A bit of a drubbing and a season of road trips
I can’t hear you.
It was good, thanks.
So, that was a rather inglorious start to a European tour for the Canadian team, wasn’t it?
Nipped 123-49 by Greece in Athens (no, my fingers didn’t hit the wrong keys, they lost 123-49), it’s not the totality of the decimation that’s most troubling.
Getting drilled by Greece in Greece a day after landing isn’t a big shocker, quite aside from the fact that Greece is very, very, very good and should challenge for a worlds medal.
It’s that Canada’s running out of time to get its full roster on the court to develop some kind of cohesion before the worlds start in a week and a bit.
I see by the boxscore (and I wasn’t able to reach anyone over there yesterday) that Andy Rautins didn’t play (he tweaked a knee in the last game against France) and Jermaine Anderson got back but only played a bit less than 10 minutes.
I know Canada prides itself on its depth and they do go nine or 10 deep in pretty much equal skill but they need all of those guys to have any chance of getting past the first round in Turkey.
And on a team that I think is going to be challenged to score very much, not having Rautins, their best shooter, or a healthy Anderson, best ball-handler and on-court leader, is a crippling blow.
There are still five tuneup games left for them, all against pretty solid opposition that will give them a true indication of where they are before the worlds begin but they absolutely need a full team to work together for as much time as possible.
That’s going to be the mission in the next week, regardless of what the results of the games are.
So, Super Son and I are sitting there about 25 minutes into Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (man, I didn’t realize how he could play) and all of a sudden this aroma starts wafting through the air.
Kid looks up, eyes get wide (at least they didn’t get that faraway look I hear about) and he smiles.
“Yeah, you were right, dad. There is some here.”
So, the word I’m getting is that the TV deal for the world championships is going to be a bit bigger than some expected.
If you were to suggest to someone that it might be a multi-year deal that includes the women’s worlds and various other FIBA events and will be with TSN and its networks, you might be bang on.
No idea if it’s done today or tomorrow or when but the vibe I’m getting is that it’ll be sooner rather than later.
And I have to say, if it does indeed include the women’s worlds later this year from the Czech Republic, that’s huge and a big step and both Canada Basketball and TSN should be lauded.
Speaking of ex-Raptors, did you see where Nathan Jawai has signed with Partizan in Serbia?
I can’t say I’m even remotely surprise that Nate’s NBA career has come to an end, he never really had the tools to play a lot. He wasn’t particularly tall enough or quick enough and didn’t have the instincts needed to thrive, or even survive.
Good guy, though, and I wish him well in Europe, where I hope he has a long career.
Okay, can I put this out there now?
Please, please, please, I beseech you:
We need to stop with any and all “can the Raptors get Carmelo Anthony” stuff?
One, there’s now way in the world Anthony’s going to ask to be traded to a 40-win team that hasn’t been in the playoffs in two years and doesn’t look like its headed there this season.
Two, they don’t have the assets to get him, the trade exception isn’t big enough and no way the Nuggets let their best player walk away for nothing.
Anyway, the only way – and this is even far-fetched – that Toronto could get involved on the periphery is by being the third team in a three-team transaction to help facilitate a deal and, even then, I’d caution Bryan to take it nice and slow and only get involved for what could be termed a home run of a deal.
Okay, let’s end with a quick list.
Lots of chatter about the schedule since it’s been out and a close look at it offers this.
If you’re looking for a road trip to go and watch the Heroes Of The Hardcourt, I can find you one a month that might be kind of cool for different reasons.
12th at Orlando, 13th at Miami
A Friday-Saturday back-to-back will necessitate a drive across the state on the Saturday morning but you get two really good opponents, perhaps some warm weather if you’ve got some time, a Sunday at South Beach.
12th at Charlotte
Probably not the greatest of games but it’s kind of a slow month and the arena there is very cool and one of the top 10 in the league, in my opinion. And if you don’t stop by Ri-Ra a couple of blocks away and check out the Irish music, you’ve done yourself a disservice.
15th at Washington, 17th at New Orleans
Get your culture in Washington with the Holocaust museum and Vietnam Memorial, a nice area of bars and restaurants for pre- and post-game and then a night off in New Orleans and if you’ve never seen Bourbon Street, you should. Just once, mind you, but you should see it.
Take the month off, rest up, save your money.
23rd at Phoenix, 25th at Golden State
Phoenix in March? Warm and nice. Good arena, too. And, yes, Golden State plays in Oakland and that’s pretty yucky but you stay in San Francisco and I guarantee you’ll have a good time.
2nd in Chicago
It’s Chicago. ‘Nuff said.
Mail? Sure, why not.
Hit the button here and we’ll see what we can do; pretty slow times around here so we can get to a lot of ‘em early in the week, I hope.