Better late than never, as they say
In honour of my surroundings as I type this in Miami …
Away we go!
(People of a certain age may get that)
Um, not so much.
The first impression is that they haven’t come close to figuring it out; it’s either LeBron or Dwyane but never LeBron and Dwyane and until they do, I honestly don’t think they can compete with Boston or even Orlando and definitely not the Lakers.
The feeling that it was two individuals working quite independent of each other; which is fine when you’re playing some of the lesser teams of the world. It’s not so good if you seriously think a championship is coming in the spring.
Now, maybe they get it figured out in the next 70 games, I imagine they will because they’re two pretty bright players. They have to because that team, right now, can’t win it all.
Bosh? He is what he is. The third guy, still quite skilled, finesse rather than power and a darn good third option.
Anyone who thought he’d be otherwise on the court when this whole thing started was fooling themselves.
Does that make him a bad guy? Not in the least.
Some love for the kids
Oh, those rambunctious youngsters, you gotta love ‘em. Or at least put up with some of their hijinks.
You probably noticed a penchant Saturday for Julian Wright to get up his shots – 10 is a few too many ‘cause a couple of them seemed forced -- and we all know Sonny likes to get his.
And while it may make some cringe (I know I did on one Wright corner three that was the definition of ill-advised) the coach is going to live with it. For now, he said.
“They’re high energy and if you try to get them to calm down you take away a little bit of what they bring. You can take maybe a couple of rushed shots or quick shots if they’re going to bring that energy all the time because you know you’re gong to get those possessions back because of their energy. As we grow as a team and as they grow as basketball players, you figure that kind of stuff out where you keep that intensity and still make the right play.”
They can only wish.
He can shoot again
Hey, anyone notice Jose found his jump shot and I’d really like to revisit the whole pre-season and hear from the folks who were absolutely killing him for not making shots.
Yes, he was in a slump, they happen; they also go away and watching him come around high screens and pull up and hit jumpers was like watching him play the way he did a couple of seasons ago.
The one interesting thing last night was that he was guarded for a lot of the fourth quarter by LeBron and didn’t back off. In fact, putting LeBron in high screen-roll action worked like a charm a lot of the times.
Best Jose move?
He runs LeBron into a screen, gets a switch and goes right at Ilgauskas, getting knocked to the floor when he tried to finish at the rim.
That tells me he’s feeling 100 per cent healthy and 100 per cent confident and with Jose, those are by far the two most important facets of his game.
Anyway, a wee bit more?
I didn’t get a lot of one-on-one time with him so I wasn’t able to probe deeply into his mind but here’s some pop psychology because I do that so well.
You know what it is?
The kid just really wants to be liked. He’s stung by criticism, he genuinely feels like his comments about Toronto and cable TV and all that stuff were taken at least a little out of context and, for the very first time in his life I imagine, he’s feeling some heat.
He was pretty much bullet-proof for seven years in Toronto, he was the star, a very, very, very good player on a so-so team; you know he was all-world as a high-schooler and a phenom his one year in college and all of sudden, what he thought he wanted more than anything in the world isn’t coming as easily as he expected.
But he is still an engaging young man on some levels – Kevin Arnovitz of espn.com hit the nail on the head when he called him “confessional” when we were comparing Bosh notes after shootaround Saturday – and I imagine they’ll figure out the on-court stuff as the final 70 or so games of the season unfold.
Bosh is not going to be a tough guy or a menace on the court or a dominant physical presence; he is what he is, a finesse big man trying to fit in with two power players.
What's the world in Miami about that one?
Hey, know what?
The PA guy in Miami may not be on the top of the list of favourites for a lot of you but he couldn’t have been more helpful to me when we were setting up the Bosh thing and now I’ve got a lot of time for him.
Speaking of the thing, it was kind of cool.
I’m standing at midcourt holding the trophy, over comes Chris as the PA guy is announcing what the award’s for – on-court excellence combined with respect for and a willingness to deal with the media – and with all that’s going on with him, he the presence of mind to walk over, extend his hand, shake mine and say, out of earshot of everyone:
“This is kind of ironic, isn’t it?”
I tell ya, I like the kid.
If you’re coming to Miami, find a way to leave out of the ‘J’ terminal at the airport.
It’s new, wide concourses, lots of room, good services and the security line seemed to move at a pace that suggests they hired TSA folks with, you know, common sense.
The other concourses at this joint are dingy, old and timeworn; the United one that I was in works.
The Raptors apparently have a stalker.
And he could very well be the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
Yes, Joey Votto was traipsing back and forth across Florida to see the lads on the weekend.
He’s tight with Jay and assistant coach and noted baseball expert Micah Nori (why do you think the Mighty Yankees have had success, I soak up such information as teaching hitters to squish bugs) and caught both ends of the Florida double-header.
Not literally, of course.
Think this is fraught with peril? The HOTH had Saturday night in Miami, a day off on Sunday (there’s apparently a football game with the Dolphins that beckons some) and then practice at the Heat arena on Monday before they head up to Washington.
Yeah, life sucks, eh?
Okay, I’m breaking off from this trip, Mr. Dave will pick ‘em up in D.C. for the Wizards-Sixers back-to-back while I coast.
We’re still working out the logistics of in-game bloggy thingies for Tuesday and Wednesday; I’m thinking sitting on a stool and watching in peace might be a good way for me to spend at least one of those nights.
But we’ll do one of the mid-day question and answer things for sure, maybe Wednesday and we’ll let you know.