Bold moves really pay off to end a good trip
Well, well, well.
Guy takes a night off (yes, it was quite nice, actually) and the HOTH end a long, hard trip like that?
Anyway, we’re a bit shorter than usual today, mostly ‘cause Sunday was truly a day of rest.
And the lads have today off – something about spending 15 of the last 17 days on the road led Dwane to give ‘em a down day -- so it’s a couple hours of paperwork in the office and a fair bit of couch time for me.
Have at it …
Kudos to Case
Yeah, I was entirely surprised when word came down that both Jose and Jerryd would start. It thinned the point guard ranks considerably but Dwane was able to massage minutes well enough that it didn’t matter.
You have to like a coach who makes a bold move, whether it pays off or not, don’t you?
It got them off to a fine start – and a tie after one quarter is quite fine with this group – and it seemed to spark everyone.
You know me and coaches: Too much blame when things go wrong, too much credit when things go right. But I’m putting this win on Casey, for sure.
Who was that guy?
Checking the boxscore and the number jumped out like no others.
DeMar DeRozan: 11-16 FTs.
Yes, 16 free throws. In one game.
Of course it was a season high – it was also a single-game career high – and, for one night at least, he got it.
Was talking yesterday to someone who cares greatly about this team and they were lamenting his lack of aggression and apparently desire to avoid contact at the rim and somehow DeRozan must have heard it.
I’m not suggesting you’re going to see that every night but if he gets in his head that it’s the way he can be most effective, maybe we’ll see it more often than not.
And another thing …
Lost amid the play of Bayless and DeRozan was the fact Amir Johnson got back in the starting lineup and had his best game in a while.
What was most impressive was the way he showed on high screens, “impacting the ball” as they say. Dare I say it’s the kind of defence we’re used to seeing from Bargnani and it was good to see someone emulate it?
I don’t know whether Dwane will stay with this starting group for a while – it might be tough to do it against the big Hawks or the Celtics this week – but if he does, they’ll need that kind of play more consistently.
Someone catch me up: Did the Campbells win? Or the Wales?
Okay, part of the day was spent watching Heat-Bulls and this was mighty impressive, wasn’t it?
But when I heard everyone going nuts about it and how LeBron jumped over a guy and wasn’t that something special, a creeping “yawn” was felt.
This was more impressive, to me.
Okay, it’s already begun, the zany Super Bowl hype and I’m watching TV sometime Sunday and I hear some voice on TV talk about the last Giants-Pats Super Bowl – the one where the guy caught the ball against his head – and how that was “the biggest upset in Super Bowl history.”
I know it’s a young person’s world but surely to goodness someone writing copy remembers Joe Namath, no?
I’m not the biggest tennis fan in the world, I’ll watch the finals of Grand Slams if there’s nothing better to do but that’s about it, but, man, wasn’t that something yesterday?
Two great players at the top of their game, lots of drama, five sets for the first time against each other, five-plus hours and two individuals simply willing themselves to be great.
It was exceptional, no?
It’s what sports is about, guys pushing themselves to the very limits of their ability, each at the top of their game and the best man winning in the end.
It’s also been amazing to watch the apparent passing of the torch in an individual sport over the past few years.
We went from Sampras to Federer to Nadal for a while and now to Djokovic and it’s been a great, great ride. Love to see that progression in an individual sport.
Sitting around the house once Air Canada got me home on Saturday, spied Antonio Davis on NBA TV and the guy did an admirable job.
Guess the HOTH might lead the NBA in Guys Who Are Good on TV. You’ve got AD, I enjoy seeing Jalen every now and then and Sam does a bang up job when he gets a shot.
Now, if one of the radio or TV stations here wants to hire Butch, we’ll have one more to add to the list.