Time for a change, and the best Montreal has to offer
Way, way late thanks to some interweb and computer issues.
Change is afoot, apparently.
Yes, Jarrett for Jose seems to be a done deal – it’ll be confirmed at shootaround in an hour or so – and I guess it was inevitable.
Jose, as we’ve said for days, really seems to be struggling offensively and what seems to be a crisis of confidence has reached a point where change is absolutely necessary.
As one guy said to me yesterday, maybe playing against backups – at least to start his run each game – will allow him to get back to where he was.
Now, I know there are all kinds of you who won’t agree, but when his game’s going, he’s an excellent point guard, a shooting threat from anywhere on the floor, he is still the best guy they have for running an offence effectively and, with the right rotations and help, he’s a good enough defender. Great? No. Good enough? Yes.
What I’m interested to see tonight and for as long as this goes on, is how Jarrett handles the starting role.
He’s prone to turnovers, and sometimes gets a little “me first” in the offence and while he does play at a good tempo, I’m not sure it’s a perfect fit with guys like Kleiza, Bargnani and Evans.
I guess what it comes down to now is that Jay has to find a way to win more than anything else and while this is a gamble, it’s one he has to take.
Okay, so there was a guy in the comments yesterday who asked about the top players from Montreal?
Well, after much consideration – well, okay, some consideration – here’s what we’ve got:
Dwight Walton, who’s here and looks like he could still get 20 and 10 for Canada.
And I guess it’s a tie between Sam Dalembert, Joel Anthony and I guess Juan Mendez would make the top 10, too.
Have at it, Montrealers.
Hey, whoever it was who gave me Brutopia on Crescent needs a public thanks.
After a long train ride, a nice locally brewed IPA and a bite to eat was entirely welcome.
What deli do I do for lunch, knowing I’m near the Bell Centre or whatever they call it.
I’m sure we’ll touch on this subject again before the season starts but it’s a quick mailbag thing today:
Q: Hey Doug. Long time reader, first time writer. Thanks for keeping us up to date on this team through the highs (1999-2002; 2006/07) and the lows (every other year?).
Since all of the pre-season prognosticators are saying that this team will win only 22-25 games this year, I wanted to know if you could give us a sense of the mood inside the locker room? Have they resigned to the fact that it'll be a tough season, or do they look/sound like a team that might play with a chip on its shoulder?
Meraj D, Toronto
A: I’ll tell you this about every single pro athlete I know:
They think they can win every game they play, they are supremely confident no matter what the “experts” say and there is no convincing them otherwise.
The mood is like it is everywhere: They presume they will always win and a lot of them – the vast majority – pay no attention whatsoever to what people say.
Some will pay lip service to the issue and suggest they’ll use it as “motivation” but if you truly need the ramblings of writers and broadcasters who are making guesses left and right as motivation, you might be in the wrong business to start.
I’m told everything should work well courtside tonight so don’t forget that we’ll try one of the in-game bloggy thingies and I would expect a large turnout.
See you at 7 or just before.
So it truly is about them.
When we were talking to Jay the other day about playing the Knicks tonight and then again on Wednesday when things matter, the conversation got around to not showing all their stuff and the like.
Seems it doesn’t matter.
“We’ve been playing and coaching for our team and we’re going to do that. We’re going to try to get better and we need the game to do that; it’s not like we can hide one thing going into this game.
"Going into our game on opening night, they’ll have watched all eight of our pre-season games and they’ll know everything we have.”
Sometimes one word speaks volumes.
Someone – I think it was M. Ganter of The Other Paper – asks Jay about Andrea’s help defence and whether it’s gotten any better.
And the conversation ended because it was pretty obvious the coach wasn’t interested in talking any more about it.
It wasn’t a “calling out” or anything; it was the coach being miffed and not wanting to expand publicly on his feelings on the matter.
Remember that mailbag thing from a few paragraphs ago?
You, too, could see your name in lights by clicking here.
I presume a lot of you have seen this update about the collective bargaining talks and how David Stern and the owners would like to cut salary costs by a third or so.
Seems a bit of an over-reach but there is no question that the financial outlay to the players is going to be the central issue in the talks as they progress.
I remain pretty confident that saner heads will prevail and they’ll get a deal done without any work stoppage and I guess having a number out there at least gives the public some idea of where they’re starting in the inevitable to and fro of negotiations.