Slow starts and terrible homers
We’re going to be a little short and sweet today because, well, mostly because I’m not on the trip, don’t have a lot of stuff and it’s a holiday.
No idea what we’ll do tomorrow, either.
I didn’t see the whole game in Boston, there was a nifty turkey dinner to consume and it did come off well, if I do say so myself, and it’s kind of tough to see an awful lot on a small computer screen and I haven’t spoken to too many people yet but what the heck, there were some impressions.
Yes, Andrea Bargnani has had two bad games in a row where he can’t make a shot, isn’t defending with aggression and looks out of place.
No, that doesn’t mean they should trade his sorry butt today, it means that he’s had two bad pre-season games in a row.
Wait ‘til he’s had two bad regular season games in a row before you start the tar-and-feather campaign already being waged.
You have to figure it’s going to take him longer to get used to the new things this team wants to do. Stuff like run a lot of early motion in the offence, swarm guys defensively and show-and-recover off double teams and screen-roll defence.
It’s not that he can’t do, it’s just that it doesn’t play to his strengths and it might take all eight pre-season games and all those practices for him to figure it out.
So, yes, he’s been bad so far. But there’s an awful lot of time left.
The other thing?
It goes to something I know Jack Armstrong has been talking about since we chatted about it when I saw him on Saturday at the Oak thingamabob downtown.
It’s only been two games – and everything should be couched in those terms – but these guys do play “hard.”
It’s a rather nebulous term, there is no clear definition of “hard” but in the second half – which is the part I saw most closely – they were hustling and challenging shots and defending.
Of course they should do that every possession of every game but that’s not the way life works; people in every profession take short cuts every now and then and it’s kind of refreshing that, so far, these guys haven’t.
I’m sure they will some time, I’m sure there will be nights of lethargy and it’s only been two games but there does seem to be some kind of new attitude prevalent.
It struck me as the Thanksgiving dinner preparations were under way that you’d think that with all the bio-engineering that goes into food and farming these days, surely to all that’s good in the world some chemist could come up with a way to grow a square potato?
That dude would be as universally loved as the guy who first decided to put small wheels on suitcases.
You know, I had great respect for Tommy Heinsohn as a basketball player but if he’s not the worst homer in the history of television, I can’t imagine who is.
It’s like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard or whatever else you list as the most grating sound known to man.
He whines incessantly, really has no personality and just generally seems like an unhappy man. Not what you’d like in a broadcaster.
If you’re looking to follow some news off Sunday’s game, I hear Jarrett hurt his left elbow late in the game and they’re going to check it out today in Chicago.
The kid hasn’t missed a regular season game in three years so I figure if he’s even close to being able to go, he’ll at least get a couple of minutes against the Bulls.
Am sure you all saw this one in Sunday’s paper, kind of stream of consciousness Oak and it was a nice little conversation.
I tell ya, he can sure still draw a crowd.
Talked to him standing on the street behind the Jam Session thing – and that looked pretty cool – and there was a steady stream of passesby what wanted to shake hands, take pictures or chew the fat.
One little item that got missed in the paper was Oak on who is responsible for what he sees as the decline of the game.
“I blame management for a lot of things that’s going on in the league. Just the general managers. Owners don’t know basketball, owners onl go by what p;eople tell them. Some might have a good IQ but the GMs, I think Danny Ferry killed Cleveland. Even though LeBron was there, they didn’t bring nobody in. They fell in love with LeBron instead of trying to bring someone else in there to win a championship.”
Oh, and he said he’ll be back for some Raptors thing later this week, no idea what it is but it’s always fun when Charles is around.
When in doubt, or when you don’t really have enough items to get this to even close to the usual length, go to the mail.
So I will.
Q: Hey Doug, for lack of a better (intelligent, even?) question... if you were a GM and had to build your team around either an undersized PG (Boykins-eque) or an oversized center (think Manute-Bol-Build)who would it be? Note that I didn't use Allen Iverson or Yao Ming as my examples, so rid those players from your mind.
Q: Hey Doug, for lack of a better (intelligent, even?) question... if you were a GM and had to build your team around either an undersized PG (Boykins-eque) or an oversized center (think Manute-Bol-Build)who would it be?
Note that I didn't use Allen Iverson or Yao Ming as my examples, so rid those players from your mind.
Andrew P, Toronto
A: I’d take the guard, for sure.
Mostly because they have a tendency to do a little bit more on their own, shoot it from range, take their man off the dribble, facilitate for others.
Anyway, that’s it for a rather slow morning. We’ll figure out a way to be more entertaining tomorrow. I hope.