Quincy's time and Andrea's summer
Another boring day around the lads; they practiced, they talked, they flew to Orlando. No real news, just another day. We need game days to at least have something to go over, don’t we?
Here’s something I think we’ll see for sure tonight:
Since the kid’s 10-day contract expires before Saturday’s game in New York, they’ve only got tonight in Orlando to find out whether it’s even worth having him around for another 10 days.
I figure no matter what he does if he gets a chance to play, they will keep him around just to have another guard on the roster in the absence of Marcus Banks and the money they’re paying Douby is really chump change and doesn’t hurt them one way or the other cap- or tax-wise.
But Jay did say yesterday he’d like to at least get Quincy some time so there’s one reason to watch tonight. Not a very good reason, but a reason nonetheless.
My toughest job today? (Besides getting rid of this crappy cough and cold that’s still sticking around, that is).
Finding out which of my locals might actually give me a seat near a TV with volume on it to watch the big game.
After all, the pucks go tonight and I don’t know if the places even I frequent are going to have the volume on the hockey or the hoops.
I think I may be relegated to a corner with minimal sound. Which, actually, isn’t that bad now that I think of it. Private, relatively quiet and not distracted by the Leaves audience.
When you’re considering all this draft lottery stuff and where the lads are going to end up picking, please consider this when making your arguments:
They were never, ever going to be worse, or better, than eighth when it was all said and done.
The seven teams below them – Washington, the Clippers, Sacramento, Memphis, Oklahoma City and Minnesota – are so bad, even throwing games wouldn’t have moved Toronto up. Even Golden State, Toronto’s closest rival, was going to fall because they gave up weeks ago.
Why do I think Gary Payton and Chris Webber are like Bob and Doug McKenzie? Only not as funny.
Here’s how much they bug me. Usually after games, I like to watch the NBA TV post-game show to catch up on the highlights from the other action that night. So, Cleveland-Detroit ends, there are a whole bunch of other games I’d like to check out but I had to switch the channel rather than listen to those buffoons do their low-brow comedy and butcher the language.
I’m all for schtick but basic usage of the English language would be a nice thing to get from national television broadcasters.
Speaking of the summer, which can’t come soon enough, Andrea Bargnani told me yesterday he’s definitely going to play for Italy.
And it could be busy.
The Italians have to play in an additional qualification round this summer – against the likes of France and Israel – just to make it to Eurobasket 2009 in September so there’s a chance the majority of Bargnani’s off-season will be taken up with national team obligations.
You all right with that?
Of course, Italy could bow out in the first qualifier and he’d have all of September off but that might not be the case.
A question on the process:
Q: Can you just explain a little bit on how you get to cast a vote for MVP, COY and ROY? Do you represent The Star while grunts from the Sun and Globe get theirs too? Does the league only give you votes for 3 awards a year at a time? Do you get cool swag like you would from the Oscars(Gift bags)? Inquiring minds want to know...mainly because I'm nosey. Ha.
Dennis G, Mississauga
A: The league, in consultation with the media relations departments of the various teams, dolls out the ballots based on such things as consistency of coverage of the league (a guy who sees six games a year isn’t going to get a ballot for anything; a guy who sees 65 is going to get some of the more major categories) and, yes, we represent our various publications and broadcast outlets.
It can change year to year – last season I think I got five categories to vote in but only two of the most significant – and that seems to be at the discretion of the league office. I don’t know who else got what here in Toronto this year, for instance.
Swag? Oh, I wish. Teams used to send out little gifts as ways to hype their players (posters, gag gifts extolling a players’ virtues, nothing ever too serious) but most teams now have dumped all that.
I will get e-mails from now until the end of the season asking for my “consideration” for such and such a player with details of his stats and things but that’s about it.
|A healthy Spur is a happy spur. And the Spurs are not happy.|
How the West will be won.
Yesterday, we gave you three teams with much to do the rest of the season (and you’ll notice Detroit pooped the bed last night in Cleveland) and today here’s three from the West.
Health. Health. Health.
All season long, I’ve been saying the Spurs don’t care all that much how good they look in February or March as long as they’re healthy in late April and May.
Well, Tim Duncan’s knee’s still bothering him and Manu’s still getting in game shape after his leg injury and there’s no real optimism either of them can get to 100 per cent in the last two weeks of the season.
And given the muddle of the conference standings – the Spurs are third this morning, half a game out of second but only two out of seventh – time is of the essence.
They’re not chasing anything in the West (they’ve got first overall sewn up) but they are chasing the best record in the league because they know how important home court can be in the final.
Well, thanks to two ugly losses at Atlanta and Charlotte this week, they are going to be hard-pressed to catch Cleveland and if they don’t smarten up, they may fall behind Boston and Orlando, too, which would put them on the road in a championship series if either of them comes out of the East.
Everyone knows about Houston’s post-season failings in the current era – they haven’t won a first-round series since Tracy McGrady got there and that stretch of failure sits heavily on their minds.
It’s got to make things a wee bit easier if they go into the post-season either on a hot streak or, at the very least, with homecourt advantage in the first round.
Well, right now they’re dead tied with the Spurs for first in the Southwest Division and winning that will guarantee home court in the first round. And since they’re barely holding off Portland in the race for fourth and fifth, winning the Southwest might be their best bet.