And now, a much deserved one-day break for all of us
That Nets game was more about survival than anything and, to their credit, they did. Lots of guys in lots of different roles, backups as starters, extended minutes for guys who don’t get them and I cannot tell you how horrible Jack sounded and looked with whatever bug he was fighting through.
All in all, they got done what they needed to get done, they beat a bad team and the overwhelming sense I got from talking to coaches and players after was that they were glad it was over and can’t wait to have a day off today.
Maybe they can sit around their condos and read this:
Sometimes, it just works
Best play of the night had to be the dunk Sonny Weems had off the inbounds pass under the basket, right? Second quarter, when Weems really turned the game around, Jarrett Jack’s inbounding the ball, they make eye contact, Weems finds an open path between a group of entirely disinterested Nets defenders and makes the dunk.
It’s one of those things we’re seeing more and more from Sonny, just subtle moves that shows a raw athleticism, a flare and an understanding of what he can do.
I’m not sure early in the season anyone had any real idea what his skillset was and while it’s still raw (scoreless in Indy was a step back), he’s really showing signs of contributing.
Aside from last night’s offence – and he really did change the game in that four- or five-minute stretch of the second quarter – the way he got on the boards was hugely impressive.
If the Raptors can get that kind of rebounding effort, and that’s all it really is, on a consistent basis, it’ll be the first time they will have really had a good rebounding wing in a very long time.
Long shots, long boards
Here’s what taking and missing three-pointers can do for a team:
Allow it to offensively rebound the ball a lot better.
I’ll have to go and check the video (or just mention it anecdotally and leave it at that) but I counted at least four times the Nets were able to track down their missed threes and three times the Raptors did it and that’s the one oft-forgotten aspect of the shot.
I know the Raptors track this kind of thing much more in-depth than I do but there is no doubt three pointers yield more offensive boards than any other shot.
It’s a bane to teams who allow them, it keeps possessions going, but it’s a boon to teams that take them and I’m dead certain it’s part of the reason Jay would like the Raptors to get up more threes than they are.
They took 19 last night and made 10 and the coach was entirely okay with that.
And it doesn’t seem to take away from what else they do, either.
Bosh still got 20 field goal attempts and 11 of Bargnani’s 17 were either drives or mid-range jumpers so hoisting almost 20 threes didn’t really hurt the inside stuff, either.
Stats, stats, stats
I’m told by people who keep track of these sorts of things that Andrea has now had a blocked shot in the past 10 games, which isn’t a bad kind of streak for a guy not really known as a great defensive force.
Checking the boxscore from the Nets game, he’s credited with four blocks and I’m wondering if that’s not hometown scoring. I can recall one or two but think we might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves with the four.
Andrea’s defence the last couple of nights has been quite average, as a matter of fact; the first three quarters in Indy bordered on dreadful now that I recall.
But there was one block last night against the Nets that showed what he can do when he puts his mind to it.
It was late – fourth quarter if I’m reading my scribbling right – and Brook Lopez has the ball in the post. He makes a couple of moves, tries to muscle Bargnani off but the kid stays with him and straight-up blocks a little jumper.
Solid defence but they have to get it more often before anyone gets too wild about it.
More? Okay, a little more.
So coach Bosh, eh?
Another reason to have to sit through the dreadfulness that is the Rookie-Sophomore thingy but the news that Bosh is going to be some kind of assistant coach did provide us with a line of the night.
We were talking to Jay before the game and someone was asking him about Chris as a coach and whether, you know, it’s something he might see Bosh doing in a decade or so when his career’s over and whether he’d be bright enough to handle it. Says Jay:
“Let’s get this straight: You don’t have to be bright to be a coach. Or a reporter.”
Well, I guess every team’s got its Kryptonite.
For the Raptors, it’s the Celtics.
For the Astounding Hawthorn Hawks it’s the Dastardly Green Gators, who registered a 46-34 triumph yesterday in dynamic Grade 8 Peel boys hoops.
Of course, the Hawks were on a back-to-back and we can all understand the demands of homework, travel (the three minute walk to school’s a killer) and general fatigue so I’m going that as excuse.
Super Son? I’m told he rebounded like a blonde, skinny, 13-year-old, tattoo- and piercing-free Dennis Rodman and dished it like Steve Nash.
Or something like that.
Dave D gets a three-week reprieve from covering the Nets to go chronicle curlers and the like out in Vancouver (I hear the Olympics are coming soon or something) and I can’t think of a better break for a guy.
But before he goes, he’s writing this kind of stuff about that kind of game.
Oh yeah, mail.
Want to send some? Send it here so I can start stockpiling and maybe answering and not get caught at the last minute, scrambling.
If you’d like to stay away from game-specific queries, crazy trade suggestions and rants, it’d be greatly appreciated.
Maybe not the greatest of hits.
Attendance was just 15,222, which is the second-worst crowd of the season, eclipsed only by the 15,167 that saw Minnesota way back in early December.
But I guess you could look at it this way: How much worse would it have been had it not been, you know, such a special occasion.
Let’s see: Two games, two days, two question-and-answer sessions, two in-game blogs and now nothing until Sunday?
I’m going to have Irregular Withdrawal or something like that.
Anyway, no practice today, either so it’s a day of relative coasting, searching the notebook for something marginally interesting to write and chilling.
Maybe I’ll sit around with my Vanilla Ice 8-tracks and reminisce.
Sounds good, no?