A little late but here's all the stuff you need
Sorry, I’m late. Four words in my defence.
Jack Armstrong. Buena Vista.
So is 3-3 that bad? If they get the Warriors tonight (and that’s a big ‘if’ ‘cause it’s a matchup of styles that doesn’t really suit Toronto) they can go .500 on this trip and if you gave them that two weeks ago, everyone would have signed that scorecard, I think.
But even if they do, it’s a bad 3-3 because of that Oklahoma City thing the night the journey started, isn’t it? This team can’t give away games like they did that one and while beating Golden State would be nice, the sting is still there.
But is 13-18 that bad? The schedule does start to turn (Denver, Houston, Orlando is no picnic right off the bat) but it’s always been the goal to get back to .500 by the end of the month (the all-star break at the worst) and no one’s really running away and hiding in the East after Boston, Cleveland and the Magic.
So it can be said they’re not in bad shape, certainly not good shape but not disaster.
That’s if they beat Golden State, mind you. If they don’t, you can go all angst-filled if you like. And I’m sure you do.
Is there a trade coming?
Somebody suggested last night that one will get done in the next couple of weeks.
I remember a wise man suggesting back in mid-December that nothing would happen until the New Year and being chastised for it.
Hey, you know Friday’s game is on TSN2, right? If you want to watch it on TV and you’re a victim of Rogers, better make plans now, there’s no suggestion anything can miraculously be resolved this week.
|Jermaine O'Neal has it working right now.|
So, who gets traded?
Can they trade Jermaine O’Neal? Even if they could find someone interested in that contract, I’m not sure they can move the guy because he’s playing so well right now. I have no idea if that lasts (and there’s a school of thought that says his value may never be higher than it is right now) but it’d be awful difficult to suggest they still have expectations for this season if they move him.
Given that I don’t think teams are beating down the doors to acquire Parker, Kapono, Moon or Graham, does that mean Bargnani’s in play.
I don’t think Bryan’s entirely ready to pull the pin on his No. 1 draft pick but I bet he’s listening more closely now when people talk about Bargnani than he has been.
Here’s what they said around these parts this morning (and it’s not even 8 a.m. where I am) about the Warriors.
A wee bit of mail and there are lot of questions lurking around that I’ll get to today and that I hope to post overnight somehow.
Q: Hey Doug, quick question, I remember reading an article you wrote late January about the raps thinking of bringing a NBDL team to the greater Toronto region. Was wondering if you had a update with regards to that? Because I really think it can do wonders for this team. When you can send a guy like Jawai down there and let him work on some post moves and defence as well as the ability to monitor his progress closely and control the coaching staff so that you develop what the players need. I know San Antonio and the Lakers have their own franchises, do you think it’s working well for them? Kinda similar to soccer academies or reserve teams.
Nelson S, Toronto
A: Last I heard, the D League franchise idea was still alive, but certainly not on the front burner. I think the difficult financial times would make it hard to start a new team that would, in my opinion, draw flies. That said, I think it’d be a great proving ground for everything from players to coaches to front office staff to back-of-the-house employees and I hope it happens. I just think it’ll be later, rather than sooner.
The people I talk to in LA and San Antonio think the existence of a farm team in their own market (well, just outside it in the case of the Spurs) has been nothing but a good idea.
A throwback story in honour of being in San Francisco, where the team stays because, well, because it’s not Oakland.
There are always a few autograph seekers hanging out at the hotel when the team leaves for whatever arena they’re going to and they run the gamut of kids just goofing around to the loser dopey grown ups trying to get stuff signed so they can sell it on e-bay.
It’s 2004 and they’re going from downtown San Fran over to the Oakland and this dude comes up to the one and only Robert Archibald (how he knew he was an NBA player is beyond me) and asks him to sign.
Archibald, who had a rather high opinion of himself and his skills, looks at the guy with disdain and says, boarding the bus:
“Catch me at the arena.”
Yeah, like some dude’s going to chase a bus across the Bay Bridge to get an autograph from Robert Freaking Archibald.
Q: Hey Doug, do you think the Olympics hurt the Raps? Bosh in particular looks like he doesn't have the same jump. Calderon too.
Derrick L, Mississauga
A: No, not at all. They weren’t playing a lot of minutes, they weren’t playing every day and the Games ended, what, five weeks before NBA training camp even began? No, I see no residual effect of Beijing in them at all.
Speaking of Archibald, there were lots of suggestions for other bad centres after I had that question on the weekend. Yes, Alex Radojevic has to be on that list and the former star and congenial hostess of The Norma Wick Hour writes to point out that no list of bad Raptor centres has to include Nate Huffman and she’s right.
And a final question before I’m off for breakfast.
Q: I noticed in the Spurs game that Tim Duncan is still listed as the power forward in the starting line-up. What determines who is listed at what position? Does the coach submit a line-up card? The reason I ask is that Duncan took the opening tip, covered the opposing team's centre and spent pretty much all his time playing what could be described as "centre".
John H, Ottawa
A: Yes, coaches submit lineup cards before every game with two guards, two forwards and a centre listed. Also, when teams provide their rosters to the league at the start of the year, they specify positions as well, for such things as all-star ballots.
The power forward-centre and shooting guard-small forward debates are really in vogue right now and teams generally break down their rosters into point guards, wings and bigs. Maybe that’s how the public and media should see it, too.