These are heady times indeed
Join Doug Smith at noon Thursday for a live basketball Q&A, as the Raptors get ready to take on the New York Knicks.
Another home win, another pretty solid outing, and a season-high two games over .500?
Man, things are going pretty good, aren’t they?
How many of you are waiting for the other shoe to drop?
But for now, rejoice!
And read this.
The right moment
Oh, those are a crafty group of coaches on that Raptors staff.
For most of the first three quarters, I’m wondering when they’ll send a second defender at Dwyane Wade or try to trap him coming off screens because they’d just been forcing him one way with only one defender.
Well, here comes the fourth quarter and here comes an entirely different look and it was all planned, as it turns out, according to Jay after the game:
“Throughout the game, we tried to show him different guys ad then we were sitting on trapping him. We waited and waited and waited and finally, in the fourth quarter, we thought it was time to hit him and make somebody else to have to make shots because the way he had it going for a while there, it was one of those games where you didn’t want to give him the opportunity to take over.
“We didn’t want to wait too long but he gave it up and other guys missed shots so the strategy worked.”
So there is method to the apparent madness.
As good as it gets
I’m not sure Antoine Wright’s played a better game this season that he did against Miami and he was a huge part of the result.
Two plays back-to-back stood out.
Near the end of the third quarter, he wheels and deals in the lane (not a warp speed but with some determination) and misses a Marco-esque layup. But to his credit, he stays with it, grabs the rebound, gets up another shot the refs say was goal-tended, gets fouled and makes the free throw.
The next Miami possession – and this was a good play I bet few noticed – the Heat miss a shot. There are four or five guys battling pretty hard for the miss but Wright sneaks past them and steals the miss along the baseline. Heady play.
Not sure exactly when it was, all I know was that it came in the second half because my notes are indecipherable, but there was an Andrea Bargnani move that perfectly sums up his development.
He got the ball at the perimeter on the left side and took off towards the basket; we had a perfect view of it on the angle he took.
He beat his man rather easily – and that’s not out of the ordinary – but when the second defender slid over to help, I think everyone in the gym expected a charge because, well, because that’s what he does.
But instead of barreling full tilt into whoever was there, he made a subtle move to his left, got his hip around the defender and finished with a finger-roll-like layup without the slightest bit of contact.
Pretty solid move from a guy who’s showing more solid moves every single game
In other, you know, stuff …
How screwed up are the Washington Wizards now?
They can’t trade Gilbert, not sure than can trade either of Butler or Jamison because they don’t know what the final resolution of the Arenas situation will be and who knows if GM Ernie Grunfeld will survive this awful mess.
But I give David Stern credit because the penalties he doled out yesterday made by far the most sense to me. Yes, it was beyond stupid what Arenas and Crittenton did but to do more than a rest-of-the-season-timeout would have, in my opinion been entirely piling on.
It’s a strong message but not too strong; stupidity will be penalized but there is a measure of compassion.
And I’m not entirely sure the Wizards, who are at least a bit complicit in this whole mess because of the way the coddled and cow-towed to Arenas over the years, are going to be successful if they try to void Gilbert’s contract.
Oh, I’m sure they’ll try and, yes, he’ll have that criminal record; and, yes, what he did was unconscionable but we live in a society where second chances abound and I don’t think they’ll end up winning what’s going to be a court-arbitrated decision.
In Miami, Ira said this about that and the sneaking suspicion we both had is that it’s going to be a 35-game race between Toronto, Miami and Charlotte to see who finishes five, six and seven in the East.
Personally, I think the Raptors are heavy favourites to win and I think you can throw a blanket over the other two.
He was Disappointed DeMar at news he didn’t have to subject himself to the Rookie-Sophomore Silliness on all-star weekend (and I really think it’s the weakest part of the entire affair) but at least the kid could crack wise a little bit:
“I might have more legs for the dunk contest.”
Want to talk today?
How’s noon fit everyone’s schedule? Imagine it’ll work a wee bit better than yesterday when things slowed a Hakeem Olajuwon crawl thanks to the I-Thing launch and about a zillion live chats at 1 p.m.
Anyway, I’ll be here. Will you?
Today’s the day, folks
All-star Subs Day.
A week or so ago I gave you what I thought the rosters would look like after the coaches voted with the provision that I could change my mind.
Well, I did a bit.
So, without further ado, I think this might be the way the coaches filled out their ballots, at least if they were, you know, as smart as I am.
Remember, coaches had to pick two guards, two forwards, a centre and two others and had some leeway on deciding who was, say, a centre or a forward and a guard or a forward.
Chris Bosh, Gerald Wallace, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Andrew Bogut.
Brandon Roy, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Deron Williams and Zach Randolph.
You’re welcome, maybe this’ll save you some time tonight.
Black Stars update!
I know it’s been a while (I think the last I mentioned it was when the tournament began, which seems like July) but the big semifinals of the African Cup of Nations goes today.
Black Stars vs. Nigeria at 11 a.m. Eastern time and Algeria-Egypt at 2:30 p.m.
Just so you can tune in the TV to catch it.
Speaking of tonight, let's see what the Post has to say for comic relief.
Oh, and speaking of tonight, I won’t be in the Garden, this was a long-scheduled Dave trip, we were supposed to split the trips to New York but I had to bail at the last minute a couple of weeks ago.
The plan, after a nice day of laundry, house-cleaning and, if there’s a Supreme Being some quiet time somewhere, is for a usual in-game thing for the 7:30 start.
See some of you then, barring any unforeseen developments.