With apologies to Rudy T ...
A check of the trusty old schedule shows that after this three-day break between games, they’ll come fast and furious. Nine in 14 days starting Friday in New York.
Lots of games to dissect and the emotional ups and downs a fella experiences over a nine-game stretch are hugely entertaining.
Like this is.
Because, sadly, this is what we some people do too often around practice, there was lots of looking back during the various chat sessions with players and coaches.
And about the only thing of real interest was Chris Bosh doing a little reflection on the mental state of the Raptors:
“When you get down 20, guys start playing harder and I think sometimes we feel the pressure a little bit. Sometimes, you think shots are going to in and it doesn’t happen. Coach showed us about four clips where we took shots with about 18 seconds left on the shot clock.
‘We need to move the ball, put the defence in motion and not be so quick to shoot it.”
Of course, he’s dead on in his assessment and the immediate thought as he said it was, ‘I believe we’ve heard this all before.’
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times, mental toughness is not something this team has in spades right now. It can be developed over time, through lessons learned in hard losses and narrow wins, but it hasn’t come quickly enough.
To paraphrase the great Rudy Tomjanovich:
“Don’t ever over-estimate the heart of a Raptor.”
You what I don’t get?
Like from the guy who e-mailed me the other day to suggest that this version of the Raptors, with its depth and athleticism, would be so better with Shawn Marion instead of Hedo Turkoglu and if I didn’t understand that, well, I was a dope.
It is one of the tenets of sports, especially the team-building aspect of it that you cannot do that sort of thing.
Why? Because if they keep Shawn Marion, they likely don’t make the Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson trade; they probably don’t have a chance to get Jarrett Jack, Antoine Wright’s not a possibility.
It is not a linear world, pro sports; to think so makes no sense at all.
It goes back as far as Araujo instead of Iguodala and what that would have meant. Well, maybe it doesn’t mean Bargnani, maybe it doesn’t mean the same Carter trade, maybe it doesn’t mean Joey instead of Danny Granger.
Folks, it’s not worth getting yourself worked up about; it’s a game that can’t be played.
So much for my idea that maybe putting Jose back in the starting lineup made sense, eh?
Shot down in flames pretty much by everyone involved, as you read this morning, I presume.
Oh yeah, mail for Saturday. We could use some good stuff over there in the inbox, pretty slim pickings at the moment.
This is apropos of nothing, really, but nothing is what we do here every now and then.
Super Son, as a Christmas gift, put together a couple of CDs for me and the Smelly Ford Focus, music we had lying around but not compiled.
One of them includes Springsteen’s The Rising and I have to tell you, it’s like the first track I click to most days.
One of those songs you never hear but always want to and, I will admit, it used to be a little goosebumpy when they’d play it in Miami before Heat games right after it was released.
That’s all. Back to basketball.
Bogus Bosh-to-Denver chatter yesterday?
Add another team to the list and this is going to a wild, wild five weeks.It is my fervent hope that we get to 24 teams linked to him before this is over.
By “wild, wild” I mean excruciatingly painful.
I tell ya, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for a sports franchise owned by Donald Sterling, a guy who, and I quote from the Los Angeles Times
"has agreed to pay a record $2.725 million to settle allegations that he discriminated against African Americans, Hispanics and families with children at scores of apartment buildings he owns in and around Los Angeles”
but, man, I do feel bad for Mike Dunleavy and the rest of the Clippers.
Blake Griffin done for the year after knee surgery?
I had a chance to chat briefly – very briefly – with Griffin when we were out in L.A. in November and he struck me as a good kid who’d do whatever was necessary to get back on the court.
He was months away at that time from playing, rehabbing hard and being as much a part of the team as he could.
Marcus Camby, when I talked to him, spoke highly of Griffin’s character and personality and the news yesterday just kind of stunk.
But it may have prolonged Camby’s time in L.A., actually.
Had Griffin been able to come back and contribute even a little bit, it might have made it easier for the Clips to deal Camby and his $9.1 million contract that expires this year.
Now, with a team on the periphery of the playoff race – 3.5 games out now – it might be worth hanging on to him and seeing if they can make a run.
They’re holding a dunk contest to get into the dunk contest?
I guess that just creates another possibility for Young DeRozan to get in after all the lobbying he’s done. The more in the potential pool of contestants, the better for him.
But, man, they’ll do anything to jazz up the rather boring – read ‘mind-numbing, eyes-glazing-over, stupifying’ – Friday night of all-star weekend.
I’m just trying to figure out what they’re going to do the juice the Saturday, which remains stuck in about 1998.
Hmm, flight to New York today and new “heightened” security measures.
I can’t imagine how “heightened” they can be from the last time I flew, when you went through the scanner, had the computer bag emptied and searched, couldn’t carry on luggage and then, after passing through security, were forced through another check where they, for a change, emptied a computer bag and performed a full body pat-down.
Maybe a third layer of intrusion?