Don't forget the other end of the court, too
Finally, the interminable NBA pre-season comes to an end for the Raptors.
(Oh, wait; that’s every other year).
Anyway, guess the question is what to look for – or expect from – the HOTH here in Boston tonight and, frankly, it’s not going to be too much.
All they want, at least all that Dwane says he wants, is more of the same from Sunday night, consistency and intensity on defence, guys being in the right place and doing the right thing, and the incremental improvement that, really, only coaches can see.
What do you look for?
Well, I do think it’s time to see some fluidity to the offence – it was way too herky-jerky for most of the game the other day at home – and I wonder just how good this collection is going to be at that end of the court.
They don’t shoot it particularly well – neither their starting shooting guard or small forward is remotely a three-point threat; if they stay with a “centre by committee” two of them are offensive liabilities – and that has to be at least a little bit worrisome to the staff and fans.
And one thing Dwane pointed out during our daily chinwag Tuesday was that he needs to see better reading and reacting from the guys on the floor, the kind of instinctual play that comes not only with experience but with familiarity among the players on the floor.
“We know how to get into a play but defences are going to there, give you an obstacle, so now we’ve got to know how to get out of a play out of our sets.
“Know our reads, know our options, know our counters out of what we already have in.”
So, yes, defence continues to be a priority – it will be for the entire season, a mantra that will never go away – but it’s almost as important that they get things figured out offensively, as well.
I think Dwane put as well yesterday as I could ever have:
“I still look at all the guys as young guys, young players, everybody needs that playing experience.
“But, again, not at the expense of just going out and walking out and giving away a game, I’m never going to do that. Guys are going to have to earn their minutes, the guys who are out there – young, old, middle-aged, whatever you want to call it – everybody’s going to have to earn their minutes … guys will determined the amount of time they’ll have.”
Can you feel the excitement?
Teenage pucks soon!
Seriously, why in the world would they hold something called the Beef O’Brady Bowl and why in the world would I be watching it for even 40 seconds while sitting on a stool?
If there’s one thing I don’t get in all of sports, and there’s lots of things, it’s the proliferation of American college football bowl games.
The Beef O’Brady Bowl?
Have we given up as a sporting society?
(Oh, yeah, Marshall won)
Oh, we’ve had some obscure ones in our Walk Through Odd Christmas Songs.
None more obscure than this, I don’t think.
So my good friends over at the NBL Canada had a little chinwag with commish John Kennedy yesterday.
I got a report second-hand (dang flights and HOTH) but if you want a bit of a catch up with the league, here goes:
Things are moving along as expected, some teams are doing quite well, there are a couple of trouble spots (Quebec’s in a very small gym and that’s hurting them, Oshawa’s in an extremely tough market and that’s a troubling situation) but the league isn’t ready to abandon them quite yet.
If you were to find people to put teams in, say, Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor and maybe even Hamilton, you could probably increase media awareness in the province, get some real rivalries going and grow sponsorship province-wide. Not a bad a idea at all, as long as they go slowly and prudently.
One of the hallmarks of the league has been intelligent ownership, not trying to hit home runs but to build small innings; that’s the way they have to continue.
Oh, on the court?
You’re getting a bit of separation with London and Quebec at the top and Moncton at the bottom; the other four teams are relatively closely bunched, which is another huge plus.
Again, this league is a good idea being implemented well, if you get a shot, go see a game, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Right, the mail. Better get started by jotting down your innermost thoughts and sending them along here. I have no idea what the weekend schedule’s going to be with Christmas and all but, believe me, there will be mail.
Oh yeah, know what else there will be?
Yeah, we'll see if it works tonight here, and see if we remember how to do it.
They're set up now by the big shots back home so you might have to actually go to the paper's website and sports section to find it, but it's certainly not that hard.
See you then, right?
How good a day was yesterday for some old friends.
Hump gets a gig with the Nets and Reggie Evans agrees to go to the Clippers.
I will tell you this: The Clippers got a great, great deal in Reggie; just about perfect for what they need. Seeing how I saw a tweet thing early yesterday afternoon that they were considering Alexis Ajinca for the role (yes, I scoffed; incredibly), how much of an upgrade is a guy who’ll get you five or six extra possessions every night?
I don’t know how it ultimately works out in the end for the Clips – there are some holes in the roster like outside shooting and the bench and I do have questions about the coaching – but Reggie Evans is a great add.
Good on them.
(Speaking of Hump, Gumby and I are in a 7-11 in Boston last night and on the magazine rack, one of those trashy celeb things NO ONE SHOULD BUY has a headline that says something along the lines of “Humphries To Write Tell-All Book. Might knock To Kill A Mockingbird off the must-read list).
(Figured I’d throw some baseball in just to keep this from being a total baskeball blog)