They keep taking steps in the right direction
You think these guys aren’t aware of what’s going on?
I sidle up to DeMar after the game while someone else is doing a scrum and about the first thing he says is:
“How’s Milwaukee doing?”
And, no, he was not checking up on his buddy Brandon Jennings.
Yeah, they know what’s happening just above them in the Eastern Conference standings and at least a little bit of scoreboard watching is going on.
Getting in the way
I lost count sometime in the second half – at one point I was gouging out my eyes for having to watch parts of the game and that could be why – but one of the more impressive things the Raptors did last was take charges.
I believe there were three in the first quarter alone and that’s a small signal that the defence is starting to improve.
At least a couple of them were weak side help defenders sliding over into the paint to take charges, exactly the kind of help they’ve been lacking at times.
Now, the Wizards in no way, shape or form should be considered a good basketball team, especially last night, but the way the Raptors played defence had to please Dwane Casey.
He knows the team will score enough to win most games (I think the way Kyle put it was: “We can score a boatload of points”) but the success or failure of this stretch run will be determined by how they defend.
The early closer
Yes, we all know that Rudy Gay is going to have the ball in his hands in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, of that there can be no doubt.
But there will be nights when he’s got a second defender or something like that and the job’s going back to DeMar DeRozan.
He practiced – kind of, in a non-serious way – last night.
It doesn’t mean anything except it was fun to watch but DeRozan hit mid-from about 15 feet with less than a second left in the first quarter, a 20-foot turnaround with less than two seconds to go in the second quarter and then made one of two free throws with a second left in the third quarter.
But you have to admit it’s a trend worth mentioning on a night when the game was so crappy.
How bush league was that?
I understand technical difficulties come up and that there’s nothing you can do about it most of the time. But I also understand that this is the NBA and the Verizon Center is a big-league establishment and the fact they couldn’t get the scoreboard or basket stanchion clocks working all night is shameful.
I don’t have the technical knowledge but they knew at least 90 minutes before the game – and probably three or four hours before the game – that the clocks weren’t working. How could they not fix it? The floor-level shotclocks looked like something out of the ’70s, no clock anywhere for any player or coach to see was troubling, and a bit confusing to DeMar DeRozan at times.
“I felt like I was in high school, it certainly was a challenge. At some point in the game, I think we got a shot clock violation and I couldn’t even find the shot clock.”
More? There’s always room for more.
So I heard this songster, Wale, a friend of Rudy Gay, was up to some zaniness with the Raptors TV broadcasters during the game, trying to get at them after they made some crack that Wale’s no Drake?
(I cannot believe I just named Wale and Drake in one sentence; am I the coolest guy ever or what? And I bet I could pick Drake out of a lineup and I’ve heard some of his stuff and it’s not bad)
Anyway, while this is going on, all I’m thinking is Matt should have turned the tables on Mr. Wale and sung him a wee ditty.
Given what was going on back in Toronto, I’d have suggested this would have been appropriate.
Anyone go see Bon Jovi? How was it.
Here's one for you:
Remember the night Bon Jovi was sitting next to Larry Tanenbaum at the game in Toronto? Well, the last time we were in Brooklyn and there's Larry and he's sitting with a couple of people I'm not familiar with and when I ask, I'm told one of the guys is a business advisor or something to Bon Jovi and the warbler himself was supposed to be t here but bailed at last minute.
Wonder what they might be cooking up.
Yeah, we need to start the mail, please.
And I’m thinking an Andrea-free mailbag would be nice; after all, the kid wasn’t too bad last night.
Oh, and remember that Thursday’s the trade deadline so any roster questions should probably wait.
No, there is no trade chatter involving the HOTH going on.
(Just felt compelled to say that to sooth some minds)
For sure. See you then, Air Canada willing.
First trip since the long one out west where I had to check a bag; so far, so good.
Yeah, of all the things I’ve learned over the years is that I can get five days and two games into a carry-on, but with three nights of events in Houston, a game here and seven days away, checking became necessary.
And, in the way I can reverse jinx just about anything, I guarantee my flight will be on time and my bag will be the first one up the chute at Pearson.
So, baseball games Saturday?
Can’t wait to at least see one if for no other reason than to see green grass, sun and guys playing.
No, spring training really doesn’t mean anything – it’s about 10 days or two weeks too long, too – but won’t you at least pay a bit of attention to the first highlights?
I know I will.