss: 18

Number of times Nets have won by more than 10: 0 By 20: 0
Number of times Nets have lost by more than 10: 5 By 20: 4

Hold your breath wins: 6
Hold your breath losses: 2

I bring this up because even by shooting 56% the other night and 49% last night, the games were uncomfortably close. Even with RJ averaging around 30 a night, the games were uncomfortably close.

The hallmark of the Frank era has been skin of the teeth wins, blowout losses.

I went to bed last night in the beginning of the 2nd. Nets up by 6, shooting 62.7%. Over 60% and a mere 6 point lead. I said to myself, this does not bode well, shooting so high a pct and a single digit lead.

The offense looks like it's clicking, like it did in the 4-1 start. The team is better offensively with RJ in the spotlight and VC playing a supporting role. Part of this, I think, is because when Frank abandoned the full team offense of the Kmart, Kittles, Kidd, Keith years that was so successful for the Klear Out for Vince idea the Nets immediately became mediocre. VC would score 40, rest of the team would watch from the 3 point line.

With RJ, JKidd can revert to alley oops and backdoors much better, even when RJ is not the recipient.

So why is the margin of victory so small?

As I say, I did not stay up for the game. I did expect a loss, and when I woke up I procrastinated - didn't look up the score right away. I was mildly surprised to see they won, expecting their shooting to decline into the 40s (it did) and expecting a 3rd Qtr collapse (they didn't). Then I read the recap - a 13 point lead had declined to a 1 point lead. And when it did, there was less than a minute to play - anyone's game.

With all the talent the Nets have, I have to pin the blame on the coach (big surprise!).

1. He cannot manage the end of a quarter, much less the end of the game.

2. He has no idea - NO IDEA - what to do with timeouts, as his predecessor, Lord Byron, did not.

3. His loyalty to Jason Collins (a fellow Stanford alum) is not only misplaced, it's a complete headscratcher at this point.

4. His substitutions are formulaic.

I looked at the play by play on As always, his instincts as to when to call timeout, particularly (but not exclusively) on the road, are piss poor. He will not, STUBBORNLY WILL NOT, call a timeout until the crisis is present. Oddly, two tv timeouts forced him to talk to his team at places where he should have called a timeout but did not. Did he set up a play?

Don't know. I was asleep at the time...

I have said this before in this blog - doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Given that he has coached like this for the last 3 seasons, I suspect I will continue to say it a lot...

And I suspect I will say this as well:

A win is a win, but...

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