If Raptors change comes, what will it be?
Warned you the time zone thing would mess me up; early one day, a tad late the next and who knows what you’ll get for the next day or two when this march continues on.
Remember Sunday when Dwane Casey hinted that he might have to change things up to find more “balance” on a team that’s had a few terrible starts lately?
Well, he’s still got that idea in his head and who knows who we’ll see when things tip off here tonight in Phoenix.
Now, listening to Dwane yesterday, he seemed okay with James Johnson at the three, I cannot imagine him making a move with DeRozan at the two and if you read today’s missive, he’s okay with Jerryd Bayless continuing on as he backup point guard.
What’s that leave?
Well, the bigs, obviously; unless there’s some dramatic move with DeRozan or something with Johnson but, again, that’s not the indication we got from Dwane yesterday.
Of course, Andrea Bargnani goes back into the starting lineup the second he’s ready (Tonight? Maybe) so who’s the other guy going to be?
Does Amir Johnson come out? Or Ed Davis? And if they do, who goes in? Aaron Gray?
It’ll be an interesting move, if one’s ultimately made. Davis had been just okay, with gusts to not okay; Amir’s had more average games than above-average ones of late and Gray is significantly limited offensively.
But the one thing Casey did say yesterday was that he’s starting to narrow down things to an eight- or nine-man rotation here a quarter into the season.
If I had to guess at a regular nine-man one now, it’d be Calderon, DeRozan, Johnson, Bargnani, Johnson, Bayless, Barbosa, Linas Kleiza and here’s the thing: They need another big and that seems to be Davis and then Gray by default and then what to you do with Gary Forbes and Rasual Butler? Use one and go with 10 men or use neither and stick with nine until foul trouble or injuries pop up?
Me? I go with 10 and give Forbes that last spot to see what you get.
Guess Alex Anthopoulos didn’t finish second the race for Omar Vizquel, eh?
Kidding. A bit.
Sure, signing the 44-year-old backup shortstop caused a few raised eyebrows but the one that got me yesterday was the three-year, $20-million extension for Brandon Morrow.
It keeps with Alex’s style (read Griff here for more of the background than I could give you now) and does give them right now a good No. 2, maybe No. 3 starter (depending on anything else happening) and you can’t have enough pitching depth.
I got to see Morrow pitch an awful lot last summer for some reason (guess I was on the same rotation as he was) and while he has some spectacular stuff, there have always been questions about his mental toughness and whether he can turn that stuff in to being a great pitcher.
Maybe he can, there is no disputing the raw natural ability, and now the Blue Jays, at a comparatively low price, have more than a while to find out.
And perhaps having his future settled will allow Morrow to pitch free and easy, to learn his craft as opposed to just using his talents and the greatness many expect from him will come to fruition.
Heaven knows the Blue Jays still could use some starting pitching help but locking up a talented young kid like Morrow is a significant winter move. Now it’s up to him to fully realize his potential.
Now this is comical.
The WWE – you know, the fake wrestling stuff that passes itself off as “entertainment” – had some theatrical performance at the US Airways Center on Monday night.
Well, you want to talk about a pretend sport that takes itself seriously?
We’re sitting in a hallway outside the visitors dressing room and practice court while the Raptors worked out, waiting to get in.
A rather burly security fellow was quite put out, getting the WWE’s security chief involved, and then told us we had to go sit in a stairwell lest we, you know, see two grabbling guys hanging out.
Thankfully, the good folks at the Raptors – hi Jim! – spoke some sense to someone, we got into a vestibule inside the practice facility rather than a dank hallway and the pretend athletes/actors were safe from the prying eyes of two Toronto writers.
Oh, yeah: The dressing room was marked “Male Talent” and it looked like all the grapplers were going to change – and likely rehearse – in the same place.
Yeah, that’s a global secret that needs to be kept: Wrestling’s Fake!
Hey, you need to check out Canada Basketball’s new web site. Looks very cool, lot of new multi-media stuff and it’s another step, albeit small, on the road back.
Time to temper expectations, this time in someone else’s words and not mine.
Now, we all know Solo went to the D League Jams and put up some numbers but, really, don’t get too excited about it. Dwane isn’t:
“The only problem in the D League? You don’t have enough quality big guys to go against in practice or in the games; he’s the biggest thing in the jungle, he needs to look people in the eye and be able to go against them in the post and that type of thing.”
So why send him?
“Again, he got some playing time with referees and that type of thing, which we didn’t have the luxury of giving him here.”
I’m going say this one more time:
If you go to Phoenix and don’t find you’re way to Pizzeria Bianco, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Try the Sonny Boy (mozzarella, very salty olives and a nice sweet salami) and wash it down with a Nimbus A-1 Pilsner.
You can thank me later.
And start a conversation with the one brother behind the bar, he’ll tell you about the time Steve Nash had his 37th birthday party there or the night Bosh, Bargnani and Calderon showed up.
Or the night Jerry Colangelo showed up with the World Series trophy.
Sometimes a quiet late afternoon’s a good thing.