The start of the weekend mail
Not bad, ladies and gentlemen, a late flurry even with a down website helped get this to a manageable size.
Got a few left for tomorrow but could always use more.
You all know the drill, right.
Think I’m going to coast a bit this morning; have a feature to write for Monday, a cold and cough to beat off and a practice to go to.
So enjoy and we’ll be back in the morning.
‘Twas a pretty game Friday, no? -
Q: Thanks for your blog. As a bb fan living in Pacifica, news of the Raptors is rare. So, thanks.
And thanks again, for explain what TOD means. I've been frustrated because I've missed other definitions. HOTH? Hated Other Team? Could you occasionally tell us newer readers what they all mean?
Beverley G, Vancouver
A: Heroes Of The Hardcourt.
And we’ve only got a couple of other regular ones like He Who Shall Not Be Named (guy who used to wear No. 15 here; not Garbo) and Dancing With The Stars.
If we develop more, I’ll let you.
It was Mr. Rick who did the shutterbug duties on Friday night; here are the fruits of his labour.
Q: Greetings, so I am curious, for those of us that haven't followed basketball for a long period of time, haven't really played the game, whether history will rate Dwane as an exceptionally talented coach? Even acknowledging the "coaches get to much blame....and credit..." the HOTH have actually been surprisingly competitive beyond what I imagine the expectation was for them in their front office.
Perhaps Dwane is just "in the right place at the right time" or can we accept that he was an enlightened hire? I am not suggesting that anyone else be deemed deficient just that there seems to be more of a focus and a plan this year leaving me with the thought that it must be coming from the coach's office. Certainly BC and his staff share in this as they have placed the players but oncourt success starts with the team and its game night guidance, hence the coaching contributions.
As always thanks for what you do,
Doug T, Brantford
PS: from experience, six kids between two years and thirty (and three! grandkids) a parent's involvement never ends it simply changes as the years go on. Super Son will always have a need for you and one day you may have more of a need for him. Just remember one thing in all dealings with your kids, one day they may be in charge of your Depends.
A: I think what Dwane has that makes him stand out is a personality that says, “Hey, follow me. I know where I’m going” and it instills confidence in those around him. I think his background oozes success and demands respect and I think getting off to a pretty good start showed the players that the lessons he was preaching would work.
I still think coaches get too much blame when things go wrong and too much credit when things go right; but we are seeing a group respond in the best possible way.
Q: Hey Doug, love your blog. I check it everyday for my HOTH updates. What's your opinion of Greg Oden? Injuries truly have sucked for the poor guy but there is a 7 foot talent there when healthy. I think it would smart for the raptors to chase him. And I think a position on a rebuilding raptors squad could benefit his career as well. Rumours reported Pacers but why go where Hibbert plays big minutes? Colangelo loves first round picks and i think this one makes good sense. Whatcha think? Thanks.
Blake J, Trenton
A: Sorry, I think it makes no sense whatsoever unless – if and when Oden can show any semblance of health – you can get him on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal. Even then, is he better than Bargnani? Or better than Valanciunas? Can’t say can we? So stick with what you’ve got.
Now, I feel terrible for the kid that his knees have betrayed him so much but there’s no indication it’ll ever be different. I wonder if he’ll play another NBA game ever.
Q: Hi Doug. How about some news on the Regend?
N B, Toronto
A: Not really much to report and I haven’t seen him in a while but he’s playing a few minutes each night, anywhere from eight to 15 or 16 and doing his usual good job of getting his team extra possessions. Oh, and he was fined $35,000 by the NBA Friday for making an obscene gesture during a game; something about a middle finger.
Other than that it’s same old, same old although I did hear this week that he’s looking for a new agent.
Q: Hi Doug. Any bounties in basketball or baseball that you have ever heard about?
Kevin M, Maple
A: Never, actually, at least not the NFL style.
Of course, we know that pitchers will throw at a guy and a guy will take a hard foul but that’s more to do with a specific game than any team-sanctioned “bounty” for taking someone out of a game.
Q: Why did they let Rasual Butler go? Seemed like it came out of the blue, and there wasn't much media coverage of it that I saw.
Graham V, Vancouver
A: There was enough media coverage because I pretty much chalked it up to “guy who can’t play, won’t.”
He was released mostly because he wasn’t playing and wouldn’t and they thought they’d give him a chance to see if he could catch on with some other team. That didn’t work out too well although he did have some sniffs, I’m told.
Q: Good Day Doug. I want to preface my question by saying I have been pleased with Andrea Bargnani's play when healthy this year. Obviously injuries have hampered his play a bit in his most recent return from calf woes.
The question is should I just accept him for what he is and realize he rebounds as well as I do now from staying on the stool just a bit too long in the evening?
I mean 5.7 rebounds a game for a PF is almost unheard of would you not agree?
Freddy W, Hespeler
A: If you stay on a stool a while and can get 5.7 rebounds in any league you play in, there are people you should be calling about employment.
Look, Andrea is never going to be an all-star rebounder, it’s not in his nature, it’s not in the way the team uses him, he’s ever going to average that many boards a game. I love it when people suggest he could be a “20 and 8” guy without taking into consideration that only 28 guys league right now average eight rebounds a game.
Sure, 5.7 is low but it is what it is and if you think it’s going to get significantly better, you’re doomed to be disappointed.
Q: Hi Doug. I read your recent blog piece where you talked a bit about the Miami Heat and it got me thinking that anything short of winning a championship would likely be considered a failure. Do you think that the Miami Heat would move one of the big 3 if the right person was available for a trade - Dwight Howard comes to mind as he will be a free agent next year I believe.
Monty M, Toronto
A: I don’t know that they would because it’s virtually impossible to get “fair value” but it wouldn’t surprise that if they fell short of a championship this year they might explore some things. And while I don’t presume to know Pat Riley’s thinking, I can’t imagine he’d want to known as they guy who traded either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade so …
But I think it’s a very long shot.
Q: Often one sees a coach call a time-out and initially it is indicated to be a 30 second time-out. After a few moments, it is announced that instead it will be a full time out. Other than the obvious difference in length of time, what is the difference? And why does this happen? Does the coach decide he needs to talk more than he originally planned? Does TV decide it needs to show Andrea eating pasta? Do grunts decide they need to work on their gamer? I don't recall ever seeing it change from a full time-out to a 30 second time-out, so I assume one can't do the reverse?
David H, Mississauga
A: It’s actually 20-second timeouts and I think I know the situations you’re talking about. At least I hope I do.
There are specific times in games when TV gets its timeout, the first stoppages under 6 and 3 minutes in the first and third quarters and the first stoppage under 9, 6 and 3 minutes in the second and fourth quarter. The first of each quarter is charged to the home team, the second to the visiting team; the third in the second and fourth are “officials timeouts.”
Each team also gets, as you know, one 20-second timeout per half, which can’t be carried over from one half to the other.
Teams, after baskets because they are not timeout stoppages, will call a 20-second timeout know full well that a full timeout is coming; that’s why you’ll see a team take a 20 and then have it turn into a full because it’s that time for a TV break.
Clear as mud, right?
Q: Logos. Is there such a thing as an official logo, recognized by the league? There's the claw in the middle of the ACC floor (and on uniforms, I believe) and outside the control of the team, a version of it is used, for instance, in box scores on the league website. However the cartoon dinosaur does persist in some places, such as on the ESPN website.
Eric H, Broad Cove
A: The little dinosaur is still the main logo that the league uses; the claw is a secondary one preferred by the team but, really, no one that I’ve spoken to around here really cares all that much.
Q: Thanks for the daily read! Best part of my morning every day! So, I read just now that you're saying Bosh should be cheered more than booed. I understand why you say that and I somewhat agree but my personal feelings about how he should be treated changed drastically when he left. I think the difference between what you feel about him and what the fans feel about him are simply the fact that they're fans and you are a professional who has to stay neutral. It's hard to expect the thousands of fans to see and understand what you see. From a fans perspective, he left Toronto high and dry and as much as you might believe that when he said he didn't know what he was going to do before his free agent tour of America began, a fan would call BS right from the start.
My question(s) is this, have you ever had the urge to let the fan inside you boo a player or team? Like really boo, boo. When was the last time you went to a sporting event you didn't have to work? Do wish you didn't have to keep your emotions in check and could just let loose and cheer, clap, scream, boo, cry, and dare I say, join a wave?
Thanks, and as always keep up the good work!
Julian H, Oakville
A: Actually, he didn’t leave Toronto high and dry at all. He could have simply walked, he and his agent worked it so it was a sign-and-trade (he actually took less salary than he could have) and Toronto was able to get James Johnson, among other things, in the cap space created in the sign-and-trade transaction. But that’s an old story not really worth getting into because nothing in pro sports is truly linear.
Anyway, I have never booed a game, player, team in my life, actually. As a kid, I’m sure I was disappointed when a team I supported lost but never had the over-riding passion to boo. The last game I went to and bought tickets? A couple of Jays games last year with Super Son and we enjoyed it for what it was, a good sporting event, a chance to hang out and a way to kill a few hours.