Monday, January 19, 2009

Duke 76, Georgetown 67

Saturday's game was a great barometer game for Duke. They took the best shot from a legitimate top 10-15 opponent, all game long, and had an answer at every turn. The Devils executed well on offense all night, scoring 76 points in just 65 possessions. They hit their shots - 54% on 2s, 38% on 3s, and 12 of 13 free throws - they avoided turnovers, and they got to the offensive glass when they needed to - 42% of offensive rebounds in the second half.

Once again, Gerald Henderson led the way on offense. Over the last several games, he's been playing on another level - it's something we've seen glimpses of in the past, but never on this much of a sustained level. He had more than 30% of Duke's points when he was on the court, and put up a stellar offensive rating with high usage. Singler had a bit of a rough offensive game, but was stellar on defense and especially on the glass. He pulled down half of Duke's rebounds on the afternoon, excelling at both the offensive and defensive end. His temper got the better of him when Omar Wattad (whose "style" of play was designed to bait players all night, and infuriated me) goaded him into the intentional foul, but aside from that, he played a solid game.

And then there's Paulus. He finally had a game where he looked like the Paulus of last season. He hit from outside (including a dagger from 25' at the top of the key to put the Devils up 12) and played very heady defense. The strip of Dejuan Summers under the basket, the pressure defense on the perimeter - he earned his 15 second half minutes, and produced extremely well. Paulus led the team in +/- for the game at +13, largely from being on court for the game-changing 11-0 run at the end of the first half. If he can turn in this kind of performance for the remainder of the season, it will be a huge asset for the Devils.

Speaking of +/-, here's the HD Box from Saturday's game:

Tomorrow I'll have a "Meet NC State" post, plus the ACC tempo-free stats up for all the ACC teams in conference-only play (being about 20-25% of the way through the season, there's enough to be plausibly meaningful).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

it would look from the box like the bench played well, too, albeit in limited action!

(and i agree 100% on wattad's "style" - i'm glad i wasn't the only one that noticed what a punk he was)