What's that saying? Better late than never?
All together now:
That’s why they …
Anyway, that one certainly came out of nowhere, didn’t it? Great game, though; has to be in the top two or three of the season so far.
Kind of makes the trip a lot easier; I was really dreading covering three routs in a row.
And on to the fun stuff, sorry for the delay.
Well called, well done
Forget the game-winner, which came of a high screen-roll and was as much Barbosa read and react than anything.
The second-to-last basket, the one that got Barbosa a ridiculously wide open three-pointer was a gem.
Coming out of the timeout, Jay drew it up so he made sure the guy chasing Barbosa was behind him, rather beside or “on top” of him and there was no way who it was (and for the life of me I cannot remember who) could get through the double screen to get through the screens.
And once again, Jay said it was a case of practice making perfect.
“It’s a play that we’ve had and we’ve tried it a couple of times in the middle of other games and saved it for a late-game situation and the guys executed it to perfection and we got the three.”
A game of changes
I think both Jay and Scott Brooks did a really good job coming up with different defensive looks all night and it was quite the chess game.
We saw Reggie guarding Kevin Durant and trying to beat him up a bit and James Johnson did a tremendous job harassing Durant all night. As Jay said, it might have been the best thing Johnson’s done since he got to Toronto.
And the kid loved the chance.
“Taking the challenge against a man like KD, it’s only going to help me get better. I never got the chance or opportunity to play against a man like KD or a team like the Thunder. They’ve got multiple all-stars on their team and they’re hard to contain. You’ve just got to hold your hand up and hope they miss.”
It’s a bit harder than that but …
On the other end …
The Thunder had Durant all over the place.
He guarded Johnson for a bit, went over on to Bargnani after Bargnani abused Nick Collison a couple of times in the post and finally, the Thunder put Durant on DeRozan down the stretch so the Raptors couldn’t use their go-to guy too often.
It was really fun to watch it all unfold and you can’t say that about defensive adjustments very often.
A bit more?
Another travel first.
For some apparently random reason, I finally got chosen for one of those full-body, second-level security pat-downs we’ve heard about.
Not sure who felt more awkward, me or the dude with his hands all over me.
I’m betting it was me.
Oh, the joys of the road.
Or it’s back, I guess.
Yep, if you and a buddy want to come to a game – the March 30 one against the Bucks -- in the MGD Best Seats In The House thingamabob, you sure can.
Just click here, there are six sets of two tickets available and oodles of fun and frivolity and good times to be had by all. Or so I hope.
The contest – which is actually a random draw so you don’t have to be smart to enter – is going to be open until Friday morning and someone will notify the winners that afternoon.
We’re getting ready leave the press room after writing when the good folks of the Thunder PR staff drop off an envelope with pre-game notes, quote sheets, boxscores and who know what else.
And I figure, along with all the other paper I get in the course of a road trip and the New Yorkers and Vanity Fairs that are in the computer bag, I probably need some small, portable bookcase to travel with.
Wonder if any friends have one that might work?
The stuff you see on the road.
So, a guy’s sitting in a local establishment watching basketball on TV Saturday night in Bricktown – a wholly under-rated destination it the NBA – when another soul walks in and sits by himself at the bar.
“Hmm,” we think, “isn’t that Maurice Cheeks.” Sure is and it strikes the out-of-towners that they must be in the right place if Mo’s here.
Forget the win in Oklahoma snapped a 14-game road losing streak.
Forget the win in Oklahoma was the first time the Raptors had won there in Thunder history.
The big news?
It was their first win in the black jerseys this year and how’s that for trivia.
Personally, I’m all in favour of the black jerseys and if I had to rank the ones they’ve worn in this incarnation, I’d put it:
And if I never see green again, I’m quite all right with it.
I’m sure none of you have noticed that both the Richmond Spiders and Marquette are off the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Man, someone must know something to have pointed them out.
The stuff you see on the road, Vol. 2.0
Saturday, heading out of Pearson, at about the same time as a Westjet flight to Florida that’s chalk full of families with tiny babies (and that makes for a fun wait in the customs hall) and security’s rather busy.
Finally get to within one guy of taking off shoes, taking out laptop, divesting self of all things metal and whatever, when the chatty fellow in front of me sets off the x-ray machine.
Well, he gets the wand thing, all seems right but then the chatty fellow guiding the bags through the x-ray machine notices that Chatty Traveller is actually trying to bring through security a duffel with a bag tag on it.
Um, sir, checked bags have to go on the belt way back right after Customs.
Dude has to bring all his stuff back from the other side – keys, metal, belt, laptop, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – and make his way back to leave his checked bag where it should be.
Me? Lots of sighing, rolling of eyes and joyful thought that there are only a couple of trips left in the season.
What was the take in Oklahoma on that one? This.
What’s up in Denver for tonight? This.
Riddle me this …
(Anyone get that?)
Why do public address announcers, and bless their rather over exuberant souls, feel compelled to tell fans when to cheer?
I know some game ops groups think fans are sheep and treat them like it but, surely to all that’s good in the world, the people in the seats now when to yell, don’t they?
And while I kind of like the collegiate atmosphere in Oklahoma City (it’s cute and they must lead all professional sports in time they spend standing up) the PA dude never shut up.
Cheer for defence.
Show the Thunder some love.
(The first three are him, the last one’s me)
All right, I believe it may be nap time since I’m operating on about three hours sleep and have a game tonight.
Will get to the comments when I can.