A sign of things to come?
You know what I think that was?
Typical of what we’ll see all year.
Not a bad game, close enough, they played hard for the most part, missed some makeable shots, had a chance in the final minute and came up short.
Now, for what we saw:
Taking The Hits
I don’t have the exact number in front of me but I can remember at least three charges the Raptors drew and that might have been the most promising thing of the night.
Jose had one in the paint, Andrea drew one on Stoudemire or Mozgov early and Reggie had one, too, as I recall.
It speaks to their intensity level that for the most part, was pretty good and high. If they keep playing like that, they’ll win some games.
The question is: Can they?
It’s one thing to do it opening night when everyone’s jazzed up and it’s a game they can win and there’s some adrenaline pumping through the veins.
I’m wondering about some Monday night in Sacramento or a Wednesday night in Charlotte because if they don’t play hard, there are going to be some loooooooooong nights ahead.
And The Regend Grows
Sixteen rebounds, all kinds of hustle plays and only two shots? That’s about as good as you can get from Reggie Evans, who remains the biggest surprise of the season to a lot of us.
But, the one flaw that was exposed is that his utter lack of offence is going to be a problem.
I know he shouldn’t shoot much and needs to keep possessions alive with his work on the boards but at some point, he’s got to at least attempt a put-back or two just to keep defences honest.
A couple of times against the Knicks, after he’d grabbed offensive rebounds, the defenders all turned around the face-guarded their guys and it was difficult for Evans to find someone to pass the ball to.
A couple of times a game, he’s got to go back to the rim just so the other team knows he will. Not every time, but every now and then.
A Rotational Tweak?
Not sure if it’ll happen all the time but using Leandro Barbosa as the first guy off the bench is all right with me.
He wasn’t all that great in the first have but when they went to him in the second, he immediately made a couple of baskets, got the tempo up a little bit and energized things.
I think it’s better than making the first sub of a game or half a big man because that doesn’t have the same impact on the speed of the game and we saw snippets last night of what Barbosa can really be.
And, in other stuff …
Phrase of the night goes to Mike D’Antoni, hands down.
He’s looking at Amare Stoudemire’s line of 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine turnovers and marveling at it:
“A cripple double.”
That’s gold, Jerry. Gold.
I need some mail, desperately.
Had what I thought was a pretty good mailbag last week but I’m looking now and the pickings are slim.
Please help me out.
A quick glance up at the out-of-town scoreboard last night showed the Bulls in an epic struggle with …
And a wistful feeling rushed over media row.
So what’d you all think of the grand opening, at least those of you who saw it?
I kind of liked the curtain had they actually shown video on it instead of superimposing a logo and some hokey saying and I fear it was a one-time gig instead of a straight steal from the Lakers.
Too bad, that and some kind of a karaoke thing where the whole crowd sings were the two game-ops adds I’d hoped to see.
So we did a new thing with the game story, or game whatever it’s called in the paper today.
Whaddya think? Does it work?
Let’s see what My Man Sheridan had to say about that one.
What do you think of the Knicks?
Kind of average, no?
Kind of like these guys?
Win some, lose some and one injury away from a surefire lottery pick?
I do like the Chandler kid, multiple positions and he killed Toronto’s bigs with his shooting range and a good guy to come off the bench.
But, after one glance, I will stick with my assertion that after the big three teams and the three mid-levels you can throw a blanket over a whole raft of teams and the Raptors and Knicks are two of them.
Trouble is, games between those teams are uber-important and they just let a home one get away.