This just in: Hornets are good.
Pretty much a clinic, wasn’t it? Never thought, after about the first eight minutes, that the locals had a chance, did you? Know we know why New Orleans leads the West and, actually, fans should be happy the Heroes Of The Hardcourt split the season series.
And now the regularly-scheduled stuff:
Three Things I Learned
Better Days Ahead?
Okay, so now it gets easy, right? Charlotte twice, Miami, Indy, the Bucks, a couple with the Nets, Atlanta and the Pistons to finish it out.
Checking the schedules, and guessing ‘cause that’s what we do around here sometimes, it probably takes six, maybe seven wins to creep into fifth and five, maybe six, to hold off Philly for seventh.
Should be a piece o’ cake, right? Well, don’t think these fellas aren’t quite aware of their own ability to cough ‘em up. Check out Chris Bosh last night:
"It scares me. Sometimes when you play teams like that, it’s kind of tough to get up for games. It shouldn’t be like that but that’s how it is. Sometimes guys tend to overlook teams and we can’t do that. We still have very tough games ahead of us and these teams are very capable of beating us.”
He’s dead right, of course. Now we find out how mentally tough these dudes are. I’m thinking they get six of the last nine.
How Good Is He?
Chris Paul, that is. Not enough to make me change an MVP vote at the moment but that was a clinic from start to finish, wasn’t it? What I liked best was that at no time did Paul ever make a play out of control. Pinpoint passes through traffic, taking shots when he had to, the right speed at the right time.
And, to think, this guy went fourth overall in a draft? Behind Andrew Bogut, Marvin Williams and Deron Williams? It’s not Hoffa-Iguodala (nothing is) but still …
|AARON LYNETT/TORONTO STAR|
|A warm welcome back to Mo from all.|
Very nice reception, congrats, you handled yourselves well. I know he appreciated it. But I had about three letters over the course of the weekend suggesting they retire his number and all I can say about that is:
You have got to be kidding!
You retire numbers of all-time greats, not all-time great guys. You retire ‘em next to championship banners, not next to division banners. You retire Michael Jordan’s number, not Mo Pete’s.
Besides, what about the Kapono era?
Lots of fun mail got delivered in the last 24 hours, here’s one:
Q: First things first, I was very happy when everyone clapped for Mo. Even when he made shots. I think Linton Johnson III had an okay game, let’s hope he's doesn't become 'gangsta.’
But I'm confused. When did Kapono become a starter? I'm witnessing my first live game,(excited because I’m legally an adult now) and dumps this one on me. I don't know to say about this game though, I was too distracted, which leads me to my question: Do you ever get distracted at a game? probably not.
Chauntee M, Toronto
A: Well, a fine happy birthday to you. Hope you enjoyed a kabillion-dollar watered-down, light draft adult beverage. But this adulthood thing? Not all that it’s cracked up to be.
To your question: Sure, I get distracted. Depends on where I’m sitting, who I’m talking to and how horrible the game is. The worse it gets, the more joking and cutting up we do but maybe that’s not distracting, maybe that’s dealing with what’s there.
But I always seem to get the job done, even with the shouting and screaming and dancing and incessant noise.
Oh, and I've spoken to Linton Johnson, he's not about to become 'gansgta', whatever the heck that is.
You watching scoreboards yet? Stay up late to see Wizards-Lakers? Find yourself checking a website for Cleveland-Philly score?
I got the Jays at 91 wins, in contention until the last couple of weeks before falling to Boston in the division and out of the wild card that’ll come from the Central.
Once more to the mail?
Q: The questions in the comments section about Redd weren't meant to be rhetorical: do you think he's a good/legitimate fit (in terms of his skill set and his salary)? And do we have the assets (and right salary mix) to pick him up?
I also have a basketball 101 question for you. At the end of the first, CP3 let the ball roll basically past centre court before picking it up, in order to hold off the clock starting, and give himself some more time for a 2 for 1. My question: isn't the 5-second inbounds rule in play until he actually picks it up? I thought I had seen this come into play in another NBA game. The ball rolled for a good 7 or 8 seconds (at least) before CP3 picked it up. Am I remembering the rule incorrectly, or was it a lenient 5-second call?
Paul M, Toronto
A: I think I remember the play, I’m not sure who the ref was, though, but whoever it was, I want him timing the rest of my life. Of course, smart defenders would get up on Paul right away, force him to start the clock and reduce that two-for-one chance.
As for Redd? I doubt they have the assets because the two biggest contracts they could have to offer would be Rasho (they’ve got bigs) and T.J. (been there, done that). But I do think he’d be an excellent fit here.
I must say Jason Kapono sure took advantage of his start, didn’t he? Chalk that one up to a one-time experiment that failed.
This might be the smartest thing Stephen Curry’s said in a long-time.
Last mail submission for the day:
Q: Do you have a Dancing with the Star favorite this season? Which current or former Raptor could you see on the show?
Richard Y, Kincardine
A: Haven’t been paying really close attention but Marlee Matlin’s the early favourite. And I don’t think they called Alvin Williams ‘Boogie’ for nothing. Imagine he could cut a rug. I heard Bosh was busting some moves the other night at the big birthday bash and, as I recall, He Shall Not Be Named once was dancin’ around with some crooner on stage the same night his team was playing a road game.