Showing some grit when you know a guy's got your back
All together now:
Three. Six. Twelve.
Oh yeah, sorry I’m late, stuff going on. We’ll be better
Mr. Tough Guy
So I wander up to DeMar DeRozan in the locker room after the game and say:
“Didn’t know you were a goon.”
He laughed, of course, but his little set-to with Rip Hamilton that finished with Hamilton getting thrown out for what looked like a forearm to DeRozan’s face was something we hadn’t seen before and something quite welcome.
DeRozan had been in Hamilton’s chest most of the night, letting him know there’d be no space to operate and, as Dwane put it after the game, “getting them frustrated instead of us getting frustrated.”
If there is one troubling trait that this group has displayed over the past, oh I dunno, eight years, it’s that it can be pushed around a little bit. It’s not that they won’t stand up for themselves, it’s just that they don’t react as forcefully, or force the issue physically, nearly enough.
And it’s not that DeRozan did anything dirty or untoward, he was just playing hard and aggressive and they need a little bit more of that from time to time, if for no other reason that to send a signal to the rest of the league that they’ll be the ones hitting instead of being hit.
Sure, Game 78 is too late and it’s something that has to be present from the start of the season but they saw it could be done, and should be done.
Yep, you’re gonna love Quincy Acy if his game keeps developing, no doubt about it.
His teammates already do.
In that conversation with DeMar, it was pointed out that Acy was there quick as a flash to act perhaps not as an intermediary but as someone who was there to help.
Don’t think the players didn’t notice – “We know he’s always got our back,” was how DeRozan put it – and don’t think it elevates Acy to a significant spot in the roster pecking order.
Now, his game needs some work; if he’s going to be a three-four in small lineups, he’s going to have to develop some kind of shooting range to go with his rebounding and defensive abilities.
I do think he’ll end up being a good fourth “big” on a good team but it’s only going to happen if he can contribute more on the offensive end of the court.
Does it matter?
I was talking to someone after the game and it was suggested these wins – the two last week, back-to-back over Chicago – don’t mean anything.
In the context of the whole season? Probably not. There’s a feeling that we’re living a repeat of the 9-2 finish or whatever it was in Jay’s interim year where too many people looked over too many flaws by getting caught up in the strongish finish.
There’s an inherent danger in that, you think you’re better than you are and flaws can be overlooked and I’d hope that everybody connected with the franchise realizes that. It’s important.
But in the smaller context it doesn’t matter who plays for you or them, it’s always, always, always better to win that to lose and if some of these guys get a good feeling in their heads after a couple of late-season victories, good on them.
Okay, when you go down the list of the guys who make you howl Of A Certain Vintage, you had Rodney Dangerfield at the top – of that there can be no dispute – but the most under-rated?
I’ve got Jonathan Winters, don’t you?
Man, what a night.
I go to sit on a stool and wait for The First Lady Of The Beat and Not Grace to get done their scribbling and look up just in time to see Jose Reyes crumple to the ground in Kansas City.
Not as gruesome an injury as we’ve seen but since he’s the best player on the team it’s got the possibility of being a crippling blow.
And then I’m watching over my shoulder when Kobe Bryant blows out his Achilles and now you have wonder if his career is over, to say nothing of his season.
Now, I will never, ever doubt Bryant’s resolve so to suggest he’ll never be back is folly but that was one horrible stretch of time for sports fans.
Regardless of how you feel about athletes – whether you think you like them as men or women and whether or not you cheer for the teams they play for – no one ever wants to see anyone writhing in pain with their futures – short and long term – in doubt.
That was a terrible night for fans of sports.
Yeah, need some. Probably be sitting around all afternoon with little to do and since I have to stay up to fetch Super Son at work late the evening will be free, too.
So help a fella out, would you?
Talk to you soon.
You want to talk about people with what seems an overwhelming sense of self-importance and a stickler nature that doesn’t take common sense into consideration?
Read this by Perk about the dude at the Masters who tried to screw up the best part of the tournament to date, the 14-year-old amateur tot from China.
Look, I’ve talked to more than my share of golfers over the years and the constant complaint is about slow play and it can be nauseating to watch at times. Club changes, six or seven tests of wind speed and direction, plum-bobbing three-footers dead up hill and tracking long putts from ever conceivable angle. It’s a terrible blight on the game.
Common sense, folks. Common sense and an equitable applications of the rules would be a good idea, no?