Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What Happened in Waco?

I miss one Kansas game and I'm supposed to believe that Jeff Hawkins made 5 three-pointers in 13 minutes? I guess the volume of eyewitness accounts will force me to accept this unseen performance as actually occurring. I'd long ago given up hope for Hawkins to have even CB McGrath's career. Perhaps I was premature.

Russell Robinson choosing not to play the last two minutes is not a big deal.

I also missed out on witnessing the Bulls embarrass the Hawks in person Monday night. Atlanta's not a good town without your car (and its quality with your car is certainly up for debate). Waiting for the garage to call and tell me the once-white Camry is all better so I can regain my self-sufficiency.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

It's Just Difficult to Lose When You Only Allow 60 Points a Game

Though God knows the Jayhawks tried to lose last night. Their shortcomings, in order of importance:

1) Missing 15 free throws.

2) Shooting 46 eFG% from the floor (entering game at 52.9 eFG%).

3) Wasting transition opportunities throughout the second half.

4) Rebounding a mere 18.7% of their misses, about half of their season average (35.4 %)entering the game.

5) Allowing Joe McCray's half-assed Gabe Muoneke impression to feed their frustrations created by 1) and 2).

Defense saved the Jayhawks last night. Nebraska's not a good shooting team on the season, but Kansas made them look terrible (37.7 eFG%) and slightly bettered their season average defensive rebounding rate (69.2% to 68.5%).

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

One More Rebounding Table and Conclusions

Brophog over at suggested that I also look at the number of offensive rebounds Kansas would expect to allow given their season average defensive rebounding rate. This eliminates some of the outliers caused by the variety of the quality of the opponents' opponents and sets a baseline for normal distribution of offensive rebounds allowed by Kansas, thus highlighting the games they allow an unusually high percentage of offensive rebounds by their own standards. Very clever, and again, I did not think of this on my own.

For clarity's sake, the columns indicate opponent, opponent's expected offensive rebounds, Kansas's expected offensive rebounds allowed, actual offensive rebounds by the opponent in the game.

TEAMexpORexpOR allOR

Looking at things in the context of Kansas's expected offensive rebounds allowed, the Colorado and Texas A&M performances look even worse (Kansas came up 3 defensive rebounds short against the Aggies and 5 against Colorado) and their good performances in the context of the other team's expected offensive rebounds look more average (+3 rather than +5 against St. Joe's, +1 rather +4 against Nevada, +2 rather than +5 against UW-Milwaukee).

Since we're talking about five or fewer rebounds per game, I hesitate to put much too much emphasis on this for the simple reason that I don't know how much a rebound is worth.

The only game for which I have data for second chance points is the Colorado game (and I have no idea how accurate that data is, unofficial stat and all...). The Buffaloes converted 21 offensive rebounds into 20 second chance points. In that game, Kansas gave up four or five extra points due to poor defensive rebounding.

If I knew Colorado's season average ratio of second chance points to offensive rebounds, I could determine if that was a good or bad performance by them in converting those chances. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any consistent, exhaustive source for such information.

Other folks on made the observation that a lot of the offensive rebounds allowed by Kansas were long rebounds. A quick study of opponent's three-point attempts and shooting percentages categorized by the (assumed) quality of Kansas's defensive rebounding performance.

Games where Kansas saved at least one offensive rebound by both measures: Vermont, St. Joseph's, Nevada, Pacific, UW-Milwaukee, Georgia Tech. In those games, the opponents combined for a 40.5 eFG% and took 20.2 three-pointers per game which accounted for one-third of their total shot attempts.

Games where Kansas allowed the expected number of offensive rebounds: TCU, S. Carolina, Kentucky, Iowa State. In those games, the opponents combined for a 42.8 eFG% and took 21.2 three-pointers per game which accounted for 36% of their total shot attempts.

Games where Kansas allowed at least one more offensive rebound than expected by either measure: Louisiana Lafayette, Texas A&M, Colorado. In those games, the opponents combined for a 39.6 eFG% and took 22.3 three-pointers per game which accounted for 37.6% of their total shot attempts.

If one assumes that three-pointers, on average, create longer rebounds, the above suggests that Kansas does in fact struggle most to gather those long rebounds (see Bill Self's emphasis on guards doing a better job of rebounding) as they force their opponents to attempt more long shots. Presumably, those long offensive rebounds, though they prolong the possession are not put-backs are not being converted at near the rate of two points per offensive rebound.

All in all, what looked to me like poor defensive rebounding does not appear to be a big deal.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Rebounding Thoughts and Numbers (Part Two)

After calculating all of Kansas's opponents offensive rebounding rates (OffReb%) and comparing that with their results against Kansas, I've found that the Colorado game is the only one in which Kansas has surrendered measurably more offensive rebounds than expected (4.3 more to be exact).

(First, I subtracted the totals from the Kansas game for each school then divided the team's offensive rebounds for the season by the sum of their offensive rebounds and their remaining opponents' defensive rebounds to determine their OffReb%. I then multiplied the OffReb% by the sum of their offensive rebounds and Kansas's defensive rebounds to determine their expected offensive rebounds against Kansas. For example: Texas A&M, in all games (minus their game at Kansas) have 177 offensive rebounds. Their opponents have 251 defensive rebounds. Thus, Texas A&M gathers 41.4% of the rebounds at their offensive end. In the game against Kansas, there were 28 rebounds at Texas A&Ms basket. 41.4% of 28 is 11.6. That would be A&M's expected number of offensive rebounds. In real life, the Aggies grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.)

Now, this is nowhere near a perfect measure primarily due to the fact that I'm not adjusting at all for quality of opposition. With the possible exception of Kentucky and Georgia Tech, Kansas is indisputably the toughest opponent for each of the teams they've played so one would expect Kansas to perform better than average statistically. Six teams were within two offensive rebounds of their expectation against Kansas and three teams (St. Joseph's, Nevada, and UW-Milwaukee) fell short of their expected offensive rebounds by at least the same number that Colorado exceeded expectations (5, 4.3, and 4.9 offensive rebounds respectively).

Barring someone pointing flaws in my methodology or pointing me to a resource that tracks second chance points allowed (maybe Kansas is surrendering about the number of offensive rebounds expected, but giving up more second chance points than the average team) I'll have to conclude that my eyes, guided by my passion, deceive me and that Kansas, though they force a ton of missed shots, don't give up an inordinate number of offensive rebounds.

Rebounding Thoughts and Numbers (Part One)

It's my contention that Kansas is a poor defensive rebounding team, a weakness emphasized by the quality of their defensive play until a shot is released. Opponents are shooting 40.9 eFG% (FG% adjusted for three-point shots (FGM+(1/2)3PTM)/FGA) from the floor against the Jayhawks. Those opponents then rebound 33.9% of their misses.

I contend that Kansas can improve on the 61 points they currently allow per game by limiting those offensive rebounds allowed and that it's the offensive rebounds allowed that prevent Kansas from winning games by more decisive margins. Obviously, limiting second chance points will decrease opponent's scoring, but more defensive rebounds would create more easy shots in transition for the Jayhawks. Also, as St. John's and NC State would corroborate, a certain desperation sets in when a team doesn't score.

Putting my rebounding hypothesis to a test of limited worth, I offer below eFG% and Offensive Rebounding% for and allowed for each Big 12 team this season. I have made no adjustments for quality of competition, but I'll list each team's Sagarin Strength of Schedule rank.

TEAMeFG%eFG% allOR%OR% allSoS Rank

Quick conclusions drawn:

1) Oklahoma State is a really good offensive team. They're shooting 6.2 percentage points higher than any other Big 12 team playing a top-70 schedule.
2) Missouri is a poor offensive team. They're shooting 2.8 percentage points lower than any other Big 12 team playing a top-70 schedule and are the only Big 12 team shooting worse than their opposition.
3) Kansas forces their opponents to shoot 3.7 percentage points lower than any other Big 12 team playing a top-70 schedule.
4) Kansas is in the bottom third of the league in Offensive Rebounding % and the middle of the pack in Offensive Rebounding % Allowed. In fact, of the five conference teams who have played a top-70 schedule, Kansas ranks third in both offensive rebounding categories.

Perhaps my aggravation with the defensive rebounding is motivated more by the volume of misses forced by Kansas than by the frequency of offensive rebounds allowed.

One last look.


OR% v. KUOR% v. others

The performance on the defensive boards in Boulder does look horrible compared to an average offensive rebounding night for Colorado. If Kansas had limited Colorado to their usual Offensive Rebounding %, the Buffaloes would have managed 4 fewer rebounds and scored approximately four fewer points (they had 20 second chance points on 21 offensive rebounds). Not a huge difference against such an inferior team, but it could be a factor later on in the season.

More numbers to follow.

The Thirteenth Game of the Seventeenth Year

This Kansas team has stretches that suggest their potential greatness. They need these stretches due to their complete inability to put teams away. A road game in name only, The Jayhawks squandered all but one of the seventeen points they led by late in the first half before buckling down and winning by fifteen.

Colorado is not a good basketball team but they played hard and took advantage of the Jayhawks' greatest weakness, defensive rebounding, to keep themselves in the game. The Buffaloes rebounded 40% of their own misses. If Kansas had rebounded effectively, they could have held the Buffaloes to around 50 points for the game.

Points allowed by Kansas since December 11th: 51, 60, 62, 68 (OT), 60, 59, 66, 61. That's right at 60 points per 40 minutes.

Player comments and ratings (1-low, 5-average, 10-high):

Alex Galindo, 0: No points and no rebounds in nine minutes. Oh, and he fouled out. As bad a game as one can play.

JR Giddens, 4: Kudos to JR for attempting to improve his game, but his efforts to score off the dribble bring back the painful memory of Darrin Hancock's game.

Wayne Simien, 9: Wayne managed 23 and 17 without ever having to exert himself visibly. There was a vast difference in skill between Dub and the Colorado post players. Simien even did a decent job of guarding the smaller and quicker (the latter only applies to Copeland) Copeland and Osborn on the perimeter.

Keith Langford, 7: Should he get bonus points for playing well late when the game was close? Should he be docked points for playing poorly earlier thus making the game close? He didn't shoot well, but provided five more assists and continued his stretch of above average defensive play.

Aaron Miles, 7: Colorado's point guards, Hall and McGee managed only nine points. Two-thirds of those came on desperation three-pointers as the shot clock wound down. Therefore, despite a retro shooting day (1-6) and a mere 2:1 A:TO ratio Miles gets credit for initiating the disruption of the Colorado offense.

Russell Robinson, 4: Robinson played as many minutes in Boulder as he had in the previous two games combined. He appeared more under control Saturday than in either of those games but as to whether that's due to increased playing time or vice-versa I can't answer. Quick stat important for 2005-6 and beyond: Robinson averages just over 2 FTA in 15 minutes/game, approximately the same rate as Langford in his freshman season. If Robinson continues to get the line that frequently through the bulk of conference and post-season play, it'll provide another reason for optimism concerning his future.

Sasha Kaun, 5.5: I think I have to grade the freshmen bigs on a curve. None of them have played basketball very long, and, despite their obvious potential, are often overwhelmed by the pace of the college game, both that of the opponents and their teammates. Kaun had a nice three or four minute stretch in the first half, scoring 8 points and grabbing a couple of rebounds. From that point on he looked very tired and was completely ineffective.

Michael Lee, 4: Only two missed shots and one turnover. He didn't cause any horrible defensive breakdowns, either.

Darnell Jackson, 5: Also known to Fred White as Darrell Johnson and Russell Robinson. Future fan favorite Jackson played his best game of the year. He's impressively athletic every time he gets on the court for significant minutes.

Christian Moody, 6: Moody looks better all the time. Pressed into service because Giles had the flu and Galindo was worthless, Moody made a major contribution in limited minutes playing on only one good ankle. He scored seven points without missing an attempt from the floor or the line, adding three rebounds (two offensive) and an assist. He's gone from a reason to doubt this team's potential to a reason to believe in its accessibility.

CJ Giles and Moulaye Niang, incomplete: Giles made an attempt to play despite suffering from the flu in days prior. Niang remains willingly on call to enter the game and his use lateral quickness to its best effect.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A Brief Explanation of Hilton Magic

It's less complicated than you might think.

1) Iowa State rarely fields a bad basketball team.

2) Iowa State rarely fields a basketball team good enough to win consistently on the road. Thus, they're usually a little underrated in the general consciousness.

3) Iowa State draws a tremendous crowd when Kansas visits. If the Cyclones keep the game fairly close, the crowd becomes a factor.

(Digression: Is a vocal crowd more of a benefit for the home team when it's not the norm? Are players at Kansas or Oklahoma State slightly inured to playing in front of a vocal, supportive crowd thus drawing less of a benefit than the Iowa State players get from the handful of games they generate similarly vocal support?)

Kansas again offered brief glimpses of excellent play interspersed with JR Giddens throwing the ball to Iowa State two possessions in a row, Michael Lee dribbling the ball off his leg, or Nick Bahe retiring the Kirk Hinrich Memorial Bad Lob Pass Award. I'm just glad none of the older Iowa State fans in one of those comfy, cushioned Hilton seats was injured by the projectile's launch.

If the Jayhawks ever start grabbing defensive rebounds they'll look as good as Illinois if not North Carolina. At this point of the season, I'm not holding my breath.

Player comments and ratings (1-low, 5-average, 10-high):

Aaron Miles, 6.5: Another solid game from Miles. The team does a horrible job of getting him open against full court pressure. The problem seems to be systemic. It appears the plan is for Miles to receive the second pass and attack the pressure downhill. It's not working.

JR Giddens, 4.5: Nice shooting performance early, marred only by his attempts at dribble penetration. The pull-up jumper he made featured a violent, unplanned confrontation between ball and backboard; the one he missed fell to earth a foot-and-a-half beyond the goal. He panicked when double-teamed and spent the last eight minutes of the game on the bench. It's not a good sign when your coach feels more comfortable with Michael Lee handling the ball down the stretch. To JR's credit it appears he's made an adjustment to minimize his principal defensive shortcoming: poor footwork. He's playing a half-step off his man and using his long arms to close the gap. It's similar to what Ryan Robertson did to minimize the quickness disadvantage he suffered against other point guards.

Wayne Simien, 7: Welcome back, Wayne. If you'd brought your free throw stroke to Ames I would have had an easier time digesting my dinner. The half-court offense looks much better with him on the floor. (Cracker-jack analysis, no?)

CJ Giles, 5: Only four fouls. I believe congratulations are in order. CJ played better position defense and didn't get pushed around too badly by Homan (though Homan did get five assists against no turnovers which suggests that Iowa State's poor field goal percentage had more to do with Curtis Stinson's poor shot selection than consistently brilliant team defense). Giles will still be more active than effective at his current weight but looks ready to share backup post minutes with Galindo for the remainder of the season.

Keith Langford, 8.5: I've criticized Langford's defense in the past, but not today. Stinson's line: 6-20 FG with i assist and 5 turnovers. Langford's line: 7-11 FG with 5 assists and 2 turnovers. That should help him come all-conference voting. (Langford, Miles, and Stinson can all make a claim for the fifth spot on the first team. I believe Simien, Lucas, Joey Graham, and Taj Gray would easily earn the other four spots at this point.) Langford also managed a nice dunk in transition which made me smile.

Michael Lee, 3: One-of-four from the floor, two rebounds, one assist, three turnovers, and a couple of botched defensive assignments (minus eight points). But, man, can he dive for a loose ball (plus one-half point), and, honestly, I think he was the best option available to Coach Self down the stretch (plus one-half point). I'm probably feeling a little generous after the Texas A&M and Kentucky games. I really don't like eviscerating his play two out of every three games, he seems like a nice kid.

Alex Galindo, 4: If he would grow a mustache, he'd be my favorite player. With the exception of the three-point attempt with one minute left in the game (and 26 seconds on the shot clock) he didn't take any bad shots. But he only made on them and grabbed only one rebound. He did however make three of four free throws down the stretch.

Russell Robinson, 3.5: I don't know if his play or his scratched cornea limited his minutes. He hasn't been as much of a factor as I expected as the schedule has gotten tougher but I'm confident he'll figure out how to balance effort and execution far more quickly than Jerod Haase did.

Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Nick Bahe, Moulaye Niang, and Jeff Hawkins, incomplete: Jackson always looks intriguingly active though it's clear he has no real idea of what he's doing yet. Sasha looked a little fired up after his Kentucky performance (as he should be), but attempted an ill-advised (and slow-developing) post move and didn't return. Bahe I covered in the intro. I can't say I remember Moulaye entering the game but the box score credits him with two minutes played and a foul. Jeff Hawkins ended the game by stealing the ball from Curtis Stinson. That made me smile. Stinson's a good player, but he's mouthier than Homan (and JR Giddens for that matter).

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Game Report: Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta 103 Milwaukee 80

What better way to enjoy my first live basketball game of the season (hardly a
100 games project that I have going here) than one which featured as many as three (3) legitimate NBA starters. A panoply of disappointing lottery picks (Joe Smith #1 overall, 1995; Kenny Anderson #2 overall, 1991; Keith Van Horn #2 overall, 1997; Marcus Fizer #4 overall, 2000; Antoine Walker #6 overall, 1996) should give pause to the few Hawks eagerly anticipating Billy Knight building a contender via the draft.

The play was worse than I anticipated. The Bucks should be embarrassed by their effort. Michael Redd could barely look his teammates in the eye. They, in turn, tended to throw the ball into the stands rather than his hands on the rare instances he was open.

Tyronn Lue and Royal Ivey blew (27 pts., 11 ast., 6 reb., 2 TOs, 11-17 FG in a combined 48 minutes) past Mo Williams all night and the Bucks big men (Smith, Zaza Pachulia, Fizer, and Daniel Santiago) allowed them unfettered access to the front of the rim. Ivey, in particular showed surprisingly useful Earl Watson-type skills. By last night's evidence, Lue might benefit from all the attention Walker and Harrington draw due to their unceasing shooting with another undeserved contract (the first coming after he showed the unquestioned ability to maintain a grip on Iverson's jersey without being called for a foul in the 2001 Finals).

It's been established that Antoine Walker is, at this point, hideously unpleasant to watch play basketball. He acts put out if forced to run even at a trot from foul line to foul line. If he receives the ball on the offensive end he either shoots or turns the ball over. He stunted Paul Pierce's growth in Boston with his bad example and it looks like he's doing the same to Al Harrington who calls a caucus anytime his teammates don't give him the ball immediately upon crossing midcourt.

Harrington, one of three players the Hawks intend to keep for the near future, is an interesting case. He has a nice game, but I fail to see how he could be the best or even the second-best player on a good team. He needs to get better or accept his place in the NBA pecking order to turn talent into wins. He might be good enough to put decent numbers for the next couple of barren years in Atlanta before being shipped out as part of a future fine-tuning.

Josh Childress appears to project as the sort of complimentary player good teams covet. He's a good shooter and aggressive rebounder, making good use of his long arms. He needs to get stronger, but that should come with time.

The crowd (and pundit) favorite is Josh Smith. I can't say I've ever seen anyone like him. He blocked three of Pachulia's shots on a single second-quarter possession. Smith is like Kirilenko stripped of all his basketball skills. He cannot dribble or shoot at all but he can run and jump. He's undeniably exciting and could be extremely valuable in right situation as a defensive stopper and rebounder appreciated by teammates who got him the ball at the rim or in transition and let him get the ball in the basket the only way he's capable
(.189 eFG% on jump shots). Smith will either become a completely unique cog on a good team or hopelessly overrated due to the gap between his ability to make highlights and his ability to make simple plays.

I've had no NBA affiliation since the Kings left Kansas City in my youth. I have no doubt that an interesting Hawks team could electrify Atlanta and I'm open to being part of that. First, though, Billy Knight must move further along in the rebuilding process, stripping the team of its unpleasant elements (Walker, Lue, Jason Collier), figuring out which of Ivey, Donta Smith, Boris Diaw, and Peja Drobnjak will be useful players off the bench or potential folk heroes (the Hawks have recently been both bad and bland), drafting a franchise point guard or big man, and then trading one of Smith, Harrington, or Childress for the type not drafted.

Barring the developments of any deadline deals, they should have a couple of extra second round picks this year (from San Antonio and New York) to take a chance on an extra young guard or big man (Turiaf, Diener, Nate Robinson, Coppenrath, Schenscher, Danelius) who might develop into a useful bench player. I can't see them escaping the lottery in 2006 (even in the East) which should allow them an opportunity to get someone to go with whomever of Chris Paul/Tiago Splitter/Andrew Bogut they take this year.

Were I Billy Knight, I'd either take Paul, or better yet, trade down to take Jarrett Jack (adding a pick or player in the process) this year and take advantage of the glut of big men likely to be available in 2006 (Boone, Oden, Andriuskevicius, maybe Aldridge, Randolph Morris, and Villanueva). Even better, Knight could trade some of those assets for young veterans closer to achieving their potential and available as they move from their first to their second contracts.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Still Undefeated

Unfortunately, both teams played down to the level of the color commentary in the first half. (Brief Packer complaints: 1) Though the offense was woeful both ways, there was some good team defense played, and, who really thought there would be much scoring in this game anyway? 2) A sequence to bear in mind when Billy's ripping the selection committee this March. Verne Lundquist introduces a graphic showing Kansas atop the RPI standings and Billy says, "I don't really understand how they can be number one in the RPI without having played a road game." Don't really understand sums it up for all of us at home. Thank goodness there are no decimal points in putt-putt.)

The second half was much better (Kansas 44 Kentucky 34, how could it not be?). Michael Lee has now played two good games in a row. I didn't think Kansas could beat both Georgia Tech and Kentucky with Simien. I'm impressed that they went into Lexington and won behind the offensive contributions of Moody, Giles, and Kaun. Apparently the freshmen were being held back by not being exposed to a hostile crowd in 2004. I'm impressed with the team defense since Christmas (granted Tech struggled once Elder left the game and Kentucky's not a very good offensive team to begin with).

The first Jayhawk win in Lexington ever certainly makes up for the discomfort of trailing Texas A&M in the Field House with less than five minutes left last Wednesday night. The game in Ames this Wednesday could be the ugliest one yet unless Langford, Moody, Robinson, and Simien make speedy recoveries.

A purely speculative ranking in order of their likelihood to play in Ames:

1) Robinson
2) Moody
3) Langford
4) Simien

Coming this week, a look back at the variety of ways in which my NBA and NCAA previews were horribly wrong and the ways in which they might yet be proven right.

Monday, January 03, 2005

I'm Not Sure I Understand

Having yet to figure out how Kansas had a chance to beat Georgia Tech in St. Louis last March, I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle how they actually did beat Georgia Tech on Saturday without Wayne Simien or a lead during regulation.

A few thoughts...

1) Taking a bunch of threes (15) in the second half and overtime and making more than half of them (8) certainly helped. Kansas played like so many teams have against them in the ignominious tournament losses. They forswore aesthetically pleasing basketball (to my eyes) for a better chance to win the game. It was odd to watch.

2) Kansas played their best team defensive game of the season. That BJ Elder didn't play the last 36 minutes of the game cannot be dismissed, but credit is due, especially to those I've singled out as liabilities before: Giddens, Moody, and Langford.

3) The Field House sounded great on television. Apparently that was an accurate representation of the energy in the building. I had started to worry a bit about the atmosphere. The Louisiana-Lafayette game sounded as if it were being played in an empty gym. I could hear the sneakers squeak for most of the game. To be fair, that was a horribly played game. The Tech game should put to rest all the hand-wringing concerning the rich and unworthy buying their way into Allen Field House and ruining everything for the real fans who have supported the team for blah blah blah...

4) Aaron Miles and Keith Langford gave performances reminiscent of Collison and Hinrich against Texas two years ago. They weren't as great as Collison and Hinrich, they're simply not as talented, but they decided to do everything in their power to prevent a Kansas loss. Miles made the first clutch threes of his career outside of Columbia, MO and Langford adjusted to Georgia Tech's fine defensive performance. Luke Schenscher, not needing to guard anybody, rarely strayed from the paint thus completely neutralizing Langford's drives to the bucket in the first half. Unlike Is'mail Muhammad who put his head down and plowed toward the basket irregardless of the situation, Langford channeled his aggression toward the open areas of the floor: behind the three point line and at the elbows.

5) Bill Self's willingness to recreate the offense in Simien's absence to take advantage of the remaining personnel's abilities. Roy Williams is the best coach I've seen in terms of ingraining a style of play with a team. He knows and communicates his system flawlessly but on the rare occasions that doesn't work he struggles to make adjustments. Bill Self, by his own admissions, still struggles to get Kansas to play as he would like them to play all the time but he seems more willing to explore situation-specific strategies.

6) Will Bynum got called for a charge it didn't look like he committed with twenty seconds left and the game tied.

7) Michael Lee played only two minutes.