The usual morning after stuff, and a digression or two
Well, there goes 0-82.
Flash? Give ‘em buckets instead
I can remember a three-on-one break and a three-on-one break with a trailer that turned into nothing both times and while it would have been nice to get one of those “wow” moments you all love so much, wouldn’t it have been nicer to actually have, you know, a basket?
And don’t thing no one’s noticing because the coach is.
“I said there’s no points for style on fast breaks and I think sometimes we’re looking for fancy plays instead of just sticking the ball in the hole and getting back to play defence again.
“I think sometimes we look to make spectacular plays instead of just finishing plays.”
Seriously, I’m all in favour of great plays and spontaneity and the like but I saw attempts at one-handed tap-back passes that ended up in turnovers, lob passes that wound up in the front row and, for one night at least, there was far too much failed style than substance.
Probably one of the bigger downers of the evening.
Who is this guy?
In two games, which is hardly a big enough sample size but it’s all we’ve got, Andrea Bargnani’s averaged 21 points per game and taken 34 shots and only three of them have been three-pointers.
And I know there were and are all kinds of critics out there who wondered about his ability to work in the post or develop some kind of mid-range game but if you’ve been paying attention for a couple of nights, you’ve seen exactly what you wanted to see.
Last night, the Cavs ran a second defender at him when he squared up at the elbow with a third guy shading over from the weak side (which is 100 per cent the way a lot of teams used to defend that Bosh fellow) and Bargnani was still able to make seven of 13 shots, dish out a couple of assists and lead his team in scoring.
And now I will add this and duck:
Yes, he had one whopping rebound and only five against the Knicks but don’t you think his mere presence on the floor and the attention he draws from the defence has had something to do with Reggie Evans having nine offensive boards in two games? It does.
That was cold
What Linas Kleiza did to Jamario Moon in the third quarter Friday night was borderline abuse.
They got Kleiza 10 field goal attempts, most by simply putting him in the low block and letting him kill Our Friend Jamario and about the fourth time in succession that Linas got the ball and got any shot he wanted, a thought came to me.
And it was:
Isn’t Byron Scott watching this game?
Really, everyone in the gym knew what was coming and it kept coming and coming and coming.
If they can find those kind of mismatches to exploit with Kleiza, and if opposing coaches remain oblivious to it, the new guy is going to have some monster nights.
There’s a lot about Kleiza’s game to like, we saw another facet of it against the Cavs.
And, in other news:
Check out Stevie Boy’s photo blog right here because there’s nothing like a bit of cross-promotion.
A staff digression, if you will.
I’m not here, and you’re not wildly entertained by coming here (you are wildly entertained and totally educated by coming here, aren’t you?) if it’s not for a fellow by the name of Chris Young, who I hope most of you know by reading our site and paper.
Well, Doctor Young is calling it a career after today, another one who’s getting away too early, and you’re the losers for his decision.
I’m not sure I’ve worked with a better writer at any time in my career and the business is worse off for his departure.
Way back in the day, when he was chronicling the hoops in the infancy of the Heroes Of The Hardcourt, when there was an opening for a grunt at Mother Star, he made some calls and pulled some strings and said some right things that helped get me started on this improbable journey.
For that I will be forever thankful. It’s been a pleasure to work with him and read his stuff (and steal a whole whack of his football expertise over the years) and the world of journalism and the craft of writing are lessened by his departure.
We’ve lost Perk and now CYoung in a very short period and while we’re still a damn fine paper, our stable of writers is way worse off.
What’d my friend Mary write in the P-D today?
Excuse me a second while I jump on the hobby horse for a minute.
The 100-points-for-a-piece-of-pizza thing might be the single stupidest promotion in the history of sports and we saw last night precisely why.
Less than six seconds to go in the game, team up 18 and what the Raptors should have done is dribble out the clock, wave to an appreciative audience and walk off the court.
But, no. With the fans antsy and everyone knowing what was going on, they had to score again and then explain it, which took a very little bit away from talking about, right, the game, at least for Jay:
“You know, how many years did we watch them dance down there with all the hooting and hollering and everything? It’s a different team so it probably wasn’t the right thing to do to score but our fans come to these games and they’re going to be here to support us for 41 games and we play this team three more times. I’d rather look after our fans first.” Look, I think all you Irregulars know where I stand on this but I’m going to now put 100 per cent of the blame for the whole thing on the bigwigs who run the Raptors and come up with such silly ideas.
It puts the fans in a tough spot, it puts the players in a tough spot and it’s an entirely needless distraction at the end of games.
All right, I’ve got something like a 3:30 a.m. wakeup call to get to the flight to Sacramento through Minneapolis in the morning so it’s got to be an early night.
I will, however, have lots of post-practice time to answer some mail while I sit around so this is your last crack.
And have a good day.