The Morning After The Night Before, XLVII
What a night that was.
Trade breaks down just as we’re tucking into an adult beverage but the good folks at the Harbour Sports Grille are prepared for such an occasion so Bea Arthur, I mean B. Arthur and I fire up the laptops sitting at the table and re-write. The wonders of wireless Internet.
Anyway, gotta slap this up ‘cause there’s a plane to catch and all-star weekend to start and I’ll chronicle all the hijinks starting first thing tomorrow morning from New Orleans.
Three Things I Learned
Let’s make a deal. Or not
What to make of this whole fiasco? Well, I’d hate to be Devean George showing up at the gym today, having to look his teammates in the eye, knowing it’s only his stubbornness that’s keeping the Jason Kidd deal from getting done.
In a nutshell, here’s what it is: George, on a one-year contract worth about $2.6 million, cannot be traded because if he does, he’ll lose his “Early Bird” rights, which, in theory allows him to make more than the mid-level exception as a free agent next summer. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, George is one of 18 players in the league who fall under that obscure clause in the CBA. My point, and the point I’m sure a lot of people are going to make is: In what wacky universe does this 30-year-old journeyman think he’s going to make that kind of coin next year? Or ever?
Jose’s working on his tan
Whole lot of angst during the game about whether Jose Calderon would have been added to the all-star team if Kidd had moved to the West. Not sure, the league said weeks ago it wouldn’t make a call on that until a trade went through, but Jose and his wife were on a 6 a.m. flight today to Bahamas for a nice weekend of rest and relaxation. We asked him, however, if he would cut short his holiday to head to New Orleans if necessary and his response was prompt:
It struck me watching Mike Evans and Jay Triano coach these guys this week that it had to be a tough job for them. I’m sure there were times in each game that they wanted to lay into players for some sins – just like Sam would do – but they had to hold their tongues. Assistant coaches do a lot of one-on-one work with players and screaming at them during a game might make it a bit uncomfortable the next time they had to push them through some workout. Sam doesn’t have exactly that same everyday responsibility so he can – and does – get a little more animated with individuals.
Let’s hit the mailbag right off and remember, just click here to send on and maybe get into tomorrow’s regular offering.
Q: I don't know if it's just me or not, but sometimes Bargnani looks out of control when he puts the ball on the floor. Is that something that the coaches are working with him on? (it might be just me who gets that impression)
Bryce F, Toronto
A: No, it’s not just you. It’s just about everyone who watches him, including his coaches. That’s the one thing they are preaching as much as anything to him – SLOW DOWN!
When last we saw Dave D and his merry band of fellow Nets beat grunts, they were all typing furiously, trying to makes sense of the whole Kidd affair.
Here’s how Dave’s night ended.
Sure looks from that perspective that the deal still gets done.
Here’s a good one that could be a Three Things I Learned
Q: I met you very briefly a couple of weeks back in Washington airport, while boarding the flight to Toronto. My son and I had the opportunity to watch the Raptors and Wizards home and away. I mentioned that I read your blog regularly but had never sent in a question. Well, here's one.
In tonight's game against the Nets, I thought Jamario Moon was the best player on either team in the first quarter, for the six or so minutes that he played. He scored, rebounded and defended, and carried the Raptors to the early lead. Then Jay Triano sat him down and he didn't return till the start of the third quarter. Can you explain why Moon was essentially benched?
Tom H, Toronto
A: It was a combination of things, and it speaks to how you may see Moon used more in the future. He’s much better in small doses, as we saw in the first six minutes last night and in that third quarter. That’s the kind of sustained effort they want and haven’t been getting in anything longer that short spurts.
And if Delfino and Kapono, or Delfino or Kapono, are going well, you’ll see them finish out the first half and, probably, the game.
Moon’s biggest asset is his energy and athleticism but sometimes he coasts for periods of games. Last night’s effort was just what they want.
Is Stromile Swift the worst second-overall pick in draft history? Just wondering.
A Vince anecdote. Ran into him when he was first getting to the arena, trailed by the usual gaggle of cameras. The Kidd deal was still alive at the time and Vince looks up and says, “I thought I was getting traded back to Toronto.”
Yeah, like that wouldn’t be wildest thing.
Catching up with old friends, Mike of Toronto – as others did – sends along this little gem.
More from the mail.
Q: Regarding your musings about ending the Moon-as-starter experiment, much as it pains me to admit it, I couldn't agree more, for several reasons:
1) Moon hasn't shown a willingness to take it to the hoop; he's better than before, but just marginally.
2) In much the same way that TJ has revitalized JK's game, the former's penetration will open up a lot of alley-oops for JM, whereas Delfino doesn't need TJ's penetration, thank you very much, 'cause he can create his own offence.
3) CD matches up better against the other team's starters, and going against back-ups should get more out of Moon.
4) All of last year I pestered you (as Raptors GM by proxy) to get Reggie Evans and Maggette. You poo-pooed the former and ignored the latter. If ONLY you had listened, Doug! I hope you've learned your lesson.
Lee Z, Ottawa
A: You agree with me? Yikes! Oh, no! (I keed, I keed).
There was no way the Clippers were dealing Maggette a year ago so to talk about him would have wasted your time, and mine. Not even sure he’s in play this year. As for Evans, the rep on him a year ago in Denver was as a thug, arguably dirtiest player in the league and he wasn’t someone they were interested in. He’s sort of cleaned up his act, and I’d presume Colangelo has called about his availability.