A matter of trust and some terrible cabbies
Remember way back in the first month or so of the season when things were going so horribly wrong for the HOTH and I wondered if there weren’t some trust issues between new teammates?
Well, now I’m wondering again and Dwane kind of brought up that point when we were chatting yesterday.
Not in a terrible way like they don’t trust each other and hate each other and will never get along; that’s simply not true.
No, it’s trusting in ball movement and the willingness to share.
There’s no doubt the offence has been more stagnant in the last month or so and lost amid discussion of defensive lapses the other night in Oakland was the fact they only had 16 assists.
That’s nowhere near good enough.
Dwane’s explanation was pretty simple.
“I think some of it is we were getting in the habit of throwing it to Rudy and watching Rudy – or DeMar – go to work and we can’t do that … We have to respect the other team’s ability to stop those two guys and when they send two guys to them, that means someone else is open, we have to start trusting the pass.
“I thought we trusted the pass more.
“We’ve been going through times where we don’t trust the pass and that we’re going to get it back. That’s what we have to do with this team. It’s learning to play with each other.”
It was always going to be a process and you can see snippets of good ball movement and player movement and cohesion at times, you just don’t see it enough.
That’s another task for the final 20 or so games of the regular season and another reason they need to stay with the regular rotation as much as possible.
It’s all well and good to say “play the kids” but if there’s work to be done with the grownups, that has to be done.
No, it is not at all my cup of tea but since there’s a joint called Cooperstown right behind the arena here, why not a little Alice?
This is a total and unequivocal jinx and we know my powers in that regard, right?
(Although I have still not been the least bit flu ridden so take that, germs!)
I don’t know if it was the timing or what but we left the hotel in San Francisco about 6:45 a.m. yesterday and were checked in and through security by 7:17 a.m.
Now, I know TSA will screw me over at least once on this trip by having only one of four lines open with dozens of people waiting and LAX has the potential to be horribly ugly but someone got something right in San Francisco.
And if my enemies at Pearson are reading this, I’d suggest you send some people with common sense out and about to learn how to manage lines and set up security checkpoints.
Oh, and then blow the damn airport up and start again, perchance seeking input from people who travel.
So we’re at practice and talking to Dwane about Amir (you can see it here if you’ve missed and I can’t believe you haven’t) and he mentions that he talked to him about putting Bargnani back in the starting lineup.
Did he have to?
“No I didn't. But I talked to him (Johnson) like I try to communicate with all our guys. You never know so you do it to make sure. You do it out of respect more than anything else. He's huge. He's the spirit of our team, kind of the fibre of our team and going forward, people talk about the core of this team, he's a big part of the core.”
Yep, that’s Phoenix. Not only can you barely find one with a search warrant, when you get one, it can be a harrowing thing.
Context to the first story: Downtown Phoenix is hardly “sprawling” because it’s about eight blocks big and right at the bottom of it are the ballpark and the arena.
Okay, we call the cab to get to practice, it arrives after about a 15-minute wait, we tell the guy we’re doing to the US Airways Centre and he says, “where?”
The arena. Downtown. Where the Suns play.
“Do you have an address?”
No. It’s the freaking arena. Big place. About 15 minutes from here.
“I think I know it.”
Get the address off the trusty iPhone and we get there.
Now, after a great pizza at Pizzeria Bianco (and if you don’t get there when you’re here, shame on you) we have to walk about seven blocks through desolate downtown before we stumble on a cab stand at a hotel.
Tell the guy where we want to go, he swears he knows it and by the time we figure out that he has no clue what side of our hotel the bar we want is on, he’s almost drilled a cyclist going across the street and leave a slight bend in the corner of my glasses frame when I hit the back of his seat as he stopped just short of killing a guy.
Gotta love Phoenix cabs.
Okay, the grandfather who was sitting three rows across from me at SFO before 8 a.m. Tuesday should probably have been USING HIS INSIDE VOICE when he was telling the two urchins he was minding how much they’d enjoy going to the opera.
As Things That Bug Me About People At Airports, loud talkers is most certainly in the top five.
WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU!
And seconds after I thought that, Gumby looks over and says: “Do you think that guy ever shuts up?”
Do you think the Champions League will apologize?