Hardly a game worth remembering, wasn't it?
Well, that was hardly worth it, was it?
Stinky game, no question; worst one in some time and who knows what kind of effort we might see tonight in Houston.
But until then, here are some points to ponder:
Everyone loves Reggie Evans, right?
Knocks people around, rebounds like a dervish, brings the energy and effort everyone expected when he was acquired last summer.
Great that way.
Offensively? Not so much.
I know he had a pretty big night the other night against Cleveland and that was good to see but there are just too many times the ball goes into the post and it never comes back out for my liking.
And I presume too much for the coaches , too.
The trouble, of course, is that when they pass it in there, they fully expect it to be kicked out so the ball can be swung and open shots created.
Until they get that more often – and I know the issue will be raised in video sessions by the staff – the offence is going to bog down.
You can’t simply say, ‘don’t throw it in there if he’s not going to throw it back out’ because it’s an integral part of what the Raptors do on offence. If you entirely ignored the post, it’d be almost like playing four on five offensively; teams would be able to cheat off Evans all the time.
No, the answer is to impress upon him the need to do what’s proven to work best.
The wall? Yeah, it must be a wall
Something’s got to give with DeMar DeRozan because what they’re getting now simply isn’t good enough.
Maybe it is that infamous rookie “wall” – this is, after all, about twice as long a season than he’s ever had and there are 20-something games to go – but his drop off some nights is startling.
Last night, he had a couple of turnovers handling the ball going to the rim – a couple of bad-news, good-news plays, I guess – but once again found himself settling for jump shots.
On one play, Kevin Durant played so far off him it was shocking, daring him to shoot. He did. He missed.
Now, I’m not suggesting they take him out of the lineup or anything radical like that; I still think the minutes he’s getting are good for his long-term development and he’s still not on the court at crunch time.
But I do think he needs to pick up the effort a little bit.
Turk on refs
Last couple of games, we’ve seen Hedo sitting earlier than anyone would like because he picked up a couple of quick fouls and there seemed to be more chirping at the refs from him, the coaching staff and the entire team than there usually is.
And Turk insists it’s a bit out of the norm:
“I never talk bad about officiating, it’s not in my character. We all make mistakes, sometimes they don’t see things; I don’t think they did anything on purpose.”
Of course, he’s been around the league long enough to know how to force refs to blow their whistles:
“If we take it to the hole we have to take it stronger so we can show there’s contact and a foul; just play like that. Tonight I know maybe they miss a few …”
Given what happened at the end of the Cleveland game, wonder if he listens to his own advice?
More? If you insist, yes, more.
Oh yeah, there was all kinds of interest among the Raptors in the big pucks game of Sunday afternoon.
Some good natured trash-talking, too.
Let’s see, in the locker room when I was there during the overtime, Turk was paying pretty close attention (and jokingly mocking the Canadians), Patrick O’Bryant was paying rapt attention and Andrea was checking out the game when he came back in from warming up.
And Antoine Wright knew how big it was in our country compared to his. He said if the Americans won, they’d get on a Wheaties box and be forgotten in a week; in Canada, those guys are now national heroes and jerseys will be jumping off the shelves. Pretty good observation.
Toss in all the support staff watching and cheering and the coaches checking out the OT in the office (none of us cared that Jay was 15 or 20 minutes late for his pre-game media thingy, there were other ways to occupy our time) and it was pretty cool, actually.
Here’s a quirky thing they do at Thunder games, something I thought they only did in New Orleans.
They have an invocation before the game; guy comes out, stands at midcourt and offers a substantial prayer right before the anthems.
Not sure how I like that. It seems a bit presumptuous and entirely out of place before a sporting event.
But that’s just me, a doofus.
Speaking of Oklahoma City, when they got up Monday morning this is what they read about that game.
And speaking of Oklahoma City, it could grow on a guy. I get a kind of Charlotte feeling from it, cool downtown restaurant-bar district, nice arena right in the heart of the city, very nice citizenry.
And as I was wondering Saturday night, happened across a local place that advertised 250 different kinds of beers and I figured there had to be one I liked.
Turns out there were three:
Samuel Smith’s nut brown, a local draught called Coop DNR and an Italian one I hadn’t tried before, Moretti LaRossa.
All good finds.
I’ll come back here next year for sure.
Saw something in the game last night I seldom see and something I’m sure drives coaches batty.
Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka got hit with a delay of game call in the third quarter for checking the game with his shirt untucked.
Yep, in This Man’s NBA if you sub in a game and take off your sweats and don’t have your shirt tucked in, it’s an automatic call.
I can’t wait for the day that happens on the second delay of game call against a team – a call that would result in an automatic technical foul.
It amazes me, the picayune stuff the league keeps its eye on.
I’d say it’s going to be odd going to Houston and not seeing either Yao or Tracy play against the Raptors but, for the life of me, I can’t remember the last time they were in a game against Toronto at the same time.
Anyway, Jonathan’s got this to say about the Rockets this morning.
You like that Thunder team?
I do, quite a bit.
But, and this is a big but, I don’t know how they’re eventually going to be able top pay all the good young players they’ve got.
Durant’s a stud, Westbrook is really, really, really good and I think Jeff Green has oodles of talent. Toss in Harden, the Ibaka kid looks promising and I’m a big Sefolosha fan.
How they keep ‘em all is beyond me; it kind of reminds me of what Chicago was a few years back, loaded with kids they couldn’t keep.
But for now? The Thunder’s fun to watch.