The hard work starts tonight and questions abound
So I figure everyone in the Toronto area who professes great interest in this incarnation of the men’s basketball team has tickets for tonight against Jamaica at Ryerson, right?
And what are you going to see?
Well, after talking to Jay yesterday and after seeing them work a little bit in the last week or so I wish I could tell you but everything seems a bit cloudy at the moment.
Yes, it’s a talented group, very young and raw and there’s every expectation that they will play well and start to figure things out but I’m not entirely sure that they’ll hit the court and immediately start to figure things out.
Building this team, with a new hard-working coaching staff and new systems and more teaching than some of these kids would have had in years is going to be a time-consuming process.
It will not start right off the bat and there will be big time growing pains as they attempt to develop some kind of cohesion.
There seems to be a tendency among those who don’t follow this too closely to think that they are going to immediately be good because we’ve heard of a lot of them, followed them in college or the NBA and figure it’s just a matter of throwing the ball out there and letting them get to work.
Doesn’t happen that way.
The game is so different than anything we’re used to seeing – more physical, a bit more dirty and sneaky, shorter and less structured than an NBA game – that simply learning how to play is the most important thing.
The biggest issue for this team, at least as it stands now, is going to be scoring, they do have some bigs who are able to operate efficiently but perimeter and backcourt scoring are going to be a problem.
I’m not sure they have the shooting they need from the guards or the wings and since the game is far more drive and kick and shoot than it is pour in into the post and operate inside out, that’s going to be problematic.
Maybe someone emerges as the shooter but that’s going to take some time and that’s the one thing they don’t have a lot of with only a handful of games before the real season starts at the qualification tournament in Venezuela.
For those who are going – and I wish I was for a variety of reasons – the one thing to look for more than anything tonight would be to see who gets the shots and who can make them.
The defence will be fine because they do work hard at it and they are good, quick, athletic kids who are well coached.
The offence? I wonder.
Someone who’s there needs to fill me in on how they look so I know what to watch for on Saturday.
I have no clue how I know this or why but this is a Montreal group, right?
So the name of the joint up the street is McLean’s and it was as good as I recall. Thanks for the reminders, all you Irregulars who came up with it.
It’s supposed to pour rain here today so I should have some room time this afternoon. It’s the usual, firstname.lastname@example.org so say hello, keep me entertained. Thanks.
Over time I think we’ve designed the best bars, the best bar stools, the best of a lot of things.
But now as I sit in this somewhat dreary hotel room, I’m thinking what are the best attributes you’d want in a place you’re going to be staying.
Here’s a personal Top 5:
No hotel room ever has enough wall sockets, that we know and have discussed.
But how about some plugs on the two bedside tables. Need to perhaps plug in and charge an iPhone maybe or tablet if you’re going to fall asleep reading. And nothing more frustrating that no sockets, right?
A good desk chair
Can’t count the number of times I’ve sat down to work only to immediately develop a sore back because the chair is too hard or too soft or too low to the ground. And it needs to be adjustable so you’re not reaching up to work.
A couch with an ottoman
Need somewhere to be able to sit and waste away some time just dreaming or whatever; need a place to throw clothes you want close at hand and somewhere you can maybe sit and look out the window.
It’s like they forget that part of the room, isn’t it? Usually too tiny and the showers are too small and should be glass-walled stand-alone structures.
TV channel guides
Every hotel room should have one of those little cards that tells you what channel is where on the dial so you don’t sit there with the clicker going up and down the channels trying to find some mindless white noise to listen to.
Speaking of …
This is a nice hotel I’m in, a Starbucks in the lobby works well and it’s quite central so I’m pretty sure there’s somewhere to go walkabout when the day starts to drag but, I have to tell you, hotel TV in Canada is sadly lacking. Never mind the language issues that are quite understandable but the choice here is horrible even if you take out the French choices.
Every hotel should have every premium channel possible, forget the cost, think about what your guests need.
Have I forgotten anything on that list?
Here’s another huge difference in being Argo Boy instead of any other boy:
No shootaround like in the hoops.
No skatearound like in the pucks.
No hitaround like in the baseball.
Makes for a long day and also doesn’t provide any access to get an early story, making the day-before planning a bit more critical in case you need to scare up a story to fill space at the last minute.
It’s taking some getting used to as much as it’s weird to hear that the press box tonight is open air and the 90 per cent chance of thunderstorms might make that, um, interesting.