This team this year to me is about growth toward something special next year. In a lot of ways this team reminds me of the 2011-2012 team, albeit without a guy named Burke, so the ceiling is lower. MAAR/Duncan similar to Novak/Douglass in experience and overall talent. Then you have the returning star coming off one great season, Wagner/Hardaway, who struggle with consistency but can go for 20+ any given night. And you’re hoping for a special breakout guy his first year in the system…I believe Matthews can have that type of impact. An early season trip to Maui that season showed us a lot, hopefully this year’s trip is similar.
I love what I’ve seen from Z so far. 9 “just making the right play” assists in game 1, then JB said he needs to be more aggressive. He comes back with an efficient 5-7 from the floor and 2-3 from deep.
I take solace in the fact that any given night Wagner and Matthews might just be the best pair of teammates on the floor talent-wise. That’s a good place to start. MAAR and Duncan are fine starters with clear strengths and weaknesses, but I think relying on them to be 30-35 minute contributors limits the team’s best-case scenario this season. If Z, Matthews and Wagner can have great seasons of growth, and Livers, Brooks, Teske make strides as well next year very well may be special and a top-10 preseason type year with the incoming class