Not much to see out of that one
Well, that was a rather ho-hum night, wasn’t it?
One of those feelings of inevitability washed over the game about the middle of the third quarter; there was one team that was tougher and stronger and more determined and more dominant near the basket.
And then there were the Raptors, who – and we’ve said this a kazillion times – simply have to get tougher. Or else.
A little too little
I, and I thought the coaches, were a bit intrigued by seeing how much they could get out of a backcourt of Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless.
I have a feeling it’s a bit too small but it should allow either of them – both good shooters – to play off the ball in the corner or on the wing and that should create some space for guys like DeRozan and Bargnani.
Well, after one night, who knows?
There was a stretch in the first half that was very much a feeling out process with nothing significant to report and then Jerryd got whacked by Amar’e Stoudemire in the second half and the experiment was aborted.
No clue how bad the hip pointer is – and since there’s no shootaround this morning we won’t know until tonight – but it is something we need to see more of.
And I’d like to see some Calderon-Bayless-Forbes, if only for a minute or two because I think that can be a bit powerful offensively if they ever figure it out.
Give him credit
We seem to be ragging on DeRozan every now and then for not getting to the free throw line, or not seeking out contact often enough, and one of the goals the coaching staff set for him this year was to take more free throws.
Well, he only three last night but he did have a dozen the other night in Charlotte and it looks like he’s starting to get it more consistently as the season drones on.
Like just about everything to do with the young ‘uns on this team, this season is all about developing consistency while we haven’t seen it often enough on too many fronts – see Ed Davis, DeRozan, Amir Johnson – it’s something to over the final 20 or so games of the regular season.
Handling the pressure
Or, rather, not handling it well enough.
Was a bit surprised to see the aggressive defence the Knicks played almost all over the court last night – it runs counter to what we’ve seen from them for years – and was a bit surprised the Raptors didn’t attack it more forcefully.
Yes, it’s a solid tactic to pick guys up right at halfcourt, or even in the backcourt, because it slows offences down, makes attacking teams start their sets much further from the basket than they’d like but there’s a reason most teams don’t do it more often:
It doesn’t always work.
What you have to do is go by it quickly, either with passes or the dribble, and the Raptors were far too passive for far too long and it bogged down the offence considerably.
I’m not sure that’s a defensive tactic that will work consistently but if wings aren’t going to come back and get the ball and if point guards can’t get by their man quickly, it’s enough to mess up a team for a night, or a quarter, or a handful of possessions, and that’s just what happened to Toronto last night.
Wee bit more?
We’ve got some.
Alex Smith signs new deal with the San Francisco 49ers?
Hope he cuts his agent’s fee a wee bit.
When we come to talk about the greatest athletes of our era, we usually come up with a list of usual suspects we see or hear about almost every week. Or at least have in the recent past.
Each has been spectacular over time, dominating their sports like few others and the names roll easily off the tongue.
Here’s one that gets short shrift, at least in this little corner of the world and when you’re talking about the best now and the best ever, it’s a name that can’t be ignored.
Yeah, the soccer dude, from Barcelona; we rarely see him but the dude may go down eventually as the greatest ever.
I first heard about him at the Beijing Olympics when he was little more than pup in the grand scheme of things.
But what he’s accomplished now is, simply, incredible and he’s pretty much the biggest reason that I watch Barcelona-Madrid every time I can.
Kid had three goals the other night in a La Liga game and the roll he’s on is pretty much incomparable in all of sports.
He’s got 154 goals in 153 La Liga games over three seasons, has 49 more in Champions League play and 19 more in the Copa del Rey.
I’m not sure there’s a comparison that can be made, actually. Probably doesn’t have to be because it’s blatantly unfair to talk about one athlete in one sport and try to explain what he’s doing in the context of others.
Suffice it to say, though, that he will go down as one of the greatest footballers of all time and if you appreciate athletic greatness on the biggest of stages, maybe it’s time to broaden the horizons a little bit and catch a Barca game if you can.
Never mind whether you like soccer or not or even understand the nuances of the game – I enjoy watching but can’t dissect the strategy to save my soul – this is sporting excellence and further investigation might lead you to appreciate it more.
So Super Dog goes the doctor yesterday to get checked for periodic limp and now we’re facing some kind of surgery (not ACL but something to do with the kneecap) and if anyone’s got any good freelance work available, I’m all ears.
Great dog, cute as a button but, wow.
Yes, we’ll be back with the usual IGBT tonight (please stop by, it’s a lot of fun most of the time) and we’d better get the mail stuff started since I’ve got games Friday and Saturday and the Olympics coverage meeting Thursday afternoon that could take a few hours.
Thanks. Go here and do it.