We’re getting ready to start the second half of the season here soon, and I’m hoping for better things as we make a run at the postseason.
It’s been an inconsistent first half for us as a team. We win a few, then lose a few we should win (Getty Images).
It’s been a tough start for us. We’ve had an up and down season, very inconsistent. We win the really big games and then we lose games we’re supposed to win. We’ve had several games already where we were a couple plays from winning. That could’ve changed our record drastically. But we feel like we’re only a few games away and there is still a lot of season left. Right now we’re in the tenth spot, but there’s still a lot that can be done, knowing that we haven’t played our best basketball yet.
As a team we’re still searching for our personality and identity. That’s something we’ve been struggling with. We really don’t know what we do best. We pride ourselves on being a good defensive team and at times we look like a great defensive team for like two quarters. But then the next two quarters we don’t play good defense. Once we develop that consistency, I think we’ll be ok. We want to be known as a team that plays hard, plays good defense and is unselfish.
We lost my man Bogut again early in this season. He’s our defensive anchor and he’s also one of my best friends on the team. We’ve been here together for almost four years now, longer than anybody else. He kind of took me under his wing since I was rookie. It’s been tough not having him out there. He’s a tremendous player, probably one of the best centers in the league when he’s healthy. It’s unfortunate for him not to be in there with us, but he stays around the team supporting us.
Our team defense is different without Bogut, but we have to make it work without him (Getty Images).
We have to grind through it without him. Everybody has to step up to fill those shoes. No one guy can do it. That’s what it takes when you lose one of your best defenders and your best big. We’ve been able to win games without him and I think we can still have a great season. It just takes a lot more effort now. You know you don’t have the big guy behind you to block shots. It’s kind of like losing that security blanket. You have to do a lot more one-on-one with your man as a defender.
Brandon Jennings has been one of the guys who has really stepped up for us and had a strong season, pretty much an All-Star season. His ability to make shots and get his own shot is special. He’s improved every year and he’s become a very good player. He’s had an All-Star season individually, but I think a lot of times getting picked to go comes down to what your team is doing. We have to pick it up as a team and hopefully that helps him in the future.
SAVORING THE SEASON
The physical aspect of this season has been difficult, but at the same time it has been fun.
You’re playing a lot of games and that’s what we love to do. One thing that’s not good is we’re losing practice time. When something is not working, you want to go back to practice and make sure you can get it right. But I also think sometimes the best practice is in games. It takes you right back to that mentality that you always hear from the great players, to forget the last game right after it is over. You have to keep on moving forward and I think that’s good.
At some points during the first half, I felt almost like I was living out of a suitcase. We played 33 games in less than two months. That’s a lot more than normal. We were always on the go, home for a day or two and then back out on the road. Sometimes it’s not a long trip, but somehow, someway you’re travelling two or three times a week. The miles rack up. So I used the All-Star break to rest. I just wanted to find someplace nice and warm to rest and regroup.
The first half was really tough for me personally because of the way things went at the end of the offseason. I worked a lot on my game personally during the summer and fall, but I didn’t get the chance to play like I wanted to because of the lockout and my contract issues. I had to wait for everything to get worked out before I could join the team after the lockout was over.
Once the season got started, I’ve been playing different positions and my minutes have fluctuated quite a bit. I just have to be ready whenever my number is called. That’s the way this season is. You just have to try and be ready. It’s not always easy, but it’s just a reality of the season. You have to be prepared for your team and try to go out there and produce. It’s a process for me. I just have to make sure I keep at it and continue to work on my game, grow within it.
On the whole as a team we need to be more consistent in everything, defensively and offensively, in the second half. We have to play a full 48 minutes of the game. If we do that, then obviously we give ourselves a better chance to be a successful team. If we don’t, we’re going to keep having these periods where we win a couple games and lose a couple. It won’t get better until we make it better.
I’m looking forward to what’s ahead for myself and the team and I hope all the fans stay with us and enjoy it. It’s been a tough season, up and down a lot, but I’m finding my way. We’re going to grind it out and make it work.