Taking stands and catching up
Yeah, sorry. A little later than I’d even thought thanks to a 45-minute de-icing delay in Toronto.
You gotta love winter.
Sunny and about zero with no snow here in D.C. and I’m sure it’ll be okay in New Orleans and San Antonio.
On to the fun stuff.
What’s the message?
Yes, that was a rather stern message Jay sent to Andrea on Friday, sitting him down for almost 10 minutes over the third and fourth quarters for some defensive breakdowns, especially on the glass?
I don’t know.
Sure, he probably deserved it – the Pistons were running something akin to a tip drill when they had five offensive rebounds in the first four minutes or so – but it’s not like he was alone in missing assignments and being beaten.
But, on the other hand, there are times when a coach has to take a stand and if you saw what Bargnani did when he got back into the game – he had 11 points and six rebounds in the final nine minutes after his respite – it seemed to work.
I don’t know if it’ll have any carryover effect, I quite doubt that it will, but if Jay’s going to play it like that, he has to keep playing it like that more often and take his chances on the outcome of games.
Get used to it
I looked up at one time in the third quarter and guys on the floor for Toronto were:
Jose Calderon, Julian Wright, Linas Kleiza, Amir Johnson and Joey Dorsey and if that’s not the most limited offensive group they could put together, it’s awful close.
And get used to it, folks.
No word on the MRI result on Barbosa but I’m thinking it might be a while and Sonny didn’t even travel with the team so there go two guys who can provide some offence.
That means points could be a premium and we’ll see some odd lineups out there.
Another tough night …
For Jerryd Bayless.
I don’t know if it’s the ankle or what but he really hasn’t had a big game since about the middle of December and his three-point, two-assist, two-turnover 12 minutes on Friday isn’t good enough.
Now, with Barbosa sidelined, he’s going to have to really pick it up and provide some offence off the bench.
Seems to me that he’s playing a bit timid and not to his strengths, which is scoring and slashing.
Maybe the absence of Barbosa will actually spark him to have more of impact on games.
More? A bit.
Darrell Walker and Tracy McGrady were oil and gas about a decade and a half ago.
Not sure they liked each other all that much, Darrell was pretty demanding, Tracy was pretty young.
Talking separately – and privately – to each last night, seems they have a good relationship now they’ve been reunited as assistant coach and old head in Detroit.
Guess time and maturity does heal some wounds.
Oh, this was Jay on Julian Wright before Friday’s game.
“He’s our energy guy and if the game lacks energy, he’s going to go in and try to change that up. If there’s an injury or something to either to Linas, Barbosa or DeMar, then he’s going to be the third and not the fourth wing to get in the game.”
So, he’s up on notch now with Leandro’s injury.
I’m guessing this is kind of pertinent given the shoddy work of the weak officiating crew that did Friday’s game:
Q: Doug - when players and/or coaches publicly criticize the referees, they are fined by the League office. My question has to do with whether or not the League does any behind-the-scenes checking of the game tapes to see if the criticism is justified and if so, do they then have a word with the head referee? It just seems that for some reason, Toronto doesn't get as many foul shots as their opponents even though they are often going aggressively to the basket. So, if Jay publicly criticized the refs (instead of letting the reporters do it), he would be fined $35,000.00 but would this ultimately help the discrepancy situation?
Penny D, Fredericton
A: The league assigns an observer to every single game to monitor the officials, write reports and submit them to the office overnight.
Officials also get, on their handy-dandy computers, videos of contentious calls that they, or others, may have been involved in.
So they are checked and repeated failures would result in loss of assignments, loss of playoff assignments and, ultimately, dismissal.
Now, whether Toronto’s cause would be helped by Jay spending some of his money? I don’t think so and I can think of far better things to do than invited a $35,000 fine, even if it would spice up one of my stories.
Okay, more Darrell.
We’re sitting in the stands long before the game catching up and Julian Wright’s out on the court putting in his usual pre-game work.
And, I tell you, no one on the Raptor roster works harder pre-game than Wright does, doing shooting drill after shooting drill after shooting drill. The schedule makes him the first one out every night (although he was joined by Sundiata Gaines on Friday) and Wright works hard.
And I mean a lot.
Anyway, Darrell and I are sitting there watching and Darrell was on Byron Scott’s staff in New Orleans when Julian was there. So, being the intrepid reporter that I an, I ask Mr. Walker what he thought of Mr. Wright.
“Ju-Ju? Great kid. Works hard. Sweats like Patrick Ewing.”
High praise indeed.
I was watching halftime of the Blazers-Suns and they were showing highlights of other games and I swear the Warriors were beating the Clippers 69-62 at halftime and all I can think of is:
Man, that’s got to be a great game and who cares about defence on some Friday night in January.
Oh, and then I look up and see Perk and Griff on the McCown round table and I’m cursing the NBA schedule people who make me work every Friday night.
Toss me in there with those two and Bobcat and it’s like Rowan and Martin meet Martin and Lewis.
I know Bob wasn’t there Friday but you get my drift, right?
Speaking of mail, I’m okay with what’s there but it could be better so …