A wild night, wasn't it?
Wow. Anyone see that coming?
|Let's all kiss the 2007-08 season goodbye and get ready for the draft.|
What a night, nice and easy (we were writing in the second quarter ‘cause that’s when it was over) and even the riot gear-wearing, baton-wielding cops on the streets right outside the arena didn’t ‘cause too much trouble.
Anyway, a few thoughts, some questions and the odd Raptor thing tossed in for good measure
I need to know:
Can we all shut up about Kobe and Michael Jordan? Sure, if he had single-handedly won his fourth title you might put him in the conversation but I guarantee you Michael Jordan, even if he was playing with me, Stumpy, M. Grange ™ and Bea Arthur on his team would never, ever, ever lose by 39 in an elimination game or spit up a 24-point lead in a pivotal Game 4.
Is Vladimir Radmanovic the worst starter on a team in the finals ever? He certainly got to be on a very short list.
I think the coolest thing in the world would have been if Doc Rivers had sat on the bench with five minutes to go and lit a cigar.
I think the second-coolest thing in the world would have been in Ray Allen had come back out of the locker room in a wheelchair and been driven right to the scorer’s table.
Bye, bye Garbo
It’ll be official probably today, maybe tomorrow, when the league approves the buyout and then Garbo’s gone.
He won’t be back in the NBA, I’m certain, so who knows when we’ll see him next. I’ll get to see him in Beijing but if you want to watch him play, you’ll have to find some sort of internet Euroleague deal because I’ve got a feeling he’s playing in Madrid or Malaga.
A lot of you abhor the notion of a buyout but here’s why this one makes sense: The Raptors are certain Garbo will not be healthy enough to be a regular contributor this coming season. They will save a little bit of money and create a roster spot with the move. Garbo gets his money and, because he thinks he can play, he’ll sign somewhere in Europe and who knows how he’ll do.
The financial implications are not huge, it’s not like paying Alonzo Mourning $10 million knowing he’ll be in the NBA in a week or two; it’s paying maybe $3-4 million to a guy who’s out of the league.
You may think it sucks, and it’s really sad that this had to happen but it really is the best for all concerned.
Waiting for Garbo to play in the Olympics to see if he was fit wasn’t going to happen because the Raptors weren’t going to let him go to Beijing and maybe get hurt again. Waiting for him to come to camp to find out what he had didn’t make sense because now they know they have a roster spot to fill.
It eases the roster glut at small forward and with perhaps the departure of restricted free agent Carlos Delfino, will give Bryan Colangelo a lot of roster flexibility this summer.
It bites that he’s not here but it’s for the best.
Here’s a quick one from the mail:
Q: So you posted a question today and part of it asked about a Wilcox/T.J thing, which for whatever reason you seem to have ignored (I blame the time zones, not you.) So I'm back here asking about it again to hopefully hear an answer. I watched him in a couple games this season and he's a player that seemed to have a whole lot of talent and comes across as very under-rated. Would there be any way of getting him with anything we have to offer?
Graham H, Toronto
A: Time zones it was.
I know there are people very high up in the Raptor organization who like Wilcox very much and would love to see him in Toronto. I also know the people in Seattle are quite high on him, too, and it’d probably take a larger deal than simply Ford for Wilcox to get anything done. If he goes, the Sonics really don’t have a four to replace him.
I think he’d be a good fit witht Raptors, actually. And with one year and $6.75 million left on his deal, he’s pretty affordable.
All you draftniks out there, he’s the assessment of one guy inside the game on a couple of would-be Raptors coming in this week:
Donte Green: “He went to Syracuse so he can’t defend his position, all they do there is play zone.”
Roy Hibbert: “You might be able to beat him in a foot race.”
Best chant of the night at the Garden last night:
"Seven-teen, seven-teen, seven-teen” as the final minutes ran out.
Second-best chant of the night at the Garden last night:
"Where’s Ko-be, where’s Ko-be, where’s Ko-be” in the fourth quarter.
Talk about your familiar faces.
Was walking through the dining area before the game (ribs, chicken, roast beef and a too salty chowder) and who’s there but Brigg Harvey.
You don’t know him but he’s the timekeeper at Raptor games and was brought in by the league to do Game 6.
Last mail for today:
Q: In your June 17 mailbag you noted that there is a rating increase for playoff games between 11 and 12 PM. In your opinion is this increase a result of viewers preferring to watch basketball in the middle of the night (perhaps due to a lack of programming competition) or is it because the most compelling part of the game, the end, OCCURS DURING THIS HOUR? Furthermore, since there hasn't been a finals game that started at a reasonable hour in recent memory to compare with, how can the "11th hour ratings upswing" be seriously considered as justification for these late start times? (I realize that the inclusion of question marks doesn't qualify the above opinions as questions per se, but perhaps you'd care to comment on my poorly-written theory nevertheless.) As always, thanks for your time Doug!
Dave B, Toronto
A: What I think happens is this. Family has dinner and then all the after-dinner stuff like Little League or homework or boozing or arguing or whatever. Mom and Dad bundle the tykes off to bed – or the surly teens go talk on the computer to their friends – and they settle in for routine night of television.
Then, around 11 after clicking through the game a couple of times to see the score, they turn to it full-time. Hence, the ratings boost at that time.
Okay, gotta run to the airport and get home so we can figure out the draft – and get to batting practice for the Little Leaguers who are somehow managing to win games without me!
Luckily, there won’t be anything like pesky games or flights to get in the way of some good old Raptor reporting and blogging over the next week.
Should be a hoot, see you at home.