The balls were heavier, and had holes in them
Guess dodgeball had been done.
We all know by now that they blew off the official practice yesterday to hit the lanes for some bowling and some team-building schlock, er, I mean beautiful chemistry-developing fun.
Jay told us it was long-planned, the only time they could really get away as a group, and it was all sweetness and light, lots of laughs, some quality time together and a nice respite from, you know, getting better on the court.
It was nice, however, to hear that everyone actually got in the gym either in the late afternoon or evening to get some shots up with the assistant coaches and Guru Hopla because, frankly, a full day off isn’t exactly what the group needed.
I guess if you look at the schedule, it was the obvious day to get away from it all, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Personally, I’m not all that sold on off-the-court contrived outings; a nice long team dinner on the road, maybe something impromptu, works in the same manner, to my mind.
But as Jay say, and it’s true, it’s difficult, almost impossible to get everyone together at one time given the lives these guys lead and the tugs on their time so bundling them all into a bus and heading off to the lanes at least assures they’ll be one group.
And they will get time in the gym for some heavy lifting on alternate days.
Hard work day Monday, light day Tuesday, they’ll go hard again today and lighter tomorrow going into the Friday game.
Saturday’s a day off – which has been scheduled since before training camp began – hard work Sunday and taper through Monday and Tuesday before Wednesday’s opener.
I do know they don’t just make up this scheduling stuff on the fly.
They’ve got just about every day mapped out between now and the end of the season – when they’ll get a day off, for instance, in the middle of a tough stretch of schedule. It can change, of course, but they are mindful of rest and travel requirements on west coast trips, when they want to come home right after out-of-time-zone road games and when they’ll spend the night.
Maybe The Replacements are going to be replaced!
My boyz (and how’s that for cool, friends?) C. Sheridan and M. Stein (both of whom are big fans of Toronto and Canada, by the way) suggested last night that there’s some movement on the referees situation; the latest they had is here.
Good news? Heck yeah. Maybe next week we can go back to whining about officials we know and love.
Really, it just makes entire sense, given the way of negotiations these days that the next pressure point – namely the start of the regular season – would be the thing that got the sides talking and moving towards an agreement.
You may remember that I think refereeing NBA games is the toughest officiating gig in all of sports.
Because of the speed of the game, the amount of incidental contact and the need for subjectivity so as not to bring the game to a screeching halt.
And I think referees with experience are exponentially better than guys who have never seen the game up close played at its highest level of intensity.
Anyway, it’ll be good to have ‘em back.
We were told Marco Belinelli rolled a smooth 157 the first time he keggled in his life.
One of us thinks that at least proves there’s something he can knock down.
Shots are next.
This means two things, I hope.
First, he’ll get a chance to play more than garbage minutes – and with Kevin Love hurt and Al Jefferson hurting, I think Jawai might be the best big Minnesota has right now – and that’s a good thing for him.
Well, I’m thinking it means Jake Voskuhl grabs a roster spot in Dallas.
That’s a bit more complicated because the Mavs have 15 guaranteed contracts but they like what Jake brings (guess they haven’t had enough fouls over the years) and they could very well pay Shawne Williams to stay away, like they have been doing for months.
Oh yeah, if any of you have ever been to Sioux Falls, S.D. (and I cannot imagine why you would have been), I’m all ears for restaurant recommendations. A Thursday night off in that lovely burg can’t be wasted.
You will never guess where I’ll be bright and early this morning?
At the office, learning how to use the video application
(or app, as Super Son tells me) that comes with this fancy-schmancy new MacBook thing I’ve got.
Oh yeah, folks. We’re planning all sorts of fun and games around our coverage this year. Including video. Of moi. GruntTV. You lucky, lucky dogs.
This is a pretty sweet deal.
The folks at Canada Basketball have somehow secured the rights to the Canadian general release premier of More Than A Game, the highly-touted documentary about LeBron James and his high school class.
It’s part of a fund-raising gig next Tuesday night and it’s a good first step for the organization to raise some much-needed cash for what’s shaping up to be a costly summer of 2010, what with both the men’s and women’s headed to the worlds. Which gets me to the Czech Republic and Turkey, right boss?
Can I just add, in light of what seems to be a long of to and fro on the decision whether or not to start the rookie that who finishes the game is of far, far, far, far more importance to everyone connected with the team.
Given no serious foul trouble and a game unfolding as usual, who’s the other wing with Calderon, Turkoglu, Bosh and Bargnani?
I know the coaching staff hopes it’s Wright. They haven’t seen enough of him to get a true indication of what he brings and how hit fits but I guarantee you that, from conversations I’ve had with decision-makers, that finishing job is his to lose.
If you see nothing in the papers tomorrow or on the web today, it’s because the grunts hung out playing paintball.