Might a subtle change be ahead
Guess that’s what it’ll have to be.
Funny what happens when an okay team plays a very good one that’s rested and playing at home?
At least it wasn’t another 12-point loss.
Anyway, sorry I’m late; figured 45 more minutes sleep to get it to a four-hour night was more important. Knew I could get this done on the layover in Houston.
No one’s saying it out loud, nor are they really hinting at it, but I can see Landry Fields back in the starting lineup in place of Mickael Pietrus by this time next week at the latest.
Nothing against Pietrus but he was always a stopgap and he really isn’t giving them anything at all in the scant few minutes he’s playing these days. And you figure on those wonky knees it’s just a matter of time before he needs a night or two off.
And the way Fields played in San Antonio – typically solid if unspectacular – why not let him start the first and third quarters and see what you get. Dwane was kind of impressed with Fields.
“I thought he picked us up in that one stretch where we were kind of lagging a little bit … he gave us great energy, ran the floor, loose balls. Playing out of position a little bit at the three-four but I was wanting to get him a little burn and to get him back into the fold.”
It’s not like Pietrus is some integral part of the future, or even an asset to be dealt. He was a last-gasp shot at plugging a hole when Anderson and Fields were hurt; now they’re healthy, why not use them?
So do you do it Friday in New Orleans or Saturday in Orlando? Or do you wait and let them get three more practices in and do it next Wednesday at home?
Setting them up
There weren’t too many memorable moments – in fact, there were none, really – but there was one Amir Johnson move I thought was interesting.
Came with about two minutes left in the third quarter when he got the ball about a metre behind the free throw line. Instead of unfurling his shot – which had been smooth most of the night – he drew a respectful defender (I think it was Duncan) to him and then drove by him for a layup.
It wasn’t a pump fake, per se, but Johnson’s shot had been effective enough that they got right up on him and if he can do that and get by his man, he becomes a far more dangerous offensive player.
Makes entire sense
Am sure you all saw the Casey statement that Calderon remains the starting point guard when Lowry returns and, really, it was a no-brained of a decision.
Yes, Lowry has skills the HOTH need - primarily his ability to get to the rim - but why in the world would Dwane mess up something that's going so well?
What I think we might see is less of Calderon and Lowry on the floor at the same time because those minutes when one of them is playing off the ball are now better spent with Terrence Ross on the court. They were reluctant to do that early in year because Ross had that "deer in the headlights" thing going on but that's dissipated a lot now.
No, Ross did not have his greatest game in San Antonio - there were a handful of defensive lapses - but he's shown enough.
Not sure how much more there is, the 4 a.m. wakeup call has me a wee bit tired but what the heck …
So the cabbie taking us back from the game was a de facto tour guide, a former cop turned film worker turned part-time cab driver (yeah, quite the career arc).
He drives us by the Cameo Theatre where they do live productions now; in the past it apparently was one of the homes of heavy metal music in Texas.
I’m a bit taken aback that groups like AC/DC or Guns N’ Roses would be popular in these parts and he says:
“They say there are three Gs in Texas: God, George Straight and Guns N’ Roses.”
How's this for technology.
(And you know me and technology, this is going to take some getting used to)
Thanks to Santa, I've got one of these nifty little iPad mini things and an app that let's me type far more comfortably on a packed plane.
So I'm jammed in this window seat for the quick flight over to Houston and I can work on this, e-mail it myself when we get to Houston and hopefully get it all done before that flight segment.
And I’m sure there are all kinds of other tricks with this thing that I can do; any advice greatly appreciated.
Hey, heard there was some snow back home?
In Canada. In late December! Go figure.
Did the army get to Toronto yet?
Caught up with the first Bowl game of the season in person. Our hotel in San Antonio was home to the Texas Longhorns, who’ll meet the Oregon State Beavers the AlamoBowl on the weekend.
Was a rather sedate group last night – didn’t see a single drunken fan in the hotel when we got back to decompress – and it’s a far cry from the most raucous group we’ve seen in person.
That was one year in Dallas and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a bunch of pig mask-wearing Arkansas Razorback fans snorting around the lobby of the old hotel we used to stay in by the old Reunion Arena.