A pretty wild end to a pretty good weekend
Well, well, well.
Wasn’t that something.
Yes, at 3:22 it was, by time, the longest game in franchise history and I think everyone got their money’s worth.
Took a big chunk out of my night but what the heck, it was worth it.
Of course he should have.
Of course Andrea should have driven the ball on that final possession of the third overtime because he probably would have been fouled and he might have only made one free throw and we might have a history-making fourth overtime.
But, seriously, that’s the kind of thing relatively young players have to learn and I would imagine the next time he’s in that spot – and he’s never been in it before – he’ll be more decisive and put the ball on the floor immediately.
Tough lessons learned. But valuable ones.
Mixed and matched
Had to like the way Jay managed his backcourt over the final few possessions of each overtime. He went offence-defence with Jose and Leandro, went small with DeRozan and two guards to spread the floor a little bit and had all kinds of different last-possession plays.
He tried isolations with Bargnani and DeRozan, ran that little mid-post play with Calderon, threw some high screen-roll, side screen-roll and flare screens to get something going.
Didn’t work in the end but when you’re 17-46, it’s about learning as much as it is about winning.
The one thing they did too often was call timeouts after every Nets miss in the final minutes.
I know coaches like to coach and feel far more in control when they can settle everyone down and run a play but, just once or twice, I’d like to see Jay let them go and see what they can come up with on their own.
I can’t recall how many times I saw the Raptors grab a rebound and be ready to head back up the court only to have things come to a screeching halt.
One thing Butch Carter did more than any coach in this team’s history was let them go in that situation every now and then, to attack a scrambling defence and to let the players try to figure things out by themselves.
Not a bad idea.
Now the interesting stuff.
So, was it all worth it?
Did packing up old kit bag and travelling thousands and thousands of kilometers work?
I think it might have.
For sure, as one-off gig, the fans were treated to one spectacular game and one so-so one; lots of offence, no real defence to speak of and as a pure sports spectacle, Saturday was outstanding.
So, yes, in that case it was well worth it. And I’m kind of glad Bryan said in this story that we’d come back – or go somewhere else – if the league wants to do it again.
One thing, though. And, David, if you’re reading as I’m sure you are, pass this on to the right people, would you?
We need a day off between games.
Lets the players get some more rest, might allow them to get out and perhaps do a clinic or visit a hospital or a school or something and, well, it gives us another day in some great city.
This you don’t see every day.
Guy sitting a few seats down from me on media row – and it wasn’t one of the five North Americans, I can assure you that – with a beer watching the game and doing a little work.
Know who I’m quite happy for?
Watching him play the last two nights was kind of cool, he wasn’t too over-the-top, as he had been during his short stint in Toronto. Shot selection was good, his energetic style was well placed rather than simply frenetic and talking to him privately after, you come to the realization that he knows what he is, understands his role, appreciates the opportunity afforded him by his coaches and, simply, he “gets it.”
Hump’s a good kid, friendly, genuinely nice and I’m glad he’s found his niche.
Okay, I’m a big fan of London.
Great city, great people, excellent sights to see and lots to do.
What self-serving significant world city would close its subway lines at 12:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning?
We had to run – and I don’t do running particularly well, trust me on that – to catch the last train on the Jubilee Line after the game Saturday because the cab line looked about 90 minutes long. They were tearing down the media seating in the arena so it wasn’t feasible to work there, we had to get back to do some typing before doing some socializing and absolutely sprinting – well, I suppose rumbling might be a better word for my gait – to catch the train kind of wore us out.
Oh, and the nice lady at the top of the first of two escalators down yelling “30 seconds to the last train” didn’t help, either.
Come on, London. Get with it.
If you don’t have that whole thing changed by the time we get back here for the 2012 Olympics, we’re going to have some serious issues.
Just when you thought you were far enough removed from the reality of home …
Work gets done early on a Sunday morning (I’m guessing about 1 a.m. your time before I filed) and it’s time to stop by the lobby bar, which is an NBA end-of-night gathering place with players, coaches, league officials and some of the nicest family members of Raptor types I’ve ever met, and what’s on the TV?
At 2 in the freaking morning.
Luckily, if you stood at the bar chatting, you couldn’t see it.
Speaking of the tube – I am getting the lingo down, aren’t I? – apparently they’re about to change the law that made it totally legal to drink while you commuted.
Some of the locals are up in arms about it; personally, I think it’s not a bad idea, especially given the over-served state of this couple we saw coming home Sunday morning, the lovely lady bent over and practically asleep and her consort being held upright by the door with an empty beer bottle on the floor.
All right, Saturday was a bit of sightseeing, with stops at Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham and Westminster Abbey, all lovely places.
Today might be a pub crawl, I heard about this place Dickens used to hang out in and how good will that be?
Wish me luck.