Our record is 2 and 1 right now, but don't think that I'm writing this as a "sky is falling" piece because of our loss to the Pacers today. I've noticed some areas of (slight) concern in our 2 wins that I feel needs work on. We still have 79 games to go and we will still end up being a top 2 team in the East, but here are some things I think we need tightening up.
-Rajon needs to finish his dribble penetrations in the lane. Either he passes out layups he should attempt, or he doesn't finish at the rim. I think the root of his problem is he's thinking too much in midair--he's being indecisive whether to pass it out or take it for himself. Really, the only thing he should be thinking is "score". When he's that quick and that close to the basket, he's got to put it up. If he misses, KG or Perk will most times follow up with a dunk, so he should always go for it when he has daylight.
-Tony Allen needs to stop being cute, and instead execute. Rather than lower his shoulders and make a beeline to the basket, Tony seems to rely on his slippery athleticism to squeeze and squirm through traffic. He's got enough strength to take contact and the body control to get off a good shot, so he should look to be more physical on his dribble penetrations. From my perspective, another thing Tony needs to adjust is his footwork. When driving to the rim, he takes off a step too soon. Another power dribble and Tony would be attacking the basket with more force. But as it is he takes off a bit too soon, and he ends up putting up soft looking shots because he loses steam and momentum. Good thing is Tony naturally draws fouls, so even though he's not finishing all his shots, he still gets to the line and gets his points. But what I'm seeing is if Tony takes off after another dribble, he'll be finishing his penetrations more.
-Most times, our pick and rolls don't do anything but take the ball handler further away from the action. Fortunately for us, we have excellent isolation scorers. But if we want role players like Eddie House and Gabe Pruitt getting open looks beyond the arc, and guys like Perk and Big Baby getting open rolls to the basket, we got to make better use of our pick and rolls. Maybe we need to design some plays that will actually take us "towards" the basket?
-Get Leon the ball more in the post. Nuff said.
That's pretty much the only things that have caught my attention. I'll put up an article later about the things we are doing right.