SAC 104 - ORL 100
Sac: 13-20, 4th Pacific, 11th West
Poss ORtg eFG FTr DReb TOr
ORL 89 112 52% 29 68% 21
SAC 117 55% 35 65% 19
BOX SCORE | GAMEFLOW | SAC BEE
I don't really want to get too deep into the fourth quarter stuff, because I'm looking forward (chortle) to giving it a deeper look this afternoon. But suffice it to say: There's no better way to suck the energy out of a building than to let a 13-point lead slip to 3 in less than four minutes.
Quincy Douby was aggressive as all get-out off the bench, which is encouraging. We know he can score -- you don't lead the Big East in scoring on great percentages when you are your team's first, second and third options if you can't score. And his disruptive defense has been a pleasant surprise since last season, his rookie year. For every steal or block he records, he has three deflections it seems. He gets beat around the corner frequently and could stand to leap out on shooters a bit quicker (he's still the best on the team at that, maybe second to John Salmons), but the defense isn't holding him back.
You know what did the trick last night? Quincy wasn't the point guard! Most of his minutes came with Beno Udrih also on the floor. Amazing, no? QD's true offensive weakness has been that he can't initiate an offense (unless said offense is 'dribble to the top of the key, if the defender slacks shoot it, otherwise drive directly to the opponent's shotblocker and try not to get stripped'). With Beno initiating the offense, QD was able to spring free and come off screens and hit some shots. Funny, when you play a shooting guard next to a point guard, the shooting guard typically plays better! (I'm not trying to be facetious... it's just that it took Reggie Theus 32 games to figure out Quincy's not a point guard. In fairness, Eric Musselman had 82 games and still doesn't believe it.)
I don't want to jinx anything, but... anyone else getting a Vlade Divac 2000-2003 vibe from Brad Miller? Divac was still insanely effective into his 30s; his scoring and rebounding had fallen off from his peak, but he adjusted by passing more, protecting the ball, and playing crafty as all hell. Last night, against the pre-eminent physical specimen in the NBA, Miller took his lumps... and came back with an insanely crafty performance. Stuttered drives, patient backdoor passes, supreme box-out positioning, the soft-again jumper. He was a few head slaps and a flop or two away from me pulling a Scooby Doo and ripping off his mask. And God bless 'em. He won the game.