Point/CounterPoint #14 – After Clemson …

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In this installment, Rowan Shiell and Bermuda Bob talk about the Clemson game, the weekend homage to Dean Smith, and make a wonderful recommendation to get to know Jahlil Okafor … 

Query #1

We always ask this, especially after an exceptional game like Clemson, so what did we learn after this game ??? 

Rowan:

Well to state the obvious, Duke is still a pretty formidable team without star Freshman, Jahlil Okafor.

Bermuda Bob:

Recalling the old John Houseman Smith Barney commercial, Duke won the game “… the old fashioned way …”   They EARNED it !!!

Granted, Clemson has been having a rough season right from the start, but Duke proved that in the event “Oaks” gets into foul trouble, they have a very capable “Plan B” !!!

They also proved that they can still prevail, even when the Trifectas are not dropping. Duke shot 35% on 7 of 20 shooting from outside the Arc.  Also, while we’re talking about shooting, the team converted 11 of 13 from the Charity Stripe.

Query #2

Who would you give the Game Ball to ??? 

Rowan:

I want to give it to Justise Winslow with his “double-double” and a personal best of 13 Rebounds, but Quinn Cook already has it with 27 points, 4 rebounds and as many assists.  Cook controlled the game from start to finish.

Bermuda Bob:

OK, then I’ll give my Game Ball to “The Chief” – Justise Winslow, in recognition of his inspired play and looking like the player from earlier in the season. We have both noted that his contributions were needed so very much.

Query #3

Marshall Plumlee and Grayson Allen got plenty of minutes each.                   Who impressed you more ??? 

Rowan:

Grayson Allen scored 10 points in 18 minutes, but I like how Marshall played.  He didn’t have the stats but played big on a night when Amile Jefferson was a no-show.

Bermuda Bob:

I’m just so pleased to see Grayson getting time on the Court in this Guard-heavy Duke team.  Each and every game he demonstrates the athleticism and verve he was recruited for.  As I’ve said so many times before, a Frosh cannot get better without actual game experience.  I understand he started as odd-man-out, but with his demonstrating that he is up to the challenge, he ought to be seen more in important circumstances.

I agree that “Plums” played important minutes very well that do not show on the Box Score.  I will continue to say that, especially as the only “big” in a 4 Guard line-up, he HAS to stay around the Paint and stop with those goofy looking and rarely effective Picks outside of the Arc.  He does not have the hands for Pick-and-Roll plays, and his best chance at not being Boxed Out is remaining down low.

Just to humour me, notice in the next game, how often one of those goofy Picks produces a score, versus his missing out on a Rebound for a Put Back.  In this game, he had no Offensive Rebounds because he was always out of position and easily Boxed Out while trying to return to where he should have been positioned.  I’m totally surprised the Coaching Staff has not “delivered” him from that predilection.

Query #4

Justise Winslow looked like his old self from the beginning of the season with a huge “double-double” of 20 Points and 13 Rebounds.  Did you notice anything different in his play now from early on, before he was injured ???

 

Rowan:

From the start of this game it was obvious that Justise Winslow’s strength is penetrating off the dribble.  Teams usually clog the middle to prevent that. Plus, with Okafor taking up so much space on the Block, it is normally crowded around the basket, with the double-team assigned to stop the Freshman Center.  Against Clemson, at least in the 1st Half, the Lane was open for business and Winslow took advantage of that.  Clemson made an adjustment, closing down the middle, in the 2nd Half that slowed him down.

Winslow was also great on the boards filling in for Okafor.

Bermuda Bob:

I was so pleased to see “The Chief” back in the form we came to expect from him, early on. Understandably, he was victimized by much-too-much contact Referees routinely allow in the Lane.  Plus, in more than one game, he had gone to the floor for a loose ball, and made awkward contact with the floor on his shoulder.  He has an uncanny way of scoring in some of the strangest situations, and the most unseemly angles. He’s also a viable threat from outside the Arc !!!

I’m glad he is back in time for the March run !!!

Query #5

Should we be worried about Amile Jefferson, because in a game where he was meant to play huge minutes, he played far less than Marshall Plumlee, without the burden of foul trouble ??? 

Rowan: 

Against Syracuse Amile scored 13 Points, had 5 rebounds and 6 blocked shots.  Without Jahlil Okafor, Amile started at Center and only played 16 minutes, registering 2 Points, 2 Turnovers, and a Foul.

A very strange season indeed, so far, for the Junior.

Bermuda Bob:

In Ocean’s 12, a character named Matsui gave us the expression “Lost in Translation” where he spoke in odd machinations that meant nothing to anyone except one of the few people he was speaking to.  I would have to say that Amile’s season is one that is “Lost in Translation” because there are times when he appears, playing very well, and times when he simply disappears on the floor.

Some folks have postulated that part might have been due to his relationship with the banished Rasheed as they also share the same classes.  If that is so, maybe we have a peephole into why Sulaimon received his pink-slip.

All this means that neither of us has a clue as to his erratic play this season. I surely hope something changes in time for the tougher play that is guaranteed ahead !!!

Query #6

Coach K made sure the energy was “up” for the entire game, and made no bones about crediting the “Crazies” as the “6th Man.”  Down Tobacco Road, Coach Roy Williams chided his crowd, on the eve of the Dean Smith memorial service for not being all that involved in the game.  The media thought him to be wrong.  What say you ???

Rowan:

I think William’s problem was that the crowd was not clued in to what they were doing when they paid homage to Dean Smith with the “Four Corners Offense” play.  To be fair not many fans recognise basketball plays.  That play was designed specifically to burn time without the use of a Shot Clock.  To play it at the beginning of a game would cause me to be confused at best.  I believe the play resulted in a score but barely as the Shot Clock almost expired and the pass was almost stolen or deflected.

It is one thing to pay homage to a great man off the Court, but in live action with the season they are having !!!

Then you have to factor in the age of the students, most of them wouldn’t know the “Four Corners Offense” if it jumped up and hit them in the face.

I thought it was a good tribute until William’s attack.

Bermuda Bob:

You have hit the nail squarely on the head, Mate !!!   I believe that present Carolina fans know who Dean Smith was, and that he was a cornerstone of everything that is good and true about the university.  I do not believe they know why.  I don’t believe they know much more about his coaching than what hangs from the rafters in the building named for him.

I understand that Coach Roy Williams wanted to honour Dean Smith by bringing back the “4 Corner Offense” by raising his 4 fingers, as his mentor did way back when.  Later, Coach Roy explained how the team practiced it in secret.

Ricky Nelson sang a song where he noted: ” … no one recognized me, I didn’t look the same …”  So when THIS Carolina team did something that THOSE Carolina teams of old (before the Shot Clock was instituted) they “… didn’t look the same.” 

I have to wonder just how many of those in the Dean Dome were even born when the Shot Clock was instituted … to thwart the genius of the “4 Corner Offense” … some 30 years ago.

As someone who is often guilty of over-thinking things and then getting one’s feelings hurt when it’s not appreciated, it takes one to know one, and I saw it as a mistake right from the start.

I think that in this situation, under the circumstances, with Coach Roy being of the purest intent, he had the right to have his feelings hurt.  That’s what his comments meant to me, and I surely felt for him !!!  If anyone thought otherwise, I’ll bet they never lost a mentor of the stature of Dean Smith. 

To our Readers:

There is a wonderful video entitled:  “Jahlil Okafor:  Playing with Purpose” that was done by a local Fox affiliate.  If you have not seen it yet, we most heartily suggest it to you.  It will tell you so much about why he is who he is !!!

Here’s the link:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/8c5b2708-fcc6-43e0-bd05-3f72474fd4cb

 

Thanks for reading.  We welcome and hope you will comment on our thoughts, and add you own !!!

Also visit us at:      @SimplyDukeB

 

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