Points to make, and Bosh's future laid out (and a chat change)
Game tonight, nothing until Friday, a day off for the lads tomorrow following the back-to-back? Need to search recesses of the mind to fill those middle two days.
But as I do, you read this:
A late change:
We were originally planning a noon chat to set up the game but guess what? That's Damien's time, and I'd forgotten all about that, and since we need moderators and stuff, we'll push the Raptors one back until 1 p.m.
Sorry for the confusion.
How about Hedo?
Yes, he was not good, although let’s say he passes up four assists to score on his own. Does 13 and 5 on a day when he missed a handful of shots he normally makes seem more palatable?
But, yes, he was not good and it was interesting to hear him talk after the game about his role and finding it and the desire to have the ball more often rather than run up and down the court as some spot-up wing man.
The thing is: He has done that on a couple of occasions and the simple fact is that every close game the Raps have been in this year, he’s been an integral part of the final possessions.
He missed the shot in Phoenix, a good shot he just didn’t make; he had the ball all the time in a Dec. 1 loss at home to Washington and couldn’t make a shot; he was handling to end the game in Philly the other night and he drilled a big shot in the overtime win in Washington in early December.
So, he’s getting it with the game on the line, they just have to figure out how to get him more involved more often earlier, I guess. Then, everyone’s happy.
The over-riding feeling I got yesterday afternoon was frustration, which isn’t surprising given the way the game – and his game – turned out.
I think maybe one answer is in the rotation. He’s always the first guy out of the game, usually around the five or six minute mark of the first quarter and maybe stretching him out two or three more minutes then will get him in an earlier flow and help ease his mind.
A bad, bad whistle
I was talking to someone after the game whose opinion on NBA refereeing I respect more than anyone in the city; someone with no bias and a wealth of experience.
The verdict: Not a very good game from the guys with the whistles, for sure.
Yes, you all think – and I concurred on most occasions -- that the refs were too inconsistent, too many calls went Boston’s way and it was kind of interesting to have that point validated by someone who knows.
The may object of ire was Eric Lewis, who made a few odd calls, including a goofy on Chris Bosh for post defence on Kendrick Perkins that I’m still shaking my head about.
It will be of no consolation but the word is that Lewis is generally considered a pretty good ref who, obviously, had a very bad day.
Trouble is, it took away from what was a pretty good game, all in all.
And this will be of no consolation, either, but the NBA “grader” who was in the arena would have filed his report to the league last night and I’m sure Mr. Lewis would have come in for some criticism.
It won’t ease the angst but it’s all that can be done.
Overall, I’ve noticed a lot of slippage by the refs this year, lots of odd calls, wild bouts of inconsistency and they need to get that cleaned up.
I maintain that NBA refs have the hardest officiating job in sports, and I also maintain they are not as bad as you think.
I’m sure you noticed …
That as the game wound down and it was close, Jay went away from Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon at the same time, using Marco with Jack in the final five or six minutes.
Why? I will surmise, with some legitimacy having spoken to a few people privately after the game, that they thought Marco was having one of his better nights – he had made a couple of threes, was getting to the rim – and that he might have been better suited to chase Ray Allen around.
It didn’t portend things to come on a regular basis, I’m told.
They still like Jack-Calderon and I suspect we’ll see a bit of it tonight in Indy.
Let’s get to other stuff:
In another quirk of scheduling, I’m sitting out tonight in Indy (although I will be in New York on Friday, giving me the win for the week, I guess).
But that doesn’t mean the usual hijinks won’t occur.
We’ll be here to chat at noon 1 p.m. for an hour or so and back at 7 p.m. for the in-game blog.
And, not to worry, I’ll be back out doing a huge chunk of travel in the next little while, which means more access, maybe more nuggets and that Super Family won’t have the Dad Distraction to contend with.
Trust me, after a week or so at home, they’re wondering when the next road trip is, too.
I’m going to start this now, get it out of the way before the end of the week arrives: The New York Knicks will want Chris Bosh this summer.
They have money to spend on the free agent, they have “targeted” him (whatever the heck that means) and they are a below average team playing in a large media market.
So when the breathless headlines hit on Thursday or Friday and I yawn you’ll know why. Been there, done that.
In Boston, once you get past the Patriot obits, here’s what the story said in the Herald.
Speaking of Bosh and New York and the somewhat, ah, ravenous media in the Gotham, here’s a story you might want to take to heart:
(I may very well have told it here before but I’m sure it’s new to some of you.)
It’s 2004, doing the Pistons-Lakers final, an off-day in Detroit and Mehmet Okur, then with the Pistons, was to be one of the intriguing free agents that summer.
It’s the first of two off-days, a fellow from the New York Post, a Mr. Berman, it was, is chatting up Okur.
The next day, it’s not exactly a back page headline but the story stays Okur wants to be in New York the next year, or something just as strong.
We get our friends in the Pistons PR department – and that’s a fine group of gentleman – to ask Mehmet about the apparent scoop he’s given the Post.
I offer that only as a cautionary tale for what you might read this week.
“He ask me if I like New York. I say yes, he make me Knick.”
As Mike Wells points out here (You remember Mike? He’s kind of a regular here) things are not going swimmingly for the Indiana Pacers.
All right, I see coasting and chilling and a quad vente latte from the Starbucks To The Stars in my immediate future. Best get at it.
See you at noon 1.