Decisions, decisions, decisions. And turns out we are done on time
Join Doug Smith at at 1 p.m. Monday for a live basketball Q&A, as the Raptors get ready to take on the Charlotte Bobcats.
You know what? It was kind of fun to sit and watch a game with no deadline pressure looming and no in-game blog to work on.
But, alas, that’ll be the last time for that this season; we’ll be back to the usual schedule tonight in Charlotte.
And I’m sure some of you will have something to say about this stuff.
Go to it, kids.
A tough lesson to teach
I’m sure you’ve all read about the DNP-CD for Hedo on Sunday night (if you haven’t, it’s right here) and what it meant to the team and to him.
No one has really covered themselves in glory in this somewhat sordid situation and that’s one of the most troubling aspects of the whole affair.
I have no idea if Hedo was out Friday night eating, partying or just killing time before bed like a lot of us do. But, no matter what, the optics aren’t great and I am sure the folks in the upper levels of Raptors brassdom are singularly unimpressed with having to deal with it.
After all, Hedo’s been a bust for much of this season, this just adds to it.
And I can understand entirely that Jay – and you know he had to have let his bosses know what he was planning to do and it met with their approval – would want to send a message by dressing Turk and not using him.
But I also know Jay could have done a better job explaining it to us after the game. In his defence, it’s a pretty emotional time immediately after but he had to know the questions were coming and could have handled it better.
That all said, the question is: What’s next?
Well, I think reasonable men can work out their differences and get past issues and I would imagine Turk’s back doing what he does tonight in Charlotte. I don’t know whether he’ll start but he should play.
It was also interesting to get the players’ reaction to all of this and what happened in the game.
Almost of ‘em distanced themselves from the issues, we got a couple of “that’s a management thing” and a “I’m not sure what’s going on, you have to ask them” and then Social Conscience Antoine Wright (and I mean that in a complimentary way because I like the fact he has opinions and states them) chimed in:
“We’re in support of Hedo, he’s our teammates, we want to see him back on the court but management is handling that.”
But what about sending a message and the cost:
“I don’t make them decisions, man. I think we need everyone n this locker room to play basketball in my personal opinion.”
Can’t do their thing
The Heat really didn’t play some suffocating defence in that fourth quarter but the Raptors didn’t do themselves any favours, either.
They’re up six when there’s a timeout with just under five minutes to go and Jay uses the break to get Jose and Sonny back in for Jack and DeRozan so he’s got his starters on the court for the stretch run.
And what do they get out of the timeout:
An airballed Wright three at the shot clock buzzer after they ran around like chickens with their heads cut off for about 22 seconds.
Hardly crisp execution.
How’s your hindsight?
When it first happened, I was somewhat stunned that Jose would foul Carlos Arroyo with the Raptors down two in what was a pretty pivotal play in the game.
A quick look at the clock made me think they should have played out the possession, got a stop and then tried to tie or win with a last possession.
(Of course, that’s putting a lot of faith in a Raptors defence that probably would have surrendered an and-one to Wade but that’s another story).
Anyway, up further review of the play by play, there was only a 2.9 second difference between shot clock and game clock (I thought it was a bit over four) and in that case the foul makes sense.
If they play out the possession and the Heat do the right thing and take a shot as the clock runs out, it’s going to take a second for the ball to get on the rim, a half second or so to rebound the ball and that doesn’t really leave enough time to get something good at the other end.
So they made a choice and it didn’t work out because not only didn’t they score but the Heat (read Arroyo) didn’t miss a free throw down the stretch.
But I’m okay with the decision after some time to think about it.
Minor points and story-telling time
The Heat do this really cool thing right after the anthems and before the game where they recognize an American serviceman who’s back home after serving his country in one of the various wars the U.S. is waging.
A very nice touch where they have the person introduced flanked by a couple of players as the fans stand and applaud.
Odd last night, though.
It was Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire who were at midcourt for the ceremony.
My man Ira has this to say about that.
We see a whole lot of Chris Bosh love on the road in cities where he’s considered a good free agent possibility.
Miami, of course, one of them and the guy sitting a few rows up from the court across from where we were sitting holding the life-sized cutout of Bosh in a Heat jersey may win the prize for most creative.
But here’s the deal, there is not a single player on the Miami team not named Dwyane Wade that I’d take in a sign-and-trade.
I’ve never, ever been a Michael Beasley fan and watching that performance against Toronto only affirms my position.
Never mind the atrocious shooting, that’ll come and go, he simply has no interest in defending.
So unless there’s some magical multi-team sign-and-trade rattling around in Bryan’s mind – or Steve Fruitman’s – it’s going to cost Bosh about $30 million to go play in South Florida.
Hey, did you see that the Bulls won?
Half a game lead for eighth?
They come home tied on Tuesday?
Think the collars will be a little tight?
Oh yeah, we’ll talk. A bit later than usual because of flight times and travel times and the need to walk around the corner from my Charlotte hotel for a quad vente non-fat latte the minute I get in but we’ll answer questions.
Let’s go at 1 p.m. today, I’ll be here if you are.
Tough crowd, especially the kids.
I’m talking the pre-teen about four rows behind us last night with the screechy pre-teen voice who yelled “Raptors, you suck” about a kabillion times.
No idea what dad or mom or whoever was doing but it wasn’t parenting.
So you read how Ira chronicled the game just past, here’s how Rick sets up the game to come.
Oh yeah, disregard that earlier post about not getting this up on time. Turns out I’m pretty good at this gig and the security torture at Miami International’s relatively new south terminal wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.
See what I do for you folks? Thanks are always gratefully accepted.
(So are gifts but that’s an entirely different story)
Time to board the big bird for Charlotte. See ya.