A night when a lot of things worked out
Fun game, no?
They play like that and they’ll beat a bunch of bad teams and it seems there are some bad teams throughout the league.
Twice is not a coincidence
Two times in the last two games, we’ve seen plays that are designed and have worked to a tee and show that, yes, sometimes a lot of thought does go into rare instances.
Wednesday in Philly, Jose throws a nice little lob to Reggie from an out-of-bounds play on the baseline that the Regend finishes like he’s some smooth in-the-paint operator.
Fast forward to last night and I think it’s in the first quarter when Reggie’s making the in-bounds pass and he throws a nice soft lob that DeRozan catches and finishes with a lay-in.
Coincidence? Nope. Those are end out-of-bounds plays designed entirely for late shot-clock situations, plays they work on every now and then at practice and it’s nice to see something work like they expect it to.
Yes, we sometimes do minutia here.
A charmed life
We know that Jay likes to go offence-defence late in close games and worked to near perfection at the end of last night’s win.
And almost didn’t get a chance to.
With about 2 1-2 minutes left and up five, he went to Sonny for Kleiza but it took a while for the bench to get the substitution in motion, or it almost took Sonny too long to get to the table because the refs had almost given the ball to the Rockets to inbound when the Raps were screaming “sub, sub, sub.”
Sonny eventually got there, got in the game and a second later, he helped team up with Amir for a key steal that led to a free throw and a few seconds ticking off the clock.
A couple of possessions later – and there was no stoppage when Toronto had the ball to get Kleiza back in for the offence part of the offence-defence move – Weems punctuated the night with a dunk off a Johnson block and a Bargnani outlet.
Sometimes small moves do pay off.
Changing it up
Saw a fair bit of zone defence from Toronto last night and it seemed to confuse and confound the Rockets when they played it.
How do they decide what to do and when?
Well, it’s basically simple: If they score or if there’s a whistle, they go zone because they’ve got time to get everything set up; if they miss and in transition they go back to man so everyone can find someone to guard.
Not sure of the success rate of the zone on the handful of possessions they played it last night but it seemed they had a large measure of success and it might be something we see a bit more of.
The rest of the stories? Sure.
Stevie Boy Russell was at it again.
Here’s some crack photography from the game for your viewing enjoyment.
Okay, I am inundated lately with Michael Beasley and Roy Hibbert questions as the Hindsighters are out in full force.
Hence this one early from the mail bag that will appear as usual tomorrow morning, my travel plans willing.
Q: Doug. I haven't been following the Raps as intently this season, but it seems to me that the TO media is overlooking what should be THE story of the Raps season: the Raps passing on Michael Beasley. Minny got him for two 2nd rounders, and he is two years removed from being the #2 overall pick. The Raps could have had him in the Bosh transaction, and still been left with a fairly significant trade exception (Beasley makes $5 mil, so the exception would be $9-10 mil instead of $14-15). I have friends who say that we have to wait until we see what happens with the bigger trade exception, but from where I am typing, this is an epic BC FAIL.
Ira U, Richmond Hill
A: THE story of the season? Um, don’t think so. First off, Mike Beasley’s definitely had a few good games for a very bad Minnesota team so far this season but it’s not like he’s leading the Lakers to a perfect record or anything.
But, truth be told, if there was a chance to get him last summer as part of the Bosh transaction, I would think the off-court issues that have plagued him since he got in the league had something to do with any decision that was made. I know nothing untoward has happened – yet – in Minnesota but back in July Bryan and 27 other GMs obviously thought there might be some trouble.
So, too, would be the fact he plays pretty much the same position as a guy they’ve invested a lot in (DeRozan) and if Beasley’s a four, well, there’s that Bargnani fellow there.
Beasley may indeed turn out to be a pretty good player, I have my doubts, and in the middle of last summer that was very, very, very questionable situation.
Hindsight’s great, isn’t it? What if Beasley had, you know, sucked on a bad Minnesota team, would I be hearing how smart Bryan was not to take him?
What’s Jonathan’s take on that one?
Well, here it is from the Chronicle’s chronicles.
So Friday is the first night I get to bust on Jose a little bit for Spain’s 4-0 football loss to Portugal and as I hold up four fingers on one hand and the other’s fist as he walks on to the court warm up, he knows what’s coming.
And of course he’s got an explanation.
He thinks that because Spain and Portugal planning to submit a joint bid to host a future World Cup it would have been bad form for the Spaniards to go into Portugal and win easily.
Guess it makes as much sense as anything.
(He’s joking, of course).
Solomon Alabi goes for 13 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots in his D League debut and I’m thinking two things: What’s the D League really like? And is this kid Olajuwon or Ibaka?
I’m usually the first one to suggest attendance figures may seem a tad, um, inflated some nights.
Now I’m wondering if they didn’t under-report Friday’s crowd.
According to the boxscore we got, there were 16,322 souls in the stands and it really looked and felt like a couple of thousand more.
And, as I’ve said from the start, I think people might end up liking this team because it plays hard and I’d suspect bigger audiences are in the future.
Okay, you can take one last shot at the mail by clicking here but I’ve got a fair drive ahead of me and some reporting to do for a piece the stat of next week so no promises on how much we get to for the morning.
And no promises on when I get to the inevitable “Isn’t Andrea great” and “Man, Jose’s got to start” comments.