Troubling signs and great songs for coffee shops
The Canada loss to Brazil wasn’t the big surprise to me, figured that would a monumental upset, but the manner in which it was achieved was a bit disconcerting.
As we saw, they simply couldn’t score enough late to stay in the game and having watched them last year in Turkey when they simply weren’t capable of making plays down the stretch, an odd feeling of déjà vu popped up.
Experience is one of the most significant things international teams have to have to have and I thought the core group here would be able to find a way to do something right when winning time comes up each game.
They defended quite well for most of the game, there were some predictable blips like there’s always going to be, but the fact they couldn’t score is what has to be corrected.
The trouble is, there really isn’t a guy on this roster capable of taking over a game, creating for himself and saying “hey, gimme the ball, I’m going to beat my man and get something done.” It’s a relatively slow team without a break-down wing guy so they need to move the ball, find the right guy at the right time and hope he makes a shot
Didn’t happen against Brazil and if it doesn’t start happening soon, this could be a very worrisome week.
So I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in a Starbucks (hello, Lundy’s Lane) doing some work and you know coffee shops, there’s always cool or quiet music playing.
Got me thinking what might be a perfect mixed tape to work to while sipping that quad vente latte.
Has to be calm, folksy but with enough energy that you don’t fall asleep.
I’d probably run one that had:
Simon and Garfunkel
Heard “The Boxer” the other day, got me thinking how good those guys were.
Raspy voice notwithstanding, it’s great background noise.
Yeah, these folks did/do just the kind of music that fits.
Now, sprinkle in some great jazz by any number of people and work wouldn’t be too bad, would it?
The list okay with you?
Six hours they spent talking in New York yesterday and the best part about it is that they’ll do it again and the rhetoric is turned off.
Stern, Hunter, Fisher and Silver gave no details at all of what went on the room but they all went out of their way to suggest it’s time to talk about a new contract and not each other.
Is that a good thing?
Or it might not.
But that they didn’t storm away from each other with their hands in the air suggests to me that this might be on exactly the timeline to be expected:
Quiet July and August, a flurry of activity in early September and, perhaps, nothing missed except maybe the start of training camp.
Canada’s going to play Venezuela this week at the FIBA Americas thingy and I’m pretty sure the last time I saw those two countries play would have been at the 1992 at the Tournament of the Americas in Portland.
I’m out there covering it with Stumpy (remember him? Short, stocky fellow from the other paper?) and we’re hanging with Peter Montopoli, who is now the biggest of cheeses at soccer (lucky fellow!) and who was then a middling cheese at Basketball Canada, as it was known.
Anyway, Stumpy’s not quite up to speed on the whole basketball thing at that point in his storied career and he’s, um, well, er, he’s a little unfamiliar with the nuances of the game, much to the chagrin of Peter, who loved Stump but only to a point.
We’re watching Canada-Venezuela in “the” game of the tournament, winner goes to Barcelona for the Olympics, loser goes home.
Canada’s way down and starts to make this huge comeback thanks, if memory serves, to some dominant inside play by Mike Smrek and Bill Wennington in what can only be termed as Canada’s Twin, But Relatively, Slow Towers.
Stumpy is aghast that Canada’s having a hard time getting to the rim from the perimeter and has been mentioning this for, oh, I dunno, the entirety of the tournament.
Finally, he says, as only he can:
“Why don’t they just take the ball and drive to the net!?!?!?”
“Beezer? I can’t take it anymore. That’s it!”
And he storms off to sit by himself while I’m kind of chuckling.
Stumpy looks askance over at me and says:
“What? Shouldn’t they?”
Oh yeah, Canada loses the game by four, I think it was, after J.D. Jackson, if memory serves, tried some wacky runner in the lane in the dying seconds and I’m denied a Canada basketball story at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
A rather boring start over in Lithuania, no?
No upsets of any consequence, no one did anything truly spectacular and a rather good “easing-in” to the tournament.
Two things stuck out to me from boxscores and I’ll check it with my spies today.
Andrea Bargnani did not attempt a single three-pointer in more than 30 minutes of playing time.
And Jose Calderon only played 12 minutes as Spain was taken almost to the limit by Poland.
And team names so I have something to do while working watching basketball on a computer screen tonight in New York.
Speaking of … it’s me and TOD this weekend and all I want is nice and calm.
And since they whacked Ledezma after his bad outing on Sunday and got Tallet yesterday after he spit up the game in Baltimore the other night, I’m hoping no marginal reliever has a bad outing.
And I hope Griff has to deal with September callups today although I have a sneaky suspicion that’ll be something for me tomorrow.
Now, I know you have all read or heard about Wade Belak and the latest tragedy to hit the pucks in what has to be one of the worst summers in the history of the game.
An incredibly sad story (our comprehensive coverage is here) isn’t it?
Three “fighters” and three deaths shocks me and every sane-thinking citizen of the world and while it is unfair and impossible for me to sit here and figure out what, if any, link there may be, someone has to because they can’t keep burying young players.