No sense getting worked up about the one big hole
Yeah, sorry I’m late. Some hotel issues and I hate technology.
There is all kinds of angst, and there has been all season, about Rasual Butler and what’s going on with the small forward spot with the Raptors.
But to listen to Dwane Casey, as we did yesterday when he was asked about him, there isn’t a lot of concern among those with the team.
Here’s what the coach said when it was mentioned that fans may be a bit worried:
“They see the wide-open threes and again, he’s hung his hat on his shooting and he’s still an excellent shooter and for some reason he’s in a three-point slump and for us the advantage is his defence. He’s done an excellent job on some threes in the league and some twos and some ones … I always believe a shooter never forgets how to shoot the ball. Whether it’s legs or whatever it is, I know it’s like swimming, he’s not going to forget how to do it.”
So there you have it from the guy who matters.
And I’ll just add this:
Butler is, quite simply, a placeholder. He’s like one of those seat holders at the awards shows, a guy who’s around for a short period and keeping a spot warm until the real guy either gets here or gets back.
We’ve known from the very start of training camp that small forward was going to be an issue. There isn’t anyone on the roster that can play the spot like it should be played – with a combination of good shooting, the ability to defend, the skills to break his man down off the dribble – and it’s probably going to be like that for the entire season.
It’s not the best situation by any stretch of the imagination but it is what it is and it’s probably not going to change until the start of next season and everyone connected with team knows that and accepts that.
The only thing I’d like is to see Butler perhaps pass up some of the shots he’s not making but it’s hard for a veteran to find himself wide open and not let fly.
But to complain really misses the point: There’s not a better option right now, it’s a glaring hole that has to be filled but it’s not going to get filled with a keeper until either the draft or the summer.
Sucks, but that’s what this season is, really: a seat-holder kind of season and that’s the biggest and best seat in the house that’s just being kept warm.
We’ll have a lot more on this tomorrow and Friday (I’m trying to parcel out items on a rather busy week and have Nothing But Net to think about) but if you saw the NBA’s survey of GMs (something they do annually) you saw that Jonas Valanciunas was the pick as the “best international player not in the NBA.”
Nice, I guess. But nothing to get too worked up about, actually.
Yes, Valanciunas is good, he’s a 7-footer with solid skills – good footwork, a good work ethic, he’s big and mobile – but he’s also a kid who hasn’t had so much as an NBA practice, let alone a game.
I have no doubt that he’s going to be a good NBA player for all those skills we just mentioned but to suggest he’s the best international player not in the NBA right now is a bit of a stretch.
I would imagine there’s an older guy over there with a bit more savvy (hello, Milos Teodisic!) who might be able to more quickly assimilate himself into the deepest league in the world.
But it is a feather in Valanciunas’s cap – and a nod to the Raptors for drafting him – that some GMs think he’s got some promise.
Sure, why not?
I’m reading the dispatches about the big pucks game up in the nation’s capital last night – sorry for bringing it up, Leaves fans – and one thing strikes me as quite odd.
And it’s this:
Don’t teams have to be, you know, good before you can have a “rivalry” that matters?
I guess it makes good copy and is a cool way to get into a story to suggest there is something significant about a game between two teams from the same area playing a relatively meanlngless game in the middle of a regular season but, really.
A rivalry has to be with something on the line and between teams that are contending for something, doesn’t it?
Battle of Ontario?
So, what’s up with the Celtics?
These guys don’t lose five in a row, they certainly aren’t 4-8 and there’s never a question about whether they will be there in the end.
Except this year.
Talked to a couple of scouts over the past few days and all they say is that it’s simply age. Boston’s best players – particularly Kevin Garnett – are just older and slower and don’t have the same juice any more.
You could have seen this coming and it was probably worth it seeing what’s gone on with the franchise since 2007 but it’s kind of weird to see a team that was so good get so ordinary so relatively fast.
But what do you think? They knew the window would be small when they made the KG and Allen moves five years ago. Was it worth it?
Would you take what they’ve had for five seasons knowing the fall would be quick and dramatic?
Or would you rather have a team that was good, maybe not great but good, for those five years and the next five? A team that was a contender, but not a favourite, every year?
The other night, in Atlanta after the game, was on a stool and ended up ordering one of the all-time good bar appetizers.
It was kettle chips with a blue cheese sauce, crumpled blue cheese, bacon, finely diced tomatoes and some slivers of onions.
A great stool snack and it got me thinking.
What’s the best you can order when you have either a conversation going on or some work to finish and you don’t want a sit-down meal.
And I came up with …
Easy to pick at, not all that messy but they must have either beef or chili or something on the top. And you can hold the guacamole, thank you very much. But the jalapenos and sour cream are fine.
Cheese, vegetables, whatever. Put five or six brown things on a plate and I’m okay. Nothing that needs a knife and fork, though.
Blue cheese chips
I tell ya, they were outstanding.
Hot, not too hot and not too saucy but …
You know the kind? Regular fries with a nice hot cheese sauce drizzled over them, toss in some tomatoes, maybe, and some beef and it’s pretty darn good.
Vegetables and dip
Nah. Fooled ya.