Making do, working out and, yes, more Rudy Gay!
That was kind of a fun game until it became a bit boring in the last 11 minutes, wasn’t it?
I could get to like watching that Golden State team a lot.
The Raptors? Well, as we mentioned in the game, they looked like they it some collective wall there with about 10 minutes left and hit it hard.
Anyway, as they say …
A move out of necessity
There’s lots to like about John Lucas III, he’s a good kid, quite personable, fun to watch and can make a bunch of shots in a row every now and then.
But I’m not sure how much Dwane likes using him as a point guard; the coach sees Lucas as more of a scoring guard who doesn’t have the greatest grasp on getting his team into its offence.
And that’s why we saw what we saw on a bunch of times in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter: Alan Anderson trying to facilitate the offence while Lucas played a bit off the ball.
It’s certainly not an optimum deployment of the players but something they just had to do to try and get things going again.
It didn’t work but it was the only option they had.
An odd scene
Not game-specific but a thing unfolds about 2 1-2 hours before the game these days that’s kind of interesting. And might provide a bit of hint about the timeline on a Jonas Valanciunas return.
He’s out there with assistant coach Eric Hughes and a couple of ballboys going through a drill that encompasses a lot of things. There’s a chair, Hughes puts a ball on the chair, Valanciunas takes a couple of steps, bends down to get the ball and takes about a 15-foot shot. He does it five times at each of the five “shooting stations” around the paint and then runs the stairs to the top of the lower bowl in the arena.
It’s a three-pronged drill, Hughes told me. They run the stairs – and shoot two free throws after each jog – to do some cardio work, which makes entire sense.
The chair serves two purposes:
By forcing him to reach down on the run to get each ball, it gives him a consistent shooting motion of bringing the ball up in one flow and – this is more precautionary than anything – they don’t want to pass him the ball to make sure nothing untoward happens to his finger with some awkward catch.
Not a big deal and nothing anyone sees but maybe that answers some questions about what he’s doing to get healthier.
Lost amid the result and the bad ending – and in the shock of Aaron Gray’s career scoring night – were DeMar DeRozan’s career-best nine assists.
It’s an aspect of his game – recognizing the different defence he sees and moving the ball quickly – that needed some work and he seems to be getting it.
He had back-to-back seven assist games down in Florida last week and now nine against Golden State and if he’s making that kind of contribution, it can’t be a bad thing at all and speaks to his overall development, as Dwane said after the game.
“When he comes off pin-downs, he’s got a big guy coming at him also. He’s getting basically double-teamed on a pindown so he’s doing a good job. What we have to do on the weak side is make those shots if he kicks it out.”
A bit more? Why not.
In this era of institutionalized security paranoia (a termed first coined by My Man Sheridan back in the early 2000s when we were considering investing in a firm that makes those wands), I believe I have now seen it all.
Did you know that patrons entering the Air Canada Centre must remove their hats before going in the door?
Not sure if they’re checking for bad hair-dos or teeny tiny pipe bombs or trying to catch the silly men who carry their concealed weapons precariously balanced on their heads but doesn’t it strike you as a bit much?
But it works, I guess. No one’s snuck any contraband into the arena by hiding in the coiffures. Way to go! I feel safer already.
You know I prefer my music of a certain age but someone should have told me about these folks before.
Heard ‘em last night and unlike the incessant bass and drum noise and indecipherable lyrics or wildly inappropriate sexual innuendo in videos, this is stuff I could actually pay a bit of attention.
And the name Of Monsters and Men kind of sticks, no?
Which Toronto centre wearing No. 34 had the best game: Aaron Gray last night or Hakeem Olajuwon at any point in is Toronto tenure.
(I’m joking. A bit)
Delta Airlines today to Atlanta; wonder what it’s like. Don’t think I’ve been on it more than once this season and it’s always an adventure trying something new.
It also goes out of Terminal 3 at Pearson which I would suggest is one of the weakest international departure areas at any airport anywhere in the world.
Tiny Customs hall, oddly laid out security area and a shocking lack of services (ie NO STARBUCKS) once you clear the x-ray machines.
I guess I’ve got to do this, although it’s definitely not going to become a habit.
Nothing new – at all – to the reports yesterday about discussions with Memphis about Rudy Gay, we’ve been writing they’ve had interest for, well, longer than I care to admit and, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, it continues to look – right now – less and less likely something gets done.
That could change, of course, but the price has always been too high, continues to be too high my spies tell me, and yesterday’s report was just a continuation of chatter that’s been around seemingly forever.
Stand down, folks.