Tough loss, harsh lessons and, luckily, another one tonight
They were in control for about 41 minutes before it got away and, yeah, there’ll be nights when they’ll have six- or seven-minute lapses they can get away with, you can’t have them at the end.
But, luckily, no time to dwell on it; they’re already in Charlotte, I’ll be there later this morning and there’s another game tonight.
A quick dissection of Tuesday.
The next step
By all measure, DeMar DeRozan off to a solid start to the season, bigger and stronger and more willing to absorb contact and able to withstand it.
So what’s next?
Better court vision.
Teams are starting to send a second defender at him – the Sixers did it from the baseline when he was on the post a lot of last night – and since his ball-handling still needs some work, he’s got to recognize what’s coming more quickly and either move the ball rapidly or go the basket right off the bat, before the second guy get there.
Too many times he holds and waits and either dribbles himself into the double or is forced to take a long two fadeaway from the baseline, which might be the worst shot in the game.
It’ll come, I’d imagine, because he’s shown development in his game; but the sooner it comes, the better for all.
Time to relax a bit
Really, all this angst over Jonas Valanciunas not playing in the fourth quarter last night really is a tad misplaced.
There was no defensive matchup for him when the Sixers went small and he’s not nearly polished enough offensively to take advantage at the other end. Sure, he’s going to be good and he had a solid game against a more traditional lineup but, really, there wasn’t anywhere they could use him in those final few minutes. And, yes, Dwane was asked specifically about it.
“He could have come in in Amir’s situation (after Johnson fouled out) but I thought we needed some shooting on the floor with those small guys. We went with Andrea on the floor at the five, which sometimes we do.
“I thought JV did an excellent job in the first half when they were big … so I felt like Andrea was a better fit to go against Dorell Wright or Thaddeus Young.”
He’s right. That’ll change in the future when Jonas is more polished and confident offensively but, right now, that’s the way things need to be.
As expected, a tad rusty and a bit over-aggressive at moments and I’m not entirely sure the medical staff would have been happy with 30 minutes.
But just getting him back made everything seem a bit smoother and once he gets his legs fully back, we’ll be able to see what this team can do.
No clue what that will be but at least he takes all kinds of pressure off the backcourt rotation, as he did Tuesday night, and his presence is almost as important as his play.
Would hate to disappoint.
So, let’s see.
In the last week, Alex Anthopoulos has added two starting pitchers, a starting left-fielder, perhaps a whole new middle infield, a backup catcher and a manager.
Know what I don’t get?
The backlash to the John Gibbons announcement; it makes no sense and would seem to come with, as usual, no real connection to reality.
Did they want someone with major league experience? Yep. And they got a guy with four years of it.
Did they want someone players respected and who demanded accountability? Yep. And they got one.
Did they want someone who is connected in some way to the franchise but who also has other major league coaching experience? Yep. And they got him.
Yes, I realize he’s no Manny Acta or Jim Riggleman or any of the other retreads whose names were mentioned; but he’s also not some greenhorn thrown into a job that might be over his head.
If you look around at the criteria, rightly or wrongly, laid down by the general manager, it’s filled.
Every hire’s a gamble, that cannot be questioned; but this one is mitigated the experience and the familiarity.
It’s a good one, in my opinion.
No, they’re not from Charlotte but they are pretty good (I saw ‘em on some awards show and actually paid attention, which should tell you something because I remembered them) so …
Hey, let’s do mail.
I’m going to be very busy Thursday, Friday, Saturday with flights and Grey Cup stuff so let me maybe get started this afternoon.
If you don’t mind, that is.
Some kid took 108 shots and scored 138 points in 36 minutes of some NCAA Division III game last night?
Yeah, I’d love to be his teammate.
And the next time someone kills Andrea for 25 points on 27 shots, I’m going to say … “yeah, but it could be worse. Remember the college kid?”
They have these pre-game timing sheets for every game that break down the various episodes leading up to the game to very specific moments.
It’s usually 7:02 p.m. for one intro, maybe 7:04 p.m. for the next. There’s a 30-second time for the horn to blow the players off the court and then, generally, a 7:08-7:10 tip.
Saw something on the one before last night’s game I’d never seen: They had the 90-second love-in (you know, the hugs and kisses on the court) as a separate entity.
And, no, they didn’t call it the Love-In or Happy Time but they came up with a name that’s about perfect.
Well done, Philly.
Yeah, travelling on the busiest travel day of the year is bound to be fun and uneventful, right? With the four hours sleep I’m going to get and the game I have tonight, please excuse me if I’m a tad crabby in the IGBT.