The normal fare and another kick at the contest can
It’s funny, isn’t it?
I don’t imagine there were many among you who didn’t “expect” the HOTH to beat the Sixers last night and given all the doom and gloom around here in the first two weeks of the season, that strikes me as an odd thing.
Strange how things turn around. And proof again why sports is so cool.
A telling comment
I’m looking at the notebook from last night and while my penmanship really seems to have deteriorated over the years, I can make out a little bit of chicken scratch. It says:
“1st 1/4. Speed kills.”
Must have been when Barbosa and Bayless were first on the court and the game really turned simply because the Sixers couldn’t keep up with the pace.
I’m not sure this is the “fastest” team the Raptors have ever had – I suspect it is but that’d take some thinking and it’s way early in the morning for too much thinking.
But the simple fact is a team that isn’t blessed with the greatest of outside shooting now doesn’t need it every night. The pure athleticism and speed of guys like Barbosa, Bayless, DeRozan, Weems and even Calderon and Johnson, will allow them to stay competitive offensively on nights when shots aren’t falling.
And we saw the first glimpse of it last night when they simply ran away from Philly early on.
Speaking of shooting
Jay’s been all over these guys to take shots when they’re presented – not crazy early-clock bombs but good, open looks – and on Sunday, when Jose came around a screen wide open and passed up a look, Jay climbed all over him and quicker than you can say, “Leandro, get Jose” Barbosa was at the table.
Well, third quarter last night, late in a clock, Jose’s got a pretty good look at the left elbow and passes it up. He exacerbates the issued by committing his only turnover of the night by throwing a cross-court pass over DeMar’s head and into the front row.
Well, Barbosa doesn’t go to the table and about two possessions later, while one of his teammates is shooting free throws, I notice Jose walking around at midcourt muttering to himself:
“Shoot the ball. Shoot the ball.”
Sure enough, next time he got a good look, he let it fly.
A brief look
Not sure how often we’ll see it but there were a couple of brief moments last night when they had both Kleiza and Stojakovic on the court at the same time and, I have to tell you, I kind of liked it.
I still think Kleiza’s a four in a three’s body, I think you can make the case he’s the most accomplished post player on the team and I think there should be instances every night when Jay uses those two together when Bargnani’s getting a blow.
It gives them a great shooter on the perimeter and a guy who can get in the lane and do stuff and makes them a tough cover for anyone.
In other stuff, some of it unrelated …
I’ll tell you this:
I don’t know anything about anatomy expect mine’s the pits and Gray’s is good but hearing that Udonis Haslem has a ruptured Lisfranc ligament in his foot makes me think we’re not going to see him until the fall.
Remember Lamond Murray?
Used to play here way back in the day? Well, he had a torn Lisfranc ligament and it cost him one entire season and a lot of another. No surgery, just a little tear and if they had to go in and fix Haslem’s, it would seem to me that’s more serious.
No idea how we’re doing for entries, my responsibilities lies mainly in promoting it here today and tomorrow, but it’d be cool if you enter.
And even cooler if you won, I guess.
Anyway, the gory details are here; it’s 10 tickets to Sunday’s game, some vouchers for food and drink and, who knows, perhaps a quick appearance by a Special Guest if I can get Santa out of the mall.
Click here to get even more information and be among the dozens trying to win.
So Rene Johnston handles the photography duties at the tilt against the Sixers and comes up with this post-game stuff that I’m sure you’ll appreciate.
Let’s get a quickie out of the mail:
Q: Hi Doug. You have probably answered this a bunch of times before, but here goes anyway.
If teams routinely say "Terms of the deal will not be disclosed as per team policy" when it comes to signings,” how do the numbers eventually pop up on the internet? Is their some other source for this info than the teams doing the signing and the player who signs with them? Thanks
If teams routinely say "Terms of the deal will not be disclosed as per team policy" when it comes to signings,” how do the numbers eventually pop up on the internet? Is their some other source for this info than the teams doing the signing and the player who signs with them?
Richard H, Whitby
A: Chatty agents, GMs or other Henchmen, mainly.
Because “releases” are generally out there for public consumption, the teams don’t really want to make that information known in their own for some reason.
But all it takes for is for an enterprising reporter to make maybe one call and the numbers are out.
What they say in Philly?
Let’s see by checking this out.
More mail, please.
I’m sitting there courtside late in the first half, Peja’s in the game and after missing his first shot he drills a sugar-sweet three-pointer right in front of the Raptors bench.
It strikes a fellow that over the years, this has been a pretty good gig.
First Dell Curry, then Jason Kapono and now Peja and if those are three of the prettiest shooting strokes around, I don’t know what are and it’s been nice to see them up close.
No destination viewing any more with DWTS over and I think I need something to occupy what little spare time I have.
So Quag’s in town for some high school gridiron festival or somesuch and he’s in the post-game crowd hosted by Stumpy and chatter gets around to the big football game out west on Sunday.
Me? Given that I witness glorious CIS hoops triumph by the Huskies last April up in Ottawa and because the Green Riders are everyone’s favourite team, I’m all about Saskatchewan in the Le Coupe Grey Cup.
Now all I have to do is find some local hosting a good party after the Hawks game.
Oh yeah, for all the Irregulars south of the 49th, Happy Thanksgiving.