An evening of limited choice
Hey, how much does this bite? Three games tonight and all us Rogers hostages can see in the comfort of our homes is Denver-New Orleans? That might be the best one (Miami-Atlanta’s a bit of snorefest and the Lakers should finally end the Jazz season) but this whole TSN2 thing is biting us in the bum in the post-season, as we figured it would.
Of course, The Score, which has done a tremendous job so far in the playoffs, simply won’t pre-empt its wrestling show so that leaves us with Nuggets-Hornets at 8:30 tonight on RaptorsTV.
We’ll be here, a bit grumpy perhaps because of the limited choice, but here nonetheless. See you then.
About last night
A classic confrontation
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It’s been suggested that we just run the names Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo in this space followed by a few lines of smiley-faced icons.
Not a bad idea to get across what we’re seeing but it does sort of let me off the hook and I’ve been coasting for a few days and feel a tad guilty.
So, I will say this: I don’t remember a specific series in a while where two guys who play the same position have gone at each other with such fervor, and success.
Yesterday’s 2OT thriller might not have been a true gem (there were a lot of blown plays – did you see the blown defence on the Ray Allen game-tying shot; or wonder why Boston didn’t foul on the catch in the two-point area up three before Gordon hit his game-tying shot?) but it sure was exciting.
And mostly because the two point guards simply went at each other incessantly.
I have no idea how the series is going to turn out – I would venture that whoever wins Game 5 wins it all but there’s no dead-certain lock on that winner – but I do know it’s been fun to watch.
Again, we’ll give youK.C.’s take on things.
Where’s the big man?
I know Dwight Howard is an exceptional basketball player, big, quick, strong, dominant a times.
But as we’re watching the Orlando Magic play close games down the stretch, isn’t it an indictment of the big guy that his team cannot throw him the ball in clutch situations? His inability to make free throws, and the limits to his offensive game turn one of the best young players in the game into little more than a spectator on every crucial offensive possession his team runs.
Now, I know how many of you think that the Orlando coaching staff has done a tremendous job with Howard but I’m going to suggest that until they find a way to extend his range or get him to make free throws, Howard remains unfulfilled potential.
And it’s almost killed his team in these playoffs. If not for Hedo Turkoglu’s tough three-pointer yesterday, the Magic could have been staring up out of a 1-3 hole and we’d be talking about how they’ve been a disappointment rather than a good young team.
Bye, bye Pistons
Not only did Detroit go out meekly against Cleveland (and no point in any game did anyone ever seriously think they had a legitimate chance to win, even in that scrub-led comeback in Game 2) they also played their last game as a unit we’ve come so accustomed to seeing.
I don’t know for sure what’s going to happen but I can pretty much guarantee that Allen Iverson is gone; I don’t see a scenario by which Rasheed Wallace returns (his contract, and his time, seem up to me) and I can see them not bringing back Antonio McDyess, either.
And you can think all you want about the trade value of guys like Tayshaun Prince (two years, $23 million left) or Rip Hamilton (four years, a whopping $50 million remaining) but I seriously wonder if cash-starved GMs are even going to be interested in them.
I can see this being the dawn of a dark age in Detroit, where they are sort of stuck with money to spend and no one really good to spend it on and a team stuck between young and kind of old and really going nowhere.
Few NBA franchises have had a run like Detroit did – six consecutive trips to the conference finals is nothing to sneeze at – but when we look back, do we see an NBA version of the Buffalo Bills?
Here’s how my buddy Chris McCoskey so aptly summed it up.
What’s it all mean for Ben?
Ben Gordon’s having an excellent series for Chicago so far, of that there can be no dispute.
And it’s led a whole lot of people to wonder how the unrestricted free agent will cash in when he’s looking for a new deal this summer.
Well, the story is that Gordon turned down a six-year, $58 million deal from the Bulls last year and signed a one-year qualifying offer of about $6.4 million.
It was a gamble. A bad gamble, I suspect.
In these changing economic times, with the cap figure going down and teams leery of what a new CBA might look like in 2011, I’m not entirely sure there’s going to be a contract that lucrative waiting for him this summer.
That would mean no matter how great he is in however many games the Bulls have left, I don’t think he’s making himself that much money.
We shall digress, for a moment, to the local team.
Know what I love about this time of year (or hate, depending on my mood actually)?
Some story yesterday morning quotes Brandon Jennings as saying Toronto’s been in Italy to scout him (among about three teams he mentioned specifically) and I get about five e-mails on a slow day asking what this means and how the Raptors could get him.
What it means is, frankly, nothing. It means the Raptors brass is doing its job and if they hadn’t scouted him, someone should be fired.
When it’s all said and done by late-June, Toronto will have scouted maybe 75-100 players. Some because they might be available when they make their selection, some because they might figure into some kind of draft-and-trade scenario, some because it’s just basic due diligence.
There really is nothing to read into it.
Yes, Jason Kapono got a second-place vote in balloting among writers and broadcasters for Sixth Man of the Year.
Yes, that makes very little sense to me.
Yes, when I next make snarky comments about such things as fans messing up things like all-star starters, you should bring this up.