That was some kind of end-game clinic, wasn't it?
Well, well, well.
Wasn’t that something.
I think maybe Springfield should call for the tape of those final 90 seconds for part of the Hall of Fame’s “How Not To Finish A Game” display.
Was quite something, wasn’t it? Not sure I can remember a confluence of events that went so wrong at exactly the worst possible moment.
Anyway, there are still 39 to go, wonder what kind of zaniness we’re still to see?
|RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR|
|Plenty of good points from Parker lately.|
Action: Bosh’s outburst
Reaction: Good for him.
You saw on TV Bosh rip Moon after the Johnson drive, I saw him yell at Roko on one earlier possession for not swinging the ball and a few of us listened him seethe in the locker room after the game.
And I’m all for it.
No, Bosh is not perfect, not even close, and he had a huge turnover – driving the ball, mind you and that’s got to ease the pain a wee bit from the people who’ve been murdering him for weeks – late in the game. But players need to hold each other accountable and he seems to be the only guy on this team willing to do that publicly.
And his coach is okay with it, too. So is his general manager.
Oh, I’m giving Jamario a pass today.
What’s the sense in piling on.
Yes, he should have forced Johnson left on that drive. Yes, he should have stayed on the floor on the Bibby pump fake. Yes, he should have passed the ball instead of taking that three.
I know it, you know it, his teammates know it, his coaches know it, his general manager knows it and, in his heart of hearts, he knows it.
He made three big gaffes at precisely the wrong time. He is what he is, a guy who probably wouldn’t be on the floor in that situation on a better team but on this team he plays. And he’s going to make mistakes.
Speaking of stand-up guys, this AP quote got lost amid all the post-game antics. It’s pretty good, and pretty telling:
“We just didn’t play smart. I think that has been the case for a while. I think if I had to do that all over again on that last possessions, maybe I would have pulled it out and run a play. We had numbers and we were pushing it and those had been the best opportunities we had all night. It was also a two-for-one situation where we would get the ball back, but I’m new at this point guard thing and it’s a learning thing.”
The Parker-as-point-guard experiment has worked pretty well the last two games and the final quarter of the Indy loss and now I expect it to be the same in Detroit tomorrow because I can’t imagine Jose playing.
But Friday, if Calderon’s back he should start and the question becomes: Can your starting two guard be your backup point guard, too?
I wonder. Not sure how Jay can work a rotation – and I presume Calderon won’t be in shape enough to handle his usual 38 or 39 minutes – that keeps Parker in his usual 2-guard job while letting him slide over to be the backup point.
But the coach should try because the team runs well when Parker’s at the helm.
That’s not to say no Roko at all; he should have a limited role, like eight or 10 minutes.
Here’s a question I have: When is it going to be Andrea’s turn? Down the stretch that is. To take the game-tying shot, or the big shot, or the most important shot of the game.
One of the things that’s been most impressive in his emergence has been his determination, at both ends of the floor.
I wonder how he’d handle that last-shot responsibility.
I guess the one worry is that he’s still not entirely adept at coming off screens and getting off a quick shot and I’m pretty sure his ball-handling skills need improvement to get him by defenders with ease.
But the next time they’re in one of those situations, I think they should run Bargnani off a couple of screens or put him in an isolation situation and see what happens. It’s not like they’ve got anything else that’s working perfectly.
An oft-asked question.
Q: Seriously Doug, when I watch this team this year, I simply cannot see anyone that I would feel comfortable to get "that one basket" in the crunch time. (Especially those game-tying or winning basket in dying seconds - may I say Chris Bosh). This raises the question whether Chris Bosh is a go-to-guy as opposed to a 23ppg player.
Yama F, Mississauga
A: My opinion’s well known but it's worth repeating.
Chris Bosh is an all-star, a very, very good player who can average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game and there are scant few who can do that in the NBA. He should be lauded for his skills and I don’t think it matters whether you call him a “superstar” or an “all-star” or a “franchise player.” Those are just words that mean nothing and if you want to argue about them, go ahead.
But to ask him to break his man down, create a shot and a game-winning basket is too much. It’s not his skill.
He gets the job because of failings on the roster, that’s the only reason. A quick, determined, good-shooting, hard-driving wing man does that, not a 6-11 power forward.
Bosh gets killed far too often for being given a job he’s not best suited for, a job he only gets because there’s no one else on the roster that can do it.
Action: Marion’s role
Reaction: A rental.
Now, I don’t know for sure whether Shawn Marion will ever be a Raptor, I’d say there’s a chance and since I don’t know how Pat Riley thinks I can’t even put a percentage on it, but I do know this: All the e-mailers who think he’s a bad fit because he’s not a “slasher” shouldn’t get too worked up.
What he will be more likely than not, if he gets here, is a short-term rental and not a long-term solution.
He’ll be looking for some kind of raise off his $17 million salary when he’s a free agent this summer and I cannot imagine the Raptors giving it to him. So if the O’Neal deal does go down, don’t worry about next year because I can’t see Marion being here then.
In Atlanta, once newspaper readers got past the blanket coverage of the inauguration, here’s what they found in the sports section this morning.
A question about brains:
Q: So I asked this before along with two uninformed questions, so this time I will ask it alone. PGA golfers who choke in the 3rd and 4th rounds of tournaments will often hire sports psychologists to help them overcome whatever ails them when it comes to pressure situations. Athletes in other sports do the same. Do NBA teams ever go through these types of sessions? It seems like the Raptors are prime candidates to go through some sessions with someone that can help get them overcome the challenges they face in the last 5 mins of games. Thoughts?
Greg S, Toronto
A: Yes, golfers use brain coaches. I presume tennis players do, too. And Olympic athletes do.
This will get me grief from psychologists all over, I presume, but I don’t think they work for players on team sports because so much is dependent on what other players do.
A sports psychologist is not going to convince Jamario Moon to pass the ball or not fall for shot fakes. A sports psychologist is not going to make Joey Graham concentrate more on defence when the game’s going a mile-a-minute.
And, no, I don’t know of any team that uses one on a regular basis.