A day like few others, and the ride could continue today
The word for today:
(Most of you know what I mean, right?)
What kind of day was that?
I wish I could tell you what the latest is with Dwight Howard and whether or not he’ll sign the paper that’ll keep him with Orlando next season but I can’t because I’m typing this at about 6:15 a.m. and it’ll probably change twice before I post it around 7:15 a.m.
But I will say this, for a league that’s had The Lockout and How U and The Decision and The Compressed Season From Hell in the last 12 months, this might take the cake.
(How about this: Howard signs the waiver, the pissed off Magic trade him to Charlotte anyway, the Bobcats win a few games so they don’t get the first pick and Jordan plucks some Kwane Brown-Adam Morrison clone in the draft and Howard’s rich but miserable for another year; how cool would that be?)
Anyway, the whole thing really was amazing and shows, yet again, how much of a players league this is and shows, yet again, what kind of waffling Howard has been doing for almost a year now.
I don’t know what you can do about him wanting to leave – if he does – because he’s earned that right and this is employment, not servitude. I do think we can take some kind of solace that he’s not looking to leave some horrible team to join forces with a couple of great teammates; he wants go from Orlando, which is 26-14 now to apparently join New Jersey, which is 15-19 and while Deron Williams is good, he’s not that good and that team’s still years away.
But what the whole exercise showed – and I followed it closely bored in a hotel room – is that, again, the rush to publish causes unnecessary angst and allows far too much misinformation to get out there.
First, he called a team meeting after shootaround to say he was staying next year and then the tweets and stories said, well, maybe that’s not what he said. Then he was going to tell the Magic that he and his agent had the paper and would sign it except that, well, maybe he wouldn’t.
Then he was going to leave and now overnight he’s going to stay and perhaps the most fun I had was watching my good friends in the New Jersey media pull their hair out at each turn because his indecision made their lives miserable.
It was one of the great days in over-reactive media – and bless their hearts, they rushed to publish what they believed to be true – and a hoot to watch unfold.
In a second.
How about our Lead Up To Saturday Musical Interlude with this group – Celtic Woman – I first discovered at Christmas.
Man, these ladies can croon.
Nothing’s going on
As we mentioned in the bottom of the game story, no movement expected at the trade deadline this afternoon, which is consistent with what we’ve heard all along.
Talked to a few players in the locker room before and after the game and none of them had heard from their agents that anything was percolating and none of them seem overly worried.
But if you know Bryan, and you’ve read about his deadline deal days in the past, the sneaking suspicion is he won’t be able to stop himself and at least something small will happen.
Maybe it’s Fred Jones for Juan Dixon big or Juan Dixon for Primoz Brezec big; something’s coming, I can feel it in my bones.
Shots will be there
Not sure how many times I saw it last night but if the Raptors keep running a play where the small forward sets a side screen for the point guard and Andrea drifts to the sideline, the other big is going to be wide open in the paint because teams are cheating a second defender to Bargnani consistently.
And that’s going to mean a lot of little 15-footers for guys like Ed Davis and Amir Johnson and once they get a big lug like Valanciunas in there, things could get good.
Time for toughness
It was Dwane’s big issue post-game, one we’ve heard before:
“We took three steps ahead last night in Cleveland against a team above us and we took three steps back tonight with our … physicality. Our fours and fives in the paint have to be physical, strong and that’s where Humphries went to work.”
Not sure how many times we’ve said it but these guys have to get physically stronger, or get men in there who are and that’s the biggest job ahead of them this summer.
I swear to whatever Supreme Being is In Charge Of All Things that in my next life I’m coming back as a hotel room designer and I am making sure there are enough wall plugs so that I don’t have to be jammed into a tiny entry hallway with the iron plugged into the wall in the bathroom.
End of rant.
You saw this, right? Me and my boyz Cathal and Barack and a little fun with the brackets?
Seriously, I have no real idea why I picked half the games I picked but pick ‘em I did.
And, yes, everyone could go with the chalk and it would probably all work out in the end but what’s the fun with that?
Now, I’m not entirely sure I could name you a list of Sweet 16 players let alone the teams that will advance that far but put ourselves out there is what we do.
And we’ve done it.
Now, go forward and mock.
The cesspool that is the Knicks – and you have no idea how bad I feel for my friend Glen Grunwald for being caught up in that, even if some of it was his own doing – is classic, isn’t it?
No one saw D’Antoni quitting coming this soon – and I still think it might be simply a matter of semantics and hush money that drove him out – but it was another great chapter in a great, gruesome story, wasn’t it?
I think you all know how I feel about the Knicks and I don’t know that Red Auerbach himself could fix it this season but to get Dwane’s take on it was quite interesting.
Of course, he didn’t talk specifics about what they do, but he did talk about coaches and the lives they lead when we chatted before the game.
“The hardest part is the speculation … (more) than the actual firing because all of us are grown men, I’ve never gone into a job being afraid of being fired.
“My thing is you do the right thing, as long as you do the right thing and coach for the right reasons, you can always sleep at night and you’ll always be employed at some level.
“It’s just the speculation and the talk and for all but one person it’s fun. But, again, and I know Mike D’Antoni coached for the right reason, he had his principles and all of us, as long as you coach for the right reasons you can sleep at night and let the chips fall where they may.”
Here’s one thing, though:
The Trail Blazers have dead quit on Nate McMillan, anything that happened in that game last night needs to be couched in those terms.
Off to the airport soon, land about noon Memphis time and will hit the ground running with whatever trades have happened.
But if it’s a slow day – and it could very well be – I’ll need something to do before the barbecue evening at Rendezvous so get me some mail, will you.