Hello from Dallas, where the TV choices abound
Better late than never?
A guy can only hope. So, after an entirely uneventful flight, the kind that are most appreciated, here you go:
Tricks are for kids
Or coaches. And Jay pulled out a few of them last night; none worked in the end but you have to give a guy credit for trying.
One came on Memphis’s last possession of the first half and was kind of interesting to see.
The Grizzlies got the ball back with about 25 seconds left and were dribbling out the clock as the Raptors were in man-to-man defence. Jay’s right in front of us, yelling “10 seconds, 10 seconds, 10 seconds” and as the clocked got to that point, it was “orange, orange, orange” and we all know what that means, right?
Yep, I’ve seen them switch between man and zone on alternating possessions, now I’ve seen them do it during the same set.
Didn’t work, they fouled Zach Randolph on the play, but it was interesting to see.
The next step
Ed Davis spends a lot of time post-practice and before games working with Alex English and Amir Johnson and there’s one lesson he has to learn from Johnson really soon.
That’s rolling hard to the basket after setting a screen, a second-nature move that gets Johnson all kinds of easy baskets.
Davis? Not so much. On a handful of occasions in Memphis, he set a screen and kind of drifted instead of heading to the rim and the point guard – generally Jose – couldn’t find him.
It’ll come, Davis seems to have not bad basketball instincts, but the sooner, the better.
Amir’s tough night
You know, you have to give Amir Johnson credit.
The kid’s hurting, no doubt about it, yet he trotted himself out there for 29 minutes. It was his first scoreless game of the season – he missed all four shots he took – but there was all kind of effort.
Now, he wasn’t putting himself at any major risk, and when the back tightened up he sat down, but that kind of effort does not go unnoticed by a coach. Right, Jay?
“He tried to play for his teammates but he’s not even close. You can tell the way he runs the floor and the way that he’s limited in his jumping ability trying to rebound the basketball. It’s tough but he played because he knew we only had three bigs.”
Hope his teammates noticed.
More? Here’s a little.
Memo to hotels
You can stop blaring Christmas carols any time now.
Not cliques, mind you.
First, this one from Memphis.
Speaking of Dallas, did you know the Raptors have lost 10 straight games there, a streak that dates back to Dec. 30, 1999?
Yep, more than a decade.
But there’s more to that last win, too.
It marked the first time I was offered a ride home after a game on the team charter.
Check out that date and you’ll be able to figure out why.
On Dec. 31, 1999, when the two grunts on the journey were supposed to fly home, the world was supposed to end with the arrival of Y2K and instead of making us fly home through Chicago, and brave the carnage that was to come with the end of the ‘90s, Butch let us sit in the back of the plane and we were home to spend the arrival of the millennium safe and sound with our families.
Y2K? Talk about a flop, eh? After New Coke and Ishtar, it might be the biggest ever.
What’s gone in Dallas?
Well, let me tell you.
If at any point tonight the Raptors lead by 24 points (all together now: Hahahahahahahaha) please don’t turn the TV.
They’re more likely than not to blow the lead.
Yep, it’s happened twice/
Feb. 25, 2006, when they led by 24 in the third quarter and ended up losing in overtime.
Nov. 20, 2007, when they led by 24 in the second quarter and didn’t need the extra five minutes to blow that game.
Those two games still represent the biggest blown leads in franchise history. Wonder what wackiness awaits us late oneer tonight.
It’s the pre-season in 1999, we’re on a dreadful Edmonton-Colorado Springs-Dallas-Milwaukee road trip and there’s at least one moment of levity.
Late in the game in Dallas (they’d go on to lose by two), some pop culture/basketball fans start a chant I don’t imagine I’ll ever hear again:
We Want P, We Want P, We Want P.
And since I can’t see a washroom anywhere close in the old Reunion Arena, I figure they must be clamouring for the one and only Percy Miller, he of Master P rap fame.
And Butch, to his ever-lasting credit, gave them what they wanted, using Miller in the final few minutes.
I have no idea what he did but I’m sure it involved a lot of dribbling and shooting ‘cause that’s what P did.
A nice walk
Way back in the day, they used to play at Reunion Arena, an old antiquated building a couple of miles down the road from the American Airlines Center.
It was a bit of a dump but it had one thing going for it:
Close proximity – like a 10-minute walk – from Dealey Plaza and for a guy of a certain age, standing in the school book depository looking over the Kennedy assassination spot is something else.
There are some perks of the job and that’d be the one about being here.
Now, I don’t know if Oswald acted alone, I suspect he did, but it was pretty cool to live the history.
Here’s the funny thing about the 10-game road losing streak the HOTH have against the Mavs.
It’s not their longest current stretch of futility against an opponent.
Oh, it is by time – not having won there this century is pretty unique – but they’ve dropped 11 in a row in Cleveland.
Seriously, a guy checks into a Dallas hotel, flips on TV and goes around the dial and what’s he find?
Man, there are waaaaaaay too many channels.