Same mistakes are a troubling sign
Seriously, I’m getting this whole Groundhog Day thing going on here without Andie McDowell and it’s really starting to tick me off.
(Gottta love the chance to put in a picture of Andie McDowell regardless)
Some prolific scoring
Not sure if you’ve noticed but young DeMar’s been on a bit of a scoring roll, including his 23-point night against the Magic.
That’s now 20 or more nine of his last 14 games and what I’m more impressed with is the way he’s scoring. He’s not entirely settling for jump shots – he still shies away from contact a bit more than I’d like – but for the most part he’s been quite aggressive.
Of course, blowing the late layup last night leaves a bit of a question about his finishing capabilities but that’s another story for another day.
The big thing, however, is how he’s going to react when Andrea comes back (and before you ask, it’s looking increasingly like that’s going to be Saturday). Will he still drive the ball? Will he still assert himself? Will he defer?
As we’ve seen, these guys are not good enough to win regularly with just him going well and dare I say they’re not good enough to win regularly with just Bargnani going well.
How they interact is going to be a very important thing to watch and you can be sure that Bryan’s going to keeping a very close eye on how his two best offensive players get along on the court for an extended period of time.
A couple of tough nights
Linas Kleiza’s got a lot of gamer in him, he’s a tough kid who can play through pain and discomfort, as we saw for a large chunk of last season.
And we might have seen it the last couple of nights, too.
Even Dwane noted after the game that something seemed “off” with Linas, who was 1-for-6 with one rebound against Orlando after being 2-for-9 with three boards against Houston.
We’ve seen how valuable he can be when he’s fully healthy, a tough-minded smart player who can be a stretch four or a big three depending on the matchup.
No one’s saying he’s hurt and Casey said after the game it might be fatigue and they need to watch his minutes but there just seemed to be something “off” with him the last two nights.
Same old, same old
We all know the problems this team has with making big – or even small – plays at crucial times (it’s mentioned somewhere in the game story) but it’s not only that.
It’s the egregious nature of the momentum-killing turnovers that have to be driving Dwane Casey batty.
It’s Jerryd Bayless throwing a cross-court pass into the seats; it’s James Johnson trying some wraparound pass that ends up in a photographer’s lap; it’s DeMar hoisting a three-pointer when it’s time to drive the ball.
Those are, frankly, stupid plays, not the kind of physical miscue most coaches can live with and until the collective Basketball IQ goes up, there are going to be far more nights like last night.
When Dwane or anyone talks about “winning plays” it’s as much about the mental aspect of the game as the physical and these guys, collectively, don’t have that nearly down pat enough.
Can they get it?
You can only hope so but 37 games into the season, they’ve shown no proclivity for doing it on a regular basis. And that’s the scary part.
A wee bit more?
Well, guess the secret’s out, keep me oiled up and I’m all set to go.
Oh, and since now we might have to split some of the more wacky things going on in the world, I get all things Grace Kelly, okay?
And when it comes to busting on the pucks, that’s mine, too.
Another photo album, this one from Mr. Madonik, who was the shutterbug on duty last night.
Get used to hearing the name Andrew Nicholson; he might be the next Canadian kid picked in the first round of the NBA draft.
The Mississauga native just finished a stellar year at St. Bonaventure by being named the Atlantic 10 player of the year – this after being named conference player of the week for a month – and last scout I talked to thought the 6-9 forward, who might have to survive as an under-sized four in the NBA, could be a strong workout season from creeping into the bottom of the first round.
More people I’ve talked to think he’s a second-rounder, and some wonder if he’ll get picked at all, but there’s no question he’s had a great year.
Well, this is a birthday worth celebrating.
I’d have to put them right at the top of the list of cookies, at least of the store-bought kind, just edging out chocolate chip ones for first with digestives coming a distant third.
But Grandma’s white icing cookies – a basic cookie with a white sugar-based icing – will never, ever be duplicated.
Man, I miss those.
My man B. Schmitz was in town and he chronicled that one like this.
So they are getting down to the conference tournament time in the NCAA – a couple of automatic bids have already been handed out – and the troubling note arrived from one of the Tall Foreheads last week.
It asked whether Mr. Kelly and I would like to do a couple of brackets for all to see – and I’m sure mock – and, like a fool, I agreed.
Better actually watch some college ball this weekend, I guess.
Have to take Carleton, right?