A rather inexplicable weekend, wasn't it? In a lot of ways
Well, that was some weekend, wasn’t it?
Unexpected wins, good games, solid performances from unlikely sources and I don’t really care what anyone says or thinks, winning games is far better than losing them.
And only five to go – four if you’re a fellow who’s going to chill in Miami today and wait for the lads to show up rather than sit through the nightcap of the two-day doubleheader.
Yet another reason …
To like Dwane Casey.
Yes, he’s a genuinely nice man and a very, very good basketball coach, of that there can be no question.
Yes, they should probably pick up his third-year option today after what’s happened so far this year but that’s a foregone conclusion and will unquestionably happen in the course of time.
But when the dude can come up with a baseball analogy discussing basketball strategy he goes way, way up, no?
We’re talking about the Raptors zone and how it befuddled the Hawks as much as it befuddled the Celtics and how it’s not something he thinks should be permanent.
“It’s kind of disguised, sometimes teams don’t know if it’s a man-to-man or a zone and it helps. You can’t win a championship with it but it’s a good thing to have in our pocket.”
This, lf course, after he dropped the baseball thing on us and I didn’t scratch my head but I bet a few others did.
“It’s an Eephus pitch.”
(Off to google, young 'uns)
James Johnson was in control and not too fancy and entirely effective and back to what he was in the middle of the season; he made six of eight shots, didn’t try to do too much and was solid defensively.
No, I have no idea why all of a sudden but he kind of summed up the weekend after the game.
“Our season has been up and down but we’re not just going to lay down each night. We still have pride, we’re still men, and this is our job.”
Ed Davis is, frankly, physically over-matched most nights. That’s not totally unexpected given his still-slight frame and his youth but saw something last night that may bode well for the future.
Yes, he was pushed around a wee bit by the bigger, stronger, far-less-fit Ivan Johnson of the Hawks but as the game went on, Davis’s confidence went up and he gave as good as he got.
It didn’t go unnoticed by his coach.
“They tried to put Ivan on him to body him up, Ed did a good job in the post of really being aggressive, paling with confidence, passing the ball and quarterbacking because his guy was going to trap.”
More? There’s always more.
Man, we missed a big day Sunday by not being here, didn’t we?
Check this out:
On April 15 …
The Titanic sunk.
Abraham Lincoln died.
Jackie Robinson made his debut.
Joey Ramone passed away.
And there’s nothing like a little Ramones to get the week started, is there?
I remember way back in 2000, as part of our millennium package, I was given the assignment of writing an essay – and I’m talking about a four- or eight-page many thousands of works – about the 100 years in sports.
Yes, a daunting task and we decided to break it down into four significant turning points and type about them. We settled on, as I recall, the emergence of women athletes, the evolution of television, the globalization of athletics and …
That’s how important and significant his arrival was, it totally changed the sporting landscape not only in North America but I would suggest the world, too.
And that’s why one of the best things major league baseball has ever done is get its players to all wear No. 42 on April 15 each year, to keep alive the memory of Robinson and what he did for the game, and the world.
I know there are kids – and young adults – out there who don’t know about Robinson, what he went through, what he did and the role he played in getting North American professional sports where it is today.
I’m hope some of them saw players wearing 42 yesterday and asked someone of a Certain Vintage what it was all about and that they learned something. That’s what those days are supposed to be about and kudos to baseball for doing it.
There is no comparison to Robinson in any other sport, really, because he was the first. He led the way for basketball and football and hockey and golf and everything else.
No, things are not perfect today by any means; there remain issues of race and discrimination on the games we watch and the society we live in; but Robinson did something to change that when it was at its worst and that cannot ever be forgotten.
And this? This is perfect.
The WNBA draft is this afternoon and I haven’t done a mock one yet.
How about the pucks, eh?
I have friends who only watch hockey during the Olympics and playoffs because that’s when there’s no fighting.
Now, I’m sure there’s flack to be caught for this but Sunday – in particular the Flyers-Penguins game I saw a wee bit of in a hotel room – was despicable.
I’m not sure if the worst was the Philly dude who cross-checked the guy under the chin and then punched him in the back of the head while he was lying prone on the ice; or the various guys who got beaten on after delivering entirely clean hits.
It’s a joke and why to very, very, very many people a prime reason the game will never truly catch on. It will be a nice regional sports league – Canada and the upper half of the United States – because the implicit tolerance of such ridiculousness by a league office that does nothing, really, to stem the tide of senseless violence sends a message that they don’t care an awful lot about what some people think.