An enduring story and the loss of a giant
We’re all about snippets and digressions today since Saturday was deadly slow around practice and Sunday was a travel day that was looooong but uneventful, thanks for asking.
And since my whole time zone thing is entirely messed up, you get this at pretty much the normal time but I can’t guarantee when things get done the rest of the week:
Seems one of the enduring early-season themes is going to be the parceling out of minutes, primarily at the two wing positions, because Jay keeps alluding to it when we start talking about where they are in the natural growth process.
It came up again on the weekend when we were discussing this road trip:
“I think everybody’s going to have to get used to the rotations and I don’t think that we’re comfortable with that yet and I don’t blame the players because they’re not playing like extended minutes. They’re playing in short spurts sometimes.”
If you look back to the year when Sam had AP, Jamario, Delfino and Joey and no two of them really stood out, or even three and you can see some similarities.
Now, I know it’s crazy early days and nothing should be seen as a long-term fix but, right now, I honestly can’t see who should drop out of a rotation of DeRozan, Kleiza, Weems and Barbosa. Each brings something they need and I do think the players are going to have to get used to it, especially if Jay is intent on riding hot hands, like he did with Weems early on Friday at the expense of Kleiza.
I do wonder, as I have, about the feeling of redundancy when I look at DeRozan and Weems and I wonder if one of them – perhaps the guy they aren’t locked to long-term – might see his minutes cut back eventually.
But maybe Jay does keep trotting out 10 guys every night and the players need to be the ones who adapt to shorter stretches of playing.
Maybe they can and have to because, if that’s the way the coach goes, anyone who doesn’t may in fact make the decision for Triano.
It seems to be the one thing that bears watching with regard to who plays because the other spots – point guard and bigs – seem set.
We all know that predictions are mug’s game so I’m not going to throw one out there but a fair guess would be if they head home next weekend with one win out of these four games (at Kings, Jazz, Lakers, Blazers).
That’s just how these trips seem to workout, they might lose the first and steal one of the “unwinnable” games that lie ahead.
This is a sad, sad day.
Maurice Lucas, who might have been the toughest guy to ever play professional basketball is dead from cancer at 58 years old.
I didn’t know him all that well, we’d chatted a couple of times when he was working as an assistant in Portland, but as fan growing up he was right among my favourite players.
I now want to go back and re-read David Halberstam’s excellent The Breaks Of The Game to read more about Luke, as he was known, and that Portland organization.
This is a sad, sad day.
Yeah, we’ll be here at 10 p.m. to do the usual in-game blog thingy but shootaround times and the need to write early precludes a Question and Answer session today. Sorry.
We’ll see if we can hook one up for Wednesday from Salt Lake City.
I totally forgot to do my D League mock draft.
It’s tonight – although I’m sure you all knew that – and it presents one of the oddest things I can possibly imagine.
Got an e-mail from the Erie Bayhawks telling me all about their season ticket-holder Draft Party at some bar and it sounds like a pretty good deal, bunch of fans sitting around watching the selections and all that.
Then I find out that, no, the D League draft isn’t actually televised, it’s only live-streamed so I can just see a bunch of Erie-ites sitting around looking at silent laptops and discussing each pick among themselves.
I don’t know why, but that strikes me as kind of odd.
Speaking of the D League, I keep hearing that Solomon Alabi is going to spend at least a little bit of time there once its season gets going.
Guess they want him to get some minutes in real game action and I suppose that’s cool but I really wonder how much better he’ll be when he inevitably gets back to the Raptors.
The D League is primarily guard- and wing-oriented, the speed and power of the bigs can’t compare to what Alabi would get even in practice against the likes of Evans, Dorsey, Bargnani, Andersen and, eventually, Davis.
But I’m not paid to make those decisions.
And one thing I’ve never, ever heard, is any suggestion that Davis might spend some time in the minors.
I’m listening the ball game while working away last night and I hear McCarver say that in the entire history of the major leagues – and that’s a lot of history – there’ve only been 57 guys who bat right and throw left.
So that’s why I didn’t make it.
Here’s this morning’s missive from the Sacramento Bee, for those who are interested.