The end is near
Not sure if the Last Day Of Pre-Season Play is reason to celebrate but, what the heck, let’s have a parade! Or at least a nice private moment to signal the passing of another season of Games That Don’t Matter.
And to all you ticket-holding folks in Edmonton, enjoy the game, at least you should see something close to a regular rotation and players taking things more seriously than if it was, say, the first game.
Wish I was there. But I’m not. And because I’m not this little missive might be a bit short in the content department.
|FRANK GUNN/THE CANADIAN PRESS|
|Ukic under pressure. Get used to it.|
Am sure you’ve seen Roko Ukic and Will Solomon struggle at times during the pre-season and that’s a troubling sign.
Here’s another one: It seems the word is out that applying pressure as soon as they touch the ball is the best way to get them off their games. It started with Moscow’s J.R. Holden started picking up Solomon full court and it continued the other night against the Lakers when Roko was being pestered all 94 feet pretty much ever possession.
And the way each of them dealt with the pressure, and knowing the way scouts talk and teams pay attention to things like that, I’m sure you’ll see the backups bothered every step of the way in a lot of games.
Neither has been really adept at handling that pressure yet; they better get used to it quickly.
The Nuggets are on a pre-season road trip to Bismarck, N.D., and Edmonton.
Someone in their basketball operations department is going to pay for that.
Hey, another TV question:
Q: As a Raptors fan in Winnipeg, I must say that the current tv situation is disgusting. Last year I was able to get away without having RaptorsTV (12 exclusive games if I recall). This year, I would need to switch providers and subscribe to digital cable (TSN2, RaptorsTV).
This is a terrible considering the Raps potential this season. I can't even imagine how you in-market fans feel. I thought The Score wanted to increase their basketball content. I have my fingers crossed that they'll step up and carry more games.
Dan C, Winnipeg
A: Sorry, the broadcast schedule, at least for which games will be shown on what network, is pretty much cast in stone, there is little or no wiggle room for one network to pick up more games. I found it interesting that CBC turned back two of its games to RaptorsTV rather than to The Score or TSN or even TSN2; I guess the schedules wouldn’t permit it.
Guess there’s just one decision left for Sam to make: Who starts at the three?
After the Minnesota game, eons ago it seems, Sam seemed to be leaning towards leaving Joey to come off the bench.
"We know Andrea can score, Jason can score and get some shots, but we’ve got to find that that other guy. One thing Joey has shown the ability to do is he can put the ball on the floor and create a shot for himself or get to the basket and create some contact.”
But as they say, that was then and this is now and after two more starts for Joey, perhaps his mind has been changed.
I think Graham is better suited, right now, as a starter than Moon and I think that’s the way they should go to start the season.
Of course, Sam doesn’t often take advice from me. Shocking, I know.
Couple more questions from yesterday:
Q: Hey Doug, do you think the Lakers' 'Lights Out' arena lighting will spread to other cities? Personally as a fan I'd be curious to see at least once what it would be like at the ACC.
Paul G, Toronto
A: The Lakers actually stole the idea, or borrowed it rather, from the Knicks, who’ve been lighting Madison Square Garden like that for years.
I personally love it but the one time I asked about the possibility of doing it at the ACC, I was told the cost of changing the lighting system would be prohibitive.
After all, they had to spend eight million bucks on that scoreboard that doesn’t have in-game stats yet.
Q: No doubt that Chuck is and will be missed doing the TV. My question is will Sherman Hamilton do the colour for all the games? Where is Jack because we've now learned that jack can't do radio!
Joel R, Toronto
A: Nah, Sherm was a pre-season analyst only. It’ll be either Jack or Leo once the regular season starts.
Hey, how many of you have written Rogers to dump on them for not having TSN2 on their cable system in Toronto yet? I know a billion or so voiced their disgust with TSN, I’m hoping you haven’t let the other party to this travesty off the hook.
Not much happening with the Nuggets (Iverson won’t play tonight in Edmonton) but here’s how things are playing in the paper out there today.
Just to head everyone off at the pass:
No, there seems to be absolutely no interest whatsoever in either Dan Dickau or Darius Miles here.
If they wanted, or liked Dickau, they could have got him in the summer but there wasn’t even a sniff; and Miles got a long, long look in Boston and if he didn’t cut it there, there may still be questions about his knee.
Nope, there is just one move left for the Raptors to make:
When Jamal Sampson’s wrist gets better, he’ll be waived and if Jawai’s not ready to resume workouts, they’ll bring in some other big man to occupy that seat at the end of the bench.