Rookie Roundup – Reflections On The Season Thus Far

February 20th, 2012 by Mallory Factor II

Every two weeks I’ll give a little recap of what our youngsters are up to, how they looked, and what to expect.

As far as our rookies go, it’s been a very, very, very slow two weeks.  Other than last night, we’ve seen our rooks miss some games, play some bad games, play some good games, and do very little by way of spectacular.  Both Tristan and Kyrie missed some time (Kyrie more than Tristan) and, on the whole, there was very little noteworthy action from the two.  There have been some nice wins and some bad losses, and a whole lot of questions, at least about the future.  I can’t remember a time where I’ve felt so apathetic about how my team has been doing.

Which got me to thinking – not only where do we go from here, but what are we now?  In a season that is marked by the purgatory of rebuilding, how does the average fan react?  We’ve spent so much time talking about the future, but how do we happily look at what we have, put it into the context of this season, and feel some contentment?

Obviously contextualizing this season comes with the reflection of last season.  We can say one thing for sure – we have some real youth on our team, and things are certainly brighter than they have been, but even with that in mind things seem limited.

You can subtract Kyrie from the frustration because, at least in my mind, he’s a stud.  I’m almost certain he’ll be an all-star at some point, and maybe even a star, and we know that the process of his growth makes this season somewhat worthwhile.  But beyond that, what development has been made?  Does anyone really feel like we have even a semblance of a team of pros?

After seven years marked by nothing but overpowering momentum and one year stained by rejection, where do we go with what we know we have?

The last two games have been a microcosm of the larger questions of this season.  On Friday we were crushed by one of the best teams in the NBA, and on Sunday we beat one of the worst.  As diehard NBA fans, most of us know that this is to be expected – we need to take our licks on the way to the top.  But for those fans who don’t know the map as well as we do, the future must look a lot more uncertain and the present totally uninspired and like another year of disappointment.

I’m still very happy with the way this draft has turned out so far.  Kyrie looks like he’s got a lot more talent than we ever could have expected, and Tristan Thompson, if willing to put in the necessary work, has the tools to be a solid contributor.  This season is obviously dedicated to them, Alonzo Gee, Omri Casspi, and any other player who shows the signs of progressing to the image of a piece of the team that Gilbert,  Grant, and Scott have.  But beyond that, isn’t it ok to wish for a little more?  As fans, aren’t we entitled to more than just purgatory?

Sorry for the existentialism.  I promise for our next roundup, I’ll give you guys a mid-year report on our kids.  Until then, my friends.