Another night, another series of oddities and questions
Okay, quick show of hands here.
Who watched the second half Saturday?
I did, but it’s my job; I wonder how many of you stuck around?
Anyway, on with the show:
Obviously, I didn’t get a chance to ask Jay or any of the coaches what specifically had occurred late in the first quarter but there was a notable substitution pattern that, if I remember, I’ll check on tomorrow.
Jerryd Bayless went in about his normal time for Jose Calderon, entering the game with 3:32 to go in the quarter.
But 76 seconds later, he was back on the bench, replaced by Sundiata Gaines.
Even in these times of moving guys in and out quickly to find something that works, that was a fast hook.
Now, I know Bayless has been banged up, his ankle is still a bit of an issue, but, as we’ve pointed out before, he remains a wee bit tentative on offence after a rather quick start to his time with the Raptors.
I know the coaches are working with him to improve his game-management skills and to teach him how to run a team but he still needs to play to his strengths and he isn’t right now.
Three on five
Yes, they did some scoring in the second half last night – and there’s not many things easier to than play against a team that’s up 30 and coasting – but that was out of the ordinary of late.
Before getting to 103 against Heat, the HOTH had gone five straight games without getting to 100, the longest steak of offensive woes since a six-game stretch back in December, 2008.
Why? Well, at one point they had both Julian Wright and Sundiata Gaines on the floor and because they are both a bit offensively-challenged, it allowed two Miami players to kind of freelance defensively and take away much of what Toronto wanted to do.
That’s not taking away from either of those two Toronto guys but that’s just a simple fact.
Haven’t seen this often enough
If you’re looking for one good thing, I guess you could point to the fact DeRozan went for 30 and Bargnani scored 28 against Miami.
On a team starved for offence (the absences of Kleiza, Weems and Barbosa kicks the crap out of this team’s ability to score a lot) those two have to each have big nights for them to win and it’s good to see that they can.
It’s just not been often enough.
Saturday night was the first time in eight games – stretching back to the win over Sacramento – that both had topped 20.
Not surprisingly, that’s the last time they won.
A few more unrelated but wildly entertaining points.
I see someone named Rob Base is doing the halftime gig at the Fan Night thingamabob next Friday.
Vanilla Ice is playing one of the casinos with the remnants of Chicago and a guy who used to write choruses for The Eagles?
Hey, big day for Sundiata Gaines.
His 10 days are up and while he’s done nothing to hurt the team and has, in fact, looked quite passable at times, I wonder if he sticks around for one very good reason: They need wings.
I haven’t heard a word about Sonny Weems, who knows how long Linas Kleiza’s knee is going to act up and I heard last night that Barbosa is probably a week away from getting back on the court.
So, with no disrespect to Gaines, can you envision a scenario where he’s let go and replaced for 10 days – which will be games against Memphis, Philly, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Indy and Atlanta – but someone who can play small forward?
Know anyone like that?
How about Ronald Dupree?
I have no idea if Bryan’s thinking like that but if there are going to be lingering issues with Keiza and more uncertainty about Weems, maybe he should be.
Carmelo Anthony did not get traded yesterday.
(You’re welcome for another breathless update to The Never-ending Story).
Quickly, from the mail:
Q: Greetings, possible two-parter. I would be curious to know whether the coaches/players are aware of the degree of interaction you have with your readership. And if they are, does it in any way influence your relationship with them?
Doug T, Brantford
A: Some of them are quite aware, actually. Mostly because every now and then I’ll have to ask them a question to get a good answer here and I’ve had guys come up and say “you should put this in the blog.”
Or, I may, perchance, point out some of the more zany trade suggestions to the GM or one of his henchmen and ask that they get right on it.
But, no, it doesn’t have any impact on any relationships with anyone in the organization.
(Okay, I know some poobahs are reading this today, go out and sign Dupree, okay? Make me look like I know what I’m talking about.
Did you know that Mike Miller hadn’t scored a single point all season in Miami before last night?
Sure made up for lost time, didn’t he?
Should I do chili or pizza or sit on a stool to let someone else handle the cooking this afternoon whilst watching gridiron action?
Oh, and I’ll need to knock off tomorrow’s extended mailbag so feel free to say hi by writing here.
Speaking of trades that didn’t happen, I’m told by people I trust that whatever transaction they’ve got cooked up for Alexis Ajinca won’t happen any sooner than Monday.
Bet you’re all waiting for that, aren’t you?
Okay, mail to answer, some shoveling to do. You all have a good day.
Enjoy the football, if that’s your idea of fun.