Knock down the three’s
Okay, so Duke lives and dies by the three you say. Well, that’s true but they win far more games in doing so than they lose, so why not own it? The Blue Devils can make up ground or stretch leads quickly with their three-point shooting, but when they struggle or are pushed off the line they have to do a better job of finding cutters to the basket.
Be prepared for zone and lots of it
The Tigers can play man to man but it would be a surprise if they do not implement some junk zones which have troubled the Blue Devils at times. Rodney Hood working the high middle of said zones will be an oh-so important player.
Will POY snub motivate Parker?
Jabari Parker finished second in the ACC in the Player of the Year balloting. Some players who’ve had an amazing season as he has, uses it for motivation. The key for Parker though, is to allow the game to come to him and not over compensate with emotion which will quickly drain your legs. On the other hand, Parker could be out to prove a point.
Law of averages has to catch up at some point
At some point, Clemson is going to break through in the ACC Tournament and Duke simply has to take their current momentum away. If Clemson is in this game late, it could spell trouble for Duke and the dreaded law of averages could rear its ugly head. A loss tonight would seriously damage the seeding for Duke in the fast approaching NCAA Tournament.
Make Greensboro a home again
Duke has had mad success in Greensboro. That is until recently where they’ve gone out quickly in both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. This is still a concern for their team is young and many players past who have won championships on the coliseum court are long gone.
There are many more intangibles and I have only listed a few, but now it’s time for the final take.
I think this game could prove to be tough if Duke is not prepared to come out and play with fire. Even then, this Duke team has blown comfortable leads in very un-Duke like fashion. Duke needs to battle and try to control the boards or compete for the Tigers are athletic enough to do that and they have a stat stuffer of a players in K.J. McDaniels. It’s not easy to wait and watch all the other teams play, some of them twice before you finally tip-off. I think Duke will win this game, have a short presser and try to get to bed to go on to the next round just hours later. In a perfect world, they will play a lot of players but if this game is tight, that bench will shrink. Duke will advance but it may not be as pretty as some would like.