It's calm around these guys, almost too calm
Join Doug Smith for a live Q&A at noon Tuesday, as the Raptors prepare to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.
That was a rather sedate Monday around THOTH (The Heroes of the Hardcourt) which I guess stems from the fact they’ve won two in a row and the angst-ometer is at a season-low.
Of course, a loss tonight and it’s right back at the breaking point and it’s Fire This Guy, Trade That Guy, Bench This Other Fellow, I Told You They Suck all over again.
And that’s what makes this gig grand, in a ‘these-people-are-over-the-top’ kind of way.
So, what’s a good week this week?
Four games, six days but three of ‘em at home.
Remember a week ago now it was suggested that 2-2 would be ho-hum? Well, it wasn’t exactly ho-hum in the way it unfolded but it ended up a rather pedestrian .500, which isn’t bad but it isn’t great.
This week? Well, if they don’t go at least 3-1, I’m sure there’ll be some disappointed people around the team, like all the players, coaches and management.
But that might be the most realistic result.
It won’t be easy but, really, what is?
Yes, they’ve got the white and blue Huskies jerseys out for tonight and if you like understated, like I do, they’re okay.
Nothing flashy, which is fine with me.
And somehow, they resisted the urge to do a combo throwback with, say, a white front and a blue back.
Maybe next year.
But these guys are becoming close to the league-leaders in jerseys. I think Golden State might have the most what with all the old San Francisco jerseys they can trot out but, check out the Raptors: White.
And, of course, the traditional green that they’ll bring out for St. Patrick’s Day because, as you know, nothing says Irish like a green dinosaur claw.
It was odd, in a way, to listen to part of Jay’s post-practice scrum yesterday when he was discussing Jarrett’s shoe-tying move the other night in Chicago.
Not because of what he said – something along the lines of “I’d expect our guy to go over and knock him on his ass” – but that he said it at all.
He also said he’s learning how to coach the personalities his got – some guys need a kick one day, some stroking the next – and he was, while not combative, more forceful than usual.
Maybe it’s the natural progression of a guy with a new group to handle, maybe he’s showing some toughness in public that he shows in private.
It was new and a bit unexpected. But since I think he could be tougher and I think that’s an opinion shared by others closer to the team – I imagine they felt it was quite welcomed, too.
Eric from Fredericton sent this reminder in over the weekend:
You posted a question asking what your five biggest annoyances about basketball were, what are your five favorite things about the game?
Because I like the ballet of the game, the grace rather than the power (I much prefer a triple over a homer in that other sport), here goes:
A perfectly executed pick and roll that ends with a drive and a layup for the big.
A catch-and-shoot three-pointer in the style of Ray Allen or Dell Curry. The shooter rubbing his man off the screen, squaring his shoulders and feet and letting fly. I’m not sure people appreciate the difficulty of that, the speed at which it happens, the consistency of position that the truly great shooters achieve.
There’s nothing quite like a fast break perfectly conducted. A missed shot, a rebound, a quick outlet, one or maybe two dribbles and then one or two passes that ends with a layup or a dunk.
I like the courtside anticipation before a playoff game or an especially big playoff game, more people standing around, a feeling of tension in the air, the fans filing in early, just to watch.
And little guys among the bigs. Knifing from the perimeter through the lane and finishing.
If I remember, tomorrow we’ll do some dislikes.
Man, it’s going to be like Old Home Week around the gym tonight.
First, we’ve got Nate Jawai in the NBA and likely in uniform for Minnesota (although a DNP-CD the other night is an indication of where he fits now that Love and Jefferson are back) and they’re bringing back Dee Brown to be the 15th anniversary honouree tonight.
But quite aside from those two esteemed ex-Raptors, there’s one guy who’ll probably out-shine them all in the minds of the franchise’s younger fans,
Yep, Darrick Martin is with the Timberwolves as the assistant director of player development – think Alvin Williams with a different title – and I cannot imagine he’d miss the opportunity to come to Toronto and see some old friends.
Everyone figured D Mart would eventually be a coach, this is the first step on that journey.
Allen Iverson kissing the logo at midcourt?
Sixers clubbed by Denver?
Oh oh. Maybe Old Home Week isn’t going to be all it can. Here’s Phil Miller’s piece from the Minneapolis paper today and there’s a note in there that says Nate had some food poisoining and they weren’t even sure he was going to travel, let alone play. That’ll give me something to check at shootaround in a few hours.
Oh yeah, you know me and fashion so you’ll know I’m quite okay with the fact The Heroes Of The Hardcourt have left nothing out and will have blue shoes to go with the white and blue uniforms tonight.
And thus endeth today’s fashion statement.
A rather quiet end of the day at practice yesterday.
Andrea walked out about 20 minutes or half an hour early to get some treatment on his ankle, Jose blasted off a few minutes later to also get treatment and tend to some personal matters and Chris Bosh had left before any reporter even got there to hang around the hallways and we were told he was under the weather.
All three, we were told, will be re-evaluated this morning but I’d be stunned if any of them weren’t in uniform tonight.
Speaking of tonight, usual in-game blog will start just before 7 eastern time and we’ll do the traditional day-of-game-chat at noon. That seems to be the most suitable time for everyone concerned, right?