And the envelopes, please
Lots of goodies in this ‘bag. Your minds are working well in these cold times. Keep ‘em coming and if you don’t see the answer here, don’t worry, we’ve got the three things every post-game to do and I try to sprinkle a few into the daily blog.
This week’s themes: The Heartless Raptor, lots and lots of Steve Nash and What Would Mike (D’Antoni) do?
Q: You are Wayne Parrish (work with me here...) You just took over Canada Basketball and want to change the culture of a program that has been struggling especially off the court. Steve Nash is saying he's still pissed that Jay Triano got fired and that he's done playing for Canada due to that reason and physical demands.
Why not fire Leo Rautins and re-hire Triano who is clearly the better coach? He's the only Canadian coach in the league and clearly knows something about international ball given his past experience and the fact that Team USA used him this summer. Maybe Nash would consider playing instead of completely dismissing the issue.
Justin L, Toronto
A: I don't think a coaching change, right now, makes any sense, and I don't think it would automatically get Steve Nash into a Canadian uniform next summer. Or ever.
If I was Wayne Parrish, and I'm quite glad I'm not, I'm sure there are other, more pressing issues with Canada Basketball, serious financial issues that have to be resolved, that need my immediate attention. The fact is, with or without Nash, Canada's got a nearly-impossible task of qualifying. If I'm in charge, I start laying the groundwork, somehow, towards getting them in the 2010 worlds and 2012 Olympics. I look at coaching at the end of next summer, not now.
Q: Although I'm old enough that I SHOULD know better, a young'un's question did stump me. Raptors advance the ball into the offensive zone well ahead of the time-count limit of eight seconds. Then, a Raptor gets trapped, tries to pass out of the trap and the ball deflects into the backcourt, where it's retrieved by a Raptor. What effect does the time-line have now? What if the eight seconds had passed before the trap happened? By the way, we all know this is a last minute situation due to the trapping nature of the question (ahh, the good old days when rich guys would hustle all over the court).
Gary Mugford, Bramalea
A: This is like an old-fashioned Basketball 101 question.
Once the ball's deflected into the backcourt and the Raptors regain possession, they get a brand new eight seconds.
You remember when rich guys hustled all over court? How old are you, man? Or have you been watching classic games on TV?
Q: "The subtext to that one-time diatribe was that Moiso was missing one of the vital organs. The most vital."
Onions, baby, onions??
Sean Smith, Toronto
A: Nope. The bigger one. The one that pumps the blood to the onions.
Q: With Bosh and Andrea hurting, it sure would be nice to have Garbo. Do you think bitterness will grow towards him from head office and the fans if these injuries result in losses?
Rob S, Winnipeg
A: No, can't see any correlation at all; at least not from the front office. Fans? I can never figure the fans out so I can't answer that one.
Q: I sent you a hoops question last week and it didn't end up in your column, I'm not really surprised about that since I'm not e-mailing from England or China or Kyrgyzstan or whatever...
My question this week may be a more important, regardless of the state of the Raptors. After a game at the ACC, what are the best places to go for a post-game beverage? And don't include the sports grille that you always mention. After a Leafs or Raps game I usually go to the Loose Moose or Jack Astors, and after the Jays I usually walk across the street to St. Louis. Where should I be going? Come on Dougie, share your infinite wisdom.
Joe Walshe, Toronto
A: Man, you ask me a question and then tell me what I can't say. Sorry, dude.
I'm sure those other locations are fun and everything but I'm a loyal dude and the Harbour Sports Grille is my local. Great people, great food and a variety of fine adult beverages. Only other place I'd come close to recommending would be Jack Astor's in Etobicoke on the Queensway by West Mall. But that's a drive.
Q: I know in Canada we're not to say anything negative about Steve Nash, but there are times like last night when he looks just a bit too overjoyed while he's skillfully dissecting the Raptors. The smile seems bigger than when I watch him orchestrate the destruction of other teams.
Is this just my imagination, or is it possible that Steve doesn't really like Toronto? I know Torontonians consider their fair city to be the centre of the universe; but a lot of Canadians hate Toronto just for this smugness - especially Canadians from out west. Could it be that the boy from Victoria shares this sentiment?
Joe Steward, Kingston
A: Your imagination is running wild. Too wild. Way too wild.
Trust me, Nash enjoys beating anyone about the same; in fact, he probably enjoys wins over Dallas or San Antonio far more than a win over Toronto.
Q: After the Joey Graham coming out party I made a post of a topic that basically suggested that it was time to cut bait with Joey Graham. To my shock people we're outraged.
Seeing as I respect your view I wanted to know if you think it is time to cut Bait on Joey? Along with that what can Bryan get for him keeping in mind he was able to move Hoffa which makes me think he could move anyone.
James Borbath, Hamilton
A: Not sure what you mean by 'cut bait.' Waive or release? No way. He's an asset, an inconsistent asset, but an asset just the same. Trade him? I'm sure Bryan wouldn't hesitate to move Graham tomorrow if the right deal came along. Will he? That's going to be up to other general managers.
Q: If Mr. Ford and Mr. Calderon were both transplanted into bodies about 6 foot 6, and were capable of playing either shooting guard or point guard, what are your guesses as to who would choose what position? My uninformed guess would be that TJ would love to be a shooting guard in the mold of a Kobe Bryant - 'The Man' while Jose would love to keep running the team. Why this hypothetical nonsense you ask? I was following the play-by-play on the internet and noticed that near the end, Mr. Calderon seemed to shadow Mr. Nash, and Mr. Ford shadowed Mr. Barbarosa (Of course it was just words on a screen - somebody who watched might know better). It got me thinking, why not unleash that potential in Mr. Ford to be 'The Man' and not "The Playmaker." Ben Gordon, Leandro Barbosa, and Jason Terry are all undersized stars who often come off the bench and absolutely thrash opposing teams in a hurry. This year, for example, Jason Terry is freed from worrying about getting teammate is involved and just wracks up points in a hurry.
Andy A, Dallas
A: Dude from Dallas writes and it's not about Chris Bosh? Odd.
First, you're bang on with the guess on who would be who if they could. But the time you saw, or sort of saw, or whatever it was, Calderon and Ford on the court is not going to be a regular occurrence. We asked Sam about it Thursday, he said it was purely matchup driven with the Suns, you might see it again when they play in Phoenix but that'll likely be it.
A couple of reasons. Neither is really a two and Mitchell would be worried about them both getting tired at the same time, or both getting into foul trouble at the same time.
Q: My question is short but sweet -- can you list the top five players in Raptors team history at drawing charges? Because it seems to me that Carlos Delfino eats more than his fair share of elbows and knees standing in the low post, taking several for the team.
Greg Frankson, Ottawa
A: Delfino's the best on this team, by far.
All time? I'm sure I'll forget someone who should be on the list but here goes: Mo Pete, Doug Christie, Alvin Williams, Mark Jackson (for the short time he was here) and Michael Curry.
Q: Hey grand poobah. Two questions,are the Raptors going less zone defence than last year? Do you only use your left hand when eating popcorn on national TV.
Bob Wesley, Winnipeg
A: Yes, they are playing much less zone. Although there are some matchup zone principles in their regular system, the full blown zone has been seen about once, in Washington.
And, no, I can go right or left, depending on where the soft drink is. Duh! Think of it as taking what the defence will give you, only it's snack foods.
Q: I am sure you get this question every week, but will Steve Nash ever be a Raptor. I am not talking about any dumb trade proposals (ie. Jamario Moon for Nash straight up), I am talking about him making the decision when he is a free agent, making the choice to come here before he finishes his career. He could also play for Toronto FC in the off season.
Brian M, Barrie
A: No, I don't see Nash ever in a Toronto uniform. I think he's got one contract left in him but I bet it's another one in Phoenix. The soccer thing's a good idea, though; bet he can score a goal once every two months, which gives him a leg up on everyone else on the FC.
Q: This is far from a 'Fire Mitchell' or 'Let Jose coach and be our point guard for all 48 minutes' but more a curiosity of mine after watching the Phoenix game.
What do you think Mike D'Antoni would do (or not do) for the Raps if he was the coach?
Richard Niman, East Lansing, Mich.
A:First thing he does is go to his general manager and tell him to trade for Steve Nash.
Seriously, I bet he'd shorten the rotation to eight guys and make it firm, and then he'd have to change his entire philosophy of coaching because he doesn't have the horses here he's got in Phoenix. The trick to coaching, they tell you, is adapting to your personnel. He'd still run pick and roll, because Ford and Calderon are good at it but you would see a much different style than the one he coaches in Phoenix, much slower.
Q: I'm going to throw this one out there and tell me what you think.
After Dec 15: Bosh (injury prone?), Calderon (sell high), Kapono (one-dimensional), and others (to make salaries work) to the Lakers for Kobe.
Dave Sherman, Toronto
A: I think that's not enough to satisfy the Lakers. And I'm wondering now whether they'll even trade Bryant any more. I presume you'll hear more as February approaches but it's still the Bulls or no one in my mind.