The usual actions, reactions and some insightful commentary (sort of)
Holy Alarm Clock malfunction, Batman. Look at the time.
Sorry ‘bout that kids, the sandman kept me prone for a lot longer than I’d expected.
But the rest was welcome, got me all set up for a long day of hanging around practice trying to come up with something marginally interesting and a few hours doing the mail bag.
Talk to you then.
Reaction: Pops, Pops, Pops
Whaddya gonna do? Kill guy for a boneheaded play after a hustle play we haven’t seen around these parts all season? Yeah, the pass-shot-whatever-the-heck-thing that was looked awful and cost them a chance to tie at the end of one overtime but, seriously, whaddya gonna do?
Kid made a great play followed by a great gaffe and no one was going at him too hard after the game.
And you know what was most impressive? After he took forever to get dressed, he stood there and answered every question everyone had. Spoke clearly and loudly and probably would still be standing there if there were more of us with more questions.
For that alone, he gets a pass.
And that begs the question: What do you do with Pops next year?
Not taking into consideration that there will be other teams trying to land him and he might want to go somewhere else, what the Raptors do with Mensah-Bonsu as a free agent is quite interesting.
They are likely to have four bigs – starters in Bosh and Bargnani, backups in Hump and Nate Jawai – with guaranteed contracts next season and they aren’t going anywhere.
There are those who propose bringing back an old head like Rasho or someone of that ilk to lend some experience to the front court but I’m saying it’s far better to have a young stud who can rebound with efficiency and energy that it is to have the steady hand of a guy who’s hardly going to play.
I’d make Pops an offer of two years plus an option – probably at something like just over a million to start – and then let him fight with Hump for the third big position. And I bet he wins.
And for that calm, experienced hand? Well, if they get one, they’ll have to get one as a wing.
Nothing says Two Days Before St. Patrick’s Day better than a green dinosaur.
Yep, the Raptors are trotting out the green uniforms for tomorrow’s big tilt with the Pacers, continuing a long-held tradition that began last year in the hotbed of Irish partying, Salt Lake City.
And not only are they going all green with the jerseys, I swear I saw some green shoes in Jason Kapono’s locker last night.
Which leads us to:
Q: I love your blog. I think I've figured out what's wrong with the Raptors chemistry. Their new jerseys are the wrong colour. They need to go back to wearing purple.
Don L, Mississauga
A: No. Green, my man. Go green. More green.
What’s coming next year? The traditional Dec. 12 Christmas Game?
Joey, Joey, Joey
Q: Hi Doug, I'm mildly surprised, now that the playoffs are all but officially out of reach, that Jay hasn't inserted Joey into the starting rotation (and have Parker or Marion come off the bench) the rest of the way. They need to take a hard look at if he's in future plans or not, so might as well give him some major minutes and see what he does with them.
Andrew J, London, UK
A: I know you wrote this before Friday but I think Joey’s 15 minutes of absolute atrocity on Friday – as many points as you scored, as many rebounds as a dead man – shows that maybe he’s quite fine where he is.
I was a proponent of giving him a 20-game stretch as a starter over Jamario Moon, I’m quite fine – and so are his coaches and his general manager – with him coming off the bench behind Shawn Marion.
When it comes time to think about what to do with him when he’s a free agent this summer, it’s going to be the totality of his time here – not the last 17 games of a lost season – that will determine his future.
Action: Roko’s energy
Reaction: A welcome sight
Start of the fourth, Raptors are down and it really looks like this one’s over. After all, fourth quarter energy and rallies are not particularly a trademark of this squad.
But the kid, who I really think is going to be good one day, ignites a run with a little 9-footer, a nifty layup and another pull-up jumper.
He leaves after six minutes and the Raptors are within six and the game’s got some juice.
Sure, he’s still going to make some mistakes because he’s a rookie and his jump shot still looks a tad shaky at times but that little stretch was a pretty good glimpse.
A blast from the past:
Q: In the post game interview the other night Dalembert took a pretty nasty shot at Leo Rautins. I didn't see anything in print about this. Does this mean:
A) Dalembert has no credibility?
B) Leo's a nice guy and no one wants to call attention to how he and the one big NBA name on Canada's national team couldn't get along?
C) No one cares anymore?
Kevin M, Maple
A: The whole Leo-Sam thing is boring and was beaten to death in August when it happened and in October when the Sixers first played the Raptors so, yes, not many care anymore, especially me.
I heard about Sam’s comments (something along the lines of he think about playing for Canada again “when they got a real coach” and my immediate reaction was that it was a bush-league cheap shot entirely uncalled for.
I’m not sure who was right and who was wrong in the little fracas between the two (I’d presume there was more than enough blame to share) but it’s over.
Oh yeah, once they got through the tributes to Bill Davidson,here’s what they were reading in Detroit this morning.
Yes, it took Chris Bosh 31 shots – one more than he’d ever taken in an NBA game in his life – to get his 27 points but, really, look at that roster he was playing with and tell me who should have had more attempts? Maybe AP, who only got nine, but past that, Jose had 13, Marion had 14 and with the bench going so horribly at the moment, I’m quite fine with Bosh hoisting that many.
And yes, he was slow to start but a 5-for-9 fourth quarter that also included four trips to the free throw line (two misses) and five rebounds was a big-time period.