Some (quick) Game 5 thoughts, pre-flight update
Okay kids, here’s the deal.
Just got back to the room from the arena and the newspaper part of the job and it’s like 1:20 a.m. and the Nuggets just got eliminated. Have a 4 a.m. wakeup call for a 7 a.m. flight and a 1 p.m. media availability with the heroes of the hardcourt.
So, if you don’t mind, I’ll give you a few thoughts on last night and save the big picture look ahead ahead for later tomorrow or Wednesday morning. That all right? Hope so. Oh, and the 50 e-mails that are in there already? I’ll load ‘em up and get ‘em answered either tomorrow waiting for the flight or while we’re sitting around the arena.
Okay, to business.
Please, use the most rational thought process you have, look back at the totality of the series and tell me the best team didn’t win? You can’t, can you? Up and down the roster, from No. 1 through No. 9, the Magic were better. And that’s why they won.
Bigger, faster, stronger, older. And they played better.
I know the Raptors were in Game 2 and in Game 4 and in Game 5 and won Game 3 but they weren’t the better team.
Hey, check this out.
Guess someone made some noise.
Action: TJ sits in fourth
Reaction: Is his Toronto time over?
It’ll be the hot-button issue, well, one of them at least, for the next little while but seeing how Jose finished every close game down the stretch of the season and every close game in the playoffs, it’s obvious who’s No. 1 in the eyes of the coaching staff right now. It’d be too bad if that’s how Ford went out, he can do some exciting stuff on the court; I just don’t think he can do it here.
If he was willing to come back as a tempo-changing backup (and it’s always better to change to speed rather than from it, in my opinion), he’d be fine here. I don’t think he’s willing to make that move.
And to all those people who wonder how it’s possible that they’d pay $15 million or $16 million for point guards? Well, some teams do it. They just split it up 13-2 or 13-3 but it can be done.
Action: A road game
Reaction: Some red in the building
Was pretty nice to see a few red shirts around the arena, proving again that these guys have some great fans.
They’re not gloating in Orlando but the writers were making reservations to go to Detroit to cover the Pistons-Sixers. Here’s what they wrote before the left.
Action: Season’s over
Reaction: Who’s gone?
It’s a foregone conclusion that unrestricted free agents Darrick Martin and Primoz Brezec are finished as Ratpors. But who else goes?
You know Bryan’s going to be out there beating the drums for trades so I’ll leave that speculation for tomorrow.
The two restricted free agents are interesting. Well, one is, actually because Colangelo is going to re-sign Jose.
But what about Carlos? What do they do with him? That’s a tough one because I love the guy’s game when he’s on, when he’s off, it’s ugly. But I think a three year deal for around $9 million total, maybe $10 million, makes entire sense. As your ninth guy, he’s good.
Action: Tiger’s courtside
Reaction: Didn’t see Jason go over for a tip.
But, I did see Kapono say hello to Scott Hoch heading back to the court at halftime. Hoch, a regular at Magic games, at least on the nights I’ve been there, was about four rows up in the stands.
He makes that putt at the Masters that year and he might have been sitting courtside, too.
Cool sight about 30 minutes before tipoff.
Garbo’s out on the court with Erik Hughes, getting some shooting work in like he does before every game. At home, he’s in the practice gym, on the road, he’s on the court.
As he’s shooting, two dudes, decked out in Espana jerseys, are standing in the aisle about halfway up the lower bowl yelling and screaming and waving.
Garbo finally sees them, looks over and waves and I swear the two guys didn’t care what happened in the game, they had got what they wanted.
Anyway, it’s really, really late now, kids, so I’m gonna crash and be back at this late tomorrow morning when I get back downtown.