What is this team's most reliable, high percentage play on offense?
I ask myself questions like this when I watch this team in close 4th quarter situations.
Every team and coach has four or five go-to plays that he can usually rely on in two- or three-possession games. In lieu of a go-to guy these can be plays scripted for the hot hand on the floor, or putting a player in his favorite area of the floor to best utilize his skill set.
What would this play be for the Sonics?
At this point I'd have to say it's probably Chris Wilcox in the post. Last night we saw San Antonio front the post on multiple occasions, denying the entry pass to take away Wilcox's post up game. Why? Because it's damn effective. I wish this team would make more of an effort to start their offense in the post, be it through Wilcox or Durant, because it has to be more efficient than the constant Shammond-ing I'm seeing right now.
This is on both the coaching staff and Chris Wilcox ... if CWs defender fronts him, move the ball to the top of the key and then immediately re-post. Force the issue, don't give up and settle for a poorly thought out 18 footer.
I've decided that I'm definitely not a fan of the current run and gun style. If we had players that were more efficient shooters and guys that were willing and able passers it would make more sense, but far too many times I'm seeing players pull up with 18+ seconds on the shot clock and bombing away. That for the most part they are making these shots does not matter, because when they miss oftentimes there is no one in rebounding position, heck there's no one even close.
Despite its faults this is clearly a very talented basketball team that is losing many games because of poor decision making and wasted possessions. All this group needs to do is play smarter for 5 or 6 more possessions per ball game and they are as good as most teams in the league. Whether or not that message is forthcoming from the coaching staff is something I wonder about, because the lack of discipline on offense is getting a bit tiring to watch. PJ spoke before about reining guys in at some point. I hope the point comes soon, because I believe this can be a better basketball team than we are currently seeing. Last night's rotation might be one step in that direction ... I hope so.
To be clear I don't think it's just the lack of an established go-to guy. There are guys on this team that are clearly capable of doing some things very well on offense. What I'm seeing is a consistent lack of execution, ie putting themselves in a position to win games and knowing whom to go to and when in critical or near-critical situations. Are there players demanding the ball in crunch time? And if so, whom?