Reggie and David and a good, big crowd
I almost wanted to storm the court and cut down the nets when it ended. Figured that was a tad inappropriate, though.
You (heart) Reggie
Now that was the kind of game a lot of you expected from Reggie Evans all the time, right?
He had 11 rebounds and, most important, seven of them were offensive boards, which was a big part of the reason Toronto had 22 more shots than the Knicks did.
And he did it all the right way, the way his coaches want, by grabbing the ball and kicking it out rather than putting it back up.
The question now is if Evans has been good enough to make them re-think a chance to get Erick Dampier and the answer is no.
Damp’s still on the horizon – the Raptors have had conversations with him over the last few days – and they’ll know something in the next handful of days.
But Evans has been really good most nights and you can’t have enough good big men, especially this rebounding-challenged team.
And, besides, we need Reggie to play and play well because thanks to Irregular D Mac up in Ottawa, we’ve got ourselves a brand new nickname for him.
The Regend is born.
Depth can’t hurt
There was all kinds of love for David Andersen around these parts last night, mostly when he was filling it up during an impressive second-quarter run.
And he could very well turn into a semi-important player under the right circumstances. But it’s going to mean there are some injuries and maybe even a move for those circumstances to arrive.
Andersen’s somewhat unique – although big men who can step outside and knock down shots are becoming increasingly common – but he’s also Bargnani Lite in that his rebounding is suspect and his overall defence is, well, only okay.
But as the 10th man on the team, why not have a guy with one skill that could set him apart? And with Jay’s plan to play 10 guys and Ed Davis at least two weeks from even getting back on the court full time and probably a couple of weeks after that before the rookie’s on top shape, having a 10th guy like Andersen can’t hurt.
Change was good
There wasn’t a whole lot of difference in the starting lineup with Jarrett in it, the Raptors had a pretty good first six minutes or so, down one when the first backcourt sub was made and looking pretty good.
Jose looked comfortable and bit more confident – which probably had as much to do with some shots falling as much as anything – and the second unit was its typical energetic self.
The interesting and important thing is going to be when games count and they’re close and we see who’s on the floor with who in crunch time.
That’s the one thing we haven’t seen yet, even in the double OT game they were mixing and matching different combinations in the extra 10 minutes.
And who finishes those games is going to be far more significant than who starts them.
And now for a little bit more:
That was a heckuva crowd, no?
To draw 22,114 for a pre-season game is huge deal and the folks down here should feel pretty good about it.
But you know what it wasn’t?
It wasn’t the biggest pre-season crowd in franchise history, believe it or not.
That was way back in 1999 when they drew 25,001 at the World’s Worst Basketball Dome for a pre-season game against Boston that came at the end of the lockout.
I seem to recall tickets were virtually free, which is probably the only reason for the big audience.
Still, the audience in Montreal was excellent and I’m virtually certain we’ll be back, maybe not next year but sometime soon.
Hope so, I kinda like this city.
So the Grunt Formerly Known As Quag is a bit of a Montrealphile and he gave Rueben’s as the deli near the hotel for lunch.
It’s on the recommended list now.
A dip into the mail?
Sure, why not.
Q: Doug, could teams drop to 12 players per team as opposed to the current 15? Fewer players, smaller over all payroll, better integration between the D league and the NBA. Might this be an avenue that could ultimately work as a compromise? And I know that the players association would not agree to loosing members, but members might be willing to shed some players in order to maintain there salaries.
Steph R, Glencoe
A: I’m sure they could and I’m certain that when the final rosters are released on Monday night that some teams will have fewer than 15. The Raptors didn’t carry a full complement last season, although they will this time around.
But because those guys No. 13-15 are generally relatively low paid veterans and young kids, the savings will be minimal.
How about them canceling the Orlando-Miami game in Tampa on Friday night because there was condensation on the court from the ice underneath.
The folks in St. John’s were probably smiling and I wonder if the Heat management promised the people in Tampa that they’d come back?
It’s a rare day off for the lads today so it’s a rare day off for me, too, which isn’t a bad thing since it’s a long day of the train.
Except, of course, the mailbag for Sunday so if you want to get something in there, do your business here and I’ll get to ‘em while I’m sitting around watching my Phillies continue their amazing comeback from 3-1 down.
Let’s see how Mr. Isola wrote up Friday night’s affair, shall we?
I run into a guy at halftime who has direct knowledge of The Chicken’s thought process. He said the little stuffed animal loved the gig in Montreal because, as he said,
“There’s 15 years of stuff that can be used since we’ve never been here.”
Ah. So that’s how those guys think, is it?
I joke, though, The Chicken was in fine fettle.
So, I heard they expect a crowd of almost 17,000 at this fan festival practice session thingy Sunday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre.
Guess the ticket cost – free – is about the right price point.