This was a level of venom seldom approached. Not even the Dark Night In Denver, or the Vince Kills Us As The Buzzer or How In The World Did They Blow A 17-Point Lead In Boston nights didn’t bring out this kind of anger.
The folks, folks, are riled.
But today’s a new day, the sun’s shining here, everyone’s well-rested and ready to tackle life’s challenges once again so let’s all take a deep breath and start over.
Friday was, without question, the low point in a season that’s had far too many.
With so much at stake, on such a stage, rested and well aware of what was on the line, to come out and lose the game in the first seven minutes was shameful.
And, I fear, speaks to the mental makeup of most of the roster. When things are going good, they’re okay; when they go bad, they go south.
That’s the most troubling part of the whole thing, to me.
The playoffs? Pah! The playoffs are so far away they may as well be on Mars; the thing they’ve got to fix is there hearts. And their brains. Can they? Who knows. But they’ve got to try.
Action: What to do?
This is it, people. No new players, no moves, no nothing.
For the next 25 games, this is the team, this is its coach, these are the circumstances and you’ve all got to get used to it.
But I will point out this: They will win some games, they will play much better every now and then, they may find some way to makes weeks quite interesting and you will cheer.
Every game won’t be like last night but then every game won’t be like the Spurs one either, which everyone has to admit was every bit as good as last night’s was bad.
It’s sports. And it’s why we love it.
Been some kind of week, hasn’t it?
Q: What's the most significant injury for their respective team's right now? Garnett for a month? Stoudemire for the season? Nelson for the season? Manu for 3 weeks?
Rob M, Ottawa
A: That’s a tough one.
Personally? For legitimate contenders? I’d say Garnett, if indeed he’s out a month(although my man Marc says it’s more like two or three weeks). The Celtics won a pair of Game 7s on their home court, as much on emotion as anything, last year and if this injury causes them to fall to second or third in the East, I really think they’re championship hopes are dashed. Their schtick, all that punking and shouting and screaming and acting like mad men, doesn’t travel well, especially in the playoffs (see Atlanta, Cleveland and L.A. last year).
Action: There was none
Reaction: I have none
You know, it’s fun to sit and try to dissect key moments in the game, momentum shifts and the like. Why’d the coach do this, why did that guy do that. Did you see this great play? How about that one?
Truth be told, I barely paid attention after the first nine minutes.
But I will say this, you could tell from about the fourth possession – since the first three were one-pass-jump-shot gems – that the Raptors effort wasn’t going to be there.
At least it allowed for a little more interaction than usual with the good folks at the live in-game blog.
No offence, though, I much prefer less interaction and a game that’s watchable.
Seriously, if this keeps up, how badly do you think these guys will get drilled next Friday in Phoenix. Suns have put up 140, 142 and 140 in their last three. Can’t wait to see that one.
I’m not sure what this means – questionable drafting, questionable drafts, bad something-or-other -- but more than half of the Raptors roster is guys who were picked in the top 16 of their drafts (and you can credit musicologist, former quasi-grunt and current politico A. Wherry for pointing it out):
Shawn Marion, No. 9, 1999
Chris Bosh, No. 4, 2003
Marcus Banks, No. 13, 2003
Kris Humphries, No. 14, 2004
Joey Graham, No. 16, 2005
Andrea Bargnani, No. 1, 2006
Patrick O’Bryant, No. 9, 2006
Seven of 13? Helluva squad
Even the guys in New York are killing the Raptors.
Q: I’m looking for your insight on why the Raps didn’t trade A.Parker (an expiring deal) for an asset (draft pick)?
I have to think that Parker would provide value for a playoff bound team looking for depth on the wing. Parker’s ability to play PG should also help his value. Once example could have been Parker and a 2nd rounder to Orlando for Brian Cook/Mike Wilks and a 1st rounder.
I can only think of two obvious reasons for not trading him: 1. The Raps think they can make the playoffs and need Parker to do this (seems short sighted) 2. Parker didn’t have trade value, or at least to make it worth the Raps while. I considered a third option, they want him back next year, but they could still do that even if they traded him. What are your thoughts?
Rob F, Toronto
A: I’ll answer this now because there were more than a couple like it and the arrrggghh! at the top is not directed personally at you.
First off, you cannot trade a player for a draft pick unless you’re dealing with a team under the cap and none of those teams needs a short-term fix. So please, put that thought out of mind now and forever.
Second, the primary reason they didn’t deal Parker, or Graham for that matter is that it’s much more beneficial to have their money available in the summer either to sign them or someone else and to keep costs down. Unless there was a blow-me-away-deal (and no one in the NBA would offer blow-me-away-deals for Anthony Parker or Joey Graham) there was no way Colangelo would – or should – take back someone whose contract goes out past this summer.
It was a smart business move.
Third, why in the world would any team want Brian Cook or Mike Wilks?
Now, the key thing will be to see what he does with those two and the money he may save. But that’s a chat for another day.
And, finally, Larry Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz died Friday.
I didn’t know him that well and there were times when he acted all Cuban-like, leaving his familiar baseline courtside seat to berate refs or join team huddles but the one thing he did that every single owner in every single professional sport should do more often was to let people do their jobs.
He had Frank Layden and Scott Layden and Jerry Sloan. He found great men and let them work.
Miller has his moments of buffoonery but he was the most successful and least intrusive owner in the things that matter – personnel and coaching – than I can think of.
The way he managed the Jazz should be the blueprint for how teams are managed throughout the league.