Well, wasn’t that something?
Sure, teams get up early and leads disappear all the time, it’s part of the game; letting a four-point lead with nine seconds to go in the fourth quarter is, well, inexcusable and quite extraordinary.
Yes, this is one delightful team to cover sometimes; and overtime is a stress-inducing part of the gig. Surprised myself by getting the gamer in on time.
So DeMar can't throw the ball inbounds and has to blow the final timeout -- and everyone who wonders why they don't waste timeouts in second or third quarters instead of waiting for a TV timeout should realize now why they don't -- and then Jose has to throw an impossible pass at a bad angle to someone who's covered and everyone wants to blame someone.
Blame 'em all, especially the players.
You know what you do in those situations?
You get open any way possible. You run your man dead into a screen, you surreptitiously elbow someone in stomach to create space, you grab someone's jersey or shorts to get open, you push off.
You make a man's play. You do not let someone hold you, you do not slip a screen. It's Basketball 101 and it is not coaching, it is playing and those guys played too passively when force was called for.
Know the situation
Yes, there were all kinds of one-off mental lapses in that one to fill a “How Not To Play” book; here’s one you might have missed.
There are about 17 seconds left in the third quarter, Raptors are up one and have a last shot. Everyone on the court should have known that the Sixers had a foul to give and would take it at an appropriate time. If they didn’t know, they weren’t as aware as I was and that’s inconceivable because I was probably talking about fashion or Yuengling in the IGBT thing.
And this is not piling on because I don’t know what anyone else would have done but there is no way in the world that Kyle Lowry should have dribbled the clock down to about four seconds before starting his move because as soon as he went, he got grabbed with the foul the Sixers had to give and it left the Raptors with 1.4 seconds left to inbound the ball and get a shot off.
They didn’t score, of course, and they would have had a far better chance if Lowry had gone with eight seconds to go, got fouled with about six seconds left and they might have had a better look at the buzzer.
The next time you hear someone talk about “basketball plays” that’s precisely the kind of thing they’re talking about.
Sorry means …
Yes, the Raptors got another “oops, we blew it” note from the league over the non-shooting foul call at the end of Wednesday’s loss to Chicago.
Well, as Dwane put it in a chat before the game, mostly because he didn’t have a whole lot else he could say, at least it shows the complaint system works to some degree.
And if it ends up that enough teams show enough evidence that some specific referee is a serial incompetent, it could cost that ref playoff assignments and the money that goes with them.
But that’s about it and that’s not going to be made public so big whoop to the mea cupla – the second one – from the league.
More? A little bit sure.
Forget Jrue. You say Holiday in Philly, I say Billie.
Remember in last week’s mailbag, the question about Natalie Achonwa and the answer about how we’ve been writing about her for a while as the “next big thing” in Canadian women’s basketball?
Not surprisingly, the big story in the locals was Jrue Holiday after that gem of a game.
So between flying and trying to race to practice and writing something about something and a Mighty Red Tigers coaches meeting tonight, there might be time for mail.
Hey, remember the story yesterday about The Nicest Customs Lady ever?
Well, it got the memory going and pardon another story that has nothing to do with anything but this one’s kind of good, I think.
Stump and I are coming back from some long trip, we’re a bit blurry and probably tired and could very well have had a few the night before.
We’re in line at Canada Customs to get back in our native land, Stumpy’s already at the podium about 20 feet down to my left; I’m worn out and bit cranky and just ready to go home when I hear:
“Hey, Smitty! Smitty! Doug!”
It’s Stumpy and I acknowledge him with a nod, the Customs dude looks perplexed and Stump says, quite loudly:
“What city are we coming from?”
It’s Chicago, I kind of look grumpily and tell him that, he relays the information to the Customs guy by saying, “guess it’s Chicago” and the dude waves him on.
Yes, once a season gets going cities, days and the like all tend to blur together for all of us.
At least once in a four- or five-game trip, I will get back to the hotel after being out somewhere and have to head to the desk, hand my key to whoever’s there and ask: “What room am I in, I forget?”
I apologize in advance to the fans of these teams but I am virtually certain that San Francisco and New England will be the combatants in the Super Bowl two weeks hence.
Write it down, take it to the bank. Don’t take it to the bookie.