Yay! No more pre-season games
Luckily, Saturday’s an off-day for them. And me.
Mail on Sunday as usual, though, and we’re a bit light on the submissions.
THREE THINGS I LEARNED
They still can’t shoot well.
I don’t care what kind of defence you play or what kind of inside presence you have, if you shoot 2-for-20 from three-point range, you are not going to win a basketball game, no matter who the opposition is.
The three-point inefficiency was troubling last night – one of the two three-pointers was a heave from about 35 feet by Jack to beat the third quarter buzzer so it was a fluke – and it’s been a bit of a bubbling issue all camp.
Now, I think a team with Bargnani and Calderon and, to a degree, Turkoglu, is going to shoot threes well eventually but it certainly wasn’t part of the attack against Minnesota.
Bargnani was, for him, entirely out of sorts, missing all four of his attempts. He even fired up an airball on a relatively uncontested three and I can’t remember him ever doing that.
Will the shooting come around? The law of averages would seem to say it has to. But if 2-for-20 pops up again, they will lose again.
Bosh rounding into form?
That was by far Bosh’s best game, and he pulled off a statistical feat we need to pay closer attention to, I think.
An old hoops columnist, one C. Young, used to track this stat and it’s pretty cool.
He called it, and I shall call it, the Big Man’s Triple Double and it come about when a power forward or centre has double figures in points, rebounds and trips to the free throw line.
Bosh was 27. 14, and 11-for-12 last night which is damn good.
Most impressive was one bucket in the third quarter when he got a defensive rebound, outlet the ball to Jack, sprinted down the floor, beat his man to the paint, took a lovely lead pass over the shoulder from Jack and finished with an and-one.
That was probably his best play of the night.
Do they have more?
The one thing that’s indisputable about pre-season basketball is that it’s played at a far lower level of intensity than the regular season.
And as I’ve watched these guys for the past six games, I’m wondering if they have that extra gear ready to kick in?
There were times of great lethargy in a couple of the most recent outings and I don’t know if the young guys – like DeRozan or Johnson primarily because they’re young ‘uns who are going to play – know how high they have to turn it up starting Wednesday.
And now, for the rest of the story:
Okay, this is weird.
I’m hanging out with a bunch of guys in this swinging Sioux Falls hotspot (okay, it was a Buffalo Wild Wings but it was across the parking lot from the hotel and it had good TVs) and I saw something I’ve never, ever, ever seen done before with beer.
(This may catch some of you by surprise, but I know my way around a pint so when I make a brash statement like that, it’s significant).
Anyway, I look down the bar and this dude’s got a glass of beer and there are olives in it.
I kid you not.
So, being the intrepid reporter that I am, I ask the Comely Bar Wench what in tarnation is going on and she tells me it’s what they do in that part of the world and there’s nothing strange or quirky or off-putting or weird about it.
This is about the time in the proceedings when I point you in the direction of how the fishwraps in the other city covered the game.
Well, seeing how not one single reporter from Minneapolis – or St. Paul for that matter – made the trip, that linking stuff isn’t going to happen.
Soupy Sales died and no one told me?
Shame on you.
This is a good story. For a good cause.
If Patrick O’Bryant gets 2,500 followers on his twitter thingy, the Raptors foundation (which isn’t exactly the Raptors foundation any more; it’s now part of some conglomerate of foundations for the whole Maple Leaf Sports “family”) will get more than $5,000.
It’s kind of like the E. Koreen faux-hawk thing. Started small with some people deciding to raise money if that number of followers flocked to Patrick, it grew and then he decided to kick in a rather large chunk of cash himself if the goal was reached.
I’m told by a regular contributor T. Liston that if you go here, you’ll get some details.
I spend all that time in Sioux Falls and not once did I see a shrine or a statue dedicated to our own Sherm Hamilton, who once got to spend two delightful weeks there after being drafted by the then-CBA franchise in town.