FanPost

A Minor Observation

A minor observation from what I saw of the Houston - Minnesota game as I was at work... Managed to watch the second half, so you'll have to excuse me if my observation is a bit skewed. Somebody will have to clarify the whole game if this sounds completely unrealistic...

Chris Johnson sure is working hard for his 10-day from what it seems; man's a BEAST. His defense near the rim was decent; I liked his help defense when he and Lou sent Parsons dribbling down near the corner and throw a pass straight into AK's hands... and then later when there he got somewhat posterized by Smith, but his hands were up and he definitely made an effort.

That offensive put-back at the beginning of the 4th was very nice; talk about some crazy jump. The thing that stands out to me is that his chemistry with the team seemed better than I would think of somebody that was just signed, and worked really well in those simple PnR sets that had him roll to the basket with the runner. His 3rd quarter usage was pretty insane, and he seems more useable than Lou at this point. It just looks like to me he's hustlin' all over the place. Watching him just jump over the entire Houston front-court to tip a rebound back to Rubio was simply amazing... and that rebound set with about 4 minutes left? My god...

Meanwhile Gelabale seems to be everything that 'Blond Armor' seemed to have pointed out of all the things that he brings. He seems very average at best... Average shooter and a decent help defender, but gives too much to a guy on a one-on-one situation... there was at the beginning of the 4th he seemed to have more confidence to bring the ball to the rim but didn't have an edge to finish. There was also a defensive set where he completely whiffed and Lin breezed passed him simply because he was a bit too far from him (a la Rindour, I suppose). He also had the Parsons 3 that he hesitated to get around Smith on... that was pretty brutal. He made up for it with a long two shot afterwards.

The only thing that looks to me that works amazingly well was Rubio running the point in the 4th, both Gelabale and Johnson were definitely more agressive when Rubio was in; Johnson getting the ball with 7:25 left and going in for the layup was a result of that. Gelabale also seemed to be way more confident after Rubio checked-in as he was finishing like crazy.

I know it's only been one game, but you have to admit this is a good first impression from both of these guys. Personally I like Johnson's hustle on every play and I hope that he can keep it up, because damn man... he rolls with Rubio pretty well; I can just Johnson and AK being down there trying to tip-in shots.

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