The usual fare and some Canada Basketball news
A little tardy today, had an emergency “oops, forgot it was us in charge of car-pooling” thing happen. Hate it when life’s little calamities pop up.
He’s getting enough
It’s kind of interesting for me to read questions and comments about how the Raptors need to “put more stuff in” for Bargnani or “get him the ball more.”
As one guy closely associated with the team said Sunday: “It’s not that we don’t get him shots, he’s just got to make them.” And, yes, as you see by glancing at the stats, Bargnani does lead the team in field goal attempts, he’s getting the ball down low, at the elbow and off the high screen-roll.
He was as good Sunday as he’s been in any of the pre-season games and the “sky is falling” concerns about his shooting woes early seem a tad unfounded now, don’t they? I think the best thing for Bargnani is going to be the emergence of Linas Kleiza as a top scoring threat. As long as there’s somebody else on the court to attract some attention away from him, Bargnani can thrive. And they so desperately need him to score, any little bit of help is important.
Is small effective?
For the first extended time, we saw the Heroes Of The Hardcourt go with a smallish lineup Sunday against Phoenix with Linas Kleiza in the front court as the nominal power forward.
And you know what? I think they should use it a lot more, even against teams that are more traditional with their lineups.
I know there will be some defensive issues with it but Kleiza seems to be strong enough, and savvy enough, to handle the assignment and their weak side and help defence seems a bit better so far this pre-season.
Offensively, as was mentioned in today’s missive, the free-agent Kleiza just has a way about him that makes him dangerous no matter where he’s playing.
This is a non-traditional team, without one big scorer or proven go-to guy so why not go a bit more non-traditional and play small more often than not?
No shock at the reaction
Anyone the least bit surprised that Turk took a rather light-hearted approach to the reception he got ought to re-think things.
As we’ve known since early last season, Turk’s default position in all things is to laugh it off, shrug with a “so what” kind of attitude and plod along.
It’s how he’s wired and it became evident to a lot of us about last December.
Does it make it right? No. Is it entirely wrong? No.
It’s the way he is and whether or not you think it’s a character flaw, it’s certainly not going to change.
Oh, and the fans?
Not quite in full throat, and certainly not as vehemently angry as I expected them to be. Maybe it’s getting old?
And on to the news of the day.
Here’s the gist of what’s going to happen at this Canada Basketball show we’ve all been invited to after Raptors practice:
Leo Rautins is back as head coach of the men’s team on a two-year deal.
Allison McNeill is back as head coach of the women’s team on a two-year deal.
Wayne Parrish, who has a new gig at Post Media, is the new president of Canada Basketball.
Michele O’Keefe, most recently the highly-regarded executive director of Ontario Basketball, moves to Canada Basketball and while my sources didn’t have the precise title, she’s pretty much the overseer of all things basketball.
There may be more but that’s all I could get trolling the hallways around the Air Canada Centre on Sunday.
So, what do I think? We’ll get to it more in-depth tomorrow after this thing today but I have no problem with the coaching decision on either side, that’s not biggest issue facing the organization.
The hiring of O’Keefe is a bold move and one that should serve the organization well but it’s still a long, long road back to any kind of international prominence.
Canada Basketball has taken big steps forward in the last three years or so but there remains much work to do.
Was that really Guillermo Mota that I saw warming up in the Giants bullpen last night?
What is he, 67?
Man, I wish Super Son was a situational reliever.
You know what? That was an exceptionally well-officiated game Sunday.
I don’t know if it was the crew (a veteran group of Joey Crawford, Scott Wall and Haywoode Workman) or the fact the players were on their best behaviour after three of them were tossed for dissent the first time the teams played but everyone acted nice and responsibly and nothing untoward happened.
Didn’t see Bryan an awful lot yesterday as they were rolling up another relatively easy pre-season win over the Suns.
Presume he was in the back calling the league to find a way to get the Raptors into the Western Conference.
So I’m guessing the Raptors news of the day after practice is going to be health.
To catch you up from yesterday, David Andersen sat out with a back issue, Julian Wright had a heel thing and we found out after the game that Joey Dorsey’s got hamstring problem and he wasn’t available.
Kind of rotation by attrition, I guess.
The one that bears watching, though, is the grotesque elbow problem Jarrett Jack’s got.
The thing is swollen up almost twice the size – he told us it’s a bursa sac thing but seeing how my medical knowledge rivals my math abilities I’m not sure what that means – and while he’s playing through it now, it’s hard to imagine him lasting a really long time with it if things don’t improve.
But he hasn’t missed a regular season game in more than three seasons – and that’s a pretty good ironman streak – so who knows, maybe he can suck it up and go.