All-time question, all-time team; and Bargs likes his rest
I’m going to go right to the mail ‘cause this one’s really good and sure to spark some discussion.
Q: This is my first time writing to your all-sarcastic blog, so please, I wonder, give me a top 5 lineup, active or inactive that would dominate the basketball world for all-time. Be free to make fun of me and any of my questions in any way you feel like.
Matt F, Mississauga
A: Make fun? Man, this is one of the greatest questions ever. Can you imagine the bar conversation you could have on this one? In fact, I may try to start one some night this week.
Here’s a stream of consciousness answer:
You’ve got to take Bill Russell, right? But that means leaving out Wilt and Shaq? Oh yeah, and you’re bypassing Kareem and Hakeem, too? If you don’t have Oscar Robertson on that team it’s not a team worth having and if you take Michael and Magic, what do you do with Larry? Is it Tim Duncan or George Mikan or maybe Malone? If you’re looking at point guards, though, how can you not say Isiah or maybe Stockton?
Red Auerbach’s gotta coach, right? Or Phil?
I guess you just blur the backcourt positions a bit and you take Magic and Michael and The Big O with Duncan and Russell and you never, ever lose a game. And then you get a big old box of cigars and let Red have his fun.
Is that a good enough team for you?
Sure, they are just Games 44 and 45 of 82 and nary a Raptor is likely to publicly admit it, but Tuesday and Wednesday are statement games for sure.
Back-to-back with Washington? Half-game lead on the Wizards in the middle of the East? White-hot from going 8-2 in their last 10?
Yeah, now we find out a bit of what these guys are made of.
Games set up badly – if you want to sweep a home-and-home you always want to start at home but these guys have already won at Boston, San Antonio and New Orleans so it’s not as if the road really kills them.
It’s going to be a good test of their defence, too. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are precisely the kind of multi-talented forwards these guys have a hard time guarding.
It’s not often you get really jazzed about regular season games at this time of year but these two are special.
Spent an entirely delightful day with the good folks of the Ontario Basketball Association on Sunday for their symposium on where the game is today and where it’s got to go.
Aside from coming away thinking Maurizio Gherardini and Masai Ujuri should take their comedy act on the road – and catching up with national women’s team coach Allison McNeil – the feeling is that the game in the province is in good hands.
I think they know they have to teach the kids skills more than anything, they’ve got to get aspiring great players in the gym more often and everyone seems to be going in the right direction.
Was a good day of good discussion.
So, Chris Webber’s coming back, likely to Golden State, as my friend Janny Hu reports, where he can torment Nellie a little bit more and as I’m watching the ESPN the other day and seeing Our Man Jalen doing his schtick it strikes me that The Rose is probably on the phone trying to resurrect his career today.
Here’s a stat for you:
In games after three days rest, Andrea Bargnani averages 15.7 points per game and shoots 44 per cent from the field.
In games with one days rest, he averages 7.9 points per game and shoots 37 per cent.
As a comparison, Chris Bosh averages 20 points a game with three days rest and 23.3 with one day off.
Speaking of the Wizards, here’s how Sunday’s loss to Milwaukee played in the papers down there.
Manjit in Ajax wonders:
Is there any coaching staff in the league that could challenge the Raps coaches in a game of 4-on-4? Sam Mitchell rebounding; Alex English scoring; Mike Evans at the point; and Jay Triano to knock down perimeter shots?
That’s a pretty good team.
I’d like to see a round robin against Detroit (Michael Curry, Terry Porter, Dave Cowens and maybe Flip Saunders can run the point) and Lakers (Brian Shaw, Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons and a hobbled but tough Phil Jackson).
Maybe we could get that in the all-star game.
You’ve got to give Canada Basketball some props for this one.
Sunday was Family Literacy Day and the group’s got a bunch of things going on in conjunction with ABC Canada.
There is nothing more important than reading – and reading about basketball can be pretty cool – so I’m going to suggest you check out Canada Basketball’s website to see what their reading initiative is all about.
And read. Read lots. Get your kids to read. A lot.
Let’s get into the mailbag for a couple:
Q: A Basketball 101 question for you: Can you please explain the idiosyncrasies of the loose ball foul? I get most of the other finer points of the game, but I try to call the loose balls (i.e. who they are going to get called against), I'm almost always wrong!
Stephen B, Burlington
A: I guess the easiest way to explain it is it’s a foul committed when no team has possession of the ball. On a rebound, for instance, when someone pushes off; when someone goes to intercept a pass and knocks someone over.
It’s there to distinguish between an offensive foul (which is not a team foul; nor does it create free throws) and a run-of-the-mill foul.
Q: Do you think this year's dunk contest might be a popularity contest instead of a real talent show? Fans are allowed to vote who they think should win, and I know that there are people who are neutral and will vote for who they thought was most impressive, but there will be people who are bias and will vote for their favourite out of the four regardless of what they showcase.
Sam C, Kingston
A: Yes, that’s what’s going to happen and that’s precisely why I think Jamario Moon will win because no one does the internet better, and more zealously, than Raptor fans.