Two down, one to go
Wasn’t that a rather blah game?
No life to it, really; nothing particular memorable about it save for J.J. Barea’s tooth thing and Jason Kidd getting his 10,000th career assist. Yawn.
But it did underscore one thing: These guys without Shawn Marion might be painful to watch, even more painful than they are some other times. I know Marion’s only been here a couple of weeks but the way he “tracks” balls creates more possessions for them, adds some effort and energy and is rather contagious, I think.
It also underscores the shameful lack of quickness and athleticism throughout the roster.
But that’s for Bryan and the summer.
Now, in honour of the passing of one of the greats, The Rest Of The Story (is that obscure enough for you young ‘uns?)
Action: A sudden lapse
Reaction: We’ve seen this before
They go to sleep for a few minutes in the third quarter, a manageable deficit becomes 15 at the end of three and the game may as well have been called then.
And it seems even Bosh knows it. Here’s what he said post-game:
“Yeah, we have our lapses. We have to stay mentally strong down the stretch of games. I think sometimes we get down eight or 10 points and we kind of hang our heads. It’s the NBA, 10-point leads can disappear in a matter of minutes.”
Few would know that better than a Raptor.
You have no idea how hard it was to resist to go all Sam Mitchell on him with a big old:
You know, I’m watching the Mavs pre-game last night and every set of teammates has a different way to wish each other luck before the introductions are made and the game starts. There’s some salutes, some slaps, some hugs, all wonderfully choreographed.
And then it struck me, if some players spent as much time memorizing plays and defensive assignments as they do recalling who to fist bump, who to jump into, who to ignore playfully while the introductions are going on, it might be wise.
But here’s one thing to think about:
As stupid as those things are – and they are about as stupid as thunderstix – they do show that some teams are having fun and I don’t get the sense of a lot of “fun” around the Raptors.
Oh, they like each other and they joke around with each other and there isn’t a “chemistry issue” but there’s no outward display of fun.
And that’s too bad because it is a game and it should be fun.
Action, reaction and a question all rolled into one, like a post-game blog trifecta:
Q: So I watched the Raps v. Dallas game last night, and was taken aback by an 8 second violation called on Calderon in the 3rd quarter (I think) by legend Dick Bavetta.
Now I actually rewound my DVR to rewatch this play because I couldn't believe it, and still find myself confused. They called the violation after a 2 (maybe 3) count on the backcourt.
Do they add the time for inbounding the ball to the 8 secs to get out of the backcourt?
I didn't think they did.
And even if they did, it still doesn't make sense because they would have had to count the inbound play as 5 secs to make 8 (which would have been a violation.
Conas A, Halifax
A: The eight seconds to get ball into the front court starts when a team takes possession and runs despite any stoppages in play.
On that one, Barea pressured Calderon (cost the Mav a couple of teeth, too) and knocked the ball out of bounds with 18 seconds on the shot clock.
That gave Toronto only two seconds to advance it past halfcourt and they didn’t. It was close but they failed.
I’ve seen that a couple of times, actually, where the ball’s gone out of bounds in the backcourt with the eight second count still alive and teams get called for a violation.
Action: A clipboard dies
Reaction: More common than you think
I didn’t see it first-hand, our seats in Dallas are at the other end of the court from the Raptors bench and we didn’t have a television monitor close by, but I hear a clipboard spontaneously combusted or something last night.
Seems a few have given their lives before.
“Oh, hell no. I’m surprised that’s the first one you guys have seen.”
Well, at least it wasn’t a lamp.
Ah, the centres.
Some of you were quick to point out the folly of my ways by forgetting to put Kareem Abdul.-Jabbar in the list of top five centres all time in the answer to the question about David Robinson.
And it got me thinking (dangerous, I know) that the discussion of the top five at that position might be as hard as any in the game. And to get a top three? Virtually impossible.
I’d go with, in order, Russell, Chamberlain and Shaq. But I don’t know of Kareem’s better than Olajuwon or where Robinson fits. How about Bill Walton? I’d have him six, probably.
But it also got me thinking (equally dangerous) that we should do point guards, swingmen (I’m not sure you can differentiate between shooting guards and small forwards) and power forward. So, we will. One day the rest of the week starting tomorrow.
In Dallas, this is what they were chatting about this morning.
Another query, multiple part:
Q: Hey Doug, I've got a couple questions for you.
1) I know when people question you about why Bosh doesn't drive it more, you are quick to point out that him taking jumpers is a good thing because he is so good at it. However, 82games.com disagrees with you, as they list his FG% on jump shots this season at 43.3% (as a Raptor this year, Moon's was 46.5%). How do you respond to this statistic?
2) People often press you about your own attachment to the team and you tend to skillfully evade the issue by talking about your job. If you were to switch professions tomorrow, what kind of basketball fan would you be (diehard, not-at-all) and would you be a Raptors supporter?
Thanks for your time and energy doing all this!
Jaime A, Toronto
A: This why Mark Twain, quoting Disraeli, was right when he said there are:
“Three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
You can bend ‘em anyway you want; for instance, if you take out Bosh’s three-point field goal attempts from those stats you quote, he’s actually a 50 per cent shooter from two-point range, which is pretty good. So, I hold to my assertion that Bosh is a rather accomplished shooter from two-point range.
And if I wasn’t covering this sport, I’d probably a pretty big fan. Of the game, not of a team.
And now the Great Journey continues on to Houston where at least we'll be spared having to watch Tracy McGrady coast through a game.