The Morning After The Night Before, XLVI
The 45 extra minutes of sleep this morning were quite welcome; the frozen car locks weren't. I hate winter. Anywho ...
Three Things I Learned
Let’s make a deal
If I’m Bryan Colangelo, I am on phone 29 times today seeing if there’s a small forward who can defend out there to be had. I know Ginobili and Kobe are all-stars (well, Ginobili should be) and Maggette’s pretty good but, really, watching them abuse the Raptors with ease in three consecutive home games has to be, um, disconcerting.
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|Hands up if you think the Raptors need some help on D.|
And I like Jamario Moon, good kid, heckuva story, fine athlete but maybe it’s time for the experiment to end? We were trying to recall that last time he had what you might call a good game. Heck, they ended up using Jose Calderon to guard Ginobili on a few possessions last night because no one else stood a chance.
Maybe nothing comes of Colangelo’s calls but he’s got to make them, rather than wait and take them.
Zany times for Matt
Ran into Matt Bonner in the hall before the game, after he glad-handed about everyone in the joint, and he was a tad frenzied. Seems family in Boston and friends in Toronto on a back-to-back just wore him out.
"(Sunday) I forgot to get my ankles taped I was so busy,” he said. “I’m not forgetting tonight. Now, I came out here to do something, what was it? I don’t remember. This is too much.”
But he did have something to look forward to. Spurs stayed the night after the game and Matt, who throws around nickles like they were manhole covers as they used to say, was off to a downtown eatery because he’d kept a couple of gift certificates he got from the radio dudes.
Great guy, Matt.
A tough group
M. Grange ™ first brought this up when we were sitting around waiting for Mike Evans after the game and it bears repeating here. How tough do you think Argentina’s national team practices are? Ginobili. Oberto. Delfino. Scola. Nocioni. Those are some tough, good basketball players.
We don’t get to see Ginobili often enough to really appreciate what he does but, man, do I ever like seeing him play. One play in the first half was spectacular in an under-stated sort of way. He drove baseline into traffic and instead of going under the basket and using the rim to help fend off defenders, he got up the air right at the rim, bumped Chris Bosh just enough to move him back a few inches so he could block the shot because the basket was in the way and put a layup up left-handed off the glass. There probably aren’t a dozen players in the league who make that play.
Quickly to the mailbag for a question that’s on everyone’s mind, it seems.
Q: Hey Doug, how do the games Sam Mitchell misses affect his overall coaching record? It doesn't seem fair for a loss under Mike Evens count against his record. If a win or loss is assigned to the assistant taking head coach duties, then Jay Triano could end up the best or worst (strictly in percentage) NBA coach of all time.
Nick H-C, Vancouver
A: Sam will get credit, or blame, for these two games.
You’ve got to scroll a ways down but Gilbert Arenas slags Jose Calderon pretty well is his blog.
Of course, Jose takes the high road, telling us after the game:
"Everyone has an opinion. You can write what you want. Whatever he says it's good for him. I have nothing personal.”
Now, I like Gilbert, I think he’s entertaining and in this era of careful athlete offering nothing than clichés and pap he’s a breath of fresh air but he’s way off base here.
This has been out there a while but every time I watch it, I laugh.
This dude’s headed for a career on the big screen, methinks.
Q: Two quick questions for you, double dare you to post them! First, why in the world was Juan "Bad Pass" Dixon playing point in the 4th instead of TJ, is he hurt? Second, any chance we could land Corey Magette?
Dave W, Toronto
A: A dare? Sure, why not.
Dixon was playing because T.J. banged up his wrist in Minnesota on Sunday and it was acting up Monday night. Maggette? Not sure the Clippers are going to deal him, he’s a favourite of the owner and arguably their best player right now. And what would it cost? He’s got an $8.4 million player option for next year so if they’re thinking of moving him, maybe you offer Dixon’s contract, Martin’s contract and Kapono and see what that gets you. Probably a big laugh from Elgin Baylor but maybe it’s a jumping off point for negotiations.
Okay, karaoke at the best of times is a game best played under the influence of adult beverages. At the worst of times, it’s played in an NBA arena full of people. And at the absolute worst times, it’s played using a song that’s at least tinged with controversy. Sure, Sweet Home Alabama is a song we all know, and some love. But there is a school of thought – and there are divergent views on this – that says its references to Watergate and former Alabama Governor George Wallace are at least a bit dicey.
So, let’s do everyone a favour and NO MORE KARAOKE.
Here’s how the San Antonio Express-News summed up last night’s affair.
And, finally, nothing says St. Patrick’s Day quite like a green Raptor, right? Watch closely March 17 in Salt Lake City because that’s when you’ll see the latest installment of marketing run amok. The Raptors, I’m told, will wear green jerseys in that game and if you’re really got nothing to do with a lot of your money, you can probably buy one soon.
Or you can wait until they come to their senses and do something with a replica Huskies jersey, which makes exponentially more sense than a green uniform.