A dog of a game but that's going to happen sometimes
Yeah, I know it’s late but look at it this way: It’s five days into the new year and the resolution to get at least a little bit more rest is still alive.
Anyway, that was a stinker, right?
Bad game, bad play, never in doubt, Cousins was incredible and the locals got drilled.
It’s happened before, it’ll happen again. Big whoop. Spend a little time figuring out what went wrong and move on. There’s 59 more to go.
Had to happen
With two bigs, you had to figure it was only a matter of time before size, or lack thereof, finally caught up to them, right?
Yes, you can get away with Alan Anderson or Landry Fields as your fourth big against a lot of teams in the league but it’s obvious the Kings are not one of them.
Cousins, Thompson, Robinson and even the not tall but thick James Johnson did pretty much whatever they wanted to do all night.
Toss in the foul trouble that turned it into the worst night Amir Johnson’s had in maybe a full season and that made it even worse.
So, yes, they could have used Jonas Valanciunas for his size and six fouls and, yes, they could have used Andrea Bargnani for his size, six fouls (rip all you want but we’ve seen he’s not a bad one-on-one post defender) and his ability to draw bigs away from the basket to guard him.
But the night was an aberration, at least of late. Aaron Gray got in foul trouble, Johnson got in foul trouble, Quincy Acy tries but he’s over-matched and thing that worked so well for so many games – a small, somewhat unorthodox lineup – was ineffective.
It’ll be that way every now and then until they get a full complement of big men but that’s not likely to be until February.
Do not panic. Again.
It was, simply, one of those nights.
Bad matchup, a great player on the other team having an other-worldly night, couldn’t make a shot, couldn’t get a shot, played listless.
It’s going to happen.
And it’s going to happen again in the next 49 games, I promise you.
The two things everyone’s clamouring for when it comes to the lineup – and some of you were mighty impatient last as the chance at a 53-game winning streak to end the season vanished – don’t work.
You can’t take Aaron Gray out of the lineup, you need the 10 or 12 minutes he gives you to save wear and tear and fouls and minutes on Amir Johnson and Ed Davis.
You can’t take Mickael Pietrus out of the starting lineup because you need the two logical replacements – Landry Fields and Alan Anderson – to plug holes other places. Maybe – just maybe – you do Fields for Pietrus one day next week and find another way to massage minutes but this is going to be a month of minutes management and buying time until Valanciunas and Bargnani are back.
One of those nights, redux
So we laud DeMar DeRozan one day for his work and work ethic and the way he’s been playing and he goes out and lays a 3-for-11 egg with just 14 points (saved by an 8-for-10 night at the line).
He looked, like the all did, a split second slow, a second or two hesitant to move the ball and just out of sorts.
The one sign things weren’t working, and I hope you noticed, was the number of times they found themselves scurrying around to get up a shot as the 24-second clock got ready to expire.
Had to be a dozen, maybe more, and that’s because too many guys dribbled too long and too often and I know that’s a point Dwane is going to make rather forcefully today.
A wee bit more before I get into the day.
Okay, we called for The Picket Fence play and they never ran it, the bums.
But a lot of the IGBT Irregulars knew what it was and that made me proud.
And there is no question that Hoosiers is the best basketball movie ever made; it cannot be disputed, I’m afraid.
Sure, I giggled at Space Jam and Basketball Diaries was really good (the movie, not my piece from the London Olympics) and I’ll put Glory Road and Rebound (the Earl Manigault story) up there but, no, Hoosiers is and forever will be No. 1.
My day? It’ll involved a bit of sitting around and sitting around is boring with nothing to do. A lot of the mail’s been answered but there’s room for a bit more.
Okay, if this story I see about Lance Armstrong possibly coming clean and admitting he cheated is right, it will send off paroxysms of laughter around here.
Yes, we are a forgiving society and have so often given athletes and politicians and whoever a second chance when they’ve made mea culpas and admitted mistakes but, really.
How hollow is this going to ring and, yes, a lot of the ones we hear that cause forgiveness are fake but, wow, this guy?
If stories are to believed, and there are too many of them from too many different people, not only did Armstrong spend years vehemently denying what he might now may admit but he also spent those years trying to ruin the lives of so many people casting accusations that are now known to be true.
Look, the Livestrong organization does great work, money has been raised for cancer research was important (although if you have time to read this tome you may come to think differently) and he was a compelling figure in the sports world.
But the attacks on those who dared to question him, the vehemence with which he went after those people, the pain and hurt he caused while trying to protect a series of systematic lies just irks me no end.
We, as I said, can be forgiving of those who apologize and that is a good thing.
But at some point, maybe some need to say, “No, we don’t accept your apology or explanation. Go away.”