The Morning After The Night Before, XIII
How much did Memphis mail that one in? Second game of a back-to-back on the road after winning the first? A total capitulation. Could have seen it coming a mile away.
Still, the lads were good, especially Delfino, who continues to impress. The folks in Detroit keep telling me he’s eventually gonna disappear for a while; not sure I believe ‘em.
Anyway, here we go, lots of fun stuff this morning.
Three Things I Learned
A helping hand
Memphis assistant Johnny Davis was out five minutes before the tip making little marks on the court about a foot behind the free throw line. It’s to give Mike Miller his spot since he doesn’t step right up to the line. Very odd.
Getting to know you
They’re starting to learn about Jamario Moon all over. Ref Derek Richardson to Sam Mitchell in the first quarter: “What’s that guy’s name? Jamaal?” Sam: “Jamario.”
When refs wanna know who you are, you’ve made it.
They told me Joey Graham might see some emergency time at the four and with Bosh out, Wednesday night was his time. Went bad, didn’t it? Like in the third quarter when he put up token post resistence on Stromile Swift and before the ball had cleared the net, Sam had Hump at the table.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: I'm a long time reader but this is my first time writing in. After reading your column for a while I know you have grown tired of the Jose and TJ debate. I agree with you for the most part, but Jose as a starter now is putting up a 15/1 assist to turnover ratio and three double doubles. That’s Steve Nash and Jason Kidd territory, don't you have to ride this hot streak out regardless of if TJ is healthy or not?
Matt Klas, Mississauga
A: He had another double-double last night, with 10 assists and one turnover, which came on about his last play of the game.
Here’s something to think about: Last year, when T.J. missed those games with the ankle, he went to Sam when he came back and suggested they keep starting Jose ‘cause things were going so well. Maybe he does the same thing again?
It would only be for a little while, but it’s something he might think about.
Q: Here's couple of burning questions on top of my head. Me and my friend had a small debate on. Do you think both Bosh and Bargnani can BOTH average 20 points a game? So I'd really appreciate that you give me your personal opinion. Another question is that, what can Bargnani do to improve his game (aka take it to the next level) ditto for Moon, too.
Kenneth L., Mississauga
A: Interesting question about the points. I think they can; I don’t think it’ll be this year but I can see the day when they are inside-outside and get to that level. They may have to revamp the offence a bit but it’s doable.
For Bargnani? I still think he has to work on his post moves an awful lot because there will be times when he’s on the court without Bosh and will have to operate at least a little in the low post. And his one- or two-dribble pull-up jumper has to be more consistent.
Moon? He has to give up shooting so many threes, step in and take the 15-foot jumper or get to where he’s one dribble from getting to the rim.
Oh, and it’s ‘my friend and I.'
Q: I have a bit of a gripe with you when you say (referring to player contracts), "unless it’s your money, who cares about the money?" The reason I care is because it is my money. When I buy tickets I'm helping to pay the players' salaries. When I buy merchandise, I'm helping to pay the player's salaries/ When I watch Raps TV, I'm buying B.C. a new collar. The fans have a right to be upset when they see frivolous spending.
Erick Isopp, Vancouver
A: Here’s the thing: It’s not extra spending. The Garbo contract we were talking about has to be paid.
And a few other things
We have a winner
We always give credit where credit is due. Eventually.
So, a tip of the ol’ fedora to Sumit Arora of Markham who wrote – twice – to take credit for the Jamario Speedwagon line. And an excellent line it is. Of course, Sumit wondered if there was any money in it. It is to laugh.
TJ BYC FYI
This is for my man Eric, he of the somewhat snarky “you don’t know squat about the salary cap and Rob Babcock is Red Auerbach and Helio’s a way better dancer than Scary (well, the last part’s made up)” e-mail yesterday.
Am told by the highest level of uber-management at Raptorland that T.J. Ford is indeed a base year compensation guy ‘cause his contract extension didn’t kick in until this season when the Raptors were over the cap.
And he’s not getting traded anyway.
Here’s the inside dope on that Kanye West song that seems to be the intro music in every arena in the league. No, the NBA doesn’t mandate its use (I can’t imagine David Stern sitting around with a bunch of CDs coming up with some catchy tune). Apparently eight or nine teams use it, and all chose it independently of each other.
And I’m glad to hear, and I know the First Lady Of The Beat, who has come to loathe it as I do (even though she seemed okay with it when she first heard it), that the Raptors are thinking of changing it up. Just, you know, to be their own franchise and not sheep to the musical stylings of other teams.
Not sure when, and not sure to what, but the change should be coming.
Maybe a nice Spice Girls tune?
Don’t forget, tomorrow’s a mailbag day. It’s pretty full already but click here to send along your question.