Bad break, bad game and an election. That's some night
No, I don’t know how Lowry is; I don’t know if or how long he’ll be out, we won’t likely get word until mid-afternoon Dallas time and maybe not until we get to the arena about 5 p.m. eastern time.
I’ll make calls to the appropriate people when I can but I’m betting there are x-rays or other diagnostic tests in his immediate future and I fully expect to be told it’s a right ankle sprain and he’s day-to-day.
Trust me, when I hear something, I’ll let you know.
(And if that’s not a shameful plug for more twitter followers, I don’t know what is).
The kid’s big night
No, there was precious little to think fondly off after that beating.
Dwane made some very salient points after the game about them not being ready to play and not having any sense of resiliency and mental resolve.
But Valanciunas wasn’t bad, even before the eight minutes of garbage time at the end. Sure, Durant posterized him with a dunk – it’s happened to far better players than Jonas and will undoubtedly happen to others in the future – but the kid did play hard and compete and it was his best game since the first one.
He hasn’t truly arrived, that’s going to take up to half a season, I’m sure, but he’s on the right path.
And now the bad part
As we’ve mentioned many times before, the virtue Dwane Casey may appreciate more than any other is toughness. He wants men, he wants guys who are hard-assed and hard-hearted on the basketball court. He wants, to steal a term of endearment from my man Jack Armstrong, players with some sandpaper.
He sure didn’t get it last night and the post-game disappointment was telling.
“This is a man’s league, nobody’s going to feel sorry for you, if they get you down they’re going to put their foot on your throat. We have to have that fire, come out, have fun competing. First thing that goes wrong, our heads drop, we get down on ourselves and boom, that’s the game.”
It is permanent? Nah. But it better not become consistent.
A first glimpse
Didn’t see it too often but the zone defence made its debut in the second half last night.
I knew they’d been working on it – it was a way to use both Lowry and Calderon even against bigger backcourts – and I would suspect we’ll see a wee bit more of it now if Lowry misses even a game or two.
With all the focus they put on offence in camp and integrating three new starters into the defensive system, there wasn’t a lot of time in the pre-season for all the work that was needed.
Now, they’ve had it and the zone can be used to shake things up for a few possessions each night. It won’t become a staple, it will become something they can us.
Sure, we’ve got a little bit.
I don’t know why I knew this but I did know Stevie Ray Vaughan was from Dallas and I’m going to Dallas and I think Stevie Ray Vaughan was really cool.
You know one of the cool perks of the job?
Monuments and memorials.
Took a quick walk up to the federal building bomb memorial in Oklahoma City on Tuesday and once again was overwhelmed by it.
I remember the first time I saw it, has to be four or five years ago now, and a bunch of us walked up there with Sam Mitchell after a shootaround.
It was a moving experience then and it was a moving experience yesterday, the rows of faux chairs to symbolize the children so senselessly killed – part of the overall massacre – is incredibly touching and well done.
And heading to Dallas today evokes memories of the first time I saw the Texas school book depository – a long time back with a very good friend – and how powerful it was. Not quite as powerful as Oklahoma City but still quite something.
Toss in the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, and the subtly touching Holocaust memorial in Boston and this job can really be something sometime.
I don’t how many of you, if any, will get to those cities at any time but if you do, you should go; I consider it one of the great perks of the job.
Yeah, I suppose I could have moved the IGBT over to twitter last night (I’m @smithraps if you’re so inclined) but the thing that makes it unique is the interactive nature. I’m not sure anyone wants – or needs – to read a series of declarative statements; the fun of the gig is the other stuff we do there.
That said, it was a one-off phenomenon brought on by the election and all should be good tonight.
Speaking of you and I chatting, let’s get the mail started, shall we?
You’ll be glad you did.
Washington and Colorado voted to legalize marijuana.
But let me get this straight before I head off for a stupid 6 a.m. flight over to Dallas:
The United States:
Elected an openly gay woman senator from Wisconsin.
Passed laws to basically legalize marijuana in two states.
Re-elected an African-American president who showed more flaws in his four years than many thought he had.
Approved gay marriages in some states.
Repudiated disgusting Neanderthals who dared make rape some part of the election, as disgusting an act of politics as I can ever remember.
Yeah, you did okay, you zany Yanks.