Do they keep the Pops and POB mobs separated?
|We may have an answer to Atlanta's shot clock problems.|
Everything sort of went by plan in the Game 2s played last night, didn’t it? No real drama,
home teams all win oops, forgot Miami, and, for one evening at least, all went according to plan.
And we at In-Game Blog Central had a not bad night, there were more than a few issues in the Heat-Hawks game to keep everyone interested. Should be even more fun and games tonight when by far the best series going – Boston-Chicago – resumes for Game 3 and we’ll be around these parts right around 8. See ya then.
And until then …
About last night:
JO reads and reacts
I learned a little bit about Jermaine O’Neal in the short time he was in Toronto and I had a sneaking suspicion he’d find a way to have a good game last night.
Jermaine, like only a few athletes, pretty much knows exactly what’s being written and said about him out there in the media and a story yesterday afternoon that had some unnamed scout killing him for being done and terrible and a drag on the Heat would have pissed him off no end.
I’m not saying it was the only reason he had a big game; but I do know it was in the back of his mind when he was on the court.
Up in the air
Watching the first half of the New Orleans-Denver game last night one thing occurred to me:
Chris Paul, for all his greatness, spends an inordinate amount of time leaping in the air with the ball looking for someone to pass to. Thing is, he’s got such good court vision, he usually finds someone.
Time to revise?
Once upon a time, a wise man suggested the Atlanta Hawks would beat the Miami Heat in six games of their first round series.
That may prove to be entirely true but one thing has struck me during the first two games of the series, both of which I watched pretty closely.
The Hawks cannot beat Miami in a game played primarily in the halfcourt, they don’t defend very well, if Atlanta cannot get out and run their offence is really limited and they have no answer to the Heat three-point shooters.
And the Heat, conversely, stand no chance when the game’s up and down, when Atlanta can run and dunk and score in transition. Miami’s too slow getting back most possessions and the Hawks dunk like crazy.
But – and this is the key point – Miami can get the game to its tempo both at home and on the road, it’s not like they need a boisterous crowd to get them all pumped up, as we saw last night.
The Hawks? I don’t know if they can get going in a hostile road environment. They play most effectively in “runs” and you don’t get many of those on the road in the playoffs. That win in Atlanta last night may have swung the series Miami’s way.
A good sign?
Dwight Howard’s a relative non-factor when he fouls out and the Magic withstand another late collapse and still win going away? Maybe that was the tonic needed to strengthen their mental resolve. Or maybe not.
The Magic, it seems, tend to panic at times, and letting Philly steal Game 1 after blowing an 18-point lead and then almost blowing another last night probably did very little to boost their confidence.
If the Sixers come out in Game 3 and blitz Orlando, I can see them winning both games at home and then the series in six.
I haven’t been downtown in a couple of days but I may head that way this afternoon and I’m just wondering how the traffic’s going to be around the ACC what with the angry mob parading up and down Bay Street insisting that Pops Mensah-Bonsu be the 12th man on the roster next year instead of Patrick O’Bryant.
Really, people, chill.
This is not the end of the world, it’s not the signal of the demise of the franchise, it’s not even cast in stone that it’ll happen.
But if it does, is deciding to keep a 23-year-old 7-footer with about a 7 1-2-foot wingspan and at least a modicum of offensive skills really such a horrible thing rather than keeping a 26-year-old, 6-7 guy whose shooting range goes to about eight feet?
Look, if this is the issue that’s getting everyone worked up, we can officially say the dog days of the off-season are upon us. And they’re not.
That hawk – yes, the real live hawk that’s part of the pre-game introductions at the Philips Arena – flying around the court and finally perching on top of a remote camera above a backboard during the Miami-Atlanta game might have been the coolest moment of the playoff so far.
Usually, the bird flies from the rafters down to midcourt, lands on the arm of its trainer and is led away. Last night? Not so much.
And more shenanigans in Altanta.
What would have been the coolest thing ever would have been in the hawk had swooped down in the dying seconds of the game and turned on the clock a couple of seconds early.
That, my friends, would have been a perfect Atlanta basketball moment.
Expect little or no Raptor news for a few days.
Almost everyone’s taking a week or so to decompress after the season and the exit interviews and all that jazz.
Frankly, I’m quite all right with quiet, I could use some myself.
I am told it’ll be early May before they start thinking about bringing guys into work out so, thankfully, we won’t have to go through the drudgery of listening to guys with absolutely no chance of ever playing here telling us why they’d be such a good fit.
I’m pretty sure this is a bad sign and just one of the signs of the time for our industry.
Super Son just brought me the mail ‘cause there was a letter in there for me that he thought looked interesting.
Guess it was.
It was a proof of claim request from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware wondering if I had any claims against the Tribune Company, which owns, among other things, the Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times.
Glad I got whatever freelance money I was owed before now.
A little mail thingy and, folks, the mailbag’s getting a wee bit empty (and remember, no questions about who they’ll draft until the lottery is conducted and the early-entry deadline is passed; they bore me)
Q: I really like LeBron's pregame tossing of the ceremonial powder into the air, it really adds to his whole spectacle and probably gets the crowd pumped up faster than Dee Brown's shoes. My question is, are there any other cool traditions around the league? I know the crowd in New Orleans doesn't sit until they score a basket. What are some other interesting ones? Maybe a top five? Oh and also, what do you think the reaction is from some of the old school players regarding LeBron, and the whole team's pregame show? Would the bad boy Pistons have stood for it? Or Oak's Knicks?
David S, Toronto
A: I once looked at that bottle of resin carefully, I think it might have been one night Carlos Delfino was smushing it around about eight inches from my face. And, lo and behold, the big old Skull And Crossbones logo and warning, “Do Not Digest” sort of caught me by surprise.
But I digress.
LeBron’s resin toss and the whole choreographed intro and all that stuff is cute and I presume the fans love it and it’s mostly harmless. I sometimes watch, I usually yawn. But if he’s having fun and the fans are having fun, who am I to suggest the fun is boring.
But as for traditions, there really aren’t all that many. It’s quaint and collegiate that teams stand until they score (although back in the Year Of KO some Raptors might have cramped up from standing so long) and I will say this:
If some players put as much effort into remembering plays as they do remembering the manner in which they’ll shake hands and pump fists and leap into each other’s arms, coaches would be happier.
Old school players? Old school players never would have had to think about such nonsense because old school players just got ready to play the game.