The Morning After The Night Before, XLV
Cold enough for you? (For you out-of-towners it’s like minus-a kabillion here).
Super Dog couldn’t even handle it, very short walk this morning, meaning she’s a bit smarter than I generally give her credit for. Oh, and Super Son’s got the radio on wondering if it’s a Cold Day at school. And no shootaround for either team so I can chill on the couch and eat bon-bons.
Which also means I’ve got some time to putz around this morning on this little daily diatribe.
And here you have it:
Three Things I Learned
Two good little guys
Twenty-three assists, three turnovers. Yeah, the point guards are back. Funny, it’s only been three games but I haven’t been inundated with “Trade Jose, Trade T.J.” e-mails. Guess you folks have gone soft.
But, seriously, we all knew the second unit would be vastly improved once a real point guard got hold of it (and I meant that with no disrespect to Juan Dixon, who was trying to learn a difficult position on fly). Seeing how seamlessly that group operates makes me think they’ve got the PG combination just right the way it is.
Too bad for one of the little fellas
Action: League adds Rasheed Wallace to Eastern Conference all-star team.
Reaction: Bad for Jose ‘cause now if Caron Butler has to bow out, they’ll likely take Ray Allen or Hedo Turkoglu ahead of Calderon.
What was that?
Jack Armstrong and Chuck Swirsky are a lot of things. Curlers they are not.
A trip to the mailbag and a journey down memory lane
Q: Everyone seems to have a top 5 question these days so here is mine: Do you have a list of top 5 Oakley (Oakleyisms??) quotes from his time here? You may have to do a little digging for this one.
Colin B, Bogota, Colombia
A: So many to choose from. Was going to dredge some of these up last week in the run-up to Game 1,000 but ran out of days. Here we go (and some of these may not be verbatim because it took us a while to develop a true Oak-to-English dictionary.
"It’s like bringing eggs to a barbecue.”
"Just because there’s glass on the highway doesn’t mean there was an accident.”
"No use crying over spilled milk, go to the store and get some more.”
"Glen Grunwald isn’t the GM, Vince’s mom is.”
"It ain’t going to be no Charles Barkley fake book, it’s gonna be a real book, a Charles Oakley book.” (On his yet-unpublished memoirs).
And, of course, that’s without the greatest of ‘em all
"Pimpin’ ain’t easy, pimpin’ ain’t dead, the ho’s are just scared.”
Speaking of the Spurs, do you think this is Matt Bonner’s greatest NBA back-to-back? Got to see his family in New England and still got to Toronto in time to have a night out Sunday night and all day today to ride the TTC and eat subs.
Josip of Oakville adds this to the list of top five picks as teammates
Another one for the two top 5 draft picks in the same year playing together. Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. I'm surprised you guys missed that one
There was a dude or dudette who sent a mailbag question in about five biggest bonehead plays I can recall. Well, here are two more:
|PETER POWER/TORONTO STAR|
|High energy player.|
Chris Childs, 85-82, Detroit, Game 5, playoffs. ‘Nuf said.
Oh, and seeing Jerome Williams on Friday brought one back to mind. They trade for him from Detroit, he jumps in his truck and drives all night in a snowstorm to get to Toronto and dresses for a Friday night game against Sacramento. Probably isn’t going to play much because he doesn’t know the plays or the defensive schemes or much of anything about his new teammates but there he is on court in the final seconds of a triple-overtime thriller against the Kings.
And right there, right in front of the Raptor bench, he gets a little over-exuberant on defence, leaves his man, gets screened out of the play and his man – Peja Stojakovic – drills game-winning three.
Emily over in the comments section points this out, too. But here’s Jawad R of Unionville helping out.
Maybe I can help expand on an answer you gave earlier.
John W from Hamilton inquired as to why Bosh sometimes grabs at the left side of his chest after a scoring play
If you look closely, you`ll see that his thumb is curled in and that his fingers are splayed out to indicate 4.
You`ll also notice that he usually does this after scoring at home on the basket nearest the Raps bench; I sit in the courtside seats facing the Raptors bench and I`m told that its also an homage to his girlfriend who sits in the front row.
It would seem to be a bit of a marketing or signature style move and a bit of a shout out to his girl.
Thanks, a grateful nation sleeps easier.
A final mailbag submission.
Hey Doug, why can't you admit this team is not as good as it was billed? No, people "don't get better at their job every day" (please see your recent blog as evidence of your work), but from year to year we should trend upwards. BC tried to add depth to the bench but the bench scoring is down. The run and gun system he was supposed to implement is pure myth as we are consistently out-scored in transition (even in the Raps vs. Celt win 28-0 Boston - hardly high octane). BC gambled that our growth would stem from the development of our youth (see Bargnani's woeful numbers, I'll give Ford a pass but....). This team WITHOUT A TRADE will: have less wins, finish lower in the standings, and lose in less than 6 games in the playoffs. And no the East is no better than last year, at least in part due to the Raptor stagnation. Please don't tell me you are turning into a company man like Swirsky, who wouldn't criticize Bargnani if he was taking liberties with his own wife. Admit it, this team isn't and won't be as good as last year. I agree with one blogger that BC is getting a free pass this year thanks to the miserable performance of the Blueshirts.
Keep up the good work. Hope this blog hasn't peaked and gets better next year.
Ted S, Windsor, N.S.
A: Wow. What a cranky-puss you are.
You don’t think they’re better today than they were a year ago? Okay, we can disagree on that. I happen to think that Bargnani is improving, Moon’s giving them more athleticism, Delfino and Kapono are improvements over Mo and Joey (who played those roles last year) and the point guards, now healthy, are as good as they’ve ever been. But what do I know?
The Bargnani “woeful” numbers. As perhaps you can recall, I’ve ripped the guy for being soft, unable to get his footwork right on his jumper and unwilling to bang like he has to and he was awful for six weeks. Today, he’s averaging a point per game fewer than he did last year and his rebounding numbers are virtually the same. If you had him “woeful” last year, then he’s “woeful” again now.
Not sure if you missed the memo but the “run-and-gun” stuff you talk about died about 10 games into last season. And the 28-0 “in transition” thing you talk about in Boston I presume refers to fast-break points? Yeah, that was absolutely horrific. Terrible. They must have got drilled that game, right? Oh, wait. They won. Yeah, it was hugely costly.
I’m virtually sure you will not agree with anything I’ve just written but, truth be told, I don’t care.
Oh, their record today is one game better than it was at this time last year, they’re fully healthy for the first time in months and winning 48 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
And thanks for ruining the post-season for everyone. But if they’re going to lose in fewer than six games, that’ll mean more days off for me. For that, I thank you.