I think the team will be really frustrating all year long for the simple fact that Matthews and Wagner might be the best 2 players on the floor on every given night, but then our other 3 guys are all probably backups on any quality tournament team. Not saying this to trash Duncan and MAAR, but they have always been quality role players and are just not well-suited to be third option types against high major quality opponents. Tonight they combined for 5 points and 3 rebounds in 49 minutes on 1-12 shooting from the floor (1-9 from three).
I love that JB went with the “send a message” lineup for the last 10 minutes and played the freshmen + Ibi. There’s a lot to like between Livers and Poole even though Poole’s shot wasn’t falling and Livers isn’t ready for the physicality down low. I actually thought Poole defended pretty well tonight and had a nice blow by on offense. Watson making shots was great to see too.
Lastly I think JB has to trim the rotation sooner rather than later. There was no rhythm whatsoever at the end of the first half and it ballooned from a 3 point game at the under 8 timeout to a 15 point game as it winded down. No matter who he picks at point guard, they’re not going to suddenly become a star and the constant shuffling is holding the entire flow back IMO. I thought Brooks played well his first shift, and even Simpson and Simmons had their moments but then they would each go out, sit for 15 minutes and come back in very cold. I know Dylan said this was a 7 man rotation in the 2nd halves of games that matter so far…I think the 11 man rotation in the first half every game is hurting the team and should be 8-9 against quality opponents, preferably cutting a point guard and Watson for now.