Still a little bit to learn as the end draws near
If that was boxing, it hardly would have been a title bout; more like some unproven kids on the undercard, at times unwatchable but at times entertaining and for the 80th game of the season, it wasn’t too horrid.
And provided this kind of fodder …
Not much to say
Really, it’s kind of hard, and entirely silly, to try to break down too many moments from that game because there is no way we’d ever see some of those combinations in games that matter.
But I do think they might be on to something useful in the future with James Johnson doing some ball-handling.
And not just in the halfcourt, either.
One play early perfectly showed what they’d like to happen more often when Johnson got a rebound of a miss and Jerryd, knowing he could leave the transition ball-handling alone, headed up the court rather than back to the ball.
Bayless filled a lane, floated to the corner and Johnson was able to lead the break, make the right decision and hit him with a pass that led to a three-pointer.
Now, Johnson can, at times, be a bit nonchalant with the ball but that’ll change in time; it does look like they’ve got something to work with, though.
You know Amir’s hurt pretty badly when they’ve already told us he’s done for the year.
This is a kid – as Jay said in today’s story off the game that I’m sure you’ve already read – who wants to play every day and if he’s shut down now, something’s amiss.
But it can’t take away from the pretty good year he’s had, an emerging offensive game, must less foul trouble than a year ago and highly-efficient work at the free throw line.
When it comes time to dissect the season, and that time is coming, he’s going to have to be the most pleasant surprise.
The learning continues
Jerryd Bayless was good Sunday night, maybe not as dominant as he’s been in this recent stretch – three turnovers were a bit much – but he did play 42 minutes in Philly and 41 against the Nets so I’ll give him a bit of pass.
And Jay said he likes what he sees in the overall growth of his game.
“The times when he jumped up in the air to make a pass are the times he made a turnover. When he’s aggressive going to the basket, that’s when better things happen, for sure.”
Yes, there’s a bit more, as usual.
Draft time and I forgot to do my mock draft.
Anyway, I’ll quickly give you the top two and you can check out the rest on your own.
I’ve got Maya Moore of Connecticut going No. 1 to Minnesota this afternoon and I like Elizabeth Cambage of Australia No. 2 to Tulsa.
Yes, it’s WNBA Draft Day and aren’t you all a’tizzy with anticipation?
I know I am.
I guess they do this on TV before every game, show a repeat of a past Raptor game against that night’s opponent to get everyone in the mood.
Well, I’m sitting in the press room yesterday afternoon and between glances at the Masters and Heat-Celtics, they’ve got a New Jersey-Toronto game on.
On the floor? Jose Calderon, Jason Kapono, Carlos Delfino, Andrea Bargnani and Rasho Nesterovic and one thought hits:
How’d these guys ever get the reputation of being Euro-centric?
The kid shot 80?
What, were there alligators in Rae’s Creek that scared him?
So, let’s say Julian’s talking to Caitlin and he says, ‘hmm, I’d like to ask your favourite grunt a question. How would I do that?’
Glad you asked.
Yes, you can take one last shot at one of our special noon-hour question and answer hours tomorrow at high noon.
I know, it’s been a long time since we’ve done one, in part because the air went out of the season about seven weeks ago and in part because life kind of got in the way, but we’ll do one tomorrow and then try to do a couple more during the playoffs, as soon as we figure out what we’re going to do to cover them.
So mark it in your book.
See you then.
Oh yeah, the next time I moan about some aspect of the job, remind me of this story and my friend Bill Schiller, who along with Lilly took great care of us during the Beijing Olympics.
It’s like the Nets fell off the face of the media map, only a couple of writers instead of the usual five or six accompanied them on the journey.
Here’s what Al said about that one and them.
Know what I love – in the “I love this like I love a migraine” manner?
People who tell me how horrible and weak this NBA draft is and hold it up as a shining example of how bad things are for the Raptors.
It’s like they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or suggesting they’re smarter than anyone else which, I can pretty much guarantee, they’re not.
Let me put it to you this way:
Not only is the draft always a crapshoot, there is no way there aren’t going to be five or six good to great players in this one and since that’s where the HOTH are going to be drafting, who gives a rat’s bum what the late-lottery, mid-first round picks are like?
In fact, isn’t in some way better for the Raptors if there is some perceived drop off after, say, the sixth pick? Wouldn’t that make their top four or five pick relatively better?
And I will also say this with quite a bit of confidence: If there is a 2011-12 season, we will be sitting here a year from now talking about a guy taken 10th or 13th or 18th and saying what a surprise he was.
So, spare me the “this is a weak draft” stuff when it comes time to talk about Toronto.
I’m not a guy who believes too much in the old “misery loves company” school of thought but I did smirk just a wee bit when I heard the Air Canada charter ferrying the lads to Milwaukee late Sunday night had some issues and there was a bit a delay.
What’s up in Milwaukee, where the Bucks are almost as banged up as Toronto?
So what’s up this week?
No clue, really.
Can’t do an IGBT tonight, I’m afraid, but there’s the chat tomorrow at noon, we’ll finish the season off Wednesday and then figure out where we go from there.
As I recall, we picked and chose different games in the first round last spring, didn’t we? Maybe that’s the way to go?
We should think about it.