So much for tardy
Seriously, am I good or what? Get to O'Hare, get through security, find the lounge, fire up the machine, finish the blog, make your morning better (that last bit may or may not be true, of course).
Everyone feel a wee bit better today? A nice, relatively easy 20-point will brighten a mood, won’t it? And the manner in which it was achieved was most significant, I think. A 20-4 run in the final 5 1-2 minutes? That just doesn’t happen with this team.
But it did, and how many people are looking at a four-game win streak today? Same number that were thinking 12-game losing streak Friday morning?
Action: 23, 10 and no turnovers
Reaction: Welcome back
Funnily enough, I did not wake up this morning to several e-mails or comments suggesting the Raptors consider trading Jose Calderon because (a) he’s a defensive liability, or (b) he doesn’t look to score often enough or (c) he doesn’t get Andrea Bargnani involved in the offence enough or (d) Anthony Parker was doing a good job as the point guard anyway.
I defy anyone who watched that game to not admit there was a different “feel” to how they played, more steady, less panic, more in control.
And that came from the point guard.
A question about Jose, sort of:
Q: Looks like you had a nice sleep with the Raps win, no blog and it's 8 a.m.? Joking, Doug, time to be smiling with the win. Was that foul to remove jose with seconds to go an overjoy from the coach? Should a coach be doing that on a road game or for teams with not so good winning record?
Paul M, Toronto
A: It was far more a function of a 5:45 a.m. wakeup call to get to O’Hare for an early-ish flight. But glad you were here early to read.
No, the timeout wasn’t to rub anything in or to allow Jose some applause, it was to get a guy who was just coming back from injury as much time on the bench as they could. And I’m not sure it was all Jay, I think the savvy Parker knew what needed to be done.
Perhaps you’ve heard I have a bit of a thing for Dancing With The Stars and while I cannot trip the light fantastic myself, I will submit that Jose Calderon should never be allowed to “dance” on a basketball court again.
Not sure what that was after he made that late three-pointer but he should leave it to the privacy of his own home.
Action: Bosh’s defence
Reaction: In defence of him.
You want to know why Bosh was such a great defender on the American Olympic team and the consensus is now that he’s not anymore? Teammates.
Having Kobe and LeBron in front and Dwight Howard as a safety net behind would make anyone an above average defender.
Last night, especially in the second half, Bosh defended as well as he has this season, both on the block and in the high screen and roll, which is why Derrick Rose didn’t scorch them.
And he did it because the weak side rotation was solid, the other bigs under the basket were doing their jobs taking up space.
Really quite simple, really quite a matter of effort and concentration, two things Bosh’s teammates had in spades in Beijing.
What they said in Chicago, where they’ve been killing Vinny Del Negro and the Bulls all week.
Action: Great video
Reaction: No Flo Rida (or however you spell it)
There may not be a better pre-game video than the one the Bulls show with about two minutes left on the clock. It’s a highlight montage that includes greats like Norm Van Lier and Jerry Sloan, Tom Boerwinkle and Dick Motta, Michael, Scottie and Phil as well as the requisite shot of Oak getting into a fight and Rodman diving for a loose ball.
Really cool, really a way to highlight the franchise history.
I believe they’re putting one together in Toronto. It shows
Alvin Robertson to Carlos Rogers to Oliver Miller to John Salley to Alex Radojevic to Oliver Miller (again) to Butch Carter. It’s to Kevin O’Neill and Lenny Wilkens and Mengke Bateer, Lonny Baxter, Robert Archibald, Keon Clark, Omar Cook and Garth Joseph.
Ah, the history and the memories.
More mail, and I’ll have a few hours later today to knock off tomorrow morning’s mailbag so submit to your little heart’s content:
Q: I see that the Raptors are wearing their all-black "alternate" jerseys again tonight. They seem to be wearing them pretty frequently, wasn't there a limit to how many times they can wear them? My question is, although the all-black are indeed the coolest of all the kits, they sure seem to lose a lot in them. What is their record when they wear each of the three jerseys?
Wilson L, Toronto
A: It does seem like they’ve worn them a zillion times, doesn’t it? And I asked the guy who actually runs the team – equipment manager, travel co-ordinator, general bon vivant K. DiPietro – and they are allowed this year to wear alternate jerseys 16 times and last night was only the 10th this season.
The record? I’m not sure and don’t have my fashion-boxscores handy.
Action: Two sequences.
Reaction: Who are these guys?
A Bosh dunk off the Jose lob after Jose turned the corner on a high screen just before a Bargnani block of a Rose drive, a steal by Bosh that sets up a Joey break because Joey was running the floor hard.
And then, Parker misses a three but stays with the shot and gets the long rebound, passes back out to Jose who sees Bosh with his man sealed on his back in the paint and gives him the ball. Bosh sees a second defender coming, holds the ball a split second until he gets closer, dishes to an open Parker in the corner while fleeing the paint to avoid a three-second call and Parker drills an open three.
Who are these guys?
This piece by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated says Kevin O’Neill’s done in Memphis, which comes as no surprise, really, since he was the associate head coach with Iavaroni and was overlooked for an assistant from another team when Iavaroni got fired.
A thought: Beale Street won’t ever be the same
Oh, and put any notion of an O’Neill return to Toronto as an assistant out of your head. Let’s just say the relationship between he and Jay was, um, not good.