The Morning After The Night Before, XXXV
In a bit of a hurry this morning (like that’s unusual) ‘cause I gotta drive home to see the Sacramentos tonight. Wonder what zany thing Ron Artest will do to entertain us.
Three Things I Learned
Is change coming?
Watching a small lineup provide the kind of energy he wants, might Sam be thinking about using it more often? Sunday it was Jose, Moon, Parker, Delfino, Bosh and last night it was Dixon, Moon, Kapono, Graham and Nesterovic that made a passable attempt at getting back in the Pistons game.
Sam’s quote after the game (“We have a game tomorrow so we don’t have much time to think about it”) seems to hint that he’s at least going to think about, doesn’t it?
This is why they scream
Let’s say the Raptors score with four or five seconds left in a quarter. Look over at the bench and you’ll see coaches screaming at the players to get up on their guys full court. Two reasons: One, it doesn’t allow the opponent to let the ball roll to halfcourt before picking it up and starting the clock, and, two, it may force a bad pass, as it did at the end of the second quarter last night.
It’s not just because coaches like to hear themselves scream.
Just as they expected
A few of us retire to a little bistro after the game for some sustenance and liquids and to dissect what we’d just seen. Alongside me is a Detroit fellow who’s followed this team for some time and I’m barely in my seat when he turns and says: “How about Carlos? See what I mean?”
This is a guy who’d been telling me since the summer that Delfino’s a tease, great for six games, not-so-great for six. And seeing how Delfino had 14 points in the second quarter and none the rest of the game, I had to agree.
We’ll go quickly to the mailbag:
Q: When do you start starting Delfino over Moon? I think Moon's potential explosiveness can exploit other team’s second units and possibly turn him into less of a jump-shooter. Delfino seems to be able to create his own offence and might be a bit more creative than Moon seems to be against other teams starters. Someone needs to tell Moon that the other team is leaving him open for a jumpshot for a reason.<
Normiyuki H, Toronto
A: See above, although there have been moments in the recent past where I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly. Now? I’m not so sure.
There is nothing like Sam on a roll. And he got on one pre-game in Auburn Hills, first killing Stumpy for being vertically-challenged (according to Historian Sam all the great wars of all-time have been started by short people), then lighting in to all reporters.
"I don't trust y’all,” was how he started. “Let me tell you what y’all have done to me (since becoming head coach in Toronto). I have become a cynic of people.
"I don't believe one thing people say. I was born a trusting fool, and y'all have educated me to the point to where anytime y’all ask me a question I always think there's something you're trying to do to me.”
Before anyone gets all bent out of shape, he was joking around with us, as he does. And when he does, it’s worth the price of admission. Of course, we get in free.
From the angry side of the inbox:
This is the first time I couldn't finish watching the game.
Why do you think we Raps fans want Sam fired? He just prays for a win. He doesn't know his players well. He doesn't have any strategy. He just prays his players play well, just well.
Why do you think Sam didn't have Jose, CB4, and Delfino on the court in the 3rd quarter? The 2nd, maybe 3rd unit could make 12-point game from 18 at the end of the 3rd, but that was because the Pistons didn't play well, not because the 3rd unit played well. Sam should have started the final quarter with CB4, Jose, Delfino, AP and Rasho (or Kapono).
Raps up by 24 and 20 against Mavs and Cavs, but they lost the games. Why did Sam couldn't win this game? 11 minutes of 3rd quarter and the whole 4th quarter were garbage time?
Watching the game like this, my blood pressure is going far north.
John P, Belleville
A: Dude, I’ve got some blood pressure pills I’d be glad to share with you because, man, you need them more than I do.
Did you actually watch the game before you couldn’t finish? Did you see the starters get into an 18-point hole and then the small lineup get it back down to eight?
Seriously, man, you gotta chill.
Oh, and it seems like my man Chris McCosky’s not a big Sam fan, either. Check out his game story.
Persistent Chaz E. of London (the U.K. kind) provides an opportunity for a list with this query:
"Hopefully this is third time lucky. If you could choose the draft class of 2003 again who would be your top 5 picks in order?”
It was: LeBron James, Darko Milicic, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
It should have been: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and anyone other than Darko.
I don’t think they’re showcasing Joey but I do think he’s got some trade value now with his performances in the last few games.
And I’m absolutely certain BC is working the phones more feverishly right now trying to get something done. He’s probably re-visiting conversations he’s had over the last month or so and I’d say it’s 70-30 he gets something done in the next couple of weeks or so.
Oh, and here’s what they’re saying in Sacto leading up to tonight’s mighty struggle.
The usual reminder goes here to fill up the weakly mailbag. (That's an intentional typo, by the way). Tomorrow’s the only non-game day of the week so I’d like nothing better than to spend it culling questions from y’all.