A lost chance and a new look
Was it one that got away?
Or an okay game against a good opponent and a performance they can feel good about? Well, you don’t get a lot of chances to beat the Cavs in Cleveland if you drop one after missing eight free throws and a couple of open looks late, you can’t feel particularly good.
Anyway, we’re getting back to something close to normalcy here; thanks for bearing with us over the past few days.
Another end-of-game look
So, for all those anxious about the use of Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack at the same time, there must be some solace taken in the last couple of games.
Sure hasn’t been used much, has it? I think there were a couple of minutes at the end of the first half against the Mavs but that’s it; and then just a couple of minutes before halftime last night in Cleveland.
Well, I think Jay liked the way Belinelli was going last night, he was hitting shots and getting in the paint and he’s a longer, more active defender than Jarrett.
And, as I’ve mentioned a few times before, I think Jose’s a better option at running the offence and, with the Cavs collapsing on Bosh every time he touched the ball when he was posted up, having Calderon on the perimeter to take an open three is much more desirable than having Jack.
On one key possession, Calderon did in fact get an open three that he didn’t knock down and I, and I’m sure the coaching staff, would rather he get it than Jack.
That’s not a knock against Jarrett, who does a lot of things well, but Jose’s shooting something like 50 per cent from the field since he’s been back; that’s the shooter I want on the court.
Setting it in motion
We all remember Horns Up, right?
Not sure if anyone caught it but in the first half, while he was taking an inbounds pass right by the Cavs bench, there was a shot of Jarrett.
He’s standing there, waiting for the ball, banging his forearms together and shouting:
Yes, a play.
It’s one of the better ones the Raptors have, it’s a read-and-react kind of thing that starts with a pass to a big at the side and goes on with some continuous off-the-ball motion.
It’s not exactly the Princeton offence or a three-man weave outside the three point line but it’s designed to get the ball moving, get defenders going side-to-side and, if the screens are set well, create driving lanes for wings.
And it just sounds better than ‘Horns Up’ doesn’t it?
How’s Marco help?
Quite effectively at times.
I know the coaching staff likes a lot of what he brings, the ability to shoot and to slash and his defence is pretty good because he’s got active hands that create deflections and disrupt sets.
We saw him out there at the end of a close game against the Cavs and I’m sure it’s a sign of things to come on a more regular basis.
There was a play late where he had the ball on the right side, right in front of the Cavalier bench.
He did a very good job splitting a screen (he might be the best on the team at doing that) but the possession ended with some kind of wild attempt at a bank shot. Maybe a drive-and-kick works a bit better, I don’t know.
But I do know that if he gives them a spark of energy at both ends, you’re going to see a lot more of him in fourth quarters.
And now, the rest of the story (Except there isn’t an awful lot of the rest of the story, given my inactivity of the last couple of days)
What’d they write about that game in Cleveland? Glad you asked.
We’re going to have a little pre-game chat today, starting at 1 p.m. East.
That’s noon in Milwaukee and that means I’ll probably have the machine turned on at about 11:55 a.m. there.
Okay, judging by my knowledge of All Things Raptors Fans, I’m going with 11:57:25 as the first time I get a question about whether Bryan blew it by taking DeMar DeRozan and not Brandon Jennings.
So, heading everyone off at the pass (yeah, right. Like I still won’t get asked), I’ll say this: No, he didn’t.
Not only didn’t Jennings work out for the Raptors here in Toronto, there wasn’t a lot of buzz about him anywhere in the weeks leading up to the draft. He was thought to be an okay prospect, not a project but closer to that than to a sure-fire star.
And, frankly, that’s kind of what he’s become, right?
Yes, he had a 55 point game earlier in the season and the Bucks got off to a torrid start.
Well, now he’s a rookie shooting less than 40 per cent from the field and three-point range and while he still averages 18 points per game, he’s had as many games of fewer than 10 points than he’s had of over 20 in his last 10 outings.
Oh, and the Bucks are seven games below .500 and 10th in the East.
Speaking of the Bucks, here’s what Tom had to report today.
Sonny Weems hurts a rib muscle in the pre-game warmup somehow?
Yeah, that’s a tough break for sure; probably could have used some of his athleticism at times last night.
No work from cohorts in Cleveland on how long he might be on the shelf he’s the dreaded “day-to-day” which could me he goes against the Bucks or sits it out of for a week.
Okay, got an early flight, and I presume a long lineup at Pearson so …
Remember, game-day question-answer session at 1 p.m. Eastern time and then the game at 8 p.m.
Wish me luck at the airport.