An important win for a variety of reasons
Hey, Cathal? Sorry.
Overtime one night, buzzer-beater the next night after a boring game-day drive from Miami to Orlando and I think you told me you had an early flight back.
Hope you got to the $1.50-a-pint-of-Yeungling pizza place on Semoran to decompress.
I owe you.
No, it wasn’t great
That was without doubt a clutch shot by DeRozan to win it at the buzzer, fading away in the left corner, high-arcing toss over two defenders that got nothing but net.
Clutch, no question.
I don’t know if it will imbue him with a sense of confidence – and maybe that’s why he’d been somewhat ordinary the past three or four games – but I will tell you this:
When he drifted to the corner, I guarantee there was some hemming and hawing on the bench; they’d much rather he’d stopped, spun and gone down the lane.
But it was a helluva shot and coming at the end of a 14-point quarter in a tight game under tough circumstances on the road, maybe just what he needed to really kickstart a run of good games.
After all the failings these guys have had late in games this year, it was kind of nice to see one go their way, even if it wasn’t exactly what they wanted.
Did you miss it?
A solid assessment
So, I’m stealing this line for Cathal’s gamer (yeah, I owe you more) but it’s Dwane and he hit the nail right on the head:
“Everybody’s questioned our toughness. Anybody who doesn’t feel like we’re in this to win it, they’re totally wrong.”
That was without a doubt a less mentally tough team would have spit up – and these guys may have folded a bit earlier in year, now that I think of it.
Tough emotional loss the night before, a rested opponent at home they’d beaten three times already this season (and it’s difficult to beat any team four times in one season) and they hung in.
I’m not all that big on day-to-day momentum, I don’t think it carries over a lot, games come and games go and you just go out and play.
But confidence is another thing entirely and hanging in when Orlando made that fourth quarter run, getting the lead back and then winning like that has to help, doesn’t it?
Yeah, the quotes from Amir Johnson (they’re down the bottom of Cathal’s gamer here) about yet another rolled ankle are troubling, for sure.
I can’t tell you how impressed I am with that kid’s ability and willingness to play through pain and he did it again last night.
I know his teammates notice and hopefully it gets in their heads a bit because if Johnson can go out there and fight through stuff, they should, too.
I’m not saying anyone needs to rush back – the medical people still have to clear them and their opinion is the one that counts – but if someone gets banged up in a game, they need to look down at Johnson and just keep playing.
More? There’s always room for more, right?
Robbie Burns Day?
Right, it is.
(You know he wrote Auld Lang Syne, right?)
And, no, haggis is not a good bar food.
But this is pretty good music and all the McAteer and Barr ancestors from Glasgow and Edinburgh will be looking down fondly on me today.
So, Super Son and I are on the stools about to tuck into a plate of delicious chili-covered nachos (hello, Jack Astor’s at Square One!) and watch the first half of the game when it strikes me:
Best bar food for watching sports?
Well, if I had my druthers, it’d go …
Lots of cheese fully melted (nothing worse than the bottom of the plate and congealed cheese) with beef or chili. No chicken and whoever thought of vegetable nachos doesn’t get the whole idea of bar food.
I prefer hot over mild, dry over saucy with as many drumsticks as you can get.
Stumpy used to order them dry with the sauce on the side and I guess I can live with that.
See above, only substitute potatoes for tortilla chips; the ones at The Kells in Portland were particularly good.
Pepperoni and hot sausage, please. If you have to do mushrooms, I can live with it.
I know, a tad boring.
But hot, fresh, lightly salted and peppered, not cold and taken from some bin where they’ve been sitting for 40 minutes.
Deep fried brown things
Mozzarella, jalapenos, mushrooms, doesn’t really matter, does it.
Veggies and dip
Fooled you, didn’t I?
Football picks this week, since I nailed all those playoff games?
AFC over NFC.
And if any of you dare to watch even a second of the NFL’s Pro Bowl, we’re going to have issues.
It is, without question, the worst “all-star” game of any professional sport. No debate.
Hmm, let’s see:
Me, East all-star reserves
Holiday, Irving, George, Noah, Chandler, West, Horford.
Coaches, East all-star reserves
Holiday, Irving, George, Noah, Chandler, Deng, Bosh.
Deng and Bosh over West and Horford? I guess, but I still like West better but can’t really argue.
Me, West all-star reserves
Westbrook, Harden, Aldridge, Duncan, Curry, Marc Gasol, Ibaka
Coaches, West all-star reserves
Westbrook, Harden, Aldridge, Duncan, Lee, Parker, Randolph.
Hmm. No Stephen Curry but David Lee? Okay, that’s a bit tough to take for me but Parker and Randolph over Gasol and Ibaka I can live with.
But even if I got some of them wrong, Nothin’ But Net’s awards are bang on, trust me.
We’re in the process of switching over our mail system for the weekly mail so I’m not sure what’s going to work when.
And I could use a few more questions because after the haircut today, there’s time to work.
The old usual way might still be operational (and you know how I love to hear from you) and supposedly a new e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) is up and running. I can’t access it yet but that should get worked out this morning.
Thanks for your patience.
One last little thing.
I think they absolutely nailed the Pelicans logo; it's got some weird tinge of voo-doo to it, don't you think?
Can't wait to get there next season and see the stuffed animal they come up with.