Duke started off this season on fire, beating three top five teams and eventually earning themselves a much deserved No. 1 ranking.
Since being ranked at the top, the Blue Devils have been getting off to slow starts and allowing teams that have no business being in the game with them, hang around.
Tonight, Duke went on the road for a change to take on an average Davidson team. For the fourth straight game against inferior teams, the Blue Devils got off to a very slow start and trailed for a couple of minutes at the start.
Against Davidson, they weren’t even able to bring a small lead into the locker room like they were able to do against Elon, Santa Clara, and Cornell. Davidson and Duke were all nodded up at 29 at the half.
Like the other 3 games, Duke was able to come out inspired and ready to play their caliber of basketball in the second half and essentially turn the game into a blowout.
You have to give their opponents some credit for not backing down, but just because your No. 1 doesn’t mean teams are just going to let you walk all over them. In fact, being the being the best team in the country just means every team is going to play against you harder then any other team wanting to pull off the upset.
Duke has to be able to take their opponents punches, counteract and knock them out early in the game. If they don’t come out ready to play, there will be a game or so where they can’t comeback or don’t play well in the second half and they will lose.
With Mike Krzyzewski coaching and having Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry to lead your team, you can’t be too worried about recent slow starts.
After getting to play such good competition early in the season and now having to play a weaker schedule, it is clear the Blue Devils aren’t as motivated, but hopefully that changes come conference play.
Duke is still clearly the best team in the country heading into conference play but won’t be able to afford slow starts against ACC foes.