Better late than never. Or so they say
Okay, we’ve hit that day.
I’ve got nothing. Or at least very little.
Took a day off, no game, no real news.
In fact, I only stopped by practice to get some stuff for someone else and to make sure no one had bolted.
So this is as dry as it gets and, thanks to some machine and wireless issues, it’s late to boot. Great, eh? Lucky you.
Super Son and I are about to fill in the bracket – the winning bracket in the D. Sagat Invites His Buddies To Show How Smart They Are pool – and we’re thinking about this whole NCAA tournament thingy and what it might mean to the Raptors.
|Tar Heels guard Ty Lawson is already familiar to the scouts.|
The short answer: Not much.
Scouts have been scouring the college ranks since late last year and the body of work on the kids who might be draft picks has really already well established. Whatever happens over the next couple of weeks will be interesting but it can’t cloud opinions that have been formed over months.
It’ll be fun to watch guys like Griffin, Derozan, Henderson and Harden play and to see if they can last through the grind of three weeks of high intensity games but there’s really not a lot that will happen that will change the minds of too many scouts right now.
It’ll be things like private workouts and having dinner with prospects to get a feel for what they’re really like that might change things. What happens on various courts this week is not the most important thing.
Unless, of course, you’ve got a chance to win your pool.
Speaking of scouting, here’s a typical week for one of the big shot Raptor brainiacs.
They flew this morning to one city like Philly to see a couple of games today, are off to somewhere like Miami tomorrow to see another couple of games and then off to a couple of other cities on the weekend to see more games.
It’s all commercial travel – no charters, no five-star hotels – and I’ll be interested in hearing how they fared living like the common man when it’s all over.
A quick mail thing on one night, one line, no change
Q: Check out Gerald Wallace's linescore from last night vs. Sacramento: 25pts (on 13 shots!), 12reb (7 off rebs!), 2 blocks, 2 steals, 11 for 11 FTs. Is it safe to say now, in hindsight, that if the TJ-for-Wallace deal was really on the table, then the Raps should have gone for that instead of Jermaine? Or would you rather have Marion? To me, Shawn Marion is great as a complementary player, on a team where others can create. But, on this Raps team, he is not utilized to his full potential because no one can create opportunities for him. Gerald Wallace just gets the ball and goes.....
Don H, Lima, Peru
A: That’s an impressive line, indeed. For a whole game.
The only thing I’ve ever said about Wallace is that his contract – three years after this and almost $30 million – is an albatross so I’d rather have Marion and the financial flexibility his contract presents. I’m not entirely sure Wallace has a long-term position in the NBA and his deal is too constricting.
I’d love to go through his full season of boxscore lines and find one that’s not nearly that good but I don’t have the time. Or the inclination.-
One place you might want to look for the future is actually the NIT tournament, which is now the very poor cousin to the big dance.
Maybe it’s because we were in Charlotte earlier this week but there’s all kinds of interest in Stephen Curry and his NBA future.
A guy who’s opinion I respect thinks Dell’s kid might be one of the big sleepers in the draft.
He’s not overly quick, not overly big, but he simply knows how to play the game. He’s one of those high basketball IQ guys who overcome some physical limitations to just get the job done.
I’m not sure he fits exactly what the Raptors need – quick, defensive-minded shot creators – but there’s no doubt he’ll be on the board whenever it comes time for Toronto to draft.
And they’ll have to make a decision on him.
What’s the limit for Our Man Roko?
Q: Hey Doug, if I'm not mistaken, not too long ago you envisioned Roko Ukic as a backup even in his prime. But more recently you have said: "the kid, who I really think is going to be good one day". Have you changed your mind on him? or do you simply mean that you "really think" he will be a good NBA backup guard? Thank
Andrew R, Halifax
A: I’m not sure I ever said he’d be a lifelong backup, actually. And this is all guesswork because no one knows how he’s going to develop with any certainty but with his work ethic, skill level and desire to improve, there’s no reason he can’t be an NBA starter.
Yes, Marc Iavaroni was indeed at practice yesterday as an interested observer and that’s pretty much what he did.
He was acting as you’d think any “consultant” would, chatting privately with coaches and players and sitting back and getting the lay of the land. Not imposing himself on the work, or the people, just gathering information and forming opinions he’ll share with Bryan later on.
This is old but maybe someone missed it and I’ll catch them up right now.
In a shocking development, ESPN2 has dropped the Toronto-Washington game next week from its broadcast schedule.
Can you imagine if they hadn’t? Can you imagine someone tuning in looking for a really good Friday night basketball game and getting Raptors-Wizards in what could be one of the most insignificant games in the history of the league?
Yeah, that’d go a long way to enhance Toronto’s reputation around the league, wouldn’t it?
The bad news? They’re sticking with the silly 8 p.m. start time for the game ‘cause they don’t want to screw around with the fans any more than they already have.
Okay, Super Son’s got the brackets all printed out and we’re ready to roll.
I’m thinking North Carolina, aren’t you?
And I’m thinking it’s a nice day to spend on the couch watching a hoops marathon.
Will report back tomorrow on how we did.