You people are out of control
Don’t you people have jobs?
|RON BULL/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO|
|And the best-dressed award goes to ...|
I’ve got about 20 questions still to answer and I’m already at about 10,000 words. That’s a lot of words. A very lot. So, as we are wont to do around here, we’ll split ‘em up and run ‘em over the course of the weekend.
And don’t fret if you don’t see yours here, I’ve got some from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all interspersed. I figure it keeps everyone reading.
Q: Hi Doug, I thought Herrmann couldn't be traded until March 14? (Eds note: Which is something I said in a reply to a question last week)
If that is correct, how come the Pistons were able to deal Brezec given that Brezac was dealt to Detroit with Hermann on Dec. 14, 2007?
I'll also ask what you think about Brezec and how he'll be used(?)...if he'll be used!
Bill L, Toronto
A: I was wrong, I thought it was 90 days before a guy could get traded and it’s 60. Humblest apologies.
I don’t think he’s going to get used very much as all. Maybe in the event of serious foul trouble to the bigs but right now he’s behind Bosh, Bargnani, Rasho and Hump in the rotation. Maybe he grabs minutes from Hump but I doubt it.
Q: As expected BC didn't go for an ill advised home run swing at the deadline. So I'm looking ahead to next year and the starting line up.
Bosh and one of the two points is a sure thing. I think Delfino may be able to step in, but AP and Moon should be on the bench if this team is truly stronger. (Perhaps AP stays on as a starter to play defense and not take too many shots)
Does AB start or get significant minutes if he goes through what he did this year?
Kevin M, Maple
A: Next year? Right now, I’d say it’s Calderon, Parker and Mr. X (the free agent they acquire), Bargnani and Bosh at the start of the season but I do think they’ll be watching Bargnani closely and if he gets off to a horrible start, changes may occur.
I do think they’ll explore trade possibilities for a two-guard but I think a three is more on the top of their list.
Q: Okay, I tried to get in by using fake names and exotic places but it didn't work so I am now trying to get in the mailbag with some good questions that all raptor fans want to know.
1) You see the Cleveland and Phoenix GMs saying they are willing to go over the luxury cap if the right deal comes along but I was wondering if MLSE would do that for the raptors.
2) How does the staff at the ACC get 20000 pizzas ready when the raps score 100+.
Now you have to admit these are good enough questions to get in.
Andrew C, Saskatoon
A: Honesty is the best policy.
The Raptors have steadfastly maintained they will not be a tax-paying team.
They don’t get 20,000 pizzas ready; they have a sponsorship deal with a pizzeria that allows fans to go to any store and get one slice. Of, they allow the homeless who have been given a ticket stub by fans who should do that as a matter of course every game they get to 100, to go get a hot slice the next day.
Q: A different type of question but I’ve got to ask. What’s with the Raptors logo? I keep seeing that purple dinosaur pop up but I thought the official logo had been changed to the Claw ever since BC took over. I noticed the back of CB4's all-star jersey had the purple dinosaur logo, same with all content on ESPN. Are the Raps the only team in pro sports to carry two official logos? If so I think it's time we lost the Purple Dinosaur (although I hear a new Jurrasic Park movie is coming soon!)
Stephen G, Toronto
A: Lots of teams have secondary logos, Golden State’s got about six, I think; Cleveland uses that sword along with the Cavaliers one. I don’t really see a problem for anyone and, you know, if it makes Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment a wee bit richer, well, that’s the name of the game, isn’t it?
Q: A few questions:
1. What do you think of adding retired players to the rookie game? Either an old team (retired for 3 or less years) vs. rook/soph team OR mixing the old and young guys together in a traditional east vs. west.
2. Do you think Moon doesn't drive as much because he is working on the chance of a lifetime and does want to injure himself before he lands a multi-year deal? I've heard other players talk about this fear (especially in college).
3. I don't recall much Rapt talk in 2006 about drafting Roy. Was his name ever seriously discussed?
Davie D, Hamilton
A: A few answers
1. I think, having watched years ago when they played a “Legends” game, that retired players, for the most part, should stay retired.
What I think they should do is add a “horse” competition. I’m told they did one at the D League festivities with the players mic’d and a time limit to get a shot off and it was good.
2. No, I don’t think that enters his mind ever. And anyone who thinks that should be waived. Right away.
3. Roy wasn’t on their radar, they were set on Bargnani and there were some medical questions about his knee.
Q: What did you think of the Doug Collins comment that Rasheed Wallace, shooting left-handed, could beat Bosh in a game of HORSE?
Peter A, Toronto
A: I’d agree.
Q: Hey, Doug. I've been trying to submit a question to you for ages but I just could not seem to find it anywhere on your blog. Anyways, I don't know if this questions been answered but who/what determines the players that get to stand on the sides of the key while a player shoots a free throw? Is it the coach or is there something else? Thanks.
Dilpreet S, Brampton
A: Generally, the defensive teams want to have their second player on the same side as the best rebounder of the team shooting the free throw. The reasoning is the inside guy blocks out the good rebounder, leaving the outside guy to grab the ball.
Q: Did you see the slight by Mr. LeBron James on Mr. Jamario Moon when Daniel Gibson was being interviewed Saturday night? LeBron came off as a spoiled brat and a bit of a baby with this and the comment about "no more Cavs." When, if ever, do you see him leaving Cleveland?
Colin C, Toronto
A: I see him leaving Cleveland at the end of this contract, actually. And so do some around the Cavs which is why they cater to his every whim.
I didn’t see a slight. But a few people have mentioned it. Really, though, who gives a rat’s patoot?
Will he leave? I bet he's done after this contract's up.
Q: First email into you since the whole blog thing started a while back. I have been an avid reader though. I think the writing style you have chosen to use in your blog is addictive reading.
How does Garbo fit in the Raptors future plans? Is he in the doghouse for rushing back to play for Spain? Is there a "glue" guy out there that B.C. might be looking at picking up with the collection of scraps he has to trade. I still think Joey Graham could be a late bloomer like Caron Butler, but I think it's time. Tough bottom line on the Wince trade though. Ouch.
I know that in the next couple of years that the Raptors have a whack of salary cap coming off the books, and the trio of Bosh, Bargs, Ford locked up. Bosh sounds he likes the building plan! Will that salary cap have to be saved to resign Bosh and the boys, or will they be Larry Bird-ed? What assets will there be out there that B.C. may want to spend some of that cash on to continue the quest for building a championship contender
Marc G, Burlington
A: Not sure where Garbo fits, he’s got a year left on his deal so I don’t think you can count on him being here for a very long time. But he’s not in any doghouse for playing last summer; if he’s healthy at the end of this year and can help, he’ll play.
As for the future, all of those players will have “Bird” rights and can be re-signed at any salary (up to 25 per cent of the salary cap) without regard to the cap. And, honestly, who knows what kind of assets will be out there. There are extensions and trades and diminishing skills to think about before trying to guess who’ll be good or available in two or three years.
Q: I know my hoops, but I heard something a couple weeks ago that needs some clarification. The last game against Boston in the season series I heard that there were NBA officials in the house scouting for the playoffs. If the press rooms and other infrastructure is in place, especially since the Raps made the playoffs last year, what's there to scout? Also, why is it so team specific?
Dave S, Toronto
A: You may know your hoops but you don’t know your back-of-house NBA hoops.
The things they scout at places for auxiliary press seating – you could have up to 10 or 20 times the usual media corps for a playoff series than you do a regular-season game; back of house space for interview rooms for writers and various broadcast outlets and such. Press facilities for the regular season are never, ever good enough for the playoffs.
And it’s not team specific, over the course of the next two months, and over the course of the last month or so, NBA officials will visit practically every team that has a chance at being in the playoffs.
Q: Hey Doug, long time reader, first ever writer...(it’s a long one, hang in there)
I have been a long supporter of Andrea Bargnani since we first drafted him and have defended him throughout his regression this first half on of season. I understand the potential growth in the years to come and how ‘dangerous’ he and bosh can be…
That being said, I look at Dirk Nowitzki now and as good as he has become, he arguably does not have that ‘championship make-up’, and if Bargnani gets to be that good or even close I still feel that with him playing at center we will be lacking the defense and inside toughness needed to be a deep playoff and championship team…SO…
With his stock increasing recently, do you think we should try and maybe switch our philosophy/vision and try to get a young big man who can rebound and provide an inside presence? I know they are few and far between but I am eyeing Chris Kaman. He is relatively cheep (8 million a year) for what he brings as a starting center and he’s young at 25. The Clips are in trouble and may be willing to shake things up and rebuild, with maybe Bargnani and Rasho (or a couple expiring contracts) for Kaman and another player – your thoughts my man?
Jacob W, Toronto
A: You were long. I’ll be short.
No, I don’t think they should change philosophy or vision, it’s been all of what? A season and a half?
Chris Kaman? At the same stage of his career that Bargnani is right now, was a stiff. Averaged about eight points and six rebounds.
Q: Any chance the Raptors would scoop Justin Williams off waivers (and maybe drop Maceo Baston) for some shot blocking/rebounding help? Or would that just amount silly tinkering?
Liam C, San Francisco
A: I’d be surprised if they went after him. He’s hardly taken the league by storm and I can’t for the life of me seeing him make a substantial difference, or playing a substantial role, on this team.
Q: I'm completely happy with the progress the Raptors have made, but I'm wondering about their realistic "ceiling" the next five years or so. Even if Bargnani becomes the consistent offensive mismatch the brain-trust desires him to be, he'll still pose the same problem as Dirk on the defensive end. People say championships are won with defense, but our core bigs will be lacking in that area. So my two-parter:
1) Assuming a good defensive center capable playing 30+ minutes/game magically fell from the sky, do you think the Raptors would be worse off defensively having Bargnani guard the 4 and Bosh guard the 3?
2) Everyone compares Bargnani to Dirk, but not for their defensive prowess; you might find this funny, but if you were to wager, who do you think will be remembered as the better defender?
Jonathan L, New York
A: You’re surmising that if they find this mystery centre he plays at the same time as Bosh and Bargnani, which I think is not going to happen. But, if it does, I think Bosh might be the quicker of the two and should probably guard the three. Again, I don’t see it happening, however.
Wagering, as I remind people often, is illegal. That said, I’d bet the defensive skills of neither of them are ever discussed after their careers are over. But if I had to pick, and this is going on the assumption that Bargnani guards centres, that he would be the better defender over Dirk on fours. But, again, neither will be known for any measure of defensive prowess.
Q: Hey Doug, love the blog. Not to sure you will be interested in answering this question and have the guts to do so, but anyways, let's give it a shot. But before, let me specify that I am not a typical Toronto fan, meaning that I don't give up on the Raps after a few loses (even during the Babcock era), and don't jump to conclusion to fast, and, I was never part of that whole trade Jose-Ford wagon. But, considering Jose's HUGE contribution in the past months, I don't see how the guy cannot be our main point guard for the years to come. He has a Steve Nash selfless attitude that is priceless in this league. I do love Ford, but given his trade value is still high come summertime (and his injuries are gone), don't you think that the Raps should get a valuable piece in return? Come on Doug, answer the question even though you don't want to dirty your hands and even though the summer is still far away, I dare you.
Jean-Serge B, Dawson City
A: Dare me? How dare you!
I don’t know what T.J.’s trade value will be in the summer, so I have have no idea if they can get a “valuable piece” in return. Today, and for the rest of this season, Jose should start, is that good enough for you? And if there’s a trade to be made for T.J. in the summer, I’m sure Bryan will, and should, consider it. I just don’t think there will be so they’ll be stuck again with the best point guard tandem in the entire NBA. Man, that’s gonna suck, isn’t it?
Q: Hey Doug, love the blog and the Q&A's; I only wish there was more of it so I could fill my entirely lunch hour reading it.
Here's a quasi-list question (inspired by an ESPN article, so I'm afraid I can't take full credit): which NBA player(s) who currently don't have a championship ring would you most like to see succeed? Maybe you could list the top 4 or 5 off the top of your head.
I know you're pretty big on KG - would he be #1 on your list, or maybe Nash? Do you think there is a general consensus among most sportswriters?
Terence G, Mississauga
A: I saw that ESPN piece and would concur with Kevin Garnett. I’d put Nash second for sure, a very close second.
I’d certainly have Grant Hill on the list, a solid third. A fourth? That gets a little tougher, but I’d like to see Allen Iverson win a title; I wouldn’t like to see him win it alongside Carmelo Anthony, but I’d like to see him get a ring ‘cause I’ve always admired his game.
I think my brethren and sisteren would agree.
Q: Obama? Clinton? Has Sam picked his horse yet?
A: He’ll never tell for sure but I’m thinking he’s an Obama man now.
Q: Well I am still wondering about the answer to this question I have now asked for the fourth time. Not sure if it is too hard for you to answer.
All time, who is the "smartest" Raptor? Who has or had their degree and what was it in?
Also, if Shawn Marion opts out, do the Raps take a run at him in the off season?
Zack B, Toronto
A: Dude, if you think I’m going to go through every bio of every player who ever played to find out who’s got what degree, you’re off your rocker.
And, no, they won’t take a run at Marion ‘cause they won’t have the money to pay him.
Q: As a fan of the NBA, who is your favourite player to watch?
Mark M, Toronto
A: Kevin Garnett because you know you’re going to get his absolute best effort every single night.
For esthetics? Steve Nash.
Q: I was wondering, what is YOUR opinion on the NBA dress code and has anyone yet to be fined for violating it? Also, do the players have to pay for the clothes themselves or do they get some sort of 'spending allowance'?
Akaash P, Comber
A: I think there have been fines, but they’re kept in-house. I think it’s a good idea, these guys are professionals and should look like it, At least not look like bums. And, no, they buy their own clothes and, as you can see if you look closely, some have better fashion sense than others.
Q: I read the other day that it might be possible for a team in the West to win 50 games and still be out of the playoffs. Has such a thing ever happened? With these teams playing each other quite a bit how do they all get so many wins? They must really pound the East. Do you know what the record is West vs. East.
Mich G, North Bay
A: Best team to not make the playoffs since they expanded to eight teams from each conference was Houston in 2000-01. That version of the Rockets went 45-37.
Q: I'll keep this short and sweet: Are there any other GM-Coach combinations in the league who dress better than Bryan Colangelo and Sam Mitchell? Where do they get their suits from? They have such great style it makes the games even that much more enjoyable to watch!
Marianne D, Toronto
A: Not even close. Bryan’s got a guy in Italy, Sam’s got Ross here in town. Neither have sent us beat grunts to either of them to get gussied up.
Q: We all loved how well CB played (Wednesday) night - the question is, why has it taken him half the season to get there? I was a little annoyed with the raptors post-game interview with CB who talked about making some minor adjustments to his game, which resulted in his superior play. Kudos for making the adjustments, but it's the end of February! It shouldn't take almost 4 months to "warm up", why weren't these adjustments made two months ago?
Raana E, Toronto
A: Huh? Did you miss the 40-point games in November, December and January? Miss the other 30-pointers he’s had.
You gotta bring better stuff than this next time.
Q: Hi Doug, I just got a few random basketball questions for ya.
Is there a limit on how much a team can spend on coaching staff, trainers and any other personnel?
Can a technical foul be called on someone other then the team and the coaching staff? What comes to mind is Mark Cuban I know he does some crazy stuff sometimes and gets fined for it, but does he ever get T’d up?
Chris M, Toronto
A: Coaches, trainers, support staff fall outside the cap and can be paid whatever they can get.
And, oh, yeah, they can call technicals on anyone they feel like. They’ve gotten broadcasters, mascots but never a writer.
Q: In (Wednesday's) game the Raptors reached the 100 point mark with 30 seconds left in the 3rd Quarter. Could you please tell us what is the fastest time ever for a Raptors Squad to reach the 100 point mark.
Karim A, Ajax
A: Without looking at every boxscore of every game, no, I couldn’t. And I’m not going to do that.