How 'bout that comeback?
Okay, that was far too much drama for before 8 am. I can handle writing buzzer beaters at night, or even on Sunday afternoons, but before the morning trip to Starbucks? Not so much fun.
Helluva game, though, wasn’t it?
Not sure how many of you were watching but that was a rather stirring comeback from 18 down in the third quarter.
And, yes, that’s exactly why they needed Rowan Barrett on this team. Those 22 points and that clutch three-pointer were vintage Rowan.
So, where’s it rank?
Big win, no doubt, but all it really did was get them right where they were supposed to be, in Friday’s quarter-finals.
I’d rank it third, maybe fourth, of the international games I’ve been at or know about, and I can’t go back to the Olympic medal-winning performance in ’36 because I’m old but not that old.
I’d put the 2002 Sydney win over Yugoslavia first probably, with the 1999 win over Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico that got them to the 2000 Olympics second.
Then, there’d have to be the ’83 win in the World University Games in Edmonton over an American team stacked with the likes of Karl Malone, Charles Barkley and Kevin Willis.
After that? Yeah, a big comeback against Korea in a must-win game would be next, maybe. You’ve still got the wins over Australia in Sydney and that final game in 2000, overtime over Russia when they showed some heart after having it ripped out by France to put in the conversation.
Best move of the game? Without question, it was shortening the rotation.
I know they crow about depth and all that, but in a 40-minute game, I’m not sure you can be shutting nine or 10 players in and out. Eight’s about the right number, maybe even seven if there’s no serious foul trouble and that’s something that helped turn the game in the second half.
Oh, and Jermaine Anderson is certainly not Steve Nash, never will be even close, but that jumper took some stones.
Good to see the kid make a big shot.
Moving on, for the moment …
It hasn’t been announced yet – which is why you folks are so darn lucky – but Carlos Delfino, I’m told, is heading to Russia.
I’m guessing he’s getting something in the neighbourhood of $5 million a season over there, which is far more than any legit offer he got from the NBA.
What’s it mean for the Raptors? Nothing, really.
They retain his rights for as long as the qualifying offer (about $2.7 million) is on the table (a year) but it’s not included in the calculation of the NBA’s tax.
I heard Carlos had a couple of offers in the NBA – the most significant coming from Detroit – but that the money wasn’t close to what he wanted.
One left over from the mail:
Q: What do you think is stunting Joey Graham. Is it the style of coaching or is it all in his head? He seems to have all the tools (decent jump shot, NBA body). I have a feeling the light bulb will go on if he is released or traded.
Andrew A, Mississauga
A: I think, and people in organization concur, is that the game is just a bit too fast for Joey to process sometimes. He’s as athletically gifted as anyone on the team but his decision-making process and court awareness is lacking too often.
Maybe he gets it this year, there are people in the organization who think he will, but I’m skeptical.
Remember last week when we suggested that Jay Triano would get another gig with the American “select” team that will practice, using international rules, against the American Olympic team next week?
Well, the official announcement comes today that the Raptor assistant will once again work with P.J. Carlisemo on the team that trains against the real team.
Here’s one that’s very topical
Q: Doug, quick question. How were the Clippers able to acquire Marcus Camby without taking back any salary in return?
Alex H, Oakville
A: The Clips can do it because they’re far enough under the cap to assume Camby’s contract.
And, to answer all those who’ve asked, NO, NO, NO, the Raptors could not have had Camby for such a bargain-basement price.
They didn’t have the money to take on his salary and I know they feel more comfortable with two years of Jermaine O’Neal than they would have with two years of Marcus.
A lot of concern about Rod Benson out there and why he hasn’t played a minute for Toronto’s summer league team.
He had a bit of a sprained knee that kept him out of the first two games and he might be able to go tomorrow when they play again.
But don’t get too excited. Spies in Vegas tell me the Raptors really aren’t that high on him, even if they were looking to fill their 13th roster spot with a big, which they aren’t.
He’s a good blogger, though.
In the wild and wacky world of international basketball, the buyout and contract closure that will allow Roko Ukic to sign with the Raptors had to go through two federations (Italy, where played this year; and Spain, where his rights were actually held) as well as FIBA and then the NBA has to take a look at it.
It might get done today, it might be tomorrow, but it’s going to get done, not to worry.
Gonna clear up one more piece of mail before I get into the many that are waiting in the queue to be answered:
Q: Knuckleheadism (not sure if that's a word) aside do you think Colangelo would ever consider a Bargnani & filler for Ron Artest deal to give the Raps a legitimate shot at the Eastern conference. Worst case, he's moved at the deadline or off the books next summer?
Rob V, Waterloo
A: Can’t see that happening in a million years.
Couple of reasons: I fully expect Artest to be traded before the season starts, the knuckleheadism factor is huge and, while you and a thousand others may not see it, I don’t think strengthening the wing spot is a good idea at the expense of weakening the front line and leaving a big man rotation of O’Neal, Bosh, Hump and the unproven rookie Jawai.