The end of the weekend mail, as usual
Sorry I’m a little later than usual for a Sunday, decided to get out to the stadium early so am finishing this off from there.
You came through as always with some good stuff and there are all kinds of music ones left over that I can use during the week in the never-ending search for something, um, different to do.
Back to the usual grind on the holiday Monday with all kins of weird stuff from a weekend in New York.
Q: It is reported that Wilson Chandler signed a contract to play in China. Also, the CBA said they will not sign players with an opt out clause. As Wilson is a "Restricted" free agent, how is it possible for him to sign without an opt out clause?
Dave B, Cornwall
A: He doesn’t have one; he’ll have to spend the entire season in China, unable to come back when the NBA settles its new deal. A gamble by him, for sure. And when his deal in China is up, the Nuggets will still hold his NBA rights; same deal as when Carlos Delfino went to Russia as a restricted free agent with Toronto.
Q: Doug, some tech type questions. I know answers will be roughly.
How many hits does the Star get?
How many hits does the blog get, (season and non-season?)
How many questions per week?
Bruce M, Winnipeg
A: I can’t really speak to the Star’s overall numbers but I can track those here and do every now and then. Not every day, of course, but once in a while I like to check in.
Now, these are rough numbers for sure but I’d guess we average somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 a day in the off-season (it might spike to five figures on a day when there’s news) and we’ll get to about 12,000-14,000 on a regular in-season day. Again, they can spike if something happens.
I appreciate them all.
Q: Long time reader, first time correspondent. A baseball question if you don't mind. Does a ground ball double play count as two ground ball outs when compiling the pitcher's stats?
Jim S, Belleville
A: This is a question that spawned a Friday night stool discussion that left the mattered unresolved. But after checking with a member of the crack TOD media relations staff on Saturday, I can dutifully report that, yes, a ground ball double play counts as two ground ball outs in the stats.
Q: Hi Doug. I watched the game today and thought both teams had a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the officiating. With this in mind, how many of the young players going off to the NCAA this year (Pangos, etc) will either make the team or be ready to contribute if Canada (put nickname here) makes it to the qualifying tournament next year?
Kevin M, Maple
A: I obviously can’t say for sure because development times different for every player but I would be shocked if anyone other than Tristan Thompson (with an NBA season under his belt) and Matt Bonner (if he’s a citizen) play any kind of meaningful role.
I don’t see a kid with one year of college under his belt, or even less, being able to step in and play right away, especially any point guard who’d have to be better than Cory Joseph.
And I warn you: If Canada gets to that final tournament next year, it will be exponentially harder to earn one of three Olympic berths there than it is to get one of two in Argentina this year. There will be four European countries there that will have a far better chance than Canada does.
Q: Hi Doug. Josh M. asked a question on Saturday about bringing your game every night. Building on his idea, what would be the factors in a perfect NBA schedule that would allow players to play their best on a more consistent basis?
Kevin M, Maple
A: I bet if you asked them honestly they would say a rhythm. Maybe a game every other day, or three a week, no back-to-backs, no two-games-in-three-days and absolutely no road trips of four-in-five.
One other thing? Consistent start times in the evening. I know some fans might like those Sunday afternoon games but players want their body clocks to run the same all season and if every game was a 7 p.m. start, they’d love it.
Q: Hey Doug! It's All About You!
The Economist or Vogue Fall Fashion Issue (The Really BIG One We All Wait For!)?
Van Morrison or Jim Morrison?
Steamy Heat or Biting Cold? (Weather, Not Drink!)
OK, Drink: Warm Beer or Cold Quad Venti Latte (tee-hee)
What Could You Repair Most Easily: A Flat Tire or A Leaky Faucet?
Fedora or Ballcap?
Picasso or DaVinci?
Best 2nd Banana: Art Carney or Jason Alexander?
Real Book or E-Reader?
Speed Boat or Canoe?
Best First Season: CSI or Law & Order?
Lassie or Rin Tin Tin?
Field Hockey or Ice Hockey?
Migraine or Ice Hockey?
Finish this Sentence: A Day Without Irregulars is Like A Day Without........?
Cheers! And a big thank you for all you do for us.
Lorie P, London
A: Man, that’s a laundry list of quickies, isn’t it? Well, here goes:
Vogue (Economist way to dry for me; I’m New Yorker, Vanity Fair all the way).
Van in a landslide.
Oh, cold for sure, you can bundle up.
Cold coffee, if I had to pick one.
Repair? Depends on whether the phone number for the plumber or mechanic was closest. But tire, probably.
Fedora, it’s a way cool look, maybe with a “press” card stuck in the brim.
Art Carney all the way.
Real book, isn’t reading a tactile exercise as well?
Canoe, I’m all about the portage.
Law and Order, any time.
Lassie, if not Super Dog.
And I’d love to say a Day Without Irregulars is like a Day Without Air but … let’s go with sunshine.
Q: Hi, Doug. It's been said that the difference between college ball and the NBA is that college ball is a coaches' game and the NBA is a players' game.
Do you think a similar comparison could be made between the International game and the NBA game? Feel free to indulge in an extensive analysis, too ;-)
Dave F, Kingston
A: I guess the comparison would be that the NBA game is so full of so many great athletes, there’s far more one-on-one play and more individual action than there ever is at the highest level of international ball.
You’ll see a lot more movement of players in the FIBA game, big men stepping out to shoot jumpers and a lot of drive-and-kick action.
NBA teams use far more low-post stuff than FIBA teams do, which has a lot to do with the individual skill level. International players – the best ones – have more varied skills because they’ve been taught at younger age to develop all facets of the game whereas in North America, all too often tall kids are told to go under the basket and stay there.
Q: Doug. Can you please explain to me (and the rest of the true basketball fan base here in Canada) why we cannot get other FIBA Americas games on TV? Also, why we can't get any FIBA Europe games? I’m grateful for TSN2 for putting our Canadian boys on, but I want to see more of the tournament. Is it really such a big ratings crime putting on real, team based, basketball on TV these days?
Dan L, Toronto
A: Yes, there probably is. Aside from the cost involved and with no disrespect to your viewing habits, I don’t imagine a Panama-Uruguay game would draw triple figures and am not sure a Venezuela one would get to the thousands. And if you really want to see more, there are avenues available to you.
Q: Hi Doug. In a recent interview, Demar Derozan said that he would be open to playing overseas if the 2011-2012 season was likely to be lost due to the lockout. Do you think that it would be a good idea for him to do this. On one hand, he could get injured there, but on the other hand, he could continue to improve his skills (something that he isn't doing playing in Drew league games).
What other Raptors do you think should play overseas if the lockout is longer than expected?
Krishan K, Toronto
A: Sure, it’s not a bad idea at all, although I don’t think it’ll ever happen because I’m not sure there are contracts available that would make sense. But for a sense of adventure and a personal experience angle, why wouldn’t a young kid go live somewhere else and get some life experience? Oh, the injured part? That can happen anywhere, you take your chances. Remember Ed Davis and a run in Mississauga? Tough break but stuff happens.
Which ones do I think should play overseas? All of them, for the above reasons, mainly because it’d be fun, I bet.
Q: Hi Doug. Great work with the blog over the summer. I have been following you for around three years now and I have to say this has been the best summer so far. I love the updates that include comments about the TOD. I would say that a huge portion of your readers are also sports fans. So please don't drop that from the blog!!!!!
I am also using this opportunity to cast my vote for Red Serge. Like you pointed out, nothing more Canadian than a a strong and proud Mountie. More importantly though, it is catchy, sounds intimidating, does not sound like a beer league team (Schooners) and would not give fodder for other teams to make fun of us.
My question is, do you have any update on Linas? I was looking at the Euro Basket box scores and while noticing that Jonas had a nice little game (minus the turnovers), Linas was not on the roster. I am wondering how close he is to returning as I doubt he would miss the Euro tournament in his own country.
Thanks again Doug for your tireless efforts!
P.S. If my punctuation or spelling is off, give me a break because it is Friday of a long weekend!
Sean G, Regina
A: Last time I checked with anyone who’d spoken to Linas, I was told he’s coming along fine and on schedule. That’d put him back on the court near the end of the calendar year and I don’t expect to see him in a game ‘til sometime in early 2012 under the best of circumstances.