The wreck that is the Magic, and some other stuff, too
|If a photo tells 1,000 words two of them have to be "ah, crap".|
The Boston-Orlando series sure hasn’t got to the level of Boston-Chicago but you have to admit, it’s been pretty darn good. And with the Magic playing the role of out-of-control truck careening down a freeway as we all watch with a mixture of awe and horror and amusement and a how-in-the-world-with-they-blow-this-one incredulity, I really hope it goes seven games.
Not sure it will, but we can hope.
Anyway, thank goodness that was a good one because the late game, as I read, was a dog and bailing on it early made perfect sense.
And while I thought about bailing entirely on tonight, a 9 p.m. start and the likely demise of the Dallas Mavericks makes it worth our while to do a live blog, right? Not a lot of promo for it out there so tell your friends and we’ll see some of you this evening.
About last night
Open the old web page to see what my friend B. Schmitz is writing about the colossal collapse by the Magic and see a subhead:
Magic Blow Big Lead
Dwight Howard calls out coaches
Here’s the story right here and, like a few thousand others, I’m sure, the immediate reaction is: About frikkin’ time.
Most of you know my opinion of coaches – too much credit when they win, too much blame … blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – and I’m all right with not getting Howard involved in the offence every possession since he was being schooled by Kendrick Perkins and was surrounded by shooters.
But not one shot? Not even a post-up to attract a double-team and maybe a get a kickout? Shocking, appalling and a bunch of other stuff.
Not to mention the zany decision – again, in only my opinion – of even having Howard on the court in an intentional foul situation late in a close game. Of course, the Celtics defended the right way and the worst free throw shooter on either roster has to go to the line.
And don’t get me started with having JJ Redick on the floor – guarding Ray Allen for goodness sakes! Still scratching my head over that one.
I haven’t spoken to Brian in a while and he’s too busy to bug today but can you imagine who full his in-box has to be with “Fire Stan” e-mails? Imagine what it would be like up here?
We can only assume that if Orlando loses this series, and I now fully expect they will, and don’t advance any further than they did last year and with the face of the franchise publicly ripping the coach after the biggest game of the year, there may be another job vacancy in the coaching ranks.
And I say this knowing it’s probably not the best analogy I can come up with but it's early-ish in the morning and all the syanpses aren't quite firing
If Dwight Howard, for all his glorious rebounding and shot-blocking abilities and his incredible athleticism, doesn’t get some kind of expanded offensive game, when’s he turn into a younger, stronger, bigger Ben Wallace?
Now, when I said something like to a couple of NBA coaches last night they looked at me like I had three heads but, seriously, the limitations of his offensive game might have had as much to do with Van Gundy not calling plays for him as anything.
I love a lot about Dwight Howard’s game, I love his enthusiasm for the game and I think, with an awful lot of time in the gym he can become a more polished offensive player, but right now, it’s on him to do the work and make the improvements.
Speaking of emphatic, had to wipe the sleep out of my eyes and do a double-take checking the final score in the Laker game. A 40-point win?
I didn’t see an awful lot of it, kind of worn out after the Bloggie Thingy, but what I saw early was just like Sunday only the other way around. Home team gets hot, road team plays like crap, game over early.
Seems to be what the Rockets think, too, given the tone of Jonathan’s story here.
But I will say this:
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this series doesn’t still go seven. The Rockets aren’t about to give up because they got drilled badly, they seem to me to be veteran enough to put that one away, forget about it and be back to their usual tough selves in front of the home fans tomorrow.
Of course, maybe it has all caught up to them and the loss of Yao is just too much to overcome but there’s something about that team that makes me think not.
Apropos of nothing, and a wee bit old because I keep forgetting to mention it, you cannot imagine how cool I think it is that the park in Miami is now known as Landshark Stadium.
As a guy who knows just a wee bit about fermented liquids, that’s an absolute great name. Great beer, too. And now I’m even more of a Jimmy Buffet fan.
We now return you to our regular basketball stuff.
So, Raptor workouts are over now until the first week of June – no, no one who was there either Monday or Tuesday really stood out – but then they get back to it in earnest.
I’m sure you’ve all read the story in today’s paper about the process, right? Well, here’s what the Raptors are going to try to do in the future sessions, according to personnel guru Jim Kelly.
“Ideally, it would be six players – two points, two wings, two bigs. I think probably as the process goes along, it’ll probably be two points, four wings. (There are) not that many bigs and it’s no secret what our emphasis and what our focus is.”
So what it’s all mean?
“It’s another step in the process, you get to see them up close. We noticed a few things about Dionte Christmas’s shot today, about his follow through, where he comes down. Sometimes, you watch a guy three or four times in a game and you might miss those things. You can also isolate a situation. If you know maybe they’re not really good reacting defensively in a two-man game, you make sure you put them in it here and you get to see them up close.”
This is part of the reason I’m becoming something of a Big Baby Davis fan.
Check out this apology, passed on by Regular Reader Tom, after Davis inadvertently ran into that kid at the end of Game 4:
“You know what, I’m a big guy. And sometimes I can’t even feel when I’m sitting on the remote. So imagine if my emotions are going wild and I’m running by somebody and I don’t feel it. So if I’ve hurt anybody or if I’ve done any harm to anybody, please forgive me. Because my intentions were harmless.”
Classic. And pretty classy and something I could see a guy saying rather than something written for him.
Back to our apropos of nothing, really, department: I’ve set the over and under on Dallas technical fouls at 3 1-2 for tonight.