The Morning After The Night Before, IX
Dreary day here. Can imagine the mood with the lads is pretty much the same.
So, Remy writes:
Love the blog, but when I first heard about it I thought you'd be updating it more often with whatever news you have from practice, shoot-around, interviews, etc. What's the deal with only daily updates?
Also, the pieces I find most interesting are the behind the scenes stuff you're fortunate to see, that us Toronto Raptor fans can't. We rely on you man. That sounds like I'm asking you to work more, however, it's just a plea since I enjoy your blog and articles so much. Believe me, as much as you can give - the fans will enjoy.
And Zach wonders:
Hey Mr. Smith, do you get to choose when you want to go with the team on a road trip? Why wouldn't you be in Dallas tonight for such a big game?
I guess I got some ‘splaining to do.
The blog’s very much a work in progress, figure morning’s best so you can enjoy it over coffee or when you’re easing into your day at work, which is why I try to get something up by 8 or 9 a.m.
The plan is to update it with news off shootarounds or practices or whatever but some days there isn’t anything worth doing, really. There was the day they decided to do Baston for Nesterovic but if it’s just the general run-of-the-mill, Sam was cranky, or he wasn’t; Stumpy said something funny, or he didn’t; or you should have seen Sam beat Moon in a shooting contest after practice, not sure there’s a need for it.
It is more work, and while I'm not adverse to more work, life does make its demands. But I’ll try to be better.
And, Zach, deciding who goes where is a collaborative effort, between the bosses, Mr. Feschuk and myself. I can’t see ‘em all (at least that’s what my family tells me) so …
Here’s another tip: There is no such thing as a Big Game in November.
Anyway, on with our regularly scheduled pap and drivel:
Three Things I Learned
It’s called loafing
On a night of major defensive breakdowns, few were more glaring than Toronto’s utter disinterest in getting back in transition in the second half. Devin Harris and Jason Terry are quick, sure; but someone has to stop the ball until the rest of ‘em hustle back to defend.
|This look familiar? Defence? They don't play no stinking defence!|
We asked, they (apparently) listened
Nice job on the scoreboard bug on The Score’s broadcast last night. Even these failing eyes could see it, and read it, clear across the living room. Very cool.
When these guys blow a lead, it’s a doozy
Twice, the Mavericks have rallied from 24-point deficits to win at home, the greatest homecourt comebacks in franchise history. One in overtime and one in regulation. Both against Toronto. That’s a feather in the Raptor cap.
Funny, too, was trading e-mails with a guy at the game and when they went up 20 or so, I asked, "Who are these guys in red?" The reply: "Remember two years ago." How prescient. Check out the view from Dallas courtesy of my man Eddie Sefko of the Morning News.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: I think it's pretty clear that starting Bargnani and Parker at the same time limits the offensive effectiveness of at least one of those guys, since they both seem to hover around the perimeter waiting for kick-outs from Ford.
That said, do you think the Raps should consider keeping Bargnani, but switching Parker for Delfino in the starting line up?
Victor Chen, Toronto
A: If they’re going to make another move with the starting lineup -- and seeing how they make one about every four hours, they probably will – that’s the one that makes the most sense to me.
I really like Delfino’s game, no one on the team better anticipates where rebounds are going to go; and Parker has been very mediocre when playing alongside Bosh and Bargnani in the starting five.
Q: What's with some of these shots that I am seeing? Are they really missing their shooting coach from last year? Should we be making more of Dave Hopla's absence?
Paul Leuverink, Woodstock, Ont.
A: No, I don’t think anyone should be making more of Hop’s absence, except that he was a funny guy to have around.
Sure, last year, Toronto shot 46.3 per cent from the field and this year it’s 44.2 right now but they also shot 36.3 from three last season and are shooting 42.9 per cent so, statistically, it’s a wash.
Anecdotally, it’s not as if Hopla spent eight hours a day working on specific techniques with everyone on the team; he’d rebound the ball in shooting drills, rebound the ball and just be around. No magic wand to wave.
Q: Hope you had a good day at the yardwork, but it's SNOWING here in Newfoundland. Good ol' tropical climate of Newfoundland never lets us down. Anyway, do you still agree with Mitchell's choice to start Moon? I mean, I know he brings a lot of energy and hustle to the starting 5, but doesn't that better suit the title 'spark-plug-off-the-bench?' I like the idea until he starts poppin' threes. If he's going to go out and get to the rim I'm all for it. Thoughts?
Steve Gosse, St. John’s
A: Dude, I lived in St. John’s, I believe it snowed the day I arrived in May and snowed the day I left year later in September. Can remember sitting at the airport waiting out weekend-long fog delays, I believe.
Anyway, on to Moon. I did agree when he did it because they needed a dose of athleticism. And watching him get a dozen rebounds against Dallas affirms that.
He shot too many early-in-the-clock threes for my tastes but the other things he brings takes some of that sting away.
Okay, that’s it for now, if it keeps raining and stays cold, the leaves can wait and maybe I can get back here later on. Don’t forget, Friday morning’s a mailbag day and there’s always room for a few post-game queries to handle so just click here to add your two cents worth.