That Carter fellow's impact and some visitors in town
From our usual diet of entirely disjointed thoughts, we give you another day of fun and frivolity.
Someone was asking me the other day about Vince Carter and what I thought about how bad he’d been in Orlando’s sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Whoa, big fella, I said. Au contraire.
(Well, I didn’t exactly say “whoa, big fella” or “au contraire” but you get my drift)
To me, Carter did exactly what’s needed in those four games and gets to the very essence of his game at this point in his career.
Whenever they really needed him to get involved and make plays, he did. I think it was late in Game 3, when Dwight Howard was once again sitting down because of foul trouble, the Vince and Jameer Nelson ran about four straight high screen and rolls that got the Magic huge baskets.
In Game 4 when Howard was once again sitting down because of fouls (sense a trend there?) it was the same thing, when they needed a bucket or a play, HWSNBN was heavily involved.
What we’re seeing is that, again, stats don’t tell the story because Vince’s numbers don’t look good but his impact has been significant.
And for him, that’s perfect.
I know him pretty well and I’m sure he’s quite content at this point to pick his spots, to be there when they need him for short spurts without having the total weight of carrying a team on his back for 48 minutes a night.
And, trust me, the kid still has the flair for the dramatic and the game to make a serious, serious impact. I said right from the day they traded for him that Orlando, stacked up front, with a demanding coach and talented teammates, was a perfect situation for Vince at this point in his career.
I imagine that’ll be borne out even more as the next series unfolds.
And I know a whole lot of you will hate it with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, as a charming learned colleague used to say.
If there is one other good thing about the coming second-round series it’s this: No local broadcasts.
No slight intended to many of them, who are just guys trying to do the best they can, but they are all employees of the team and in that regard have to slant their descriptions, if not opinions, one way over the other.
Now, if I never have to listen to Tiresome Tommy Heinsohn again it’ll be too soon (that schtick wore off years ago) but turning over the better games to better broadcasters is never a bad thing.
Sure, there are some national network guys whose work I’m not a big fan of – I’m not all the comfortable listening the cadence of Dick Stockton’s delivery, for instance – but generally they are better.
And, generally, the analysts are most insightful, more detached and more consistently critical in their comments. Having to talk about a team you’ve seen for 90 or 95 games lends itself to too much “insider info” that doesn’t give a casual viewer much insight.
Going to the post office today?
Forget about it. Just send your cards and letters here and you could get a reply on the weekend.
How ‘bout them Bucks?
(As another aside, I think “Fear The Deer” is a tremendously cool slogan).
If we’re learning anything in that series with the Hawks it’s that a good team beats a bunch of good players a lot of the time and that’s what we saw in Game 5
Now, individual talent may ultimately win out and the Hawks are certainly not dead with the prospect of a Game 7 back at home, but Milwaukee’s willingness to play together, move the ball and play true team defence sets them apart.
I imagine some of it’s imparted from Scott Skiles, I imagine some of it’s simply the nature of the players but it’s been kind of cool to watch, hasn’t it?
If you look down the rosters, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find one spot at which the Bucks have a clear-cut advantage and they lead 3-2 only because they’re playing better team basketball.
And as we’ve been hammering home here forever, it’s always a team thing, it’s never one guy. If the Hawks figure that out, maybe they can steal the next two; I don’t know that they can.
Oh yeah, lots on the plate this morning, this afternoon and this evening so I’m going to have to take the in-game blog thingy off tonight.
I know. You’re crushed, aren’t you?
Big week for Canada Basketball. And it has nothing to with anything on the court.
The FIBA Americas evaluation commission is in town for meetings and inspections that will go a long way in determining whether Canada will host the 2011 Olympic qualification tournament.
There’s a little media soiree this afternoon atop the CN Tower (hope it’s a nice clear day) that’ll give us more details on the visit but what the good people of FIBA are looking at is no surprise.
Oh, and money.
Lots of money.
If there’s been one common thread through most of the dealings I’ve known about with FIBA Americas and COPABA before it, it’s that someone needs to guarantee no one takes a financial bath – and that the governing body gets some cash in its coffers – when they host these kinds of things.
If you talk about facilities and accommodations and the city itself, Toronto would be a no-brainer but I still think there’s going to have to be some sugar daddy to write a cheque to make things go truly smoothly for Canada Basketball.
The advantages to hosting are tremendous. Familiarity with the surroundings, not having to deal with the vagaries of travel and the intimidation factor that some officials feel are huge factors in international basketball tournaments.
Canada has never hosted an Olympic qualifier, and it’s part of the reason they’ve had such limited qualification success. That and talent, of course.
I know Wayne Parrish pretty well and I know he’ll have all the answers for all the questions and will put on a tremendous presentation.
I also know that it’d be far better if he had a guy standing behind him with a bag of cash.
You know me and pucks and the tremendously marginal interest I have in the game, right? Well, even a guy like me has to be impressed with what Les Habitant did. And I know a family (hi, Pennys!) who might still be driving up and down Creditview honking the horn.
But it does show you that playoffs, in all sports, are great because you never, ever know for sure.
And that’s what makes this time of year pretty darn good.
That and the coming Mighty Yankees season, which should get underway as early as next week with our own version of teenage spring training.