Working hard and keep the streak alive (no, not that one)
Hey, look at it this way.
They didn’t lose last night. Makes today an easier day around these parts, too.
The theme of yesterday’s practice, and the theme of the entire season to date as a matter of fact, was the need to work hard and play hard for 48 minutes every game.
No slacking off for a few minutes here and there, no easing into games, 100 per cent intensity for the get-go.
I guess it was Cliché Day as well as Signing Day.
Anyway, it does get to a point that a lot of people have asked about lately and raises a question for which there is no logical answer.
Why do athletes – and it happens to every team in every sport in every city to some degree – seem to waver in their intensity every now and then?
Can’t say. Can’t be explained. It just is.
And to all of you who write in asking about it, I can only offer this: Do you have great days every single day at your job?
Do you work consistently hard every second of every day at the office or the factory or on the road?
You may think you are, but you’re not.
But to suggest these guys aren’t “trying” is, frankly, ridiculous. They may not be successful, the other guys might simply be better but it’s a disservice to suggest they don’t care.
I know that sounds entirely defensive of athletes and perhaps it is but I’ve been around them a very long time and I can assure you they do try and do care.
They don’t always win and they don’t always do the right thing and they make glaring mistakes and lose games but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
But to think it’s lack of effort is wrong.
That said …
This team is not very good at the moment, there’s been some defensive slippage and I’m still not sold on the theory that the offence is good enough and if they don’t smarten up, the entire season could be in the toilet two weeks from now.
And then all we’ve got to look forward to are those “wow” moments in every game and the entertainment that a night out gives us.
Oh, wait a minute.
That should be enough, right?
Ed Davis Update
(And not since the never-ending ‘When Will Reggie Be Back’ flood a year ago have we spent so much time dispensing little or not information)
Anyway, he did a little three-on-three yesterday that was about his first semi-serious work.
But if you’re looking at timeline, look way down the road.
The kid’s going to need more than a few practices to get up to even close to speed and with the way the schedule breaks down, there’s not a lot of time.
I’m guessing – big guess, too – that you’re looking at two, maybe three, weeks at the earliest.
And, yes, I’ll answer this again next week. Promise.
So I see the Heat lost last night to Utah because Paul (not Ronny) Millsap went berserk and it’s pretty interesting, what’s going on in Miami.
There’s no question that team is great – you can’t have James, Wade and Bosh and not be really, really, really good – but there are some huge flaws, most notably in the paint and at the point.
Let me ask you this: If Pat Riley calls you, do you make a trade with him? No way, right? He’s got nothing you want, he perhaps helped orchestrate the biggest free agent coup ever and if you think some rival GM is going to help make that team better, I think you ought to think again.
Kinda cool, no?
Time to talk about the streak.
No, not the three-point one, that’s a fun one that gets mentioned once a game because the Irregulars like it.
Jarrett Jack’s streak; he’s at 295 straight games and counting and as he kind of limped out of the gym after practice Tuesday, he had this to say about his prospects for tonight:
“I’m definitely going to play. Still stiff but I’ll be out there. I’ll give my team 10, 20, 30 minutes. I’ll give them whatever I have.”
Jarrett’s third among active players on the Ironman list; Andre Miller’s at 620 and Derek Fisher’s at 420.
I swear, if Bristol is the DWTS winner (and she’s a semifinalist), there should be a federal inquiry. I’m torn, conflicted, confused as to whether the kid Kyle or The Lovely Jennifer Gray should win but it’s ABB. (Anybody But Bristol, in our love affair with acronyms).
Here’s what Rick’s saying about the Bobcats, who are scuffling along almost as badly as the HOTH.
Let’s do a quick one out of the mail, shall we:
Q: Hi Doug. I know you don't get to every game in person. Wondering which assistant coach you think gives the best halftime interviews. I've been impressed with PJ's candour, and Jim Todd was always good.
Your favorite and why?
Your favorite and why?
Jeff I, Toronto
A: You’re right, I see so few games on TV I probably don’t have as informed opinion as I should but I do see some and I do get to listen to some of the interviews when I’ve got the front row seat at home games.
And, because I’m as much about voice and inflection and style as information, I was huge fan of Jim Todd and like PJ’s style this year.
But, truth be told, I’m not sure there’s a lot of earth-shattering information that’s shared in those chats. They always have to defend better, rebound better, turn the ball over fewer times.
Now, I do see some good ones over there in the mail slot (I’m trying to whittle down a list of five favourite steak joints) but there’s always room for more and you know how to get there.
Sorry to disappoint any Irregulars out there but we can’t do a Question and Answer thing today, too much to do like banking, packing, writing, hanging around shootaround.
We’ll see if we can fix something up for Friday from sunny Orlando.