These types of games are becoming all to familiar in the past 10 or so games, and you can certainly add another word that should be coupled with disappointing, and that is frustrated, because I must admit that I am both of those emotions right now. I have consistently maintained that this is a good team that will snap out of it and get back to the play that saw them as one of the elite teams in this league 20 games into the season. In my experience, teams just don't do complete 180s like this. The wheels just don't fall off. However, I have to look honestly at what this team is doing.
In a mere 10 games, the team has squandered its hard earned good early record. They have failed to execute on both defense or offense. They are getting rebounded on a nightly basis. They are maddeningly inconsistent during games and have not put together a full 48 minute effort in more games that I can count. For example, last night, the team played defense, ran their plays, and thoroughly handled Utah in the first half. In the second half, they completely got away from playing any defense, they started jacking up contested jumpers, and they showed little energy when it came to running the court on either offense or defense. Indeed, these failures are all a recipe for defeat, and we have seen it way too often in the past 10-12 games.
I like to try to be honest on this blog, and I think I have done a pretty good job of that with the frank assessment you see above, but I also try to be as positive as possible here, and I think there are some reasons to still believe. It may be hard to believe, but we are still in the thick of the playoff race. Losses like last night do not help that cause, but we are still there. If we can get back on the right track and pull out another 12 games in the next 20 like we did earlier this year, we should be right there for a playoff spot. It can certainly be done, but everyone on this team has to get back to basics and start to build up their confidence by playing good, fundamental basketball on both sides of the court. If they do that, and rely on each other as a team rather than 10 individual guys trying to right the ship by themselves, I think we can go on another great end of season run.
As for our fans, I completely understand any frustrations you may have. You are all so wonderful and supportive -- especially the ones who care enough to read this lousy blog -- and you deserve a winner. I can promise you all that I am going to try to do everything I can do to deliver just that for you this season.