Good game, bad result (lather, rinse, repeat)
Figured if I got this up half an hour later that usual this morning, not too many of you would be upset, right? After all, I bet a whole bunch of you sneak away from work for a minute to read and not many of us are working today, are we?
Anyway, that’s my reason and I’m sticking to it.
As entertainment goes, that was a pretty good game, wasn’t it? Close, lots of solid plays, lots of scoring. As the Raptors go, though, it was just another in a long list of disappointments. Don’t they just have a way of making the wrong play at the wrong time?
So, the calendar turns and the season is slipping away and you have to wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. The first was the firing of Sam, which I still say was far too early; the second has to be some trade, right? Until then, we’ll have the usual fun here, okay?
Oh yeah, Happy New Year!
Action: Bryan watches
Reaction: Now he’s got to act
I’m not sure exactly what he’s got on the table but one of the deals has to get done, if for no other reason than to do something. Just the look on the faces of the players and coaches in the dying minutes last night had to convince them that maybe they’re even starting to wonder what’s going on.
I’m not sure they can play much better for much longer than they did last night (yes, there were breakdowns, there will always be breakdowns, even by really good teams) and still they can’t win.
For the collective psyche, something has to change to give them a reason for optimism in the final half of the season..
Action: Bosh’s three.
Reaction: Lukewarm support
No, it wasn’t the greatest shot he ever took but it wasn’t the worst and it wasn’t the worst put up by someone with a Toronto jersey on their backs.
But what was interesting was the reaction of his coach:
“He makes two a couple of games ago and we win the game. He misses a crucial one tonight and we lose a game. It’s not the strongest part of his game but he has made nine so far this year.”
Hardly a ringing endorsement.
Hey you, the dude in the baby blue golf shirt sitting about four rows back of the court on the other side from us. When the Dance Pak lady made that really light toss of the t-shirt at the end of the third quarter, it wasn’t for you, you dope.
It was for the young girls in front of you. And never mind that you gave it to a lady two over, you stole it from those kids.
And another fan bites the dust:
Q: Great blog; I read it daily with my coffee when I'm getting settled in to my desk at work. Anyway, so I think I am gonna jump ship and officially put my support behind a different NBA team. I just can't take anymore of this inconsistent ball team. So here is my question: Which team should I back? If you had to jump ship who would it be for? I'm thinkin' the Hawks or Blazers for me. Also any teams with particularly good bloggers? I need some good reading to get my day started if I’m bailing on the raps!
Rob T, Saint John
A: Well, the sexy pick right now is Portland, isn’t it? But isn’t there something to like about Oklahoma City? Besides the city, which is a drawback, you’ve got to like Kevin Durant and you’ve really got to like Jeff Green and I don’t think they’re that far away. And isn’t it better to watch a team grow that to jump on an already full bandwagon?
As for the blog, Alan Hahn at Newsday does a good one on the Knicks but then you’d have to cheer for the Knicks.
So it’s the first New Year’s Eve game at home ever and only the third all-time. Everyone remembers a year ago, I presume, when they won in New Orleans when Chris Paul missed two late free throws and Mo Pete didn’t invite us to his house for a party.
But who remembers the other? I do.
It was 1997 in Washington and the game’s only memorable because just before it, Darrell Walker told us that Tracy McGrady would be out of the league in three years if he didn’t start working harder. Made for a rather longer-than-it-should-be night of work, if I recall.
And the night ended pretty sadly, too.
Gladys Knight (sans Pips, if I remember correctly) played a concert in the arena after the game and you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Gladys Knight do Auld Lang Syne while sitting in a press room typing a story.
Action: Nice crowd
Reaction: And a great crowd, too.
After the New Jersey overtime game and the Golden State game to open the season, that was the best crowd of the year. Into the game, cheering at the key moments, no major disgruntlement.
Another from the mail:
Q: When it comes to NBA trades and having to match salaries, at least within some percentage, is it possible to just add cash to the deal to even things out? Has that ever been an option in the NBA and is it possible we could see it being added to their CBA?
Lubo S, Toronto
A: No, money can’t be used that way at all. The salaries of the players being traded have to match within 125 per cent (plus or minus $100,000). There can be an exchange of up to $3 million in any transaction but the salaries still have to match.
And I can’t see changes coming in any future CBA.
Oh yeah, what Denver said.Here it is.
Action: Great catch
Reaction: Probably unnoticed.
I’m not sure if anyone remembers this play and it had no real impact on anything whatsoever but it goes to show you what kind of athletic freak Joey Graham is.
With about 6 1-2 minutes left in the first half, Jose throws a bounce pass through traffic to Joey as Graham’s slashing to the rim. The pass is about half a step behind him but he reaches back, grabs and makes a layup when he began the play figuring he’d get a lob for a dunk.
I don’t know that there are 20 guys in the NBA who could have caught that pass, let alone finished with an awkward looking layup.
Joey’s a freak and if that could be consistently harnessed for the forces of good, he’d be something else.
That’s it for today, enjoy football or parades or whatever it is you enjoy on New Year’s Day.