The Morning After The Night Before, VII
Interesting game, no?
Jose finishes a nearly flawless night with the big three, Garbo does what I expected him to do, which was comport himself like a pro and play when both Bargnani and Humphries were awful and, to all the e-mailers yesterday who thought otherwise, starting Maceo Baston didn’t bring about the downfall of civilization.
Three Things I Learned
Not sure if they caught this on TV, but did you see the little quarter-sized patches a couple of Pacers – Jermaine O’Neal and Jeff Foster among them – were wearing on the side of their lower leg?
According to Indiana officials, there were energy-providing, muscle-relaxing patches.
As a guy who wears a patch every now and then – those transatlantic flights are murder on the nicotine withdrawl – I can understand the theory behind them.
But watching O’Neal have more turnovers (7) than rebounds (6) makes me wonder about the energy they actually provided.
Considering the Pacers are slow and more unathletic than any team I’ve seen this year, or much of last, they need all the energy, from whatever source, they can get.
Upon further review
I know Andrea Bargnani was invisible offensively – his one shot was rather soundly rejected (a BA in the boxscore, I’m told) – but I imagine when they looked closely at the tape, it’ll be his defensive indifference that was the reason he never got back on the court after his horrid 4 1-2 minute stretch.
His first touch ended rather badly, what with an offensive foul and all, but a time or two back down the court right after that, he took his sweet time getting back and absolutely lost Troy Murphy in transition. A quick bucket made it all the more apparent that, for some reason, Bargnani’s head didn’t seem in the game.
It was a bad night all around. He’s got to be better.
Hold off on the Hall of Fame votes
For Jamario Moon, that is.
Not sure if you noticed, but from the courtside perch I had last night, Moon incurred the wrath of Sam Mitchell on more than one occasion.
The interesting thing: Sam was hollering at him for busting offensive sets, not getting beaten on defence. It’s usually the other way around with rookies.
It seemed Moon was watching, rather than participating, in the offence, which takes away what he does best.
In one instance, when he stood in the corner, keeping the area too crowded for Chris Bosh to operate, Sam’s only command was “Moon! Move!”
The rook’s game was slightly off last night, which we may see more often as he tries to fit in seamlessly as a first-year player.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: "It was really important, just to show people he's still Jorge Garbajosa," said Chris Bosh. Doug you wrote the quote in your article but do you really believe it?
Marc Cummings, Mississauga
A: I believe Chris Bosh believes everything he tells us.
My seat is better, I’m sure, although a night on a couch isn’t a bad thing at all, and what I saw was him start a bit slowly and tentatively but get better as his minutes wore on.
It should come as no surprise that it took him a couple of minutes to get used to the speed of the game; by the fourth quarter he was the same old Jorge. After all, he was never blessed with blazing speed.
Q: What the heck is happening with the boxscores this year?
I've been scouring NBA boxscores since 1979 and it's always been the two starting forwards followed by the starting centre followed by the two starting guards.
Now all of a sudden, most of the boxscores list it guards, forwards, centre. It throws me right off, for some inexplicable reason.
In 12 games played (Friday), 10 listed them this new way. Only the Minnesota game and the Sacramento game had it the traditional way.
Have you heard if there's been a league directive to change, and if so why?
Guy MacPherson, Vancouver
A: A fantasy league player, by chance? I’m not sure what publication or website you’re reading, my man, because in my edition of our paper, and in the Globe and the Sun, it’s forwards, centre, guards.
And since I’m also looking right now at the boxscore that comes right off the league’s computer system and it’s the same way – the old, right way – I’d take it up with the publisher of whatever thing you’re reading.
Q: I absolutely HATE it when they play music during Raptor offensive sets at the ACC.
Maybe it's all in my mind, but it seems like there is a causal relationship between playing music and Raptor bricks. I can't imagine that having some terrible Lil' Jon thumping in the background helps with the execution of an offensive play in any way.
Does blaring music not drive the players crazy? Why on earth does the ACC, and indeed every arena, actively make it more difficult for the audience to concentrate on the basketball game that they paid to see?
No easy answer on this one. Playing music during five offensive sets a game is unlikely to raise (or lower) the bottom line by any significant measure.
What's the REAL reason?
David Benner, Toronto
A: You hate it? How do you think we feel, subjected to the sensory overload noise 75 nights a season? Like we want to scream? Yeah, that’d be about right.
Anyway, the real reason is that someone in the NBA’s marketing department, or game operations department, believes fans have the attention span of carp and need noise almost all the time to be entertained. As opposed to asking them to sit and watch some of the world’s greatest athletes play a game of fluidity and motion.
The players? I think they are oblivious to it, because they’ve seen it and heard it all their professional lives.
I’m all for the Chicken and the Dance Pak during timeouts, I think it’s painful to hear music during the game. And I have no earthly idea who Lil’ Jon is, but if that’s the noise they play during games, I’m down on him, too.