NBA really gets going and Leafs-Bruins, for a change
So, the gloves are off.
NBA general managers can start talking to agents this morning, players can start using team facilities on Thursday – with supervision by strength coaches and trainers, no assistants or head coaches or front-office personnel, wink-wink-nod-nod – because the league finally came to its senses.
Dwane Casey shows up for his real first day on the job to find he didn’t have enough guys to scrimmage since the HOTH only have nine guys under contract? George Karl gets to Denver where there are seven bodies? Yeah, right.
At least now, GMs can have an idea of what they want to do and guys they want to sign could decide to get to town next Wednesday or Thursday so they’re at least physically in their new cities for Day 1 of camp.
Makes total sense.
Now, what should Bryan be doing? Well, since I’m pretty sure I won’t get a call through at 9 a.m. today, here’s a suggestion.
(You’re welcome, Bryan; glad to help)
I think I’m going to go away from the application of the “things are linear” argument I advanced about the TOD and what Alex Anthopoulos has to do with his larger, more hole-filled roster.
I think Bryan needs to look for a small forward – a starter – because it’s so far and away the most glaring hole, it’s got to be filled.
I can live with four guards being Calderon, Bayless, DeRozan and Barbosa; and a frontcourt rotation of Bargnani, Davis and Amir Johnson isn’t too bad.
But the three?
James Johnson’s a backup, in my books; Kleiza’s not ready (cleared to run, likely not on the court for a month); I can’t see a scenario by which Julian Wright comes back and Sonny Weems is in Lithuania so …
Hole? Yes. Gaping? Indeed.
Well, it’s a rather underwhelming group, actually, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t make some calls.
My four, in order:
Maybe he wants to mentor some kids, maybe he likes the idea of a lot of playing time, maybe he wants to live close to home.
Yes, he’s in Russia but as the one and only Chris Bernucca said on Sheridan’s site, his deal’s got more outs than the Red Sox in September. Maybe he wants a new challenge, maybe he likes the international feel of the roster and the city.
Could probably get him on the cheap coming off all those injuiries and I know he’s got some fans in the Toronto front office.
A better place to try and re-establish yourself as a key NBA player? Lots of chances to play, and score, and get your name out there on a short-term deal.
Who knows, maybe none of the calls are returned but why not make them?
Now, remember the context of all of this: They are in a building mode; Bryan has said repeatedly that he’d like to maybe wait, see how this truncated season plays out and make a big move next year; and there is a very good chance they do next to nothing significant and just add three or four guys as roster-fillers.
I see by the screaming headlines in our paper, the Leaves and Bruins are playing down at the old icehouse tonight.
Maybe it’s me but it feels like the Leafs play a 60-game round robin with Boston and Ottawa and a few other games just to make it interesting
I understand the need to build rivalries and all that jazz, and I understand some leagues wanting to make travel costs less burdensome but, really …
Doesn’t playing so many games against so few teams actually dilute things? Wouldn’t fewer mean better and even more anticipation?
I think fans deserve to see every team in the league at least once a season (yes, even in this bastardized NBA season, but that’s another story) but I guess that’s another thing I think that league poobahs don’t.
When will they ever learn?
Looks like we’re talking.
Here at 1 p.m. for an hour or so; you should stop by, it’s wildly entertaining.
Oh, and since it’s Wednesday, we better start the weakly, er, weekly, plea for mail. Do it here. Thanks.
Oh, and if you go to the Facebook joint, you’ll see we’re doing a question a day over there sometime during the day; yesterday’s actually drew comments. Thanks.
Okay, I don’t believe I’ve seen “everything” because every time I do think that something more utterly ridiculous than I ever thought imaginable comes up.
But if I see something that bothers me more than this story, I will be stunned.
It’s a tale of a Scottsdale, Ariz., gun club where – because it’s the holidays and all – kids and their parents can have their pictures taken with Santa – WHILE HOLDING EVERYTHING FROM PISTOLS TO ASSAULT RIFLES!!!!!!
Now, you want to hunt, hunt. You want to take target practice, take target practice, although I find that a little ridiculous.
But assault rifles? And kids? And Christmas? In Arizona of all places, given the carnage wrought there by a gun-wielding madman not too long ago.
That’s wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start.
So, I see the Vancouver Canadians won a rather prestigious award from highly-respected Baseball America (the story is here) and part of the reason is their nifty little park.
With all due respect to London’s Labatt Park, which is a great little stadium in its own right (except that that whole London Rippers thing), Nat Bailey’s like a piece of heaven with the view and the quaint feeling and the fun.
Of course, the game I saw at the Nat a few years back was about a 15-13, four-hour marathon and Super Son had to stick around until after the game to get a broken bat that I think we left in Vancouver so …
But it was also a few days after the trip to Forks, Wash., so it felt like it went by in a flash.
Anyway, since I don’t imagine Oakes Park got any awards (another anti-Niagara bias, I presume) I’m glad the Nat and the Canadians got some pub.
Traded tweet messages with Jose this week.
He’s – gasp!!! – been working out and is excited to head back here soon. Should be in town this weekend.