Some things to be done, and quickly
One silly little week and then we’re at the start of camp and things will really get going. Can you folks hang on that long?
Anyway, I guess it’s really time to start thinking about the season and how things might unfold and what you can look for from a team that – on paper at least – looks to be among the bottom-feeders in the East.
(Of course, the whole “on paper” part is the key because as much as you think you know what’s going to happen, you don’t; no one does).
I do think there are three things that have to happen right out the gate when they officially get on the court starting Tuesday morning.
And they are:
Get systems, not sayings
Remember last year? “Protect the house” was all the rage with the defensive tenets and it did make a lot of sense. Until they kind of changed the way they defended the most simplest of plays, going away from a rather complicated group of principles about who switched what on what screens, when they went over or under or through.
They made it simpler about midway through the season and they need to start out this season one way and not deviate from it.
There shall be no messing around with the most important aspect of the game.
Find out who starts.
They need to figure out right away who the starting point guard and small forward are. They need to resolve it right away so they can go about building some cohesion and chemistry and even though I fully understand that it’s not who starts but who finishes games that’s most important, defining roles immediately is big.
Get in shape
A lot of these guys are in great physical condition already (another reason to be kind of glad the Boris Diaw deal didn’t go through) but I do think there has to be more of a premium put on fitness right off the bat. No situations like last year where guys come in puffy and stay that way too long.
Here’s something that really bites.
When the Canadian women start at the world championships on Monday, there’s no way to see their three first-round games on live TV.
Sure, it’s all well and good that TSN has the deal to show the games but they’ve apparently decided that an endless loop of highlight shows in the morning is more important than live games.
The women play, if my read of time zones is correct, at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, 7 a.m. Friday and noon on Saturday but none of them are being broadcast when they actually happen.
Too bad, I guess. I know there are live streaming sites available (and least I presume there are) and I suppose I could pay FIBA some money to get their feed but, really, that’s not quite the point, is it?
Anyway, we’ll cover ‘em as well as we can from where we are those mornings but it’s too bad we can’t see them.
When I whine about the Raptors pre-season and how it’s about four games too long and the games are jammed in together too tightly, remind me of this:
Apparently the pucks play nine pretend games that starts with back-to-back-to-back-to-back.
Lucky ticket holders for those ones.
From the department of “I beseech you” please do not read this one at ESPN.com about Masai Ujiri and the Nuggets now entertaining offers for Carmelo Anthony and ask about the viability of a Toronto trade.
And thank you.
There is no fit, I don’t see a way in the world Anthony signs an extension here so to think otherwise is folly.
I guess the only possible way the Raptors could get involved is as a third team with their trade exception that might facilitate some multi-team deal but I haven’t heard a peep about that from anyone I’ve spoken to.
So, hands up everyone who watched Into The Wind on Sunday night, the Steve Nash-directed film on Terry Fox.
It was compelling and powerful and well done and there wasn’t a dry eye on my couch when it was over.
Really fascinating stuff.
I know for a fact there are very smart, very well-read, very Canadian people out there who aren’t nearly as familiar with the Fox story – or who weren’t nearly as familiar with the Fox story, I should say – before that show was broadcast.
And if that is it’s most important legacy – that it gets the message of hope and determination and a willingness to sacrifice for the cause of others – then it’s done a wonderful service to our country and the world.
I know there will be repeat broadcasts on the night of Sept. 29 and twice during the day on Sept. 30, which is the Terry Fox National School Run Day.
If there is a principal out there at some elementary school who doesn’t gather her or his entire student body for one of those daytime screeners, she or he is doing the educational process a horrible disservice.
The thing that struck me about the show – aside from the presence of Star reporter Leslie Scrivener, which did my professional heart very proud – was the incredible behind-the-scenes video that they had. Snippets of the run, private moments not too many people would have seen, I don’t imagine, and raw, raw emotion from the incredible journey.
It’s a wonderfully strong film and I’m glad it’s been made so future generations will be able to see it and learn about a true hero.
Hmm, wonder what I should tweet today? Not sure I’m exactly getting the hang of this thing, only done a couple – which is a couple more than I really ever thought I would – but the “followers” are growing and I guess that’s a good thing.
Trouble is, I can’t imagine you folks care much about what’s going on in the mundane existence I live.
Think I should be overly concerned that, while driving home from an overnight soiree, the red “brake” light started beaming out from the dash of the smelly old Ford Focus?
Guess I know what the morning holds.