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Go grab a sandwich around 11:30, get back to your desks by noon, pretend you're working (I have some tips if you like) and read along with your favourites.
And if we don't get to you, don't fret. By popular demand, and because I may be tired of making stuff up myself by then, we'll do a Friday mailbag here, just like the good old days.
I’m not going to go all Thomas Boswell on you (find out for yourself who is) with any Time Begins On Opening Day schmaltz or anything like that but there is a sense of anticipation in the air, isn’t there?
Or is that just Halloween?
All kinds of trees have died in the discussion of the lack of respect being shown the Raptors around the league. Well, we don’t use trees here in cyber world but here’s another thing to gnaw on.
Reggie Evans – remember him from last year? – wonders whether the locals are mentally tough enough to handle what’s in front of them. Now with the Sixers, Evans gave this little note to Phil Jasner, the long-time, lately long-suffering beat dude from the Philly Daily News when they were chatting about the big game:
"I just hope they have a hangover from last year, where we can just take advantage of them and take advantage of the opportunity. Some teams just cherish their success from last year and sometimes they don’t know how to handle it. I’m hoping they don’t know how to handle it."
Evans, as you recall, was Public Enemy No. 1 for a night last year with Denver when he may or may not have stuck a foot under Chris Bosh when Bosh was finishing a jump shot and then got, um, inadvertently smacked by Rasho Nesterovic on a drive to the basket. Might make for fun times tonight.
Anyone who writes a story tonight that says either the Raptors or Sixers came dressed for Halloween as a basketball team loses all rights to be a sportswriter.
It’s really too bad we get the RaptorTV post-game feed and not because Sherman and the fellas don’t do a good job or because there’s a void where Norma used to be, although there is.
No, it’s too bad we can’t watch the Philly feed of all the analysis because tonight marks the television debut of Alvin Williams as a post-game panel member.
Boogie gets the gig alongside former NBA GM John Nash on Comcast Sportsnet.
Now, Alvin wasn’t the most, um, verbose Raptor when he was here but he knows the game and he should be good. Maybe there’s an adult beverage emporium near the arena we can sneak off to.
Oh, wait, right, the whole game-story thing happens post-game. Never mind.
Kobe gets 40-plus and the Lakers lose.
Wonder how many times we’ll read that this year?
You know what I like about the San Antonio Spurs? Besides the fact they play in a city with the Riverwalk and Quarry Market and Lone Star beer?
They do things in a nice under-stated manner.
Did you check out that ring ceremony last night?
Gregg Popovich was introduced in the middle of the coaching staff, not at the end; Tim Duncan came up in the middle of the roll call of players, not with some fake drama at the end; the PA announcer announced and wasn’t part of the production. It was nice and normal.
Oh, and I can’t imagine what would make Matt Bonner smile more widely than he did last night. Maybe if they put a Subway in San Antonio. Maybe if they told him his car insurance premiums were going down.
Anyway, the offspring’s about to start piano practice, which makes Super Puppy nuts and I’ve got to go get some fresh air. (Which is Dad-speak for avoiding piano practice and crazed animals).
Be back after shootaround.