Don't get angry, play better; and how to relax after a game
Imagine that. A series of botched possessions – both ends – at the end of a close game they end up losing.
Haven’t seen that before, have we?
Oh, wait. Maybe we have. Weekly. Or weakly.
A key guy sits
Our seats were in the corner and were better than many in that spot in various arenas because we weren’t too high or too far away from the court.
And I had a perfect angle to see precisely what the coaches have been harping about with DeMar all season; and if any of you are ever at a game, watch it closely. It’s not something you can see on TV but it’s a huge problem with his game.
When they run stuff for him that involves him curling off a screen, or cutting across the lane, he simply does not work hard enough to get open.
He kind of lollygags at times, doesn’t use his body to get separation from his man and won’t use screens effectively.
I believe he was miffed after the game – he apparently tweeted “Straight Bulls#!+" on the bus to the airport – but here’s what I think someone needs to say to him:
Play better. Work harder. Be more effective. Then you’ll play, as you have in every fourth quarter in every game this season.
It was no message
Man, there was some angst among the populace about the fact Jose Calderon didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
There suggestions that (a) Jose had been traded and (b) he was being “sent a message” and one person with a fertile imagination suggested on the tweeting thing that Dwane was “tanking” the game, because a coach who uses a group who is going well and cuts a 13-point deficit to two and comes within a couple of mistakes of winning sure is coaching to lose.
But it was simple. Very, very simple. As I suggested.
When Jerryd was horrible in the fourth and needed to get hooked early, it was too soon to go back to Jose, Dwane was going to buy some time with Carter and when Carter was doing a good job and the team was coming back and the group was playing well, he stuck with them.
And considering they had about three chances to win or tie in the final two minutes, I’d say the guy coached his roster pretty damn well.
And I’m sure tonight, all things being equal, Calderon will be on the floor in the fourth quarter.
One very tough night
I am going to preface this by saying I quite like Jerryd Bayless as a man and think he’s a pretty good NBA player who is somewhere between a point guard and a shooting guard.
But watching him last night, with five turnovers (and I think at least three of them were what could be termed “unforced”) with three fouls in just over 11 minutes, made me think he’s got so far to go to be even a passable point guard that it’s not even funny.
That was Goran Dragic guarding him, I think Kyle Lowry might have had a few minutes on him, but neither of them are Gary Payton and the fact Jerryd couldn’t handle a modicum of pressure well is truly troubling.
Now, he will have good games again, I’m sure of that; but many more like last night and there’s no way teams think of him as a point guard.
More? A wee bit.
Okay, some of you might think this is a bit spooky or something but I get back to the hotel, decide to decompress for a couple of minutes and get some of this blog done with the early flight.
There’s a pretty good trio playing in the lounge, soft and kinda folky music and I’m about half a glass and a three-pointer into my work and they do a fine rendition of this one.
No, Mary Chapin Carpenter is not my favourite warbler of all time but if you can use her twice in two days, why not, right?
How’s the angst among the citizenry?
So, there’s a bit of a debate, and a fair amount of discussion, down here the last couple of days about the decision by new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to ban booze from the clubhouse. It’s at least in part a reaction to last year’s “beer and chicken brouhaha” and was made a bit worse the other day when ex-manager Terry Francona said guys who wanted a beer could get one, prompting Valentine to take some cheap shot at Francona, who is now a broadcaster, by saying TV guys are paid to say things and managers are paid to do things.
Anyway, that aside, the whole issue of beer in locker rooms or clubhouses or dressing rooms is an age-old discussion, isn’t it?
Personally, I have no problem with teams having a cooler or a fridge or whatever around for players to avail themselves of one after a game.
The Raptors don’t, actually; and their plane is “dry” as well but if a guy wants to relax with a beer – and I believe it’s far more hockey and baseball and football than it is basketball – I have no issues with it at all. These are grown men, you have to let them be men and you have to trust them enough not to abuse the privilege.
Now, I’m not suggesting you leave a couple sitting on every player’s chair after the game, but having it around in a private players lounge for guys to unwind is not a problem to me at all.
I don’t imagine on many teams that many guys would take advantage of it but if a player wants to sit around with a teammate or two for half an hour so, who gets hurt? No one.
This latest thing is far more a story than it should be, at least down here because I presume not many back home have heard or care greatly about it.
I’m with Tampa manager Joe Madden on this one: These are grown men, treat ‘em like it.
Oh, right. I remembered.
Here’s how my man Jonathan chronicled the Rox-HOTH thing from last night in Houston.
Okay, early flight so you’ve got this early; I’ll catch up with you when I can from New Orleans.