Of injured guys and expectations and scary red drinks
Join Doug Smith at 1 p.m. Tuesday for a live basketball Q&A, as the Raptors get ready to take on the Indiana Pacers.
I think everyone agrees that the schedule turns easy for Raptors in the next little while, a bunch of teams under .500, a bunch of teams they get on the second game of back-to-backs, a chance to really make move.
It was interesting, then, to talk to a couple of guys about it, and what it might mean in the long haul, Monday at practice. Jose was adamant he doesn’t look and doesn’t care and is only worried about the next one on the schedule.
Jarrett said about 15 minutes later that he knows who they play – “Friendly February” is what he called it – and knows what it possibilities exist as they proceed through the next two or three weeks.
Which is best?
I think the only thing a guy can do is worry about what’s coming up in the immediate future, like the next game and – maybe – the game after that.
If we’ve learned anything over the years – and it’s not just this season – it’s that there is no such thing as a “sure win” and that if you’re not on the top of your game, you could lose at any time to any time anywhere.
And as Chris Bosh said after Sunday’s game, losses can mount at any time and this thing could go south at any minute.
The Raptors are good and getting better, but they could rattle off four losses in a row of they’re not careful and they need to take care of business one game at a time.
This probably isn’t big news but it’s not something that’s been written around here in the last couple of hours.
From talking to this guy and that guy, I’m getting the sense that there’s no way we see DeMar DeRozan before Sunday afternoon but that a masked Hedo could very well go play against the Nets tomorrow night.
Makes entire sense to me to hold out the rookie for another few days; it’ll give him a lot more time in the practice gym and a lot more time on the treatment table to get that ankle in shape.
I know it’ll tick him off because we watched him get up shots, dunk once or twice and work out as usual after practice on Monday afternoon and there’s no doubt he thinks he’s ready to play but more rest and treatment today, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday and Saturday is far, far better than having him come back on Wednesday night.
Turk’s here in Indy with team because apparently the mask-maker-to-the-stars operates out of this burg and if they find that he’s comfortable wearing the contraption – and I think it’d be way more cool if they found an old Vessa Toskala mask around the arena to wear – there’s no reason he can’t go on Wednesday.
It’s as much severity of injury and risk of further harm as anything but that’s a schedule for those two that I think they should keep.
I will say this for Indiana:
Really good restaurants, really good places to go after restaurants and if the corporate sales people from Maple Leaf Sports continue to insist on end-of-the-night red things concocted from Crown Royal, Amaretto and cranberry juice, we might have issues.
Tasty? No question.
A good idea? Not in the least.
Speaking of Indy, here’s what Mike Wells (and he’s getting more ink here than I am) wrote today.
Word of warning:
There will be open layups and uncontested three-pointers for the Pacers tonight. Guaranteed.
Why? Well, here’s Jay:
“The biggest thing is trying to keep everybody in front of you … As soon as there’s a breakdown the natural reaction – and it’s not something we want to get away from – is you’ve got to help. But if you help the way we do all year, when the bigs are in and protecting and they kick for a three because the bigs shoot.
“It’s a very unorthodox thing and we don’t want to change our whole system completely for one or two games. We’ve had to tweak some things and try not to tweak it too much because we want our guys to keep getting better at the systems we put in on Dec. 4.”
Dec. 4 being the post-Atlanta day.
Here’s one for you.
Reggie Evans keeps working and getting into shape and closer to being ready to get into a game.
Everyone’s pointing to the Memphis game right after the break but what if they accelerated it.
What if they put a uniform on him next Wednesday against Philly at home, found a way to get him five minutes or so against his old team, let the crowd at the ACC see what he’s got and give him a reward for the months of rehab he’s done.
We’ll talk, right?
Starting just before 1 p.m. this afternoon?
Just so you can set your schedule.
No Jim O’Brien tonight for the Pacers, as it turns out.
Seems his mother-in-law passed – and condolences go out for his loss because I know just how he feels – and the Pacers coach is taking some family time.
I’m sure you’ve all read the Rapday thing among today’s offerings – that’s the thing with the starters, key matchup and note – because it’s invaluable information. Or something like that.
Well, maybe there’s a change if Hedo can’t go and it’s doubtful he will.
If the Pacers stay silly small, with Granger at the four and a backcourt of Watson and Rush with Mike Dunleavy at the three, don’t be at all surprised if Jay counters with Sonny out there to guard Dunleavy and Marco to handle Rush, at least to start.
Anyway, it’s late, shootaround’s soon and I need a coffee. Best part about Conseco? There’s a Starbucks in the building and while it’s certainly not the home branch – Hello Hwy. 10 and the QEW! – it’s got to be good.