Of good numbers, good golf and a WNBA note
And what are we thinking today?
Two. Four. Eight.
And then the real work begins, although I will say last week wasn’t bad week, all things considered.
Does it mean anything?
With their last two opponents locked into their playoff seeds and probably willing to give a handful of players a night off, there’s every chance at two HOTH victories to end the season.
And while I still contend there is a wee bit of fool’s gold to what’s gone on this past week, two wins will mean that the Raptors will be one game over .500 since the 4-19 start.
(My math’s right, right? They were 4-19 to start and could end 34-48 which makes them 30-29 since early December, correct?)
And is that a big enough sample size considering the various injuries and the significant trade and all the drama that’s gone on since that miserable start?
I’d suggest yes.
Now, you can rationalize this little run to finish the season any way you want and I can hear the “Chicago didn’t have anyone playing” chants now, although I don’t imagine they’d be followed by “Chicago didn’t have anyone playing when they beat Miami and New York, either.”
The thing is that the Raptors, despite still having some roster issues – backup point guard, not nearly enough size or toughness or experience – could finish the final 50 games of a wild regular season at .500 or awful close to it. Doesn’t matter who they’ve played in the final couple of weeks, they’ve played well.
That’s not bad; and I think it does bode well for the future.
No doubting that was a pretty solid combined outing for DeRozan and Gay, going 22-for-41 from the field and 6-for-10 from three-point range and maybe this whole notion that they can’t play alongside each other is folly.
Yes, we’ll need a greater sample size and, yes, there have been nights when it’s looked awkward but perhaps, according to Dwane, it’s taking time.
“You can’t throw two guys out there and say we’re going to run this, run that. The guys have to get a rhythm, a comfort level, knowing where they want the ball, how they want the ball.
“Everybody is learning. I’m learning what they can do, what they can’t do. They’re learning what they can do, what they can’t do.”
A little bit late, perhaps, but …
Keeping it tight
Indeed, that was an eight-man rotation in Game 80 of the regular season but, really, why not?
With Ross still bothered by his ankle and Valanciunas in street clothes, why wouldn’t Dwane ride his main guys pretty hard. Maybe – maybe – there could have been a few minutes somewhere for Fields so that DeRozan and Gay didn’t have to play 42 minutes each but it’s not like they need to get some rest to be ready to play on the weekend.
Of course. And pretty soon we’re going to be all “more” and I have no idea what we’ll do then. Suggestions welcome.
Oh yeah, that was some golf tournament, wasn’t it?
Guy makes a huge putt on the 72nd hole to take the lead, the other guy hits one stiff in the pouring rain to tie and a playoff birdie wins it?
Doesn’t get much better than that.
(But tell me you weren’t cheering for Cabrera for two reasons: One, he looks like some of us and, two, I tend to cheer against that thuggish caddy on Scott’s who thinks he’s as important as the player).
Anyway, how could it have been any better?
Second best sports comedy ever.
Okay, let’s figure this out.
Today is Jackie Robinson Day around major league, as fitting a tribute to the man as I can think of and we were sitting around on some stools the other night wondering:
Where does he fit in the pantheon of the greatest influences from the sports world ever?
Sure, we would say first here in North America and we would be absolutely right, what he did in breaking the colour barrier cannot in any way be diminished, it was the seminal moment in professional sports on this side of the earth.
I still say, globally, it’s at best a tie with Muhammad Ali for the greatest impact.
That in no way should be construed as a suggestion that what Robinson did wasn’t incredibly brave and hugely important; it was, it will be forever and the world is a better place for what he did.
But Ali was truly a worldwide phenomenon, wasn’t he?
I’m not sure this is even a discussion because to even think one was more important than the other kind of diminishes what the other did and that’s silly.
But if it can be debated, I’m calling a dead heat.
And I think I’m putting Pele third.
Hey, you folks know me and mock drafts, right? They’re more of a crapshoot than real drafts, silly to do but we all do them.
Anyway, I’ve got the 1,000,000 per cent, dead-bolt lock of ever today:
But, and here’s where you should start paying attention, there’s a Canadian connection you might want to follow, even if it’s only of marginal interest to you.
Kayla Alexander of Milton, Ont., who finished the leading scorer in Syracuse University history, is pretty much certain to go in the top 10 of the draft and that’s not too shabby at all.
And, like the other dominant collegian – Natalie Achonwa at Notre Dame – Alexander spent a year in Canada Basketball’s NEDA program – a sport-specific, high-level, basketball-only program they used to run out of Hamilton and those kind of hotboxes seem to work pretty well.
But I will also throw this cautionary tale out there: Alexander is a tremendous, tremendous player according to everyone I’ve spoken to with far more knowledge of the women’s game than I have but she’s yet to play a significant game with Canada’s senior women’s team and fans of that team cannot expect her to step in and be a key contributor right away.
Much like the men’s side, the international game at the absolute top levels is populated by experienced grownups and while Alexander could very well be a national team mainstay for years, it’s going to take some time. But for today? It’s a time for her and her family to be extraordinarily proud and another step in a journey.
PET 2.0 (a stretch, I know) doesn’t show up for his victory speech wearing his jacket like a cape?
Where’s the kid’s sense of style?