A new day has dawned
So, what’s everyone expect tonight?
Judging by the comments, there’s not much hope out there in the great world of fans. Lots of fire Sam, bench Bargnani, trade Ford, play Moon, Bosh is brutal talk among you, isn’t there?
You may all be right, or you may all be wrong.
I still think this series has some legs and it’s sure not over.
For some reason, they’re letting us do our shootaround media before they take the court instead of after so we’ll put a few things out there now and update it after 10:30 or so when we get back.
|ANDREW WALLACE/TORONTO STAR|
|It wouldn't be like matching up against the gang here, but Chris Bosh on Dwight Howard might work.|
The gang (seven writers constitutes a gang, I guess) is heading out shortly so there’s not much time for pontificating.
Here we go:
Action: Rasho starts.
Reaction: He won’t play long.
What’s the matchup they want? Howard guarding Bosh. One, it may allow Bosh to get Howard in foul trouble, it works far better for Toronto’s pick-and-roll if Howard’s at the elbow guarding Bosh and it takes Lewis off Bosh.
So I’m guessing the first sub comes after about four minutes and it’s either Kapono or Moon for Rasho.
And, if the Magic switches up and puts Howard on Bargnani, which I don’t expect, it’ll be up to Bargnani to stay out around the perimeter and make plays if Howard comes out to guard him.
Here’s today’s Sentinel link and what they had to say.
Action: Kapono plays
Reaction: He’s got to play smart.
One thing Kapono did in Game 1 was, for the most part, stay outside the arc on offence and that’s where he has to operate to be successful for a couple of reasons.
All season long, we’ve seen him drive the ball after those little shot fakes and try to hit those little runners or mid-range jumpers. That’s all well and good, if he’s making them. But he’s a three-point shooter and he should stay outside and shoot them.
What his driving also does is create more congestion in the paint and that’s the last thing these guys want, what with Dwight Howard back there and all.
A mailbag question on a point I was going to make:
Q: I was watching Raptors Today this evening and Sam said something that kind of stuck with me... in a bad way. He said that tomorrow's game isn't a must-win. While mathematically it may not be, I think it is if they want to win the series. We've seen this whole season, especially Sunday, that the Raptors just haven't come out with a sense of urgency. Now if I'm a player on the Raps, and I hear my coach say that this game we're playing isn't a must win; it probably wouldn't make me not try hard, but it might make me come out less aggressive. Why do you think Sam said that? Is he trying not to put pressure on his guys? Because I think that kind of pressure might be good for them.
Amanda F, Barrie
A: I know exactly why he said it and if you could hear me do my Sam imitation right now, this is what he’d say:
"Guys, guys, guys. We want to win every game. If this is a ‘must win’ and we don’t win, what’s that make Thursday? A ‘must, must, must’ win? Come on, guys.”
I see your point on wanting to put pressure on his players, or imbue them with a sense of urgency and perhaps he does that in private. But I know Sam and I know he’s not going to publicly admit any game’s a ‘must win’ until they’ve lost three in a series.
The people you meet.
I was standing on the court before the game Sunday having a chinwag with Old Friend Brendan Malone, who was also carrying on a conversation with a distinguished looking gentleman next to me.
While Brendan and I were talking old time Raptors, family and basketball, he and the other guy were talking old time Mets and Dodgers and Shea Stadium and the old Polo Grounds.
Both of ‘em are big baseball fans, obviously.
The gentleman looks vaguely familiar, sure knows his sports and was greeted warmly by everyone around him.
As he walks away, Brendan says, “Do you know Stan’s father? This is Bill Van Gundy.”
Very cool dude.
Okay, this is divorced from these guys and this series but the shenanigans in New York are continuing and it’s getting more ridiculous by the minute.
First, new boss Donnie Walsh says Isiah isn’t fired but he really doesn’t have a title and Walsh makes it clear Thomas as no place in the Knicks decision-making process. Isiah will have no one reporting to him, Walsh said the day he took over.
Now, the New York papers are reporting that not only does Thomas have no real job – but he’s not fired – he can’t even contact anyone with the team.
Why don’t they just fire the guy, pay him his money and let him get on with his life.
I knew James Dolan was a classless buffoon, I would have thought better from Donnie Walsh.
Okay, I’m gonna post some comments and head to shootaround, check back later and we’ll have a post-shootaround update.