A new title for snippets and the usual entertaining stuff
Time to fold, right?
Well, six weeks ago, a resounding yes to that question.
Now? Not so much.
Which is a testament to team growth, methinks.
(It’s a bit more catchy, no? And it was maybe time for a change. Same basic format and I appreciate all the suggestions).
Go right, young man
A couple of things on that final basket by Bosh jumped out at me even more than him finishing, getting fouled and making the game-winning three-point play.
The first was that he “slipped” the high screen, that is he cut towards the basket before hitting the guy guarding Turkoglu. It was a heads-up play because Dalembert took a step out early to slow Turk, Bosh recognized and headed for space.
The play, an anonymous e-mailer replied after the game, was always designed for Bosh to get iso’d but he got set up more quickly because he decided to slip it rather than wait for the contact.
Well, the second was where he went once he got the ball.
I imagine there were more than a few among you who figured he’d take a jumper, especially when Dalembert played off him a little bit.
But the drive was the correct play, what made it entirely more interesting is that, from the left side of the court, Bosh went right.
A lefty, his default move in that spot is go to left, towards the baseline. Scouts know it, coaches know it, heck, I imagine even he knows it.
He goes right all the time on the other side of the court but I don’t know how many times he’s gone into the middle from the left side.
But I do know this: Knowing scouts and knowing coaches, now that he did it once and won a game, they’re going to be thinking, “oh, oh, now we can’t overplay him as much.”
Little play, big time move
In the scheme of things, it didn’t mean very much but there was an Amir Johnson play that, to me, was hugely impressive.
About seven minutes to go, if I’m reading my notes right, and Philly's Thaddeus Young is under the basket about to make a layup.
Johnson, behind him, not only blocks the shot, he takes the ball away from him in the same motion, an entirely difficult thing to do. They tied it up and a get a jump ball (I think Toronto’s up about three at the time) and the Raptors get possession after the jump.
The most surprising thing to me might have been the fact Johnson made the play without committing a foul.
Baby steps, baby steps.
Bad, then okay
By all accounts, Hedo Turkoglu was invisible last night. One of those games where he really had little impact at either end, or shooting or passing.
With about 4 1-2 minutes left, whatever lead Toronto had was all gone and Turk hit a huge three from the corner, the only one he made in four attempts during the game, that gave the Raptors a wee bit of a cushion.
And then on that last possession, before making the right, quick pass to Bosh for the game-winner, you know the Sixers were showing hard on whatever screen Bosh may have set because they fully expected that Turk was going to go around the corner and either take a shot or hit an open teammate in the corner.
Some times, even guys who don’t play well can make a play when it’s needed most.
In other matters that matter …
Your statistical anomaly of the night.
Chris Bosh led the Raptors in points (29), rebounds (nine), assists (six) and turnovers (six).
Not sure what that is, but it’s a Quadruple Something Or Other.
To say nothing of a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio.
I’m sitting there at the desk doing some typing after the game (I know, thrilling Friday night, no?) when I look up to catch a second of Cavs-Nuggets on the TV.
What do my eyes behold?
There’s Joey Graham posting up Anthony Parker, bumping him almost out of bounds and finishing with a nice floater in the lane.
That’s when I knew I was (a) too tired and should call it a night; (b) having some back flashback to a Raptors practice from any of the last three season, or (c) happy to see two ex-Raptors going at it each other, albeit early, in a game that mattered.
Still, it was kind of an odd feeling.
In Philly, where My Man Jasner got to catch up with people but, sadly, not me, they seem to be gunning for Eddie Jordan, already as this story shows.
Man, that’s cold.
Because I was able to watch the game on TV – and will mention the drunken scoreboard bug operator and the penchant for coming back late out of commercials to the first broadcast big shot I see – got to catch the little Antawn Jamison address to the Washington crowd during Sixers-Raptors halftime.
And, yes, it was probably a day late and a dollar short in many regards but it was also the first time the team was at home since the Arenas suspension.
It was a rather classy, quick speech from a classy young man.
It can’t possibly eliminate all the ill will created by the tawdry Arenas mess – and why do I have the feeling there might be more to this story as time unfolds? – but it was a baby step.
So was taking down the huge (and I mean four- or five-storey huge) picture of Arenas outside the arena.
So the Celtics lose in Atlanta and they’ll be chuffed when they get here for tomorrow’s matinee. Great, eh?
Here’s how the fishwraps summed up that one.
Because the desire is always to give you the news first here, I’ll let you know what tomorrow’s (yawn!) story is:
“We have to play tougher.” “We have to hit first.”
“We can’t let the Celtics come in here and punk us.”
“They play physical defence, we have to match that.”
I have no idea who’s going to say what but that’s what they’re going to say.
And some of us will collectively roll our eyes and think:
“Don’t tell me. Show me.”
All right, practice today (be the first time I’ve seen anyone since last Saturday in Boston, wonder if they missed me?) and then, perchance, a quiet time answering mail.