The schedule may be the biggest thing for Raptors
See that the barebones details of the NBA schedule are out – 48 games in the conference (six teams four times, eight teams three time) and 18 games against the west (three teams twice, 12 teams once) and if you’re the Raptors, what to do want?
You know you’re going to get the Atlantic Division opponents four times each and you’re anxious to see what Jersey and Philly do to improve themselves and I guess you hope the likes of Miami and Orlando fall in the category of teams you only play three times instead of four.
You’d like the group of fours to include, say, Cleveland, Detroit and maybe Charlotte but a lot’s going to depend on what those teams do in the free-agent frenzy that’s going to unfold starting Dec. 9.
Now, the West.
It’s a tough row to hoe regardless but if you’re going to have to miss six teams, you’d hope it would be, you know, the good ones, like the Lakers, Thunder, Mavs and, I guess, Spurs.
Now, if you’re me and you’ve got a very compressed schedule coming (with teams playing between one and three sets of back-to-back-to-back games you can bet the Raptors will have at least two), the big question is which of the six cities you don’t want to go to.
Sadly, that can’t include Cleveland but the six on my hit list for the west are: Sacramento, Houston, one of the trips to LA, Oakland, Salt Lake and, yikes, I can’t think of a sixth.
Anyway, no firm word on when the schedule will be out but by its unbalanced nature, it’s going to have a lot to do with how this season unfolds.
Promised this to a lot of folks over the last couple of days.
Last week some day, we kind of chatted about best rock vocalist and had Freddy Mercury as a jumping off point.
Well, that list was exclusively male – I guess simply because that’s what I was thinking of, no snub intended – but on the distaff side …
If you were to give me a CD of five female “rock” singers I’d listen to ad nauseum, it’d be:
(And these are purely personal, I don’t have the technical knowledge of the talent to discuss range, vocal acuity, depth of talent, whatever; I know what I like, not sure why I like it; some may not be “rock” but those lines are too blurred)
Gotta have Aretha at the top of the list, no?
Then if you loaded me up, in no particular order, with Annie Lennox, Sarah McLaughlin and, well, how about Maria Carey, for the younger set.
Oh, and Pearl. Don’t ever forget Janis
Told you to take the Lions, didn’t I?
So, the NBL.
Know what, it’s not bad at all.
Not sure if I knew what to expect before the trek to Oshawa but the game is played at a good speed, lots of talent, not a whole lot of big guys so it’s a bit different than the NBA and I’d say it’d fit in the middle tier of European leagues; certainly not Spain, or Greece, or Turkey or one of the top ones but certainly as good as the lower tier.
The visit was to gather information for an omnibus story later on this week so I’ve got to keep some of it to myself at the moment but suffice it to say it was a good experience.
Game ops were a bit, well, a bit NBAish and maybe that’s one place things can change but for the quality of the game, the price of the tickets and the overall experience?
I’d go if I lived in one of the league cities, and you should, too.
Of course, I haven’t been to another game – yes, London is absolutely on the list – so there isn’t a weath of experience to draw on but, overall, a solid night.
Oh, and I see my man Mike Evans is back! He got the gig coaching the Moncton Miracles on the weekend – the former coach had to bail for family reasons – and if there’s a better, more genuine guy I’ve come across in the league than Mike when he worked for Sam, I can’t imagine who it is.
Someone in Moncton say hi for me, please.
Know what I don’t get?
Dudes sitting on stools in public houses screaming at the TV when a call or a play goes against their team.
I can see it, maybe, if you’re with a group of buddies and some pivotal moment in a game arrives.
I do not see it sitting by yourself in a half-empty saloon.
Okay, kind of went off on this a bit last night at the start of the Grey Cup but some of you might not have seen or read it.
How in the world does a minister of the Crown, the minister of defence, arrive at a national event like that, flanked by two honoured members of our armed forces while others present the flag IN BLUE JEANS!!!!
Yep, Peter McKay, in jeans, standing there looking all goofy.
It’s not cool. It’s not hip. It’s not a message that, ‘yeah, I’m a big shot politician but I can look like a regular Joe.”
It’s disrespectful. To the men and women who serve our country. To the country. I don’t care if you’re Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green, Libertarian, Communist or whatever, that’s just wrong and his advisers should have known it.
Now, I don’t expect white tie and tails.
What I do expect, if McKay was going to go casual, was slacks, a jacket and, while no tie is necessary, it would have been good.
Yeah, there’s not too much that gets me going. Disrespecting the national anthem and the armed forces would be two of them.
Best part of yesterday?
Whether or not they’ll use this amnesty clause on anyone.
What we think of Leandro Barbosa on this team.
(Speaking of Barbosa, I read a handful of tweets from him today letting us know it’s his birthday. Happy birthday!)
Who might start at small forward.
I’m guessing James Johnson by default unless Bryan makes some move.
What they might like to do defensively.
Think KO without the craziness.
Yeah, it was fun. And got me a tad pumped for Dec. 9.
So the phone starts buzzing and the bbms and texts start rolling in around 4:30 a.m. Saturday with news that the NBA’s back and, rubbing the sleep from the eyes, one of the first questions:
Hmm, what’s it mean for me. And you.
As you know, we’ve kind of branched out here a little bit since the game went away and the summer arrived. We’ve got the Facebook thingy (go here and like it, would you, I could use the love), far more pop culture than we used to have and a whole bunch of other sports.
And you seem to like it so I think we’ll keep doing the other stuff with a relatively heavy bent on the Raptors after Dec. 9, okay? Yes, there’ll still be IGBT all the time, question-and-answer things and I have to come up with some video component but I kind of like doing the other stuff a bit so it’s not going away.