Thoughts on Memphis-UCLA

Posted by nvr1983 on April 5th, 2008

We’ll provide you with a more in-depth analysis later, but we figured we would offer some of our early thoughts.

1) Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts totally dominated this game. UCLA didn’t have an answer for either one of them. It looked like Rose wasn’t attacking as much when UCLA put Russell Westbrook on him, but for some reason Ben Howland decided to keep Darren Collison on Rose for most of the game until Collison fouled out with 2:53 left. As much as we hate to say it, Billy Packer was right when he kept on saying that Westbrook should guard Rose and Josh Shipp should guard CDR, who probably would have abused Shipp, but at least one of Memphis’s studs would have been contained a little better. Rose is definitely ready to go to the NBA and CDR should be a nice addition to a team if a coach can find a way to incorporate his unique game into the offense. Both guys also did a great job knocking down FTs at the end making the last minute a mere formality rather than a tension-filled FT contest that many people were expecting if Memphis was in a close game. CDR also provided the game’s defining play with his baseline dunk on Kevin Love. It reminded us of Kobe’s “Who’s the MVP?!?” dunk on Nash a couple years ago.

CDR asserting his dominance

Look familiar?

2) Memphis got to play at the pace they wanted. It was evident early on that the game was going to be fast-paced. UCLA was able to hang close for the first half, but eventually the pace wore them down. This was particularly evident with Kevin Love who barely touched the ball in the 2nd half and looked sluggish moving up and down the court. In the end, Memphis’s ability to run and its deep-bench full of guys who can all run (except Pierre Niles) proved to be the deciding factor as they opened up a big gap late in the 2nd half and cruised from there.

3) Despite early foul trouble, Joey Dorsey and Shawn Taggert did a great job battling Kevin Love all game. Love won the battle in the first half, but the rotation of big bodies and the fast pace of the game wore out Love. We hope that Love stays in school at least one more year because he still needs some more work before he goes to the NBA. Tonight should have shown him as much. While the Memphis inside guys aren’t NBA-quality players, they have NBA-level athleticism and strength. Love has the requisite strength, but he isn’t athletic enough to go to the league right now. He will never be a Dwight Howard, but some more running over the summer will help cover up some of his athletic deficiencies. He has been able to get away with it all year because they pace has been slow and he has been the strongest guy on the inside, but today was a preview of what the NBA will hold and hopefully Love will consider that before declaring for the draft.

nvr1983 (1307 Posts)


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3 Responses to “Thoughts on Memphis-UCLA”

  1. SOBBD says:

    Thought this was a great writeup, but I’m not sure about you crediting Memphis’ deep bench for UCLA being worn down. Memphis does have a deep bench–nine guys averaged nine or more minutes this season–but only six saw more than six minutes in yesterday’s game, and the other three combined for 0 points and 1 rebound. CDR, Rose, and Anderson set a blistering pace, and they were the ones who sustained it.

  2. nvr1983 says:

    Thanks for the compliment SOBBD. I actually posted this soon afer the game was over so I didn’t have time to look over the box scores that much. I agree that the bench didn’t contribute much in the box score, but it seemed like they did a good job spelling Rose at times. He seemed to get a several short breaks while the other uber-frosh Love played for very long stretches. Of course, it may have just been they way they looked in the 2nd half (Rose was spry whilve Love looked dead at times).

  3. chip.otob says:

    ok, but seriously, the best part of that dunk is after Love gets deez-nuts in his face, is on the ground, and Dorsey points, laughs, and says “HA HA” in a Nelson-from-the-Simpsons voice.

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