After observing the Stamps vs. Iowa and LA over the weekend - and shuttling them off to the airport for their six game road trip, I thought I would pen a quick "state of the state" as they buckle down for the final playoff drive.
Based upon what I saw, they need a lot of things to turn around and stay turned around to make a run. This team laid a complete egg against Iowa, although that happens more often than not this season against the Energy (who remind me of previous year versions of the Stamps). The LA game was must win - and they got it done although it was brutal to watch. The Stamps are going to need to take all those types of games if they are to get a decent seed or even make the playoffs at all.
- No more call ups. While I hate to see the lads "so close but yet so far" to their dream (particularly when two of their team mates made it for the year) the lack of continuity has just killed this team this year. They need guys to be able to play together for an extended period of time instead of like they all just got off the bus. This means you Coby Karl.
- Recommit to defense. No sure why it is but with all the chaos it seems like the first thing to go is the defense. Open looks were once again plentiful for the opposition all weekend, fortunately only Iowa made them pay.
- Try to establish something inside. The post guys get their shots (Allred and Dabbert) but they get them outside. And when the team is not shooting well outside, having the post players heave it up doesn't seem to help matters any.
- Close out the close ones. Easier said than done, particularly on the road. But its crunch time when leaders lead - someone (Barrett? Taylor?) has to step up and give them what they need when they need it. The LA game was a huge start in that direction.
- Bench play needs to pick it up. Can't run that style of offense and have the second squad literally abort the mission, brick by brick. It has to be 10 guys strong every night.
I remember fondly the opening weekend when I literally saw the best minor league basketball team I had ever seen put together - enough where I pondered if the Stamps would lose a game all year. Fast forward to today and its a much different situation. None the less, I believe in Coach Mac and his system - but systems don't win, players that execute do. Time to put the pedal down and run off some wins.