Of listening and watching and seeing an old familiar face
Join Doug Smith for a live Q&A at noon Friday, as the Raptors prepare to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
Angst? Oh, there’s angst among the masses, that’s for sure.
That Dallas win seems about an eon ago, doesn’t it?
Good seats to hear
Never mind seeing the game, the baseline seats we’ve got in Milwaukee are excellent for hearing the game, especially the byplay between subs and players on the court.
(The more alert among you will remember that last we were here, it was interesting to hear Bargnani, who sat out the game, being a relative chatterbox on the bench, calling out instruction and being more engaged than I had recalled).
Anyway, last night it was all about screaming defensive encouragement and a lot of angst over offensive rebounds being allowed.
And I’m sure some less nice words in there, too.
“Get on the boards.”
“Grab a rebound.”
And the chief talker?
Marcus Banks, who was up repeatedly yelling encouragement and pointing things out.
It doesn’t get much worse than this.
By the play-by-play I see, there were 15 seconds left on the 24-second clock and the Raptors were down three and there was more than a minute left in the game when Antoine Wright, a 32 per cent three-point shooter this season, hoisted a terrible miss from the corner.
Chris Bosh at that time had scored 42 of his 44 points, Andrew Bogut was on the bench having fouled out and I wonder if that wasn’t the time to, you know, drive the ball and be aggressive or get it to the guy with the hot hand.
Oh, and after the Wright miss, the Bucks come down, Brandon Jennings misses a layup (just one of the 16 misses he had on 21 shots) and the Raptors still have life, right?
Ersan Ilyasova shrugs off Hedo, tips in the miss, gets fouled, makes the free throw, it’s a six-point game with 1:28 left and it’s over.
That’s two horrific plays at precisely the right time.
Speaking of …
Marco Belinelli, he played a grand total of three minutes, all in the first half and the only category in the boxscore he notched anything in was turnovers.
No shots. No rebounds. No assists. No fouls. No nothing except one turnover.
And when I asked someone who was privy to the decision not to at least give Marco a bit of time in the second half, this is pretty much the verbatim response:
“When he was out there, Jerry Stackhouse got five offensive rebounds in three minutes, that’s why.”
Actually, I think the 72-year-old Stack only had three but you get the drift.
In other news …
(And by news I mean little items I couldn’t figure out what to do with)
As good as it gets
That, folks, was as good an offensive performance as I’ve ever seen Chris Bosh put on.
Got to the free throw line 15 times, making 14, got Andrew Bogut fouled out, hit jump shots from every conceivable spot on the court.
He had 12 rebounds, four assists, played 43 minutes after going 42 the night before in Cleveland and was as good in the fourth quarter as he was in the first.
When it came time to decide the game, he watched Hedo Turkoglu dribble the ball out of bounds and Antoine Wright, a 32 per cent three-point shooter, take that corner three with 15 seconds left on the shot clock.
And when we got to talk to him after the game, it was the most disappointed and down I’d seen him this season.
From the department of Celebrities In The Crowd, we had one in Milwaukee.
Saw the guy signing autographs after the game and he sure looked familiar. Not quite being up on my pop culture but vaguely recognizing the dude, it wasn’t until we were in the locker room waiting to talk to Raptors that someone let me know who it was:
“Did you see Master P here?”
Yes, erstwhile Raptor, and father of DeMar DeRozan’s college roommate, took in the game and the memories started flooding back.
I don’t know what was more fun to recall:
The night we were in Dallas for a pre-season game and the fans were chanting “We Want P, We Want P” until Butch finally put him in.
Or a night or two later in Edmonton when I watched with great delight Master P running the fast break on the wing while 7-3 Alex Radojevic handled the ball racing up the court.
Both of them are forever etched in my mind.
And no matter how hard I try, I can’t get the recollection out of my head.
Finally got to talk to Jay at length before Wednesday’s game and a bit of the conversation was about what happened n Tuesday in Cleveland, mostly the reason for Belinelli and not DeRozan down the stretch.
(Wasn’t that much of a surprise to me, actually, since that’s what he’s done all year but there were a few questions from readers).
He brought up a point I, frankly, hadn’t thought of or noticed.
When DeRozan was on the court, LeBron James was covering him and by covering him, Jay meant not covering him. James was playing defensive rover and causing all kinds of issues for the Raptors.
Since DeRozan hadn’t really asserted himself going to the basket after the first quarter the Raptors wanted someone on the floor who would try to get to the rim, who could stretch the defence and who James would actually have to pay attention to.
Oh, My Man Tom was Sammy Sidebar last night for the folks who run the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, here’s what his sidekick Charles came up with.
This has nothing to do with anything. Or maybe it does
I was reading Vanity Fair the other morning at the shed at Pearson (how they can build a new billion dollar terminal and not make it. Big enough is a mystery only solve by the dolts at the airport) and there's a story on tweeting and those that do it far more than they probably should.
And there's a quote there from this woman, who as far as I can tell is quoted only because she tweets a lot, like that's some sort of accomplishment.
"Sometimes, when you're Twittering all the time, you even start to *think* in 140 characters."
That, dear readers, may be what's wrong with a lot of the world these days.
Let’s see, seven of their next nine at home. Against the Bucks, Lakers, Heat, Pacers, Nets, Kings and Sixers, before the all-star break hits.
Yeah, 5-2 is the absolute worst they can go if they’re serious about being in the race for fifth, I think; 6-1 would be far better.
Oh yeah, if you’ve got a minute and a puzzling question that needs to be answered, send it along to give me something to do before Sunday morning.
Okay, having had a relatively easy day at Pearson (they’ve dumped the second pat-down of passengers for some reason), it’s time to head to the airport here and see what delights await.