No easy answers
The lads are on the road, I’m chilling at home (leaves, yardwork, paperwork, mundane, mundane, mundane) but at least that gives me a chance to try and decipher that unreadable bug on the TV games to get the time and score.
It also gives me a bit more time to decipher where things are at the watershed 10-game mark. They’re not nearly where they should be.
Now, 5-5 isn’t 2-8, and they’ve got a couple new guys working their way in instead of nine, so it doesn’t suck. And given the sorry state of the East, they certainly haven’t played themselves out of anything yet. Of course, if they get to the end of the week 6-8, which is entirely possible, then I'm figuring Bryan Colangelo starts ramping up the calls to other GMs to see if there's a way to tweak this roster.
But T.J. said it best the other day, in one of those interminable scrums with a couple of newspaper people talking and a whole lot of microphone-holders poaching (but I digress).
We don’t have our swagger,” was how he put it and he’s bang-on.
Maybe it’s the weight of expectations, which exist this year for the first time ever with this group; maybe it’s trying to figure out who’s going to play when which night. Something’s missing.
They’ve changed the starting lineup twice, they’ve used Garbo some nights when it’s appropriate, taken Juan Dixon out of the rotation for most of the time and still throw the ball to Chris Bosh six or seven out of every 10 times down the floor.
Still, that something isn’t there.
Not sure what to do next (oh, I know you all have your theories and some of them are even interesting). I do know that at this time last season, no one in their right mind saw 47 wins – a lot of us didn’t see 37 – and much the same group got it going. I’m thinking they’ll do the same thing now.
There is no need for panic in the streets, although reading the ‘trade-this-guy, bench-that-guy, T.J.-sucks-but-not-as-much-as-Bosh, why-don’t-they-throw-the-ball-to-Kapono-more-often and, ‘why-in-the-world-doesn’t-Garbo-play-40-minutes’ e-mails and posts often brings a slight smile to my face.
You fans are great. Entertaining. Passionate. Sometimes comical.
From the mail box
Only one cranky e-mailer yesterday suggesting I’m the world’s biggest party-pooper for wondering why people who pay a lot of money for tickets get so crazed if they win a slice of free pizza even though the team they’re allegedly cheering for loses.
Writes Andy Wu: I can't believe your comment regarding fans cheering for pizza. As a fan, my main purpose of going to the game is for its entertainment value. After watching the Raps lose even with an eight-point lead to start the fourth quarter was extremely upsetting. The least the team could do is to get me a free slice of pizza to ease my mood. Therefore, I have all the rights to cheer for something that makes my day better. It is much better to have happy fans than disgruntle fans. Plus the NBA is nothing without us fans, and Mr. Smith would not have had his dream job as a basketball writer if it wasn't for us emotional fans.
Yes, nothing takes upset away than the chance at a free slice of quasi-pizza.
Dream job? My dream job is, oh, I dunno, maybe being a Canadian senator. Lots of money, no real work and if you don’t show up, no one cares. Either that or ‘consultant’ at five-figures a day.
But thanks for writing.
What? Eric Williams on the inactive list?
Plopped on the couch the other night, the box of bon-bons within reach and turned on the Chicago-Clipper game.
Must have been some pretty intense bon-bons because I’m pretty sure I saw Aaron Williams out there trying to defend Ben Wallace.
AARON WILLIAMS? He of the Vince Carter trade. Still on a team. Still in a game.
Will wonders never cease?
Gratuitous Dancing With The Stars reference just to tick off that dude who got ticked off last week ‘cause I mentioned it.
|TORONTO STAR PHOTO|
|Worries about Raptors 5-5 record? This is much more scary.|
You check out Scary Spice last night? A perfect 60! That’s like a quadruple-double or something. But then the racecar dude Helio got 60, too! What drama.
If the world is a just and fair place, it’s Mel, Helio and Little Miss 90210 in next week’s final. Vote early, vote often.
Smelly in the swamp
And, finally, as bad as things are here, they could be the Nets.
All right, yardwork calls and then some phone calls. Who knows what might pop up on an idle day of talking to people around the league.