Catching up from the weekend
Finally, some juice to the post-season. If we can get a Cleveland win tonight – and the way the Celtics play on the road that’s a distinct possibility – the end of the week might be very, very cool.
Looks like you had a quiet weekend, too. Only a couple of comments and very little mail. Hope it was just a nice weekend blip and you haven’t gone on to other things.
But before we get into the weekend, some Raptor news.
Think there’s another Jamario Moon out there?
Talking to Bryan last week, he says they’re planning another of those free-agent, pre-draft camps here that yielded them Moon a year ago.
Of course, that was a bit of a find, can’t imagine there’s another one around but it will give them a chance to see a bunch of guys at one time instead of wading through a handful of scouting reports or individual workouts.
And unlike last year, when the camp was as much a make-work project for a team without a draft pick, the week leading up to the June 26 draft will be spent dealing with draft speculation and trade innuendo. You know, good days for a beat grunt.
Let’s check in with the series, okay?
Who was that guy?
I’m checking my Raptor guide, under Former Raptors, page 166 and I swear it says Lindsey Hunter shot 35 per cent from the field and 32 per cent from three-point range and played in only 29 games in 2002-03 because he was done.
Who, pray tell, was that out there for the Pistons on Saturday then?
Oh, and what in the world was Hedo Turkoglu thinking? Biggest play of the entire season and he lollygags for about three seconds before driving into traffic? Talk about your mental blips.
I guess I’d given the Magic too much credit, thinking they’d take advantage of no Billups and make it a series.
The road’s a terrible place
Simone in Toronto writes over the weekend:
Just finished watching the Cavs/Celts game and was wondering about your take on why the Celts can't seem to buy a win on the road? I'm sure a lot of people thought they would have swept the Hawks, yet it went 7 games and had it not been for home-court advantage, we could have seen an upset. Now we are in the second round and they have yet to grab that road win. Your thoughts?
I wish I had an easy answer for you, Simone.
It makes no sense that a team that defends so well at home defends so poorly (all of a sudden) on the road, like 25 points a game more poorly.
All I can surmise is that maybe the concentration wanes a bit when they don’t have the emotion a home crowd provides? Surely, it’s got something to do with the Cavs and Hawks being more comfortable at home but that can’t be the entire reason.
A combination? Yeah, think that’ll be the most logical explanation.
I will say this: Watching the Cavs absolutely ignore Rajon Rondo on offence all night on Saturday – the Boston point guard just won’t shoot a jumper it seems – means it was a 4-on-5 game and I’m taking the five all the way.
I can see this one going seven with the home team winning every game.
A blast from the past
Zaki of Mississauga points out something very cool:
I'm sitting here watching the wonderful Lakers-Jazz series, watching Sloan and Jackson on the sidelines, and then it hits me! This is the '98 finals being repeated again. I mean, the similarities are amazing - Jackson's big 3 of Bryant, Odom, and Gasol, is akin to Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, while Sloan's team is being lead by Williams and Boozer which is similar to the team which was lead by Stockton-Malone. Not to mention the fact that Derek Fisher is the equivalent of the crafty Ron Harper, while Korver is playing the role of Hornacek - just unreal.
In your years of reporting, have you ever seen a similarity such as this before? I mean, what are the chances that the two coaches are leading the exact same teams 10 years later? I love this game!
It is something, isn’t it.
Now, I can’t make the case that, as a group, Bryant, Gasol and Odom are better overall than Jordan-Pippen-Rodman, just like I can make the case that Williams and Boozer aren’t close to Stockton-Malone but it is fun to watch.
And, I’ll tell you this, if Kobe’s back doesn’t un-spasm, or whatever it is that happens when spasms go away, I can see Utah winning that series because without his explosiveness, Bryant can be guarded well enough by Kirilenko that just enough of his effectiveness will be lost.
Who was that guy?
Oh, and while Super Son was watching Survivor (I personally would have voted for teary-eyed Amanda), I was flipping back and forth between commercials and didn’t see very much of the Spurs-Hornets non-game last night.
But in a semi-sleepy haze some time after 10 p.m., I swear I heard Marv Albert talking about Mike James being on the court.
That couldn’t be, could it?
A question: I know those end-of-quarter interviews with coaches are supposed to add something to the broadcasts but if Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan are going to be as crusty as they have been, I’m thinking the networks are better off selling something than subjecting viewers to that.
Hey, I guess Mike D’Antoni isn’t coming here! Oh, and he never, ever was, by the way.
But outside of 24 million reasons, I can’t think of a
24,000,000,001st 24,000,001st reason for him to take that Knicks job.
And because so many of you think the world only revolves around the Raptors, can we snuff the T.J. Ford-to-New York talk at least until D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh sit down and really talk about their roster.
I cannot see it happening in any way, shape or form. I’d think D’Antoni would like to coach Jamal Crawford and David Lee, who seem to be the apple of all of your eyes and there is nothing else on that roster that would fit here.