The Morning After The Night Before, XXXVI
That was rather decisive, wasn’t it?
I imagine when the season began, that’s exactly the kind of game they envisioned, post it, kick it, swing it, shoot it. Works pretty good against a drab team that didn’t really care about defending on the perimeter. Or the interior, as it turns out.
On with the show
Three Things I Learned
Not as bad as it looks
Take a glance at Bargnani’s line last night – 3-for-13, seven points in 26 minutes – and come away unimpressed. Watch him, though, and it was a much better outing that we’ve come to expect Six boards, active on defence, aggressive on offence. And he missed four three-pointers but if there’s one thing we know about him, he’s going to knock down those shots more regularly.
The whole Bargnani thing is really getting out of control right now. The kid’s going to be fine, he isn’t right now, but he’s slowly getting it. Lord knows I’ve ripped him for being soft and uninterested and he’ll have more bad nights and the Trade Bargnani dolts will come out of the woodwork. But at the end of the day, or the end of this season, he’s going to be okay.
Does Kevin Martin have the skinniest calves and ankles of any pro athlete you’ve ever seen?
Stat line of the year
Eight for 11 from the field, 5-of-7 threes, seven boards, six assists, four steals, one turnover, 26 points.
If Carlos Delfino can play any better, I’d be shocked.
That’s as good a game as these guys are ever gonna get from the small forward spot.
This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a very long time.
Thanks True Hoop over at ESPN. Excellent stuff.
Quick dip into the mailbag, and I’m saving some doozies for tomorrow; if you’ve got a doozy, send it here.
Q: I read your Sacto link, they hardly mentioned the Raptors. What do you think: Ron Artest 19 games 26 offensive rebounds 86 defensive rebounds, as a rental player -- paid $7.4 mil a year, cheap for the rest of the year. Would he be attractive for the Raps to give them some toughness and attitude despite his ten cent brain?
Also does any NBA team trade players when they are on the road, that would be really cold. If they do it, what would you say was the coldest trade that you remember. Ciao keep up the good work.
David P, Ottawa
A: While he’d immediately be their starting small forward and exactly the kind of presence they need, his habit of, um, doing nutty things every single year would make him far more of a liability. And far too much of a liability, I think. After all, for all the talent he’s only had one good run in the playoffs and that was in 2004 and he screwed Indiana out of going to the finals with his antics in Game 6 of the conference final with Detroit. Got a flagrant foul that turned the tide of the game.
Trades? Sure, they can deal guys on the road. It’s cold but it’s a cold league. They dealt Vince on the road, Antonio Davis on the road, I believe. Coldest in Toronto, and that’s all I’ve got personal history with, was the day they traded Kevin Willis to Denver when we were in Boston, I believe it was, and Willis never saw it coming. He was hurt and angry.
And dealing Alvin Williams to Boston the eve of the 2000 all-star break – a trade that was rescinded on the Friday of the break – was pretty uncouth, too.
Chris Bosh is at it again.
I’m not sure if he’s got acting in his future, but he’s on youtube again. Those zany folks over at RealGM (and you know who you are) are gonna be over the moon at this mention.
Not sure, either, about the whole eating thing during the clip and the delivery is not quite Pacino-esque but give the kid credit for putting himself out there.
Another dip in the mailbag
Q: Last time I asked you which beat grunt gets the most groupies and now my question is regarding competitiveness. In your online stories and responses to questions, I've determined that you and the other grunts (by the way is beat grunt a term of endearment?) have what appears to be a friendly relationship and a lot of fun together.
I guess traveling North America together covering games forges a certain kind of bond. Question is, is there any kind a rivalry among you? (i.e. who writes the better story, whose blog gets the most hits, who Smitchell ridicules the most).
Due to the competitive nature of the organizations you work for I can’t imagine it’s always love.
OJ M, Toronto
A: Groupies??????? You keed, you keed.
As for Grunt World (and it is indeed a term of endearment), there’s all sorts of competitiveness. We all want to be first with the big story but like the old adage says, don’t get too high when you win or too low when you lose. One of the wise old men who taught me this beat business once put it like this: 90 per cent of the stories are tied, you’ll win five per cent and lose five per cent. It’s how you handle yourself that counts.
We do have some laughs – the yucks were flying post-game the other night in Detroit when we were sitting around with some Pistons guys telling Kevin O’Neill tales – and that’s what eases the hell of travel.
But I say again: Groupies???????
Check out how Sacto covered Wednesday night.
Hey, you all notice the Knicks have now won three straight? And no Marbury in any of them? Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
But what I’m thinking is they stole one against a worn out Detroit team playing its fourth game in five nights, got Washington on a letdown after the Wizards beat Boston twice and then beat New Jersey ‘cause right now, New Jersey sucks.
If you’re looking for an Eastern Conference team most likely to make a trade and you’re not limiting yourself to Toronto, I’ve got the Nets at the top of the list.
Check out My Man Dave D in Newark today.
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