More of the same, only different
Keep those cards and letters coming and, no, I don’t think the Raptors could put together a package to trade for Yao Ming, as someone suggested yesterday in the zany trade proposal of the day.
The only thing that would have made last night’s Detroit timing faux pas even funnier would have been if the Atlanta crew had been on the table.
The NBA sends third-party timers to playoff games but I understand last night’s dude was from Minnesota.
In case you missed it, there was a mistake with the clock at the end of the third quarter – it started and then stopped again – that allowed Detroit’s Chauncey Billups to get off, and make, a three-pointer that should not have counted. It did, the Pistons went up by one and went on to win.
The whole thing would have been avoidable if the refs had been allowed to use replay to figure out how much time had elapsed. Even Steve Javie admitted as much to Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy but he was limited by the rules of instant replay.
You can imagine what’s going to be near the top of the agenda whenever the board of governors meets again.
It makes absolutely no sense that with the technology available that they don’t expand the use of replay. Give a coach a challenge, or allow officials to use it when there’s a clock malfunction, whatever. Just do something because this is getting ridiculous.
Some NBA players spend the start of their off-season decompressing and relaxing. Others? Well, others do more interesting things. Like this.
You know what I hope?
I hope Mike D’Antoni gets a new job really fast.
That would mean the inbox wouldn’t take a daily beating from the Fire Sam, Hire Mike faction out there that seems to grow exponentially every day.
Now, I like D’Antoni, he’s a good guy and his teams play a wildly entertaining brand of basketball. His teams also play defence like they are allergic to it, and his teams have had Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw and a rash of other excellent role players. His teams have been quick and athletic and big. His teams have not been the Toronto Raptors.
And if there are flaws in his style and his ability – and apparently there are if you listen to the bleatings out of Phoenix these days – what makes you think they wouldn’t surface here?
Now, Sam has his flaws, all coaches do, but this incessant harping on Mike D’Antoni is really getting old.
D’Antoni might be the next Red Auerbach, he might be the next Red Klotz when it comes to coaching this group of Raptors. You don’t know, I don’t know.
Hmm, let’s see.
Chris Paul goes for 30 and 12, New Orleans leads San Antonio 2-0 and a guy wonders, “can we do an MVP recount?”
I keed, I keed.
Let’s get into the mail:
Q: When NBA players are in playoffs what financial benefits do they get/achieve besides their regular salary and bonus that some players may have in their contract when they reach playoffs? Do they get to share the extra revenue that playoff venues generate? Does their salary get prorated for the time they are in playoffs? Any special financial benefits if they win/play in conference/NBA finals?
Vineet B, Ottawa
A: Oh, it’s lucrative all right.
This year, there’s an $11 million post-season pool that’s split between teams depending on how far they advance. For instance, by finishing sixth in the conference, the Raptors earned $74,394 as a franchise and for losing in the first round of the playoffs, they picked up another $164,168. That money is divvied up among players and support staff, the hard-working fellows like Kevin DiPietro and Paul Elliott who actually make the thing run. And who could probably use the cash.
Depending on where they finished in the conference standings in the regular season (teams get money for finishing first through sixth), the NBA champions will share a playoff pool of about $2.7 million when it’s all said and done.
So, I’m watching New Orleans dismantle San Antonio last night and I’m feeling really good for Mo Pete. Nice to see good things happen to good guys.
And before you all start in on me, yes, it’s too bad he’s not in Toronto and, no, they shouldn’t have kept him, his time here was up.
Once more to the mail and we’ll shut it down for the day. Unless something happens, of course.
Q: Last question and "thanks" for the great blog season.
I guess I'm more of a homer than a general basketball fan and without the Raps (and Suns) in it, the NBA just doesn't hold my interest...
(and my beer league team just finished our 2nd and last out-of-town beer, er, I mean basketball tournament so time to pack it in for the season.
Which leads to my question: Despite the remaining events you have to write about in the blog (did I mention it is great!), when will the new season BEGIN for you and therefore for US, your starving-for-meaningful-Raptor bball-news-fans?
Barry P, North Bay
A: Glad you asked.
The next big thing for the Raptors, of course, is the June 26 draft, they’ve currently got the 17th pick. The week leading up to it will be filled with trade speculation (as if there’s not enough of that now) and mock drafts.
From there, we go to the July 1 start of free agency, when teams can start talking to guys; and the July 11 signing day, which this coincides with Toronto playing in the Las Vegas summer league.
If I were a betting man – and gambling, I remind you, is illegal except where sanctioned by the bookmakers in our government – I’d say that period from the June 26-July 1 is when the big moves are going to be made.
So get some rest, take care of the aching muscles, and get ready.