Yup, said it since last season ended, and I've been parroting it since, our playoff hopes depend on defense and out playoff problem has consistently been defense. I know we had little lags on offense that we are more likely to focus on and could have won last night on offense, but man, I just don't buy relying so much on offense to win.
JQuick, clipper_joe is 100% correct, where in the world do you see a better roster or better bench last season, come on. We aren't defending, Blake is not rebounding well, Collison is looking useless. Last seasons bench was Crawford, Bledsoe, cracked out Odom in the playoffs, Barnes and a mix of Turiaf/Hollins. People were arguing Collison = Bledsoe as a bench player last season, and really he played just as well, so no back tracking on that. Crawford is himself. Davis is better than cracked out Odom, he can at least hit a shot on offense / do anything on offense, and more importantly, DJ is playing more. Barnes is himself and just starting now, no difference there, and Dudley/Granger are basically being compared to Caron who also did nothing of use.
Green was off the bench when Billips started. Hollins is irrelevant.
To Vinny's credit, one thing that was nice that he did last season was that in crunch time, Jamal was not much of a creator. He used Jamal as a spot up option in crunch time, and Jamal was one of the league's best and most efficiency crunch time scorers playing off CP creating. Just putting that in there for whatever it is worth
...but guess what, we're three games in, the question is what changes do you make from here? Not like we got blown out last night, and in game 2 we had a non existent. Blake and still bad play from Jamal.
With all my harping about defense, and yes, I still value defense more than most people seem to do, Jamal is not really helping. Jamal is 8/31 FG and 2/12 3PT in the last two games. 13.5 PPG, 25.8% FG, 16.7% 3PT. The reality is that we just can't have him taking 18 FGA in just 25 minutes and only making 6, even though he scored 20 last night because of his FT's, that's still not a good success rate, 20 pts on 18 FGA.
He either needs to pick it up or we need to figure something out because he isn't doing much defensively either.