Michael's comments about Rivers actually got me excited about Rivers. I do hope he comes out like Kobe did.
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In the NO Podcast Episode 109: Austin Rivers and a Soft Team?
Kevin Pelton of the Basketball Prospectus and ESPN.com joins us to talk about Austin Rivers and whether he’s having the worst season of all time. Then we bombard him with other questions, hoping he’ll tell us it ain’t so. Afterwards, we talk more Austin Rivers, the two Hornets losses this week, the upcoming Dallas Game, Anthony Davis, and discuss whether this team is soft.
Do you think the team is soft? Sound off by calling 504-322-3333.
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Watching the Hornets play the past week, I can say, without listening to the podcast, that are playing soft basketball at the moment. Weak, gutless, uninspired basketball. I don't think they're fundamentally soft, though. It has more to do with a lack of enthusiasm. How do you expect the league's 2nd youngest team to get excited about playing at the league's slowest place, particularly when that team is ill-suited to consistently be successful in half court sets? They weren't soft in their season opener vs the Spurs, a game where they had 96 possessions, as opposed to their season average of 90.1. They don't defend with urgency because they don't play at a pace that is commensurate with the idea of urgency.
This post is spot on. Soft teams can be made tougher by picking up the pace. This is especially true with younger teams. This has been my main gripe with Monty this season. His pace is so slow that at times the team seems to lack interest in playing defense and rebounding. To be sucessful with this slow style, you need a team that operates at the highest efficency in the half court offense. At this stage the Hornets are not capable of this type play. Picking up the pace and sense of urgency would make this team less soft and easier to watch for the fans.
Also, I was glad to see Roberts play well in Houston, but did anyone else notice the few possessions where Douglas was blanketing him and he literally could not pick up the ball? Rivers has had moments with that problem as well
I'd have to go back and check, but I believe that the Rondo point was actually brought up on a recent Hang Time or NBA Lockdown podcast, if you're interested in looking. Where should Rivers start in developing his game? His floater looked to be getting better earlier, and he was reported to be working on it, but juts about everything is not working for him right now.