The Morning After The Night Before, Whatever 40 is in Roman numerals
If it’s not Mo Pete, it’s Anthony Parker. Someone, it seems, is going to cause a beat grunt’s stress level to rise substantially whenever we’re in Washington.
|This one's dedicated to Mo Pete.|
Oh, and getting the midnight call from Air Canada that the 9 a.m.' s been cancelled is a real treat, too; but I digress.
Of course, unlike Mo’s circus shot last season, AP’s heave didn’t end up in raucous celebration after an overtime win. But after the way they played, it was probably a just and fair result last night.
Three Things I Learned
It’s Damon Day
Juan Dixon looked more like a point guard last night than he has in a long time. Great dish to Hump for one dunk and a nifty lead pass in transition to Bosh for another.
But it’s not enough. Today’s the day Damon Stoudamire can sign somewhere and I’m told by Someone Who Knows that Boston may no longer in the mix.
Not sure what that means in the big picture but Toronto’s still in the race. Of course, with Devin Harris hurt in Dallas and Tony Parker on the limp in San Antonio, there are a couple of other big-time teams in the hunt for a point guard.
Which one is this?
Seven minutes, four missed shots, two rebounds, a foul. Hello, Bad Joey.
Hold off on the Bargs love
Seventeen minutes, 1-for-6. Maybe that game a week ago in Boston was the aberration. But, Bargnani did have six rebounds – two offensive – so there’s something to build on. But it’s the ones he didn’t get, by forgetting to find the man he was supposed to block out, or by forgetting to actually go after a ball, that was the reason he didn’t play in the second half after getting his fourth foul.
Quickly to the mail bag:
Q: Tough loss but the 3rd quarter was hideous; Raps did not deserve to win. Just a quick question about the Raptors' chemistry.
When Parker shot went in the bench seemed... well, sorta ho hum glum (especially compared to the mayhem that ensued after Mo Pete's Hail Mary last year).
Between Rasho, Kapono, Barnani, Delfino and Baston, they’re not exactly the spunkiest dinosaurs i've ever seen.
Maybe the guys on the bench aren’t having as much fun because they aren’t playing? (Kapono after the Boston win looked borderline bored). Short version of the question: is there a chemistry problem, or are they just a low key bunch?
John L, Thornhill
A: Bang-on observation. It didn’t look like jubilation at the time and seeing Parker’s shot on TV (it was No. 1 on the ESPN Top 10 this morning), there was happiness but no one seemed over-joyed.
I don’t think there’s a chemistry problem, these guys do genuinely like each other, but they are certainly not the most, um, excitable bunch.
Now a little public service:
Check out my friends at Canada Basketball here to find out about a significant wheelchair basketball tournament around our parts this weekend.
More mail and an update:
Q: Just read your comment on the Black Stars taking on Nigeria. I would be willing to make a bet with you if that ever takes place, after growing up in Nigeria, I will live and die by their team.
On to basketball, other than the Mighty Mouse, are there any other veteran point guards out there that the Raptors are looking at? Maybe some that are looking for a contract
Thierry M, Sudbury
A: Fine Sir, unless it’s sanctioned by our government, which apparently has nothing better to do like fix our schools or roads or social ills, gambling is illegal. As I may have mentioned before.
Anyway, on to the guards thing. The only other ones out there are the currently unemployed teeny-tiny Earl Boykins, 30-something Randy Livingston, who’s tearing up the D League and, Earl Watson would like out of Seattle but not sure what Toronto could give to get him.
Of course, Portland’s got about four PGs – Steve Blake, Jarrett Jack, Sergio Rodriguez and the rookie Taurean Green (not to mention Brandon Roy who actually runs the team) – so maybe that’s a place Bryan Colangelo’s looking.
We beat grunts love the Kiss Cam in various arenas. Stumpy, in particular, has been known to heckle those surprised couples who don’t want to kiss.
But even Stumpy would have given the dude in Washington a break last night. Camera catches two 20-somethings in the crowd and wants them to canoodle or something, growing increasingly hostile when they don’t kiss. Dude turns to the camera and mouths: “She’s my sister.”
Guy got a pass.
Here’s how the Washington Post played last night’s déjà vu game.
Another dip into the mail:
Q: I have to say I was surprised, if not shocked, to hear say that it would be 'very cool' to see Darrell Walker sitting next to Byron Scott at the ASG. Now while at the time, we didn't have Chuck, Grange (TM) and yourself giving as much insight into Walker as we get about Sam Mitchell these days via your daily blogs, but I always pictured him as a villain in Toronto for his treatment of McGrady during his early years.
Now, I'm convinced T-Mac would have left Toronto regardless, but i'm sure Walker's seemingly personal vendetta against him (benching him after a windmill drunk, not playing him while having a 16 win roster, etc.) probably didn't have Tracy eager to do the organization any favors, like for starters, letting Grunwald know that he had no interest in signing an extension so he could be traded instead of being lost for nothing (like he did with Orlando).
So putting that blip aside then, got any stories that would make us happy to see Walker by Byron Scott's side?
Marino F, Richmond Hill
A: Well, not sure how old you are or how long you’ve been around these parts but D Walk did coach ‘em to 30 wins in Year 2 and that did give the folks a few things to be happy about.
Oh, and he finally got Benoit Benjamin out of the NBA. Great end to Ben’s career. He’s loafing through a drill, Darrell’s all over him and finally Ben snaps, says something along the lines of “bleep you, you bleep-bleeped, bleeper.”
That’s about 1:10 one afternoon, by 1:30, after Darrell runs him out of the gym, Isiah’s got him on waivers.
So, I asked Sam after shootaround when, and why, he decides to play zone defence every now and then.
"It’s just a game-by-game decision, who’s on the floor and how we’re doing. If I look out there and see matchups I’m not crazy about, I may play some zone.”
Oh, you mean when Jason Kapono’s out there.