The Morning After The Night Before, XLVIII (I think)
Happy Trade Deadline Day!
Do you all have your envelopes hung by the chimney with care, hoping St. Cuban sends you a contract even though you’re retired? Have you gone out and bought your Corey Maggette Raptor jersey for that special someone? Can the kids hardly concentrate in school because they know 3 o’clock is coming?
Yes, it is a day full of suspense and excitement. I, for one, can hardly wait to get to the gym and sit around for four or five hours, waiting. Luckily, we get to watch a Leaves skate-around this morning.
And if we do hear something, we’ll get it up here in a hurry so check back periodically, it’ll ease your mind.
But, first …
Three Things I Learned
The unsung hero
Yes, Bosh had 40 and Jose had 19 and 13 and one turnover. But the other guy responsible for that win over Orlando was Rasho.
In the first quarter, when they took command of the game, he had two blocks, a steal, six points and, most important, held Dwight Howard to one point in six minutes.
That’s playing and if these two teams meet in the playoffs, a possibility at 4-5, Rasho’s going to be a huge key.
With about 3:12 left in second, the Raptors are up seven, the Magic is reeling and need a timeout. But instead of blowing one he might need later Stan Van Gundy has Keyon Dooling hold the ball until 10 seconds are on 24-second clock and there’s less than three on the game clock. Then he calls the 20-second timeout knowing he has to use it or lose it in the first half and it runs into a mandatory Raptor full timeout. It’s a little thing but an impressive one.
Lots of work for Carlos
Did you notice in the fourth quarter, with Calderon on the floor, there were still a few times that Carlos Delfino brought the ball up the court?
Asked Sam about it and the reason made sense: Jose was dead tired after being pressed almost the entire quarter and there was no way that Hedo Turkoglu was going to be able to harass Delfino into turnovers.
Quickly into the mailbag
Q: I made a comment about everyone writing in about trade talk last week, so you'll have to forgive my hypocrisy. Anyways, you say J.R. Smith is on the market? What is the scouting consensus on this guy? If the Raptors were to choose between Pietrus or Smith, would it be clearly one or the other?
Ryan M, Pickering
A: Good shooter, huge knucklehead. Bill Walton once said something like Smith has the worst shot selection in the history of basketball and that was an understatement. I’d rather have Pietrus for sure.
Shameless hucksterism abounds around the games, doesn’t it? How about the pre-game screamer showing up in a green jersey, not to whip the crowd into a frenzy (as if that ever happens) but to mention the jerseys are now on sale.
I don’t see the need for yet another voice bombarding the fans but to make him a salesman? Yeesh.
And, as I’ve mentioned before, nothing says St. Patrick’s Day and green like the Raptors and Jazz in Salt Lake City.
Check out how Brian Schmitz in Orlando broke down the game.
No go, Joe
So, what do you make of BC trying to pry Joe Smith away from Chicago? From this view, it was a helluva good idea. A veteran guy who’s been through the wars, solid if unspectacular player who knows a role and knows how to play it.
Too bad it didn’t work out.
We don't really like to revel in the misery of others but, really, the Knicks just give us too much to work with.
Let's see, one night Quentin Richardson, Nate Robinson and Zach Randolph (and if that's not the Holy Trinity of knuckleheads I don't know what is) get into a little Gatorade-towel throwing spat on the bench and the next night New York gets nipped by 40 by the Sixers (and we're talking the 2007-08 Sixers, not the Julius Erving Sixers).
Think they need to change things up in Gotham?
The inimitable Marc Berman of the New York Post explains here just how ugly it's getting.
Very good line
Bosh draws a rather dubious foul on Orlando’s Brian Cook with about 20 seconds left in the first quarter and a nearly apoplectic Stan Van Gundy charges out to about midcourt.
"He doesn’t need gifts,” Stan yells at the three gentlemen with whistles.
Here’s some more mail, and don’t forget to click here if you want to get something in here.
Q: Hey Doug, I haven't had any luck getting a question in this year, maybe it's because all of my letters have been about prospective trades that are realistically not going to happen. I hope this one makes it, because it's not about a trade at all.
I was wondering what you think of a WNBA franchise in Toronto, possibly down the line. I guess you could split the games between the Ricoh Coliseum and the ACC. Now I don't know much about the WNBA's attendance or finances, but I know even playing in NBA arenas they are more of a minor sport. I know minor league sports have failed here in the past, and that's why I would use Ricoh for some games. Is there a chance down the line that the WNBA could end up here?
Simon S-G, Toronto
A: They toyed with the thought of a WNBA franchise here years ago but there is simply too little interest anywhere in the area for one. I’d like to see one because I think there’s a huge number of young women who could use the role models in the sport in their city but it’s not going to see it happen.
You are, however, going to see a D League team.