The Morning After The Night Before, LVXI
Look at it this way, it’s almost over. The trip, not the season!
And for that we can all be thankful.
Here a look at the latest carnage, and I want to thank some of you usual ranters, the inbox wasn’t full to over-flowing last night. Some, but not as many.
Three Things I Learned
Time for a change?
The coaches spent about 20-25 minutes behind closed doors after the game and I can imagine they were talking about one thing: Is it time to change the starting lineup? Giving up 35, 44 and 32 points in each of the last three first quarters is inexcusable.
But here’s the question: Do you do one tonight (Moon) or do two on Wednesday (Bargnani and Moon)?
Me? I just do Moon but I wonder just who takes his place.
If you replace him with Kapono, what’s that do for the second unit scoring on nights when Delfino’s not making shots? And while Kapono’s defending better (“he’s trying to box out now,” one person told me on the weekend), can he guard starters?
The thing with Moon is all the stuff he’s supposed to bring: Defence, rebounding, energy, are lacking most nights. And teams have pretty much stopped guarding him.
Not sure if there’s a better matchup in coaching clothing and fashion than Sam Mitchell against Reggie Theus.
How he got them
Yes, that was Jason Kapono out there scoring 26 points, the most he’s had in a game in the last 42. Every half a season, I guess, he goes off for more than 20.
But the interesting thing is how he got them. Most of them came in transition, when he’d either trail the break and get open looks, or get out in front and hit pull-up jumpers.
If they can get him those shots, and if he’s got the energy to play like he played Sunday night (he was quicker and more engaged than he usually is), he’ll play a big role in the final 15 games.
A quick grab into the mailbag:
Q: I just finished watching that disgusting display of basketball against Denver. I am embarrassed to be a fan right now. Can you make a list of the most embarrassing Raptor moments ever? I'm sure 81 is #1 but today has got to be in there somewhere right?
K W, North York
Ever? Wow. There are lots
Here’s some that come quickly to mind:
81, ‘nuff said.
Chris Childs and math.
Giving up 152 to the Clippers in ‘98
Rafer wondering if he should ‘retire’ after Sam and he argue on the bench in Boston
The night in Year 1 when they handed out balloons after half to fans sitting under the basket to distract free-throw shooters. And gave them to fans at the wrong end, the end the Raptors were shooting at.
Late in Year 1, Brendan Malone plays four two-guards at the same time and at halftime, a seething Isiah Thomas rips him in an in-game scrum.
The Fashion Police were out last night. No, not critiquing Sam’s and Reggie’s looks.
First Sacramento’s Francisco Garcia and then Toronto’s Moon get hit with delay-of-game warnings for getting ready to go in the game with their shirts out of their pants.
It’s a silly rule but it’s on the books. I’d hated to be the guy who cost his team a technical foul of his ‘shirt-out’ penalty was the second delay of game call of the night.
They aren’t dancing in the streets of Sacramento over the win (at least not in the early-morning darkness of this hotel parking lot) but here's what they're writing.
Speaking of Salt Lake, we’re there for St. Patrick’s Day and, as one guy joked on press row last night, he’s been told that means they’ll leave the bars open until 6 p.m. for the revelry.
Here’s one more from the mail
Q: During the second quarter of the Kings game, the stars aligned for one of the most unprecedented plays in Raptors history. Jason Kapono attempted a rare three-pointer (missed) and Rasho threw down a ferocious put back slam. My question is why does a player of Rasho's size dunk the ball so rarely? It seems like he prefers flip up baby hooks when he could easily dunk the ball, but why?
Nick H-C, Vancouver
A: Why not? Still counts two points, right?
Why the fascination with dunks over layups or jump hooks? Who cares?
You never know who you’ll meet where.
We’re pulling into the parking lot at the Arco Arena on Sunday, showing the nice lady directing us our passes so we know where to go.
"I know you,” she says. “I’m Andre Miller’s aunt, he was on fire last night.”
Yes, indeed he was. And his aunt’s a very nice lady.
Okay, couple of people wondered what in the world Linas Kleiza would possibly jawing about at the Raptor bench in the final seconds of a 30-point Denver win the other night.
Well, seems he was pointing out to Kris Humphries that he didn’t feel Humphries was worthy of being a lottery pick back in the day.
And Jay Triano took exception to Kleiza’s chirping, which got Kleiza all worked up and ended up with him picking up a ‘T.’