Quips, queries and the usual junk
That was sort of entertaining, no?
Close game, pretty well played, had some jaw-dropping moments and the locals won. I’d say the angst level among you might be close to a season-low. Of course, the death march and possible three-game losing streak that awaits starting tomorrow in L.A. should get some all revved up again.
But until that’s over, enjoy the day and the spectacular view from a game above .500.
Oh, and enjoy this, too:
Action: Fans chant “Jo-ey, Jo-ey, Jo-ey”
Reaction: Ears bleed.
Nah, not really. The chant was actually sort of cool if entirely unexpected and not something any of us ever figured we’d hear in Toronto.
But you’ve got to give Joey Graham credit, two games, two solid outings and instead of moping when he lost pretty much all chance to play, he’s stayed ready and prepared for when his name got called.
That’s a measure of professionalism that’s welcome, and sometimes unusual in this man’s NBA.
Oh, there were moments (when he sort of ran away from, I believe, Joe Johnson to go guard the paint as Johnson drifted back for a wide-open three caused much Mitchell consternation) but there’s no way they can’t keep playing him. And playing him a fair amount.
Okay, this is a bit old but have you seen the Jose Calderon bobblehead they gave out this week?
It does not, at any level whatsoever, look like Jose Calderon.
And that’s a fact not lost on Jose himself.
We stopped him before the game to suggest he might want to sue whoever created it and he agreed wholeheartedly that it bears no resemblance.
“I know,” he said. “That is not me. I don’t know who it is, but it’s not me. Maybe Matt Bonner?”
Now, I know there are people out there, smart, fun people, who are grateful for anything Jose but, seriously, shouldn’t someone have to sign off on it before they make 10,000 of the things.
Super Son just saw it:
“I don’t think Jose Calderon has a moustache and a beard. He looks like he’s 45 years old. Who is really supposed to be?”
A piece of mail on two very contentious issues:
Q: Hey Doug; congrats on the award!! Just a quick question. What do you think has a better chance of happening before Christmas - an actual working scoreboard at ACC, or TSN 2 on Rogers Cable?? The fact that neither is fixed and we're almost into December is just sad.
Kent S, Toronto
A: I know, that scoreboard blows, doesn’t it? Had a handful of calls and letters over the course of the game last night about it. When I ask, which is about every day, they say there is some glitch in the computer synchronization between the stats machine and the scoreboard. I’m thinking with all the tall foreheads they’ve got over there, surely after four pre-season and now eight regular season games, they should get it to work.
The TSN2-Rogers situation muddles along. I was told last night they are still in negotiations and there is some optimism that things get done but, frankly, that’s what I was told in early November. Next game is the one in Jersey on Dec. 12 and it being Jersey and all, there is going to be some righteous indignation if they don’t get it resolved.
I’d love to tell you how the game played in the Atlanta papers but the Journal-Constitution didn’t bother to send a reporter to the game so there’s really no inside stuff to check out.
Action: Jason Kapono ices win?
Reaction: Jason Kapono?
Yes, seriously, that was Kapono out there in the final few seconds, mostly in a defence-offence substitution pattern with Joey Graham (a nice thing to see from the bench), sealing the win with the two free throws.
Kapono’s 10 shots – and six makes – were a huge boost and so was the way he got them. A couple of times curling off screens, at least once floating back to the three-point line and two that I can recall in transition. That’s precisely how he has to play to be effective and it seems like he and the coaches have figured it out.
Poll time: How many people had a bad flashback, a seriously bad flashback, when the Raptors had the ball out of bounds with 16 seconds to go and it looked like Parker was going to have to call a timeout before he got a five second violation?
Another question about the game:
Q: I'm watching the game against the Hawks right now, and Solomon just got into the game. Why not Ukic? I thought his play justified him at least getting some time as the backup point guard. What does Mitchell see in Solomon that we do not?
Dave R, Markham
A: What they saw last night in the fourth quarter was a need for speed and tempo and thought they’d get it best from Solomon. And, frankly, they did.
I don’t think it represents a seismic shift in roles. I’d hope Ukic, who has far more long-term potential than Solomon for this team, is back in his usual job Sunday in L.A.
Speaking of L.A., the Lakers are on a bit of roll themselves, no? That team might very well win 70 games this season if they all stay healthy. Here’s what the L.A. Times said about the latest triumph.
Action: Bosh has 30 and 10.
Yes, it’s come to this. The dude has another dominant game and it’s sort of lost in the shuffle. But he’s now played 15 games this year and scored 30 or more points seven times and 20 or more 13 times. He’s averaging like 25 and 11 and defending. Not sure how long he can keep it up but this is the best concentrated effort by a Raptor big man ever. Not even close.
Oh, and the elevator story was pretty cool.
He’s stuck for almost an hour 28 storeys up in his condo, hangs with a couple of strangers just chilling and figuring out life and gets to the arena about an hour before tipoff.
Okay, I’ve got to go pack and catch a flight to L.A. to begin this rather drawn-out road trip. There’ll be a little bit of time zone hell to deal with, late starts and early flights but because you’re you, I’ll try to stick to the same schedule and the same shenanigans you’re used to around here.
What we won’t have, though, is post-game video. I know. You’re crushed.