Well, wasn’t that some kind of game in Chicago?
HOTH played well, they played hard, and got a bad break at the end. Tough one but …
Anyway, have at this while I fly home, hopefully in time to see the NBL final on this computer, and we’ll be back Monday with the usual.
Q: A while ago, after the Raptors played Sacramento, I was thinking about short players in the NBA, and posted a question in the comments, but never got around to posting it here. I was looking for a 'short list' of the best players NBA under six feet.
BTW, I think it's a shame to be inside writing instead of enjoying Chicago. It's a great city!
Sheila C, Ottawa
A: This is tough only because heights are often embellished and a guy listed at 6-2 might be closer to 6-0 and a 6-footer could very well be 5-10.
But the general consensus, and one I agree with, is that Isiah Thomas was the best small guard of all time.
Of course, the rest of the list would likely include Allen Iverson, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Paul, Calvin Murphy and while most lists have Tiny Archibald at 6-1, I’m going to include him here. You could also put Spud Webb in here and everyone would concur, I imagine.
Q: Okay let me try this again. After a made basket, if the defending team calls a timeout without inbounding the ball, the ball is then moved to their offensive zone for inbounding after the time out. What’s with that. I have noticed it in the pros but not college ball. Or I am badly in need of new spectacles. I swear I saw it Doug, but I have been wrong before. I am just curious about the rule.
Gerry T, Halifax
A: I gotcha this time, sorry for not reading well enough last time.
It’s simply a rule the NBA has adopted – and you have to admit it’s created a lot more late-game drama – that the colleges haven’t. Teams are allowed – if they want – to advance the ball to the frontcourt hashmark after a made basket, or any stoppage, in the final two minutes of a game or overtime. It is all about creating more chances for dramatic finishes and it has.
So, no, you have not seen it in the colleges – nor will you see it in international basketball – but you will see it in the NBA.
Q: Hi Doug! Well, one way or another - either through a glorious Lightning victory or heartbreaking loss to the dastardly, but very good, Halifax Rainmen - the NBL will be winding up its first season on Sunday afternoon. And what a season it was. Great performances, appreciative fans and in London a team that I know connected with the city. And I believe, the city with it. I'm alread looking forward to next season and hope to attend even more games that I did this year. The level of play improved as the season went along and I'm wondering if any of the NBL players might - or should - be eligible for any of the 10-day contracts that are now available on some NBA rosters. For example, wouldn't it be cool to see Gabe Freeman have a chance with the Raptors???
Lorie P, London
A: I admit I only saw four games and did not see the Rainmen play but I didn’t see anyone who I thought would get a 10-day deal. Not to say it couldn’t happen, though; they are free agents in the eyes of the NBA and could be added if a team wanted.
Second-best Canadian band ever?
Q: Hi Doug, So let's pretend you're David Stern. Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire ask you for permission to wear hoodies during pre-game warmups, as this would contravene current league uniform policy. What do you say, and why would you say it?
Sohail G, Collingwood
A: I would probably say no, actually. And I would say no because there are other avenues for them to express their feelings, and I would strongly encourage them to do that – but things like pre-game warm-ups at not times for political statements because if you open the door to one, you may have to open the door to many others and I don’t think that’s a very good idea.
Q: Hello Doug. If you were forced to take the same position you have now with any other basketball organization, who would you choose? What factors would you take into consideration.
Cory G, Jasper
A: Considering I actually work for a news organization, I’ll surmise you wonder what other team I’d like to cover? Hope so because that’s what I’m going to answer.
In a perfect world, you want a nice city with good schools and good weather – a handful of great microbreweries would help – and a team that’s well run. And you’d want a good airport easy to access with lots of direct flights to other NBA cities.
I’m more of a small- to medium-sized city fan so I’d suggest going to work in Seattle when a team goes back, or somewhere like Oklahoma City or maybe Indy would be fun.
Q: I do recall a lot of 100+ games last year and hence a lot of happy tummies with a free pizza slice. This year seems to be quite a different year and I think I recall one pizza home game? Am I right? If not, how many times have the Raps fans been graced with a comp slice?
Simone K, Toronto
A: You missed a couple, I’m afraid. There’ve been four times they’ve gone over 100 at home; three wins (Houston, Detroit and Washington) and a loss to the Spurs.
And a quick check of last year shows 14 times, which is either good or bad for the diet and appetites of the fans; I’m not sure which.
Q: Doug. Hoping you can explain something to me. In the Memphis game, Zach Randolph comes back after being off for a couple of months or longer and he seemed to be in mid season form while Andrea has been back for 6 or 7 games and he's still searching for consistency.
Is this due to their different style of play or is it a mental toughness issue?
Bob B, London
A: I think it’s got most to do with style of play. I think it’s easier for a guy like Randolph, whose game is a lot of power and post play, to muscle his way back into it than it is for Bargnani, who needed to find his long-range shooting touch.
Q: Hi Doug. It’s great reading about the Canadian talent in the March Madness coverage. Is Brady Heslip NBA material?
K J, Toronto
A: I’d say not right now and I don’t know if he ever will be. Been a great ride for him, though.
Where do these guys fit on the list?
Q: Hi Doug. A couple of random questions:
Which current or former NBA player would have the best shot at winning Dancing with the Stars? I was a bit disappointed with Clyde Drexler when he appeared on the show. Any early predictions for this year.
In light of the recent NFL suspension of Sean Payton - how would you rank the different leagues when dealing with issues of discipline for coaches/players (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB).
Monty M, Toronto
A: Well, we’ve seen The Player Formerly Known As Ron Artest and Clyde Drexler dance and fail, I’m not sure there’s anyone I’d take a chance on looking at next, actually.
How I’d rank them?
That’s a tough one but the very personal observation would probably put NFL first because they hand out lots of suspensions for various indiscretions aimed at making a tough game safer.
I think the NBA does a good job in a lot of ways and might rank second, followed awfully closely by MLB. Both seem to take consistent, decisive action; the only thing I don’t like about MLB’s system is the appeal process it gave the union in various negotiations.
NHL? Dead last. By a mile. Seems they waffle and there’s no consistency whatsoever.