Some bits, and a few pieces
As we were standing there being entertained by Sam after practice yesterday – he was Engaging Sam – eyes kept shifting to the other end of the court.
That’s where Garbo was going through a range of shooting drills with assistant Eric Hughes, spotting up from the five points on the perimeter draining jumper after jumper.
Alas, it was a pretty much a mirage.
The whispers after were that while he’s coming along nicely, it’s less than a remote possibility that he gets a uniform on at any time this season.
Too bad but I think you can all put away any hopes of the veteran coming to the rescue down the stretch.
This from the comments section yesterday (and I must say, there’s some big Jack love out there).
Question for the blogger, do you feel Mitchell is making coaching mistakes, particularly with managing the TJ-Jose situation at the end of games? Do you think this is going unnoticed by management?
A: Does he make mistakes? Sure, they all do. Find me a coach that doesn’t. And maybe he stuck with T.J. a minute too long in Cleveland, but that didn’t turn the game but he’s got to use him, as I’ve mentioned a million or so times.
They need Ford to be good if they are to have any chance in the playoffs; they can’t play Jose 48 minutes a night; and if it means every now and then they have to live with short-term struggles of Ford, then that’s what they have to do.
I asked Sam specifically about the minutes distribution for Jose and T.J. near the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth and whether he had any firm number in mind when he put Ford in.
He said he's got a number of minutes he'd like to get Ford but it's not cast in stone.
Speaking of Sam, he gave a little clinic last night, part of his foundation’s work. M. Grange ™ was quizzing him on it yesterday and there were some interesting snippets.
Here are a couple:
"Wherever you live, you have to try to make a mark on the community. If all I do in my time in Toronto is coach basketball, then I haven’t really done anything. Yeah, I’ve done my job but I haven’t given back and I need to give back.
"It’s amazing, the same problems we have in the U.S. are a lot of the same problems that we have in Canada and throughout the world and any time you can take a couple of hours to hopefully effect some young men and young women … and they actually going to listen to what you say, then you have to do it.
"The clinic is basketball … but within basketball, there’s a message. I tell the players all the time, look at what basketball (has) brought you. For most of you, your love of basketball has educated you. Your love of basketball has allowed you to travel the United States, North America and most of the world. Your love of basketball has given you a job, has given you meaning. But what do you learn from basketball? You learn communication, you learn teamwork, you learn sacrifice, you learn all the things that you need to be successful in life.”
Since you’re a savvy bunch because you read here, you’ve probably already checked this out: Portland 102, Washington 82.
Do not, I repeat DO NOT run afoul of the law in Tempe.
Let’s get to last night’s mail:
Q: I just got back from the grocery store where they were playing the radio call from the Leafs game over the intercom.
Toronto might be my hometown, but I don't count myself among the Leaf nation (God love them). But who are they kidding? The team's four slots back from 8th!
Despite the bi-polar day-to-day, the Raptors are a far-stronger playoff team. What's it going to take for them to get that kind of love? Is it even possible in this town?
Ellie W, Toronto
A: Ellie, Ellie, Ellie. It is a battle that cannot be won, I fear. Basketball fans just have to accept their lot in life. After all, isn’t 12th place team far more important than one that’s going to be in the playoffs for the second year in a row. Two more years, I might add, than some other professional sports teams in the city. Never mind the more exciting sport, the better game presentation, the changing dynamic of the world of sports.
Let’s see what the folks down in Detroit are reading about this morning.
Action: Chris Webber to retire.
Reaction: I forgot he’d un-retired.
A question, again:
Q: There can be no question that it is time for Sam Mitchell to go. He has proven that last year was an anomaly and he is a 25-30 win coach. His rotations make no sense and he is ruining the promise of Andrea Bargnani by constantly benching him instead of letting him play through the defensive issues. Looking at this team, who do you think could be the next coach to get this team to where they need to go?
A: Obviously, you.
And, finally (at least until shootaround’s over), Larry Hughes channels Vince Carter.