Of road trips and shooting drills and all sorts of fun things
Pretty impressive that we’ve been through three off-days (one with no practice to provide fodder) and still come up with nuggets to titillate you, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
The fact that teams are cutting costs these days is nothing new – the fact just about every corporation in the world is cutting costs these days is not new, in fact – and the Raptors point was hammered home a little bit yesterday.
Counting heads when we got into practice – it’s something we do every day – there was one guy missing: Assistant coach Micah Nori.
Figured he hadn’t gone off to help the Evil Empire Yankees hit with men in scoring position (he was a Mighty Yankees hitting consultant this summer) but where in the world could he be? Then it him me: He had to be off scouting the Cavs before opening night.
Micah, you see, came up through the ranks of advance scouting and when he was named an assistant coach in the summer, the team decided to do away with the position.
Not entirely, mind you. Micah will break off from the team every now and then to do some – as long as he’s not away for too many days in a row – and they’ll employ freelancers whenever they have to.
Lots of teams are doing that -- I’ve seen four or five guys at different game so far working for two or even three teams providing play calls and reports – because (a) it saves a bit of cash and (b) with a bunch of courtside seats that used to be used for scouts now sold to fans at unseemly high prices, having a scout go and sit at the top of the lower bowl in some arenas really doesn’t work.
So guys like Micah pile up frequent flier and hotel points, spend a bit of time away from the team and, now that I think of it, do two jobs.
Hope he’s being compensated for it.
So, want to talk?
Just so we can start getting into a routine here at whatever this place is, how about doing a little live chat tomorrow? Say around noon? I don’t imagine there’ll be all kinds of hullabaloo in Sioux Falls that’ll keep me busy so let’s talk for an hour or so and see how it goes?
It’s all part of our increased game day coverage and, man, are you readers going to be busy. I am, too, but that’s what I get paid the mediocre bucks to do.
We’ll unveil the rest of it over the next few days to try to work the kinks out leading up to Wednesday; for now, we’ll do one of those live chats to get the ball rolling, and the pre-season over.
Speaking of Sioux Falls, I’m told by people who’d know that there indeed will be wireless internet access courtside so we’re good to go with an in-game blog.
Wonder if I can grab up some nifty Sioux Falls Skyforce souvenirs over the next couple of days? I do notice that the Skyforce is an NBA affiliate of both Miami and Minnesota, which now gives me an idea of what the hell we’re doing traipsing all that way for a pre-season game.
A guy who hoped for an L.A. Freeway Series sure is getting screwed over, isn’t he?
All the interviews are done yesterday after practice, everyone’s packing up and getting ready to leave and there are three guys down at the other end of the court working pretty diligently.
Shooting Guru Hopla, basketball development assistant coach Eric Hughes and – ta-da! – Marco Belinelli.
Now, Marco’s stats are rather unimpressive so far this pre-season and he really hasn’t taken control of a game with his somewhat frenetic style yet but one thing I do know is that he’s noticed that same fact and is working to correct it.
Talked to him the other day, I think it might have been in Hartford, I don’t recall 100 per cent, and when I asked him how it was going, the first thing out of his mouth was, “I’m not happy with my shot.”
He’s as smart as fans, coaches or the media, I see.
No one is saying this out loud but watching Reggie Evans walk around on crutches still makes it’s as plain as the nose on your face that there’s no way in the world he’s ready for opening night.
That’s a bit of a blow – I bet they’d like to see him out there knocking Anderson Varejao around a little bit – but what can you do?
But with those backup bigs – Reggie, Amir and Rasho – minutes were always gong to be a night-to-night thing depending on the opponent.
“My rotations will probably vary on a nightly basis depending on matchups, who’s playing well and who’s 100 per cent healthy.”
Oops, forgot to mention this yesterday, and haven’t really mentioned it too much in the past few weeks, much to your chagrin, I’m sure.
I’m now a big Sabrina The Teenage Witch fan on DWTS and her surviving the other night was justice.
Speaking of television, we wander off the elevator beside the practice facility on the third floor of the arena yesterday and it was like walking onto the back lot of some movie production company
All kinds of equipment strewn about, a gaggle of workers ready to set everything up and all I can think of is, finally, they’re going to do A Day In The Life Of Doug for some reality television channel. I get my best Gloria Swanson ready -- “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up” – but nooooo, it’s not for that.
It’s for an upcoming Bosh car commercial they were filming and, if equipment means anything, this is going to have amazing production values.
But all I can think is, seriously, it HAS to be better than the Sam one from a couple of years back, doesn’t it? I mean, they took a guy with a rather impressive personality and sucked it out of him.
Can’t wait to see this one.