The usual fare and some picks for this afternoon
Oh, dopey me.
Here I was thinking today was a mail day, forgetting all about the Saturday night game and the need to do the usual drivel.
So, usual drivel it is and we’ll have a big ol’ mailbag tomorrow, okay?
Yes, that was Julian Wright in uniform a night after refusing to go into a game when I thought a one-game suspension might have been in order.
But guess Bryan and Jay didn’t take my advice. Again.
But, truth be told, it probably was a de facto suspension since he got the DNP-CD and I imagine they felt compelled to have him in uniform because of the absence of Bargnani and Evans and the questions about the durability and health of Calderon, Barbosa and Dorsey.
It would seem the incident is now done and forgotten and if that’s the worst thing that creeps into the public in a season that’s among the worst ever in franchise history, then I imagine they’ll be happy with that.
One thing to add
There is no doubt that, on the role he’s got on this team, that Leandro Barbosa does it pretty well. He comes in and scores and tries to energize his team and, most nights, that’s precisely what he does.
However, I think there’s one move that he could add to his repertoire that would make him even more effective.
How many times have we seen him rush a three-pointer to barely beat – if he does at all – a defender who’s closing out on him? He even had one shot blocked late in the game on a pretty vital possession.
But if he had a pump fake he could use?
A quick shot fake that would get a defender in the air and out of position and if he had that, how more effective would it make him getting to the rim?
A work in progress
What do we make of Alexis Ajinca?
He got a bit more time than usual Saturday night and had a bit more than usual in Denver and Golden State thanks the drubbings and the injuries and the desire of the coaching staff to see what he’s got.
To me, he’s got very little that this team needs. Yes, he’s long and yes, he can extend defences with his shooting range but, really, on this roster as it’s presently constructed, I don’t think there’s a place for him in the future.
The cost to get him was negligible, in fact they did quite well by getting a second-round pick and the money to pay his salary for the rest of this year, but it was an experiment that really didn’t do anything good.
I’ve got some.
You give up 84 points in one half on Friday and 94 in an entire game on Saturday? Gotta love of the mercurial nature of a team of mainly young ‘uns.
So, who’ve got in the Junos tonight?
You know, that orgasmic display of prodigious Canadian music talent that’s taken over the Air Canada Centre this week?
(And that’s why both the HOTH and the pucks have been away, I was told the music people needed the arena from about Tuesday on to get set up).
Truth be told, I haven’t heard of a vast majority of the bands, performers, rappers, hip-hop artists, or what have you that’ll be performing and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be locked on to the TV to watch.
If I was, who should I pay attention to? I kind of know of Arcade Fire (caught a bit of the Grammys in the local after a game on whatever night they were on) and I seem to recall that Drake fellow from the never-ending loop of a commercial they played during last year’s NBA playoffs but other than that?
Do you think it means anything that the Raptors are 2-14 in the first game of back-to-backs and 5-11 in the second?
Not sure if I do but it’s kind of interesting and runs counter to the common perception that teams struggle in the second game.
Nine games left.
Think we can all get through it?
This is without doubt the most trying part of the season, these last three weeks or so when it’s hard for anyone to get truly excited about the games.
Oh, the players and coaches will be up for them and – for the most part – will play hard. Once the ball’s up in the air the competitive juices take over but unlike, say, last year when the playoffs were a possibility right until the final couple of nights of the season, there’s no real buzz around anything.
Too bad, too. As I recall, getting ready for the post-season, or trying to qualify for it, can be fun. There’s a high level of anticipation for every game, I don’t mind a little scoreboard watching and it gives a guy a chance to show some enthusiasm.
Well, we’ll count ‘em down nine to zero, get on with the news that we’ll have to chase when it’s all over – Is Bryan coming back? What about Jay? What’s the date of the daft lottery? – but other than that, it’s more about meeting contest winners and trying to make stories at least mildly entertaining.
What’d they say in Los Angeles about that game?
Here’s how it played in the Times.
Why do I get a feeling that Earth Hour is a passing fad whose time has come and gone?
Let’s get at least one little one out of the mail and since we’ve had a bit a change in the schedule because I’m dopey and don’t remember things like games, here’s one more shot to click here and get something in.
Q: Hi Doug! Last year we were hearing a lot about Demar and Sonny basically being attached at the hip.
This year not so much. Has there been some sort of a falling out? Thanks!
This year not so much. Has there been some sort of a falling out?
Ryan Y, Toronto
A: We all wrote that story about a kabilion times last year, it’s old and, truth be told, boring. Yes, they still hang out, they still work out before games together, they’re still tight. But we’ve moved on.
Didn’t I tell you just yesterday that they were the best story in basketball at any level?
Now I’m a bit miffed that when the Final Four semifinals are going on next Saturday that I’ll be sitting watching Raptors-Bulls instead of the college games.
It’s not that I all of a sudden like college basketball or anything because I don’t, but I do like a good story.
You know I’m a bit of a sucker for underdogs so I’m all over hoping VCU wins this afternoon and as for Kentucky-North Carolina, they’re both too big and too high profile for me to care very much.