A guy's gotta shoot when a guy's gotta shoot, right?
Well, no new guys yesterday. No 10-day dudes, no trades, no more injuries, no nothing.
We all saw Julian Wright struggle offensively the other night, right? Missed some easy shots inside and he’s a suspect jump shooter anyway (although I will say he might be the hardest practice worker on the team).
But he’s got to keep shooting it.
One of the tenets of this team’s offence, and it pretty much goes for any team in the NBA is if you’re open, take the shot because you need to make teams defend you.
Jay knows it. But he also knows that it’s better, in Julian’s case at the moment, to do something else rather than take jumper after jumper.
“If he never shoots it, they never respect it. If he drives to the basket the way he did in the second half (against Philadelphia) and finishes a layup, now they have to respect him a little bit more.”
And if Jay was Sam, I would have gotten a quick, “duh!” to the follow up question when it was suggested that, yeah, he’s got to take shots to keep defence honest but he’s got to make one or two.
“Absolutely. The guy works as hard as he can and he’s having a hard time making shots right now so the next thing you can do is keep the defence on edge by making a pass to someone else, setting a good screen or driving the ball to the basket. Do other things and hopefully the confidence comes back.”
It’s Fan Night.
Guess I should load up the best Of Rob Base CD in the car since he’s the halftime show.
But can someone tell me who he is first?
For some reason (space, I presume) they forgot to run in the paper the little item I did on Canada’s men’s team and the draw for the 2011 Olympic qualifier this summer in Argentina.
Anyway, Canada’s in a group with Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba; the other group is Argentina, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Paraguay and Panama.
Top two make it to 2012 in London automatically, the next three get to go to a last-gasp qualifier of 12 teams (3 Olympic berths on the line) in the summer of 2012.
Probably slim to get out of the first event (you have to think Argentina and Brazil have the inside track) and just as long a shot if they get to the second one.
The big thing, though, is the impact of an NBA lockout. If there is one and none of the NBA guys can take part, I like Canada’s chances of being one of the top two a lot better. Still don’t think they’re good but I like them better.
Oh, Matt Bonner? Still working on the citizenship thing to expedite matters and there’s been no political will to fast-track it. If worse comes to worse, though, he can become one of us in 2012 because of his marriage to a Toronto woman. That’d be too late for the qualifier, of course, so there still needs to be some work done on that front.
And I got to talk to him briefly last week when we were in San Antonio and he’s still all gung-ho to play for his adopted country.
If any of you have some juice with the doofus mandarins up the nation’s capital, make mention of Matt, would you? Canada Basketball thanks you.
What’s up with the Bucks?
This is up with the Bucks, courtesy of Uncle Tom.
Here’s a question I get often, or at least a version of it.
Q: In Thursday's blog you mentioned how they are still willing to work with Alabi, and see what he becomes. I have to wonder why the management would do that. If after half a season, he hasn't been able to work his way in to an NBA game (of significance) then we would have to assume that his ceiling is pretty low. There has to be someone somewhere worth paying the same money to, that you could at least expect to get a few minutes out of in a real NBA game. Can you explain what the thought process is in keeping Alabi for this year and next?
Peter L, Toronto
A: I don’t think anyone knows what Alabi will turn into and it’s far, far too early to cast him aside. And I doubt there is someone available and making the minimum salary for a second-round pick who’s better than anyone this team trots out on a regular basis.
Will Solo become a functioning member of even a mediocre team’s rotation? I have my doubts but I think you want to see him for long than four months to determine that. Let him keep practicing and improving and run him out in the summer league (if there is one) and see where he is.
And, besides, someone has to be the 12th or 15th man on a 15-man roster, why not a kid who might be something?
I see they did the starters for the all-star game.
You voted for Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire and Dwight Howard for the East and Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Yao Ming for the West.
Now, we all know the selection of Yao is simply tomfoolery that comes of the love they have for him in his homeland but other than that, I think the fans got it right.
Can’t really see who would be a better choice than the nine guys and I guess it restores faith in balloting process.
The interesting thing, of course, is who the coaches pick as backups (they have to vote by Tuesday and the results are made public Thursday) because that’s where the debate rages.
I haven’t given it a lot of thought – we have days next week here to fill, and I’ll need the time – but the one guy I can see being snubbed is Golden State’s Monta Ellis. But we’ll get to that next week.
So, another silly Saturday night game (who are these guys, the Leaves?) means we’ll push back the mailbag until Monday again (it’ll give me something to do when I’m hanging out in Indy on Sunday) so click here if you want to hang with the cool kids.
See you tonight for the IGBT.