And so it begins, again
A real game.
After the month of camp, it’s about time to get into the rhythm of the season and start this show for real.
Here’s the thing with trying to figure out what’s going to happen with these guys this season:
No one has a real clue.
Not you, not me, not Jay, not Bryan and not the players.
There are so many questions marks, so many new faces, so much still to be done that to make a prediction is, well, it is what it always is, a mug’s game.
You saw the point-counterpoint thing in today’s newspaper, right, three key issues that could turn either way and either make or ruin a season or a chunk of it.
But part of the reason we’re here is to make somewhat bold statements, generate conversation and, every now and then, get something right.
So yes. They will.
They will make playoffs next spring because I think in the way the East is constructed, they have at least as much talent as the middle-echelon teams in the conference, and more than some of the perceived bottom dwellers.
The way it looks from here, and the way it looks from just about every point of view, is that Orlando, Cleveland and Boston stand out and I’ve got Toronto, Atlanta, Washington and Chicago in that 4-7 group. You put Detroit, Philly, Indy and maybe even Charlotte (don’t sleep on a Larry Brown coached team) next in a dogfight for the other spot.
Of that middle group, there are questions everywhere. Toronto needs to defend and gel, Atlanta an interesting mix of personalities that could blow up, Washington’s never healthy and I still don’t see enough front-court scoring in Chicago.
So is fourth there for the taking? Sure. But so is seventh.
The wonderful thing about this season is that it begins with doubt and trepidation and a bit of excitement. Will they be good? Will they be bad? Will they be average? It’s going to make it fun, isn’t it?
My best guess, and that’s precisely what it is, is that they’re good enough for 43 wins, a 10-win improvement over last year.
That win 43-win total would have been good for fifth overall in the East last year, and the year before, and I bet if you offered that right now to Jay and Bryan, they’d sign the scorecard and see you in April for the playoffs.
Anyway, I’m just glad there’ll be real games to watch and dissect, lots of them starting tonight.
I remember seeing a comment here a week or so ago that the opening intro song was something-or-other by some local crooner called Drake.
Well, I don’t want to throw cold water on the information of others but reputable sources told me this week that it’s not Drake, or even The Drake, who’ll provide the musical accompaniment.
The sources, secret that they are, wouldn’t tell me what it is, though.
Guess you’ll have to be in the building, or reading the blog, to find out.
Did you catch the Cavs-Celtics last night?
Not a bad game for the first one out of the box. And if you didn’t see it, here’s how they reported it in the Cleveland paper.
There is not, as far as I can glean, any calls for the firing of Mike Brown, which just tells me those Cavs fans are not quite as, ah, excitable as you are.
(I keed. Sort of).
We’re standing there listening to Chris Bosh do his post-practice scrum – actually, I was standing off to the side because I’d done a lot of my work already – and noticed something quite, um, odd, I guess is the right word.
He had wrapped one of his braids around the others to create this kind of ponytail effect.
And having seen the debut of GruntTV, I was quite envious of having enough hair to even try that.
I gotta say, he’s got the best Raptors ‘do since Oak left town.
Speaking of Bosh, I don’t think I could have said this better when he was being dogged about predictions by experts.
Words to the wise. Or the unwise.
It really doesn’t matter. How many prediction polls have actually been correct in the past 10 years? If you dig ‘em up, let ESPN bring that up. It really doesn’t matter.
I’m sure nobody picked the Magic to be the Eastern Conference champs last year, they were probably like sixth or seventh in the conference and look what they were able to achieve.”
We’ve shown up at the arena each of the last two days to find young folks sitting on the sidewalk in front of the door – and this is in the late morning, mind you – waiting to be the first in the joint for Metallica concerts at night.
Now, I don’t recall ever, ever lining up that long before a show in my life but that may say more about me than it does about anything else.
We’ve seen all kinds of lineups over the years by fans waiting to get into concerts and seen all kinds of construction on the arena floor as crews build the stages.
Only once, in all the years the joint has been open, have we ever been even marginally inconvenienced, and it’s never been by fans.
One morning, again about 10 hours before the show began, we had to be wanded by somewhat exuberant security officials.
Yeah, that kind of show attracts a dangerous crowd.
Don’t forget, GruntTV should be back on the air sometime around noon with some post-shootaround nuggets and we’ll see if there’s an appetite for a game-day chat this afternoon at 4.
You know, I think Charles Barkley hit the nail squarely on the head when he told reporters in New York yesterday that Donnie Walsh is doing a disservice to his Knicks franchise and his players by all but tanking two full seasons on the off chance he gets LeBron James next summer.
Frank Isola has the direct quotes here and they’re quite good in a Barkley sort of way. Which is to say “hey, I’m going to say something outrageous because I’m me!.”
So, I’m flipping around the dial just as the second half of Cavs-Celtics starts, getting my fix of DWTS, and there’s that Taylor Swift belting out a tune.
And all I can think is, ‘where’s Kanye?”
Time to get all sappy here for a second, if you’ll indulge me.
You don’t see the numbers that I do about this blog but yesterday we hit one that, even to a jaded old goof like me, was pretty impressive.
Thanks to you – all of you – there have now been more than 10,000,000 page views since we started this a couple of years ago. Ten million. That’s a lot.
It’s your passion and your curiosity – and dare I say your ability to goof off from work and school every now and then – that lets us get those kinds of ridiculous numbers and, from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you.
Now, get back to work so you can come back this afternoon.