Bad numbers, bad starts but not a bad game
Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it?
Hardly a brilliantly-executed game, no question about it, but the HOTH played hard – there were more opposing bodies on the floor in that game than in some months the last couple of seasons – and it was a game until the final four or five seconds.
Can’t ask for much more than that and if they keep it up, I have a feeling you might come to like this team.
A telling stat
Toronto: Three-point field goal attempts, 21.
Not good enough.
Sure, the presence of Roy Hibbert at the rim had something to do with it, so does the fact Toronto still doesn’t have a guy outside of Barbosa who can break his man down and get to the rim and neither do they have a true post presence but somehow, that’s got to change.
And change fast.
Maybe Ed Davis is that post player with the second unit; maybe the fact Jose didn’t have a great game running high screen and roll to get Amir Johnson to the rim but they aren’t going to win many games taking 21 threes and 13 foul shots.
Showing it off
It was only a half dozen possessions or so but the Raptors unveiled their zone defence in the first half and, for the most part, it was quite effective.
I think the chicken scratch in notebook says they got stops and transition baskets on each of the first two possessions and Dwane said after the game he was pretty pleased with how it worked.
It’s going to become something of a defensive staple for these guys, the coach likes it because it changes the look just enough to get you a couple of quick stops and even if there were some blips last night, it’s fully on course to be a regular thing.
One good example of its use: Think it was the dying seconds of the first half, Pacers have the ball, Raps set up in the zone, which had befuddled them at times. Indy calls timeout, Raps do the expected and come out of the timeout playing man-to-man and get a turnover. Solid, if unspectacular, coaching.
A hesitant start
Much was made of DeMar DeRozan’s big fourth quarter and second half (he “single-handedly got us back in the game, offensively” was how Dwane put it) but maybe enough wasn’t made of his scoreless first half.
Maybe it was opening night jitters, maybe it was the defence of Paul George but DeRozan looked tentative and quite out of sync in those opening two quarters.
And if he’s not playing well offensively, there really isn’t enough firepower in that starting unit – given that small forward seems an offence-free zone – to make up for it.
DeRozan was indeed good in the second half; he’s got to be better in the first and he hasn’t been in either of the first two games.
Hey! Remember when we used to do this?
I just did. Here’s how the one and only Mike Wells summed up that affair.
Glorious teen pucks triumph, I hear.
Sadly, I’ll be spending the next five or six days south of the border, someone will have to let me know how the rest of the tournament unfolds; I’ll be a part of the world (which is everywhere but here) where no one pays a bit of attention to it.
You saw the dastardly Red Sox traded for all-star closer Andrew Bailey from Oakland yesterday, right?
Wonder if the Jays were second in those talks, too?
Seriously, though, I’m sure Alex is working every day trying to get something – stealth seems to be his modus operandi – but with everyone in the league seemingly doing something, he’d better pull the trigger on some kind of deal/signing soon.
Not to say he should rush into a deal simply to get something done but an off-season of great promise is slipping quickly away (must be less than two months until pitchers and catchers report), time is of the essence and the fans have to be getting impatient.
But he still shouldn’t do Prince Fielder. That’ll never change.
With the exception of the picture of the Scrawny Beebs Thingy, the IGBT was pretty good last night, if I do say so myself.
Take a read through if you don’t believe me. You may have to scroll through this to find it but it’s worth it.
(For those of you who only want sports, the scroll key’s probably near your right hand)
See this story? About the firestorm brewing over some people tweeting the location of RIDE checkpoints over the holidays?
Very, very, very bad.
Don’t do it folks, it’ll only encourage those who booze and get behind the wheel; it’s in some ways cowardly and not a socially responsible thing to do.
No, it’s not like flashing you high beams at an oncoming driver to warn of a speed check coming up; it’s far more dangerous than that and you shouldn’t do it.
Well, there were the typical histrionics to accompany the game, as we’d expected and talked about yesterday.
Well, if you adopt Shook Me All Night Long as the sing-along anthem for, say, the end of every third quarter, I’m quite okay with that.