A confident crew and a cut under an eye
Bit of a wacky day, no? Terrible defence, some hugely lethargic stretches and three over-and-back violations in the same game.
Don’t see that too often.
(Well, you do see the first two far too often; the over-and-backs were a bit odd).
You listen to Chris Bosh yesterday and you get a sense that basketball players truly do look at the good side of everything.
Forget the five losses in six games or whatever it is, never mind the daunting road trip this week. You play ‘em one at a time, forget what’s happened or what’s coming and always look for the good in different situations:
“No, the pressure is always going to be there, no matter how many games you play or where you play them at. It’s a west coast tirp and two out of the four teams we’ve played and we’ve beaten. Another one of the games we play is against a team that’s under .500 so we’re just going to have to … bring the right amount of focus to each game and make sure we play to win every time. If we do that, we will be in the position we want to be in.”
Big talk, no?
But it goes to the confidence he has, confidence that never wavers and it’s way better to feel that way than to feel overly-concerned with what’s in the immediate future.
I have no idea how the games will end up – I know they have to win one at least and if they find a way to steal a couple the trip will have been a success.
The schedule does break down in a bad way, though. I know they’d like to get Sacramento to start rather than to finish a back-to-back and the way they’re defending, those zany Golden State Warriors may drop a big, big number on them.
But they go out with at least a bit of confidence; whether it’s justified or not is another thing entirely.
On an island
Okay, how many times Sunday did you watch Thaddeus Young get past Andrea or hit a jump shot over him and curse?
Seriously. Had to be a dozen, right?
And how many of you swore that Andrea’s defence is so bad he can’t be on the court in those situations?
Seriously. Had to be 1,000, right?
Well, at least one of his teammates brought up a point you should all take into consideration; it kind of goes to what we’ve said here more than a few times already this season.
Antoine Wright, kind of the voice of reason, was lamenting the lack of assistance the Raptors were – or weren’t -- giving each other:
“That’s not the type of defence that wins basketball games. We have Andrea out there on a quicker smaller guy, we have to help him and vice-versa. We can’t lose these games by one guy having a matchup problem; we have to make adjustments and we all have to help him.”
And that was the biggest issue I saw yesterday afternoon.
It was like a flashback to the first four or five weeks of the season, when they simply didn’t offer any help defence and got routinely killed.
If there’s a true trouble sign on the horizon, it’s that old habits like that are creeping back into their play. Yes, we’ve seen them come out of a funk like that quite well; they have to again or else it’s curtains on the season.
Seeing it again
Speaking of repeat performances, we got a lot of Jose-Jarrett yesterday; most of the second quarter and a huge chunk of the fourth.
And it was okay. Not great, just okay but there’s one thing I really think they have to do.
When the two of them are on the floor, I really think Jose needs to handle the ball primarily. He’s more effective in the high screen-roll, Jack can be a spot up shooter in the corner and the offence just seems to flow a bit better with Calderon initiating it.
There’s no way Jay’s going to stop using them together, no matter what you or I think, but I’m pretty sure he sees the same thing I do, that Jose’s better at running the offence, has better ball-handling skills to get the ball upcourt and, a bad shooting three quarters yesterday notwithstanding, he’s pretty good at coming around the corner and making a 17-footer.
A wee bit more? Okay.
Here’s a quick question: If Canada was to play France is a men’s senior national team exhibition game in Toronto in August, would you buy a ticket?
The details aren’t finalized yet but as soon as they are, I’m hoping you find a way to grab some ducats.
After all, it might mark the triumphant return of Jerome Moiso to the Air Canada Centre.
Couple of questions during the game yesterday about what caused Jose to get that technical foul in the second quarter.
Well, seeing him in the locker room after, his left eye bloodied from a cut underneath he got just before being T’d up made it all make sense.
He said he’d merely pointed out to the officials that perhaps the blood below his eye had been be worthy of at least a personal foul against the offending Sixer. But he admitted he perhaps made that a point a bit too vociferously.
“Oh yeah, it was a tech. I deserved it.”
It’s kind of fun, in a “driving by a car wreck” kind of way, to run into Alvin Williams these days after some big college basketball game involving his beloved Villanova Wildcats.
Last week, it was after they were beaten rather soundly by Syracuse and he was telling any one who’d listen that it was “just an exhibition game, nothing matters until the tournament” and he was laughing it off.
Well, Sunday, after the ‘Cats lost Saturday to someone else – West Virginia, I understand – he looked kind of ashen when some of us (well, me) were busting on him.
“Another exhibition game?” “Yeah, gotta get them used to all kinds of situations, like overtime.”
He was chewing his fingernails at the time though.
No reports from the left coast yet but I know the Raptors were due into L.A. around 11 our time last night and they stay at some ritzy Beverly Hills digs.
Wonder what kind of post-game Oscar parties they were able to sneak in to?
I can just see ‘em getting into the Governor’s Ball or the Vanity Fair thing; hope the paparazzi got some snaps of them.
In Philadelphia, this is how they wrote up that Sunday affair.
Wondering about the schedule here this week?
As perhaps I’ve mentioned, I’m not in L.A. or Sacramento (I’ll pick ‘em up in San Francisco on Thursday) and today, tomorrow and Wednesday will be the first three days without a practice, game or flight since about Jan. 28. It’ll be nice.
But I guess we still need to do the regular stuff in this little corner, right?
So we’ll see if there’s any interest in late-night in-game blogs and we’ll keep up with the usual game-day question and answer stuff, right? I’ll be in touch with the travelling party so will get whatever news is out there for us to discuss so it won’t be entirely boring, I swear.