Things you haven't seen before and a great player leaves us
There really is no figuring these Raptors out, is there?
Solid against New York, good against Chicago, execrable against Orlando and then last night with two guys playing who probably didn’t know all their teammates names, they beat a pretty good Denver team pretty handily.
I know it’s one game and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but it was a pretty solid night, mostly from a coach who massaged a so-so roster masterfully.
And away we go …
We all know this team really doesn’t have a break-down offensive player – especially now that Leandro Barbosa has taken his leave – and that often leaves them in a pickle when the clock’s running down on quarters, halves and games.
They always have to run something a bit intricate, some kind of screen-roll stuff, weak-side picks, something that involves two or three players.
Last night, however, with something of an abomination of a group on the floor to end the third quarter – including a point guard who’d been in town less than 48 hours -- we saw something I don’t recall seeing:
A one-four flat clearout for DeMar DeRozan.
Didn’t work – DeRozan missed a jumper before Ed Davis got a steal and Ben Uzoh a game-tying bucket – but it was at least an indication of what they’d do in somewhat dire straits.
Maybe you didn’t read the game story all the way to the end and if you didn’t, don’t worry.
Dwane’s discussing the end the first half, when three fouls on Uzoh and the fear of a third foul on Calderon forced him to use Gary Forbes at the point and the coach shows his Canadiana and, I’m sure, endears himself even more to the masses.
And broke up the post-game media session as we kind of giggled ourselves out of the room.
“He’s not a point guard as he showed right before halftime. You talk about emotions, that was probably the most emotion I’ve had this year; (I) was yelling ‘one shot, one shot’ and he went off trying to discover Canada … He went up to Winnipeg and over to Halifax and then he went to the hole.”
That’s a guy who knows how to play to his audience.
Not sure what more we can say about the play of Forbes late except that it’s been very solid offensively and if they were planning to use the final 20 or so games of the season to find out what they, they must be a bit pleased.
Another double-double last night – his second in three games – and he’s far, far more effective off the ball than he is with it in his hands.
His shot’s more smooth, he gets to the glass to give them more rebounding at the shooting guard than they’ve had in years and he’s giving them every indication he might be able to handle a greater role next season.
His defence needs lots of work – he tends to lose his man quite easily chasing someone around screens – but that could come with time. What he’s got – a true scorer’s mentality and touch – you can’t teach and it’s been quite the find over last week and a half or so.
Of course, along with the usual plea for mail.
Not sure how many of you have heard of Earl Scruggs but you know his iconic song – at least those of you of a certain vintage certainly have – and he passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 88.
Best TV sitcom theme song ever?
Not sure about that although it’d be on the list, that’s for sure.
The Ballad Of Jed Clampett may not have been Earl’s best work – the guy revolutionized banjo playing – but it’s the one everyone knows.
Okay, so Super Son is now taller than I am and he just got his first job and he and the school band is off on a music trip to Vienna without any parents next month.
My job’s done with him, right?
Time to relax and live out my dotage?
The one thing I was impressed with about Jeremy Lin far more than his playing ability was how he handled himself during that whole Linsanity thing that’s thankfully all but dead.
He was calm and deferential and not at all dismissive of the silly questions; he knew who he was, where he was and he didn’t let anything go to his head. He was mature and grounded and quite impressive.
Well, he went up another notch yesterday.
You know the ESPN guy who was fired for that rather thoughtless overnight headline a month or so ago?
Well, Lin, holding no grudges, took the dude out for dinner the other night; a first-class move.
Kinda blew it by not putting this in here yesterday but remember how I was telling you about Natalie Achonwa and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA women’s Final Four?
She had 18 and 7 when Notre Dame drilled Maryland in the regional final and next up is Connecticut in the Final Four semis on Sunday in Denver.
People whose opinion on women’s basketball I respect tell me no one beats Baylor, which gets Stanford in the other semi.
Okay, there’ll be lots and lots of time for us to chat about TOD (Team Of Destiny, the Seamheads, the Blue Jays) as the season approaches – chatting that’ll probably start pretty soon – but you’ve got to love a team with a 45-year-old backup shortstop, don’t you?
We of That Certain Vintage are quite happy that Omar Vizquel won a job yesterday.
And, yes, we’ll get into this more, but did you notice that they’re 21-4 in Florida? Twenty-one and four!
I’m telling you, that’s a team worth watching.
Hang on a sec.
Baseball season’s already started?
Ichiro had four hits over in Japan yesterday?
How’d that happen?