The Morning After The Night Before, LXXIV
Oh my goodness. Where to start? There’s almost too much.
But there’s this: This is why I love you people. Really. I’m being legit here (Well maybe ‘love’ is too strong a word). In the 40 minutes immediately following the game, there were about 15 e-mails and a dozen comments; I got on the machine here about 7:15 this morning and there were 21 more comments and 15 more e-mails. That’s some passion. Way to go.
Of course, it makes for a tad more work over here but what the heck, that’s what I get paid the mediocre bucks to deal with.
And away we go:
Three Things I Learned
What I’m Wondering Is …
How in the world did Mike Bibby get so open at the end of regulation? How could T.J. Ford simply lose one of two legitimate three-point shooters on the court? It wasn’t as if he ran into some Oakley-esque screen, he just lost the guy. And that token defence? Disgraceful. Not sure if there was enough time to foul but even if there wasn’t, half-turning away while waving an arm? Brutal. If Ford’s even close, he wraps Bibby up the minute he catches the ball. I know Sam Mitchell, I know how he coaches and I can absolutely assure you he wanted a foul. They had Moon and Delfino and Parker in the game with Bosh and Ford, not sure they’ve got five better guys to defend at that point. It just took more effort than they got from Ford.
Then There’s The Overtime
Twenty points? 20! That’s more than a team has ever scored against a Raptor team in an overtime period. Considering 25 is the most scored ever by a team in an overtime, that’s another disgrace. Defence has never been this team’s strong suit but that’s an abomination by any standards.
And One Other Thing
Remember how Chris Bosh stood in the locker room a couple of weeks ago and talked about being aggressive down the stretch and everyone nodded their heads and said, ‘yeah, that’s the what has to happen.’
Well, the Raptors were in the bonus with 7:30 to go in the fourth quarter. After Bosh made two free throws on that fifth team foul, they didn’t shoot a single foul shot the rest of the way. Not one.
A familiar voice in the mailbag
Q: I heard you mention that Rasho and Darrick had "high basketball IQs". I've always wondered, what does that mean? Do they know alot about stats, the history of the game, how to successfully play a position, or how to make plays for themselves? Maybe all of the above?
Sam C, Kingston
P.S.: I went to see the Globetrotters last night, and kept in mind what you had mentioned before. Not a lot of basketball being played, but needless to say, it was a night of entertainment and some good comedic moments, and I recommend to anyone of any age seeing them in the near future. Some very humble people as well.
A: Hey, long time no hear.
Well, at the risk of repeating myself from above, I’ll suggest that a “high basketball IQ” means knowing that if you’re team’s up three with 3.5 seconds left and the other team has the ball, you try to foul the guy who catches the inbounds pass the second he catches it, rather than wave a hand at him as he hits a game-winner. “Basketball IQ” is that and stuff like knowing who’s got the hot hand and riding him, seeing mismatches and exploiting them, talking on defence and helping at the right time. It’s knowing how to make the right split-second decision in the heat of a game.
Glad you enjoyed the ‘Trotters. Guess they dumped Oliver Miller?
Okay, on to the clock fiasco. Human error is human error. A ref, Cousin Sekou in Atlanta reports it was Eric Lewis, hit the little button on his belt a fraction of second – a very small fraction of a second – early and it cost the Raps a gamee-winning basket.
I imagine there will be calls and e-mails and tapes sent to the league, I also imagine nothing will be done about it. And, please, don’t bring anti-Canada or anti-Toronto into this, okay? That makes people look foolish.
Sometimes, crap happens. It sucks, but they’re human and humans make mistakes. You know, like losing Mike Bibby with the game on the line, giving up 20 points in five overtime minutes and forgetting to drive to the basket.
Speaking of Cousin Sekou, here’s how he summed up the night.
Here’s another mail thingy:
Q: The Raptors scored 17 shots in succession last game. It seams like that has to be close to a record. What's the highest number of shots in succession in a single NBA game?
CJ L, London
A: According to Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN and to me from the crack Raptors media relations department:
"The Raptors made 17 consecutive field goals in the first half of their 104-100 win at Charlotte. The last NBA team to make that many shots in a row was the Trail Blazers, also against the Bobcats on February 22, 2006.”
Lots of comments about the stuffed animal firing the t-shirts at James Posey and KG the other night in Chicago. Brought back some personal memories, too.
It’s 1999 and we’re in gawdforsaken Colorado Springs, sitting in some dumpy Air Force Academy college gym in what must be a pucks press box at the top of the stands. Head-down, diligently typing away, probably some ode to Butch Carter’s coaching ability, am rudely interrupted by some cloth object that hits me right in the corner of the eye. Hurt, too. Startling, as well.
Look down at the court and there’s the Denver mascot, whatever its scrawny self is, holding one of those goofy guns and looking at me.
Goof shot me. And all I got was a lousy medium sized t-shirt with that season’s Nugget schedule on the back.
I did not, though, have to go for treatment. I eventually did, however, have to go for new glasses.
Oh yeah, that T.J. play that got waved off? How good was that. Both drawn up and executed. You folks can – and do – kill Sam over a lot of things, I didn’t get one e-mail overnight suggesting it was Xs and Os well done.
Didn’t expect any, really, but credit should be given where credit is due.
How up in arms do you think everyone will be if that loss last night is the difference between these guys playing Orlando or Detroit in the first round of the playoffs? Heads may explode.