Now they can get started for real, thankfully
I think we can safely say that no matter what, the NBA pre-season is too long, right?
One small step
Not a big deal but certainly something that a few people noticed, on both sides of court.
DeMar DeRozan inadvertently knocks down Avery Bradley about midcourt in the second half, at a point when I don’t think things were going particularly well, if memory serves.
DeRozan has a bit of a look of disdain on his face after the play and where in the past he might have tried to help the guy up or at least don’t nothing untoward, the HOTH got up and clearly stepped right over the head of the prone Celtic.
Like I said, not a big deal but for a team that at times in the past seemed to have been a bit intimidated by the mean old Celtics, it was kind of telling.
One of the guys on the staff was telling me even before Sunday’s game was that he wanted to see some aggression from the Raptors towards the Celtics, a willingness to stand up to them and that was at least a little sign.
Two black holes?
Now it is an entirely small sample size but consider these statistics:
Starting centres: Two points in almost 40 minutes.
You might be able to hide one non-producing offensive player in a five-man starting unit – and Dwane told us before the game that he’s not looking for a lot of points from his centre as long as they provide a physical defensive presence – but I don’t think you can hide two.
Perhaps we can chalk it up to just a slow start for James Johnson, who did manage to have five steals against the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday but he’s also got eight turnovers in two games and those seven points.
Not that there’s a lot behind him. Rasual Butler’s hurt, Gary Forbes doesn’t look like the answer right now and if that’s not the trouble spot, I don’t know what is.
One of Dwane’s laments after Sunday’s game was a lack of “awareness” of time and score and situation.
Well, the Raptors get the ball back with about 36 seconds left in the first half and it looked like a pretty good time to get a two-for-one to finish off the half.
Maybe not optimum but certainly something to work on.
Well, they ended up getting a three-pointer with about 25 seconds left and the chance evaporated. A very tiny thing but …
And now …
From the ridiculous to the sublime.
Was going to save this one for tomorrow to finish off our musical run-up to Christmas but after Earth Kitt yesterday (and wasn’t it a bit of a shock to see Catwoman acting like that) it’s time for something special.
Best. Carol. Ever?
Be in the conversation, maybe.
Hey, I see the pucks are playing the Buffalos tonight? That hardly ever happens, does it?
Better than Houston-Indy in the NFL, I guess.
You know, it’s all well and good that the Raptors are somehow going to “honour” our servicemen and servicewomen with those, um, interesting camouflage jerseys four times this season.
Announce the dates they’ll wear them, promise that, say, 5,000 free tickets will be made available to each of the four games to soldiers here and relatives of those on active duties and promise that $5 from the sale of each every one of them at their two stores will go to a charity of the armed forces choosing.
Then I’m all for it.
As for the look? Well, you know me and fashion (and the lack thereof) but I’m not a huge fan; one guy standing around in one of those jerseys might look okay, 12 or 15 of ‘em might be a bit much.
Enough basketball here for you?
(Don’t get used to it)
But if you want to talk about something else, like life in general or whatever’s on your mind, the mail’s available to you.
This isn’t the olden days
Lots of wondering from the folks about the offence and a whole lot of ugly reminiscences to 2004 and what has come to be known as The KO Era.
Not the same.
Not even close.
Where KO called almost every single play – often to the point of stopping the point guard of the day while he was headed up the court – Dwane does want let them get out and go whenever the opportunity presents itself and is not at all concerned about micromanaging the offence.
Now, he doesn’t have the firepower that KO had for most of that year – HWSNBN still had some game, Jalen was a pretty good scorer himself – but Casey wants to let ‘em play.
Those comparisons between the coaches don’t carry water.
So, the NBL Canada’s back in the news.
Got a note yesterday that Mark Strickland is out as head coach of the Oshawa Power (second coaching change in the league’s inaugural season) and he’s being replaced by David Joseph, a well-known local who doubles as the dad of Cory and Devoe, two rather recognizable names.
Not sure if it’ll mean an awful lot in what’s turning out to be one of the more difficult markets for the league to crack but guess it does show that ownership out there is willing to make bold moves to salvage something of the season.
Salvage might be the wrong word, the Power isn’t a bad team, they play entertaining basketball and will get No. 1 overall draft pick Morgan Lewis back from injury for the end-of-the-season run.
Okay, early flight back home, lots to do when I get there (you don’t think the mall’s will be crowded, with they? I have some shopping to do) so we’ll get to comments whenever we can.