Of AP and distant Sam memories and more TV troubles
It’s a crappy, snowy, sleety, slushy, yucky day here in Jersey. (Yes, that’s a tad out of the norm). How’s everyone back home?
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|Parker takes charge in so many ways that help the Raptors.|
So, how valuable has Anthony Parker become? Is he now virtually untradeable?
I’d say that’s probably true.
Bryan Colangelo was dead set against trading the veteran six weeks ago – he loves is leadership, his role in the locker room, he likes the fact Parker’s contract expires at the end of this season – and AP’s emergence as the team’s backup point guard and starting shooting guard just adds more reasons why they can’t let him go.
If these guys harbour any hopes of making the playoffs – and I think that’s a legitimate hope for the rest of this season – I think you have to put AP on the list with Jose, Bosh and Bargnani of guys they can’t deal.
And that, of course, diminishes the chances of any trade significantly since I don’t think teams are lining up to make serious offers of good players for guys like Jamario, Joey and Jason.
What’s that leave? JO as the only one who could be moved for someone, or a package, that could help.
I could almost hear Sam talking when we were standing around after practice yesterday.
The chat turned to this week and the importance of the games with New Jersey and Milwaukee and while no one said the words “must win” you know they were on people’s minds.
And in the distant echoes of my mind (there’s lots of space in there for echoes, by the way), I could hear that drawl:
“Must win? What if you don’t win? Is the next game a ‘must, must, must win?’”
Sam did have a point. Yes, games like these are big but, no, the season isn’t over if they don’t win them. It makes things harder, yes; ruin the year? Not so much.
Checking into the Newark airport Marriott yesterday (it’s one of the staples on the circuit ‘cause there’s not a lot of options around these parts) brought back trade memories that bear repeating here given what’s going on with JO and Marion and the Raptors and Heat.
I checked the handy, dandy media guide and on the evening of Nov. 21, 2003 I checked in (could be the same room) and began tracking down the veracity of a story that broke earlier that day that said Antonio Davis would be traded to the Chicago Bulls.
It sounded like a deal was imminent but a couple of GMs and agents told me it wasn’t going to happen that night. But, as one said, “be patient, if it got as far as getting out, it’s 99 per cent going to happen.”
It took until Dec. 1 for the deal to get finalized but the initial reports were bang on.
Sometimes these things take time to be finalized and as I was told by someone in the upper echelons of Raptorland the other day “be patient.”
That’s advice I’ll pass on.
A quick question that apparently I must answer:
Q: Hey Doug - you gotta answer this one! When Jose is shooting free throws in practice, does he ever miss? Any idea what his record is for consecutive free throw makes is when he is just in the gym working on his shot? You should ask him next time you get a chance.
Steve J, Toronto
A: I have seen Jose miss a free throw after practice. Not many, mind you, but some have bounced out. And I haven’t specifically asked him about how many in a row he’s made but I’d be shocked if he actually counted.
This has nothing to do with basketball but I’m doing you a favour.
John Updike died yesterday, a tremendous loss for literature. Go now, or sometime today, and read his story, “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” from the archives of The New Yorker.
It’s generally considered one of the greatest sports stories ever written and you should read it if you haven’t.
I know, I know, it’s not some Raptors-Bobcats gamer from November but it’s pretty darn good.
What’d Dave write today? Check it out here.
Oh yeah, this is a TSN2 game tonight, remember? Just sayin’.
And since they are dawdling like no one can believe over there – I wonder when they last had serious discussions on this fiasco – someone might want to bring this up.
If there are playoffs, they’ll be held at the same time as the NHL playoffs, as we all know, and if there’s a conflict between TSN carrying a Stanley Cup game or an NBA playoff game, which one do you think gets relegated to TSN2?
I have no idea if that’ll happen – it’s impossible to see those schedules this far out – but I’m putting in your minds now so you can start hammering both sides a wee bit more.
(Not that that works, of course, because fans and viewers apparently count for nothing to Rogers, TSN or Maple Leaf Sports in this despicable exercise)
Finally, from the mail:
Q: Dougie-boy. I absolutely love the blog. I read it regularly and you are converting my 16-year-old to read it too, especially with your "chicken" mascot wisecracks. Anyhoo, on to my question. Will Solomon? what happened beyond the obvious(that he is really not a NBA-ready back up point guard)? I have not read anything regarding his being lost to the end of the bench, I am just curious. Believe me I am more then fine him staying there, as Roko has so much more potential and AP is doing yeoman’s work as back up. Just looking for Triano's explanation. Thanks and keep up the great work on this.
Bill M, St. Catharines
A: Finally, someone appreciates the Chicken stuff. And I will say that anything that encourages teens to read more is a good thing (Got that, teens?)
What happened with Will is this: He’s a 1 1-2 guard, not a true point, not a big enough threat to be a steady two and Jay just likes the way the team’s offence runs in the 10, 14 minutes he’s got AP out there directing traffic. It’s not a huge slight against Will (some of us figured from Day 1 that he’d struggle running an NBA offence with regularity), it’s just a simple fact.
I’m hearing on the news this morning that LeBron was going on and on about Mo Williams’s 43-point game Tuesday night being some kind of “statement” game for Williams and his all-star hopes.
Too bad coaches votes had to be in by 3 p.m., about four hours before tip-off.
Speaking of TSN2, remember that if you can’t watch, the next best thing (even if you can watch, you should do this anyway) is to check out our in-game blog. And I’m told that the good folks at Coveritlive have worked out, or are working out, a Blackberry friendly version of the thing that could very well be up and running before the 7:30 p.m. start.
See you then.