If this is Tuesday, it must be ...
I swear I woke up, looked a clock that said 8:14 and immediately thought, “what’s that make it back home?” Too long on the road, too long from west to east.
But I got a sneaking suspicion we’re in Boston until Friday, which means I’ll be home for Little League batting practice (keep the hands and elbows up, throw your hands at the ball, kids) on Wednesday night.
On to the stuff, such that it is:
A little spy tells me there was special guest at Game 5 in L.A.
One Danilo Gallinari, who was conducting a workout under the auspices of his agents, for a couple of teams.
Am told Memphis was one of them – the Grizzlies have the fifth pick – but no work on whether the Raptors a representative there. I doubt it, since there’s no way Gallinari is there at No. 17.
The workout’s part of the final push to the NBA draft. Teams are starting to get even more serious, things are starting to shape up at the top of the draft and everyone wants to get one last look, or another look, at possible picks.
The Raptors only have the one session schedule at home on Thursday, but if I know Bryan and his merry band of talent evaluators, they’re out somewhere catching up with more possible picks.
They have to be, don’t they?
The only guys they’ve had in so far who could conceivably be drafted No. 17 were Douglas-Roberts, Rush and Lopez and that’s not nearly enough.
I know Thursday will provide a look at two or three more – Batum for sure, we don’t have a full list yet – but what we’ve got to figure out is who’s where seeing who.
I remember Year 1, walking into the SkyDome for the draft and being told the Raptors had worked out Stoudamire that afternoon – his second workout – that made us realize he was the pick.
Best chant of the series, as least the three games I’ve seen?
LA fans screaming “wheel-chair, wheel-chair, wheel-chair” whenever Paul Pierce was on the foul line.
For Laker fans, who tend to be far more sedate that almost any group of fans in the game, that’s genius.
Here’s one from the long-neglected mail (guess I should probably get at it this afternoon)
Q: Given the whole 'all refs are evil and fix playoff games' story that's sloshing around, I realized one simple fact: refs NEVER give interviews. Ever. So I was wondering: Are NBA refs bound to not talk to the media at all?
Do you think refs answering for their calls after games is a good idea? Have you ever interviewed any of them? Are YOU bound to not print any of their quotes? And because of this are YOU indirectly involved in the KINGS/LAKERS conspiracy of 2002? Feel free to consult your lawyer before answering.
Also ... Why is no one discussing Seattle's Chris Wilcox for T.J. Ford?
Estaban D, Uxbridge
A: Refs can talk, actually, and have.
Here’s how it works:
If there’s a call in the game that is directly a rules interpretation, reporters can ask a team official to ask the crew chief if they’ll answer a question for a “pool reporter” (a beat grunt who will then provide the answer to the question to everyone else). The referees can say yes or no, although I know the league would like them to answer more often.
In fact, Steve Javie was asked to provide an explanation of the clock malfunction call in the Pistons-Orlando series this year but he declined.
So, I’m not part of that conspiracy. Although I remember flying out to Sacramento for Game 7 of that series and because of the Game 6 result I got to work a couple of extra days rather than relax in California.
Okay, you probably don’t want to hear this and I’ll take your slings and arrows ‘cause it’s very cool.
Part of the gig at things like this is that the teams and league fed the hungry horde of writers and broadcasters before the game. (They sell us food in the regular season most places, at the final or all-star it’s comped).
Well, we show up at halftime of Game 5 looking for coffee or a soft drink (something to stay away ‘cause it’s so damn late) and what do they have in the dining area:
THREE CHOCOLATE FOUNTAINS
Yes, liquid chocolate alongside various Rice Krispie things, cookies, marshmallows and strawberries.
That, my friends, didn’t suck.
Had more than a couple questions like this so I’ll use this one as representative of them all:
Q: Outstanding web log thing. Just wondering (at risk of this sounding like amateur hour) why was Game 5 of the Finals held in LA? I thought that usually the fifth game was held on the team with the best record's court. Thanks.
Zac T, Bracebridge
A: I think you and the other writers are far too pucks-oriented.
The NBA went to a
2-3-3 2-3-2 finals schedule (two at home for the team with the record, three at home for the other, two at home for the team with the best record) back in the ‘80s.
Who wins tonight?
If Kevin Garnett shows up, the Celtics do.
I can’t imagine him having the same kind of bad game he did on Sunday, both offensively and with the foul trouble that then allowed Gasol and Odom to get off.
Of course, I’ve been wrong before (as I’m often reminded) so use that prediction for entertainment purposes only.