A bit late but hopefully worth the wait
Good win, pretty good opponent, they play well at both ends. Everyone happy?
Or at least mildly pleased?
Oh yeah, sorry I'm late.
Life got in the way.
THREE THINGS I LEARNED
Best thing I’ve seen
Raptors get the ball with 23.8 seconds left, up 98-92, New Orleans isn’t fouling and I know what’s coming and so do you.
Of course they’re going to dribble out the clock, no one’s getting a piece of sauce-covered cardboard and I’m waiting.
There is no way in the world that the people will be upset, right?
Well, some of ‘em were and if you don’t think the players know, think again.
As Amir is dribbling out the clock in the far corner – which is entirely what he should have done – Hedo is standing across the court, waving his finger at him to say, “hey, respect the game and the Hornets, don’t you dare put up a shot.” And, to me, Turk went way, way, way up in the level of appreciation.
Of course, we’re in the locker room after and there are guys busting on Amir, telling him he’s going to get booed the next game for not shooting.
Their new favourite
It’s 86-81 Toronto, the Hornets are rolling a bit and Toronto calls tmeout to gather itself.
What, I wonder, will they call out of the timeout because it’s a crucial possession and they have to get a good shot. Whether they make it or not is entirely out of the coach’s hand, it’s a matter of drawing up the right play.
So they run their new favourite, the Bosh at the elbow thing. That tells me they know that’s a good one and will always get them a good look.
They got a good shot but a Turkoglu miss and, after a Hornets miss, they run the same thing.
That’s now rocketed to the top of the chart in the play-calling division.
How does Bosh like it?
“For me, posting up on the block, usually you have guys looking at you no matter what’s happening on the weak side. At the elbow, it’s a little different. You can’t really double, if they do you can see the court a little bit easier and there’s less help. If you get that weak side action, you can pick apart the defence a little bit.”
More Hedo, more heads-up play
Little thing, late in the first half.
Turkoglu’s got a little guy on him so he goes to the low block and I imagine eight out of 10 guys would either force the issue and get up a shot or back a guy down to kill any kind of movement on offence.
He waits and waits and waits for someone to move and finally, Bosh dives diagonally from the high side across the court.
Of course, two defenders dive with him so that pass isn’t there and what’s everyone do?
They wait another second. Turkoglu holds the ball just long enough for Amir to make a really strong and decisive move on the baseline.
Turk sees him, makes the pass, Amir finishes with a layup.
Heads up play all around.
Not particularly earth-shattering but good nonetheless.
And now …
Do you all know it’s Christmas on, like, Friday? How’d that happen?
I best be getting some shopping done, no?
What would y’all like?
I’d love to show you want my guy Jimmy Smith wrote in the pages of the New Orleans Times-Picayune today but something kept him from traveling.
I’m guessing it’s finances but they employed a local scribbler and here’s how he played it.
So we’re talking to Sonny after the game while one of us is trying to develop a story on how hard it is to stay mentally sharp through the drudgery of practice when you know it’s going to take a bolt of lightning or something for you to get any minutes.
“It is. You never know, especially with my thing, where you’re going to get your shot but a guy like me, in transition it’s going to come.”
I will say this for Mr. Weems.
Early in the year, as I mentioned, he kind of shot it every time he touched it, which isn’t unusual for a guy in his position.
But he seems to have gone away from that and is now making the right play rather than the selfish one.
A career-best five assists Sunday is a testament to that.
I mentioned in the in-game blog the other night against Jersey that I wondered if Jay would even ask a veteran like Rasho to play in such a blowout.
It’s a respect thing more than anything. Why ask a veteran to go out there and eat garbage-time minutes. Maybe he’d rather get the entire day off.
Well, Jay put it this way when I asked him about it:
“If I don’t put Rasho in, then CB, Amir or Andrea has to play. I think he’d rather play the fourth quarter than have to come up here and run after. And it’s better for him, rather than lines and just trying to get the heart rate up.”
The “up here and run after” thing refers to a team policy that anyone who doesn’t play in a game has to go up to the practice gym right after and get a workout in with a member of the training staff. It’s not a penalty, it’s just making sure they get their heart rates up and some cardio work in just so they keep in some semblance of shape.
Little things I wonder if you knew.
Think we’re in for a long day.
For a couple of weeks now, any time we mention practice and the lack of time for a really good one, Jay’s been pointing to today.
Two days off before the next game, coming off an afternoon game so no one’s really tired and a chance to get ‘em in the gym and work on some things.
So I’m thinking two, two and a half hours, right? Which means maybe an hour of standing around the concourse waiting for them to get finished.
Luckily, there’s a skatearound for the pucks so there will be some people hanging around.