That was something of a letdown, wasn't it?
A rather uneventful Sunday, wasn’t it? An awful Western Conference game, somewhat of a no-show by the Celtics at night and what could have been a memorable day fizzled.
But stuff still happened, right? And other stuff’s going on, too (apparently there’s some draw or something tomorrow night?) so …
What’s Boston to do now?
Well, they face some tough decisions on two players who may be key, Leon Powe and Glen Davis.
Powe, of course, is hurt but if they are the first-class organization they say they are, they’ll tender him a qualifying offer to keep him around and give him some peace of mind going into next season. It might be a wise investment, too, because as we saw against Orlando, they need some front court depth. Davis, on the other hand, has to be due a huge raise of his minimum-value contract – about $711,000 – that expires at the end of next month. I’d think a lot of teams with the mid-level exception available, and that’s about 26 by my count right now, would have big interest in him, Boston’s going to have to shell out to keep him.
It was relatively easy for the Celtics to spend huge tax dollars when it was putting together the Big Three; now it’s time to see if they have the same feeling when it comes to players of a much lesser stature.
Speaking of the Celtics, I’m a big Bob Ryan fan and he sums it up pretty well in today’s column.
The Magic? Not happy to be there
They exorcised some demons, didn’t they? Hedo was the kind of multi-faceted, good passing, deep shooting, ball-handling big who is a huge matchup problem, Rashard Lewis did what he’d done the entire series – torture whichever over-matched Celtic was trying to guard him and when Rafer’s playing like he did and knocking down threes, well, they aren’t going to lose too many games.
And Stan stayed out of his own way and let the best players play the most and most effectively.
Can they beat Cleveland? I don’t know, but luckily I’ve got until tomorrow morning here to break down that series.
I think what I liked most was the rather muted celebration when it was all over. Yes, I’m sure they were over the moon happy but the businesslike attitude on the court tells me they aren’t going to just be happy to be a conference final.
Here’s Brian’s take on it this morning.
Everyone believe in the Lakers again?
Was an easy win – and that one was effectively over about the end of the first quarter – enough to satisfy the critics of their heart and the suitability of their bench?
Yes, they looked great at times but the troubling thing to me is how horrible they looked at times in the series. There’s a quote in this piece where Kobe Bryant says the Lakers are “bipolar.” I couldn’t agree more.
Game, but over-matched
Now that they’ve spent a week or so as Our New Favourite Team, will the Rockets now go back to quasi-oblivion? Will we forget Rick Adelman’s a great coach, that Luis Scola and Shane Battier are 1 and 1A in the Most Under-rated Players In The League Race, that Aaron Brooks is as fast as any point guard in the NBA? It would be easy to say things are looking good because Yao will be back and this has the makings of a long-time contender but considering Yao’s injury history – and it is extensive – I don’t think we can take anything for granted with that guy.
And we can forget, at the moment, Tracy McGrady. With microfracture surgery in late February, I don’t imagine he’s even on a court until Christmas so take him entirely out of the equation.
So unless the Rockets find some way to upgrade their talent with another big and someone on the wing who can get to the rim and also knock down threes, we might be looking at them as another one-and-done playoff team a year from now.
But for the moment, they feel pretty good about themselves, as they should and as Jonathan tells us here.
Oh yeah, TSN2 is available to Rogers hostages today.
What I wonder is, if the Jays were 15-27, would we be heralding the news that the network now has another avenue from which to sell tickets?
The whole mess, orchestrated primarily by Rogers with some help from TSN and Maple Leaf Sports, has been unseemly, stinky and disrespectful of fans and viewers.
I’m chatting with a guy who knows about these sorts of things on the weekend and I mention my theory that the Raptors will likely have their coaching staff fully in place by the May 27 start of the Chicago pre-draft combine.
Well, to paraphrase the great Carnac, Wrong Clipboard-breath.
Seems the NBA is limiting the number of team officials allowed in Chicago to seven and once you put Bryan at the top of that list and the fellows I fondly call The Henchmen – Maurizio, Masai, Jim Kelly, Marc Eversley – you’re running out of room. Toss in, I presume, the sports psychologist Dana Sinclair and a member of the team’s medical staff – and you’re pretty much out of room. In fact, someone has to sit out just to get Jay there.
So, that may not be the exact trigger point for the announcement that Marc Iavaroni will lead the assistant coaching staff.
The stuff you learn …
All right, the regulars at the in-game blog, and the irregulars, will know that I’m not the biggest fan of that G commercial, mostly because dude’s voice grates on me like fingers on a chalkboard.
But thanks to Jordan of Toronto, I know dislike it a lot less.
Here’s what I had sent to me last week:
Good Morn' Doug, More of a tidbit of information for you and the bloggy-thingy world than anything. I noticed you have taken a "dislike" to the G commercial which is totally understandable. I just thought you'd like to know that the kid who comes after Ali and right before the Jabba Wookies (sp?) is 17-year-old Canadian Bradd Arseneau who happens to be quite an outstanding basketball story.
Check out this link that he sent me and it’s a great story you all should read.
This is getting entirely away from the Raptors and the NBA and are usual area of expertise but I’m sure you all saw this wildly interesting piece that’s Basketball You Can’t Get Anywhere else.
It was a rather interesting, and somewhat surprising to me, night at Ryerson on Saturday. I was fully impressed by the crowd – more than 100 doesn’t sound like much but I’ve been at national team events the past without audiences that big and it was a Saturday night of a long weekend for a team no one’s heard of at a gym that you need a GPS to find.
The calibre of play wasn’t the greatest but you have to figure it’s only going to get better and that’s the most important thing. There needs to be places for women – and men – to develop their skills during or after their college careers and this is a perfect opportunity.
Minor league sports, particularly minor league basketball is this market, is a dicey proposition at best and who knows how long the Stealth will actually last. But I think it deserves a chance, and it deserves some support; I presume I’ll be back if time permits and if I had a young daughter interested in the game, I’d take her to see the Stealth play some night.
You should, too.