Subtle moves and bold statements
Get up, get caught, win going away. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The Little Things
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Raptors are kind of reeling and all of a sudden, in a span of about 25 seconds, Sonny Weems pretty much changes the game with a couple of big defensive plays.
First, he strips Donte Greene on the post that leads to a turnover and the Raptors finish the possession with a Bosh three-point play.
Next time the Kings have the ball, Sonny’s lurking away from the play and when Andres Nocioni makes a terribly lazy pass, Weems reacts, picks it off, goes in for a dunk and all of a sudden Raps are up one after being down four.
That’s the kind of defensive plays they weren’t getting in the first 20 games of the season, reaction plays that Weems seems to be quite adept at.
I don’t know what’s going to happen when, or if, all five wings are every healthy at the same time because I don’t think there’s room for a good rotation that includes so many guys.
But if Weems keeps making the little plays like that, I wouldn’t want to be Jay and have to decide which four of DeRozan, Turkoglu, Weems, Wright and Belinelli will play.
And he does have to pick four because combined with two point guards and at least three and maybe four bigs, having more than that play regular minutes makes the rotation too choppy.
Pass Of The Night
I can’t go on enough about the pass Chris Bosh made with just over four minutes to go that Antoine Wright converted into the dagger of a three-pointer from the corner. And it speaks to Bosh’s improved awareness of defences and what they’ll do for him.
We had a perfect angle to see it unfold: He caught the ball on the right block with a guy on his back and the Kings doubled with a guy from the top and a third defender crept on Bosh’s back from the baseline. A fourth guy was sneaking into the passing lane to take away the diagonal pass to a lifted Bargnani and when Bosh split the defence and looked for someone to pass to, there wasn’t anyone. So he waited just a split second, looked to the corner and got the ball to the only guy he really could have.
And Wright, to his credit, made a fine catch – the pass was pretty low, I believe – and when I mentioned to him that the reception and shot was pretty impressive, too, he kind of laughed:
“You can’t complain about how you get the ball as long as you get it. I remember not getting it so I’m not going to complain about the pass … but it was a difficult play, he’s getting a better feel for when he’s crowded and when to move the ball.”
Those Dancin’ Fools
I’m wondering if the Raptors aren’t going to get a call from the league office sometime about the rather over-the-top pre-game histrionics that are becoming a tradition around these parts.
As the hug-a-thon was going on – with guys at the scorer’s table, in front of the bench and wandering out to midcourt – referee Greg Willard was standing not 10 feet in front of me, entirely unimpressed.
“Come, let’s go,” he said a couple of times.
And then when Sonny Weems climbed up on the table to get the crowd going – a new touch – Willard stood there, rolled his eyes and I imagine he’s thinking, ‘yeah, I need to let the folks back at the office know about this.’
Now, I’m all for the enthusiasm this group of Raptors has, it’s nice to see and is better than the ‘ho hum, let’s get started’ attitude we’ve seen in the past. These guys do like each other, they cheer for each other regardless of their roles and that has to be a good thing.
But maybe toning down the pre-game stuff just a tad would be a good idea.
If you insist.
Found a football game on TV last evening (seemed like a big one) and it was fun. But why in the world would they have a gaggle of geriatric screamers at halftime?
Seriously, I’ve got a lot of Who fan in me and they can still play the instruments, but, wow. The vocals? Yikes!
I keep getting the feeling that you’re going to see Reggie Evans in uniform on Wednesday night against his old team.
Depends on how he comes through practice Monday and Tuesday but barring any setback, getting him out there for five or six minutes to energize not only the crowd but the team, makes entire sense.
Did you look at Tyreke Evans and see a little bit of Dwyane Wade?
Kid’s strong, no doubt; but needs to work on his ball-handling and decision-making off a sample size of one viewing.
However, until I see Stephen Curry, Evans gets the rookie of the year vote from this precinct.
I think Evans is eventually a two-guard (and no matter what anyone says, I’m not sure he and Kevin Martin can co-exist) but he looks like he’s going to be a good one.
For readers of the Sacramento publication, this is how things were described.
Back to said football game.
One question to three guys:
“Who’s going to win?”
Alvin Williams: “The Eagles.”
All-knowing Beat Grunt: “Saints by 10.”
Jarrett Jack: “The Argonauts.”
Yes, I believe Jarrett will become a local favourite quite quickly.
Here’s something you don’t see every day. Or any day, now that I think of it.
About 90 minutes to the tip and DeMar DeRozan’s just finished his pre-game work and is leaving the court. Now, there are always fans and corporate invitees and whatnot sitting around to be introduced and have jerseys and the like signed so when DeMar stopped to sign a shirt there was nothing really out of the ordinary about it.
Then I got a look at the shirt and, no, it wasn’t one of the many Raptors jerseys the nice folks at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will sell you.
It was a Compton High School jersey, with DeRozan on the back and I’m thinking, man, they make replica stuff for high schoolers now?
Wonder what a No. 32 Stamford Hornets jersey would fetch?
Remember a week ago now when it was suggested somewhere on the interweb that a 2-1 week would probably be what unfolded and that’s what happened? Well, looking at the week coming and I’m thinking 1-0 is probably how it unfolds.
A slow week, isn’t it? Practices today and tomorrow, game Wednesday and then the league circus wends its way to Dallas. That oughtta be fun.
For this space? Usual crapola for the first three days, morning stuff, paper stuff, game-day Question and Answer on Wednesday around noon and then we’ve got to figure out what and when from all-star weekend. That’ll give me something to do when I’m sitting around the office this morning wading through paper work. Stay tuned.