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Today in "why Thibodeau struggles to put McDermott and Mirotic on the court"

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No, I didn't catch the loss against the Kings, but it sounded like the rookies again had some struggles, especially defensively.

The above video, via Sactown Royalty, shows a lot of examples. And then there's a couple from Derrick Williams's baskets as well.

Watching this I noticed one moment, and it's admittedly unfair to fixate on and isn't so much about defensive fundamentals but being irretrievably slow, but still: look how McDermott loses this footrace to Omri Casspi, who has the ball.


(forgive the apparent time-travel at the end of this on my bad GIF-ing)

And this observation seems to be generally true.

Nothing to get worried about yet, but it's worth mentioning that Thibs is not being confronted with an easy choice, here. Part of this season should be dedicated to grooming both rookies as bench pieces, both so they're useful in the playoffs and to provide rest for the starters. But Thibs also knows doing so will hurt his team on the court, especially so when the guys aren't making enough shots to compensate for this defense. With Gasol out it forces Thibs hand when it comes to Mirotic, and with the way Mike Dunleavy's playing it kind of does so the other way for McDermott.

To end on a positive note, here's a cool Mirotic shot.