Signs of life
Beating a struggling Miami team was nice but not the reason for my excitment tonight. The reason for optimism is the comeback. Down 17 in the second half, the guys finally pulled it together. There were also some lessons for tonight.
Lesson 1. It is execution, not talent. This was our five during the start of the comeback -- Jackson, Roche, Raji, Dunn, Elmore. Trapani replaced Elmore later down the stretch, but those six guys did most of the heavy lifting. How did they do it? Patience. They worked shot clocks and found good looks. They also played good D. I don't think those are our best players. Not by any stretch. But I think they proved that Al's schemes can still work. It is about getting through to the players.
Lesson 2. The offense needs to revolve around Jackson. Jackson is not Bell or Rice, but we can use him in that role. He can create his own shot in or out of the offense. He can penetrate and allow guys like Raji and Trapani to get putbacks.
Lesson 3. We should trap more. I don't think we need to press on every possesion, but putting a little more pressure on Miami worked in the first half. If we had done that more against some of the midmajors, we might have a different perspective on the season.