No time for talk, bad breaks happen and you deal with 'em
The last thing anyone wants, or anyone connected with the HOTH should do, is wallow in any measure of self-pity about their lot in life at the moment.
It’s simply time to suck it up and go play. Play harder, play smarter, play better; it’s that simple because no one should pay much attention to any suggestion that the injuries to Kyle Lowry, Alan Anderson and Landry Fields are either an excuse or a crutch.
I know Dwane pretty well and I’m sure that’s the message he’ll deliver: No one wants to hear how bad things are, no one really cares, this is a man’s league and it’s time to man up.
That goes particularly for Andrea Bargnani, who has been a disappointment this year (“We’ve to got to find a way to get him going,” was how one insider put it the other night in Indy) but it’s also true for everyone else left standing.
This team was built for some depth, they were crowing about it at camp and now it’s time for that depth to be put to use, especially given that two of the three injured guys play on the wing.
But is losing them a horrendous blow?
I don’t think Dom McGuire and Terrence Ross are appreciably worse than the missing Anderson and Fields; that’s probably pretty close to a wash. Toss in Kleiza – and he got a maintenance day yesterday for a sore ankle – and I don’t know that they’re any the worse off.
Yes, Lowry’s a tough one to lose because of the trickle down effect it has. It means Jose Calderon has to handle the ball more and that’s going to wear him down a bit (there’s a big difference in playing 38 minutes at point guard in a game and playing 25 at the point and 13 at shooting guard) and no one’s sure whether John Lucas III is a point guard, a shooting guard or some Heat Check kind of hybrid who may or may not have “it” on any given night.
But all that’s neither here nor there, really. It’s not like the Celtics, Magic, Sixers, Bobcats or Pistons are going to take it easy on them in the next week; it’s not like the league is going postpone games because the roster is depleted.
It’s really simple:
They have to play better and more consistently. Sure, guys are hurt but no one wants to hear it.
And to their credit, no one connected with team is using the injuries as any kind of excuse; they know what they are and what’s ahead of them.
It’s not time to talk, it’s time to play.
Who says we don’t cover high school sports well enough?
In other news, the Grey Cup actually arrives in Toronto once every few years, imagine the football-loving Mayor of The Big City Next To Hazelville would be front and centre.
Oh, guess not.
Yeah, I’ll be in Philly on Monday night, probably renewing acquaintances with the good folks at The Palm but part of me wishes I could be back home.
Because that’s Neil Young night in Toronto and that’s one cat I might actually pay money to see.
I take great pride in saying I have neither read nor seen a single thing to do with Twilight and the news that the final movie is out today elicits nothing but yawns.
But you young’uns enjoy it, okay.
Say what you will about Brian Burke as a sports executive (he’s the Grand Poobah of the Pucks, I hear) but he’s got a social conscience and you cannot dispute the good he does for various charities around the city.
We know that Maple Leaf Sports is a great supporter of the Canadian armed forces, the companies foundation goes excellent work in the community and Burke gets in there with the people and helps out.
I’m told that last night, he and a bunch of other Toronto executives slept outside in sleeping bags to raise money and awareness for Covenant House, a private charity that supports homeless youth.
So bust on him all you will for whatever it is he does with the hockey team but all due credit for getting out in the community to help raise funds for worthy causes.
I will not gloat about Miguel Cabrera winning the AL MVP over Mike Trout yesterday because I do not want to take the wrath of the WAR guys and those of that ilk.
I will say I was a tad taken aback by the margin with which he won, I guess that strikes a bit of a blow for those who think advanced metrics are just part of the equation, not the deciding factor. A winning team helps just as much, I’d suggest.
I also don’t for a second believe there’s an age divide between those who would choose one over the other; it’s not like all old fogeys like me discount the in-depth stats and it’s not like all kids like you think numbers are the end all and be all in any kind of debate like this.
But that’s what’s great about things like this, isn’t it?
You can debate all you want, no one’s “right” and no one’s “wrong” and anything in sport that leads to fun conversations is a good thing. I’m not talking about conversations that begin with “you’re dead wrong and stupid, too” but conversations that are nice to have while sitting around a table somewhere.
It’ll be mail sometime tomorrow morning – I am soooo taking advantage of a chance to not set the alarm for 5 a.m. – so get the queries in now so I can stool sit and answer them this afternoon.
And since Not Grace is going to Boston, there's no IGBT Saturday (I'm planning on being somewhere on a stool watching the game somewhere cozy) but we'll be back Sunday.
Oh yeah, for those who wondered.
I see the Raptors rookies finally got cute little girly backpacks to carry around for the season.
Best one I recall was Garbo, who was about 40, with a Dora The Explorer bag in his rookie season. Yeah, that was odd.