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Thread: Internal Improvements

  1. #1
    Exhibit C Nola3's Avatar
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    Internal Improvements

    I know it's much more fun to talk about bringing in new players over the offseason, but realistically our roster will most likely closely resemble the one we have now (although Dell Demps, please sweet baby Jesus get us another wing). If that holds true, what are some specific areas you would like to see guys improve on? Personally:

    Anthony Davis-playmaking: AD is already a top 5 player in the league and if he adds nothing to his game this offseason, he'll still be a beast. However, I really want to see him improve his passing. Along with a consistent 3 point shot (which I don't think is all that necessary), becoming a better passer is about the last part of basketball left for him to master. AD had about a 1/1 ast/TO ratio last year and seemed to miss open teammates pretty regularly. If he could make teams pay more for all the attention he gets when he has the ball, he will become even more unstoppable.

    Jrue Holliday-absorbing contact: Honestly, I'd be perfectly happy for Jrue to just carry over his playoff performance to next season. But one specific area that I would love to see him work on is absorbing contact when he drives. We all b**** and moan about him not getting to the line because the refs never want to give him calls. And this (biased) gripe has some merit. But it also stems from Jrue actively avoiding contact on a lot of his drives which makes it harder for him to get calls. If he is able to bulk up a bit over the offseason (although not at the expensive of his athleticism), he should be able to get into the body of big men and start getting to the line more than the 3 times a game he did last season.

    Boogie Cousins-conditioning: I'm just assuming he's coming back for the sake of my sanity. Boogie, when engaged, is a unique animal. He does everything. Except get back on defense. I don't know if it's a lack of care, but since I'm feeling generous, I'm going to pin it on him needing to get in better shape. I know this will be even harder coming back from the achilles, but if he can slim down a bit and be comfortable getting up and down the court on every possession, he will fit seamlessly into the blisteringly paced offense we saw once he went down.

    Niko Mirotic-extending his Gillette sponsorship: Dude, I don't know. Sports superstitions are weird. But this one kinda worked.

    Rajon Rondo-ball control: I'm also assuming he's coming back just so he can continue to spite me for openly protesting his signing. Obviously the improvement we'd all like to see is in his jumpshot, which was actually semi-respectable this season. But the man is 32 and he's not about to become Jesus Shuttlesworth overnight. And it may seem like complaining about 2.3 TO's to 8.2 Asts is an unnecessary nitpick, but every game it seemed like he would throw one or two passes that were just completely unnecessary and had no prayer of getting where he wanted them. Now, maybe this just comes with the territory of him being a generational passer and wanting to try every angle possible. But if he can cut some of these wild turnovers out, it would give our offense even more rhythm.

    Chieck Diallo-serenity: My boy Diallo is all energy and limbs at this point. While it's pretty adorable to watch him run out on the court with the exuberance of a toddler, his inability to stop moving has its detriments. He's consistently out of position on both sides of the ball and sometimes looks lost. Obviously, this is not unusual for young players, but entering his third season I'm ready for his mind to catch up with his body. He's our most promising prospect and if he can learn how to be under control and channel all that energy, he should be ready for a serious role in the rotation.

    E'Twaun Moore-HGH to add another 4 inches: If Dell doesn't get us a wing in FA or with a trade, this is about our only hope for a competent small forward.

    Darius Miller-team defense: After blowing away most of our expectations by absolutely killing it from behind the line, I want to see Miller step it up on the other side of the ball. He's limited athletically, so his on ball defense will always be wanting, but if he studies other marksmen like Reddick and Korver who also come with their limitations but always know where to be and how to leverage situations to their benefit, then Miller will be able to stay on the floor more and provide that much-needed spacing. With another offseason to learn and incorporate Erman's principles on D, hopefully Miller will be able to find his perfect role on that side of the court.

    Solomon Hill-health: I'm buying everyone's Solomon Hill stock. I don't think he was ever close to 100% this season and it clearly showed on the court. But at the end of last season, his strengths were really starting to shine. He'll never be a knockdown shooter, but he was hitting open shots and he was looking great when he could make straight line drives to the basket. His defense was starting to look like what we had hoped for and the versatility he provided was perfect for what we needed. Sadly, his injury and the accompanying setbacks made this season a complete waste. If he is able to get back to what he started to show last season, he will hopefully be able to play valuable minutes at the 3.

    Frank Jackson-functional lower body: Yea..... that'd be cool.

  2. #2
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! Pelicanidae's Avatar
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    Poor E'twaun, but I don't think that's how HGH works. That said, I agree, if he had the exact same skillset he has now but was 6'7, he'd be such a valuable piece it would be ridiculous. Even now he still has a lot of value, but being Kawhi's height would take him to the next level.

    I agree on Hill. He's still only 27, so it's not like he's on the verge of breaking down from age. There were plays and moments in the playoffs where he looked his something resembling his old self (hitting 3 threes in the first half against Golden State, for example, or that sequence where he got two steals in about 3 minutes). Nobody expects him to morph into an all star, but the full season he got with us showed him shooting threes at 35%. If he could turn that into 38% and regain his lateral quickness on defense, then that would be all I ask, and it would also give us a respectable small forward.

    I'm not going to address Rondo. Yeah, he has some silly turnovers occasionally, but even you pointed it out: his assist to turnover ratio is awesome, and for passers of that magnitude they always have some duds. Watch Lebron James play, and watch him get 10 assists with mindblowing accuracy and precision in spaces that didn't even look to exist, and then watch his next game and see him chuck it out of bounds three times in a row. It happens.

    If Boogie comes back and gives us 20/9/4, I'll consider his comeback season a victory. Coming back off that injury is a big deal, and before he went down he was giving 25/13/5, but I expect a regression: especially because he said that he felt like he was holding AD back, after AD went on that insane tear during the 10 game win streak. I could see him coming back, focused on playing that second man role a little more than he did last season, but with even more grind down low to accommodate his likely loss of quickness. He's fantastic and I believe in him.

    Jrue will not get more free throws. I agree that he could certainly look for them more actively, but in the playoffs we started to see that, and he'd get mauled on every drive and get no-calls 90% of the time. He's just not going to ever get the free throws he deserves. That said, I agree with you; if he can carry some of that playoffs aggression going forward, I'd be happy.

    "Kahwi Leonard will be a Pelican. Please make me a signature." - Silverfoxx

  3. #3
    The Franchise Contributor luigi modelo's Avatar
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    Boogie was in the best shape of his life this season. He looks like he labors more than he actually does, so I'm not worried about his conditioning.

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