It's much more a matter of being smart
|DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR|
|All this running talk and suddenly everyone's all atwitter.|
A nice quiet day yesterday around the lads. Everyone was pretty much doing the same story everyone did on Sunday, more energy, more speed, fun and games and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Let’s see ‘em do it two games in row, then we’ll talk.
Until then …
I’m so tired of all this running talk that it feels like I’ve been actually running.
(Of course if I had, it’d be carrying around an oxygen tank and be hooked up to heart monitors so it’d hard to type).
Really, it isn’t “run-and-gun” because that’s the old Paul Westhead Denver style or the Mike D’Antoni Phoenix style and to be even marginally successful, it takes that kind of unique blend of talent that doesn’t exist on this roster.
So spare me all that kind of chatter about these guys.
What the Raptors want to do is play smart offensive basketball. It’s that simple.
When they rebound, get going; don’t wait around to hand the ball off to the point guard, either pass it to midcourt or dribble it yourself. It helps to have more solid ball-handlers in Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion on the court so the bigs can look either for them or then can take off themselves.
And then it’s just a matter of taking what you get on the offensive end. If there’s a runout layup, great; if there’s an open three for a trailer like Bargnani or Calderon, great; if there’s an easy post up for Bosh, great.
If not, get into your stuff.
But, please, we need to stop with all this blather about it being some quasi-revolutionary style of basketball. It’s one that’s worked for good teams for eons, even marginally good teams, and it’s something these guys should have been doing all season.
We’re all a’twitter over this tweeting stuff over here now.
Thanks to people who know what they’re doing – as opposed to, say, me – little “tweets” go out whenever I do anything. Work-wise, that is.
It’s at http://www.twitter.com/SmithRaps in case you were all wondering. And I hope you were.
Now all it’s going to take is me to figure out how to use it without it being too much extra work for me.
Q: Hi Doug, since becoming the starting centre 27 games ago, Bargnani has averaged 19 points and 6.7 boards per night (if he can ever add 5-6 points per night by getting some easy low post points watch out). Has he finally turned the corner for good?
Andrew J, London, England
A: Hmm, a young
teenaged 7-footer takes into his third year to fully develop? Wow, who would have seen that coming!
I have no idea if he’s turned a corner – I think he’s at least a long way around the bend – but I also think some people need to listen more closely when some NBA head coach suggests it takes time for a young
teenage big man to develop.
This is odd. Trying to do my usual “what are they saying” thingy, I go to the Star-Tribune site and can’t find a single word of news on the Timberwolves?
Anyway, here’s what they’ve got over at the Pioneer Press.
So, Anthony Parker has zero points in New York and 24 two days later and it confirms a theory we’ve had for almost three years now.
No matter how, he’s going to average 12 a game. It might be 0, 0, 0, 48 or 0, 24 but when it comes to the end of year? A dozen.
Wait and see.
Speaking of, remember a couple of weeks ago when the shackles were coming off Jason Kapono? He was going to be the modern-day Vinny Johnson?
It was in Memphis right?
Check out the FGAs since then:
15, 10, 16, 9, 13, 5. Which by my math averages to about 11.3 per game.
Before that? In the first 50 games, he had 354 attempts, an average of 7.0.
It’s coming, slowly but surely. But it’s coming.
And I think if they play like they say they want to (and that’s a rather substantial ‘if’) he should benefit perhaps more than anyone..
A Marion question from the past:
Q: Doug, I am not sure if I am remembering this correctly, but I thought you were not all that fond of Marion's game in the past. Have you changed your mind or has he gotten better?
Terry D, Kingston
A: I still don’t think he’s adept at creating his own jumper and I think there are serious questions about his shooting range (the two things that led me to believe he was a product of Steve Nash) but I am impressed with his court savvy. The guy just knows how to find space and he has the quickest second jump of any Raptor that I can remember.
I’ve been reading an awful lot the past few days about Stephon Marbury and, to a lesser extent, Joe Smith and how they’ll be bought out and sign with new teams this week.
Know what I’d do if I were the Knicks and Oklahoma City?
I’d wait one more week, until March 2. That way, both could still sign with championship contenders but neither would be eligible for the playoffs; the deadline for that is March 1.
Why? I guess I’m just opposed to players engineering their own buyouts so they can go where they want (which is quite different from what Sacramento’s Mikki Moore is doing) and keeping them out of the post-season may seem vindictive but it may give one or of them cause to think about staying where they are. And it may stop teams (Boston, are you seeing this?) from sending out signals to guys looking for a change.
In Smith’s defence, he’s never suggested he wanted to leave; in fact, he said last week he wanted to stay to honour his contract so maybe he wouldn’t be too put out by still being a Thunder this time next week.
From the Department of Good News Department:
Hump was supposed to dump the crutches yesterday. Doesn’t mean he’ll be back on the court any time soon but it’s an important step. And hopefully it'll mean the return of Ask Hump, although that will be hurt by the absence of the comedic stylings of his locker-neighbour Jamario.
A good point, and a defence:
Q: Doug, I agree, for the most part, that the Big Ticket and the Big Fundamental owe their teammates over the years to their success. However, I can't let you gloss over Timmy's accomplishments - before Parker and Ginobili played any significant role in the Spurs' success, the Greatest Power Forward of All Time had already collected an NBA MVP award (2002), a ring (1999), a finals MVP award (2002).
Craig M, Vancouver
A: I agree wholeheartedly that he’s the greatest power forward of all time but take a look at those rosters. See what’s there? That Robinson guy, who was no slouch, and a huge factor in both those championships.