Biggest game of the year
|RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR|
|You gotta believe, people.|
It’s sorta funny. I read the comments and go through the mail and the over-riding feeling is that the series is over. Maybe it will be; heck, maybe it is, but they do have to actually play more games.
Action: So, who starts?
Reaction: Gotta be Kapono. Or Delfino, right?
Not Moon, though and here’s why.
To start the third quarter of Game 2, they went to Moon over Rasho.
All Orlando did was keep Lewis on Bosh (a much tougher matchup), put Turkoglu on Bargnani and leave Howard to guard Moon, if that’s what you call it.
Howard stood on the low block, let Moon drift out to the corner and, if the ball went to him, he moved a couple of steps out to take away the drive (as if Moon was going to drive the ball and initiate contact in a billion years).
Now, maybe it’s different if Moon’s 4-for-5 instead of 1-for-5 in that eight-minute run but I doubt it.
And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Bosh couldn’t get going in the third with Lewis guarding him.
At least with Kapono, they have to get out on him ‘cause he’s shooting it so well, and Delfino will attack the basket.
Action: Anything else?
Reaction: No way they change both Nesterovic and Parker, right?
Can’t see it. Parker may not have scored in Game 2 but he had 24 in Game 1 and he must have been doing something right defensively to get 38 minutes.
Here’s what’s up in Orlando, where they enjoyed a non-practice day yesterday.
Action: T.J. stays.
Reaction: Sayeth Sam:
"He has been better as a starter and Jose has proven he can come off the bench and give us something. To me, why would I do that? At least, I know if T.J. struggles, I’ve got Jose who last game played well. But if we do that and Jose struggles, where do I go?”
Translation: We know T.J. has proven to play like a pooch if we bring him off the bench and if he’s going to do anything at all, it has to be as a starter, even if it means only playing him five minutes a half.
How wrong is that?
Action: Report has Avery Johnson on hot seat.
Reaction: Does he suck as a coach two years after getting the Mavs to the NBA final? No, he doesn’t.
A quickie from the mail:
Q: Watched some of the Suns-Spurs game 2 and noticed the Spurs were playing the ol' Hack-a-Shaq game. My question is: how are they allowed to do that? Isn't there a rule (which I learned about in this blog, in fact) where if a player is fouled away from the ball, then that player would get two shots as well as possession? Obviously, this wasn't the case during that game, so what am I missing?
Jesse L, Seattle
A: You probably didn’t finish reading the sentence here, which on the odd occasion is quite all right. The team being fouled gets free throws and the ball on a foul away from the ball only in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. So you Hack-a-Shaq until that time with no worries.
Action: Sam speaks.
Reaction: And I have no comment rather that to let it run. He’s asked if it’s a risk to keep changing the starting lineup:
"As a coach, you have to look at that thing and you can’t be afraid to try things. Y’all are going to kill me anyway. If I don’t do something, you’re going to kill me and if I do do something and it don’t work, you’re going to kill me. I’m not trying to win with you guys anyway, I’m trying to win the game. I’m not trying to win with you guys because, come on, I think I’ve been around long enough to realize I’m never going to win with y’all.”
Action: Bosh is getting killed
Guy goes for 29 and 10 and six assists, a block and two steals, plays 45 minutes hard at both ends, carries the team back at both ends of the floor and some of you are dogging him?
You want to know why he didn’t score much in the second half? Because other guys were. Because the Magic were playing off him on the screen and roll because he was killing them and Calderon made five of six shots, because he had three of his assists passing off to Kapono or Delfino or, yes, Bargnani, who made four jumpers in that half. Oh, why’s that? Because he was more open because Bosh was attracting so much attention.
Guy misses a jumper at the buzzer (ok, maybe it was 17 feet, not 15; maybe it was 19, maybe it was 16 feet 6 inches, it’s all just an educated guess at the scorer’s table or press row) and you’re killing him?