Who starts, who doesn't and don't forget our chat later on
Wireless issues and I’ve got to get back to figuring out these time zone things, might take a while.
I have it on pretty good authority that Antoine Wright won’t start tonight, he’ll be one of the first guys off the bench in his pre-season debut.
Guess that makes sense since they’ve spent a few games trying to get some cohesion with the first unit and it might not be the best idea to mess that up for one game.
And, because I’m virtually certain that DeMar DeRozan will be in the starting lineup come Wednesday night, the more he gets to play with Calderon, Turkoglu, Bosh and Bargnani, the better.
What else do we get tonight?
I figure no time at all for the end-of-the-bench guys like Douby, Banks and O’Bryant and I wonder how much time there’ll be for Sonny Weems.
If Jay’s serious about tightening his rotation – and tonight’s the only chance he’s going to do that – he’s got to use nine, maybe 10 guys tonight.
And without Evans, who would be an integral part of the rotation, it’s even tightened further.
The Timberwolves – who are really, really, really bad, by the way – aren’t at all big and strong so I would think this would be a night for Amir Johnson rather than Rasho Nesterovic.
That’s too bad in one regard: When they get to Wednesday and the big Cavs, Rasho’s going to have to play.
Hey, what’s a guy supposed to do for food around here, Amir?
“It was pretty good, Sioux Falls kind of grows on you, there’s not too much to do (but) the fans are great. The food was great, actually, the roadhouse had these buttermilk biscuits that were great.”
Classic. Guy spends three months in this backwater and all he remembers is a no-name roadhouse and its biscuits.
Ian Thomsen killed with this Isiah story on the Magic Johnson book that’s coming out soon.
Interesting, to say the least, because there was a school of thought that figured the two were still pretty tight.
I haven’t read Jackie’s book yet – if the publisher’s out there, send the review copy to my office, please – and I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of the Magic-Isiah relationship but I bet it’s very complicated.
I got to know Isiah pretty well in his years here and we stayed in touch a bit when he moved on to Indy and New York. He’s a very, um, intriguing guy. I sure wouldn’t want to be on his bad side because I think he can be quite cut-throat if necessary.
This latest episode speaks to the complicated relationships he’s got with lots of people, I think. And, frankly, it might have something to do with selling books, too.
Speaking of EMTs, there’s a meeting or convention or something of the South Dakota Emergency Medical Technicians going on in this hotel and as I’m standing outside I see the Crimson Fire Department’s here because it’s truck is parked just outside.
Which makes a guy think, what if there’s a fire in Crimson?
Oh yeah, don’t forget we’re chatting today at noon (your time) to set up tonight’s game and go over some of the pre-season shenanigans with these fellows.
Chuck, the nice gentleman who provided transport from the airport here last night, let me know it’s snowed here three times already this year, it’s been very wet and it’s a bad, bad thing.
“They can’t get the beans out of the ground.”
Being the intrepid reporter I am, I was wondering what the heck he was talking about and I discover there are thousands and thousands of acres of soya beans in the state that can’t be harvested because the ground’s too wet.
But dry weather’s coming, Chuck says, so they should be all right.
Man, the stuff you learn by tuning in here is amazing, isn’t it?
Back to the Raptors, Jay was taking a whole lot of pressure off Andrea yesterday.
“I don’t think we view him as the first overall pick from four years ago. He’s a guy that’s grown into a pretty tough position (and a guy) that NBA scouts who come and watch us play have a hard time figuring out how to guard.”
Bargnani is indeed an enigma. There is all sorts of inherent pressure and high expectations that go with being a No. 1 pick and I’m not sure how well he handled them his first year.
But now, and I’ve mentioned this before, he’s far more confident and comfortable, and better, than he’s been in his first three years.
The one thing he’s far better at that some might not notice?
He’s a better teammate.
There is no question he was a ball-stopper on offence at times lat year, and more frequently in the two years before that, but now, instead of shooting the ball every tine he gets it, he’s far more amenable to swinging it to an open teammate.
And, believe me, his teammates notice and appreciate it. They noticed how it never left his hands at times last year, too, and didn’t appreciate it.
We’re in a little nest of sports stuff here on the outskirts of Sioux Falls where we’re staying.
There’s the arena attached to the hotel, the ball park where the Sioux Falls Canaries play (and I really need to find a Sioux Falls Canaries t-shirt, don’t I?) and a football stadium where some big high school game was unfolding last night.
I presume we’re in the hub of the town because for as far as I can see, there is not a single building higher than the six-storey hotel we’re in.
But I can highly recommend the Buffalo Wild Wings that’s across the parking lot as a place to hang and watch a ball game.
Yeah, it’s a glamorous life out here.
Okay, off to shootaround, be back in a couple of hours to talk.