DeMar watches as Bargnani dominates; it mean anything? Nah
Okay, early one day, late the next day, early the next day. I’m really keeping you on your toes through this trek, aren’t I?
Anyway, I’m on a plane this morning early to do this all again in Utah, have fun.
Oh, and in case you missed it, here’s last night’s gamer, the second version after a somewhat choppy file-at-the-buzzer job.
Where was he?
I’m pretty sure you all noticed that not only did DeMar DeRozan play a season-low 23 minutes, scored a season-low four points and he was on the bench for the entire fourth quarter.
Not so much.
It was simply a matter that Leandro Barbosa was giving Toronto what it needed offence – if only as a diversion driving through the lane to create movement among the defenders – while not hurting anyone at the defensive end.
Yes, DeRozan was uninvolved for a lot of his 24 minutes but it’s got to be on him to be more assertive than he has been. It’s not going to be easy with Bargnani and Calderon dominating the offence in screen-roll but DeRozan could learn a lesson in getting open and creating stuff by watching how Barbosa plays.
Just what they needed
James Johnson gave them one of those relatively quiet, understated good games – 18 points and 10 rebounds along with solid defence – that makes you wonder why he can’t do something like that every night.
He hasn’t been able to – scouts refer to his “permanent” potential but if he does …
Well, if he does it solves a big problem because what they need from that spot is solid, not spectacular. The three isn’t a key cog in the offence now, and won’t be if Bargnani keeps going like he has but that kind of rebounding and defence is huge. Coaches notice that kind of thing and it’s why Johnson’s entrenched right now in that starting role.
Yeah, that was a potentially crippling turnover in the dying seconds off the in-bounds play that allowed the Suns to get within two.
How’d it happen?
Well, it happened because Steve Nash made a nice veteran move to grab a handful of Jose’s jersey. Sure he got away with it because it was discreet and sneaky and one of those plays some of the Raptors need to learn to do – and get away with – as the season progresses.
Had great sushi.
Watched a Grey Cup.
Not at the same time, mind you.
Was invited to a great sushi place just off the downtown core by Mike Weir one night and was entirely surprised by the calibre of the food in what has to be considered a non-traditional raw seafood area.
The Grey Cup?
Quag 1.0 and I (you have to have a long memory of fellow grunts to get that one) stumbled upon a saloon one day that not only had the Grey Cup on but allowed us to turn up the volume in one of the booths to listen to the dulcet tones of Chris Walby.
We were, of course, forced into a booth after a couple of patrons went berserk when the barman turned a New England Patriots game off one of the big screens hanging over the bar. Let me tell you, there are folks in Salt Lake who get downright ornery if you switch the NFL to a Grey Cup. Shocking, I know.
Anything happen in the State Of The Union address I should care about? Kinda missed it.
You know how sometimes cab drivers can just be chatty for the sake of being chatty, right? Droning on about nothing in particular as tired patrons in the back grunt at every utterance rather than become engaged in boring conversation.
Well, sometimes it’s different.
Get into a car after shootaround and the dude says, as a lot of them to do:
“Where you guys from.”
“Oh, you ever hear of a guy named George Chuvalo?”
“Well, I used to spar with guys who sparred with him, great fighter, could take a punch but I heard he’s still got all his faculties.”
“He does, very cool that you know him.”
“I used to work with an old ball player. Maybe you’ve heard of him.”
“Ellis Valentine. Used to play in Canada, worked with him refueling planes at Sky Harbour Airport until his pension kicked in.”
Yes, a not bad trip at all.
Mail? Sure, why not? Do it here. I’ll have all day Friday in Denver and a lot of Thursday to putter around on it and make my weekend easy.
Wow. Nine years and $214 million for Prince Fielder?
I’ve got to get his agent on staff, in a hurry.
Yikes. I guess Octogenarian Owner Mike Illitch is serious about wanting one of those World Series things but now they’ve got to get Miguel Cabrera to move to third and I’m pretty sure Fielder won’t be winning Gold Gloves over at first.
But with Victor Martinez out for the foreseeable future with a torn ACL, it does prove that the Tigers are willing to spend, even if they might not have been bidding against anyone else. I wonder, however, if this isn’t one of those big-splash signings that looks really good now but will be an albatross in a season or two.
I’m betting it is.
Flip Saunders gets whacked and all I can say to that is:
Seriously, that’s as dysfunctional a team as exists in the NBA today. Zany bigs like Andray Blatche and JaVale McGhee whose opinions of themselves far out-weigh their, um, abilities; a former No. 1 pick in John Wall who has yet to reach anything close to his potential; and a front office that just can’t seem to get it right no matter how hard they try.
Seriously, sometimes firing a guy can be doing him a favour and now Flip can go away from a few months, get the stench of the Wizards off his suits and come back and coach a more structured team of grownups next season or the season after.