Anyway, my thoughts:
- Wittman is just really bad and unqualified. He manages the lineups like a dunce. We'll never be a truly good team with him running the show. No team could. Not even Miami.
- Varejao is a terrific player, but goddamn, he's not that terrific. With Nene out, we lack size in the interior to match up with players like him. Mark my words, energetic and long big men are going to be our Achilles heal all season long and those guys are going to put up big numbers on us. We were actually trying to box Varejao out a good deal of the time and we simply couldn't.
- In general I thought the offense did a much better job moving the ball than I expected. Some guys were missing their outlets and settling for crap shots. Price comes to mind, that tear drop sucked for him tonight. Crawford wasn't so much missing his outlets so much as ignoring them but whatever, his drives were converting for the most part. Everyone else did a good job IMO.
- That said, even though the movement was better, go to scoring was still a HUGE issue. We were creating good shots and none of them were falling. Shooting is still a huge issue for the team. Nobody seems to have any go to ISO offense they can resort to except for Crawford.
- Book got absolutely screwed early on with those three foul calls. Each was horrible and it took him out of the game. Varejao needs to be fined for flopping.
- Vesely looked good tonight. Excellent defensive play. Did a good job using defense to feed into the offense by creating transition opportunities for teammates. He does a really good job moving the ball on offense. He's going to be a valuable cog on both ends of the floor even if he never becomes a scorer. I hope he was taking notes on the way Varejao played.
- Really like Okafor. He is the master of the tip out on the offensive glass.
- Beal was pretty anonymous although he flashed for a few stretches. A couple of nice dimes, really nice cleaning up the glass (good since we're not a good rebounding team). Only took a few iffy shots but nothing egregious. He's not going to be a big contributor for a while though. We can't be relying on him to be our main source of range shooting this year.
- Ariza had an excellent defensive game. Active and disciplined. Hoping this is the effort we can expect from him going forward and not his preseason play.
Bottom line: Both of these teams are pretty garbage. Watching Miami-Boston and LA-Dallas is such a contrast to what you see from Cle-Was. The best player on WAS or CLE would be the fourth or fifth best player on any of those other four teams--at best. Young teams that simply can't compete with what a first rate team actually looks like.