Be warned: Sap time.
Look, I only know a few of you very well, and some of you not at all, and Lord knows we all don’t get along every day in this little piece of cyber real estate.
It’s like a bar, in some ways, or a crazy big house party. Lots of people here and there, conversations going on in every nook and cranny and if you want to avoid someone, you can.
But we do all kind of live here, or at least make it part of our daily destination and, for the most part, we’re all civil.
So believe me when I say, at this time of hopes for peace and friendship and fun and gentle times, that I hope every single one of you and your families has the bestest of Christmases.
I hope Santa’s good to all of you, I hope all of your families enjoy nothing but prosperity and that none of you burn the turkey or something silly like that.
Give someone around your house a hug or a smile and tell ‘em Merry Christmas.
And give yourselves a hug or a smile (I’ll let you decide which) and tell yourself Merry Christmas from me.
Have a great couple of days, peoples.
Now, let’s get back to writing things that drive you mad.
THREE THINGS I LEARNED
Get the slings and arrows ready
Yes, the Pistons were short-handed; yes, it was a game they “should” have won easily. I know all that. So do you. But, still, they did what they had to do. As they have more than a few times of late.
So I will say this and take the heat because, well, because it’s what I do.
Perhaps now we can all agree that maybe suggesting things like this team was destined for 20-something wins and was among the worst ever and that the only thing to do was blow it all up and fire everyone after, oh, let’s say 20 games, was somewhat silly.
If we’ve learned anything so far, it’s that maybe the season is indeed a marathon rather than a sprint and just because things look bleak in November, it’s not necessarily going to be that way in January or March or even December.
Now, they will lose games badly sometime in the next 60 or so and there will be losing streaks. But I also think we’ve seen enough to think there’ll be some good wins in the next 60 or so and there will be some winning streaks.
All the sackcloth and ashes of the first five weeks seems, at the moment, a bit unnecessary, doesn’t it?
I said and I know many didn’t believe me. This isn’t an awful team. It’s not championship calibre at the moment but it’s not nearly as bad as some of you painted it early.
I’ll let Chris Bosh make my point:
“You can’t over-react early. It’s a long season That’s what people have to understand. It’s a very long season, mistakes are going to happen. You can’t write teams off because they’re struggling at a certain point. We were put together and sometimes it takes teams longer to gel than others. We’re going to be fine.”
Turk as Nash or Stockton
It’s the second quarter, Turk can’t make a shot to save his soul and it looks like it might be a long night for him.
But something seems to twig about three minutes into the quarter and Toronto up two.
He passes up a pretty good look on the far side, drives, draws a defender and hits an open Jack in the corner; Jack makes a three.
He gets the ball again on the next possession, again doesn’t shoot, draws a guy and hits Belinelli with a pass; Belinelli makes a three.
Turk goes on to pile up three more assists in the quarter, ends with five in the 12 minutes he played in the second and the game is, in effect, over.
I’ve mentioned that it’s not always about points with him and that he needs to have games where he truly steps up and dominates.
That’s exactly what he did in that second quarter.
They were quick like bunnies
Usually, there’s a bit of a wait after a game before we grunts can get our work all done.
Some players (cough, Chris Bosh, cough) have a tendency to dawdle and there’s always some chatting and goofing around and, you know, generally making life miserable for deadline-avoiding writers.
Not so much.
It wasn’t more than 12 minutes after the final buzzer that Jay was out doing his stuff; it wasn’t three minutes into locker room time before Hedo was talking to us and even Mr. Bosh, historically the last Raptor to do media, was ready inside of about 20 minutes.
They should have Christmas breaks and awaiting limos and airplanes every single game.
And in other pressing matters (or something like that):
Sonny Weems has really gone up in the estimation of lots of fans and rightfully so given the way he’s played since ascending to a regular spot in the rotation.
I’m think a few more might like him a bit if they’d seen him wander out of the Raptors locker room after the game on Wednesday.
There he went sporting a nice new replica Montreal Expos hat.
From the department of statistical anomalies, you all know that Hedo Turkoglu had one more assist on his own Wednesday than the entire Pistons team had.
I cannot for the life of me ever remembering that happening in a Raptors game – it might have, but I don’t remember it – and no one connected with the team could think of another time.
So, I mentioned it to one of Hedo’s teammates and, protecting his identity because I’m sure he didn’t want me to use it for attribution, he said of the Pistons:
“That team doesn’t like each other.”And I don’t know that many people would argue with him.
Weird, weird things happen on the road. This is among the weirdest ever.
I’m walking back into the hotel after a quick fresh air break yesterday afternoon and there’s a young lady and a young man, carrying video camera and a shopping bag, sitting on one of the couches.
“Excuse me, sir,” he says, “are you going to be using the elevator?”
Since I don’t walk 12 storeys ever, I answer in the affirmative and she says, “well, would you mind taking part in a science experiment?”
Hmm, thinks I. Kids, camera, shopping bag, science experiment. Hell yeah, I said, quite intrigued.
Well, turns out they were two quite nice Troy High School students and they tell me that, as part of a science experiment, they have to prove or disprove Newton’s Second Law.
Now I have no idea what Newton’s Second Law is at the time and figure, hey, Newton was a pretty bright fellow, whatever the law is, it’s probably right. But I want to find out for myself.
Well, without getting too technical – because I’m a dolt when it comes to such things – Newton’s Second Law says something like as you accelerate, your weight goes up, as you decelerate, your weight goes down.
There’s lots of formulaic gobbledy-gook that goes with it, but that’s the gist of it.
So I get in the elevator and they produce some scales out of the shopping bag.
I’m X pounds to start (and that’s a number that’s between me and the kids, thank you very much), I’m X plus 10 when we start to move and I’m about X minus 10 when we slow down. And, presto! change-o! I’m back to X when the elevator comes to rest.
Told you that Newton guy knew what he was talking about, didn’t I?
All this is on video. Me, the kids, the scales the ride.
Anyway, if they don’t get an A for that project, I’m questioning the credibility of the Troy High School science department.
Now, lots of strange things happen on the road but that takes the cake.
Here’s the schedule for the next little while, if you care.
Lots of driving and shopping and doing last-minute stuff for me today and a GruntTV episode this afternoon I hope.
But then it’s time to shut it down for a little while; not sure if I’ll be back Saturday morning or Sunday with the mailbag; it may depend entirely on how much, um, celebrating I do.
Whenever it is, I’ll see you then.