Is there a sense of doom hovering?
How’s everyone feeling today? A bit nervous? Resigned to the fate that’s coming? Excited at all?
|ANDREW WALLACE/TORONTO STAR|
|The towel has been thrown by some of you around these parts.|
Judging for the letters and notes I’m getting, very few expect anything good to come from tonight’s game.
Who knows. I guess they could make every shot they look at and win a shootout and wouldn’t that put some juice back in this thing for a few days.
But maybe not. Maybe they lose and we get can on with the summer.
I’m thinking tonight goes a bit like Saturday, close until the final few minutes.
Let’s get down to business
A work of fiction
Okay, so I don’t know Peter Vescey that well, maybe met him twice in my life and he’s become entirely irrelevant around the NBA, but what he did Sunday was absolutely unconscionable.
The drive-by on Sam Mitchell, you can read it here, was shocking not only because it’s wrong but because a purported responsible journalist cannot fabricate direct quotes and get away with it.
And that’s just what that was, an entire fabrication of a scene that never, ever took place. I spoke to half a dozen people yesterday who would have been in that room and it simply didn’t happen.
It’s funny to me, big shot columnist, who should know better, writes fiction and doesn’t seem to care. If I’m quoting somebody, I know they said the words. If I’m making an assertion like that – as bogus as it was – I’m checking first.
And I think we all know now that Mr. Vescey deals in fantasy rather than fact. And this one instance entirely diminishes every other single word he writes.
A little public service.
If there is a Game 6, it’s going to start at either 6 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, depending on what happens in the Phoenix-San Antonio and New Orleans-Dallas series.
There was some concern, among the beat writers at least, that we might get an 8 p.m. start or, egads, even an 8:30 p.m. tip but the NBA took care of us.
It’s going to be on NBA-TV down here in the states regardless.
More on Sam’s future?
Speaking of Sam, he’s back in the news in New York today, too.
Checking out remnants of the mail
Q: Here's a little work for you - 'cause we wouldn't want you to, you know, enjoy a break or anything. Nene Hilario - would have been fun to see him in a Raptors uni going against Howard. Blah, blah, freak-injury-prone, blah, blah, overpaid, but Rasho and filler might get that trade done, and Rasho hasn't exactly been an underpaid world-beater. Thoughts? (That was my token question).
D.J. Augustin might be available in the draft - read his draft summary and you would swear they were talking about TJ Ford - he might be a good change of pace guard off the bench - minus the controversy. Thoughts? (Sense a rant-covering trend here)?
You know what I like? (How about that - does that count as a question? - does this?)? I like Bargnani's game. IF - IF - he relearns how to shoot. AS a power forward. Who else on the Raptors drives to the net with such force - when he gets motoring, he goes.
And finally, did you say Josh Smith of Atlanta was available, and could he play small forward as an offensive/defensive force? I seem to remember you mentioning him, and he sure has been looking good.
Not talking skill-wise, but speed-wise - from your courtside vantage point, how does Calderon stack up against other great point guards with a reputation for slowness - I'm thinking of Stockton, as well as others. What I'm getting at, is he at least as fast as other point guards who have had success, or is he just too dang slow? (Hey, this might qualify as a real question!!).
Andy A, Dallas
A: Wow. Got a bit of time on your hands down there?
Okay, I like Nene a lot and if he had been healthy in the spring around trade deadline time, I bet Bryan would have called about him. I also know Denver, when its done with the season, will be looking to make some drastic change and I bet Bryan calls again. Nene would be an excellent fit here.
Not too familiar with DJ Augustin, though, but when it comes to a backup point guard next year (if it breaks down as I think it will with a Ford trade and a Calderon re-signing), they’re going to be looking for someone with experience.
And I don’t know if Josh Smith is available, if Atlanta’s got any brains, he won’t be because I think he can be really good. But who knows what’s going to happen with the Hawks ownership, coaching and the general manager’s spot so maybe he’ll be on the market.
Finally, Jose’s not going to win any sprints but he’s not the slowest guard in the league but a long stretch. He’s average and the other stuff he does makes him an above-average PG in my opinion.
The Wizards are dopes
I’m with Charles Barkley on this, the Washington Wizards might be the stupidest team in the history of pro sports for riling up LeBron James before their series began and then trying to play like thugs in every game.
If they don’t suspend DeShawn Stevenson for that hit on James yesterday, Stu Jackson should be ashamed of himself. I’m all for tough basketball, dirty, stupid basketball has no place in the game.
They should have suspended Brendan Haywood for his hit on James earlier in the series, they have to sit Stevenson down.
Hey, Jawad, here’s a note for you.
And for the Fine Ladies Of The Foundation who put it together.
Many thanks to you, the Raptors Foundation but especially Jawad. I had the good fortune of winning those tickets to Game 3. We lost, but it was a great experience to be at the game. I will never forget it.
Robert Nordness, Toronto
The daily look-in with the fellas over at the Orlando Sentinel.
Have no idea how tonight and tomorrow’s going to break down but it’s going to be busy around here. Another of those gawdforsaken early morning flights may make this another all-nighter so stay tuned,