Of Hedo and Oak and winter upon us?
Game tonight, everyone nervous?
One of the things everyone’s been waiting for is some dominant fourth-quarter playmaking by Hedo Turkoglu, right?
That was his bread and butter in Orlando and one of the big reasons they went after him, so he could facilitate the offence at times with the game in the balance, either by creating for others or scoring on his own.
Now, it being three whole games in an 82-game schedule there’s no reason to think he won’t do that, but I also think Jay needs to force the issue a wee bit more.
And so, it seems, does the coach.
“I thought we scored the ball well in the fourth quarter (against Orlando) but we probably should have had the ball in his hands more, as well.
“We have point guards in Jose and Jarrett who are very comfortable holding on to the basketball and making plays for themselves and a guy like Chris, who does a lot of his creating with the ball in his hands. WE haven’t really given him much of an opportunity to make plays or passes to everybody else, that will come.”
Personally, I’m not entirely sure a threesome of Hedo, Jose and Jarrett Jack works well at the moment, it’s almost like they have one too many options for running the offence.
The coaches like it, though, because they run a set that includes a lot of side-screens and perimeter movement and they like having those three guys out there to run it. And it has worked.
But getting Turk more involved in the running of the offence is the next step in the slow progression of this team from a bunch of guys who don’t know each other into a smooth-running unit.
Stop us if you’ve heard this before but a team’s coming in to Toronto tonight missing two key players and we all know that teams missing two – or three – key players are easy pickings, right?
Tayshaun Prince (back) and Rip Hamilton (ankle) both sat out Detroit’s win over Orlando last night and neither is going to be in the lineup for tonight’s game.
Here’s the lowdown in one of the Detroit papers this morning.
We’re standing around waiting to talk to whoever we were going to talk to after practice yesterday – I believe the lineup ended up being Bosh, Amir Johnson and Jay – and right behind us, Marco Belinelli was getting up some shots.
This was before he engaged Hedo in a rather high-spirited three-point shooting contest and Belineilli warmed up for that by making about 12 bank shots in a row from about 20 feet.
Dude’s like the Italian Tim Duncan.
Imagine that, Oak comes back with some rather strong opinions on this, as Dave reports here.
One that that caught me was where Oak said he hoped they didn’t boo him again.
No way they do that, right? I’m thinking standing ovation would be appropriate.
You’ll notice in the boxscore that Orlando’s Ryan Anderson went 2-14 (1-11 from three) and JJ Redick was 4-12 (3-6) in the game last night, right?
Must have been tired from making all those shots Sunday afternoon.
Waking up and having to scrape the windshield before heading out for coffee bites, doesn’t it?
Since I get asked about this something like half a dozen times a day and try to answer at least once, let’s go over the Reggie Evans situation one more time.
He’s dumped the crutches, is waling without a boot at times but is nowhere near being able to practice, let alone play.
Team’s not putting any timetable on it so this is all a guess but if you see him in uniform before, oh, the end of the month, I’ll be surprised.
An Oak story.
You remember the one thing that stood out about Oak was his sartorial excellence.
The man could flat out dress.
And we beat guys, well, we beat guys couldn’t match him in that department ever. And Oak knew it.
So we’re standing around the locker room one night, chatting away with Oak because that was always fun and he looks up at one of us – and it wasn’t me but it could have been – and shakes his head while saying something to the effect of:
“Those are fat-man clothes.”
Just what we needed, getting ripped for our choice of jackets.
The play’s a tad old but yesterday Jay was asked about that Bosh foul on Howard and what it might have meant.
“In the past, Dwight might have been able to break through those arms and go up and do something. This time, Chris held him down and held on to him. I don’t know if it was a statement towards Dwight, it was a guy had a layup and we’re not going to let him have a layup.”
Here’s the think about Amir Johnson that I’ve liked over the course of the first three games.
The guy knows what he can’t do.
I think I might have remarked on this during one of the in-game blogs when Johnson caught as pass at the elbow and immediately swung the ball around the perimeter.
No thinking about a shot, no thinking about trying to back his guy down, no thought other than to treat the ball like a hot potato and move it along.
It goes to what Jay said in the days after the pre-season and before the Cleveland game: He was going to make sure guys knew their roles and their limitations.
Give Johnson credit, he seems to have picked up on it.
It’ll be interesting, then, to see how he reacts against his old team tonight. The concern is that he’ll try to show ‘em what he can do and try to do too much. Hope the kid sticks to what he does best and doesn’t try to force any issue.
Couple of more Oak-isms.
Not sure why he said these things, or what precisely the context was, but I’ve covered a lot of pro sports and pro athletes over the years and no one’s come up with bon mots like these.
On one suspension, handed down after a shootaround transgression not witnessed by any league official:
“Just because there’s glass on the highway doesn’t mean there was an accident.”
And, on something or other:
“It’s like bringing eggs to a barbecue.”
And, advice we should all live by:
“There’s no sense crying over spilled milk. Go to the kitchen and get some more.”
He’s here all day, try the veal.
Don’t forget, the plan is a post-shootaround video, a 4 p.m. chat for a bit and then the in-game festivities. Have yourself a nice day.