Doesn't that prove that sports really is a wonderful thing?
Okay, all together now:
That’s why they play the games.
No, not grabbing missed shots, mentally rebounding.
The thing that might have been most impressive about the win was how they handled the inevitable Mavs run and there was an early one that stood out.
Toronto goes up 25-15 early but here come the Mavs, rattling off 10 straight points to tie it with about nine minutes left in the first half.
That’s about the time you kind of expected the beaten up, tired Raptors to fold up, kind of like they did in Memphis the night before.
But noooooo. They go on an 18-6 run, lead by a dozen with three minutes left in the half and it was as bold a statement as they made.
Where was Ed?
The first half was as good a stretch as Ed Davis has played all year and I know Jay was getting killed by some Irregulars in the third quarter when he left the kid on the bench for almost 10 minutes.
Why’d he do it?
“It was just a matter of when we were going to get him in in the second half because (Monday) night, Memphis scored four straight times on us to start the second half.
“We talked in the locker room that we need to get stops, we played well in the first half but we have to get stops right away here. And Joey did a great job and it was like, ‘I have to run with these guys even though Ed’s having a great game.’”
And it turned out all right, didn’t it?
Making his case, again
Once again, Julian Wright didn’t put up the greatest of numbers – scoreless with only four rebounds in 25 minutes – but once again, he had a big impact on the game.
He defender, he ran the floor, he moved the ball on offence and he was quite good.
Which leads me to this question:
Is he rendering Sonny Weems moot?
Seriously, since I’m still unconvinced that Weems and DeMar DeRozan can both function effectively when they’re on the court together, I wonder if Jay shouldn’t just give some Weems minutes to Wright on a regular basis even when Sonny’s ready?
It seems to free up DeRozan to have the ball on offence more, which can only help him and it puts Toronto’s best perimeter defender on the court more often.
Make sense? Does from this angle.
That’s not a knock against Sonny, who has some skills that Julian doesn’t but, on this team at this moment, I don’t think it’s a bad idea.
Anyway, a little more:
All kinds of questions post-game on where that game might rank all-time and I have to admit, given the circumstances, it’s got to be pretty high on the list.
Now, I don’t like to compare eras and the win in Washington back in ’03 when an eight-man team with three guys on 10-day deals beat the Jordan Wizards was good, as was the first-year win over the 72-10 Bulls at the Dome.
But when it comes to dissect the great gritty performances by an over-matched or under-manned team all-time, that one really has to be in the conversation.
Now all I have to do is remember it when it comes time to compile that list.
You know it’s been a good night for someone when you wander outside for fresh air with a coffee at 6:15 a.m. and there’s a half-empty glass of red wine on a little table in the tiny courtyard by the hotel front door.
And New Year’s isn’t until Friday!
Remember the mail?
The place where you send me little notes and say hi and ask questions?
Um, could you get to it, please.
Pretty much empty over there, which means it’s time to click, write and send. Really: Ask, say, tell anything you like.
Mr. Sefko, a fine post-game host and a heckuva fella, reports things thusly in the pages of the Dallas Morning News.
Right, I owe a guy an explanation.
Some Irregulars might recall the really good line someone dropped on me about mid-way through the fourth quarter last night:
Leandro plays point guard like Curly Neal.
Anyway, someone asked me to explain and here it is: When Curly was doing his magic with the Globetrotters, he was a dribbling maniac, skittering hither and yon, and just killing the Washington Generals.
Well, didn’t you see a bit of that in Leandro down the stretch, in a good way?
Wasn’t this the best play the Raptors had in the last five minutes:
Let Leandro dribble out 18 seconds off the 24-second clock and then see what happens?
Not a bad play, given the circumstances.
It’s 6:45 a.m. here and I’m clicking around the dial and there’s not a single bowl game on TV.
Someone’s dropped the ball on that one.
I just found two files stored on this machine that’ll give me a couple of days of work. It’s more lists, and here’s one:
Q: This one might require some serious thinking, but it gets discussed often in forums and I'd like your thoughts:
What's your top five rules in the NBA that you believe deserve some tweaking for the betterment of the game? Thanks for your time!
What's your top five rules in the NBA that you believe deserve some tweaking for the betterment of the game?
Thanks for your time!
Alex K, London
A: In no particular order, let me give you these:
Timeouts: I give each team two per half that can’t be carried over. I guess TV needs one per quarter but that’s it.
Kicked ball: Leave the shotclock where it is, don’t re-set it to 14 if it’s below that when a ball is kicked.
Timeouts II: Know what I’d like to see back? If a player has possession of the ball and is falling out of bounds, I’d let him call a timeout. It usually happens at the end of some hustle play when it happens and I think a guy should be rewarded. Or at least have the chance to be.
Goaltending: The more I think back to the worlds and Olympics, I’ve seen, why not let defensive players knock the ball off the rim if it’s bouncing around.
The charge circle: I’d shrink the semi-circle under the basket a little bit, give the defenders a better chance to contest shots at the rim.
I need some help.
Because of this zany schedule, we’ll be in Houston long enough to get citizenship, I think. Arrive Wednesday afternoon and don’t leave until Saturday morning and that’s an awful lot of time in a city I don’t particularly like because it’s so spread out.
So what I need is a couple of dinner spots that should be somewhere close to the Galleria mall (locals or those with Houston knowledge will know what I mean) because there a couple of nights to kill. I’m sure I’ll find a local to sit and sip and work on mail and year-end stuff but a good, relatively inexpensive joint or two would be nice.