The usual Raptors fare and debating Barry Larkin a bit
The game as far too choppy thanks to whistle-happy referees and their ticky-tack fouls but the result makes up for it for those who really care, right?
That didn’t take long
Dwane Casey knows, DeRozan knows and you know and I know that DeRozan’s far more effective attacking the basket than shooting 3s and it was a not-at-all-subtle message, according to the coach.
“He’s capable of making the threes but he’s smart enough to know when to take them and when not to take them. I don’t think he’s fallen in love with them but he can’t forget attacking the basket, attacking the basket. It’s one of the reasons why I ran the first play the way I did, so he could attack the rim and try to get to the free throw line.”
DeRozan ended up just 3-for-11 from the field, he missed all three three-pointers he took and he only shot three free throws – half as many as Amir Johnson, a third as many as Andrea Bargnani – but it’s at least a step in the right direction.
Gotta like the way he thinks
Andrea Bargnani logs 45 minutes – and he had to since no one else was really scoring besides him and Amir – and, sure, it’s a toll, especially with three games in three nights but you know what?
Not him, as he told his personal chronicler, the Lovely and Talented Adriana, after the game:
“I’m not worried. If I can’t do it now that I’m still young, when can I do it.”
Fine attitude, actually. Yes, it’s going to be tough to get back up to full speed tonight and maybe it’ll be harder on Wednesday but the kid’s only 26 and it’s not like he had to fly commercial coach and stay in some fleabag motel overnight without the massage therapists, trainers and nutrionists to help him out.
And if you’re Dwane Casey – or any coach worth his pricey Windowpane suit and per diem – you coach every game to win and how cares about tomorrow? Would it have been better and cut Bargnani to, say, 38 minutes and lose and still have to lay Tuesday and Wednesday? I say go for it every night and see what happens; maybe someone else steps up Tuesday and Bargnani only has to play 36 minutes.
Take your shot when you get your shot. That’s the way to do things.
Switch it up?
I know it might only be for a couple of games, maybe three, but it might be time to consider letting Leandro Barbosa run the team as the backup point guard for 10 or 12 minutes a night until Jerryd comes back.
They really aren’t getting much of anything from Anthony Carter and Barbosa’s ability to at least present some coverage issues running high screen and roll might allow the second unit to do a bit more damage.
And if you can eke out six or seven minutes a night for Gary Forbes at the two – taking the time Carter would be on the floor – maybe it gives that guy a boost of confidence.
Of course, this is only until Bayless gets back – and I’m guessing Friday or Saturday – but maybe it’s something that should be looked at.
Barry Larkin was a fine baseball player, solid numbers, on good teams, won titles, lots of individual accolades and if the learned colleagues in the BBWAA have deemed him a Hall of Famer who am I to argue.
Look at it this way, though: I’m not sure many of us, or many of you, watched Larkin during his career and thought “I’m watching a Hall of Famer.”
Maybe some did, maybe he was that good and I just wasn’t paying close enough attention.
But look at this, this way:
Every time I saw Jack Morris pitch a big game, he was other-worldly. And I thought almost every time, “man, that’s a Hall of Famer.”
Stevie Boy Russell isn’t the only brilliant guy we’ve got on staff with a camera in his hands.
Richard Lautens does outstanding work as well – you can see a lot of it here – and I don’t think there’s any question that basketball lends itself to photographic excellence far more than any other professional sport.
No, I haven’t forgotten about the IGBT chatter on TV commercials; just need a day or two to do some research and find a morning where 800 of the planned 1,000 or 1,100 words are taken up with game minutia.
But just in case you'd forgotten this thespian effort.
I don’t know Dwane Casey’s political bent, or if he’s at interested in the shenanigans that go on involving elected leaders but I bet he would have liked to have been at the White House yesterday with the Mavs to meet Obama.
Maybe not as much as he liked coaching a win but, just the same, when you get to meet a fellow of that stature, it’s got to be pretty good.
The verdict on Ricky Rubio?
Still fun to watch but certainly not at his highest creative level.
Of all the ridiculous things in North American sport – and the list is long – the one thing that might be the most ridiculous is NCAA football.
I don’t watch an awful lot but bowl season used to be kind of good, one on New Year’s Eve and a handful on New Year’s Day and it was at least destination viewing.
Now? Now they play one game sometime in early January between teams that haven’t had a game for more than a month and it’s supposed to determine some kind of paper champion?
Not only did the game suck – or so I’m told by people who know these things – but the lower ranked team won and is now No. 1 despite splitting two games, neither of which was a playoff game, over the course of the season.
Aside from all the other stuff wrong with that sport – and we don’t have to get into it right at the moment – that’s downright stupid and turning the sport, for me and a lot of others, I imagine, entirely irrelevant.
Some real life things have popped up at the last minute – and Cathal was scheduled to do the game all the time – so I’m sitting out tonight’s titanic struggle between the HOTH and the Winless Wiz.
Real life things and I’m not sure I’d be able to handle the angst and anger should the locals lose.