The Morning After The Night Before, LI
I hate Air Canada. And love Marriott.
Apparently, late last night or early this morning (long, long, long before any weather settled in) Air Canada decided to cancel the morning Indy-Toronto flight. Nice lady that I called to rebook contends they called me to tell me, which is quite surprising since not only didn’t the phone ring through the night (and it was on about eight feet from my head) there’s no missed calls or messages. A call would have been nice ‘cause I could have booked a trip home through Chicago instead of now waiting 10 hours for the next Air Canada.
But Marriott comes through. Wandered back in, manager at front desk remembers that I checked out about an earlier, asks what’s up, I tell him and, presto!, am back in the same room working.
Two companies. Two levels of customer service. You figure out which is good and which bites.
Anyway, I digress. As usual
On to hoops
Three Things I Learned
Who were those guys?
I had to rub my eyes late in the second quarter last night. I swear I saw a play where Anthony Parker curled off a screen, made a pass to Jason Kapono who was curling off a screen, Kapono got to the rim, missed a layup and Chris Bosh had a put-back dunk.
Haven’t seen that much motion in one Raptor offensive set all season. Didn’t see it again last night but at least now we know they can do it.
Jose’s tough night
The assist to turnover ratio didn’t take too big a hit (0-1) but I cannot remember a game ever where Jose didn’t have one assist. He just seemed to lack that spark he’s usually got. Tired, very tired. He won’t ever admit it (“I’m good, I’ll be ready Wednesday,” he said after the game) but who can blame the guy for being a bit worn out. One thing that was good? He didn’t lose his concentration and start throwing the ball all over the court. That’s what a lot of guys do when they’re tired, make mental mistakes that compound them.
On the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Primoz From The Block. The DNP-CD last night won’t be his last, I don’t presume. Hump was all right in his seven minutes and I guess now Sam has a couple of different guys to fill in that fourth big man spot. Not that either of them are going to be a huge part of games every night but at least now the coach can experiment game-to-game to find out who’ll give him what.
Let’s get right to the mailbag
Q: I was watching the Raps v. Pacers and noticed both Ford and Calderon on the floor towards the end of the game. Are we going to see more of this as the season progresses or was it just because Indiana had a relatively small lineup on the floor?
Matt M, Calgary
A: That was a reaction to what the Pacers were doing. If other teams go small, you might see it but it’s primarily going to be at end of games. It’s not something Sam wants to do as a matter of course for a couple of reasons. One, he doesn’t want to wear both his point guards out at the same time and, two, there are some defensive issues with such a small back court.
Yes, that was John Lucas behind the Toronto bench again last night. He’s around to check up on T.J., not sure how long he’s sticking around. Not sure if he wants a full-time gig with the Raptors (won’t get a chance now to ask him until tomorrow’s shootaround thanks to stinky Air Canada – ooops, digress again).
There was a time when going to an NBA game in Indy was cool. Now it’s depressing. They announced a crowd of 10,468, which was probably inflated and the place was dead.
Their game-ops are sorry, too. Instead of a Kiss-Cam, which is a personal fave of mine (and Stumpy’s, who’s wildly entertained by it), they did something called a High Five Cam where two people are supposed to slap hands when they’re shown on the scoreboard.
Speaking of Indy, here’s how Mike Wells chronicled last night’s affair. –
Oh, did you realize that Sam Mitchell has never lost to the Timberwolves as an NBA head coach. If he read this, he’d be ticked ‘cause I jinxed it, but it’s a fact. Seven-and-oh going into Wednesday night.
And to all of you who wrote, yes, I realize now that Phoenix could put out a lineup of five guys from five different countries with Nash, Barbosa, Diaw, Sean Marks and Shaq. And to the alert reader who pointed out perhaps the first team to ever do it, I say thanks.
That was Timothy M of Toronto who check in with Dallas of Nash, Mike Finley, Eduardo Najera, Dirk and, ta-da!, Whang Zhizhi.
Here’s a whack of mail because the bag’s getting full
Q: Hey Doug, I have a basketball 101 question for you. Is an offensive foul a turnover?
Omar L, Toronto
A: It is, indeed.
Q: Watching Kapono miss a free throw the other night against the Knicks, I had an absurd idea. He takes his free throw from the three-point line. Is this permitted in the NBA or do free throws have to be taken within the circle?
Andy U, Richmond Hill
A: No, not permitted. You have to be in that circle, you can be anywhere in and shoot anyway you like (under-handed, jump shot, set shot, backwards if you want) but you have to be in it.
Q: Just wondering if you've ever heard any rumblings of Raptors' games (maybe playoffs) being played in cinemas in Toronto like they do with the Leafs' games from time to time?
I don't know, I kind of like the idea of being pent up in a big movie house with a bunch of other Raps devotees, all yelling at the screen in unison, "Get Bosh the ball already!"
Could be cool...
Liam C, San Francisco
A: I haven’t heard but sounds like a money-making proposition and that’s gotta be something that’s on the radar over there. If the people at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are reading this, I bet it shows up on the agenda of the next big marketing meeting.
Anyone get traded yet?