So, what’s new?
A bit of a night, wasn’t it?
We’ll stick with the usual format but be focused on the big deal, okay?
(Well, maybe four or five, depends on what kind of roll I get on)
An interesting dynamic
You know what I’m wondering a lot in all of this?
How Dwane’s going to work with what Bryan’s given him.
Now, I am not for a second suggesting there’s any kind of conflict there, they get along, they want the same thing, they have as solid a relationship today as they did the day Bryan hired Dwane.
We all know Dwane likes to coach with a defensive bent and with a rather controlled offence that will take its shot at an early shot in transition but one that he’d like to have that relies on a steady hand on the tiller if that doesn’t happen.
That doesn’t exist with the new group, I don’t think.
The Raptors are, as far as I can glean from what I’ve seen and heard, going to be far more high risk at both ends of the court than Dwane would like, I bet.
They will gamble on defence – and gambles seldom work – and they will be far more improvisational on offence. Kyle Lowry, who was very good in Atlanta, is not the precise, scripted kind of guard, at either end of the floor, that the coach prefers.
I don’t presume things will deteriorate at all between coach and players but I do think Dwane’s going to have to temper some of his expectations about his team and how that team is going to play.
There has to be more
Bryan told us after the game (and it’s in here somewhere) that he thinks more could be coming in the three weeks before the trade deadline.
And it has to.
I know he’ll continue to try and find a new home for Andrea Bargnani (and Bargnani went through shootaround on Wednesday and could be back in action on the weekend at the latest) but there has to be at least one other move.
There is no way they can keep going with just two point guards on the roster, especially given the fact Kyle’s been banged up more often than not this season (his back’s not quite 100 per cent now) and John Lucas III is not the answer as a full time backup, even though he looked okay on Wednesday night.
So that has to be Job 1 and with an open roster spot now, I’d expect the hole gets filled sooner rather than later.
Thin, thin, thin
Remember when depth was something that was going to be a tremendous help to this team?
Not so much now, is it?
Consider the knee woes of Mickael Pietrus and Linus Kleiza (I don’t now if either of them will play for a very, very long time) and the reluctance to use Aaron Gray (the last two games notwithstanding) and the vagaries of youth that make Terrence Ross Quincy Acy dicey propositions night to night, this is not a team that can go deep into the bench.
And that’s going to make health a significant issue as the rest of the season unfolds.
We interrupt the various rants for this. Just because.
Big football game down in NOLA, I hear?
Well, this dude’s got some NOLA connections and if you hear some Harry Connick Jr. in your day, it’s not a bad day.
A personal note
I think you all know this but there hasn’t been a nicer, more genuine, normal person to deal with on this roster in the 18 years I’ve been around than Jose Calderon.
He is just a good, good man; honest, friendly, respectful and he will be greatly missed.
He is an excellent NBA player regardless of the blinders so many of you wear; he plays hard every night, he turned himself into one of the best shooters to ever wear a Raptors uniform and his love for the franchise and the city cannot be understated.
Boss Davis? Dwane once said Ed was fooling people because he was the smartest kid in the class but didn’t want anyone to know it. He was a good and personable kid who never refused a request to chat and often had some solid insight to give.
The locker room is a worse place today than it was yesterday and since I spend a fair amount of time around this team – and, yes, it’s all about me – that’s too bad.
Stevie Boy sends this photo array along; dude does good work, no?
I understand at a high level the love and desire this franchise has had for Rudy Gay for years; Gay is now the second- or third-best small forward in franchise history before he’s even put on a jersey or taken part in a practice.
That was a steep price to pay, it really was. They are terribly thin in the frontcourt now and paper thin at point guard. Yes, Bryan suggests more moves are coming but we all know talk can be cheap and until something does come up, this is what it is.
I’m glad they didn’t give up either Ross or Valanciunas along with Calderon but I think they gave up too much.
It’s an okay deal at a steep price and until we see how this team performs over, say, the next month, I can’t suggest it’s a slam dunk.
In fact, it’s far from it but I’ll avoid kneejerk reactions and give it time.
Today? I think they might have fallen in love with a guy a few years ago and had some blinders on when it came to him and what they were willing to pay.
Today? I think they are vastly improved at one position and much weaker at two others and that’s not progress, that’s just change.
Unless Bryan has more moves up his sleeve – and moves for this year, not in the summer – this trade makes them different but not a whole lot better.
Oh, yeah: The refs.
Now, we all know I am far more supportive of NBA officials as many of you would like and I won’t rant about a call here and there because it’s often whining and not worth it.
But that being said, they blew the last Toronto possession like I’ve seldom seen a play blown. DeRozan got hammered – heck, I thought Anderson might have been hit on the scramble shot before DeRozan’s – and Dwane going off as he did won’t do anything except make him feel better, and a little less wealthy.
But what everyone has to realize is that Dwane finally snapped publicly not because he’s looking for calls, he was and is looking for fairness and he didn’t get it last night.
Couple of quick housekeeping issues.
The firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail is up and operational, I’m told. I can’t get access to it until the chipheads get at my machine tomorrow but I’ve missed hearing from some of you and hope there are all kinds of interesting missives there when I can look at them.
Oh, and it was odd not doing an IGBT, missed some of you. But it was necessary and we’ll be back tomorrow night.
And, finally, before I head to the airport to rush back and hopefully get to practice in time to get more reaction (it’s doubtful that Gay will get there in time to talk to us today), there is just one more question:
How is Delta going to screw me today?