Very cool restraint by you Raptors fans
After all, the NBA released its annual GMs pre-season poll – the one about who’ll win and why, who’s good now and will be good in the future and who the stars of the game truly are – and the HOTH were, well, basically snubbed.
Okay, maybe not.
But you’d have to look far and wide to find even a mention of anything Raptors and that kind of snub generally sets some of the masses aflame. It’s anti-Canadian! It’s a fraud perpetrated by the evil-doers in the American media! It’s David Stern telling everyone to ignore all things Canada! If Bryan hadn’t drafted all those Euros, they’d be loved everywhere!
(I mock because I love; honest)
The funny thing is, I’m kind of surprised there was any mention of anything to do with the Raptors.
And the fact most of them had to do with guys who’d never played a single NBA game – Kyle Lowry as the most under-rated acquisition of the summer was the only one to do with a “veteran” – isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The GMs, or at least a few of them, think Jonas Valanciunas would be the European player most likely to have a breakout season, they like the athleticism of Terry Ross and Quincy Acy and Ross got a vote for rookie who might be a sleeper this year.
Not bad, I guess, when the future is being taken into consideration and, really, not that big an indictment of the holdover players. After all, four straight years of missing the playoffs – and not really being in the race late in any of those seasons – will knock down a team’s profile a peg or two.
But, in reality, it’s all guesswork, although I suppose the poll does give a glimpse into the thinking of rival GMs if, in fact, they actually did the voting and didn’t pass off the chore to minions.
And in that vein, one thing really caught my eye:
The majority of voters would rather now have Kevin Durant rather than Kobe Bryant take the shot with the game on the line. That caught me totally off guard.
Other than that, not sure there’s much to argue about any of the picks but you know what I want to see next year?
A poll of the worsts. Worst defensive player, high draft pick who’ll have no discernible impact, player you’d least like to see with the ball in their hands and the game’s on the line.
They keep the results of this one anonymous, why not go that way and we’ll really see what GMs think.
How much fun would that be?
Oh well, we’re here, they played this the other night at the game and I cannot get it out of my freaking head.
Someone help me, I’m not a big Randy Newman fan.
Hang on a second.
It’s Fashion Week back there?
And they’ve conveniently found a way for me to be away until Saturday afternoon?
I smell a rat.
So, how’d the lads look last night?
The report I got from various spies, insiders and know-it-alls was that Lowry was solid down the stretch, Valanciunas was a factor even if the stats didn’t show it and it was a rather tidy win.
And I would strongly suggest that since we’ve seen Lowry, DeRozan Fields, Bargnani and Valanciunas on such a regular basis, there’s no reason to think that’s not going to be the starting lineup on opening night.
But the one thing I did hear that continues to be troubling is that they committed 19 turnovers and if that kind of shoddy ball-handling continues, two things are going to happen:
Dwane is going to explode into little bits and nobody wants that.
They are going to get absolutely drilled some nights.
Remind me the next time someone asks about locker room opulence in the NBA that the Lakers – as big, successful, rich and powerful as they are – are far down the list in the space their players get at the Staples Center.
Now, the back parts, where the prying eyes from the media are gouged out of heads should they inadvertently see them, might be gorgeous and well appointed and as you’d think a Laker thing would be.
The locker room where we get to work?
Relatively tiny, not as big as the Raptors digs and decidedly pedestrian.
Do you think it’s a good thing when the menu says “Cajun blackened fish” and you ask the server what kind of fish it might be and he says:
“I’m not sure. But it’s good.”
No, not a good thing at all.
Yeah, okay, so the Lakers have a smallish locker room. What makes it worse is the crazy amount of media around this team.
I get that the 50 or 60 folks in the locker room Sunday might have been there primarily because it was Dwight Howard’s first game (he looks pretty good, the Lakers are going to be phenomenal, by the way) but 40 or so folks at practice on Monday was a bit much.
I thought there were, and are, too many folks around the HOTH on a usual day; if this is the norm out here, I have no idea how anyone gets any legit work done.
The biggest flaw in our industry is that we all play follow the leader too much, we have too many people wasting time going over what happened last night instead of what’s going to happen tomorrow and the bigger the crowd, the harder it is to get something interesting.
Good luck to ‘em out here.
For real, do not get used to this stuff being up at this time, the second night out west is always the worst for me, sleep-wise. And, besides, things will get back to normal with me having to work at night very soon.
Oh yeah, my man Dan did a bang-up job; and I'm sorry I've seen the end of the Jerel McNeal-Chris Wright eras.