You Know Who is coming to play
|THE CANADIAN PRESS|
|Is it really just another game when he comes to town?|
You know what that was Sunday? Just one of those games. Nothing special really happened, no one was great, no one was crappy, it really came down to the simplest of things:
“They just made more shats than we did.”
And somewhere, I bet Sam was smiling.
But there were some moments of interest, weren’t there?
Action: Jake’s here
Reaction: Nothing else imminent
The Voskuhl signing, as we’ve mentioned a few times, is not precursor to any other significant move, I’m hearing around the team.
Yes, Bryan is having all kinds of discussions about trades with all kinds of other general managers but even the stuff that’s on the front burner isn’t really cooking at the moment.
It’s the usual suspects – maybe deal Joey, AP’s expiring contract is a selling point, Kapono’s emerging play of late may make him attractive – but no one’s bowled the GM over with an offer that makes sense.
So I’m afraid anyone expecting something big to go down on the heels of the signing is going to be disappointed.
We all know the TV problem tonight, right? TSN2 game, no Rogers customer can see it and it sucks.
I guess the pressure of this deadline, and the games Wednesday and Friday wasn’t enough to spur anyone to action, further proof to me that neither Rogers, nor TSN, nor Maple Leaf Sports really gives a rat’s patoot about the people sitting at home.
If they did – any of them – they’d have this resolved by now.
But, you know, to the deep corporate thinkers over there it’s apparently not the end of the world if you miss three more games.
Trouble is, I’m not sure what your recourse is. Switch from Rogers? Bombard TSN with e-mails? Sent nasty notes to the Raptors and vow not buy any merchandise? Yeah, now that I think of it, those three things work.
Action: He Who Shall …
Reaction: Big game coming?
You think VC has it in him to really stick it to Toronto after his 0-13 night the other night in Jersey? I wonder.
What I do know is this: When we go to shootaround this morning and someone asks him about it, the conversation likely goes like this:
Inquisitive media type: “Vince, feeling any pressure to have a big night after Friday?”
Aggrieved basketballer: “No, it’s just another game.”
IMT: “Don’t you feel anything special?”
AB: “A game’s a game.”
IMT: “But you were 0-for-13.”
AB: “Just another game.”
In case you were wondering, outside of the abbreviated lockout-shortened 1999 season, the Sunday-Monday home back-to-back is just the third in history and first since December, 1997.
Action: Make a stop
Reaction: Don’t get ball
This sort of figures, doesn’t it?
With 56 seconds left and down six, Jay puts in Moon and Graham for Calderon and Kapono in one of the offence-defence substitutions the coach makes with regularity.
He doesn’t want them to foul, he’s got a timeout left and if they get a stop, he can use it and extend the game.
Moon’s guarding Chris Paul and does an okay job, although the much-quicker Paul gets in the paint, tosses up an odd looking shot and it looks like Toronto’s got the stop it needs.
Of course, they blow the rebounding assignment, David West grabs the ball and it’s game over.
First dip in the mailbag:
Q: I was at the Hornets game and noticed that Jay has a peculiar style during his timeouts - he and the coaching staff huddle around the foul line extended away from the players and then, post-caucus, walk over to the bench and share the play. I can't think of another NBA coach that does this. A couple questions:
1. Why the need for the coaching huddle? Couldn't the coaching staff include the team in the conversation?
2. Do the players like this format?
Rashay J, Toronto
A: That’s pretty much standard timeout behaviour for every team in the league, it’s certainly not something new here in Toronto.
It gives the coaches time to figure out what they want to do, it also gives them time to calm down in they’re particularly miffed with one guy and it also gives the players a chance to settle themselves, too.
Of course, it’s different for 20-second timeouts when no one actually sits but for full time outs, what you’ve seen is standard operating procedure around the league.
Speaking of You Know Who, he’s all the buzz in this item from The Other Dave down in Newark.
Action: Mo Pete’s DNP-CD
Reaction: Tough times for him
Favourite Son Peterson told me before the game he’s been fighting some knee problems and just winding back into shape so there we were wondering just how much he’d play.
But not at all? No one saw that coming.
He’s lost his starting spot to Rasual Butler and if James Posey’s going nuts from beyond the arc, there isn’t going to be much time for Mo.
Speaking of Mo and minutes, hands up everyone who thought Sean Marks would play 11 1-2 minutes and Peterson none?
Don’t imagine that’s happened too often.
Action: AP’s healthy
Reaction: Does he start again?
This has got to be a bit of a tough one, no? Parker was so-so coming off the bench against New Orleans, Kapono had a rough night shooting. Do you stick with JK as the starter? Or go back to the old way?
Tough call, isn’t it? I’d stay with Kapono, probably, for another game or two and see how it works.
Speaking, again, of Mo, check out this yarn by cousin Jimmy.
If you’re Jay and Bryan, what do you do with the roster tonight? You’ve got 12 guys dressed and Voskuhl’s in town. Do you activate him right away and sit down Hassan Adams?
That’s what I’d do but I’m not the coach.
You know how I know yesterday was a blah game? No one wrote to say this guy should get fired or that guy should get benched or Bryan should trade ‘em all for a bag of balls and Corey Maggette the no-defence, shot-happy, salary cap-killer that Golden State’s shopping around.
Was nice for a change.