The Morning After The Night Before, XXXVIII
That was a bit of a stinker, no? Sure, they win by 31 and everyone goes home happy, the memories of 112-85 are forgotten. But it really wasn’t a gem.
Anyway, gotta be quick today, it’s basketball day for Super Son pretty soon.
Three Things I Learned
A tough play
Watching Andrea Bargnani have Mo Williams on his back on the baseline early, it struck one as a perfect opportunity for the big guy to take the little guy in the post and punish him. Then, when Williams fell down and was lying at Andrea’s feet, it looked like there was a clear path to the basket.
But instead of simply stepping over him and driving, the Big Soph stood, hoisted a 17-foot airball and angst ruled.
So goes the education of a young player.
Bucks change coming?
You probably didn’t see him, and likely wouldn’t have recognized him if you did. But Milwaukee GM Larry Harris was in the building last night and he couldn’t have liked what he saw. It looked like a total give up by the Bucks in the third quarter.
Word around the league is that Harris is on thin ice; games like last night certainly can’t help his cause. Here's how the game looked from the Milwaukee perspective.
Rasho’s quick hands
Do you think Rasho’s the king of the tap-back offensive rebound? Did it twice Friday night, giving the Raptors the kind of extra possessions they usually give up rather than get.
I’m telling you know, if Rasho’s still here come playoff time, he’s going to be hugely valuable. He’s got the size, experience and savvy to help anchor halfcourt defences and that’s what you need in the post-season.
I asked one of the zillion ex-Raptor assistants on the Milwaukee staff what he thought of Rasho and the answer was quick: “Smartest guy on the team.”
On to other things
You people are great. In the mailbag yesterday, I joked that I needed a research tandem and what do I get? A handful of offers. All of ‘em are greatly appreciated, you fine folks, but it’s not in the Star’s budget and it’s certainly not in mine.
But if I do need help, I know I can ask.
Got an e-mail shortly after the game from Noah in Toronto, suggesting something that’s been suggested here before but something that should be said more often.
All you fans reading this, go to your pocket, dig out your ticket stub, walk outside and find someone down on their luck.
Give them the ticket, point ‘em to Pizza Pizza and tell them to go have lunch on you.
You’ll feel better. And so will they. And that promotion will have actually done some good.
Quick trip to the mailbag
Q: Since so many of you talked about the Celtic game, I also want to express my view and have your thoughts. The Raps really played great to win the game, but just don't get overjoyed. You won't have many games that you can shoot over 70% from the 3 and you can seldom win giving up so many offensive boards and points off turnovers to get out with a W. And House could have won that game with that open look while Allen could have tied it with the buzzer beater. So they got some luck on this one! But we do have to give credit for them for staying close. But if we meet the Celtics in the playoff, it’s hard to beat them 4 times to advance. Your thoughts?
Yiu W, Markham
A: It’s going to be hard to beat Boston four times in seven games regardless of what happened on Wednesday night. But if they do shoot 70 per cent from the three and are perfect from the line four times, they will win that series.
Remember, there’ll be a bonus mailbag tomorrow. A perfect way to spend a Sunday morning, I think.
Speaking of mail …
Q: Do the Raps still have that three-point streak? If so, how many games is it at now. I remember Chuck Swirsky used to always mention it each game but that was a few years ago when they had nothing else good to talk about.
Peter H, Elgin
A: Oh, they most certainly do. It’s at 738 and counting after Friday night.
And one more before we’re off to Mississauga Monarchs house league basketball for Super Son’s weekly game.
Q: Representing for the ladies here! Just hoping you could enlighten us on any trade rumours you've been hearing (both for the Raps and the rest of the league).
Marianne D, Toronto
A: Love the representing the ladies, thanks.
Rumours are pretty quiet right now, the big one floating out there was the Nocioni-to-New Jersey talk earlier in the week. And with Jermaine O’Neal hurt and Kobe happy in L.A., those are two big names you might not be hearing about anymore.
I guarantee you there will be all kinds of rumours about the free-falling Nets. Check out how my man Dave D’Alessandro summed up last night’s debacle.
I bet the next big rumour surrounds Tracy McGrady and I bet it’s got Chicago as his destination.
But don’t worry, when we get some juicy ones, you folks will be the first to know.