Zany game, isn’t it? Can’t make a shot or get a rebound one night, can’t miss the next and win the battle of the boards. Maybe Sam’s right, maybe it is just a matter of making shots. Everyone feel better today? Some love out there for Bargs. Sure. Today. Until the next time.
Oh, and you all went out into the night and gave your tickets to someone who could really use a slice of pizza today, right?
Here’s our regularly-scheduled stuff.
Three Thing I Learned
Coincidence? I think not.
|RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR|
Did you notice that the two best three-point shooting games, and the two best scoring nights in a month (at Boston, vs. Washington) came when Bargnani got it going? No matter his shortcomings, he’s got to play because on nights he’s even okay from the field it just opens up so many more shots for everyone. Teams have to guard him when he’s on the floor and that creates space.
Good things happen to good guys
From our department of late bloomers, we give you Roger Mason. Watching him drill three after three last night was cool. Here’s a good guy who kicked around a few years, stuck with it and is now playing a big role on a good team.
One more Bargs
I swear on one move I saw him dribble with his head up. And the shot fake, two-dribble pull up jumper he hit in the third quarter was a sweet move.
Okay, here’s why sometimes this job doesn’t suck.
Me and Sun No. 2 are in a cab to the airport in Washington the other morning and we strike up a conversation with the nice man driving. Small talk, mainly, ‘til he asks us what we do and we tell him we’re sportswriters.
"Have you ever heard of Oscar Robertson,” he asks?
Duh, sure, the greatest ever in the opinion of some.
Well, it turns out the driver had some stories. Great stories.
went to high school with Oscar and this might be the best cab ride ever.
The conversation, as I recall it unfolding.
"Oscar was the greatest, went to school with him,” says driver.
"When did you know he’d be great?”
"About the eighth grade, he could shoot your ass off then.”
"Did you play with him?”
"Nah, I was on the reserve team, he was varsity all the way. Did you know he had a brother?”
"Nope, didn’t know that.”
"Yeah, Bailey. Was a good player, too. Uncoachable, though, never made it.”
Wow, I’m thinking, this dude is cool. And then there’s more.
"You ever heard of George McGinnis,” Mr. Driver says.
"Um, yeah, of course. Who hasn’t?”
"Played with him, too; ran him off the playground when he was a kid, clumsy guy, couldn’t play. Guess we were wrong.”
Man, this is cool, I’m thinking.
"You guys see the movie Hoosiers?”
"I was at that game. Just like in the movie, Milan won, 32-30 and Bobby Plump hits the shot. We called Bobby “Country” back then. Wore a white T-shirt under his jersey. Country could shoot.”
Now we’re at the airport and all I want the dude to do is drive us around for a few hours telling stories.
"I’m retired now, my wife retired from the state department five years ago and I’m driving this cab ‘cause I’ve got to keep our marriage together. Gotta get out of each other’s hair.”
I know that the gentleman, a Mr. Proctor, will never see this but, man, did he make my day.
Quick hit to the mailbag for a stats thingy:
Nik Wood of Ottawa wonders:
Another blowout win for the Raptors has me wondering if there is some sort of team record for blowout wins in a season. These guys seem to only win by 20 or more. How many have they had?
Interesting you ask. These dudes have now won four games by 30 or more points this year; they won three by 30 or more all of last season. The 39-point win against Washington tied the greatest margin of victory ever in a game (the last was against Atlanta on April 12, 2002).
A quick tour of the web finds Ivan Carter’s take on Wednesday’s blowout.
Okay, I’m going to say this once and only once. If the Nets, Portland and Dallas do that mega-deal involving Kidd it may end up that Jamaal Magloire is thrown in as cap ballast and waived.
If that happens, DO NOT SUGGEST THE RAPTORS SIGN HIM.
It is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
Thanks for listening.
Mail’s in, again
Q: Hey Doug, it's been bugging me for a while, and I figured I'd go straight to the source. After each game, you put up the title, The Morning After The Night Before XL (This is 40 in Roman Numerals BTW); but the raptors played 44 games! What happened to the other 4 Mornings After the 4 Nights Before???
Louis K, Richmond Hill
A: Maybe I slept in? Or called ‘em something else? I do know I didn’t start until about Game 3, or Game III, as I recall.
And, finally, you can forget about watching TV tonight to find out who the all-star reserves are. I’m going to tell you now:
Chauncey Billups, Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh, Antawn Jamison, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler and Paul Pierce.
Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Carlos Boozer, Dirk Nowitzki, Marcus Camby, Brandon Roy, Amare Stoudemire.
You’re welcome and good day.
Remember, it's mailbag day tomorrow. Send 'em here to give me something to do while watching games this evening.