No, it wasn't great but at least it's over and time to move on
Oh, no, it wasn’t pretty at all.
A quick recap of the start of the post-game chat:
Grunt: That wasn’t a particularly tidy game.
Coach: Tidy? That’s a good word. Okay
Grunt: How about ugly?
Coach: Yeah that’s probably a better word.
But everything isn’t always going to be rainbows and puppies and lollypops; sometimes you play and move on.
Sounds like a good idea.
Getting some job security
Alan Anderson was a pretty good story a week ago; turns out he can help on the court, too.
Anderson made at least three plays I know the coaches were impressed with last night and there’s no reason to think they didn’t cement his employment for at least another 10 days.
First came at the third quarter buzzer when he beat the clock with a jumper to give the HOTH a comfy 10-point advantage; the second came on the first possession of the fourth quarter when he drained a three-pointer.
But the big one – and the one that was pointed out to me in a private post-game conversation – was when he went to the line with 19 seconds left and made two free throws to push a three-point lead to five, a nice little cushion.
Toss in some solid defence and Anderson’s doing exactly what you want from a guy on a 10-day deal: He’s not trying too hard or attempting to do too much; he’s, as they say, staying within himself, and that’s a surefire way to remain gainfully employed.
Stern talking to
About five minutes into the third quarter quarter, Andrea Bargnani absolutely forgets to box out – or even pay attention to – Jan Vesely, who follows a miss with an easy dunk to pull the Wizards within two.
The ball had barely been inbounded before Dwane’s got Ed Davis up to take Bargnani out and when Bargnani leaves the game, he’s stopped for a little chat with a rather chuffed head coach.
There were probably have a dozen occasions of that kind of lax Bargnani defence in the game and the Vesely dunk was like the last straw.
And true to his word, Casey hooked Bargnani far earlier than normal, left him on the bench for the final seven minutes of the third quarter and first three minutes of the fourth as some kind of harsh lesson in what is acceptable defensive behaviour.
How many times have we seen it?
Jose’s on a break, ahead of the pack but with defenders closing, and instead of going hard to the rim and seeing what happens, he looks for someone to dish the ball off to.
He found Amir with a tough little drop pass on a play late in the second quarter and while Amir dunked the ball and got everyone kind of excited, sometimes it’d be a bit wiser for Jose to keep going to the basket, draw some contact, and perhaps get an and-one.
Can’t say it’s trepidation – we’ve seen him initiate contact at the rim and go flying into the first row of the seats countless times – and it’s probably just a knee-jerk reaction to wanting to see a play with a big finish.
Whatever; sometimes it’s the layup that counts rather than making a somewhat dangerous pass that could lead to a turnover.
Sure, there’s more.
Hey, did you notice that Kansas and Kentucky are in tonight’s NCAA final?
Now, I’m not one to brag and I blew all kinds of stuff early but …
Yeah, I do have that as my NCAA final and if the Jayhawks win, I’m going all “nyah, nyah, nyan” on you in the morning.
And if they lose, well, if they lose I’ll probably not mention it at all.
We’ve talked a few times about sports, and sports events, that seem to have lost their lustre over the years and I bring this up for one very specific reason:
I hear The Rock won at Wrestlemania or something like that?
Now, Super Son has some marginal interest in it so I can slag it all together but there was a time when that was a spectacle not to be missed.
Heck, I can remember working at Another Toronto Paper back in the heyday and I’m sure we chartered an airplane one time to send a reporter and photographer to “cover” the event in, I believe, Jersey.
But as for an “event” it’s nowhere near where it was and while I don’t really care an awful lot, I’m sitting here kind of remembering Haystack Calhoun, Dory Funk Jr. The Shiek and the nefarious Abdullah Farouk, Tony Parisi, Tiger Jeet Singh, Fabulous Moolah and, of course, Captain Lou Albano.
And, really, you can’t think of Captain Lou Albano without thinking of Cyndi Lauper, can you?
Well, I can’t.
Presume you've all seen this but take a look at Gary Forbes from another angle.
I think Sunday was a perfect, high-profile example of the abomination of an NBA season we’re experiencing.
For reasons to do with travel – Heat was playing its third game in four days – or injury – Derrick Rose may end up missing a third of the regular season – two games that should have been good were dogs.
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t some awful games in a typical regular season but I’m sure that if things were normal, the Bulls, Thunder, Celtics and Heat would have combined to at least give fans one good game on a marquee Sunday afternoon.
Instead, it was about five hours of lopsided basketball and the regular season can’t get over with quickly enough for me because the post-season will afford teams legitimate rest, give them time to prepare and should – hopefully – be exponentially better.
Okay, so we’ve got Opening Day this week and The Masters on the weekend and if you’re at all interested in the pucks that season’s apparently drawing to a close and if this isn’t the best weekend of the sports year, there aren’t too many that are better.