Of reunions and non-calls
You know the one cool thing about the Pistons? You can’t turn around it seems without running into some ex-Piston doing something for the team.
Bill Laimbeer coaches the WNBA Shock, one of his assistants is Rick Mahorn. Was watching the Shock-New York Liberty game on TV the other night and at halftime they’ve got an interview with James Edwards.
John Long’s on the Pistons broadcast team, as is Greg Kelser and they had a media row seat for Earl Cureton, although I didn’t see him, for Games 3 and 4.
It’s like one big (and in Mahorn’s case, I mean BIG) happy family.
Made me wonder what it’s going to be like around Toronto in, say, 15 years?
Will Alvin Williams come back every now and then? How about Jerome Williams? If they ever get a WNBA team, would they hire Muggsy Bogues to coach it? How about Dell Curry coming back when his kids are out of college?
Not going to happen, I’m afraid.
The biggest problem is this team has no real history. It’s never really won anything (one playoff series doesn’t count), the best player in franchise history is He Who Shall Not Be Named and he’s not coming back and there’s really nothing to celebrate.
You know, like a championship. Or a conference title. Or much excellence of any kind.
There will be, I suppose, but we’ll all be a lot older by that time.
Was it a foul?
Did Derek Fisher get Brent Barry in the dying seconds of the Spurs-Lakers last night? Probably. But who cares?
|Please hold your complaints. Spurs were already in trouble.|
The Spurs blew that one long before Joey Crawford didn’t blow his whistle – and there are very few, if any, officials who’d make that marginal call in that situation – on that fateful play.
The Spurs somehow gave up 20 second chance points, they never once got the “big” shot that could have turned the game as they mounted their comeback and any time a team can hold Kobe Bryant to zero – ZERO – free throws in a game, it can’t lose.
But San Antonio did.
I have no confidence now that that Spurs, who blew a 20-point lead in Game 1 and then blow Game 4 at home, can win this series.
In fact, I’d be shocked if there’s a Game 6.
But the call? It wasn’t going to get made, wasn’t a grievous enough foul, too marginal.
A good non-call was what Gregg Popovich called it. He was right.
And the game was lost well before that point anyway.
Here’s one thing to remember about the pre-draft camp that rolls on today in Orlando: Bryan Colangelo is not coming back with a changed roster.
There will be lots of trade talk but I cannot envision a scenario that something gets done; the groundwork may be laid but that’s about it.
The concentration is going to be on the draft picks because, as he said earlier this week, it’s the first time they’ll really get a chance to see these kids up close and personal.
There will be talk, and lots of is, but if you’re looking for a time a trade’s made, I’m guessing June 25-30 would be the right time period.
Here’s an interesting one from the mail:
Q: Simple, but complicated one for you:
How come when a team goes down 2-0, they tend to win game 3(as the home team) going away, but generally slip up in game 4. Does the adrenaline becomes less of a factor after game 3? It's quite the anomaly that I've never been able to figure out.
Mike S, Georgetown
A: Simple but complicated indeed.
There seems to be a much greater sense of urgency displayed by a team playing at home down 2-0 over one playing at home 2-1. The home crowd is a huge factor in most cities, too, because the adrenaline they help pump seems to diminish between Game 3 and Game 4 in any particular series.
Home teams have a tendency to let down, just wee bit, when they get that first win while a road team knows its goal was the get one win on the road and they still have that chance n Game 4.
I don’t know how many times it’s happened like that, but it does seem quite regular.
Of course, the Celtics and Pistons showed exactly the opposite, which figures seeing how weird those two teams have been this playoff year.
Which bring us to: Who wins tonight?
About the only thing we know for sure in the Boston-Detroit series is we know nothing for sure.
The easy choice would be to say the Celtics will rebound at home because they’ve been so good there and they realize what’s at stake if they lose.
But Detroit played its best game of the series in Game 2 (also Chauncey Billups’ best game, by the way) to steal homecourt from the Celtics, only to give it back with a wretched performance in Game 3.
I wish I could figure it out because it’s got a huge bearing on how I’m going to be spending my weekend and a large chunk of the finals.
The gut says the Celtics win, Detroit wins back at home on Friday and we’re off to Boston on Saturday night for Sunday's Game 7. Reality may be entirely different.
Last mail for the day:
Q: Hey Doug, I've got one question and one list idea. 1. Are you going to do a mock draft or at least provide us rabid Raptor fans your opinion on the 5 or 10 most likely Raptor draft choices? 2. How about a list of the top 5 and bottom 5 Raptor draft pick taking into account when the player was taken? I guess that was a question too.
Jeff F, Toronto
A: And hold myself up to ridicule and scorn? Of course I am.
But much, much closer to the draft.
This has no impact on your day-to-day lives even as passionate basketball fans but anyone who cares a whit about the game in the country should greet the news that Therese Quigley of McMaster University has become the new president of Canada Basketball as a very, very, very good thing.
The organization still has some, um, issues to deal with before it gets fully on its feet and gets the game where it should be but having Quigley as the president and Wayne Parrish as the CEO could be the best leadership the group’s ever had.