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A couple of Raptors things to look for as the pre-season trundles on

At least they had the decency to schedule the baseball game for 4 o’clock this afternoon and I know the ACC media room TVs are cable-capable.

I would presume the pre-game chinwags with Dwane and Sam will be a bit sparsely attended because a few of us will be watching the game. And if I’m not in my seat at 7:30, it’s because there’s some drama going on in Arlington so you’ll forgive me, right?

Now, what will you see if you’re there (which might be me waving) or if you’re on the couch or a stool?

With four pre-season games left there’s still a lot time to get everything truly set but there are some signs you shoud be looking for.

Saturday’s tome dealt with one of them, finding out who fits best with whom in the frontcourt because Dwane’s got a few bodies and not nearly as many minutes to keep them all satisfied.

I wonder if, when this all shakes out, they might like Scola with Valanciunas and Patterson with what could be an offensively-challenged second unit. Maybe that’s not how it works (I can see rebounding issues with that twosome and Dwane’s been harping on rebounding since camp began) but it might be how it works out.

The other, I think, is a bit more interesting, and just as important.

And that’s what they do at small forward when Carroll isn’t there because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of proven depth at that spot.

Do they make DeRozan spend some time guarding threes when they know that’s not his strong suit? I know there’ll be thoughts about maybe Bennett there but every coach I’ve spoken to doesn’t think he’s a three. Maybe one of the kids? I do know they liked this Toupane fellow a lot but he’s been hurt and is a real longshot to be on the 15-man roster.

I think the dearth of threes and surfeit of fours will mean Carroll doesn’t have to – or get to – play a lot in the frontcourt so “small ball” might not be a common occurrence with this group.

Like we’ve said, there’s still time to work all this out, tons of practices and four games but they’ll need to start figuring it out sooner than later and in a camp and pre-season that’s been relatively boring and calm, it’s something that can command th attention of fans.

This works today because I like it.

Okay, we’re gonna be more than halfway through the pre-season when tonight’s all over with (YAY!!!!!) and I’m trying to come up with a top three pre-season moments.

Here’s where I’m at and I know some of it is duplication or a repeat for many of you but there are, hopefully, those who haven’t heard them yet.

The Master P Week

I’m trying to figure out what was the best.

The fans on the baseline near the bench in the old Reunion Arena in Dallas chanting “We Want P, We Want P” as a game wound down and Butch doing them a solid by putting him in the game.

A couple of nights later, in Edmonton, the great Alek Radojevic leading a fast breaking, dribbling the ball out chest high (and he was like 7-3 so that’s high) and P on the wing absolutely screaming for a pass. I think Alek went coast-to-coast but the P Plea was priceless.

They Still Owe You

Haven’t hammered Maple Leaf Sports on this one for too long, better do it now.

St. John’s, 2003

(Man, time flies, doesn’t it? That was 12 freaking years ago)

The infamous postponement because the floor was slick and slippery and dangerous and the egregious mistake by the Raptors to promise to come back, a promise they have yet to fulfill.

I know Glen Grunwald, when he worked in New York, was all set to take the Knicks there for an exhibition game, plans were made and then he got fired and they went into the toilet.

So it’s all on MLSE to get this fixed and they need to suck it up – it’ll be a money-losing proposition but this is about an organization’s word more than it’s financial concerns – and get it fixed soon.

You want to be Canada’s team? Make it right with a bunch of Canadians you misled 12 years ago.

Edmonton Redux

Not sure if it was the same game as the P-Radojevic fast break or not but we’re in our courtside seats way back when the media had courtside seats and Butch is railing on the scorer’s table and facilities people because the scoreboards were all being used to give out of town pucks scores and you couldn’t find a game stat to save your soul.

I think they finally fixed it late in the game but it truly was like the basketball was an interloper in the world of pucks.

Okay, I think we can all agree that even before last night Harold Reynolds was considered a very below-average television baseball analyst.

He blathers too much and too incessantly and he really doesn’t add an awful lot to any game and he’s definitely in the lower tier.

The idiotic comment about Canada — “There’s not a lot of people that grew up playing baseball in Canada, they’re not used to catching a lot of balls in the stands” – only cemented that reputation.

Now, I’m just gonna throw this out there because I feel like it:

What if he said that about women? Or Dominicans? Or Mexicans? Or Italians?

You think he’d be working today?

Not a chance in Hades.

If you couldn’t be here for Thanksgiving you make Thanksgiving wherever you are and it would appear there was a fine shindig over in France yesterday.

I’ve been keeping in touch a bit with a few women from the national team as they go through their pre-Olympic season and it’s underscored again just how close that group is and how important that’s going to be when they chase a medal in Rio.

A whole bunch of them play in France and it seems Lizanne Murphy, Shona Thorburn, Kim Gaucher and her husband, Ben, and Michelle and Katherine Plouffe decided a Canadian holiday travels as well as anything.

Judging from pictures on the tweeter machine and electronic chats I had with Murphy, the feast in Nantes was just like being at home.

And I think it’s very cool, and very important as part of continued team-building, that the women got together for a Canadian day.


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