Small sample size, its only four games, throw the stats out, we've played too many good defensive teams...there are plenty of excuses to be made, but its time to throw out some opinions.
He seems to be the lightning rod so far, understandably given his role on the team. I think Tyreke has made a lot of progress as a basketball player in half court situations. Once the formal offense has started, he's making much better decisions than he used to, and really is starting to look like he has a feel for what is going on most of the time. He has a ways to go as a shooter of course and he's not as good a defender as he could be, but you can see progress, and I think he looks like a young guy that works hard at his craft. I like where he's going.
On the other side of the coin, his decisions in transition when he has the ball are embarrassing. I think in the half-court he's showing he can learn and he has solid basketball IQ, but in transition he no feel whatsoever for his surroundings or making a play for someone else. I don't think he's selfish; I really honestly don't, but I also can't remember the last time I saw him make even the obvious play for someone else in transition. You can see it on his teammates faces running the floor, they know they're not getting the ball, the entire building knows he's not passing the ball, its unbelievable. Something has to be done about it, and I really wonder why it hasn't to date.
Honestly, maybe he's just an Eastern Conference, walk it up, kind of player. He seems in his element playing that style.
I really don't understand why he's on the team, he's redundant with Cisco and Salmons. He might be a nice guy and a good teammate, a good influence to have around, but I have no idea what he adds to this team and will be floored if he's still getting minutes from game 11 on.
Not nearly as slow afoot as I feared, and his basketball feel is very good. He sees the floor very well. Shooting, I haven't looked at the numbers, but he's already one of those guys that when he squares himself to the rim and releases it cleanly you know its going in. Defense isn't completely hopeless, but pretty close. I like what I've seen so far, and I wasn't particularly excited about him.
I love what he's done so far. He needs to be a finisher though, not a creator. His ball handling and decision making aren't good enough to be an isolation player. The good news is, we need guys with that game.
The first game was bad, but since then I think he's been doing a good job. He draws the toughest wing assignment every night and has done a pretty decent job on them to date. He's at least working his ass off. On offense, he falls into bad habits and doesn't fit the team well given we start Cousins and Evans also, but Salmons has been himself so far, and that's not a bad thing.
The big guy is making a lot of progress. He's got a ways to go on feel around the basket, but he makes pretty good decisions in the post, defense has to be ahead of schedule; he still has the temper but has done a great job harnessing it to date. His stats blow so far, but I love what I've seen; I'm real excited for his future.
Obviously we haven't seen a whole lot of him before tonight, and this is going to seem like damning with faint praise, but he's one of the best 4th rotational bigs in the NBA now. He's got the NBA body, he comes in and plays hard, commits a fraction of the stupid fouls he used to, there's a toughness streak and he typically doesn't embarrass shooting the open 16 footer. JT's problem is still everything seems so mechanical. He's one of those guys that looks like he learned everything, nothing is instinctive. Still, he's made solid strides, I like what I've seen and he might be a year or two away from being a very high quality 3rd big. He's confidence, work and experience away, but he's been very impressive.
He's been who we hoped he'd be, a perfect fit so far,
I won't comment on the coaching as the site veterans have made it clear its too early for that and rightfully so. The team plays hard, the guys aren't selfish which are good, the transition defense has been horrid. There will be plenty of time to talk coaching a few games from now.
We're 1-3 because we're a pretty bad offensive team, an embarrassingly bad team in transition and a pretty decent half court defensive team. We have a lot of guys that can score, in theory, but not many are as good as their roles on the team dictate they need to be, and the pieces don't fit well together yet. That's pretty understandable, there is some hope here, but a lot of learning to do.