That was a rather uneventful Game 7 in New Orleans, wasn’t it?
The only saving grace was that the final few minutes got good although if I’m the Hornets, about the last guy I want taking the big shot to tie the game down three is Jannero Pargo.
The Hornets were the feel good team of the year and Chris Paul certainly established himself as one of the game’s great point guards but New Orleans needs some help if they are going to seriously contend in the next couple of years.
The bench, a sore spot all year, was exposed in Game 7, they have no suitable backup to Paul and I know you all love Morris Peterson but surely there’s an upgrade at that spot.
I don’t know what they’ll end up doing but if they can find a shooter off the bench, another big (Melvin Ely is not the answer) and someone who can give Paul a break, they could be good for a few years.
Let’s see: Shooter off the bench (Parker); backup big (Rasho or the Hump). Looks like there’s a team up here with some excess pieces that might fit.
Trouble is, what do the Hornets have that Toronto wants? Peja’s close to done but how would he look in a Raptor uniform?
Okay, this is sure to get the minds racing. Check out Dave D and the little nugget about Toronto talks.
And, please, please, please, please do not think that a trade is imminent.
And, remember, the only Nets player anyone’s ever mentioned to me as a possible darling of the Raptors eyes is Richard Jefferson.
I leave you to fill up the comments section and the inbox.
It says Detroit in six under my name in the paper, guess it should say the same thing here, shouldn’t it.
Here’s one from the mailbag that dovetails nicely into a situation that’s been quiet for a few days.
Q: After listening to Dan Shulman and Doris Burke call the Celtics/Cavs game last night (am I'm the only one on the internets who enjoys listening to them?) and remembering a question about a month ago about women coaches in the NBA this little nugget popped into my brain: would Toronto be considered a good place for a women to cut her teeth at being the television play-by-play announcer? I would think we would be rather forgiving of a newbie and a bit more open to having a woman in the role but you are a bit more on the pulse of the nation than I am.
Mike D, Oshawa
A: I think that’d be an excellent ground-breaking idea. With one problem: I’m not entirely sure the airwaves are littered with experienced women basketball play-by-play announcers and the last thing the Raptors need to do is hire someone for a very important job who’s never done it before.
But if there is one – and there could be at some college or with some minor league team or someone doing another sport – I’d hope the good folks at RaptorsTV would give them a long look.
Oh, and I love Burke’s work, she and Dan really do an excellent job.
Here’s the latest on the search to replace Swirsk.
Talking to Someone Who’d Know, they said they were inundated by resumes, as you’d imagine, from every walk of life. Guys with experience, guys with no experience, kids who think’d it be cool to get a gig doing NBA play-by-play. They’ve had radio and television reporters write in; radio and television hosts. Lots of locals, lots of Canadians, too.
What they’re looking for is someone who knows what he – or she – is doing.
If I know Bryan Colangelo, who’ll have a big say in who gets the job – there’s no way he gives it up to someone with no NBA experience. This is not an organization where you cut your teeth; this is a job for someone grown up and experienced.
No names at the moment but as I mentioned eons ago, it seems, Kevin Calabro of Seattle has to be on their minds.
Got a breathless e-mail from a friend yesterday who spotted a story somewhere that says Carlos Delfino would like to stay in Toronto but if the offer’s not good enough, he’d consider playing in Europe.
To which I say: “Duh!”
Of course Europe would be an option for someone who’s a role player in the NBA.
This is not news.
Another one from the mail:
Q: Hey Doug, you heard of Nicolas Batum? Word on the street is he's a serious threat in Europe and is entering the draft. Could he be our missing SF? I don't see him going that high in the draft since he's coming over from Europe and hasn't played much this year for his EuroLeague team. History says that France can make some serious athletes (Pietrus, Turiaf, Diaw, Parker) and Batum is a known athlete who can attack the rim.
John G, Hamilton
A: I have heard of Nicolas Batum and so have the Raptors. I don’t think he’d be the missing SF right off the bat but I’m told by scouts who’ve seen him – I haven’t seen as much as a video of the guy – that he’s still got lots and lots of work to do on his shot and his ball-handling. He is long and athletic but to think he’d be able to come in an answer this team’s problems next year may be asking a lot.
He will be in the mix, though, if he’s still available when the 17th pick rolls around.