A wee bit late but still pretty darn good
Hey, sorry I’m a bit late.
Had a long day of travel yesterday to get out here in Phoenix, the time zones got to me, had to get up this morning and shovel the sunshine.
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|Parker's had a good run lately.|
Let’s get right to the injury update because reading a few of the comments last night showed me there’s an inordinate amount of interest in Joey Graham’s hamstring.
Well, I wish there was news.
What there is, unfortunately, is another “he’s day-to-day, we’ll check in the morning” update which is the norm this season with anyone connected with the Raptors, it seems.
Word is Joey may try to practice in a few hours – there was no substantial injury apparent on the “diagnostic testing” he had (a fancy phrase for MRI) – and then they’ll see how he comes through that. Or they may just treat him today and see if he can do anything tomorrow at shootaround.
The one thing about this team and injuries this year is that everything is “day-to-day.”
I swear, if someone left the court with his leg dangling by a tendon, we’d get a “injured let, will not return, day-to-day” notification.
Maybe it’s understandable (we are all day-to-day, aren’t we?) but it’s also a bit frustrating.
And it runs counter to the olden days. I remember standing around the locker room back in You Know Who Era with about a dozen reporters converging on one of the team’s doctors and pressing him to explain what “jumper’s knee” was in layman’s terms.
Speaking of injuries, there’s the same non-news out here about Steve Nash, it seems.
Nash hurt his ankle a bit on Tuesday against Charlotte and he’s in L.A. tonight but we won’t know for hours whether he’ll play.
Oh, and remember when Shaq vs. Kobe would have been huge? Well, it's not anymore, out here
there they're more worried about making the playoffs and maybe making a move on Joe Smith if he's waived than the O'Neal-Bryant return.
This has got some topicality, if that’s even a word:
Q: Doug, one quick question and one quick comment: 1. is the Raptors' consecutive game streak with a three still going (haven't heard it mentioned in a long time)? 2. Have you noticed the chemistry between AP and Marion? Seems like they have a nice on-court rhythm - particularly in that they are looking for each other on the break and off cuts and screens.
B F, Halifax
A: Not only is the streak alive, it’s its birthday! For real.
It began Feb. 26, 1999 against Minnesota and has now been going for a full decade, 837 games and counting going into tomorrow against the Suns.
The good folks over in the Raptors media relations department sent us a nice birthday news release yesterday pointing out such things as:
--The streak has been extended in nine arenas that are no longer in the NBA - Market Square Arena (Indianapolis); Miami Arena (Miami); GM Place (Vancouver); Alamodome (San Antonio); The Spectrum (Philadelphia); Pyramid Arena (Memphis); Reunion Arena (Dallas); Compaq Center (Houston); Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte).
--October Sky (Jake Gyllenhaal), Office Space (Jennifer Aniston) and My Favorite Martian (Christopher Lloyd) were playing in movie theaters when the streak began.
--Modern inventions since the streak began include the iPod (2001), the Segway human transporter (2001), Blue Tooth (2002), the hybrid car (2003) and YouTube (2005).
(And Doug Smith’s Raptors Blog, 2007).
And yes, statistically at least, Marion’s had a huge impact on Parkers, whose transition offence seems to have blossomed in the last week. The back-to-back 24-point nights Parker had against the Knicks and Timberwolves marked the first time this season he’s gone over 20 in two straight games. Does it last? That’s the question.
Just looked up at the TV here in the room and Chris Broussard of ESPN is doing his weekly around-the-league schtick on the Mike and Mike in the Morning show.
One of his lead items?
How Sam Mitchell is going to be one of the hottest commodities on the coaching market this summer. Broussard suggests not only didn’t the Raptors under-achieve under Mitchell in his last season and 17 games but in fact they over-achieved given what’s gone on since then.
I’m not sure about that – I think Jay’s getting about all he can out of this roster – but I’ve always held that Sam should, and would, coach again. And now it seems that other people are seeing it, saying it publicly and that can only help Sam’s pursuit of coaching employment.
Okay, when we talk about teams in disarray, the poster children this year have to be the Detroit Pistons, no?
They are in seventh in the East, just two games out of ninth and, somewhat shockingly, are only 5 1-2 games ahead of the Raptors.
Rasheed Wallace got thrown out of a loss in New Orleans last night, Allen Iverson’s got a back bad and he’s on the shelf and, frankly, they are in such a freefall that if they miss the playoffs entirely, no one would be surprised, least of all me.
Can you imagine the angst there? Six straight appearances in the conference finals, two trips to the finals, a championship and now maybe missing the playoffs?’
I don’t know if Joe Dumars is a knee-jerk reaction kind of guy but if I’m Mike Curry, I might not get too comfortable in that coaching seat.
Oh, and just to show you how quickly they can fall, how many of you had Dumars in the Executive Hall of Fame a year ago? How many would put him there now?
Q: Hi! Doug, you probably heard this a lot but, anyway. Long time reader and this is my first time asking you a couple of questions.
1. I know how much you like Randy Foye but don't you think he is a bit undersized much like Ben Gordon. Comparing those two who do you think has a potential to be a better player?
2. I tried asking questions during the live session for the Minnesota game yesterday and was rather disappointed. I tried typing a couple of questions but, none of them got posted. I was wondering if it had something to do with the web browser since I tried using both Firefox and Explorer, much to my disappointment none worked. So, I don't know if you could help me out with this or you could have one of your "tech gurus" to help me out with this situation.
Anwar A, Markham
A: Foye is a bit under-sized, yeah, but Gordon’s hardly a giant and is probably more, um, defensively-challenged.
The second one is the reason I’m running this, because it’s been asked often.
The thing is, and this is not anything other than laying out facts, but there’s about 2,000 comments-questions-snide remarks-cheap shots that come in during the course of a game. I see them all but you can understand they call can’t be used – it’s a blog about a game, not a chat room – and I try to get enough that are representative of the thoughts of the readers and are interesting. It’s nothing to do with browsers, it’s the number that I see.