On Roko and Philly and the Setting Suns
Slim, slim pickings today. Spent yesterday in Casa Doug doing quite a bit of nothing until Super Son and I were lucky enough to be among the tens of fans at the Italy-Venezuela tilt down at the ball yard.
Oh yeah, taking Philly off tonight but seeing as it’s a TSN2 game, sitting around the house eating bon-bons and avoiding fresh air isn’t going to happen. Guess I’ll have to find a Diet Coke, veggies-and-dip emporium somewhere to take care of the live blog thingy.
First up, the Curious Case Of Roko Ukic.
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|The curve flattened quite a bit for Ukic on Feb. 11 vs. the Spurs.|
I must admit to being a bit baffled by the use – or non-use – of the rookie point guard this last little while. He’s gone from 15 to 12 to nine to four to one in the last five games and it’d be all well and good, I guess, if they were five wins.
But, as most know, they weren’t.
Finding out whether Ukic can play – and I think he’ll eventually be a solid rotation contributor – was one of the keys to this season and finding him a consistent 12-15 minutes a night was going to do that.
It’s not that I think he should start, or even play half a game, but more consistent minutes would give a more consistent idea.
Yes, Anthony Parker has done a good job as the backup point guard most games and it’s a role he might play next season. But that’s only if he comes back and that’s not a certainty. I don’t know how much they’ll want to pay him, I have no idea if some European team might throw enough money at him to send him back over there but the simple fact is Ukic is under contract next year and Parker isn’t.
And say one thing for Ukic: In the dying seconds of a quarter, a half or a game, the dude wants the ball in his hands. Too much, some would say (and there are times I certainly agree) but on a team sorely lacking wing players with the ability to break down their man off the dribble, someone who’ll try it is a welcome sight.
He’s got to get better at it, especially knowing when to get past his man and look for an open teammates, but that’s all part of the learning curve.
The curve’s flattening out.
Things aren’t going particularly well for Sammy Dalembert down in Philly these days, but at least he’s getting some instruction from someone who knows a thing or two about being a good NBA centre.
I’ve picked this one only as representative of about the six I got asking the same thing yesterday:
Q: Hey Doug, what do you think of Marcus Williams? Is he on the Colangelo's radar at all? I know he couldn't crack the Nets or the Warrior's lineups, but Williams may be a better backup PG than Banks/Parker.
David H, Toronto
A: Okay, I think we need some guidelines around here: Any player who wasted away on the bench of a team with a worse record than even Toronto cannot for one single second be seriously considered as someone they’d have interest in.
I know Nellie does some wild things out in Oakland but Marcus Williams has been an unadulterated bust now in two cities, why in the world would these guys even sniff around him?
He is not a good NBA player. Never really was, never really will be.
As one scout said to me one time: “He doesn’t bust plays because he wants to bust them, he busts plays because he doesn’t know them.”
Just want you want in a point guard.
I’m sure there are people out there in readerland who like this guy; you will not find one in the NBA, though.
I now pronounce the Phoenix Suns dead.
And what’s that mean?
Well, a theory once espoused by the wise Butch Carter was that GMs looked around the league each summer to find the most disappointed organization out there and try to pick it clean under the guise of helping it improve.
Outside of Toronto – and maybe Philadelphia – you’d have to put the Suns on that list.
But here’s the thing. Suns owner Robert Sarver once forbid team broadcasters from mentioning or interviewing Bryan Colangelo during Raptors-Suns game and still won’t allow him to be shown on the scoreboard if he’s at a game in the US Airways Arena.
You think Sarver’s really going to sit down and listen to serious talk between Colagnelo and Steve Kerr? Probably not, and something that should be kept in mind.
New favourite ball team:
Anyone else watch that great game last night before clicking over to Phoenix-Dallas?
It’s Cranky Doug for a minute:
Q: Your lists of "top 5 greatest" disgusts me.
Why, in modern sports media, are we so obsessed with the impossible question of who is the best of all time? It is both ignorant and arrogant of you to possibly assume that you could ever pinpoint the five best positional players/coaches of all time. It just seems ridiculous to me. You are only setting yourself up for failure.
And yes, you have failed - - - Joe Dumars? The omission of Jerry Sloan as one of the best coaches!
What's next, are you going to make up the top 5 GMs and suck up to Bryan by putting him on the list? Stick to what you do best and leave the prophetic "greatest lists" to the commissioner when he tries to add another 25 players to his 50 Greatest come the League's 75th anniversary.
Jordan E, Toronto
A: This irks me no end so …
Let me get this straight.
It’s an “impossible question” and “ignorant and arrogant” to try and have a little fun and do something like a top five list and it’s “ridiculous?”
And then you do point out failures like you’re right and I’m wrong.
Dude, it was a fun exercise and if you hated it so much and it’s so worthless and “ignorant and arrogant” why in the world would you be so presumptuous as to make suggestions for your own list.
I swear, the stuff I sometimes have to read …
End of rant.
Forgot this yesterday.
I don’t believe they should let Julianne perform with her beau, even if he is some celeb of some sort and I believe Lawrence Taylor hasn’t spent as much time in the studio as he should. We will not have a sports type among the finalists.
That’s not code; if you understand it, that’s cool.