Isn't this a strange predicament
|ANDREW WALLACE/TORONTO STAR|
|Not much left to play for except perhaps to show everyone why we might be able to say things are looking up for next year.|
Strange feeling around these parts, it being the first time in three years that they’ve got utterly meaningless games to play and thank goodness it’s only six.
Last time we were in this predicament, they were at least finishing a 27-win season with a bizarre sense of optimism because Bryan Colangelo had come on board and the love-o-meter was going berserk.
Not so much.
Interesting times ahead.
So, what do they do?
Respect the game.
The players still need to play hard, the coaches still need to coach hard and loafing is out of the question.
The next two opponents: Atlanta here tomorrow and Indy there on Wednesday, still have something to play for, the Hawks for a playoff seed, the Pacers to keep faint hopes alive. After that – especially the two games against the horrible Wizards – we’ll see, but they have to keep doing what they’ve done the past two weeks for the next two nights.
They owe it to the fans, to themselves, to the opponents and to the other teams in the conference.
Missed a great opportunity to drop an outstanding trivia question on you.
There was a chance that an off-spring of a former Raptor could have won an NCAA basketball championship. But that was dashed with a loss. Who was it?
Don’t scroll down, I’ll tell you later.
Sorry, but there was scant of either and you really don’t care that on a late-fourth quarter Jose turnover on a fast-break he probably should have passed the ball ahead instead of dribbling it because that’s the way to get easier transition opportunities.
Or do you?
If I had logolepsy, I might be able to come up with an apt description for this season. But I don’t so I’m going to have to spend the next week and half figuring out just what to say.
For now, here’s a letter that’s quite timely:
Q: Point Blank: Now that it's "officially" over: How do you make the final few weeks of the season meaningful for yourself and the reader? What are the interesting storylines that we can look forward to?
Matthew S, Thornhill
A: That’s the billion dollar question and I guess now we find out if I’m any good at my job.
Like today? What’s today’s story since they’re not even practicing? And how in the world do I find a way to make people who pick up the paper on Wednesday morning want to read.
Figuring that out is what I get paid the mediocre bucks to do and all I can really say is keep checking back in because while I have no idea what I’m going to do, I’m pretty confident I can do it well.
We will keep up the in-game blog, which I presume will become even more of a Q and A session than it already is and there’ll be the usual gems here.
The Hall of Fame announcement comes in a few hours and word’s already out that the super-class will include Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan and Vivian Stringer are the North American inductees.
It doesn’t get much better than that group, does it?
The only other two possibilities – Don Nelson and Chris Mullin – pale in comparison.
The one thing that’s quite shocking: Sloan will gain induction into the Hall of Fame before he wins an NBA Coach of the Year award. Truly odd.
And here I thought I knew a thing or two about boozing.
The little line yesterday about the red wine and Coke – a concoction I still find verging on disgusting – sent off alarms all over the world it seems.
So, to all those who enjoy a wee dram of calimocho, I apologize.
Although I did check out this whole “That’s what everyone drinks in Spain” theory on my favourite Spaniard and Jose tells me it’s usually just the kids and it’s only, only, only ever done with cheap wine and, because he doesn’t drink, he cannot vouch for the taste.
Oh, having blown the “Chris Bosh Is Definitely Maybe Coming To New York In 16 Months” story a day earlier, here’s how one of the papers chronicled yesterday’s game.
Speaking of New York, riddle me this: The Knicks haven’t had a winning season in nine years, the last time they’ve been in the playoffs was when they got swept in four games in 2004, they will likely lose close to 50 games this season, they are capped out for next year, tax-busted for this season and next as well and are banking on someone coming in 2010 to all of a sudden change things around? Why in the world would anyone want to go there?
Q: Who determines what stats are given during the course of each game? Is it the stat people at the arena? Because wouldn't some of them be stingy, and, hypothetically, deny someone a quadruple-double, where as some lenient ones could give them out easily? Is it consistent?
Harry J, Auckland, NZ
A: Well, obviously things like points and rebounds are pretty impossible to screw with but there is a level of subjectivity to things like assists and steals so I guess that chance exists.
But every scorer in league works from the same manual and under the same guidelines and are, from my personal experience, quite honest.
Okay, I probably need some help and advice.
We’re trying to figure out what, if anything, we can do with the in-game blogging once the playoffs hit, given that I’m probably not going anywhere and, you know, there won’t be any games involving the locals.
Do we follow one series? If so, which one? Do we only do games most of us can see on TV? Do we follow certain players? Do I re-acquaint myself with my couch and bad sitcom and cop dramas?
We’re not sure. Are you?
Oh yeah, trivia.
If that last-second shot had dropped for the Oklahoma women on Sunday night, young Abi Olajuwon, Dream Daughter, would have been playing against UConn tomorrow night and it would have been the first time ever an offspring of a Raptor would have been in that position.