Better but there's still plenty of work to be done
That was a rather uneventful 20-hour trip to Milwaukee, wonderfully relaxing afternoon in the big bed catching up on some important matters, pretty easy game to write, I figured out the time change well enough (well, the phone and its alarm change automatically so it’s not really me) and now if United does its bit I’m home and cooled out by noon.
And since I started flying at 7:30 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m., can get this done at its rightful time.
Better, much better
Everyone would agree that the ball movement was exponentially improved at times last night, side-to-side-to-side for good shots. That not many of them went in, isn’t that big an issue, they will.
But, still …
It struck me about the third quarter that neither DeMar DeRozan nor Rudy Guy use screens effectively, they reject them far too often and I imagine that has something to with some stagnancy on the offence.
Oh, they see them, it’s hard to miss Valanciunas or Amir or Hansbrough but so often if one is set on their left, they go right; if it set on their right, they go left.
Now, that’s a good move sometimes, it makes the defence wonder, it avoids getting blitz by the defender guarding the guy setting the screen but it just seemed to me last night it happened far too often. Wish I could remember if it did in the first two games.
Cause for alarm?
Of course not.
Please don’t anyone get too worked up by the fact Valanciunas hasn’t finished either of the last two games because there wasn’t a good matchup for him.
There will be, he will also get more adept at guarding smaller, quicker guys and he’ll be more assertive and decisive on the offensive end and it should all work out.
There will also become a time – and this I think might come sooner rather than later and should – that Dwane decides it’s worth creating a matchup issue offensively than giving into one defensively but I also think Jonas has to improve a bit in the post and his teammates have to look for him more.
They know he’s there, as Lowry said after the game.
“He's a really talented player. We just have to keep him going, get him going early and see if he can get going early and then we can feed off him early. Myself, DeMar and Rudy, we're going to get our shots but we want to get JV involved.”
Needed a break
There was a bit of confusion when Dwane took Rudy out with about six minutes to go – that’s usually his time – and why they went with Terrence Ross until his inability to keep O.J. Mayo got to shocking proportions and they got Gay back in so Fields could go over and guard Mayo.
Simple answer, Dwane told us.
“Give him a quick blow, I think that was probably the most important thing. I know he probably didn’t like it but I know what’s best for him. He needed to sit down a little bit, let his second wind kick in (because) he played some long stretches. We got him right back in and finished it out.”
Indeed he did, with a couple of big rebounds down the stretch.
And of course he didn’t want to sit down.
Nobody wants to come out of the game in the fourth quarter. I don’t know anyone who does.”
More? A couple of things, I want get this up before the travel begins.
How cool is this?
Can you imagine just being out for a walk and running into that?
Great Ode to Joy story, too.
We’re in Maui in 2000, Canada vs. the United States in an exhibition game on the way to the Sydney Olympics, they line up for the national anthem and instead of O Canada we get, yet, Ode to Joy.
No one has any clue what’s going on, I’m staring daggers at USA Basketball people and even the players are confused.
Of course, the polite Canadians that we are no one really gets mad; the explanation is that they played the wrong track on some CD.
Asked Vince, who was of course on that USA team, what he thought and he said he knew it was wrong but didn’t know what he was listening to.
And since that trip included Super Son, then four years old, falling off a bar stool in Honolulu and splitting his head open for a handful of stitches, it was a rather memorable time.
I’d still go back to Maui tomorrow if I could, as close to heaven on earth that I’ve been and as great place to sit and watch the water and forget about everything as I have experienced. A terrace looking over the Pacific would be the dream.
So the smart people back at 1 Yonge got our e-mail issues addressed and since we missed two days, why don’t we do a bonus one sometime later tonight or tomorrow.
I’ll likely have some stool time this afternoon and couch time tonight so fire away and we’ll see what we get when.
E-mail email@example.com if for no other reason than to say hi.
The Philadelphia 76ers are 3-0 and knowing that city, I bet some fans will be angry because they’re too good right now.
I guarantee you people in Toronto would be miffed if a tank strategy seemingly backfired right off the bat.
It’s why they play the games; I still expect the Sixers to be among the worst teams in the league – maybe the worst when it’s all said and done – and when they don’t win the lottery, it’ll be all I can do not to gloat. A lot.