Are no plays good plays?
|DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR|
|... freelancing, getting out on the break, reading and reacting ....|
You knew that was coming, right? They had to win, no self-respecting team gets drilled by 30 on the road and then loses to the same team at home less than 48 hours later. Just doesn’t happen. Of course, if it did happen, it would happen to these guys.
But it didn’t and I don’t believe there’s a single “season’s over, what should I do with my time” e-mail in the lot.
And now there’s reason to watch this week.
Action: No plays for Shawn
Reaction: So what?
Here's what Jay said yesterday afternoon:
“Until he learns our schemes offensively and defensively, we say, rebound the basketball, get out, push the ball up the floor, run and see what’s available.”
Here's what Doug said this morning:
“Maybe we should just leave it that way, freelancing, getting out on the break and reading and reacting seems to be working more often than not. Bogging down an offence with running sets for another guy might be counter-productive. Marion’s getting enough off breaks, secondary breaks and stuff run for other guys that it might be worth cutting back the playoff book rather than expanding it.”
But that’s just my opinion. Right, though it is.
(That’s a joke).
Okay, so we’ve all had our guffaws about the big ACC 10th anniversary press release and announcement that asked fans to celebrate:
10 Years Of Excellence
(We were guessing yesterday that 10 Years Of $15 Beers or 10 Years Of Losing With Gusts To Mediocrity probably weren’t considered).
Of course, they trotted out the top 10 moments in the buildings history which, as you’d expect, got us thinking “if they say good, we say …” To wit:
First Raptor playoff game, halftime clown spills flame accelerant all over midcourt area, second half delayed, Raptors fined.
The TV screen
$8.5 million or something like that for a big television that hangs over centre court and couln’t, for weeks, give, you know, stats. But a helluva picture.
Welcome to our land
Raptors-Panathinaikos. International friendly, called early ‘cause the lights went out. Where’s the ouzo?
A ragged line
Not too many noticed but at pre-season opener this year, the out-of-bounds line was jagged, like it was laid down by a drunk. Out an inch here, two inches there, guess that jigsaw puzzle of a court was a bit tough to put together.
Pink is the new red
First time the new court arrives, the baseline and sideline stripes look quite pink. Some team officials quite red-faced, which is more the colour they wanted.
The swells live, um, swell
Not very many mortals are allowed into the directors lounge down in the bowels but there was a time when it was supposed to be Gruntville. In the original plans, the whole lounge was to be incorporated into the press room; the Leaves got ownership and, ah, not so much. The media room now: “Worst in the league,” according to someone who’s been around.
KO’s good-bye press conference
A classic moment in dead man walking, maybe the single-best self-inflicted firing ever. He stands in a small, packed room off the Raptors locker room and says something to the effect of “My bosses don’t want to win, all they want to do is sniff jocks and crowd my locker room and it’ll never change until they do.” Greatest “I’m getting my butt fired and I’m going out guns, a’blazing thing the building will ever see.
How to throw a party 101
They do catering well and they can put on a good bash. Just like the ACC hosted on June 24, 2004. “With the eighth selection in the 2004 NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors select Rafael Araujo of Brigham Young University.” The booing that followed was classic. Almost as classic as the momentary stunned silence. Yeah, heckuva party that was.
But, seriously, Happy Birthday, ACC.
Cue the spooky music
Jonesy and I were looking down at the Knicks bench before the game and spied Herb Williams and grew wistful. The hard-core among you will remember that he was a Raptor for a game, obtained in a trade that got Toronto Doug Christie with the provision that he would be immediately waived so he could go back to the Knicks.
Except for one thing: Then-coach Brendan Malone wanted to win, he loved veteran players and instead of letting Herb have a night off for his only game with the Raptors, Brendan rode him for 31 minutes that night in Utah.
Feb. 22, 1996.
Feb. 22, 2009.
And you want even scarier?
In that game, a 102-86 Jazz win, Utah pulled away with a 47-point fourth quarter. I mention this only because the number jumped out at me when I was checking the boxscore and it now becomes the single highest scoring quarter by a Raptor opponent ever. They had somehow missed it all these years and it wasn’t in the record book.
It will be now. Thanks to Herb.
He’s no Antoine Walker but, stolen from the AP story, …
Pops Mensah-Bonsu scored 39 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to help the Austin Toros defeat the Colorado 14ers 131-124 in overtime on Sunday.
Just thought you’d like to know.
A Bosh query, again:
Q: Watching this season, do you believe Bosh is a 'max' player who can be the key piece to build a championship team around (like a Duncan or Garnett). I was convinced that all the Raps needed was to add pieces around him, but now I'm not sure. I figured they had the PG (Calderon and Ford) and centre (O'Neal and Bargs). Is it a matter of complimentary pieces still not being here, coaching, or is it an example of a guy putting up numbers on lousy/mediocre teams.
Bo C, Toronto
A: There’s a flaw in your thinking. And it’s this:
The Spurs didn’t build “around” Tim Duncan, he joined David Robinson and thrived when they got Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Garnett, was to some, an under-achieving big who didn’t come through at crunch time until he joined Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and one year he had better teammates in Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell, he got to the Western Conference final.
Here? His teammates haven’t been good enough and he’s had his struggles. He coaching could better and he could be better. It’s a combination of things but it can be corrected.
So, yes, I do think Chris Bosh, playing with two other all-stars, can win an NBA title or play for one. It’s a matter of finding those guys.
“Max” player? Is he worth 20 per cent of whatever the cap number is? Sure. As long as he’s playing for a team with GM that can use that other money to get better players.
Action: David Lee
Reaction: Good not great
Took some heat during the game yesterday when I suggested the Knicks forward is more over-rated than under-rated.
Here’ why: He is a good player, no question, works hard all the time, it seems, has a nose for the ball.
He is absolutely, at this point in his career, limited offensively and I’d suggest on a team that’s not hoisting 30-something threes a game and shooting within seconds of getting possession, he might not be the Chamberlain-esque rebounder some make him out to be.
Would I like him on my team? Indeed.
Do I think he’ll ever play in an all-star game? I’d be surprised.
Can he be the focal point of any quasi-good team? No.
Doug Does Economics
Hey Doug, Just saw your short video on the Raptors/Knicks game. Just one question, in the pantheon of economic speak, with billions and trillions being bandied about, what's a cabillionaire?
Allan S, Vancouver
A: Actually, I believe it’s “kabillion” and it’s the sum total of all the bailouts to banks, auto companies but not beat grunts being kicked around today.
Or it’s how much these guys would pay for a 50-win season.