The Morning After The Night Before, LXXIII or something
From the comfort of the couch – a guy’s gotta spend a few days at home, doesn’t he? – that one was a tad more nerve-wracking than it should have been. It’s a win, sure, and that’s what counts most I guess. Still, smooth it wasn’t.
Three Things I Learned
Over the Moon
Two third-quarter plays, back-to-back possessions tell you a lot about Jamario Moon.
First he gets the ball on the left baseline, about 10 feet out with space to attack. He hesitates, looks, hoists up an off-balance shot that’s got no chance.
Next possession, T.J. drives baseline, flips the ball to Moon at the elbow and, lo and behold! – he attacks the rim. Gets foul, gets to the line.
I’m presuming today someone shows him that tape. And, who knows, he might get it.
Did Sean May spend the season attending the Eddy Curry School Of Fitness?
He’s a, um, corpulent young lad.
Classic execution? Think not
Up four late with the ball, coming out of a timeout and you know that they’re going to dump the ball into Bosh, who has dominated. Am certain that’s the call. Well, they dribble the clock almost away, forced to get a Moon jumper (and I’m pretty sure a Moon jumper is not in the playbook). Bad. Okay, though, ‘cause they get a stop and surely to all that’s good in the world, they’ll get Bosh the ball this time, right?
Oops, no. T.J. takes what has to be considered a questionable shot at best, it misses, Bobcats come back and hit a three and if Sam’s head didn’t start hurting, I’d be shocked.
Okay, so they still go on to win and the two blips don’t cost them but against a good team in a playoff game they might.
We’ll start with the mail, although I have to report today’s in-basket isn’t filled with nearly the vitriol I thought it would be.
Q: Okay, Rasho is a beast and every Raptor fan should love him. In order to answer a previous question a reader asked, I think if any player in the NBA, you resemble him the most. A crafty, patient, mature (not old, 'mature'), defensive minded player who doesn't lose his cool. What do you think?
Next question - Who won't make playoffs? Mavs, Warriors or the Nuggets?
Andrew N, Waterloo
A: Rasho? I can be Rasho. He’s a funny, dude, too.
I stayed up and watched a whole bunch of Nuggets-Suns last night, saw Dallas a lot on the weekend and I love watching Golden State so there’s lots of late nights with them.
They’ve all got pretty much the same schedule going down the stretch and with the way they’re playing, I’m saying Dallas finishes ninth.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed that in the last three games Chris Bosh has three three-pointers and Jason Kapono has none.
How do things look in Charlotte this morning? Like this.
The Atlanta Hawks haven’t been in the playoffs in this century but they’re knocking on the door right now. Here’s what they’re saying down there.
Mail’s in, a bit more at least.
Q: Hey Doug! Love the column. Relieves some stress from rigours of university exam time. Keep up the good work. Several questions:
1) Who do you think will be the first Raptor jersey ever retired?
2) Thinking that LeBron would still be a junior in college. How many points per game would LeBron average in the NCAA tournament?
3) I’m just wondering, what is the chemistry between Jose and Chris like?
Jeremy M, Bay Roberts, NL
A: Glad to help take your mind off that pesky education stuff.
Whoever wore that jersey hasn’t played here yet. Retiring numbers isn’t something teams should do as a matter of course.
If LeBron was in college, he’d score as many points a game as he wanted.
Jose and Chris have fine chemistry, you watched them run the high screen and roll to near perfection at times this year and they get along just fine off the court.
Okay, it’s official. Wandered upstairs to say hello during the first half last night and to steal a quick look at Dancing With The Stars.
Marlee Matlin doing the jive put it over the top. She’s the new favourite.
Besides, who can you not cheer for someone I saw yesterday afternoon on a Seinfeld replay and also caught a while ago on a West Wing repeat. Two of the greatest shows ever and she dances?
Vote early, vote often.
Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that these guys rattle off six wins in their last eight games (it might be a stretch given their penchant for blowing relatively easy games but play with me here).
That gives ‘em 44 for the season and, I’m guessing, a fifth seed. Maybe sixth.
Is that a good season?
Does 44 make it successful given the absence of Garbo for almost the entire year, the absence of Ford for 24 games and Bosh for 15, the inconsistencies of Bargnani and every swingman on the roster and the presence of a rookie in the starting lineup?
Can you make the case, given those circumstances, that they over-achieved to get to 44, or even 43?
I think you can make that argument quite easily. And what’s that say about the coaching? And the other guys? That they were able to, in the absence of three key players and the knowledge that they never knew night to night what they’d get out of Delfino, Kapono and Moon, survive and even thrive at times?
I think it says a lot.
Let’s say Bosh only misses six games and of the nine he sits out they win over? Take that and you’re getting to 47, 48 wins and then how’s the season?
I know ‘what ifs’ are folly but it’s a discussion you could have sitting around an adult beverage parlour.
Last week against Detroit
Pistons 35, Raptors 33 at half.
Last night against Charlotte
Raptors 39, Bobcats 32 after a quarter.
The NBA: Where Inconsistency Happens.
Got this last night about 8:
Haha. This defense Sam Mitchell has the team playing really does wonders doesn't it? You know your team is bad when you allow the Charlotte Bobcats to score at will against you. It is still in the second quarter and I already know the Raptors are going to lose so on to opening day baseball!
Grant C, Orangeville
A: Hope you had a good night.