When they talk about the house, they mean it
Yeah, training camp’s a series of repetitive movements.
One night left and I can imagine it’ll be a lot like the others since we are creatures of habits.
Until then, though, there are a couple of practices, lots of writing and these wee tidbits to get you through the day.
Have at it.
|PAWEL DWULIT/TORONTO STAR|
|Houses, chairs ... whatever works at training camp.|
Sometimes, it takes a guy a little while to catch on.
All week, when I’ve been talking to Jay about defence and what they want to do, he’s been telling me to look at the court and see what they’re doing.
So I do. I see ‘em sprint back in scrimmages and set up on the elbows and boxes and I figure I’ve got it all worked out.
I talk to Jay and a couple of coaches and they keep saying the same thing.
Look at the court.
Finally, yesterday afternoon as I’m standing around doing interviews and chatting away, it hits me.
Among the various lines painted on the court – the three-point lines at NBA and college distances, the volleyball markings, the trapezoid lane and the regular one – there’s tape that looks out of place.
It’s in the design of a house, it runs about a foot or two outside the lane from the baseline to the free throw line and then angles up – like a roof – to just above the free throw circle.
That’s the house.
That’s where they want to keep people out of, it’s the area they want to defend more strenuously than anywhere else.
The players see it in every drill, they are aware of it during scrimmages, it’s a constant reminder that they shall give up as little penetration as possible.
Not sure exactly who came up with the idea of physically putting markings on the court as a way to hammer the point home but I’m also sure the players got it far more quickly than a grunt did.
It’s a bit of a gimmick, I guess, but if it works, what the hell, why not give it a try.
I’ve had a couple of questions about what we’re going to do for games this year and will we have any special thingies to unveil when they start playing.
Still kicking around a few ideas but for sure we’ll have the in-game blogs.
The only thing we have to worry about is wireless capabilities courtside in all of the neutral site venues but if it’s up and running in London on Tuesday, so will we be.
Beating a dead horse department:
Is there a law or rule that says Ottawa cabbies have to be talking on their cellphones every second that they’re driving?
Be afraid, be very afraid.
One of the points the league’s making about the use of replacement refs is that they can’t be all that bad because a lot of them have worked summer league games over the years.
Yikes! I’ve seen more than my share of summer league games and let me tell you, the officiating is, in a word, dreadful.
Maybe it’s because the refs are trying to impress the bosses who are watching, and I’m sure some of it has to do with the caliber of play on the court, but they’re over-officiating to a ridiculous degree.
One game I saw had something like 100 fouls, which is more than one every 30 seconds.
They absolutely have to get the real refs back and working as soon as they can. This has disaster written all over it.
So a few of us hearty souls are sitting in the Keg here last night and, of course, the televisions are all on the pucks game.
(I didn’t have the nerve to see if they had RaptorsTV to get them to switch it over to the WNBA final).
Anyway, I can dutifully report that there are more than a couple Leaf fans who were watching and cheering intently.
But I can somewhat gleefully report that there are more anti-fans who relished in the outcome.
Speaking of …
How about the Fever?
That series has some juice now; glad I’ll be back in the comfort of Casa Doug for Games 3-5.
You saw the note about Jay using both Jose and Jack at the same time during some scrimmages this week, right?
Not sure if you should get entirely used to it but it’s something you’ll see a bit this year.
Not every game, and not for long stretches but every now and then? Sure, that’s part of the plan.
The logic seems pretty obvious. Two ball-handlers, both capable of running the offence, both capable of being spot up shooters makes them a bit more difficult to defend.
But, and Jay made this quite clear, it’s not an all-the-time thing and it’s not like he’s considering starting them together.
“The one thing is, we value both of them so much is that when you start them together they’re both going to fatigue at approximately the same time and you’d have to take them out.
“I’d probably stagger their rotation but also in that staggering make sure they’re both on the floor at the same time.”
The issue, of course, would be at the other end of the court, where one of them would have to defend a bigger two guard.
“One of them is going to have to be a chaser and it’s going to depend on matchups but some of the teams have decided to go with a smaller lineup. “We went against three point guards in New York last year near the end of the season … we’ll be ready for some thing like that and have guys who can defend the quicker players.”
You see the highlights of the Tigers-Twins from yesterday afternoon?
Purpose pitches and plunked hitters all over the place.
Yeah, I really like fall baseball.