The Morning After Some Night Before (I'm giving up on the Roman numerals)
Sorry I’m a wee bit late. Unavoidable technical difficulties (the pillow wouldn’t let my head get up). A bit drained today, are we? That was some day. But, you know what? It was the kind of day that makes this little thing pretty cool. Not sure about the productivity at your job and a bunch of my stuff got sorta lost in the crush but between the time the story about the lineup changes got up yesterday morning until now, there’ve been 90 comments submitted. That’s an awful lot.
Good on ya, you’ve done well.
Now, to the stuff:
Three Things I Learned
Promised yesterday to expand on the ‘who starts, who doesn’t’ discussion because I have wavered.
Back in the day, I really thought T.J. was special and this team could only maximize its potential with him as the starter and Jose coming off the bench. But as their personalities evolve and their games develop, it’s clear to me that the long-term point guard job should be Calderon’s. He’s more steady, gets more people involved more often and, quite frankly, shoots better than I, or a lot of people, ever imagined. And the respect his teammates have for him is immense.
Ford’s probably better as a backup to change tempo but only – ONLY – if he gets his head on right and as we’ve seen these past few weeks, that’s not something he can do right now.
I still say having the two of them would continue to give Toronto depth at a key position but the way things are right now, I think BC has to explore trade possibilities for Ford this summer. What he can get, I have no idea. But asking around would be a good idea.
Not sure when I had the change of heart, just that I did; Calderon’s better for this team as a starter.
An unusual And-1
An odd one unfolded with about three minutes left last night when Bosh made a layup, a foul was called and Rasho took the free throw.
It was the right call, but not one you see very often. If a player is fouled while a teammate is in the process of making a shot, he shoots the free throw, not the guy who made the basket.
You usually see it on jumpers, actually. If the defender is fighting through a screen to get to the guy making a shot and fouls the guy setting the screen, that’s who shoots the free throw.
I’ve seen a couple of four-point plays that way. I believe Mo once hit a three while Garbo was setting the screen and when the defender barreled over Garbo, he went to the line.
One of the thoughts about the Ford-Calderon move was that it would help get the bench going again, because it’d be bad for a couple of weeks.
Well, when Carlos Delfino made that three-pointer three minutes into the second quarter, it was the first time in five games he’d made a shot.
You can imagine how big the mail bag is. Full of rants and questions and comments on the changes. Not sure I’m going to be able to use ‘em all tomorrow but I’ll try. For now, here’s one:
Q: Great blog! I read it everyday and even though you haven't posted my questions yet I appreciate your dedication. Here's my question; WHEN Boston and Detroit face each other at the Eastern Conference final (as if there was any doubt) and it came down to the final shot in Game 7--who would you like better Mr. Big Shot or Ray Ray?
Jason R, Toronto
A: Oh, I’m taking Chauncey in that one.
I’m just going to say this once:
You know what would really help the arguments you make about such things as plays and players and coaches? Spelling names right. It’s Calderon (no E), Nesterovic (no H) and if you want to be taken seriously, get the names of the people you’re praising or killing correct.
That is all
You’ve never heard of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, have you?
It’s probably the best junior tournament in the world and it’s going on right now in Mannheim, Germany. Why should you care, you wonder?
Well, Canada’s there, represented by the NEDA boys team (that’s the high school basketball-education program that’s probably the best thing Canada Basketball’s done in a decade) and they’re a win – and some help – away from making the semifinals. Trust me, that’s a big deal and will help the development of the youngsters along nicely. The more big games they play as kids, the better they’ll be when they get to the senior national team level.
Canada needs to knock off Sweden today and Turkey has to beat Australia. The games go this afternoon and you can check out how they did by clicking here.
The NEDA women’s program has been a spectacular success in developing young talent, (check out the women’s NCAA tournament for the number of Canadians doing big things) and this is a big first step for the boys.
How can a guy who stretches as much as Primoz Brezec suffer a strained groin muscle?
Check out how Detroit looked at last night’s game.
Alex over in the comment section wondered this yesterday:
Hey Doug, with so much talk about international ball, it got me wondering does each region in the world have its own style and strengths (for example, does Argentina play a fast guard-oriented game while in the Balkans its more big men and inside play)? Seems to me there must be some variation in coaching and player stock
It’s hard, and probably unfair, to categorize the style of play in different regions definitively so I will.
The tendency is for the South Americans to play basketball like I’m told they play football, with creativity and at a frenetic pace; you generally see the Eastern European teams full of multi-skilled bigs who can dribble, pass and shoot. Other European teams play a game of drive-and-kick as a rule, just as the African nations do.
You know a coach can’t win when AP dribbles himself into a corner and almost a shot-clock violation before he throws up a prayer that has no chance to go in and, I swear, a guy sitting behind us yelled at Sam.
Last mail thing before I go start on tomorrow’s mailbag:
Q: Chris Bosh, just missed a triple double the other day. Have any Raptors other than "Crybaby" Vince Carter recorded a triple double? Also, has anyone in league history ever recorded a quadruple double?
Brent F, North Bay.
A: There have been nine Raptor triple-doubles: Three by Damon Stoudamire, two by Marcus Camby (points, rebounds and blocks in his case) and one each by Carter, Charles Oakley, Mark Jackson and Alvin Williams.
And since they started keeping extensive stats, there’ve been five quadruple-doubles. Two by Hakeem Olajuwon and one each by Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson and David Robinson. All except Robertson’s were points, rebounds, assists and blocks; Robertson’s had steals instead of blocks.