No big numbers is really no big deal in a solid debut
Kid looked okay, didn’t he?
I was trying to figure out along with my boys Tim and Sid on the radio yesterday afternoon where the debut of Jonas Valanciunas fits in the history of the Raptors and we figure there was probably more interest in him than in anyone before.
Maybe Vince but Carter sat out a lockout and didn’t have a pre-season so that doesn’t really count; no one else created as much buzz, I don’t think.
Sure, it had a lot to do with the delay because of the injury and the proliferation of social media that makes everything a talking point for everyone but I don’t recall a more anticipated pre-season game maybe ever.
Unfair? Probably. Sign of the times? Unquestionably.
So how’d the kid do?
Just fine, I’d say.
Didn’t fill up the stats sheet but I don’t imagine he will very often this season. But he seems to make the right basketball play almost every time, he’s in the right spot at both ends of the floor, he’s active, quick, willing to bang and looked pretty comfortable.
Sure, there was the blip when he took the ball off the rim for a goaltending call that would have been a good play in Europe but he also set solid screens to get guards free and rolled hard and quickly to the basket after setting them that attracted enough attention to free Andrea Bargnani for open corner threes.
The kid’s going to be okay and I know there will be all kinds of expectations on him when he gets home but there seems to be nothing in his makeup to suggest that he’ll be at all fazed by them.
If that wasn’t the best finish to a night of baseball in a very, very, very long time, I don’t know what was.
We were courtside when Ibanez hit the game-tying homer in the ninth – a tad incredulous that they hit for ARod – but saw the extra-inning homer in the press lounge after writing. Gutsy call to hit for Rodriquez, as thrilling a finish as I can remember.
And then after a quick stop for a couple and some wings at Hoops (yeah, the Winter Diet is upon us) was back in the room watching the A’s go berserk with three in the ninth to beat the Tigers (I can only imagine the angst in Detroit today) to win that game.
It was a brilliant end to a night; man, you’ve got to love sports, don’t you?
And I’m sitting here about 7 a.m., finishing this missive off and Mike and Mike on ESPN are replaying the final two Ibanez at-bats with the television call and it’s being done by Dan Shulman and we need to repatriate the guy if at all possible.
Yeah, this is Bob Seger land in a lot of ways but …
Who doesn’t like a little Motown?
This would be near the top of the list, right?
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, not bad. Didn’t hear it at the game, or anything like it. Should have, though.
Yes, that was a pretty solid play to try and win the game at the buzzer for the Raptors.
A bunch of cuts off Bargani with the ball at about the elbow and a Jose three-pointer from the top.
Should be, we saw it about three or four times last season – they got a good shot every time, the one I remember best was in Utah when a shot tied the game at the buzzer, I believe – and it was entirely predictable.
I know, and you know, Dwane’s got some other last-season play calls in the bag of tricks and he broke into a rather sneaky smile when he was asked about it.
“We have a few (more), we can’t give them away at this time. We always get good looks on it … there’s counters to it so they’re ready. But again, we don’t have a lot of our offensive sets in.”
Best thing about it, by far?
That it was a three-pointer to win or lose; if they’d gone for two and the tie, there would have been some angry people around because pre-season overtime should not be allowed.
Settle it with free throws, or a sprint, a blind draw; anything but overtime. So, thanks Dwane.
And don’t forget there’s a game on Friday so anything to do with stuff like rotations or whatever might not be all the timely.
But you know I love to hear from you – and it was very nice to see some familiar names around the IGBT last night – so do you’re stuff.
We’re sitting in the lobby of the luxuriously appointed Auburn Hills Courtyard Marriott (three whole floors, just down the driveway from Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s, which are the only joints for lunch within possible distance) and who comes around the corner?
He’s now working as a scout for Orlando, was finishing a Chicago-Auburn Hills back-to-back and he’s getting a bit more use to how the other half of the NBA’s travelling circus lives during the season.
No complaints, though; that’s not his style at all.
The Things You See, Vol. 182,391,457
We’re staying on Opdyke Road just down from the Palace between the old Silverdome and the arena, an area we’ve frequented an awful lot over the course of 15, 16 years.
There’s this place on a corner, Harry’s Liquors, that’s been there forever and it’s a rather rough tumble joint. One floor, kind of like an old gas station building, bars on windows, hand-written signs for any manner of booze and a rather scary looking place, to tell you the truth.
(The only thing that would make the tableau more perfect would be in the joint next door was a gun shop, or a massage parlour)
Have never gone in, it would either confirm my suspicions about the seediness of it or all illusions would be gone if it was even close to nice inside and I don’t want to chance that.
We’re driving by yesterday and see a new sign that offers:
Two 40-ounce bottles of Bud for $6!
That’s 80 ounces of beer for six bucks?
Can you imagine the kind of crowd that deal would attract?
No, we didn’t go in.
Next time we’re here is for an off-night on the Thursday of American Thanksgiving.
Can’t wait to see what the specials are that day. A buck a bottle of Wild Turkey, perchance?