It's ugly now but in the end, it's just another victory
There had to be times during that one on Friday night that you considered gouging your eyes out, wasn’t there? Sue felt like it courtside.
But it’ll look like a smooth, pretty victory in the history books, won’t it? Guess that’s all that matters.
Do wrong, make it right
As the game story indicates, the Raptors botched just about every significant offensive possession in the last four or five minutes – and one key defensive one.
And while I was watching them try their best to post up Alan Anderson against JJ Redick, I kind of figured that might not have been the best offensive plan. Seems it wasn’t, as Dwane told us after the game.
“We didn’t want to do that. Again, that was not executing down the stretch. We said let’s stay away from that; we wanted to use clock, space the floor, make them chase us, get to the free throw line.
“I had just told Jose to go do that and again, between the timeout and the court, there was a lost in translatlon moment.”
Maybe those basketball Gods who’d looked down so much on the HOTH early in the season were evening things up.
No, the Raptors didn’t “think” the game all that well at the end but they still made enough plays to win. They were worn down mentally and beaten up physically and mistakes are going to happen in those circumstances.
Teams playing well tend to get away with them.
Give DeMar DeRozan a little credit.
He was awful most of the night but he didn’t get discouraged and hang his head. He kept working.
And the fact he shot five of his seven free throws in the final quarter shows that. Aaron Afflalo was in his grill all night, giving him no space to operate and DeRozan – who has a tendency to shrink in those situations – didn’t.
The seven free throws he shot marked just the third time this month he’d been to the line that many times in a game.
Get used to small
We don’t know what’s up with Jonas Valanciunas – and it wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t find out until Christmas night since everyone’s scattering for the holidays – so it’s going to be time for a lot of small.
Yes, Dwane did invoke the names Aaron Gray and even Quincy Acy as possible fill-ins but the small lineup has worked well enough that I imagine he stays with it an awful lot.
What I’d do if I was him – and if you’re reading this, DC, feel free to borrow and credit – would be to start Gray and let him play about six minutes at the start of the game and the start of the third quarter and then get into your regular rotation with Amir the first guy off the bench and then maybe Kleiza for Davis a minute or so into the second quarter.
That’s the least disruptive and lets everything flow as close to normal as possible.
The rest? Quickly, sure.
You knew I was going to get to this, didn’t you?
Best. Carol. Ever.
Couple of stories to write, some major Christmas cleaning to do, a quick trip to Niagara Falls to make, some mail to do and the day’s getting pretty full.
Guess the mall will have to wait. They won’t be too busy tomorrow, will they?
Speaking of mail, I’ve got more than you can imagine but there’s always room for more.
Okay, if the two “must-see” movies at this time of year are It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas (and I will not entertain any discussion that suggests those are not the two best Christmas movies of all time) what else have you got?
There’s been a lot of chatter among my circle of friends that Elf needs to be in there (The First Lady Of The Beat was pretty adamant about it last night) and there are those with a darker bent on the holidays who gave me Bad Santa.
How about you?
Where does what rank?
I refuse to think the NCAA is being at all magnanimous in reducing the suspension of Myck Kabongo from a reported season to just 23 games.
I still say it’s an arbitrary evil organization that pays lip service to education while making billions of dollars off the backs of these kids.
And perhaps if the poobahs dragged themselves in the 1990s with respect to what kids need and can get and should have, these situations wouldn’t arise.
But they do, the NCAA’s somewhat selective enforcement works in wondrous ways but at least Kabongo can play a little bit in what could very well be his draft year.
It was 10 years ago today that Joe Strummer passed away.
Tough not to think of London Calling, isn’t it?