Memories of Edmonton, and Moon's tough week
Well, that was a bit of pleasant surprise, having RaptorsTV pick up the Laker game late last night, although it was hard to watch at times with tears welling in the eyes over the Red Sox demise. But, alas, there’s nothing more thrilling than a Tampa-Philly World Series, is there? Bet the networks are drooling over that one.
I digress, as usual.
Hmm, let’s see:
Raptors vs. CSKA Moscow: Jamario Moon sits most of the second half.
Raptors vs. Minnesota: Joey Graham’s a starter over Moon.
Raptors vs. Clippers: So-so night for Moon coming off the bench again.
Rpators vs. Lakers: Moon, a sub again, plays just 14 minutes and misses eight straight shots as Hassan Adams get an extended run.
Promising sign for the second-year swingman? Not so much.
Haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone on the staff over the weekend but I’m thinking the patience with Mr. Moon is wearing pretty thin.
Sam said the other night after the Minnesota game that he might like Joey better with the second unit to provide some slashing offence and rebounding to go along with Bargnani and Kapono but he could very well be re-thinking that these days.
It’ll be interesting to see who starts in Edmonton.
Speaking of Edmonton, Tuesday ends the pre-season for the lads and I have to say this might have been the worst pre-season schedule I can remember.
Starts with a back-to-back, which everyone hates in the exhibition season, ends with three games in four nights out west and there’s a whole week of inactivity before the opener.
And with only 13 guys – three of whom were injured for most, if not all of the games – I’m a bit surprised we haven’t heard much complaining, even privately.
I know these schedules are hard to put together with arena availability being an issue along with the reluctance of some teams to travel much for games that don’t count, but this has been a bad one.
What’s the optimum? I’d say game, two days off, game, two days off, game, two days off might work. And I’d have a game on Thursday this week just to cut the time before the start of the season.
But that’s just me.
No doubt Hassan Adams was a disappointment, and a non-factor, over the first six pre-season games (he got a DNP-CD in one for goodness sakes) but 7-for-9 from the floor and some impressive defence against the Lakers may have earned him a longer look. Or got him some goodwill with the coaching staff. Or maybe cut him some slack with the inbox writers who wanted him waived in the middle of last week.
Speaking, again, of Edmonton, and there’s some Raptor history in that fine city and it’s not at all good.
The last time they were there was in 1999 to meet the Grizzlies in one of those legendary Naismith Cup games.
Showed up at shootaround and there was only one basket available on the court, the other one wasn’t set up correctly, ticking off the coaches and teams no end.
Then we’re about in the middle of the second quarter and from in front of the bench you couldn’t see the top of the scoreboard with the score. A rather odd thing, yes.
The situation was made a bit worse because the auxiliary scoreboards were showing, of course, out of town hockey scores.
Butch Carter, diplomatic as he could be, turns to the scorer’s table and says something to the effect of:
“Can we get the score of the game being played here up on the board somewhere?”
Here’s one that’s on a lot of minds:
Q: Any updates on the intro music for this year or will we have to wait for opening night? Thank you and I love your in game commentary!
Martin A, Thornhill
A: Sorry, it’s a state-held secret, apparently. Maybe someone whispers it to me this week but probably not. I will tell you it was some major league production. A year ago, they did it in the hallway outside the practice gym on media day; this year, they did it on the main court, with three separate stations set up in what looked like some Hollywood set. And they did it last week, long after practice had ended and grunts were gone.
It better be good. I pretty much expect it'll be unrecognizable to me, but it still better be good.
Speaking of that Edmonton game (sense a trend here?), it did mark, I believe, the last appearance in a Raptor uniform of one Master P, a musician of some note, I’m told, and an NBA hopeful of marginal skill at best. But it was fun to watch him play because when he got the ball, you didn’t have to worry about looking to see who he’d pass to.
Oh, I also remember the great Alex Radojevic, all gangly 7-3 of him, leading a fast break and dribbling the ball about 6-6 off the floor. Hilarious.
Hump was way better with hair, wasn’t he?
As many rebounds as a dead man and four straight missed shots against the Lakers? Hello, Bad Hump.
A visit to the mail:
Q: Quick question: Do the Raps have any players coming off the books in 09? You mentioned that the current Raptors' roster may not be the same we'll see at the end of the regular season, but with limited bargaining chips (and a smaller roster), what on earth could they do?
Frank B, Ottawa
A: The contracts of Anthony Parker, Joey Graham and Will Solomon (and I forgot Jamario Moon, originally; now he's added) expire at the end of the season, so there may be the possibility of some movement at the trade deadline but that’s a long, long way away.
If, as many seamheads I respect contend, the National League is far inferior to the American League, taking Tampa in five wouldn’t be a bad idea.
At least it wouldn’t be a bad idea if gambling was legal, which it’s not unless the provincial government is the bookie.