The big week is finally upon us
Okay, it’s Draft Week.
And I fully expect Trade Week, too.
I think perhaps the most interesting part of this whole process with the Raptors their steadfast philosophy that they’ll draft who they see is the best player regardless of position.
I guess with so many pieces in play – guards, wings and bigs – it makes sense that they just go and grab a guy and deal with whatever comes down the pike.
And the thing is, they do have lots of choices.
It would appear their list, in no order because no one’s whispering who they like best at the moment, includes guards Eric Bledsoe, Xavier Henry and Avery Bradley, wings Paul George and Gordon Hayward and bigs Patrick Patterson and Epke Udoh. That’s a lot of choice, which is good because, as we all know, the Raptors are in far more reaction mode than action mode in this draft.
So much of what they do at No. 13 will be predicated on what happens with picks seven through 12 that to try and handicap this thing really is an exercise in futility.
But we’ve got three days to handicap, I guess, and since I’m hearing they’re trying to get together a workout in Toronto tomorrow – and Jim Kelly told us last week if they did get one it’d most likely be for guys coming back a second time – maybe we’ll get a bit more of a hint when we find out who lands here tonight.
Here’s one left over from last week when Jack, Johnson, DeRozan, Weems and Dorsey were in town and we were hanging around just before they started to get their workout in.
And for all you diehards wondering what specific drills they do to work on rebounding, it might ease your mind a wee bit. And, frankly, it’s something we don’t get to see too often in the limited minutes we get to watch practice so I can’t say for sure how often it happens.
They have this iron ring with probably a two- or three-inch smaller circumference than the rim that they attach to the basket.
It’s still big enough that a perfectly placed shot could go in but what it does is provide more legitimate caroms than, say, putting a lit over the entire rim because that would get some crazy bounces.
Speaking with Jay and P.J. and The Hardest Working Man In Showbiz K. DiPietro (who was in charge of figuring out which of the six practice-facility baskets to put it on), I come to the conclusion that it’s going to be a drill they’ll use often as one way to try and improve the team’s rebounding abilities.
Hey, someone with time on their hands do me a favour, okay? Keep track of all the rumours and draft “promises” and mock drafts that go up everywhere today, tomorrow and Wednesday and let me know how much actually takes occurs.
I’m betting less than 20 per cent.
Digression time, and given the time of year in basketball we might have regular digressions.
Super Son just wanders past and there’s about a week or so left in his elementary school career and I’m wondering what kind of exams and tests and stuff he’s got on this week.
Well, today’s a visit to Laser Quest, tomorrow’s all day at Wonderland and Wednesday’s bowling.
Laser Quest, Wonderland and bowling.
Yeah, they’re leaving Grade 8 with a bang.
You know me and twits, er, tweets, right?
Inane over-sharing that could spell the ruination of communication.
Well, I (heart) Dwyane Wade because, I’m told, he tweeted, or twitted, or whevered this:
"I wanna thank all my fans 4 thr support thur everything. From ths moment on I'm on twttr hiatus until after Free agency is ova.”
I understand than means he wants to thank all his fans for their support through everything and from this moment on, he’s one twitter hiatus until free agency is over.
And I thank him for that.
I must say I’m quite disappointed in my Black Stars only being able to draw the 10-man Aussies on Saturday (and only by dint of a questionable penalty call) and I’m told there was the same reaction in the neighbourhoods of Accra, where the vuvuzelas were quiet Saturday afternoon.
But it’s going to be a huge week, no?
My Spanish friends (and you know who you are) are on pins and needles, the Brits are crazed with angst and you know the Yanks are trying to figure out what conspiracy will screw them later this week.
Excellent few days ahead, and I’m quite glad it’s morning and afternoon entertainment because most of the Raptors stuff tends to break in the early evening.
And I will ask this: Given the histrionics with the French (and isn’t that a meltdown to beat all meltdowns?), how do you think they’re feeling in Ireland? Having had their spot in the World Cup stolen by that handball goal in qualifying, do you think the Irish are happy that France has turned out to be so dysfunctional or are they even angrier because they wouldn’t have made such a mess of a World Cup appearance.