Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Link to Boxscore
Barnes ( B- ) -- sometimes the Barnes hate is fair, sometimes not. Tonight was more of a not. Things to hate: TJ Warren ended up with 21 points, Matt is not a great shooter and had a not a great shooter shooting night. Things to like: Matt scrapped on the glass to give Cuz some support, and he made some big boards and defensive plays down the stretch. Even the challenge on the Booker game winner was good, just not successful.
Cousins ( B ) -- grade wavered up and it wavered down. Basically the Suns came out doing the big/big double on him every play, Cuz responded passively but played PG, since we don't have one in the starting lineup. Result = easy triple double. And in the 3rd really began to crank up the defense, then bomb threes. But also loose TOs, got in foul trouble, and last few minutes alternated great plays and mistakes.
Koufos ( C+ ) -- figuring out a grade here is tough, because Kosta was broadly effective. Started off the game rough, like everyone, blowing multiple open-because-of-Cuz finishes which you cannot do. But then he settled in, and notched 9pts 6rebs in only 16min. The problem was, the Suns blatantly did not care, sagged off him 10 feet, and doubled Cuz before they would even gurd Kosta. So not playable.
McLemore ( B ) -- and this becomes a Ben only grade. So here is what we had: Ben started in complete scrub fashion. Halfway through the 1st he was 0-4 on gimmes and I was surprised we did not cut him mid-game. But then he got a breakaway and was off to the races, and just that fast led us in first half scoring with 16. Then the 2nd half happened and the Suns guards took turns using his noggin to measure their shots while he did nothing. But this is Ben and must be close to a season high.
Collison ( B- ) -- our "PG" managed to notch 1/3 as many assists as Ben...and 1/12th as many as our center. Spent much of the first 2 1/2 quarters fouling people. But began to get his offense going in the 2nd half and was an important scorer for us down the stretch. In the final two minutes did the normal DC. Missed the easy shot that would have maybe won the game for us, but came back to hit the little one to tie it and set us up for the loss.
Tolliver ( D- ) -- has begun to really pee me off with his incompetence. Missed shot after shot after shot. During his final minute his last act was even to blow a layup + assist from Lawson, get the reb to pad his totals, and hit the follow to reach 2-9 after 1-8. Barnes had to take care of the rebounding again
Lawson ( B ) -- impressive offensive game repeatedly squirting to the hoop, but also a number of near turnovers as I think teams are beginning to scout those little drop off passes to Willie cutting to the hoop. And got lit up on defense, by Knight in the first half and anybody taller (i.e. everybody) in the second half.
Richardson ( D ) -- looked half a rook last time out for the first time, and now responded to the opportunity of no Temple by going full rook, and losing his second half minutes. Shot was just off to the side every time, which isn't great (shooters are supposed to miss long and short). Had a couple of nice defensive possessions and competed on that end. Nothing else.
Cauley Stein ( B- ) -- not as much offense as the Suns has scouted the Lawson to Willie connection, and repeatedly broke that up. Finally got one late (the only hit was a tough long shot to bail out Cuz). but grabbed one of the most authoritative boards we've seen form him, and combined with Barnes for some late defensive work. Contributed again.