D League lessons and where to chow down
So, Ed Davis tonight.
What do we know about him? Well, the consensus I’m getting from a bunch of people is that he’s skilled defensively, raw offensively and has a tendency to coast in practice a bit but show stuff in games.
That’s probably a dangerous situation for a young guy who needs to learn good practice habits because that’s where you hone skills but as one guy told me walking out of the gym yesterday:
“He’s going to surprise some people in games.”
I got a sense from a couple of people that they’d like to see him surprise some people in practice, too, but he did spend a fair amount of time working individually with Alex English after practice Monday and if he can glean anything from that Hall of Famer, it’s a good thing.
But I warn you: This is a 21-year-old kid who’s played a handful summer league games and two D League games since last February and to expect much out of him is to set yourself up for disappointment.
Besides getting tutelage from Alex, we spied Jerome Williams chatting with Davis after practice (JYD was a special guest at ht workout again and, no, there’s no reason to think he’s going to come work here full time).
And pretty predictable advice from the vet to the kid:
“He was just saying work hard and give 100 per cent effort every time and you’ll be fine.”
Yes, but did he also talk about barking after grabbing rebounds and perhaps ripping off a t-shirt when you check in the game?
“Nah, that’s not really my thing.”
A digression that comes from the mail but what the heck, it’s a slow day and a topic near and dear to my heart.
Q: Doug. The "foodie" portion of the blog is great. Don't ever change it!
You've told us about your favorite steaks, pizzas, etc. … but you never told us the BEST places right here in T.O. So how about a list? And I'll give you free range here. Top 5 "food places" of your choice in the GTA.
You've told us about your favorite steaks, pizzas, etc. … but you never told us the BEST places right here in T.O.
So how about a list? And I'll give you free range here. Top 5 "food places" of your choice in the GTA.
Mo M, Mississauga
A: I have to preface this by saying I don’t get out to a lot of high-end places anymore. The tug of work, a teenage Super Son and, you know, finances, have pretty much ended the fine dining part of my life in the GTA.
And, as Irregulars know, I’m as much about the company and ambience as I am about the food partially because great chefs abound but mostly because it’s the people that make a meal.
That said, here’s three higher-end places that I’d put on a ‘don’t miss’ list (and if some of them are closed, oops): Piatto. No, you don’t know it; it’s a little bistro a kilometer or so from Casa Doug on Dundas between Mavis and Mississauga that Jose tells me has the best Spanish fare he’s had outside of Spain. Been there a couple of times and I concur.
The place with the nose. Yes, I know that’s not a name but Gio Rana’s Really Nice Restaurant is a mouthful. Drive around Leslieville and when you see a huge paper mache nose over a door, you’ve found it. An old, dear friend now in Old Blimey got me there one night and it was tremendous.
Barbarians. Yes, red meat. Great, great red meat. You cannot go wrong.
Now, let’s get the normal side of things.
I’m pretty much a creature of habit when it comes to light dining and, to tell you truth, I’m okay with everything I’ve had at my Boston Pizza (hi, Square One!) or and if you’re in the mood for dim sum, as I often am, the Emerald at Hurontario and Eglinton is a must. Crowded, like all good places are, but worth it.
But, really, the best thing you can do is to get a crowd of good friends, a big, round table so you can look everyone in the eye and let the conversation and wine flow. That’s what you’ll remember more than the food.
Better yet? Go to someone’s house.
What’s up in Washington?
Well, let us see what the Post has to say.
(Spoiler alert: It says John Wall expects to play).
Rogers might buy Maple Leaf Sports?
That can’t be a good thing for my cable bill, can it?
Richard Peddie’s leaving in 13 months?
Better get my resume polished up.
Seriously, though, that job is so big and encompasses so much, I don’t think it will have any impact – good or bad – on what transpires with the HOTH. After all, there are condos and shopping centres and bars and restaurants to run.
I swear, nothing fazes Jose Calderon.
He comes over to where we’re all standing on Tuesday afternoon like he didn’t have a care in the world and even when a guy mentioned his beloved Real Madrid was edged 5-0 but Barcelona in El Clasico, it didn’t bother him even though he’s a diehard Real fan.
Oh yeah, so much for my Ed Davis theory.
Someone asks Jay point-blank Tuesday whether the kid starts Wednesday against Washington.
Hmm. Another instance of a far more accomplished basketball mind not taking advice from a guy three decades removed from low-level competition.
Should we start the weakly weekly plea for mail?
Why not? Click. Write. Send.
Gets surgery tomorrow in Charlotte, he says (well, he tweets and we can only presume it’s him).
No timetable. Still.
You wonder what a kid will learn when he’s in basketball purgatory. Drop steps? Jump shots? Defensive rotations? Blocking-out skills?
So, Ed, what did you learn in a week in Erie?
“That I never want to go back down there again. We had a five, six hour bus ride to Fort Wayne, I mean it’s a struggle so you get the mindset that you want to work hard and never want to go down there.”
This is terrible news I just saw and I have to end this on a sad note.
Jim Kelley, the Buffalo writer/broadcaster/good guy has passed away at 61 years old.
Irregulars around here will probably know him best from his time as a radio dude, others may know him as an excellent hockey reporter. He was old school in that he didn't care whose feathers he ruffled, he got a story, had an opinion and voiced it. The industry could use a few more like him.
I first started hanging out with him a bit at the Nagano Olympics more than a decade ago and we became friends; we were kind of colleagues through his radio work here and my infrequent appearances when he was on.
He was a great guy, friendly, witty and more than willing to sit around and tell stories and laugh.
News of his passing is a sad, sad thing; he will be missed.
RIP, my friend.