The Morning After The Night Before, XVII
You know what that was like?
That was like watching my cat with a mouse. Catch it, bat it around a little bit, let it go, smack it again, let it go again, catch it and kill it. Oh, and then leave it right outside the front door so squeamish people see it, dog goes beserk and Dad has to scoop it up. (Oops, sorry I digress).
Anyway, you can just file that Suns game under Undermanned Team That Couldn’t Win Didn’t. And move on.
Three Things I Learned
A perfect storm
Take a team that doesn’t go near the paint, put it against one that doesn’t care if you score when you get there and, presto!, you’ve got last night.
The Suns didn’t commit a single foul in the entire second quarter and didn’t commit a team foul for the first nine minutes of the fourth.
That moved the game along at a nice, brisk pace (interrupted only by the emergency timeouts called by an increasingly agitated Sam Mitchell), over in 2:06.
Dancing in the streets of Ljubljana
You probably didn’t see the glee along press row when Rasho had that put-back dunk in the third quarter.
But it meant Bea Arthur, um, I mean B. Arthur, won a bet with M. Grange. When Rasho came back from his injury, they set an over and under date when he’d have his first dunk.
It was Jan. 7 and Frick, or is Frack?, took the under.
Speaking of Rasho, one of the correspondents – after watching a hobbled Jermaine O’Neal scorch Amare Stoudemire on Tuesday night – suggested before the game that we might want to check Rasho’s career-high scoring night. When he got 10 on the first quarter, we did.
Where’d that come from?
Is it possible, we were wondering, for a guy to have a ‘quiet’ night of 10 points and 18 assists? Yup.
Sick as a dog with a cold and a touch of the flu, Steve Nash was outstanding, and barely noticeable for long stretches, Wednesday night. No one thinks he’s quick but he got by Jose and T.J. almost at will, there were questions about his shooting but that three-pointer he hit in the first half was Dell Curry-esque.
Dude’s good. Really, really, really good.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: What would the Raptors have to do in your opinion to acquire a power presence like a Tim Thomas? Do we have enough trade bait and salary to match any such possibilities? Tim was a great acquisition when BC brought him to Phoenix.
This is the first time I have posted a comment I hope I've put it in the right spot. If not where do I go?
A: This is the right spot. That, unfortunately, is the wrong idea. Tim Thomas is not the answer. He was all right in Phoenix, big in that playoff series with the Lakers, but that was a couple of years ago and his skills have diminished. He’s a finesse big, in many respects, not something they need here.
I want to start a Free Walter Herrmann movement! He’d look good over here.
Q: I thought that last year's referee scandal would have been a huge story this season; however, we hear nothing about it. Has Howard Stern done some PR magic and had it swept under the rug? Thanks!
Doug Nason, Parry Sound
A: Howard? Not to worry, I know you mean David; it’s easy mistake to make, many have.
The answer is no, he hasn’t done anything special at all. The Tim Donaghy thing was what Stern said it was, a ‘rogue, isolated criminal’ acting on his own. I said all along that the refs in the NBA are the best officials in all pro sports with the toughest jobs. And they, with the exception of that one, it seems, are all honourable men, and a woman.
Q: Answer me this, oh wise one: what horrible, grievous sin did Joey commit (Wednesday) to justify Sam simply forgetting about him? A defensive lapse? Hell, if that was it, then the entire team should have been benched. The Suns had no answer for that little two-man game he and Jose were running early on. Either a 12-footer or a drive to the basket and a hoop and/or foul was the result each time. And against the Suns, you need Joey's athleticism and speed. Sam needs to ease up on the kid just a bit, or he'll lose what's remaining of his fragile confidence.
Lee Zimmerman, Ottawa
A: Not sure there is an answer for you. Joey did look good early (settled for jumpers a couple of times when the lane was open) but it was his second good stint in a row. Sam grows exasperated not so much by defensive lapses -- Lord knows there were enough of them committed by all of them -- but by a lack of desire and no willingness to compete. That's what he sees too often from Joey.
That's an excellent point you make about the confidence, though. Joey hasn't -- yet -- tuned out the constant harping and maybe he never will. There is some praise offered -- heard a couple of 'Good play, Joeys' from Sam courtside the lat two games so maybe that's what's keeping the kid going.
Best line of Wednesday
A wag, well, okay, Mike Grange of the Globe, watches Sean Marks hit that pretty little garbage-time jumper and asks: “Is the first basket he’s scored in Toronto?” A joke, of course, ‘cause we watched Marks, one of the all-time good guys in the game, light the Raps up for 16 while with the Spurs in ’06.
Keep 'em coming
Don’t forget, tomorrow’s a mailbag day, and it’s cold outside so a perfect day to sit and the computer and compose tomes to me. Through the magic of the interweb, just click here to send things along.