DeRozan's showing he's serious about this chase
We’ve been talking all week about what we’re learning about the HOTH as they try to figure out this “we’ve got to get serious about challenging for the playoffs” thing and most of what we’ve learned hasn’t been good.
No self-respecting team loses at home to Washington and at Cleveland in these circumstances and it’s going to take a lot more mental fortitude and some important-game experience before they get it right.
And then there’s DeMar DeRozan.
I remember in Washington, in the locker room after the first game back from the all-star break, and he’s sitting there by himself at his locker bugging one of the staffers for minute-by-minute updates of the Milwaukee game that night.
He told me how much the playoffs meant to him and scoreboard-watching that early in the process told me a lot about how serious he was.
And he’s played like it since, hasn’t he?
He’s been team’s most consistent player (except for a 7-point blip against Memphis’s stifling defence) and he’s averaging about 22 points a game over the last seven.
But the most significant thing?
He’s playing hard all the time, both ends of the floor, logging big minutes and is doing what big-time players need to do: He’s trying to put his team on his back and telling everyone “I’ve got this.”
Now, he’s still got a ways to go and I think we can safely say, as we’ve been saying all along, that there will be important games in April but none in the post-season for him to experience.
But the way he’s played and the way he’s quietly become a leader on this team has to be reason for some semblance of optimism for the future.
He’s not doing anything openly demonstrative but he’s showing with his play a level of leadership, commitment and intensity that bodes well.
I’m still not sure they should have bid solely against themselves with that Halloween contract extension but this past couple of weeks is making that far easier to deal with.
No, we don’t do nearly enough Canadian university basketball and that’s a bit of a shame.
But if you’re around Toronto this weekend, the Ontario final four is at Ryerson’s great facility where the old Maple Leaf Gardens was (it truly is an excellent venue) and if you’re so compelled, I’d suggest stopping by to see a game.
My man Gumby gave me this name to listen to and he’s right, Rachel Sermanni can croon a wee bit.
Except for about a 40-mile stretch between Erie and Buffalo with some icy slush and rain, it was a totally uneventful drive back and the Smelly Ford Taurus behaved quite well as it cracked the 200,000 kilometre level.
Next time, though, I’m talking about the drive to Cleveland would one of you please slap me in the head and remind me of this one?
Auburn Hills is no issue, it’s only about 3 1-2 hours from Casa Doug, add on that extra hour for Cleveland and it’s just a too much.
Not sure how much mail there is to do but there’s always room for more and I have a feeling with the schedule the way it is (6 a.m. flight tomorrow, game tomorrow night, flight to San Francisco from Milwaukee on Sunday), we’re going to be all over the place with postings for a couple of days.
So send some (email@example.com) and I’ll get to when I can.
Hang on a sec.
They gave out the CFL’s coach of the award yesterday? In February? The Grey Cup was in November, wasn’t it?
Good on the Argo guy for winning (big week for Argo stuff, no) but, really, I don’t quite get it.
Maybe it’s to give the league a media boost in a dead time of the year for football but, come on, that’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it?
Hmm. Just heard it’s Beebs’s birthday; wonder how many teens are baking cakes and trying to figure out how to get them to him?
Seriously, is this ever going to end?
I see now there’s another group vowing to buy the Sacramento Kings, build a new downtown arena and keep the team out of the clutches of those who will move it to Seattle for next season.
It’s tiring and I’m dubious that they can pull it off and all that it’s really doing is toying with the emotions of fans in two cities.
Commissioner David Stern told us at the all-star break that there was going to be resolution in March most likely and it cannot come soon enough. I want to know where we’re traveling next year because, as we know …
Oh yeah, with that stupid early wakeup tomorrow and a long week just done and one ahead, I’m totally coasting tonight.
We’ll be back with an IGBT tomorrow from Milwaukee.