Some big day for the Irish?
How come everything looks so green today? Is everyone reacting to the new Raptors jerseys? Did I miss a memo or something? Ah, the world’s great mysteries.
Anyway, another dog of a game and I’m up at like 6 a.m. trying to figure out how to get to 1,000 words or so off that piece of poop and, believe me, it’s not easy.
But somehow, magically (maybe there was a leprechaun involved?) it got done:
|Raps just don't reach down enough.|
I think it was Aristotle, or Kevin O’Neill, who kept harping on the same thing night after night.
It’s hard to win any game in the NBA.
It takes dedication, preparation and hard work. Even routs aren’t easy, the mental and physical demands are significant.
The corollary, of course, is that it’s easy to lose any game.
And standing in the hallway of the arena last night it was never more evident that this team takes the easy way out.
It’s part poor preparation, it’s the mental softness that we’ve been talking about all year, it’s the unwillingness to reach down inside at crucial times in games and pull them out.
If you look at the Raptors roster, specifically the starting five, you could make the case that it’s pretty solid. Point guard, power forward, centre? All very, very good. Solid, offensively challenged small forward, veteran shooting guard who should be the conscience of the team.
But I cannot remember a time when a team was less than the sum of its parts. This team always, always takes the easy way, and the easy way is to lose.
Nothing really new there but still quite amazing to watch unfold.
Is it as easily fixed as getting two or three new guys? I think so; I remember having this same feeling at the end of the 2006-07 season and the arrival of Garbo, AP and Ford seemed to get things turned around.
Action: There was none
Reaction: I've got none.
You know what was sort of laughable last night? Anyone trying to pass off that lack of hustle and effort as part of back-to-back fatigue.
Let’s see: They played Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and almost all the regulars got the final quarter of a blowout off. They got to Charlotte about 8 p.m. and were in their hotel by 9 at the very latest. They didn’t have a morning shootaround on Monday (tradition for the morning after a game) and had the entire day to rest and get ready.
They wanna know tired? Go out singing with Jack and the boys until 2 a.m. and then try to drag your sorry self through a day. That’s tired.
Getting a full night’s sleep and a day off does not lend itself to “back-to-back” fatigue.
Sorry. That’s just lame.
Let’s start the process now.
Saw Darrick Martin at the game last night – he spends a good chunk of his time these days over in Winston-Salem – and it struck me that it’s about time he began his coaching career.
And why not with the Raptors, as an assistant.
He knows the landscape, the people, the politics of the organization and he knows the game.
I don’t know who is going to be the head coach of the team next season but if I’m Bryan Colangelo, I’d urge whoever it is to take a good, long look at D Mart as a member of his staff.
I think every staff needs a former player as an assistant – especially one recently removed from the game – because there’s a connection there that I think is necessary.
And having a former player as an assistant who’s familiar with the surroundings is another big plus.
Speaking of a coaching staff, let’s re-visit this:
Q: Can you clarify your comments about Iavaroni and Carlisemo? Are you suggesting that next year's coaching staff could consist of Triano (Head), Iavaroni (Asst.) and Carlisemo (Asst.)? What would each man bring to the team that may not have been there this year? What would this mean for the existing staff?
Matthew S, Thornhill
A: Thought I made myself clear, but I guess not.
No, if they are going to keep Jay, and that chance does exist no matter how many of you hate it with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, I can see them adding only Iavaroni to his staff. But, if that’s going to happen, I think they should consider P.J. and take of the two.
The existing staff?
I think it’s been obvious since last December that neither Alex English nor Mike Evans, both of whom were passed over for the interim gig, are going to be back, I can see Gord Herbert sticking around, Erik Hughes could keep his gig as a basketball development consultant and Micah Nori should return as an advance scout at the very least.
You know what else was sort of laughable last night?
That whoever does the counting somehow came up with an attendance figure 11,349. If there were 7,500 in the joint, I’d be stunned.
Say what you will about fans in Toronto, if the Raptors were half a game out of the playoffs, even with a relatively putrid record of 10 games under .500, the joint would be packed.
Hey, folks, the whole Shutting Down Pops thing yesterday? Facetious. A joke. A snarky remark aimed at those who would take good, healthy players and hold them out of games for no real reason.
I think my thoughts on stuff like that are pretty clear.
Here’s what was happening in the paper down here today.
This, among others I’m still goofing around on, was left over from the various “lists” questions I’ve got saved. And seeing how there’s never going to be enough to carry this thing talking solely about the Raptors, get used to stuff like this:
Q: With the season down the shoot, I’ll challenge you to 2 new lists: 5 best and worst sports cities right now. TO has to be close to the worst. The Jays stink, have a GM fans don't trust and are close to having to ship out their best player and rebuild. The Raps stink, appear destined to lose their best player and rebuild again. The Leafs are already in full rebuilding mode. And Toronto's attempt at hosting the NFL was a raging disaster. Are there North American sports fans that have it worse right now?
John U, Toronto
A: You make a pretty good point. But how’d you like to be in Seattle where the Mariners suck, the Seahawks were a disappointment and the NBA team left town? That’d have to be on a list, wouldn’t it?
We’ll do a more complete one during the week when I get a chance to really look at things but I can’t imagine any city beating Boston as the best right now.