No Excuses, No Pessimism

I was listening to Primetime with the Packman yesterday and apparently most of the phone calls coming from UNC fans were all about excusing a possible loss by pointing to the Lawson injury.  It would also seem that a good many Tar Heel fans are already prepared to write this one off as a done deal because Lawson might not play and if he does, he will likely be limited in his effectiveness.  And to them, let me plainly say:

Please stop.

I understand there is an air of pessimism about this.  Ty Lawson is a vital cog in UNC’s highly touted offensive system and there are three plus seasons of evidence that does not cast Quentin Thomas is the best light in terms of running this team from the point for extended periods versus a stiff pressure defense.  However, these are the cards that have been dealt.  Whining and moaning before the game is even played basically sells the rest of the great players on this Tar Heel team short.  And while Lawson is important, the last I checked UNC is still putting an excellent team on the floor and I team I still believe is capable of beating Duke.  Certainly there will be hiccups but I am willing to declare right now that I have the utmost confidence in Quentin Thomas to assume the reins of this team and play like a senior leader in the biggest game of the season so far.  And I cast my faith in Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard, Deon Thompson, Tyler Hansbrough and Alex Stepheson to step on the floor tomorrow night and have their best games of the season.  And this is to say nothing of the fact Duke still has to come into our place and execute to win.

So, if the Heels lose, so be it.  In my mind the Lawson injury has already been factored in and should it be instrumental in a loss here, then let’s hope he gets back to full strength for the trip to Durham in one month.  But I will not make excuses, I will not be down on this team.  The other guys are coming to play and conventional wisdom is always suspect when these two teams meet.  If we have learned anything about this team so far this season it is they are tough and they know how to handle adversity.  This group of Tar Heels has shown incredible resiliency in less than ideal circumstances and I expect nothing less from them tomorrow night.  It is a battle amid a long war and despite which UNC team takes the floor at 9 PM on Wednesday I firmly believe they will leave it all on the floor regardless the outcome.

So, other can make excuses and hand wring over what might happen.  I choose to stand firmly behind what I know will happen and that is the Tar Heels will give it everything they have.



18 Responses to No Excuses, No Pessimism

  1. Joe in Toronto says:

    AMEN!!!! GO HEELS!!!!

  2. jackiemanuel says:

    No whining allowed imo. We know the rat and company won’t feel sorry for us and so there is little point in felling sorry for ourselves. Besides, the NCAA does consider injuries when seeding teams and so this game is all about an opportunity. Beating the Dookies without Ty Lawson is very very very appealing, no?

  3. Wilson says:

    Thank you!

  4. Triadboy says:

    I still expect us to win. Watch for Deon and Alex to have big games.

  5. iheartdavidnoel says:

    Amen. Great post!

  6. C. Michael says:

    Last time I checked, Duke still has no one who can handle Tyler inside (Henderson elbows, aside).

  7. Josh Bowling says:

    If we can get the ball inside. Remember how well Duke does on the overplay. That is why it is essential to have a guard who can penetrate against them. When a guard penetrates, they leave the overplay in hopes that they can strip the ballhandler of the ball, and that is where Hansbrough come in to play. Getting the ball inside will fully depend on how well Ellington, Green, Ginyard are at getting past that first line of defense. If any of our guards or wings are able to penetrate LOOK OUT!

  8. Q has played some of his best games against dook. If he can stay within his game and focus on getting everybody else involved, and if Wayne and Danny and Marcus can keep them honest, Tyler can go off.

  9. jackiemanuel says:

    Anyone know the spread?

  10. william says:

    I am not sure that this is the year where our advantage against Duke comes from speed and running the court. Our advantages against them seem to derive from power down low and rebounding and not having Ty should not affect that too much.

    Plus, Dean once said that you can play one great game without your star and, well, we certainly didn’t play great on Sunday, so maybe it will be on Wednesday instead.

  11. Jack Snoeyink says:

    Go Roy, Go Heels!

  12. P.S. How in the HECK can you stand that show?! I have no use for that condescending bunch of sandlapper apologists.

  13. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I flip over when the commercials are on 850. It completely lacks substance and the show generally shoots for the lowest common denominator of the area fan bases. The show is predicated on ticking people off so they are willing to embarrass themselves on the phone.

    Also, it is part of the blogging deal. I like to be aware of what everyone is saying.

  14. Josh Bowling says:

    My wife watches Duke games and constantly tells me how effeciently Duke runs their offense, more so than we do. She obviously is not some insider, just a wife who watches the games for her husband’s sake, but I thought it was objective on her part to notice such things. She does however say that their defense is more physical than anyone elses. Do we play their game, or do we play our game, despite lacking Lawson’s presence on the floor?

  15. I suppose I do the same. Although now that they have DG in the afternoon instead of Gold, the contrast is much worse (I’m a big David Glenn fan).

  16. Logical Consideration says:

    There is a difference between pessimism and realism. Given that Duke’s strength this year is a stifling defense, it is unlikely, though not impossible for the good guys to win. Their strength plays exactly on our current weakness. Yes, we will dominate on the inside, IF we can get it there. Objectively, this is likely to be a problem for us. However, there is a silver lining. If Carolina can beat THIS Duke team without the assistance of Lawson, then once Lawson regains his health, Carolina has to be installed over Memphis and Kansas as the favorite to win in April.

    One of the things I take pride about Carolina fans is their detailed knowledge of the game. Part of exercising that knowledge is making honest, realistic assessments, even agains the Forces of Darkness.

    Personally, I hope Q plays the game of his life and destroys all the overly harsh criticisms of the past 3 years.

  17. 52BigGameJames says:

    excellent synopsis LC! we’ll see–never discount the “Dean” factor however.

  18. 52BigGameJames says:

    At 21-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference, Carolina has won with its usual consistency. But that imposing record makes it easy to lose track of the fact that the Heels have an unbalanced offensive equation. For long stretches of most games, starters Marcus Ginyard and Deon Thompson don’t score enough to become major defensive concerns for opponents.

    With point sub Quentin Thomas in the mix, the team’s offensive options are reduced even further. His job is to take care of the ball, not to look for shots.

    Most basketball coaches are masters of percentage thinking. If they see the slightest chance to use 5-on-4 or 5-on-3 defensive strategies, they’ll go that route until an opponent forces them to try something else.

    Without Lawson, the Heels have three reliable scoring threats — Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green, none of whom is exceptional at creating individual offense. But even if those three could combine for 50-60 points per game, the margin for error would be still be narrow in most conference games.

    Make someone other than Hansbrough, Ellington and Green score enough points to beat you. That will be the prevailing defensive theory against Carolina for as long as Lawson is sidelined.

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