The Morning After The Night Before, XXI
Three straight wins. Two over pretty good teams. A solid road win against a good young club? Sense something happening?
Not sure, because if there’s one thing this team is, it’s inconsistent but seeing how the schedule shapes up over the next couple of weeks, three victories in a row is huge. Gives ‘em a cushion to take out west.
If Bargnani gets going and T.J.’s back in 10 days or so, this team might do something special in January, when the schedule eases.
Anyway, here we go …
Three Things I Learned
What’s in a name?
The Hump’s a cute name and all, goes with his real one but, really, can’t we come up with something better for Kris Humphries?
The dude known as Grunt, who gets into the comment section here every now and then, suggests Not-Haffa Bad would be a good moniker. What do you think? Drop ‘em in the comment section and we’ll pick out a few of the best and let you see ‘em.
The kid’s playing well, isn’t he? Now, I’m not about to put him in the Hall of Fame after two good games in the last three, and I still think his tendency to do too much will re-surface any minute now, but there’s no denying he gets the crowd fired up.
Pretty funny guy, too.
He was asked if Wednesday was the first time he’d heard his name chanted in an NBA game and showed the kind of self-assured nature that stands him apart from many others.
"Come on man, I’m not some bum," he said, apparently missing the ‘NBA game’ part of the question because a Humphries name chant isn’t like ‘Fire Isiah’ coming out of the mouths of NBA fans these days.
"Come on, dude. Who is this guy over here?" he wondered.
Dude was Big Game Eric, new beat grunt from Conrad’s Paper, and the brother of Quag.
Some plane ride
The jet goes to Atlanta, picks up T.J. and two Raptor officials who spent the night with him at hospital and then stops in Baltimore to grab up Garbo, a day after he goes under the surgeon’s knife.
Must have been a fun ride, right? Couple of injured teammates telling stories and hanging out? Not so much, it seems.
"I don’t think we talked at all,” Ford said after Wednesday’s game. "We gave each other a hug and he went back to sleep and I went back to sleep."
Another game, another position
Carlos Delfino plays a little two, a little three and Sam’ll use him to guard some fours.
Now, he’s a point guard, too?
He was running a few sets early in the second quarter against Dallas, with DMart playing the role of shooting guard and there may not be a more appropriate position for Martin, is there?
Delfino was amazing against the Mavs. It might have been the best 3-for-12 night I ever saw. Toss in six assists, seven rebounds and a steal and it was a tour de force. The pass to Kapono on the baseline for a three at the halftime buzzer might have been the best assist of the night.
Three Things You Wondered
Q: I love the depth of the Raps team - if anyone wants to know the Raps don't have a player in the top 70 in minutes per game - but my question is, do you think the starters and bench will stay as it is right now? Ford, AP, Bosh, Rasho, and Moon vs Kapono, Jose, Carlos, Hump, and Bargs.
Looks balanced to me. And who wins best 2 out of 3?
Ollie H, Toronto
A: I can't see any changes to the starting lineup at the moment because they all seem to be fitting right into their roles. If there's anything on the horizon, and it's way far off in the distance, maybe Delfino pushes AP out of a job? But even that's a very, very long shot.
Who wins? The team with Bosh on it.p> -
Q: Just wondering about travel schedules when the Raptors play games on the road, then back at home the next night. For example, when they are in Atlanta one night and scheduled to play back at home the following night, do they fly back after the game or usually wait until the following morning? Thanks!
David H, Toronto
A: They fly back through the night, all the time on back-to-backs and generally all the time anyway. Only time they might stay is when they’re out west or south when they can’t get back before 2 a.m. because an arrival later than that means they have to fly into Hamilton ‘cause Pearson doesn’t let planes land after that time.
It's just us poor saps who travel commercial who have to stay in the city, get the 4:30 a.m. wakeup call for the 9 a.m. flight and travel with the masses.
Q: I can't believe you left Popeye Jones out of your Top 5 Raptors charge takers. They created that stupid semi-circle for him.
Jon Cook, Toronto
A: You got me. You and about a billion others. He was the one I inexplicably forgot because he was the first and the best.
Saw him Wednesday night, as a matter of fact, in his new role as an assistant to Dallas’s Avery Johnson. Looks great, like he could still get out there and take a charge.
To all the Popeye fans out there, and those who loved Olive Oil and Wimpy, too, my abject apologies.