One's done, one comes back and the selections are in
Pardon the intrusion but this is being written by The Ghost Grunt; figured we’d give one to you from the proper perspective.
The Ghost stands over here instead of over there and asks this question instead of that question and, in a perfect world, is the perfect Grunt.
End of days?
If you’ve thought you’d seen the end of Linas Kleiza this year, turns out you might be right.
In a little chat before the game, he told he’s been told by the coaching staff that he’s not going to get in a game between now and the end of the season.
Sure, he wants to play -- “I’m healthy and ready to go” – is how he put it but he also understands. And he’s not at all going to rock the boat.
“This organization and the franchise have been great. They let me get healthy with no pressure. I understand what’s going on.”
Kleiza’s next action is likely to be at the European championships for Lithuania this fall in Slovenia. Whether he’s back with Toronto next season – he’s got two years left on his deal – is something Bryan has to decide this summer.
Hang on. Slovenia. Eurobasket. Me, Rasho and Jonas?
Boss? You there?
Not end of days
Not entirely sure why but the decision to put Mickael Pietrus in a game for the first time for eons was premeditated, Dwane told us after the game.
“We wanted to give Mickael a look, that was on purpose to give him a look out of our typical rotation but, again, the rotation had nothing to do with the competitive level in the first half.”
Now, I don’t quite get it – it’s not like Pietrus is part of any long-term plans and just over three minutes of action is hardly a way for someone to prove himself but, what the heck, it’s not my decision to make.
And Dwane’s right, his sudden appearance had nothing to do with Toronto’s complete second quarter capitulation.
Seeing a bit more
Now, it’s not like another point guard who is from Spain or something was out there running stuff but we did see far more high screen-roll stuff last night than we have in a very long time.
Specifically with Valanciunas, who had one of his best games in some time.
One thing though: I think Jonas has to learn to set the screen – and the point guard has to set him up to set the screen – a bit closer to the basket.
A couple of times, I remember one with Telfair near the end of the third quarter, he was so far from the basket the defence had all kinds of time to react to his roll.
But it was a good thing to see.
Just a wee bit, they’ll be calling my flight soon.
All right, Canada Music Week, right?
So let’s go back a bit and a question:
Who do you prefer?
Mock to your heart’s content.
Sitting around yesterday morning and partially being urged by Tall Foreheads who’d prefer I’d be held up to ridicule, got one of those bracket things filled out.
It’s here, please go gentle with the comments and know that there is a little bit of method to my Madness.
And, besides, why not pick Michigan State, maybe it was the Mo Pete influence from last week.
Oh, and the more has to include the first mail call of the week, it’s pretty empty over at firstname.lastname@example.org and you know how I love to hear from you.
You know what?
I’m thinking Canada Basketball got it dead right by hiring Lisa Thomaidis to replace Allison McNeill as the head coach of the women’s senior team.
Sure, they could have gone and hired some sexy European name, a man or woman with some big reputation in the FIBA game or they could have probably found some NCAA coach or WNBA assistant who wanted to make her or his name on the international stage on the backs of the Canadian program.
But if we learned anything in the decade that Allison was at the helm, it’s that there is a need for a consistent message from the top of the program and there really needs to be some familiarity in the organization.
Look at Thomaidis’s bona fides in this little story?
CIS coach of the year, a decade of working with the national team; she was a player in both the CIS and Europe and I’d say those credentials stack up with any of the other applicants. And would be far, far better than some.
Now, it’s not going to be an easy job – I don’t know how many of the women from the London Olympics team want to go four more years – but there is a tremendous group coming up behind them that’s been through a handful of Canada Basketball developmental and junior programs, players that Thomaidis is familiar with.
Solid hire, all around.
Man, if I didn’t have a friend or two in Cleveland, I would be full of glee at what LeBron James did to the Cavs last night.
And specifically Dan Gilbert.
Now, I detested the way in which James left Cleveland – The Decision was one of the most ill-advised PR moves in the history of PR but the way Gilbert reacted was equally embarrassing.
And for him to be showing even any kind of olive branch to James – who can become a free agent again after next season and whose return to Cleveland is being whispered about – makes me sick.
Wish I could have seen Gilbert’s face every time James hit a three-pointer.
I bet it was priceless.
Okay, if USAir, Air Canada and LaGuardia don’t screw me up -- yeah, like that trifecta is going to come in – should be on the ground in time to see the first March Madness game.
And, yes, it will bore me.