A little of this, a little of that
This might mean the mailbag dries up a little bit.
There’s T.J. Ford telling everyone at practice Wednesday (thanks to stinky Air Canada I wasn’t able to get there) that he’s fine coming off the bench, Jose’s earned the starters role and all’s cool.
"Where respect is due, it's due. He played well. He earned it. So he can keep (the starting spot)."
That’s gotta cut out a dozen letters a week.
It’s the logical statement, a move that makes sense to everyone and maybe some of you will chill now.
You know how Sam’s always saying you’re never “supposed” to win and if you don’t play well you’ll lose, no matter what a team’s record is?
I give you: Minnesota 111, Utah 100 last night.
And here’s how it played in Minneapolis
Speaking of last night …
Orlando wins, Cleveland loses and it’s almost time to predict a Raptor-Cavalier first-round playoff matchup.
There’s lots of games to be played, but with the Magic holding a four-game lead over Toronto and
Washington Cleveland (oops) for third, it’s increasingly looking like a few drives around the lake in late April.
Laurie D. from Guelph wonders:
I am in Florida right now equidistance from Orlando and Miami and see that the Raptors are coming down. If I go to one game which one would be the better experience, including the general availability of good seats, first or second half of a back to back, good restaurants, safety, Dwyane or Dwight.
Aside from being quite jealous that Laurie’s in Florida and I’m freezing my butt off here at home, I’ll play travel agent for her ‘cause I’m that kind of guy.
I’m not a fan of either city, actually, Orlando lacks a soul, it rains every day at least a little bit in Miami, it seems, it’s an interesting choice.
You’ll get a better ticket in Miami but see a worse game, likely.
You’ll have a better dinner on South Beach somewhere (Joe’s Stone Crab would be my choice) although Wolfgang Puck’s place in Orlando is outstanding.
Miami’s arena is close to South Beach, in Orlando there’s traffic all the time.
But the Magic are the first of a back-to-back and Dwight Howard’s pretty darn good.
I’d do Orlando, eat sushi at Puck’s and then drive to the game.
Have fun, let me know how it works out. (It's a Glamour Boy trip so I'll be back here freezing)
Or sort of.
Agent Zero, who says he’ll be back this year and I’ll believe that when I see it, chides Canadian fans a wee bit in his latest blog. It’ll probably temper the reception he gets here in March, right?
Are the Raptors seven games over .500? Or 3 1-2? Have had lots of queries about this from the math nuts out there.
Technically, it’d be 3 1-2, I guess. 31 minus 24 divided by 2.
But in the sports vernacular – and we’re an odd bunch over here in sports – we use seven ‘cause it’s easier.
Just like they use Leafs instead of Leaves.
Makes no sense, that’s just the way it is.
Reminds of 1992 in Barcelona at the Olympics. Dream Team press conference, the world is there to ask the glamourous stars of the NBA everything imaginable and one guy asks Karl Malone why some shots are worth one point, some are worth two and some are worth three.
"That’s just the way it is, my man,” says a rather confused Malone.
Someone was asking the other day about the PA dude in Indiana announcing “home run” after every Pacer three-pointer and where that ranks as the most annoying PA thing in the league.
The dude in Atlanta does this on opposing free throw:
"At the line, shooting two, Jose Calderon.” And then adds in a faux imposing tone, “Thunderstix” to implore the fans to use them. Makes me want to beat him about the head with Thunderstix.
The fella in Miami, a good guy by all accounts, should never, ever scream at the top of his lungs “Dos Minutos,” with a huge emphasis on the first word, when there’s two minutes left in the quarter.
And, yeah, I guess the “home run” guy might be third, especially when the few folks in the crowd yawn when he does it.
Back to the mailbag
Q: Hey Doug, long time reader, first time writer. A few questions for you:
1) Why aren't the players being bought out (Cassell, Barry) being picked up off waivers? Seems odd that they are allowed to clear waivers and then get to choose which team to play for. Why doesn't a team just pick them up and not give the player a choice? Must be something I'm missing in regards to the cap.
2) How would you describe the Raptors defense? It isn't zone, it isn't man-to-man... it seems like they switch everything right away and hope for the best or double team if they get in a bad matchup. Any other team use this method?
3) How in the heck does Kapono not have a 3 is last month? Do they not have a single set play designed to get the best shooter in the league an open look?
C K, Calgary
1) It’s financial, if you pick a guy up off waivers you’re responsible for his entire salary; if you wait until he clears you can negotiate at a much lower number, usually the pro-rated minimum.
2) I’d describe it as something of a matchup zone, although that’s probably not technically correct. They don’t switch everything, sometimes just small to small, or big to big; they tend to slide a second defender over to the strong side and then rotate to shooters on the weak.
3) They do have plays for threes, sometimes defences don’t let them get them.
With the mailbag cleaned out yesterday in Indy (it’s amazing what you can get done in eight hours in a hotel room), just click here to fill it up again.