And here we go again with some things to look for
That’s a lot of dubious games in odd cities – to say nothing of what’s followed it often in regular seasons – and is why I consider myself one of the world’s foremost expert in bad basketball.
But it’s funny. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what the expectations, it’s kind of a fun feeling to be starting all over.
Sure, I’m far more jaded and cynical as the years go by, I think that’s only natural when you’ve been doing something for so long but just seeing a scrimmage the other day and a practice in a new facility here yesterday was enough to get some sense of anticipation going.
Now, you will be reminded once again that what happens with the results over the next eight games really means squat (and even Dwane says it’s time to try to stuff that may or may not work but here are three more things to think about, or at least watch a bit closely.
I personally like a nine-man rotation, two point guards, three wings, maybe four bigs (or four wings and three bigs) and if I had to guess right now, and this a total guess, they’re going to go with 10, basically, and here’s how it works out.
Lowry and Augustin; DeRozan, Gay, Fields and Ross; Valanciunas, Johnson, Hansbrough, Novak.
No, that doesn’t leave room for Acy or Aaron Gray but they’d be good to have around for the inevitable foul trouble nights.
A whole lot of drive and kick from the point guards the other day, not an awful lot of side screen-roll and as long as Lowry and Augustin can find open shooters – and they want them in the corners taking threes – that could work.
I’m not sure that either DeRozan or Gay are particularly adept at passing on the dribble, they seem to be okay if they’re stationary but not on the move and they need to be better at it. There are times when they are ball stoppers and it would seem, from what I’ve heard from people who see more than I do, it’s a point of emphasis right now.
Oh, and while I’m here?
The annual rant that the pre-season is four games too long – no way any coach needs eight games to figure things out and no way the players want to play eight games that don’t count.
Oh, I guess my idea that the HOTH should take one game, at least, and take it out of any ticket package and make it more affordable and accessible has once again fallen on deaf ears.
Really, make tickets $15 to sit anywhere in the lower bowl and $10 to sit in the upper bowl and see if you can get some new fans in the building.
I honestly don’t see a flaw with that plan, more people in the building, people who might not get a chance to see a game and, after all, it’s not like MLSE needs the extra cash.
Anyway, they should do it next season, for sure.
Kind of like this. Do you?
They’ve got the Boston Globe behind a paywall so all I can give you this morning is the Herald instead of both but here’s my man Murph chronicling our old friend Hump.
Finally got to watch some baseball playoffs on the weekend and lying around Sunday night waiting for the day to end well gave me a chance to see the Dodger-Braves game pretty closely.
And you know what?
Ernie Johnson is pretty darn good.
I like it when a good studio guy can go and do a good game broadcast (you know, like Chris Berman can’t) and Johnson’s top notch.
Good inflection, solid knowledge and a pace to his play-by-play that fits the sport.
Am I right?
Of course, anytime anyone listens to a Dodger broadcast any time it’s a letdown if it isn’t Vin Scully but Johnson’s pretty good and makes the game enjoyable.
Oh yeah, we’re back.
Even though no one can see or hear the game – TV only for home pre-season games, Boston’s rather preoccupied with the baseball – we’ll try an IGBT tonight if you’d like.
Not sure how it’ll work but might to fun to at least give it a shot. Game’s at 7:30, I’ll be here just before that, I imagine.
Thanks a lot, great time as always, hope we’re back soon, but one question:
Why’d you build the damn airport in Maine?
This slipped past me last week and you probably need some deep international basketball knowledge to get it but the passing of Russian icon Sergie Belov took me down memory lane.
Now, American friends won’t remember him fondly because he was part of the 1972 Munich Olympic team that stole a gold medal from the USA but I do.
It was the 1994 world championships in Toronto, perhaps the biggest basketball event the city has ever hosted, and Belov was coaching the Russian team.
To put it lightly, that tournament was as much social as it was basketball in a lot of regards, the players and coaches loved what the city had to offer and you could always find some official out enjoying the night life.
And if we weren’t sharing a cocktail with Rudy Tomjanovich at PM Toronto (anyone remember that place by the Gardens?) we were somewhere along the Front Street corridor.
That’s where you could usually find Belov, shooting pool in some place (I think it might have been called the Aramadillo or something) and despite a language barrier, we had more than a few sociables over the course of the tournament.
He was also one of the great international players of all time, too bad so few ever realized that back in the day when international basketball was so far off the radar.
He’ll be missed.