This is designed for those who are nerds like me and re-watch Duke games, wanting to understand plays and players at more than a surface level. (More than just good/bad) This is why I put the time of the game that each of my comments occur. I try to make the time of when the play starts.
-Quinn consistently making plays
-Amile offensive rebounding
-Winslow everything except shooting (especially his embrace of physicality and rebounding inside. The guy loves it! I haven’t seen any negatives some of media members have worried about when Duke puts him at the 4)
-Okafor’s impact on everything. This is something most don’t understand that makes me crazy.
-Defense closing out on 3’s insanely well (opponents shot 3’s at 30.7% last year. This year so far it’s 16.7%)
-The major difference in 3 pt defense is Matt Jones and Winslow being long athletes who can make up ground quickly, and also having Jah waiting for anyone who gets past Duke’s perimeter guys.
-Matt Ryan (QB for the Falcons) no longer deserves the “Matty Ice” nickname. It now belongs to Matt Jones.
-Much, much better defensive communication between the bigs and the perimeter guys. Lack of hedging helped.
Best Lineup for Duke:
SF: Winslow with Amile at PF/Matt Jones with Winslow at PF
PF: Amile with Winslow at SF/Winslow with Matt Jones at SF
-Free throws (especially Winslow, considering he’ll be at the line plenty this season)
-Tyus (with Cook dominating the ball, he never got into a rhythm)
-Plum3 (Nastic was just too good for him. Period.)
-Winslow outside shooting. Was 2 for 8 from the free throw line or farther out. (He shoots them to open up his slashing, but we’ll have to deal with his streaky outside shooting all year)
-Okafor fading from physicality on offense.
-Amile’s lack of a face up jumper will hurt if teams zone Duke a lot.
Dawkins pre-game said Reid Travis would be on Okafor, but Okafor was rarely singled. Stanford constantly sandwiched him with 2 defenders.
19:22-Tyus ignores Jah on the first play when Jah has great post position. Need to give him the rock early to set the tone.
19:00 Winslow’s man beats him like a drum off the dribble, but Jah there to strip the ball at the rim. Great backup, something that Duke lacked (obviously last year.)
18:35 Nastic has ZERO respect for Amile’s faceup at the free throw line, allowing him to drop down low and basically keep Okafor doubled without worrying about Amile.
18:02 After setting/being forced by the shot clock into taking long jumpers his first 2 shots, Winslow slashes for the bucket.
17:35 Okafor has impacted every Stanford possession at the rim. Stats won’t show it.
17:15 Okafor doubled, passes to wide open Amile for the layup.
17:05 Tyus beat like a drum, Okafor comes out to help, but he can’t do EVERYTHING!
16:45 Amile shoots basically a standing jumper from just behind the free throw line when no one comes out within 10 feet of him, instead packed down on Okafor. Shockingly, it doesn’t go well.
16:25 Cook dribbles down, stops & pops for 3. Splash. Showing me he’s more than a spot up 3 pt shooter.
16:10 Amile forced to come out on Cook’s man when Cook is picked off. Amile’s man, Travis, gets rebound because Winslow doesn’t get in soon enough for rebounding help.
15:45 Quinn drive and dish to Amile. Didn’t see that from Quinn last year, when he pretty much only drove to score.
15:25 Winslow shoots and misses a 3. He’s 0 for 3 from outside, 1 for 1 when slashing.
15:12 Nastic blocks Okafor down low on the reverse because Nastic doesn’t care about Amile. Okafor still goes up trying to lay the ball off the backboard. DUNK IT!
14:55 Quinn doesn’t fight through a screen, allow’s Rosco Alen a wide open 3.
14:40 Winslow loses his man in transition, Okafor has to help. Wide open bunny for Okafor’s man.
14:25 Stanford daring Winslow to shoot the 3. Not getting out to him at all, plus he’s behind a good Amile pick. Justise drains it from the top of the arc. Now Stanford will have to respect him more, opening up his drives. He never loses confidence.
13:50 Quinn almost does his “Seinfeld” Elaine chest push after Jah’s big breakaway dunk, yet controls himself, haha.
13:47 Plum3 comes it at 13:47, and commits his first foul at 13:37. Impressive. Doesn’t waste any time.
13:35 Plum3’s man drives it in from the 3 pt line and scores on him all the way to the rim. Needs to stop his man before he loses momentum.
13:20 Winslow misses from just behind the 3 pt line. He’s 2 for 5, 1 for 4 from the outside.
Winslow at 6’6, 225 looks perfectly comfortable matching up with Reid Travis at 6’8, 240.
12:40 Matt Jones curls around a Plum3 screen, gets the ball and takes it in strong for a tough mid-range banker. He’s so much more confident this season to even try that shot.
11:50 Sheed with his 2nd jump-pass of the possession (just like you’re taught not to do) and the 2nd is perfectly timed to Matt Jones for 3.
11:43 Ol’ Plummers getting owned by Nastic. Not pretty. It makes it clear how good Nastic is, and even more clear how strong Okafor is to make him look weak.
11:05. Great anticipation from Amile to get the offensive rebound. Figuring out the angle percentages in his head. Looks like he lucked out to get into the correct position, but not luck at all.
10:40 Amile with a vet move. Slight pushoff to get leverage for his 2nd offensive rebound on the same possession. Kicks out to Sheed for the open 3. Splash.
10:02 Good cut to the rim by Amile, receiving a Matt Jones pass on the money to draw the foul.
9:57 Quinn presses full court. His man gets the angle, about to blow past, but Matt Jones helps out to force Stanford back into halfcourt. It’s the little things this year with Duke’s defense.
9:36 Stanford’s Brown looks like he has a wide open 3, but Matt Jones and Amile come flying out at him to make up ground. Matt & Amile watch, though, and long rebound by shooter leads to another 3, though, which is made.
9:08 Sheed with his third jump pass of the game. Matt Jones takes along the baseline in for the bucket at the hoop. Who is this guy? Matty Ice!
8:12 Quinn with a killer cross, followed by a wrap around pass to Amile at the rim who ruins my life and Quinn’s highlight reel by blowing it short. Amile probably should have jumped, but leaving the ground isn’t exactly his “thing.”
7:35 Stanford plays a zone. 5 seconds later…Quinn 3 pt SPLASH! Commentators are correct in that he’s perfect zone buster this year.
7:10 Jah traps Tyus’s man at the bottom of the 3 pt line, right near the out of bounds. Proceeds to take the guy’s desperation pass like candy. Very mean, Jah.
6:35 Perfect pass to Okafor’s inside leading to rim. Okafor fades out of bounds and ball spins out. Jah avoiding contact.
6:20 Okafor stays strong on the inside on defense. Good leverage. Then helps on a trap leading to Tyus steal.
5:55 Most people know that in a zone, it’s tougher for the defensive team to find their man to box out. Justise Winslow is not a man you want to go against when in a zone. Finds the rebound, snatches, and 1. Justise now 2 of 2 shooting inside the 3 pt line.
5:53 FIRE IN WINSLOW’S EYES!!
5:50-5:35 Winslow cheating/helping down low the entire possession. Guys always talk about being “in the zone” on offense. Winslow’s showing me it can happen on defense as well.
5:35 Reid Travis jumps over Amile to grab rebound and is called for the foul because Amile never leaves the ground, that possession or ever. #Boom
5:23 Tyus sees the opening against the zone, but his mind is ahead of his body and travels. Youth.
5:05 Amile’s arms are the size of a giraffe’s neck.
5:00 Justise throws the ball out of bounds on a “shot.” The ball stays with Duke, because sure.
4:35 Cook drives to pass. Crazy to say, but he needed to be more selfish on that play.
4:27 Last year’s Quinn Cook would have hung his head and sulked. This year’s Quinn Cook picks the pocked of his man on the next possession after turning it over. So impressed.
4:17 Winslow with the highlight block out of bounds after the whistle. I predict he’ll have an entire highlight reel of crazy plays made after the whistle this year.
4:03-3:52 Winslow gets 2 offensive rebounds, passing the 2nd out to Cook. Great fight by Justise for the ball.
3:24 Nastic scores against Plumlee, because that’s what he does. I think he has 6 of his 8 points agains Plumlee.
2:58 Amile with a tip I actually like, out to Plumlee for the offensive rebound.
2:42 Okafor with a good move. Turn around postup, but short again. Pushing the shot instead of shooting. Gotta snap the wrists.
2:05 Surprised teams keep doubling Okafor so far out when he hasn’t proven himself consistent with a jumper. I wonder if this will change over time, because opposing teams, by doing this, are leaving Duke players WIDE open for him to pass to, like Winslow on that possession.
1:55 Great full court trap by Winslow & Sheed. Boooooo on the call!
1:36 Justise prevents an inside bucket, then causes a change of possession by fighting on the ground for the jump ball.
1:28 Winslow misses a 3. Now 2-2 inside foul line, 1-5 outside it. Not to mention the countless fouls he drew inside.
.39 Great, great vision by Tyus to hit a cutting Winslow. Justise missing a ton at the line.
.03 Nastic scores right before the half, now with 8 of his 10 points with Jah out of the game.
Halftime Duke 40 Stanford 29
-Hmm…let’s count how many hedges I saw in the 1st half? NONE!!!! I’ll buy you a beer for that, Coach K.
19:45 For a player as good as he is, Nastic is living out his personal nightmare against Okafor.
18:37 Amile hits a banker off the glass from just inside the free throw line. He basically won the lottery having his shot go in.
18:15 Nastic can’t do anything against Jah
17:30 After hitting a 3 the previous possession, Winslow’s man comes out on him, then Winslow slashes and dishes to Quinn for the jumper.
16:45 Jah being passive. Barely looked at the defense before kicking out. Too unselfish.
15:56 Nastic has Jah in his head. Blows a layup, then blocked. Duke takes it down in transition led by Tyus, and as they’ve seemed to do a large % of time so far, convert.
15:15 Quinn’s done a great job, but he’s dominating the ball, which takes away from Tyus getting into a rhythm.
15:10 Jah getting position too far out. Needs to get closer to rim.
14:30 Amile gets up high for the offensive rebound! Winslow then has his 2nd 2-offensive rebound possession in the game. Unfortunately, another possession where Jah passed off when he could have at least taken it hard to draw the foul.
13:35 Sheed with his 4th jump pass of the game. Something’s gonna go wrong if he keeps this up. Jah fading from contact again after a spin move leading him towards the hoop
12:55 Amile wide open for a short jumper. Him not taking it screwed up the offensive set, leading to a Sheed turnover.
12:47 Winslow WINSLOWING
12:28 Winslow attacks, drawing the foul by embracing the physicality and contact. Take notice, Jah. Winslow’s free throw problems could be costly in games this season.
11:35 Sheed can’t buy a bucket. Unlucky. Still playing within himself, accepting his role, working within the system. I like his body language.
11:20 Quinn getting a bit too big for his britches. Gotta stay within himself. Bad shot leads to a transition bucket for Stanford.
10:10 Stanford doesn’t even look to Reid Travis when Winslow’s on him.
9:45 Okafor with a nice offensive rebound. His first thought, though is to pass back out. Having seen the game already and knowing he all of a sudden starting going, as Shane Ryan called it, into “Rage Mode” I’m interested if someone laid into him during this Stanford timeout.
9:35-9:00 Yep! Okafor immediately looks more aggressive and moves into his shot, followed by a strong possession on defense, followed by a great seal and jam on Reid Travis on next offensive possession. (It also helped that Nastic was out of the game on those possessions)
8:35 Duke pretends like they’re running a play, but nothing really happens. #MotionOffense
8:12 With Nastic guarding him again, Okafor fades from contact as he releases the shot. Short again. I don’t care if he misses, I just don’t like seeing him miss short.
7:45 Matty Ice with the HUGE 3 to break Stanford’s momentum.
6:35 Matt Ice with the steal, but steps out. Unfortunate, but he’s proving his worth, even leading the transition next possession for Duke. His confidence has to be at an all-time high.
5:50 Winslow with another post-whistle highlight.
5:25 Maybe it’s the Stanford factor, but Nastic reminds me of Brook Lopez. Very skilled big men. Hope Nastic doesn’t have Lopez’s luck with injuries.
5:10 Nastic shady move on defense. Don’t like it at all. I understand it, though.
5:00 Watching Okafor, it is incredibly obvious that he is only about 60% of what he’ll eventually be. Unlimited potential.
4:30 Tyus never at any point got into a rhythm in the game.
4:20 Reid Travis will remember Jah. Guarantee that.
4:06 Sheed with the nice harassing press, then Winslow extends out in half court. Just another example of Duke this year compared to last year being night and day.
3:43-3:3:14 BAD QUINN! The ball never left his hands for the entire shot clock. That is last year’s Quinn.
2:30 BAD MATT! Trying to do too much isolation. Not his game.
Players aren’t playing to their strengths. This is why Tyus needs to control the ball at the end of the game. I’ve said it many times. His presence is more important than any stat he has.
2:03 Timeout. For everyone talking about Grayson sulking or having bad body language, he looks fine.
2:02 Stanford somehow managed to lose Sheet all alone leaking out on the in-bounds. I’ll take it.
1:45-1:23 This Cartwright kid’s gonna make Quinn go crazy.
**Justise Winslow Facts from Halftime**
-Winslow’s gonna come out next game wearing a Rambo bandana, carrying a hunting knife, and screaming “FIRST BLOOD!”
-There’s gonna be a new TV series called “Scared Straight: Alone in a Dark Alley with Justise Winslow.”
-Justise Winslow gets all the turkey at Thanksgiving. Why? Because he says so.
-Justise Winslow takes showers in a fire
-Justise Winslow took the .0 from Tosh just because. He is now Justise Winslow.0
-Justise Winslow eats rocks for breakfast. For lunch, he eats anyone that doubts Justise Winslow
-Justise Winslow refers to himself in the seventh person perspective
-Justise Winslow fed everyone in the Hunger Games. From now on, it’s just “The Games.”
-Plymouth Rock landed on Justise Winslow
-For fun, Justise Winslow makes Chuck Norris watch romantic comedies starring Katherine Heigl
-Charlie Sheen only has tiger’s blood because he borrowed some from Justise Winslow.