Seventh Heaven? Or Seventh Circle of Hell?
How’s seventh place feel, fans?
|Sixers and Samuel Dalembert are smack in the middle of the playoff chase with the Raptors.|
Not so good, I imagine.
I have no idea what kind of stuff the Sixers are on but last night’s win in Boston was as impressive as any in the league this year.
They go a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter at Boston? Yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen. Oops, guess it did.
The thing about the Sixers is that as much as the Raptors are going in the toilet, Philly’s taking full advantage by winning games no one ever expected them to win.
I told someone last week that I could see a scenario that has Philly fifth, Toronto sixth and Washington seventh and I’m starting to believe that might be the case.
Lots of games left, the Wizards start five out west tonight that should keep some of you fans up late, but we are in for a heckuva finish, aren’t we?
If you’re looking way ahead, here’s how the tiebreakers work out:
Toronto has it over Philly
Washington has it over Toronto
Philly leads the season series with the Wizards 2-1 with a game left so the worst they can do is split.
And it’s impossible to tell about a three-way yet because of that Sixer-Wizards game to come.
Right now, Toronto’s 4-4 in games between the three teams, Washington’s 4-3 and the Sixers are 3-4.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, Philly wins that last game with the Wizards and all three are 4-4 in games between them this season.
That’s when conference record comes into play and it’s impossible to figure that out right now.
Gonna make watching games down the stretch a lot more interesting.
Speaking of the Sixers, Phil Jasner’s story today sums up the improbability of what they’ve been doing.
Here’s an interesting one:
Q: Doug, why is everyone so enamored with a first round match up with Orlando.
Shouldn’t the Grand Poobahs over at MLSE along with us fanatics want to play Detroit or Boston? I do! As I see it, the goal is to win a championship, not round #1. Thus, you want to compete against the best… so you know what you need… to become the best.
Rob V, Waterloo
A: I see your point but I can guarantee you that you might be one of a handful of people who think that way. I’m pretty sure they’d love to challenge the best, but only after they’d won a round.
But your scenario might get me some time off more quickly than I’d have expected three months ago.
For 10 years now, Jack Armstrong has been doing TV and radio and just about anything else the Raptors asked of him, his own unique brand of commentary – born of a coaching background combined with a quirky, entertaining delivery – has been a staple.
What’s ahead? With news that Sportsnet is getting out of basketball – I guess we’ll be subjected to more and more replays of old poker games – Jack’s future is a bit cloudy.
I don’t know how many of the poohbahs at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment read this – I hope it’s every single one – but they should know that every single fan I talk to has nothing but praise for the raspy-voiced New Yorker.
I’m sure there will be all kinds of networks and teams looking at Jack this summer – he already has an extensive list of clients – but I know he loves it here, he’s part of the basketball fabric and the Raptors must find a way to keep him as heavily involved, or more heavily involved than he is right now.
A so-so seaosn has alienated a few fans already, losing Jack pushes a few more off the cliff.
How ‘bout them Pistons?
Seven straight seasons of 50 wins or more. A big victory over Phoenix last night and there’s no reason to think they won’t be in the Eastern Conference for the sixth straight season.
Check out how my man Chris McCoskey summed up the win over the Suns.
Here’s one from the mail:
Q: Thanks for finding the energy writing to restless Raptors fans like myself.
Given that Eric Smith pointed out the media relationships you reporters have with the Raptors and to that extent, Bryan Colangelo, I was wondering you could answer this question.
Realistically, we all know that Andrea Bargnani could 'become' a really special player but watching him play throughout the year would 'realistically' suggest that seems pretty doubtful. If you ever had the green light to, I was wondering if you could 'realistically' give us an assessment of his chances of becoming the player Colangelo envisioned?
Hugh L, Scarborough
A: I think we’ve all seen flashes of what Bargnani could be, the first quarter Sunday was a perfect example of him slashing and shooting and – for about six minutes – dominating offensively.
The trouble, as we’ve all seen too often, is inconsistency, but I don’t think that’s unusual for a young big man.
I’ve said often I believe he has to be mentally tougher, and physically tougher as well, but I’ve seen enough in small stretches to make me think he can do it.
Steve C. out in Kimberley writes to point out that in a recent Heat game, Bobby Jones led the team in scoring and was then released. Steve suggests he wasn’t with the program.
In looking at the ‘tankers’ this year, I can see only two: Miami and the Knicks, who’ve given up all pretense of trying to win. Guess it’s good news that the Raptors have a game left against each of them.