The Morning After The Night Before, LVXIII
Sorry I’m a bit late, seems the road caught up to me and some extra sleep was necessary. But considering the calm that's awash over Raptorland today, I figure it was a good morning to catch an extra 90 minutes of shuteye.
So here we go
Three Things I Learned
It’s not just me
Sitting in the room waiting for Sam to come entertain us, the conversation got around – as it usually does – to what we’d just seen.
And after we’d carved the Heat, we started carving fans, all of us did.
That booing over the pizza? That’s entirely bush league. Embarrassing. I know it’s a drum I like to beat but, really, just cheer or sit on your hands or walk out of the building to go get a beer. Booing in the final minute of a 42-point win cheapens everything.
The lounge just off the main section of the Raptor locker room is generally reserved for eating and avoiding us. Last night, though, there were more than a few extra bodies in there watching the end of the Philly-Denver game and, judging by the groans coming out of another area when Turkoglu missed a potential game-winner, there was some attention being paid to Washington-Orlando, too.
No one’s saying who they’d rather meet in the first round but, trust me, they are paying close attention to what the Wizards and Sixers are doing.
How about Bosh?
What’d you think? I saw the predictable rust but also a whole lot of intensity and emotion from his teammates that had been lacking. Sam talked at shootaround about how just seeing Bosh in uniform would make a difference in the attitude and swagger of the other guys and he was right. No one can say for certain how they’re going to play from here on in but there were a lot of people around the locker room last night thinking some corner had been turned.
I believe they were right.
My man Ira was wandering around the press-room last night with guides and records books and lists of all time unspeakably bad performances, trying to put some context to what the Heat had done. Here’s how he finally put it all together.
Quickly the mailbag:
Q: Hi, a couple of unrelated questions have occurred to me, hope you don't mind...
So, I didn't see Wednesday's 'game' and ended up checking the box score, and noticed that there were 8 Miamis who got the DNP, and only 7 who played. Isn't the rule that 8 players have to dress, and if so, which uniformed player got spared being fed to the lions on that one?
And the other question is, how much non-Raptor NBA do you get a chance to see? It's one thing to get the gist of Kobe or LeBron from the highlight reels, but how often do you get to refresh your opinion on Walter Herrmann?
Just sorta randomly curious, thanks for your time.
Michael R, Toronto
A: You would have seen Udonis Haslem and Shawn Marion in uniform on the bench, although neither could play.
How much do other basketball do I see? I’d estimate it’s a game a night when these guys aren’t playing, a lot of clicking around the dial to see which is the best game. And I’m generally on a couch or in a press room somewhere on Sunday afternoon to watch the ABC game.
And, of course, the good folks at the Harbour Sports Grille will put on whatever game we want to see on whatever TV we’re sitting closest to every night after home games. Toss in the friendly folks who work there and it’s another reason to stop by.
Hey, did you get a load of Daequan Cook’s Andrea Bargnani imitation? Two fouls in 16 seconds. That’s doing something.
A whole different take on restricted free agency:
Q: I just wanted to know the rules about restricted free agents being signed. Is it like the NHL where the team that loses the player gets draft picks?
Amir K, Waterloo
A: We’ve got to stop these comparisons to the pucks, okay?
No, if a restricted free agent signs an offer sheet with another team and his present team doesn’t match, he’s gone. No picks, no money, no nothing.
Last week when we were out in Denver, old friend Marcus Camby was suggesting the five-game trip the Nuggets are on would make or break their season.
Well, they’re 0-2 and now 2 1-2 games behind Golden State for eighth in the West and they’ve got Jersey Friday before they get here on Sunday. My bet is if they lose to the Nets, they know the season’s over and they mail in Sunday afternoon’s game.