The Morning After The Night Before, XXXIV
How 'bout that one? Best one in the arena so far this year? Yeah, I think so, too.
Gotta give 'em credit for taking those gut shots at the end of the fourth and the first overtime and hanging in there.
Anyway, here's today's offerings.
Three Things I Learned
Tough day for Moon
Sure, the four-point play was the biggest gaffe of the afternoon by Jamario but he hadn't been having a good one to that point anyway. In the middle of the first quarter, he's slow to rotate to an open man and I don't recall Sam chewing him out quite as hard and everyone in the arena knew it.
But you gotta give the coach credit. Mitchell didn't take him out of the game immediately, he waited on possession so he didn't show Moon up too much. That's a good, solid coaching move; so, too, was sticking with him through the overtime.
How much is too much?
This backup point guard thing is getting out of hand.
Calderon had to play the entire second half and both the overtimes because Sam didnt have confidence in either Martin or Dixon to let 'em get even two minutes at the end of the third quarter.
And, have you noticed in the last three games -- notwithstanding the final four seconds of the first quarter yesterday -- that Mitchell has stayed with Calderon until after the second quarter starts, and after the fourth starts, to help them finish quarters better.
Bargnani's summer vacation
Asked Sam on the weekend about the kind of coaching Bargnani's getting and what they can do to help him out. Mitchell did suggest they might send Bargs to a big man's camp this summer, the one run by the legendary Pete Newell, I imagine, so he can learn the intricacies of being an NBA centre.
Pretty good idea.
Let's get right to the mailbag for one:
Q: I honestly can't believe you. Maybe you were in the rush to answer as many mailbag entries as you could your were a little cloudy in the noggin.
How can you put 'Sheed above Bosh on the World vs. USA All-Star team? I'll just assume that was an oversight on your part, or maybe you were just enjoying a few extra adult beverages on Saturday night...most of us grown-ups like to imbibe in the spirits over the weekend, I can't imagine you're any different form the rest of us.
A quick note on this afternoon's game, thought it was a nice move by Sam to put out a smaller aggressive defensive lineup in the OT periods to limit Roy's effectiveness, looks like it paid off in the 2nd OT period. What did you think of Bosh with the 4 smalls out on the court to finish the game?
Kristian P, Waterloo
A: Right now, I think Rasheed's probably a better player than Bosh. Maybe that's not the case next week or next month but today? It is.
The four smalls and Bosh was a very good lineup and, in most cases, it'll work well. It's matchup driven but athletic and probably as good as they can get defensively. But most coaches don't want to make any substitutions during an overtime -- don't want to interrupt flow that's on the court -- so the fact the same five guys played those 10 minutes wasn't out of the ordinary in an overtime game.
You check out the Portland bench? Yes, that is Maurice Lucas working as an assistant and he still looks likes he could, and would, kick anyone's butt if he got back on the court.
He was, to many people, one of the toughest guys to ever play the game.
Here's how the game looked from the Portland point of view, thanks to Jason Quick.
Okay, we can do Brandon Roy vs. Andrea Bargnani 'til the cows come home (and we do) but how in the world did Minnesota actually take Roy and trade him for Randy Foye?
A week or so ago, had a mailbag query on why teams foul at the end of games? Well, I present yesterday as evidence why. Raptors have the ball out of bounds with 25.5 seconds left and instead of defending a possession and allowing the Raptors to run the clock down (like New Orleans did on New Year's Eve), the Blazers foul Bosh immediately and it gives then a chance to eventually tie on the Outlaw four-point play.
That's why you extend games.