Good carols, bad distractions and Reggie's trip to Florida
In the absence of anything big, some little things to get you through the day.
I guess there is no real answer to one of the dilemmas that’s kind of bothered these guys the last two seasons, one that came up yesterday when we were talking to Jay and Linas about the decision to put Kleiza back in the starting lineup.
A lot of his woes early in the year, we’re told, came from poor health, his Achilles tendons were acting up, and it limited what he could do, according to the coach.
“He had no bounce to him. Tendonitis in both Achilles, a long summer and just had no bounce at all. If you have no bounce in the NBA, you’re going to be in trouble, guys are going to exploit you.”
The part that caught my attention? The part about the long summer and the impact of playing for Lithuania at the worlds and how it contributed to the slowish start.
But there seems to be no one answer to a situation that always pops up.
Last year, as we know, they let Turk off the hook during training camp, he got out of shape and never really recovered.
This time around, they rode Linas as hard as anyone during camp and the pre-season and it caught up with him a couple of weeks into the season.
I guess it’s always going to be a case-by-case situation and no one can know how anyone is going to react. And if you’re looking forward to next fall, remember that the European championships are in Lithuania, they are as big as any tournament anywhere in the world at any time, and there are going to be a couple of Raptors who’ll likely be involved.
Oh, from our department of “Where Are The Injured Guys Now?” we bring you this: Reggie, I’m told, is down in Pensacola, Fla., are the Andrews Institute, the same training facility he spent so much time at last summer when he got himself into the best shape of his life.
He’s still really early in the rehabilitation process – he only had his surgery on Dec. 1 and they said it might be eight weeks at that point – but the fact he’s familiar with what the Florida people do and saw how much success they had with him last summer makes me think he’ll do a good job coming back from this injury.
So that’s why you didn’t see him on the bench the other day; not sure when he’ll be back, either.
I’m going to steal this one from the list of lists I’ve got stored away for a rainy day:
Q: OK, list of the moments of an NBA game you could easily get along without.
(Although maybe we've already been there, I don't remember)
Giuseppe C, Vicenza, Italy
A: Oh boy, this could be fun.
Music during play
It might be the single most dreaded part of the “entertainment experience” and drives me batty. Let the game be the damn game.
Some of them might be marginally entertaining every now and then but, truth be told, most of them sap whatever energy there is in the crowd right out of it.
Hugs. Too many dang hugs
Yes, I get that teammates like each other and want to encourage each other and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
But seriously, it’s like some Pro Sports Receiving Line when they take to the court and it’s mind-numbing to me.
Look, I’m all in favour of the June Taylor Dancers, they do a good job, add something to the night and seem to be generally nice people. But the whole routine of player introductions and then a little dance number? Over the top.
I honestly think there needs to be more flexibility in game-ops; there never seems to be enough spontaneity to the game and what goes on when and I think fans are short-changed because things have to be done in a certain order.
Okay, I’m only concurring with a guy who brought this up one day recently when we were standing around talking about broadcasters so it’s not my great comment but it was reaffirmed when I was listening to the Heat game last night.
Don’t you half expect the Miami play-by-play guy Eric Reid to introduce a Tea Time Movie with The Matinee Lady?
One of my favourites:
The Waltons Rip Off A Welfare Office
Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Nolan Ryan, Lloyd Nolan, Nolan Bridges and Upchuck The Nosey Tapeworm.
I tell you, if there’s a Slauson Cutoff in Miami, that’d be a classic.
(First in with the name wins a nifty prize, or at least my enduring respect).
You know how banged up these guys are, right?
No Amir, Sonny, Jose, Andrea, Reggie or Peja at work yesterday and Linas only made it through half the workout.
No wonder, then, that when we were finally ushered into the practice facility – where normally we’d see ‘em all working on drills spread out over the entire floor – there was one single solitary guy on the court.
Andrea working on free throws and stationary jump hooks to save his knees and ankle.
It was comical. I know there were other guys in the weight room lifting and some were getting treatment and bunch of them did practice but to get in and see one lonely guy on the whole court was hilarious.
Hmm, Christmas seems right around the corner (it must be, I saw huge traffic headed into the mall parking lot last night, am sure it’ll be cleared by the time I go Thursday) so that must mean music.
And if you’re looking for a fivesome of old, traditional carols to listen to, I don’t think you’d go wrong with these:
Joy To The World.
O Come All Ye Faithful.
And if you don’t listen to Bing Crosby and David Bowie do Little Drummer Boy, you may have Irregular status revoked.
Tomorrow? The “untraditional” ones.
Best line of Monday comes courtesy of E. Koreen.
They’ve got this nifty new backdrop, in front of which we now need to conduct post-practice scrums so that the corporate masters can be served, and it just goes with the whole “sponsorship synergy” thing that seems to make the world go around.
So as we wait for someone to walk over and stand in front of it so the TV cameras can get look in their background, Eric suggests, in reference to some over-hyped corporate contest designed solely to promote the MLSE night club:
“Why don’t we just do this in front of the Mancave?”
And I’m sure right now someone in marketing is thinking: “Hmm, not a bad idea.”