A somewhat predictable Saturday afternoon in Boston
The TD Garden is where Raptors go to die, it’s been forever thus and I don’t think anyone would have been too shocked at the result.
But the best thing about the NBA is there’s always another came that comes up quickly and forgetting the recent past is often the wisest course.
He’ll get it but …
Yes, Jonas Valanciunas is going to be a good one, you can just see it.
But one of the harshest lessons the young fellow is learning is when to be assertive and when not too and it’s costing him playing time.
His first two fouls Saturday – and I’ll give you that the second one might have been dubious – were committed 94 feet from the basket he was defending and that’s not good enough.
He needs to pick his spots more carefully when he decides to crash the offensive boards; it’s all well and good to give the effort, it’s not all well and good when that effort is obviously for naught.
Jonas is going to very good – he’s shown all kinds of promise at both ends of the court – but he’s also got to gain that invaluable experience that will make up for the vagaries of youth.
He hasn’t yet, but it’s only been nine games. And the first few minutes Saturday afternoon were a prime example.
What’d we say?
So, you look at this week – Orlando, Philly, Charlotte, Detroit – and you remember in the season preview when we said the season could come down to taking care of business against teams of equal or lesser talent.
Well, this is the first big week.
Never would we say “they’re supposed to win” because we all know that’s somewhat ridiculous given how hard it is to win a game on any given night but between today and next Friday, I think we’ll find out a few things about this group.
Another new look
I’m not sure how long it lasted – Super Son and I were into the natchos by then (hello, Jack Astor’s at Square One) – but the backcourt combination of Jose Calderon and John Lucas III kind of caught me by surprise.
I can see using two of the three point guards in short spurts when all three are available; I’m not sure you can massage the minutes well enough to keep them both fresh when there are only two.
I can understand it from the point of view that they probably needed to do a heat check with Lucas and see what he’d give you offensively (and he did give them some juice at moments) but I don’t imagine we’ll see a lot of that until Lowry gets back.
And a wee bit more?
Just a little, I have to get cleaned up and to the arena; these 1 p.m. starts are great in that you can write leisurely and decompress and still be home for the evening but they’re tough on the mornings.
So the latest issue of The New Yorker arrives, it’s a slow Saturday night and time to leaf through it because it’s always got some wonderful stuff in it.
And a nice long profile of Robert James Ritchie was really good.
Robert James Ritchie?
Yeah, Kid Rock.
And since he’s a close personal friend from that one halftime on the loading dock at the Palace of Auburn Hills, why not …
You know you’re up way too early on a Sunday when you walk Super Dog, decide you’re too lazy to actually make coffee and get to your favourite Starbucks (hello, Hurontario and Harborn) and it’s still closed!
Bit of a to-do before the big game this afternoon; I think the Raptors may finally officially announce the worst kept secret around the franchise and tell us what Jamaal Magloire’s actual title is.
He’s been around practice for about a week helping the coaches work with the big men and there will be – as we’ve said for weeks – some community role for him as well.
It’ll be cool to have a former player directly associated with the city working for the team; Jamaal’s highly regarded around town and he can do some very good work with the youth of the city while representing the team.
Good for him. And good for them.
Some Irregulars will know that summers are spent trying to teach Mighty Red Tigers and whatever other incarnation of the ball club we have each year.
It’s a gas, I think it’s an honourable thing to do and seeing kids be better baseball players in August than they were in May while trying to get them to understand they need to play for the guy sitting next to them is rather admirable, if I do say so myself.
Well, it’s family thing, actually.
The One And Only Brother-in-Law copped a rather significant award up in Ottawa last week and it needs to be recognized here.
Teaching kids – baseball, basketball, computers, music, pucks, whatever – is rewarding not only for them but for the guy doing it, too.
Besides, a coach’s meeting or six over the course of the winter or spring isn’t a bad way to kill a night.
I’m proud of my boy DC; we may have to raise a glass in celebration next weekend ‘cause I’m sure there’ll be some Grey Cup revelry going on.
This one was left over from the weekend – there are a couple of others we’ll touch on, too, as the week unfolds – so here you go:
Q: Hi Doug. What would Steve Nash said back when you were writing that story on him in training camp if you had told him that he would be reunited with Mike D’Antoni within a month?
Trevor B, Saskatoon
A: My best guess?
“What are you on? Crack?”
Yes, we’ll be here about 1 p.m. for the iGBT but I’m going to need continuous Argo updates, please. And once again, my big wish would be that the monitors on press row had access to other TV channels.
Maybe some day …