A bit of this and what I hope is a good Mo Pete story
I realize we’re a bit late today but I’ve got to tell you, dragging your sorry butt out of bed closer to 8 a.m. than 6 a.m. is highly recommended every now and then.
Have yourselves a nice day. Get all your shopping done early.
After you read this, that is:
THREE THINGS I LEARNED
Does it mean anything?
It’s funny. I’m getting a few “who cares, it’s only the Nets they beat” comments and, yeah, the Nets were unspeakably bad but, still.
A win is a win. They aren’t easy to get and heavens knows you’ve seen this team play down to the level of its competition enough times that I bet a few of you were worried.
But they did what they had to do.
Got a team down and stomped it and I don’t care that New Jersey scored 62 in the second half, that was about 21 minutes of garbage time.
As I mentioned in game story, Jay had told us before the game he wanted a more aggressive early defence, quick hands, fast doubles and he got it. I don’t know how many runouts the Raptors had in the first half after creating turnovers and rushed shots but it had to be a season high.
No idea if they can keep it up against the Hornets tomorrow but if they do, I remain convinced this isn’t a bad team.
What a mouthy guy
This is something I noticed about Andrea the night in Milwaukee when he didn’t play but I didn’t mention it because I figured my mind was playing tricks on me.
At that game – and I was sitting about 10 feet away from him – he kept up a steady stream of conversation with guys on the court, moving them here and there, calling out screens and plays and generally being involved.
Like I said, I figured I’d been slipped some hallucinogen in my cheese-based Milwaukee dinner and let it go out of my mind.
So last night, I’m watching him again, on the court this time, and he’s doing it again.
Communicating on defence, moving guys around on offence (in two third-quartet sets in a row he moved Amir Johnson to the right spot to start a play) and generally being yappy.
And since I’m sure the good folks in the media room here wouldn’t slip me a mickey, it must have happened.
They love that play
First possession: Bosh gets the ball at the elbow, they run the dribble-handoff action with Turk and he finishes with a layup over Lopez.
Raptors get the ball about two minutes later and Jay stands up and yells “first play, first play” as they start up the court, which is Raptor-speak to run the same set they started the game with.
Anyway, they do, Bosh gets the ball, fakes the move to Turk, turns on Eddy Najera, who’s guarding him, drives and draws a second foul on the Net.
It’s two options off the same play, a new play that they run an awful lot and one I quite like.
I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s paper, I think, but suffice it to say, Bosh likes it a lot, too.
And elsewhere …
The Irregulars will know that I have had some issues with the “celebration” of 15 years of franchise history, although it was nice to see Muggsy last night.
Sunday might be cool.
As part of the ongoing recognition process, they’re going to take time out to honour the one and only Mo Pete, I’m told, and that’s one I can fully support.
Mo’s one of the true great guys and I would presume the fans will stand and cheer loudly – very loudly – whenever they do it.
After all, the guy played more games – 542 in the regular season, 19 more in the playoffs – than anybody in franchise history.
Now, that’s a dude you should recognize.
They got that one right.
A Mo story I don’t think I’ve ever told out here in the big, wide world.
It’s the second week of the 2005-06 and somehow Sam’s decided the rookie Joey Graham will start in the spot that is historically Mo’s.
Well, Mo says all the right things ‘cause he’s a pro but it’s obvious he’s miffed and Joey’s not exactly lighting the world on fire.
We’re in the locker room after a home game and someone’s getting scrummed about two lockers over from Mo. I’m on the periphery of it, not really listening to closely when I hear Mo in my ear over my shoulder.
He’s telling me he’s ticked, I should write it, he wants his job back and “something’s got to change.”
Me? I keep pretending I’m listening to the scrum, all the while taking notes on what Mo’s saying.
Get a story no one else has, Mo gets his starting job back like the next game or something and a Day In The Life Of A Grunt turns out to be a good one.
About six minutes into the second quarter, I’m watching the Nets and thinking:
“How’d they ever win two?”
But, you know, the pieces actually are there and I imagine if you’re an unemployed coach, it’s not a bad situation to explore at the end of the year.
I like Lopez, I like Devin Harris (but I do think he misses Vince Carter) and they’ve got a lot of cap room and a shot a very, very good draft pick.
And if the ownership works out, they’ve got a dude with deep pockets and a love of basketball rather than a love of real estate deals.
That might be the best coaching gig out there this summer.
So I’ve got to do/start/finish some Christmas shopping this morning. You think the malls will be busy?
Oh, and I hear candlesticks always make a nice gift.
Speaking of the Nets, my man Dave D, who gets parolled in February to chronicle the wonders of the Winter Games, says this about that.
You know that I’ve come to hold Marcus Banks in higher esteem now, right? Has come in, done his job admirably and been a pro about it.
Well, last night, people, we witnessed history.
He made two three-pointers, which is one more than he’s ever made in a game wearing a Toronto uniform.
Yep, he was 1-8 this season before last night from beyond the arc and made one – one – in his entire time with the Raptors last season.
Another reason last night was a night to remember.
In New Orleans, where they’ve got a new coach and a very average team, this is what’s going on.