This, that and the other thing
Bad defence in the first half trying to figure out what the zany Pacers do with their jump-shooting bigs and then the lads turn the screws in the second half, holding Indy to 39 per cent shooting.
Pretty good, no?
Anyway, here you go, have a fun time:
I saw the replay after the game from a really good TV angle and the 45-foot lob pass Jose Calderon threw to Amir Johnson that Johnson finished with a dunk at the end of the first quarter was impossible.
It was as much a line drive as a lob, it went over or through about three players and speaks to Calderon’s increased chemistry with Johnson and the guard’s willingness to take chances with passes he probably wouldn’t have thrown two seasons ago.
The knock on Jose in some quarters was that he played “safe” and wouldn't try the dangerous, highlight-reel move.
It was always my contention that he wasn’t playing safe, he was playing smart and doing what the personnel on the court dictated he do to give his team its best chance to win.
And that pass showed me he’s not only got it in him, but he’s got some kind of crazy chemistry going with Johnson that allows him to make the odd out-of-character pass.
Being a pro
Rasho hardly ever plays – Jay likes a tighter bigs rotation, there are matchups that make it too difficult for the coach to put him in – but Sunday, when he was needed, he responded.
Four minutes, four shots, three makes and he fills a gap that gave Jay a chance to get Andrea some extra rest.
Best part, sort of?
He makes a 15-footer on his first attempt and draws a foul on the play. No, he didn’t complete the three-point play but I was trying to think of the last time he had an and-one chance on a jumper and I couldn’t come up with one.
I was joking with him after the game that not only don’t teams foul him, they don’t tend to guard him 15 or 20 feet from the basket so those three-point plays don’t come around too often. He says:
“Would have been legendary.”
But, again, it goes to the guy’s professionalism. He rarely plays – and I know he wants to play more but fully understands the reality of the situation – but when he needs to give them a few minutes, he generally gives them good ones.
Doing his work
This is what Chris Bosh does.
In the first 10 minutes of the game, he got Danny Granger in foul trouble (one by Granger trying to dislodge Bosh in the post, something he might have been able to accomplish against the lighter, weaker Bosh of a year ago; and one an offensive foul) and he got Dahntay Jones to commit two fouls in a span of about five minutes.
Yes, Bosh had eight points and six rebounds in that same 10 minute stretch but the cumulative impact of foul trouble on the two guys the Pacers wanted to use to try to guard him changed the rest of the game, too.
What else, you ask?
A tad off topic but what the heck.
Not sure how many of you folks know James Cybulski, the TSN broadcaster and one of the really good guys in our business.
Got a social conscience, too.
He’s organized a benefit show -- Toronto Plays For Haiti -- that’s going on tomorrow night at The Sound Academy that I know as The Docks from the one time I was ever there (and that was for a news conference, not clubbing or whatever you cool kids call it).
Anyway, it’s Tuesday night at 8, admission is whatever you want to pay (be generous!!) and James tells me the lineup of musical acts is impressive.
It includes ll Scarlett, The Trews, Die Mannequin, The Junction, Moneen and Maestro Fresh Wes.
I’ll take him at his word because if any of those swinging combos was playing in my driveway, I’d have to ask who they were.
There’ll be some sports celebrities there (sadly, I’ll be in Indy and unable to attend) so, show up, pay some big bucks, make some money for Haitian relief and dutifully report back to me how good the night was.
Add to the list of So Many Things I Really Think The World Could Do Without:
Video advertising panels above urinals.
This from Indiana coach Jim O’Brien on Chris Bosh has to have his team pumped for the Tuesday rematch:
“He’s trouble for anybody we put on him. We’ve tried over the years to put big guys on him; it doesn’t work. We’ve tried to put small guys on him; it doesn’t seem to work either. I don’t know if we have somebody to play Bosh, to tell you the truth.”
Egypt 1, Black Stars 0.
Gallant effort by under-manned Ghana.
See you in South Africa.
Best thing I saw at the game.
While they were honouring members of Canada’s armed forces, introducing nine of them as representatives of them all during the break between the first and second quarter, just about everyone in the building was on their feet applauding.
And I looked out to the court, under the basket in front of the Raptors bench and there was referee Phil Robinson applauding along with everyone else.
That’s a classy move. Very.
Mike Wells, who you may end up reading as much as me over the home-and-home, contributes this fine piece of scribbling to the effort.
So, what’s the week got?
At Indy tomorrow, home the Nets on Wednesday and then a nice, long break before the Sacramentos are here for Super Bowl Sunday matinee.
You’d think 3-0 would be logical, no? But tomorrow’s a tough one, really tough.
The Pacers are an odd lot, they can shoot themselves in and out of games in really short periods of time and I’ve got a feeling they’ll be pretty tough back at home.
So, 2-1? And a stretch of seven wins in eight games isn’t bad, is it?
Anyway, busy week here at Grunt Central, too. We’ll do game-day question-and-answer thingies tomorrow from Indy and Wednesday after I get back with the usual shenanigans during games and in the mornings.