Finally, it's here
Lots of time in Logan Airport so lots of stuff in here. Some of it interesting, I bet. Also had time with Mr. Grange ™ to scour the boxscore closely, we’re still trying to figure out how a team that gave up 10 offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter and trailed by seven in the same period managed to win. Oh yeah, making every shot you look at helps.
Three things I learned
A breakthrough? Or a tease?
You don’t think the Raptors know what the biggest problem with Andrea Bargnani has been. The kid was really, really good in Boston (the zero rebounds in the second half’s a tad troubling) and now the question is: When will he be good again?
|Shots were falling (and plenty of them). Jose Calderon and Carlos Delfino made 8 of 9 threes.|
Here’s Chris Bosh on that very subject:
"I just want him to keep going. If he can get two good ones in a row, he can really start to build on it and get his confidence back.”
No doubt the kid played his best game in months against the Celtics, let’s see what he brings against the Bucks.
Do you think it’s coincidental that Bargnani’s best games this season have come against some of the East’s better teams?
A talkative lad
If James Posey chats as much when he’s playing as he does when he’s watching, I can’t imagine he’s got time to score points or make plays. The injured Celtic kept up a running - and quite colourful - commentary Wednesday in Boston, busting on anyone in a red jersey. Funnily enough, every time a Raptor made a wide open three in front of the Boston bench (and that was pretty often), he got a tad quiet.
And I’m not sure it’s good form to wear a gaudy Miami championship ring on a Celtic bench.
It’s your number. Know it
A spy sitting down by the Raptor bench last night swears that on at least two occasions, Sam had to rather forcefully remind Jamario Moon of what play the Raptors were running. Now, half the guys in the league forget plays on a regular basis (I swear Kevin Willis spent 2 1/2 seasons in Toronto and never knew a play) but Moon’s forgetfulness stood out for one big fact: Every time Sam had to remind him of the play, it was a play for him.
And, with apologies to Paul Harvey, here’s the rest of the story:
You know, sometimes you just gotta let Sam be Sam.
A classic from Mike D. in Toronto:
Just a thought. Now that Jamario Moon is officially in the dunk contest, wouldn't it be great if he put in a little twist and jumped over a cow? Then again all the animal rights activists would be up in arms. At least there is no pressure for him.
(You get it, Moon jumps over the cow?)
I asked Jamario about this last night. He’s heard it before and figures if he can find a company with a cow as a symbol or logo, he could make some cake off it, too.
A couple of links for you to keep up to day with what’s going on. Here’s how Boston saw Wednesday night’s thriller and here’s what’s going on in Milwaukee, where the Bucks host the Pacers tonight before heading our way.
They have yet to erect a plaque in the visitor’s locker room to commemorate one of the great moments in Raptor history.
It’s four years ago now, Sam’s first year and he tries to chase Rafer Alston and Loren Woods off the bench he’s so mad at them. After the game, Rafer tells me and Stumpy he doesn’t think he’s cut out for the NBA and might retire.
Enterprising journalists that we are, we write that down, march over to the most quotable dude in the room and tell Jalen Rose what Rafer said.
Jalen doesn't blink an eye, just says, "that’s strong" and wanders off.
This may mean nothing, but Grant Hill returned this week after missing seven games after having an appendectomy.
Once more into the mail:
I know Sam says Jimmy's and Joe's are more important than X's and O's. But what if a team has two Joes? Is Bargnani a true centre? Hardly.
He's clearly more a Nowitzki-like 4. If we did not have Bosh he would be our PF. So what to do?
In the standard locked-in NBA patterns, there is NOTHING to do that would help: Bargnani is a guy with no good place on a team with Bosh.
So...how about some out-of-the-box thinking? Why not make other teams adjust to our having TWO 4's? Yes, we would experience problems with defensive match-ups; Yes, rebounding would be an issue, but IMAGINE OTHER TEAMS HAVING TO ADJUST TO US!
Are there precedents in NBA, as there are in college/university, for teams being very creative so as to capitalize on the players they actually have, rather than forcing guys into molds that are "given" in the dominant NBA schemes?
Charles N, Mexico-Toronto
A: Well, I recall two seven footers named Duncan and Robinson playing beside each other rather successfully. One was a power forward, one was a centre and you could argue both had the skill sets of centres.
And there were the twin towers in Houston of Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson in Houston that worked out all right.
How ‘bout we do this: We call Bosh and Bargnani both “bigs” or “posts” instead of centre and/or power forward. After all, last night the Celtics used a power forward (Kevin Garnett) to guard a centre (Bargnani) most of the night and a centre (Kendrick Perkins) to guard a power forward (Bosh). A lot of times, this whole centre-power forward thing is semantics and people get too caught up in it.
We’re standing courtside before the game and there’s this little fellow who looks vaguely familiar chatting with Alex English. No, it wasn’t the athletic director from South Carolina, it was the one and only Ernie DiGregorio, who I grew up watching in Buffalo. Ernie (No) D now works for a casino near Boston as a host and does one of those goofy timeout gigs during games.
No sure what they were talking about but there were 28,610 career NBA points in the chat (of course, 25,613 were Alex’s) and the players should have been listening.
Think back two years and two days, Jan. 22, 2006. Remember?
You nutty readers have filled up the mailbag again, it’ll probably be another double-dose this weekend but if you’ve got a pressing question, click here to send it along.