I didn't complain a few days ago when Kenny Thomas put up a big goose egg on offense. Why? He had 10 rebounds.
Points from Thomas are gravy to me unless he is using offensive possessions. He didn't use offensive possessions in his 0-fer game - he took only one shot. Thomas's scoring should come exactly the way it came tonight - putbacks, openings very close to the basket. But he has to rebound and defend, and he's been doing that. (And I don't want to jinx anything, so knock on wood, but he and Shareef Abdur-Rahim had a nice little rapport on the floor, right? I didn't imagine it?)
Ron Artest's offensive game was 100 times better than any of the first three contests. He still didn't shoot marvelously - he finished 7 of 17, better but not great. But look at all the shots taken in the paint, in the midrange area. Glorious. That is Good Ron-Ron. Hope he sticks around.
Defensively, the team got back on track. When Ronnie Price and Francisco Garcia are in there with Ron-Ron - it's like the second coming of the Shankill Butchers. I predicted this team would be a top 10 defensive team - that gambit's looking more palatable now, right? Hopefully, the offense can continue to come around.
Three more thoughts:
- True or false: Ronnie Price is the best defensive point guard in the league.
- The next five seconds Maurice Taylor is not awful this season will be the first five seconds Maurice Taylor is not awful this season.
- In the post-game presser, Eric Musselman said he talked to Mike Bibby on the phone Sunday, exchanged e-mails with Ron Artest, and got some texts from Kevin Martin. So this team chemistry, apparently you just talk to each other and communicate outside of "work" and the team gets better? Fascinating.