|Posted by Bahku on February 11, 2010 at 9:55 PM|
I couldn't watch the game live last night, or the 2AM replay, so I had to watch the noon re-broadcast on CSNNE, and while I did so, I had a moment of deja vu. The last few games, even the ones that we won, were missing something ... something that was missing during a similar period last year, and at first it eluded me. After a while the realization of what has been happening and it's relation to last season began to solidify in my mind, (and trust me, there's not a heck-of-alot that solidifies up there these days).
This team is missing it's "Superstars", and I don't mean that they haven't been playing, just that they haven't been playing like the superstars and leaders that they are, and that we expect them to be. None of the "Big Three" have really stepped up and put their imprint on a game yet, and they need to. "Stepping up" and taking over a game is what we pay them for, it's what a superstar is expected to do, even required to do, especially when up against a wall, or in a close game when a clutch play is needed, and we've had many of those. They haven't done it yet, and it's time.
Maybe they've bought into the "team concept" so deeply, that they've forgotten that they're individual players, with special talents, and more importantly, special and unique motivational abilities. Don't get me worng, I LOVE the team spirit and coordination that this group has ... it's really quite special, and is a rare thing to see these days. But being a "star" means that you're a very special part of this unit, a part unto itself, that has the incredible elements required to dominate a game, and provide the leadership and spark needed to give the rest of the team direction and confidence.
No matter how closely "We Not Me" is followed and made the focus of your team's energies, someone still needs to LEAD ... someone has to step up and set the standard, provide direction, and instill CONFIDENCE into the rest. I think they may have forgotten this just a bit, in their, (quite admirable), efforts to produce a true, functioning, cohesive UNIT. Of all the elements that went into these past two losses, that seems to me to have been the common threads: lack of leadership, direction and confidence ... the things that we look to a superstar to provide.
We've got three-plus guys who have these qualities, and it seems like each one is waiting for one of the others to make the move. The waiting's over ... at least one of them has got to be "the man" ... whatever that means or however it's defined. One of our stars needs to be just that: a STAR. One of these amazingly talented athletes, who have spent the majority of the regular season proving that they can be part of a successful team, now needs to prove that they can be the star we hired them to be ... the leader that this unit is begging and poised to rally behind. They need to set the standard, instill the confidence, and light the way to the championship they've worked so hard to attain.
I absolutely love "Ubuntu" and the "We not me" approach ... I am probably one of the biggest proponents of the team ethic, and the power of a cohesive functioning "posse". But the time has come, for the sake of themselves and their team-mates, for one or more of our heroes to take on that mantle ... to be the superstar that we believe in, that their team believes in, and show us all the path to success. The team is there, behind them, and there's no longer a need to focus on that unit exclusively ... they'll be ready, to back them up and provide the meat to this victory sandwhich.
It's time for one or more of our champions to prove that they're worthy of that very moniker. It's time to be the leader, the star, the hero, and the ultimate warrior.
It's TIME ... time to put the "I" in "UNIT".