Lots of this and some of that in here. And some Sam
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|We got up early for this?|
Okay, how about a little poll: How many if you would like ‘em to shut it down for the last 69 games? Just put a lid on this season now, go on home, hope Bryan can fix this mess and get ready for the lottery?
After all, it is 13 games in already and the Raps are, what?, a game under .500? It’s over, right? Done. Kaput. In the toilet.
But if you want to stick it out, we’ll be around.
Action: A conspicuous absence
Reaction: Where’s BC?
Notably, or maybe not, the general manager wasn’t in his usual post-game spot going over the day’s affair with the coaches following that Boston debacle.
Maybe he had a family gig, maybe he had a Grey Cup party to get to. Maybe he was so ticked at the boos and the performance of his players and coaches that he knew it wouldn’t serve any usual purpose to be around.
Only he knows for sure.
Here’s a little aside for all the Fire Sam, Hire This Big Name Unemployed Coach mob:
You can put out of your mind any thoughts of Jeff Van Gundy and Avery Johnson and Flip Saunders and whatever out-of-work familiar name you can pull out of your hat showing up here in mid-season.
First off, two of them are enjoying a year off from the grind spending money owed them by their former employers and one has just signed a long-term TV contract.
Secondly, no ex-coach with a big rep who’s worth his clipboard is going to come here without a lucrative long-term contract and I don’t see Bryan handing one of them out and limiting any options he’d have next summer.
Thirdly, I wonder if the frugality that seems to be sweeping Maple Leaf Sports these days would come into play when the bean counters realize they’ve got to pay Sam something north of $7 million to go away while bestowing a deal worth something like $12 million on one of the big names being bandied about.
So, not only do I not think it’s time to fire a coach (it’s 13 freaking games into the season!), there are other practical reasons to consider.
Action: Bosh’s petulance
Reaction: Understandable but not necessary
Yes, Bosh was frustrated and mad and all that other stuff when he slammed the ball and took the timeout off.
But, really, that’s showing up teammates and coaches and does nothing and is entirely out of character.
If he’s pissed, go in the huddle and yell at someone. Yell at Sam. Yell at a teammate. Yell at a trainer. Yell at The Chicken.
Don’t let 19,800 fans, 50 media types, a nation of television viewers (if any of ‘em hadn’t clicked to Grey Cup preview by then) and the Celtics see that.
Being pissed is good. But there’s a right way and wrong way to send that message.
Q: As one of our broadcaster friends said to me during halftime: "I got up early for THIS?". Anyway, during this outing I noticed a couple of non-play things: Kevin Garnett's bio lists him as 6'11". Standing next to the true 7-footer Bargnani, he appears taller than him [and Andrea was featuring some gravity-defying hair]. Is he REALLY 6'11"? [Perhaps his championship ring improved his posture?]. And, on the bright side, Andrea's hair looked really nice today.
Katrina W, Toronto
A: Glad to know someone’s got the lowdown on the hirsute needs of the team.
Garnett’s 7-feet tall if he’s an inch, I have no idea why they’d list him at 6-11. Vanity? Tomfoolery? Typos?
Oh, your broadcaster friend spoke for many of us.
Oh, what’d they say in Boston? Here’s what they said in Boston.
Action: First basket
Reaction: Troubling sign
You knew it was going to be a long, long day when Boston’s first bucket came off a wide-open three-pointer by Ray Allen in the corner. I know for a fact the game plan was, at the start at least, to let Jermaine O’Neal single cover Kendrick Perkins in the post and it was rather, um, disheartening to the coaches and players, to see Anthony Parker race over to double the aforementioned Perkins whilst Allen, who I believe is known as a shooter, settled in his favourite spot on the court.
Went downhill from there, didn’t it?
One more from the mail bag:
Q: Doug, at what point do you shut José down a couple of games and give him a solid week off to mend his hammy? Me, I say now. Take your lumps with Roko and Will and let José get back to at least 85 per cent. Right now, you have the worst of all possible worlds: José hobbling, not getting better, and Raps losing. We need a healthy José for the entire season. Short term pain for long term gain. Hell, sign some development league stud to a 10-day to fill out the roster. Might have to do the same with J.O.
Lee Z, Ottawa
A: It’s as plain as the stain on my shirt that Jose’s not even close to 100 per cent. Yes, he’s got his defensive issues and Rajon Rondo’s quick but there’s no way in the past that he’s blown by Calderon with such ease and I can only chalk that up to the sore hamstring.
But shutting him down? I don’t know about that this week. I think the Charlotte and Atlanta games are virtual must-wins and 85 per cent of Calderon, or even 75 per cent, is going to be needed against Ray Felton and Mike Bibby.
I can’t imagine Calderon, O’Neal or even Bosh will practice much today and tomorrow so maybe that’s enough to have them ready for two pretty big games.
A mystery uncovered.
Remember last week when someone asked about the patch that O’Neal’s wearing and we got suggestions that it was everything from a heart monitor to a heat patch to some mystical thing hook up to some weird machine in the back?
Well, the word from the man himself is that it’s an “energy patch” that emits small doses of stuff like amino acids and other things I know nothing about. O’Neal said he’s been wearing one for about three seasons and “some guys think they help, some guys don’t. I do.”
Action: Kapono 0-0 FG in 12 minutes.
Reaction: This one’s on the coach
I know there are many, many moments when Jason passes up shots that he should take, or drifts into traffic rather than the corners but I know there are ways to at least get him a touch and a shot because we’ve seen them this time.
Not sure why those plays didn’t get called yesterday but with things going so terribly awry right from the start, Sam should have pulled something out of his hat for Kapono, just like he tried with the Jose-Roko backcourt.
Q: Teams sometimes have games (like Sunday) where they are being beat so bad they just can't wait for it to be over. Pre-season aside, do you and your fellow reporters likewise have games where you are just waiting for it to end or do you try to find the interesting story within the terrible game?
Hugh M, New York
A: Do we want some of these to end? Oh yeah. There have been games where we’ve hoped they’d forget to play the fourth quarter. Or go with a running clock. Or anything.
But the thing is, because we have bosses and space in the paper and gigabytes or whatever they’re called to file, we still have to find an interesting angle. Thankfully, you get guy having a tantrum or a good quote or a nice anecdote that gets you through the day and that stinging feeling in your eyes from having watched such garbage goes away.