Of new kids, new coaches and a record benchmark
Seriously, folks, it’s almost getting too hard to do snark here; the Groundhog Day nature of this season is beating me down. I either need a break, a win or something so crazy that it gives me days of material.
Until then …
Welcome to the league
So much for having to know the offence to run it.
It might have been in his first minute on the floor when Trey Johnson finds himself with the ball, Jerryd Bayless is pretty well covered and can’t get a pass and you can see Johnson thinking “hmm, what do I do now?”
So he decides to call a play, even if he’s not sure what it is or if the Raptors have it in their playbook.
He surveys the scene, yells out “floppy” (a play involving a series of baseline screens that every team in professional basketball runs, just about) and starts acting as a point guard.
Can’t remember if they scored, but I do remember the look on Johnson’s face being “I’ve got to do something, hope they know what I’m calling.”
Deserves some props
No, Sonny Weems didn’t have a particularly good game or much of an impact when he was out there but I think you need to give him some credit for playing.
He says his back is better but I wondered when I saw him go in all alone from about midcourt after a steal and lay the ball in instead of dunking it.
Kind of a telling play, no?
In dubious company
You know me and the willingness to do all kinds of research, right?
Well, here I am all ready with my Handy Dandy Media Guide (not a Handy Dandy Notebook for those with tiny kids) ready to scour the fine print and find out the last time these lads were an uninspiring 20 games below .500.
One of the bad Butch years?
The 16-66 torture?
Well, that didn’t take long.
How about March 16, 2009 when they lost to Charlotte and fell to 24-44.
Ah, the glory days.
Now, here’s more.
I can’t wait for a year from yesterday to see what the world does when the hockey guy turns 51.
If there is one thing that’s going on with these fellows it’s that young DeMar is garnering at least a wee bit of attention around the league.
A spate of 20-plus nights will do that, so will be invited to the dunk contest and so will some pub on the interwebs.
My Man Asch was the latest to weigh in; here’s what he came up with.
So, did everyone see this story in Forbes (not sure how many Forbes readers live here but some must) that ranks the NBA teams by monetary value and puts the locals at No. 10? Now, I’m sure the people at Maple Leaf Sports will either dispute or ignore the numbers (it’s a privately-held company and no one knows where the stacks of $1,000 bills is stored) but I’m thinking people at Forbes don’t blow these things too often.
What’s it mean?
That MLSEL is a good business venture and it makes money hand over fist. Does it pour it back into its sports teams? Probably not enough to satisfy many of you but on the basketball side they do okay in the payroll area.
I’ve always contended its not simply a case of spending money that turns a franchise into a consistent winner (if it was, we’d have seen far more Knicks-Blazers-Mavs finals than we have) but it’s spending wisely that works.
And that’s what the Raptors have to do more than anything else, use their resources to spend smartly, not just spend.
Can they do it?
What’d the say about that one in the pages of Philadelphia publications?
I’m pretty sure we’ve got a Haligonian or two around these parts, don’t we?
I need a favour.
Some of you have to go to a Halifax Rainmen game in the next little while, find your way down courtside and tell Mike Evans congratulations from an old friend in Toronto.
Yeah, the former assistant to Sam got the gig as the head coach of the minor league team (it’s in something called the Premier Basketball League) and he started this week.
Mike is one of the true good guys I’ve know a bit over the years, he’s been around the game forever and it’s good he’s getting a job after living in Denver and running camps since he left the Raptors.
I remember the day Sam got whacked in Denver and I’m told they wanted to fire Mike at the same time but didn’t and he handled the rest of that year like a pro.
So go see him, watch a game and if you get a chance, tell him I said hello.
This high school stuff’s getting to me and I don’t understand teens.
Super Son’s all done first semester exams, has a few days off and isn’t he supposed to sleep until noon every day?
Why is it just after 7:30 a.m. and we’ve got a DVD of old Get Smart shows playing?
Not that I mind, it’s a classic show and I used to have a huge crush on a young Barbara Felton but, really.
I think we need a Cone Of Silence around here.
Let’s get a quick, short one out of the mail.
(And you did very well yesterday, congrats. But being the greedy sot that I am, I’d like more. Here, please).
Q: Hi Doug. What does Ajinca's arrival mean for Alabi's tenure with the team? Can we expect a trade with Denver to send Alabi over to his mentor's team? Is this move part of a chess game by BC for further trades? If so, the options are not readily apparent to me.
Mark L, Abbotsford
A: Good question.
I don’t think it means an awful lot for Alabi, actually. They know he’s not ready to play yet, at least Ajinca has a modicum of NBA experience and they feel more comfortable throwing Ajinca out for five or six minutes a night than they do Solo.
Long-term? Well, if Ajinca shows anything they might try to keep him around a little bit and Alabi’s got another year on his contract so it could very well be a case of them being the two bigs at the end of the bench season.
But they are still willing to sit and wait and see if Alabi develops and there’s no desire to move him anywhere.