Well, as it became more and more apparent he still had the equivalent of an entire railroad's worth of rust to shake off (Not blaming him. Three and a half months is a long time), I became concerned that our offensive flow just simply became...lost. Kash and Barnett have led this team all year, with Jontay, Tilmon, and KP filing in the holes. But in order for the seniors to truly lead, they need to get their shots in order to develop a rhythm. We've all seen Barnett go through his mysterious droughts, but give him enough chances and I feel confident that eventually a spark will catch flame. Same thing with Robertson, both can be dangerous weapons when given the chance, but I don't feel as if either got ample opportunities.
In my opinion, MPJ's most valuable impact was his length on defense and rebounding. His shot was shaky, and his selection at times questionable (the turnaround fadeaway from the baseline, the air-balled three, and the contested three from the top of the key at the end of the game.) We don't need MPJ to carry the load. We need him to find a role that allows him to be efficient and effective. What exactly that role is...I'm not sure, but he presenst a mismatch almost every time he's one the floor, so I would have liked to see a few more pick and roll type of plays for him.
I think the chemisty can only come from Cuonzo mixing and matching lineups until he finally finds the one that clicks, and allows our two senior shooters to get plenty of open looks. MPJ is a once in a lifetime player, and there's no denying his skill. However, we simply don't have the time to experiment, which is what yesterday felt like. I have no problem with him taking open looks, but it was clear he wasn't able to "take over and dominate" in the way many thought he would. He even said he felt he was at about 65% of his old form...SIXTY-FIVE. Granted, 65% MPJ is probably equivalent to any other player, but it pains me to admit that he did more harm than good by taking shots away from those who usually get them.
I hope Cuonzo sees that this team still belongs to the seniors, not to mention Jontay who is playing his best basketball right now. That should be enough if MPJ can be just another cog in the wheel instead of the whole damn machine. I would like to see Cuonzo lean more on the guys who got us where we are, and sprinkle in a little MPJ here and there, instead of giving him the reins and letting him take more shots than anyone else on the team.