A cliche, a return, a tubby D Leaguer and it's Superdraft day!
Kind of tough times for the fans, no?
But there will be more times like these, folks; might best be getting used to them.
In spite of it all …
Look, they shouldn’t have won that game on the basis of their overall play without question – too many slow closeouts on shooters, too many bad decisions on offence, too little resistance to DeMarcus Cousins inside – but still …
They were right in the game with less than a couple of minutes left – can’t read my chicken scratch to know when exactly it was but I think they were “stuck five” – and it was there to be stolen.
But Barbosa has a three-pointer go in and out and Amir misses a gimme lob from Calderon on two straight possessions and any chance to steal one went away.
But it also underscores that no matter how poorly they function for long stretches of time, if they work hard defensively – and holding the Kings to 37 per cent shooting is pretty good – they might be in a lot of games.
And if they’re in them, they might find a way to win some; they didn’t last night but they might some night.
Kept up with the pace, gave them 14 1-2 minutes of solid play and with doubts now about Bargnani – we won’t know until Friday, please don’t ask a lot – he’s going to be more valuable than we originally thought.
Yes, he’s going to get some time at small forward – sing your hosannas, people – but as we saw last night, he’s going to get some minutes at power forward, too, if the big Italian has to miss a game or two.
Dwane went a fair amount with either Kleiza or James Johnson at the four and I can smell a bigs rotation of Johnson, Davis, one of those two and a bit of Magloire if Andrea has to miss a few games.
And so can Dwane:
“Everybody’s role is going to be a little different, we’ll see how that plays out.”
You know what they say …
Among the favourite silly basketball clichés, I’ve got “you can’t teach height” right near the top.
But it’s almost a tie in my mind with one that suits the Heroes Of The Hardcourt (that’d be HOTH and that’s about the last time I’m spelling it out for a whlle) best right now. And that’s:
Your best players have to be your best players.
And until DeMar DeRozan starts playing again like he’s one of the team’s best players – and he is – there are going to be more nights like we’ve seen this week.
Forget Rasual Butler or Anthony Carter or James Johnson, they are bit players with specific roles.
DeRozan has to be better, it’s that simple.
Dwane suggested last night that teams are defending him differently and maybe that’s the case but DeRozan saw some double teams and one-and-a-half-men last season when he was the absolutely focal point of the offence and he still seemed to thrive.
I do think it’s one of those slumps that athletes go through and he’ll be fine eventually but until he is again there are going to be continued tough times.
And you know what they say about slumps, to go to another cliché and borrow from the seamhead world:
Slumps are like a common cold. Everyone’s got a cure but they still take two weeks go away.
No one told me The People’s Choice Awards were on last night!
Thanks for that.
Actually, had I known, I still wouldn’t have watched because I have them as the most bogus of ‘em all.
The winners know they won – why else would they show up?; it’s more popularity with the general public than I care to know about -- most people’s tastes and mine generally differ greatly; and they’re televised on a Wednesday night in early-January.
Plus, awards shows in general are like bowl games: Too many have diminished them greatly.
Seems a bunch of you took yesterday off; we can’t have that.
For some reason, I was in a saloon last night finishing up some work and saw a wee bit of Bakersfield vs. Idaho from the D League Showcase.
No, this has nothing to do with Solomon Alabi.
It has to do with Antoine Walker and I saw Antoine Walker play and Antoine Walker looks like he swallowed Boris Diaw.
Well, I know what I’m doing this morning.
The MLS Superdraft is at noon and I haven’t worked on my mock yet.
But I was heartened – and I don’t know why I found this funny, but I did – to find out the TFCs had signed some tiny Ecuadorean teen to a multi-year deal.
That’s one of those phrases that I just found cool.
Sort of like Panamanian strongman.
Man, I don’t know I’ve seen a team more selfish than that one.
I will tell you this, though: DeMarcus Cousins is a beast and I know he has some maturity issues and maybe some anger management issues but if that kid ever figures it out, he’s going to be a good one.
I also suspect, given the troubles he’s had in Sacramento already, that he’ll leave the first chance he gets and teams should be figure out how they’ll be able to make a run for him because he’s got some skills.
Okay, it’s an off-day for the lads and since a few of you have been asking for more league-wide stuff, we’re going to do some kind of weakly weekly item in the Friday paper (and the Thursday night website) to give you what you want.
It, like the HOTH, is a work in progress but give us a break – and some feedback – and we’ll get it rolling today.