Taking care of business in a businesslike manner
Well, that one was over quickly and painlessly, wasn’t it?
No real need to play the final quarter – hell, no real need to play the final three quarters with the low level of competition and, um, talent the Charlottes have.
But whatever …
They played it out, got it done in 2:04, was an easy one to write and now it’s time to move on.
Best. Break. Ever.
Early in the first quarter, a play that will warm the cockles of any coach in any league in any country at any time.
Amir Johnson rebounds a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist miss, doesn’t look anywhere but ahead and rifles an outlet pass to Jose Calderon in the middle of the floor.
On the wing, Landry Fields takes off a split second before Johnson corrals the ball, Calderon takes the outlet pass, doesn’t hesitate – or dribble even once – and launches a 45-foot pass to Fields, who is at least a step, maybe two, ahead of any Bobcat.
Fields catches the pass in stride, finishes with a dunk and you cannot draw up a quicker, more lethal break than that one.
Doesn’t happen very often but when it does, it’s fun to watch.
Speaking of Fields …
What he’s been giving them on the boards has been tremendous and it helps take all kinds of pressure off the big men when he’s out there at the small forward position.
He had 11 rebounds last night – his second 11-rebound game in a row – and it’s the way he gets them that impresses me most.
Fields certainly isn’t the most physically imposing basketball player on earth – or even on the team – but watch him fight for rebounds if you get a chance.
He’s very good at rebounding in traffic and he just has a sense of where to be when the shot goes up. That’s instinct you really can’t teach and if he keeps giving them that, it won’t matter if he doesn’t make a jump shot the rest of the season.
He will have done his job.
Solid help when needed
If you had thought they’d get a combined 25 minutes with 10 rebounds that began in the first half from the duo of Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, you are way smarter than anyone.
But it was just what they needed – and got thanks to a blistering start from the starters that allowed Dwane the luxury of buying some time – and those two guys did precisely what end-of-the-benchers need to do.
Be ready when called, play hard and within limitations and not hurt the team when they’re on the court.
Can’t imagine it’s going to be a regular thing but it was nice that it happened on an easy evening.
A wee bit more before I finally get into the day.
(This extra day-after-game rest is good most days but it takes some getting used to, always feel just a little bit behind).
Only because I tend to decompress after games in places that have lots of TVs I couldn't help but notice what was on the screen next to the one that had Lakers-Thunder on.
And l don't know about you but if it's The World against North America in curling you have to wonder how hard it is to make those teams. Helluva pool of players to find only 4 per team. There are four per team, right?
Now, I honestly can't remember who wrote this in the IGBT last night and that's too bad because I can't thank him or her.
But Quincy and Aaron are on the court and I'm told we need to have this here this morning.
Can't say I'm a big fan - can't really say I'm a fan at any level but ...
Yes, that is (M)Acy Gray.
Three-legged dog walks in the saloon, jumps up on a stool, bartender asks what he wants:
“I’m looking for the man that shot my pa.”
So Raptors practice starts at noon today in the arena and that's exactly the same time that Brian Burke is supposed to address the assembled masses in the media room at the arena.
Me? I’ll be far down the hall and up a ramp in an ante room off the Raptors locker room, actually.
Not sure I’m ready for the bombast, he’s already spoken to my paper as it turns out, and the crowd will be stifling.
Only in Toronto, I’d bet, will a handful of television networks carry live a news conference of a failed sports executive who was fired two days ago.
I’ll put the over and under at 11 on the number of TV cameras at the event and I’m willing to bet there are more than 50 reporter types hanging on every word.
As I mentioned, it’ll be live on, I’d guess, three or four television networks as well as at least two radio stations and the tweeting from reporters will be insane.
It is the perfect example of the media overkill that goes on these days, blanket coverage that’s far more about getting content that providing news.
Sure, I’ll listen a little bit – I presume it’ll be locked on every television in the building – but with the crush of people, it’ll be listening from afar.
And while I’m sitting around practice, perchance I’ll work on some mail for the morning.
Wanna help me out?
In case you were wondering, the football weekend will end with New England, Denver, Green Bay and Seattle still standing.