The Morning After The Night Before, XX
Wasn’t that something? Sure took the air out of everyone around the team, and the whole arena. Except for two idiots behind us who, not knowing how badly T.J. was hurt, were making wisecracks. Caught the attention of some of the Raptor players and staff, too, who shot some comments back.
Before the bad ending, the Raps had played hard, defended – against Josh Smith in particular – very well and it was one of those gritty rather than great games that good teams win on the road.
But, really, it was hard for any of them to care after. I’ve never seen Sam as distraught as he was trying to talk to us after the game.
I'll get to the many, many, many comments in there -- and thanks for them -- when I get back. Rright now, Delta Airlines wants me to get on my plane.
Three Things I Learned
Where were they?
I abhor basketball fights, mostly because, as Sam says, players can’t fight. But surely to all that’s good in the world, someone should have at least got in Al Horford’s face just a wee bit, don’t you think?
Not to punch him, but to say something, maybe push him, let him know smacking a kid in the head on a drive is stupid, very, very stupid.
I honestly think that if someone else had been knocked down like that, T.J. would have been the first to get at the guy who did it.
Tough to watch. Maybe know they’ll get it, sticking up for teammates doesn’t necessarily mean throwing punches, but it means doing something.
A dirty play?
I have no doubt Horford had no thoughts of slamming Ford to the floor when he tried to foul him and maybe the rookie learns from it. Grab him around the waist, foul him at the free throw line or in the lane before he gets in the air.
Don’t swing your arm with no idea where it’s going to land.
And even though there was no malice intended, I really think the NBA has to suspend him a game and take some money away from him just to learn a lesson.
A not so stellar return
Okay, so Andrea Bargnani only played 12 minutes and missed all four shots he took and that was hardly a good night coming back from injury.
But there were two signs, subtle, that were heartening to his coaches and which didn’t go unnoticed.
Twice, once on the wing in front of the Hawks bench, and once on the baseline on the right side of the basket, he passed up shots without a second shot that he normally would have taken.
First was to pass to AP, I believe it was; second, was to get in the lane and try to draw contact. Sorta looked like he knew he couldn’t make a shot so he tried to do something else and that’s not been a prevalent thought process in the past.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: Just finished my last exam for the semester and what do i come home to? Ford getting mugged, Kapono hurt, Jose with a dislocated finger, and Bargnani, who is on my Fantasy team with 0 points? Ugh.
Anyway my question has to do with the draft. There are a lot of stars who come out of drafts and there are also busts. See Araujo, Jonathan Bender, Kwame Brown, and the entire class of 2000 save Redd and K-Mart and the holy grail of draft busts Sam Bowie.
Why is that? What happens to them when they reach the NBA that makes them not live up to their potential. Is it the coaches they get? Bad scouts? Or did they never really have "it: in the first place? And is Charlie V almost a bust or does he need more time to develop?
A: Yeah, tough night for them and you. Hope the exam went well
It's hard to say why a dude's a bust. Most of the time, it's because some scout or GM fell in love with a guy and missed some obvious athletic flaws
And sometimes, despite a barrage of psychological tests teams do and interviews they conduct, many kids just can't make the transition to being a pro. It's hard.
Mostly, as you said, it’s “it.” Just knowing how to work, what to eat, how to get your rest, not living off a reputation that hasn’t been earned.
As for Chuck V? Too early, let's talk a year from now.
Q: You would agree that the Toronto Raptors is Canada's Team, right? So, how come we don't have a SINGLE Canadian player on the roster? I mean, we have lot's of people in Canada. Isn't there one Canadian basketball player worthy of a roster spot on the Toronto Raptors (other than Nash)?
Kenneth L, Mississauga
A: Frankly, no. There is not another Canadian-born basketball player anywhere on the planet that would help this team right now. If there were, they'd give him a look. Just like if there was a guy from Mars or Europe or some other galaxy.
They might be Canada's team to the marketing dudes, but to the people who sign the players, nationality has nothing to do with it.
Q: Thanks for the daily diversion from work! If I understand Garbo correctly, he should be able to play again near the end of the season. Will he be in game shape by playoff time? I can only imagine that a layoff that long will also take some time to get all the timing down pat.
A: Glad to help take attention away from that pesky work thing.
Garbo's done for this year, I'm afraid.
They say he's 10 weeks before being able to put weight on his foot and even though we know how hard he works at rehab and how anxious he is to play, I cannot envision a scenario where he puts a Raptor uniform on again this season. There's no way in the world, given what transpired last summer, that they rush him back.
The interesting question, and one that we will debate in the next few months, is whether Garbo gets cleared to play for Spain in Beijing. The Games are in August. Very interesting.