Advice that no one wants to hear: Time to chill
Hadn’t seen one of those in quite some time, gotta say it was easier to write than a buzzer-beater and we know: It’s all about me, right?
Anyway, early flight to Memphis, can’t wait to see the comments when I get there.
Trade this guy, fire that guy, bench the other guy.
Let me ask a question of the collective minds who are cluttering up the comments and the in-box with “I’m never watching this team again” and “the season’s over” and “everyone’s got to go” stuff.
Where’d you think they’d be this year?
Mid-30s wins? Clawing at eighth? In the lottery?
Well, you may still be right.
Look, last night was bad but, truth be told, it was an aberration; we can all agree that they’ve been “in” most games, just unable to finish them for whatever reason.
So, they go in tank one night. Big whoop. It’s going to happen and, frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t already.
So, with 67 games to go, all the realistic goals are still achievable; they are better, I think we can all agree that Valanciunas and, lately, Ross look like keepers as rookies and that DeRozan hasn’t been spoiled by his contract extension and Lowry looks good. We can agree on that, right?
So three years into this process – which truly began the year after Bosh left – they are where they probably should be.
The kids will get better, the schedule will turn and they will get to where all sane-thinking people thought they would: Somewhere in that 7-10 spot in the East; with some win total in the 30s.
And if they’re not? Well they maybe it’s time to change things at the top but, whether you believe it or not, there are pieces there and the process is moving forward.
And if any of you can prove to me that you thought they’d be better than scraping into eighth, which is the next step in the process, I’ll give you credit for being overly-optimistic.
Unless you hit some lottery luck on the very best year, or unless you run franchises in Miami, L.A. or New York, it’s a long, tough slog. They are on that slog.
We all knew it, you knew it in your hearts. Remember that the next time panic sets in.
Ross’s big night
Yes, that was a breakout kind of night for the kid, who not only made shots and had dunks but he defended James Harden pretty well at times.
Does he need to play more? Maybe a bit but 35 minutes last night would be about tops.
Does he need to start? No way.
They need his energy and talents off the bench right now; I don’t know that anyone would feel comfortable with Dom McGuire energizing a second unit and Linas Kleiza is simply too hit and miss.
So, by all means play Ross more consistently, let him finish games but leave him as the first win off the bench. It’s the best use of personnel right now
Ross’s big dunks
They were great, weren’t they? Yes. All but one and I’m sure Dwane and the staff will let him know about it.
It was early the fourth quarter, there was a loose ball at midcourt and Ross picked it up with no Rocket between him and the basket.
However, John Lucas III was about 30 feet ahead of him, equally open, and instead of passing the ball and staying back on defence, Ross took off and finished a dunk with a Rocket in hot pursuit.
Trouble was, it left Toronto with only three defenders back and the only thing that saved them from giving up an easy transition break and a 5-on-3 was a Houston timeout.
The right play would have been to make the pass and play defence; it wouldn’t have been as sexy, but it would have been smarter.
Hey, remember when we gave you this from the Broadway show Memphis and how I mentioned that relatively unheard-of Broadway actors and actresses were something else?
Well, this, from the same show and man, it’s good no?
And if we hear anything like that post-game at the Beale Street Juke joint, it’ll be fine with me.
Mail? Let’s start.
Here’s what should happen.
Every major league baseball player who has played since 1975 should wake up today and make some large, personal financial contribution to whatever cancer society exists where they live because they wouldn’t be nearly as wealthy as they are today had it not been for Marvin Miller, who died yesterday of liver cancer.
Now, I don’t know what your feelings are towards unions in sports and what they’ve done but we wouldn’t be where we are today – in any sport – had Miller not done what he did in the 70s for major league baseball.
I think things may have swung a bit too far towards the players but that’s neither here nor there, Miller took baseball players out of virtual servitude and into an incredible era and his work carried over into other sports.
And players should tithe some of their salary in his name; they wouldn’t have the money if it wasn’t for him.
Casey Janssen had shoulder surgery?
Even when things are going good, things are going bad, aren’t they?
I know, they said he’ll be back for camp and no reason not to take them at their word but, man.