The Morning After The Night Before, XXIX
So continues the roller-coaster ride and we’re getting some Fire Sam, Trade Bargnani, sky-is-falling e-mails in the wake of that dog of a game on Saturday night.
Yes, a day after all was grand in the world following a win in San Antonio, a dark cloud has moved in over the Raptors, apparently.
It’s all part and parcel of covering a team with perhaps the zaniest fans in the entire NBA. You guys, and gals, are great.
It was a pooch of a game, though. Horrible offence on both sides, sluggish and slow and boring for long stretches.
But still, they played so …
Three Things I Learned
How to fix it?
Jeez, I dunno, either, to tell you the truth. The offence has been broken for weeks now, masked by a defence that can be excellent at times.
Here’s the thing: They do have plays to get them to the rim, that little curl with AP around the elbow could end up with drives and fouls and layups; watching Jamario Moon take 17-footers instead of driving the ball makes coaches cringe. We hear Sam yell at them, we see them make comments to each other in timeouts. It’s there, they just have to do it.
So what do they do? Keep working, hammer it home, maybe it’ll sink in.
Maybe in an effort to get more free throws from the twos and threes, a huge problem with this team, they might put those guys in the post every now and then, maybe use Delfino more often slashing from the wing.
I do know they were working on Sunday morning, as much as they could coming off back-to-backs, and Sam and his staff were going to meet and talk about tweaking the sets. They’ll have two days of practice this week before they get the Pistons on Friday, the pressure’s on for them to come up with something.
Sign of the times
I offer this for nothing more than comic value:
In the press room of the Toyota Center, this sign adorns one wall, it trumpets the:
Roger Clemens Institute For Sports Medicine and Human Performance.
Yes, that was Clyde Drexler doing TV on the Rocket broadcast.
No, he wasn’t pestered by a visiting writer for inside info on Dancing With The Stars.
I wanted to, though.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: Well Doug I'm have been teased by my Chinese friends with the dreadful Raptors in Houston tonight. One of the few Raptor games I get to watch because of Yao Man.
My question is When will they terminate D-Mart. Jose is great but can't play the minutes that are expected. Juan Dixon is not the answer and with T.J. out a dependable back-up is required. It is time for (Colangelo) to go get the best point guard from the D League give Jose a break.
Cam M, Shenzhen, China
A: I’m not sure they’re going to do anything with Martin, not do I think it’s really necessary, but Jan. 5 is the first day they can sign guys to 10-day deals and Jan. 10 is the day Martin’s contract becomes fully guaranteed so we may see some action soon.
Dixon has done a passable job and I don’t think some minor leaguer is going to be able to come in, run the offence and do a better job. And I do think T.J. will be back some time.
And here’s the thing about Jose’s minutes: They aren’t that bad. Starters around the league mostly play 34-36, which is what he’s getting.
So, while I'm not sure what Colangelo’s thinking is, we should find out soon.
And hope your folks over there don’t tease you too much.
Q: I read TJ appeared on the practice. But I read on NBA game review against Rockets that TJ reportedly is considering retiring. Is that true that he is really considering it?
John P, Belleville
A: We’ll go over it one more time.
At no time in the 20-minute conversation we had with T.J. in San Antonio, nor in the 25-minute conversation we had with him back in Toronto, nor in any of the quick chats we’ve had when he’s been around has he ever mentioned that retirement is a possibility.
In fact, here’s a quote from the other day:
"The key now is longevity. It’s still early in the season we still have a lot more games left. Next time I come back I want to be able to finish the whole season and not have to break it down into pieces like I’ve been doing so far. I think that’s the mentality now."
Q: Now that The Star has bumped your salary into the SERIOUS six figures to prevent you from being poached by ESPN And Yahoo Sports (see the article in the Dec. 24 NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/business/media/24sportswriters.html?ex=1199422800&en=f3851412df3cd1e2&ei=5070&emc=eta1), I have two questions: 1) Have you ever interviewed an NBA'er who makes less than you do (now that you earn the big bucks); and 2) When it comes to your adult beverages, have you switched from your proletarian fare (suds) to something more befitting a man of wealth (single malt)? And if Rick Reilly deserves more than $3 million a year to work for ESPN, then SURELY you deserve at least a mill, no?
Lee Z, Ottawa
A: You, sir, can be my agent any time. Six figures? Yeah, if you count the two on the right side of the decimal point, I’m at six figures. We need ESPN or Yahoo Canada, I guess.
Your questions: Interview an NBAer who makes less than me? That’s hilarious. I’m chuckling over here. No, not quite. A couple of guys have asked, in private conversations, what kind of coin we make and they seem stunned when I suggest it’s, well, it’s meal money.
Single malt? Nah, that’s an acquired taste I’ve yet to acquire. There are enough micro-suds to get me through various NBA cities and if there’s a clear, odorless liquid you can mix with orange stuff or red stuff or white stuff, that’ll be fine with me.