Trekking out to the golf course, again
Another day, another division, another drive out to the golf course.
A lot, actually. Check out nba.com’s list of transactions, it shows the general managers were a tad busy shuffling people hither and yon.
We knew ye when
Yes, that opener here against Cleveland’s going to be big ‘cause of that LeBron fellow but don’t forget AP and Jamario, too. I think AP was a solid pickup for that team, he’ll make a shot every now and then and keep defences honest. Jamario? He’ll probably have his moments; he’ll also probably drive Mike Brown crazy at times, as he did to a couple of guys here.
Everyone busy except …
The Chicago Bulls were the feel good story of the post-season when they had that epic first-round series with Boston.
Guess it was enough for them.
Aside from losing Ben Gordon, and hoping Luol Deng returns to health, they really did nothing.
I still don’t think they’re big enough and they still don’t have a low-post scoring threat. If there’s a team taking a step back, this might be it.
For some radical change
Ladies and germs, we give you the Detroit Pistons.
Charlie V and Ben Gordon are going to help the offence, no question. They won’t lead the league in assists or anything but they can score.
But a big remake like this – no one really knows how either of those two are going to mesh with Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and the rest of the holdovers – is fraught with peril.
If it doesn’t work, it could go really south and I bet there are at least a few Pistons fans who wish this team was in the hands of someone other than a first-year head coach.
This could be the most intriguing team to watch in this division.
We knew ye when, 2.0
Do games with Milwaukee take on added juice with old friends Roko Ukic and Carlos Delfino there?
I didn’t think so.
Think LeBron and Shaq co-exist peacefully in Cleveland?
Like Shaq and Kobe did? Or Shaq and Wade? Or Shaq and Nash?
Maybe for a while but that’s got a chance to go off the rails, doesn’t it?
Yes, Shaq had some okay numbers on a very confused Phoenix team last year and, yes, he’s very big.
Oh, and he’s saying all the right things these days about just being in town to help LeBron win a title and yadda, yadda, yadda.
Guess maybe the best thing about it is Shaq’s time in Cleveland may be short and it’s always taken a bit of time for him to, um, exert himself with other stars he’s played with.
Under the radar
Really doesn’t seem to be one in this division, does there? I’ll put Cleveland signing Leon Powe out there. Powe’s months and months away from being able to play but if he’s okay when he gets back, he might be the kind of late-season addition good teams need.
What will happen?
There’s no doubt Cleveland’s the class of the division. What I’m wondering is how many others are in the playoffs come April.
One? Two? Certainly not three.
Chicago? Are they really any better?
Detroit? Too many new ingredients?
Indy? They seem just kind of ‘blah’ to me.
Milwaukee? Same kind of thing, okay but boring.
So, which will it be?
A wee bit of miscommunication somewhere, I guess. At least that’s kind of what I was saying while I was hanging around Angus Glen pretty much by myself yesterday morning.
Turns out the golfing festival is today.
Dang. Oh well, it was a nice day for a drive.
Should have known as soon as I arrived that something was amiss. No gigantic Chicken in the parking lot.
A bit closer than a 66-point win but that’s okay, it was the game the Canadian women had to win and they did.
Things are breaking down exactly as I expected them to.
Canada, barring a miracle upset of Brazil tonight (you don’t beat Brazil in Brazil, sorry) will get Cuba in tomorrow’s semis with a berth in the worlds on the line.
Not sure if I had this in any earlier piece, but it’s a very telling Teresa Gabriele quote about Canada-Cuba.
“They’re definitely beatable … we know that we can beat them and we can play with them. It’s probably one of the first years that I’ve felt that Cuba is beatable. They’ve kind of always been out of reach for us but we feel we can beat that team.”
Except once, that is, which brings us to today’s Trip Down Memory Lane, Women’s Basketball Version.
(I take great pride in recalling a thing or two about Canadian women’s basketball and bringing it to you; it’s an important part of the national sporting landscape that’s been relatively screwed over in the past.
End o’ digression).
Anyway, it’s like 1995, McMaster University, what was then called the Tournament of the Americas, qualification for the Atlanta Olympics.
(Another digression: Ever watch Corner Gas? Well, when I write or say “Atlanta Olympics” it’s my own personal Woolerton.)
Canada plays Cuba, big game, big lead for the Cubans, as I recall, and a hugely stirring Canadian comeback and a win that gives them first place in the tournament.
What I remember is the place being crazy loud with young girls and moms and dads and it being a very emotional event. It was maybe then that I realized just how much the women of the team could be role models to the young girls who wanted to play the sport.
And that’s important
Could we get some mail, please and thank you.
So I see all kinds of relative journeymen are getting camp invites and one-year deals these days. Dan Dickau to Boston for camp, Rashad McCants to Houston, James White gets traded to Denver, and I’m sure there are other inconsequential transactions I’ve forgotten. Or don’t really care about.
And then there’s Joey.
Still nary a whisper about an invite to a training camp, let alone a contract for the ex-Raptor.
I find that odd.
Now, I don’t know that he’ll ever be a regular contributor to a good team, Whatever Deity You Worship knows he got his chances here and never fully took advantage of them.
But it is a wee bit surprising that no team’s even interested in having in camp as fodder on some make-good deal.