Time to put up or shut up
So, what do you think? Seven wins in the next 11? Eight? Six? Three?
I think they started pointing to this stretch of the schedule about the day after Sam got fired, hoping it was like Kramer’s balm and thank goodness it’s here so we don’t have to listen to chatter about it any more.
It does actually hold some promise – there are some equally inept teams stopping by the ACC in the next fortnight or so – but that promise would be much greater if these guys had shown even the slightest indication of being able to rattle off a significant winning streak.
Three games twice doesn’t cut it.
Maybe they can win seven of the nine at home and steal one of the road games in Philly or Charlotte but history would suggest otherwise. But, that’s why they play the games because you never, ever, really know what’s going to happen.
I’m not surprised at all by the number of people writing to suggest the Raptors put Bosh and Calderon on the shelf right now for the rest of the season.
I am surprised, however, that anyone seriously thinks they will.
Rightly or wrongly – and I know which way the majority thinks – they still harbour hopes of making a push to the playoffs and the last thing, the very, very, very last thing, they’re going to do is take two of their best players out of the lineup.
I can’t see them even thinking about it until they’re eight games into this 11 game stretch so you can put that right out of your mind.
Besides, you know my feelings about sitting good players when they’re healthy and playing against teams that have something to play for. I don’t think you should do it out of respect for the opponent, the game, and yourself.
|When his career is done, LeBron will probably leave every other small forward in his dust.|
If selecting point guards was tough and picking centres caused a mild kerfuffle, can’t wait to see what happens when you get through this list of small forwards.
First off, the position has changed so dramatically over the years – John Havlicek to Lebron James – that it’s probably tougher than any other spot in which to judge different eras.
Are they scorers? Defenders? Bigs? Smalls? Is it the spot to hide your weakest link? All, and none, of the above.
But, after some careful consideration (lots of time on plane home from Houston after finishing off The New Yorker) this is how a Top 5 list looks:
All those championships, all those big shots, all those big plays.
One ring and he vaults to No. 1; I have a feeling he’ll eventually get there anyway.
He revolutionized the game, and the position.
Big Game James was vastly under-rated for his play all over the court.
It’s been said he was the best 6-5 rebounder in history.
Okay, this ought to stir it up a bit because look who we left off: Scottie Pippen could probably nudge Baylor out of five and I’d listen closely to that argument; if Bernard King had played, oh, four more healthy seasons, he’d probably be a lock; I found it almost impossible not to put Havlicek in there; how about Rick Barry? Or Dominique Wilkins?
Yeah, this was one of the toughest.
Have at it.
From the rather light mailbag:
Q: So when do you think Jay is gonna catch the drift and let Bargnani play through early foul trouble? I'd say when he's carrying our whole offense he needs to be in there. I can remember at least three times when Bargnani has started off hot only to get his second foul in the first our third foul in the second, come out of the game and then not be ice cold when he gets back in. How many games has he fouled out of this year anyway?
Johannes G, Toronto
A: You mean like Tuesday night when he left Bargnani in with two fouls in the first three minutes of the second quarter only to see him get a third and the momentum of the game change dramatically?
Asked Jay specifically about that and here’s what he said:
“We were going to try to squeeze as many minutes as we could. I’m not going to play a guy with three but I’ll play a guy with two in the second quarter.”
And sometimes when you gamble, you lose.
It’s not about fouling out, either. It’s about not having to sit a guy with five or four personals in the fourth quarter of a game.
Well, a promising season ended in a bit of disappointment.
The beloved Hawthorn Hawks, after showing such promise by jumping out to a 1-0 start to their season, finished up yesterday with a couple of losses in a couple of playoff games and finished fourth. Which wouldn’t be horribly bad if there’d been a fifth team in their league.
The mighty Hawks lost a two-point heart-breaker in the post-season opener and then dropped one by a few more than two.
No word on whether their star player is going to demand max milk money to return next year or whether he’ll demand a transfer.
What do you think the reaction is when they announce JO and Jamario as starters tomorrow night at the big game?
My best guess is something even more muted than the somewhat mixed reaction T.J. got upon his return earlier this season.
More cheers than anything but, most likely, some indifference.
Wow. Our friend Shaquille wasn’t too impressed with Stan Van Gundy pointing out the rather amusing and floor-shattering flop of the other night.
Oh, and the Suns went oh-for-Florida this week and they’re now three behind Dallas for eighth in the West.
Q: Great blog keep up the nice work. Jermaine O'Neal has worn a headband most of his career and now that he's with the Miami Heat he was not allowed to wear the headband for the first few games, team rules introduced by Pat Riley, I believe.
He's now allowed to wear the headband, and a few season back their was this ordeal with Ben Wallace getting fined for wearing one, even though it was against team rules. What's the big deal, why do some coaches and teams have a no headband policy, shouldn't a player have a right to wear the headgear that will provide maximum comfort?
Frank B, Ottawa
A: I’m sure you’ve seen that Jermaine is now wearing his headband, consistently black, because he went to Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, pleaded his case and they relented.
I’m not entirely sure of the precise reason teams like Chicago and, previously, Miami, have banned head bands. It probably had to do with conformity, team rules and the personal choice of coaches and GMs. And, frankly, I’m quite fine with that. Of course, I would have been quite fine with them banning headbands entirely after Slick Watts retired because I think, mostly, they look foolish.
Oh, a bit of a warning: I’ve got some stuff to do this morning that’s going to keep me away from this machine for a couple of hours, I imagine. So don’t get your knickers in a knot if comments are posted within seconds of you sending them. I’ll get to ‘em when I can later today.