Good (early) morning from the west
How’s everything back home?
All warm and toasty?
After about six hours in an airplane – apparently the winds were dead against us, which is better than thinking the pilots were on their laptops and about to fly us to Hawaii – and messed up by time zones, this gets up a bit earlier than usual.
Don’t get used to it, though. After five days on Central time, about 40 hours back on Eastern time and now on Pacific time for a couple of days, eventually I’m going to sleep for a very, very long time. Just hope it’s not during a game.
What do you think constitutes a good road trip out here?
A win? Two? Competitive efforts in all four games, regardless of outcome?
Personally, I think if they get one of these next four and survive the Dirty Dozen to open the season at 5-7, everyone around the team would be – in their heart of hearts – relatively satisfied. And not entirely surprised.
Not overjoyed, that’s for sure, but not ready to call off the rest of the season or anything.
And if they get two and finish 6-6 in this stretch, well, I don’t think there are too many who’d look down their noses at that one.
The reality of the situation is this: They are, as we always said they’d be, very much a work in progress with 74 games left in the regular season. They’ve been good, bad and indifferent in about equal doses and are still a .500 team at the moment. Given the circumstances, that’s about right, about the level that they’ve played to.
But what they haven’t done is string together two good games in a row – and the second quarter aside, I thought they were good against the Bulls at home.
The next step in the growth and maturation of this team will be when it shows some consistency and there’s no better time to start than tonight against the Clippers.
So, Quincy’s gone and I can’t say I’m at all surprised.
They waived him yesterday for a couple of reasons I’ve pointed out but that can probably be repeated again.
The move might save them about $600,000, which isn’t a lot of cake on a team with a payroll of about $67 million but it does get them further below the tax level – about $1.8 million in rough figures – and that can’t hurt if they want to do something later on in the year.
And, because they sent money out in a couple of summer time moves – money that doesn’t count against the tax but money that comes out of Bryan’s overall budget -- more than half a million in savings won’t be sneezed at by the higher-ups who have the key to the Maple Leaf Sports money-printing machine.
Also, if creates some roster flexibility because Toronto’s now at 14 players and if Bryan ever wanted to do a one-for-two deal or simply add a body if, say, injuries pop up, he can.
But, I warn you of this: I have it on serious authority that there are no moves planned at the moment. They didn’t do this so they could go and get a specific guy right away (and that means all you ‘go get Allen Iverson’ zanies can stand down), they did it for future possibilities.
Now, Quincy is a very nice, quiet young man that the coaches loved and wanted to keep but Bryan won this discussion. And it may pay off down the road.
A fella’s sitting on a plane for a long time, one of those Airbus jobs with the private television screen, and all I can think after about four hours is:
They should have a channel at home dedicated just to reruns of 30 Rock and The Office.
It’s not Seinfeld, but it’s darn close.
Digression – this one – over.
With the Lakers playing the Suns last night in town, you couldn’t find much Clippers news in the locals with a search warrant but here’s what I was able to unearth.
So, Byron Scott’s gone.
When’s Jeff Bower go?
He’s the dopey GM who built that abomination and now he hangs his coach out to dry less than 10 games into the season? And then takes the job and hires Tim Freaking Floyd as his lead assistant?
Is the team president down there a Hurricane junkie who can’t see what’s going on?
Having a post-game chat with Jack Armstrong after the game against the Hornets last week – nice courtyard on the third floor of the New Orleans Ritz, I can tell you – and he made a very good point.
He suggested the Hornets would have killed to have starting wings like Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker. And he was right. That’s how far that New Orleans team has fallen.
Now, Byron may have lost the players – they looked awfully mopey against the Raptors a week ago – but those are players who, frankly, comprise a terrible team.
A team built by the guy who fired Scott.
I don’t know Jeff Bower from Adam and he might be the nicest guy in the world but if he doesn’t get whacked at the end of this season, it’s a travesty.
And I would venture a guess that Byron Scott will coach in the NBA again far sooner than Jeff Bower will be a GM in it.
Oh yeah, think Sunday morning’s a good morning for a mailbag and since I’ll have some travel time Saturday and likely some quiet time in Phoenix that night, get your queries in toute de suite.
I notice there’s no frost on any of the vehicles out here.
I imagine you’ve all read Perk’s stuff this morning – and a tip of the hat to him for picking me up on the off-day in his own inimitable fashion – and maybe now I won’t get hourly queries about his status.
Speaking of hourly, we’ll have an early chat today, if that’s okay with the irregulars. Going to turn the tables a bit, do it at 1 p.m. Eastern time for a couple of logistical reasons I won’t bore you with.
I will say, the attendance has been okay; not great, but okay. Had about 300 or so people take part the other day. Got about 200 questions in the 40 minutes or so we were on the air and got to answer about 50.
That’s not bad, eh?