Almost a full house and a trip down memory lane
A series of random, mainly unrelated thoughts today after spending yesterday doing pretty much nothing but booking travel and making work plans.
So, all indications are that Linas Kleiza will be back for tonight’s game against the Washingtons after missing two games with the Achilles issue.
What’s it mean? Well, with Leandro Barbosa still out I presume it’ll still mean some minutes for Julian Wright but it gets them back to a four-wing rotation if that’s the case and I honestly wonder about the wisdom of that.
With the way DeRozan played in Florida, I think they need to extend his minutes, not have them reduced at all and that might be what happens if you throw another guy into the mix.
I asked Jay after the Miami game what might happen when all the wings are healthy because there’s no way the world that they can play five in a game – DeRozan, Weems, Kleiza, Barbosa and Wright – and he said made a joke about “maybe I can” and added that he liked the competition between players for time on the court.
Of course, he wasn’t serious because five wings, two point guards and three or four bigs is far too many guys to run out nightly and expect any on-court cohesion to develop.
Now, I can see things like early foul trouble forcing him to go with four guys on the wing but there are going to be nights when things are going well and normal that they don’t need more than three and it’ll be interesting to see how the guys left out handle it.
A Did You Know:
Did you know that six of the last 17 games between the Wizards and Raptors have gone to overtime? That’s a hugely disproportionate number of overtime games and makes a grunt quite happy he’ll be watching from somewhere comfortable tonight just in case.
There is news about the Wizards that you’ll want to know.
Here’s Michael Lee’s piece from the Post this morning.
Memories and moments of Washington? Yeah, there are three for sure.
Mo’s big moment
We all remember the circus halfcourt shot that Mo Pete hit that night to send a game to overtime that Toronto eventually won, right?
Of course, we all remember that if that if he didn’t make that shot, Toronto would have avoided New Jersey in the first playoff round and who knows how that would have played out, but that’s not the story.
The story is about interlopers and drop-ins and rare visitors to the beat.
To set it up, I will tell you this: Among pro sports to cover – and this is generally held throughout out our industry – basketball is the toughest to write at the buzzer. So much can happen in so little time that you find yourself crazed with the final few seconds of a buzzer beater. This team takes a lead with 1.5 seconds left, that team makes a shot with 0.4 seconds left and whole story turns around and editors rarely give a rat’s bum, they want their copy NOW.
Anyway, a fine young lad named D. Naylor, now a big time TV dude but then a Globe correspondent, dropped in for that game while in D.C. doing football and some pucks or somesuch and to see the look on his face when the entire story turned around with a halfcourt prayer was classic.
As I recall, he got through it just fine but it did illustrate one of the hazards of covering this game.
Yes, a Sam moment
Wouldn’t be a road tales day without one, right?
I can’t remember what year it was but they started out horribly on the road and we’re standing talking to Sam in the hallway outside the locker room before the game.
He makes some crack – and it was quite funny at the time – to the effect that if the Raptors don’t get better on the road, they’re going to become the Washington Generals, the long-time whipping boys of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Well, it cause quite a stir because – somehow – it was misconstrued that he’d called his team the Washington Generals and that was thought to be terrible, even though it was pretty close to the truth.
Trouble was, he didn’t. He made a joke, it was how some of us reported it and it just goes to show you that things can really get twisted around.
Man, I miss Sam.
Bosh’s big shot
Remember the night Chris Bosh hit a three-pointer right before an overtime buzzer to win a game? Good shot, in rhythm, fine play call, open look that no one saw coming.
Don’t remember him getting ripped for taking it; am sure that would have been different had he missed.
Okay, I’m all about Jennifer Gray as DWTS gets down to the final. Super Son’s still locked on to that Disney lad and it’s causing quite a bit of consternation around here.
Let’s get a mailbag leftover done, shall we?
Q: Doug, whatever happened to Butch Carter? Seems like after he got fired in Toronto, he fell off the face of the earth. Any clue what he is doing these days? And how come he never got involved with the NBA again?
Steven R, Clarkson
A: Oh, he’s out there, trust me. And I know he’d like to coach again and I think he should because he’s got a great knack for it. And he didn’t get involved again because few GMs would have the stones to give him a shot, which says more about them than him. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some college didn’t come calling.
Oh, right. Can’t do an in-game bloggy thingy tonight or tomorrow; got stuff to do.
Plus, I’m not sure there’s much added value to me sitting on a couch or a stool watching on TV. If you think there is, we’ll re-visit it for the next games I don’t go to – I think I’m bailing on Indiana and New York next month but that’ll be it for a while.
But we will be here at noon on Thursday for an hour-long question and answer session if you like. Figure it’s best to let these next two games unfold and see where they are.
Want to start the mail process since we’re back to a normal schedule this week without a silly Saturday night game?
Click here to write and send; I look forward to hearing from most of you.