Monday, January 2, 2012

Games 13-15: Crap, Crap, Mega Crap. Pitt loses to Wagner, ND and Cincy

Let's see three losses to talk about.

1. Pitt 54 Wagner 59
Why we lost - 
Gibbs and Patterson combine to shoot 6-26.  Yikes.  That'll make you lose.

2. Pitt 59 ND 72
Why we lost -
Notre Dame in the second half = this

Which brings us to
3. Cincinnati 66 Pitt 63

Get used to it, because these are how the majority of Pitt's games are going to go the rest of the year.  Press, press, and more press.  Grade time because I don't feel like talking about this game any more.

Wright - There was a really nice 3 or 4 possession sequence where Wright did everything he would do in the game.  He made a free throw, had a really nice block, had a driving layup and a nice offensive rebound.  There I just described everything Wright did in his 18 minutes of pt.  Grade C-

Taylor - Let's see 0-4 from the field with 2 points.  3 turnovers vs 0 assists.  Might as well have not gotten dressed this morning, because he was awful.  Cincy's small lineup attacked Taylor and Zanna like piranhas.  Grade D

Robinson - Will someone please give Nas some help.  It's really sad that Pitt's only legitimate low post presence is a 6'5" forward.  Steven Adams came all the way from New Zealand to watch this game.  Bet he's really glad about this decision because he could have played in his street clothes and been Pitt's best post presence.

We interrupt this recap to drool over Steven Adams and his awesomeness

Back to Nas.  19 and 10 from him.   What a beast.  Grade A

Patterson - He had 13 points and made 3 three's but his three pointer to tie it at the buzzer was a brick.  Nothing from his game really blew me away.  Grade B

Gibbs - My new nickname for Mr. Gibbs is 1-d as he is one dimensional as a player.  He can't do anything but catch and shoot.  He can't pass, he doesn't rebound.  He gets abused on defense.  You can make an NBA career from knocking down open 3's (Kyle Korver anyone?)  but see the problem with that is you actually need to be able to shoot over people for that to work.  Korver is 6'7"  Gibbs is 6 1 maybe.  That's not gonna work.  The entire nation has figured out how to defend Gibbs and it's only going to get more and more difficult for him.  He had 18 points somehow, but he also got blocked at least thrice.  Grade B-

Moore - He had a dunk off a great pass from Flipp.  That's about it.  Grade C-

Epps - Haaaaa.  Grade n/a

Zanna - He had 4 rebounds in 9 minutes.  Then he fell on his face and had no idea where he was.  He didn't return.  Grade:  Incomplete

Johnson - He couldn't knock down any three's, but his playmaking on a few fast breaks was a pleasant surprise.  He fed both Taylor and Zanna their only two buckets of the game with slick passes.  He had 5 assists in total.  Unfortunately, his charging call late in the game with Pitt down 3 was a killer.  He had the right idea just have to learn to avoid the charge in that situation.  Pitt eventually got another chance (actually several) but Gibbs and Patterson clanked a bunch of threes.
Grade B

So what am I taking away from this game?

1. Pitt can't break a press.  Pitt's plan to break a press is as follows:
Have two guards in the backcourt, slowly exchange bounce passes back and forth until one guard realizes that they have 2-3 seconds left to get the ball across midcourt, making them spring across the half court line and pick up their dribble, which is totally fantastic because then the other team can double you force a backcourt violation or an easy turnover.  Pitt likes to have two forwards lined up right inside the half court line for a pass from the guards to get it over.  This is just setting them up to get trapped on the sideline and halfcourt line.  Zanna with the ball in his hands 40 feet from the basket is a recipe for disaster.  The downside to a press is sometimes you give up easy layups because once a team breaks it it leads to some odd-man breaks.  The way Pitt tries to break it doesn't ever allow this.  I'll probably make a whole post about the press sometime later.
2. Cincy got away with a lot of reach-in fouls that should've been called.  Oh well. You have to adjust.
3. Woodall needs to come back healthy and Steven Adams needs to just stay here and play and not go back to New Zealand.

Pitt plays Depaul on Thursday.  If they lose, I'm handing in my fan card.


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