A wee bit tardy this morning, I know, but getting an extra 90 minutes of shut-eye and a late 7:30 a.m. start to finish this off was quite necessary in the Life Of Doug.
THREE THINGS I LEARNED
A heckuva play
End of the first half, 3.2 seconds left, Heat shooting free throws.
Second one’s missed, Bosh grabs the rebound, outlets to Jose close to the hash mark on the far side, Hedo’s streaking up the middle of the court, Jose makes a fine pass through traffic, Turkoglu dribbles about twice, pulls up and hits a three as the place, and the bench, go nuts.
Jay told us after the game they work on that kind of situation in practice for the handful of times it’ll happen over the course of a season.
Maybe not that precise turn of events, if it’s an inbounds play they want someone else to take the ball out and Bosh sets a screen on Turk’s guy, but the improvisation just made it more impressive.
Little things. Big baskets.
It worked this time
Regular readers will know I’m not entirely sold on the Jose Calderon-Jarrett Jack backcourt but, everyone has to admit, it sure worked last night.
Because neither of them were handling the ball.
Odd, but with two point guards on the floor down the stretch, both went to the corners on offence while Hedo ran high screen and roll with one of the bigs.
Worked to near perfection, they kept getting open shots and when Jay drew it up, that’s how he envisioned it.
But, I have to tell you, I was among the more surprised people in the building on the dagger when Andrea passed up a pretty good look to pass off to Jack in the corner.
Told me something about Bargnan’s development, too. Lots of times – like close to 90 per cent, I’d hazard to guess – he shoots that ball. Maybe he makes it, maybe he doesn’t, but his first instinct is not to find a teammate in the corner. That he did is a small step, but an important one.
Speaking of …
Turkoglu, that was his most impressive game of the season, no question in my mind, and just want they wanted from him.
Of his eight assists – and that’s a solid total from a small forward who played only 32 minutes – one really sticks out in my mind.
He’s got the ball just off the right elbow after coming off a screen. He’s got one guy in the corner, I think Bosh is about to post up on the block and there are two very clear options for him.
But he waits a split second until Bargnani dives and he flips him a perfect pass. Bargnani doesn’t pull up and shoot the jumper, he goes to the rim and dunks and Raps are up 22 at the time.
It’s the kind of under-stated pass, not the safe play but the right one, that they’ll get more and more from him as he gets more accustomed the guys he’s playing with.
And in other news …
Seems to be a lot of palaver around these parts over the so-called “honouring” of HWSNBN tomorrow afternoon.
Last I heard, and it was after midnight last night when the final e-mail exchange took place, was that the Raptors hadn’t heard back from the Magic on whether the guy’s okay with any recognition of any kind.
My guess? No way he goes for it.
And why should he? Really.
He knows he’ll get booed – despite the fact he remains the best player in franchise history and the guy who put the Raptors on the map – and what guy in the world would set himself up for that.
And, besides, this whole recognition thing or whatever is they’re calling it is bogus anyway. Fifteen years is hardly a milestone to celebrate, the ones they did for Oak and Alvin seemed more an afterthought than a ceremony and it’s hardly worth thinking about.
The folks in Miami awoke to see this in their local newspapers.
Oh, back to the “honours” for a second.
They will, in their own inimitable fashion, pay tribute to Brendan Malone Sunday this afternoon, I’m told.
Something went amiss at the first Orlando game when they had planned to do it but everyone’s on-side with it for today.
You know what I think about the whole thing but, if you’re going to do something, retired players and coaches are the guys to do it for.
And no one deserves it like Brendan.
Not sure how many of you were around way back in the day when he was the head coach and they played in The World’s Worst Basketball Venue but if you went to a game in that expansion year, you never got cheated on effort.
Guy coached every game like it was Game 7 of the finals – often to the chagrin of his GM who wanted young kids to play, wins be damned – and for him to coax 21 wins out of that motley group was astounding.
I’ll never forget the day they beat the Bulls and Jordan, end of the game, 36,000 people going nuts, Brendan’s walking off the court, points up to the fans in the 500 level an area code away to say thanks.
No, in the history of this franchise, as sorry as it’s been at times, as short as it’s been, Brendan doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
It’ll be nice for him to get a little bit of it today.
Speaking of Orlando, they won last night in Boston and my man B. Schmitz sums it up this way
Hey, folks. Mail. Please. Not much in there but rants and opinions and “why did he do this at that point in this game” questions which really don’t fit.
So, if you get a minute, send some so I’ve got something to do while Super Family’s out watching the vampire flick.
And, as some of the irregulars know here, I’m not a huge fan of that whole vampire schtick because I’m one of the few people you know who’s been to Forks, Washington and it's left a scar in my mind.
Directions? Drive to the end of the earth, turn left, go about six kilometers and you’re almost there. Buy T-shirts, take some pictures, go back to Seattle.
All right, there are leaves from two 25-year old gigantic maples all over the yard, I’ve got some work to do around here.
See you later.