Of colours, comments and small crowds
All in all, a pretty entertaining game, wasn’t it? It wasn’t Lakers-Celtics but if you get a close game in doubt until the final seconds, what more can you want?
They should all be so close.
Raising some heck
I know a lot of you saw this on the TV because many in-game Irregulars mentioned it but the Jay explosion at the end of the third quarter wasn’t triggered at any one player.
What he was so miffed about was that, after Devin Harris makes a jumper with 3.9 seconds left, the Raptors all lollygagged up the court instead of sprinting and maybe getting a good shot since 3.9 seconds is more than enough time for a pass or two and something better than the off-balance, halfcourt heave they got from DeRozan.
He let them know in no uncertain terms, greeting them before they even got to the bench. Not sure if it had a huge impact on the way they started the fourth quarter but they knew he was ticked.
Jay’s standing in front of us screaming “orange, orange, orange” every now and then and I wonder if he’s talking about Sam’s shirt because even he knows mine was mauve.
Seems “orange” is the code word for Toronto playing zone defence and we heard it an awful lot Friday night.
Hobbled, but effective
I know the 32 points and nine rebounds were mighty impressive, but what caught my eye about Andrea on Friday was the way he battled defensively on Brook Lopez in the post.
Lopez, who seems to have regressed tremendously since last year for some unknown reason (he looks way slower and far less decisive with the ball), simply couldn’t bull his way to the basket because Bargnani banged him and battled him. Quite a good game, actually.
And the big finish? Bargnani got loosened up, he said after the game when he was talking about his knee.
“It doesn’t feel good so I have to do therapy. I have to keep working on it because it doesn’t feel good. Once it gets warm, it gets better; it definitely gets better during the game.”
What else is going on?
A wee bit of stuff.
Sam, Sam, Sam.
Part snarky, a bit caustic, some introspection and some laughs.
Was good to see him.
A couple of the top hits?
So, Sam, did you have any regrets when you were saying some of things you said?
“It was kind of amusing at the time and then Mr. Tanenbaum would call, he and Richard Peddie would call me in the office and kind of get on me about it and I didn’t think it was so funny then.”
But, Sam, have you changed?
“You sit back and assess your life and kind of relax a little bit and you realize that that 4 1-2 years went by like a blur. I can think back to conversations I thought I was having with people but my mind was on basketball, it was constant. And you realize what a grind it is when you’re the head coach and you’re trying to get to a certain point. It’s a grind and you almost not become aware of what else is going on in the world, like tunnel vision. But when you step away from it for a while, you kind of get a different perspective and you’ve got to have balance.
"You have to have balance in your life.”
Um, okay, but what’s balance?
“Just conscious of everything else around you. Understanding it’s your job and it’s important but you have to have balance and I think with balance, it makes you a better coach. You have to look at things different. You have to look at the things other than just looking at what’s going on with a player on the court, you have to kind of have a feel for what’s going on with them off the court. That’s going to help you deal with them as a player and a person better.”
Ah, Introspective Sam. Maybe you got that when you were doing some TV?
“You have to actually know what you’re talking about when you’re throwing out numbers. It gave me a better appreciation for how little you guys actually work.”
I know there was no Vince and it was two teams with bad records playing against each other a week before Christmas but the underwhelming crowd of 14,623 made some sit up and take notice.
Not the smallest of the year – that was 14,127 for Golden State on a Monday night – but still …
Wonder how the Lakers will draw here Sunday for their only visit?
What’d Fred write about that one?
And what’s up with the Lakers?
You fine Irregulars did a fine Irregular-like job filling up the mailbag yesterday and I’ll give you one last shot to get more in today.
Click, write, send, and here’s an early one with multi-parts:
Q: The Bayless/Jack trade seems to be a good one from the Raptor perspective.
Why on earth would New Orleans make this deal? Considering how Peja played a lot of minutes last year and considering the value of his expiring contract, why would NOH agree to include Peja in that deal? Jay Triano appears to be quite a bit more blunt and ornery when discussing the team. Dropping swear words on TV, providing curt responses and other, let's call it un-Canadian descriptions, leads me to believe that this is by design. Do you think Jay has adjusted his appearance before the media? If so why do you think he has done so? When evaluating a player's performance, I presume you canvass the views of coaches, scouts and other players. How would you go about evaluating a coach? What is the consensus on Jay's performance as coach this year?
Why on earth would New Orleans make this deal? Considering how Peja played a lot of minutes last year and considering the value of his expiring contract, why would NOH agree to include Peja in that deal?
Jay Triano appears to be quite a bit more blunt and ornery when discussing the team. Dropping swear words on TV, providing curt responses and other, let's call it un-Canadian descriptions, leads me to believe that this is by design. Do you think Jay has adjusted his appearance before the media? If so why do you think he has done so?
When evaluating a player's performance, I presume you canvass the views of coaches, scouts and other players. How would you go about evaluating a coach? What is the consensus on Jay's performance as coach this year?
Alan G, Toronto
A: The Hornets, from all I’ve heard and been told, thought they were getting the best player in the deal in Jarrett and that he’d be a better complement to Chris Paul than Jerryd was.
I think Jay has taken a more stern approach with everything this year, us, his team and the staff. I do think it’s partially by design, I think he finally feels this is a group he can coach and say anything to without having to worry about one star player; it has carried over to his public persona. And maybe he heard the incorrect knock that he was “too soft” and decided to show the public what some of us have seen before.
And I’d go about evaluating a coach in pretty much the same way, talk to people who work closely with him asking and getting honest opinions and by personal observation. The consensus is that he’s doing a good job getting a lot of out of a young roster less-skilled than many others.
Take Wednesday’s game with Chicago, for instance.
At one point, on the court, where Jerryd Bayless, Sonny Weems, DeMar DeRoza, Ed Davis and Joey Dorsey.
Know what that is? Take Bayless out and it’s July’s Raptors summer league team.
The best line of Friday and Sam’s return actually came from Jay. After shootaround, we’re talking about The Return and someone asks Jay whether Sam treated the coaches and players with the same comic disdain he showed for some of us:
“No. He respected us.”
And with that, I’m off to collect the Smelly Ford Focus and pay a king’s ransom for its release.
See you tomorrow.