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A start on the weekend mail


Good day, folks.

I got this much done early this morning and it catches me up until about early Friday morning so the rest will get done sometime today and tacked on to some game stuff tomorrow morning, if that’s okay?

I’m not in Washington so I’ll have this afternoon to putter around before couch and game time tonight. If you’ve got more to ask, you know where I am and askdoug@thestar.ca is the place to go.

Q: Hi Doug: They just keep winning. You saw them recently…what more can you tell us about Golden State? They do have players with unique skills, extremely unique!!, but what more helps us to understand their success?

Coaches? Fans? Community? Organization? Can we explain them in conventional terms…glue guys? role guys?…or have they come up with something that requires new language?

Charles N.

A: You know, it really is a perfect storm of a lot of intangibles that truly hard to describe.

I think the collective is probably the most important thing, they have someone constructed group that gets along, isn’t too worried about individual accolades and plays with a joy that’s palpable.

I’d probably pick “organization” out of your list of words and it’s an elusive thing few teams have ever been able to match. I think that’s fostered by leadership – Steve Kerr seems a master at getting players to work for the group more than themselves – and there is no meddling from anyone in something special.

Now, winning has a lot to do with it and I’m anxious to see how they react when things inevitably go wrong but you saw them, too, there’s just something undefineable about them, it’s a once-a-generation group.

Q: Quebec city reader here so pardon my English.

With the (minimal) talk here in the belle province of bringing a team to Montreal, do you believe it’s plausible in the next 10-20 years?

Also do you have some idea for the name? what about the Redwhite ; )

Jean-Francois J

A: Sir, your English is impeccable so that is not a worry.

Sadly, I don’t think it’s plausible. If the league was to expand to 32 there are other markets (Seattle and Vancouver chief among them) that would be better, I honestly don’t know if there’s corporate support in Habs-mad Montreal for 41 more nights of winter professional sports. Too bad because it is a good basketball market.

And I know it’s a race but if the NBA ever did get their first, I’d call ‘em the Expos for sure!!!

Q: Good day Doug,

Just back from 2 weeks in Portugal with family, great weather , superb food and great admiration for those Portugese seafarers that set in small boats that took them to all points of the globe. Would recommend to any who want good seafood , welcoming people , and interesting sights/sites. Not sure if I would want the Algarve in peak season,  could spend much more time in Lisbon.

My biggest accomplishment on this 2 week trip was to stay away from the internet, with the exception of a couple of emails that my wife felt I had to see ( I didn’t need them). I can recall the good old days when we could be away for extended periods of time and not need to be in touch, think it helps to actually be present in the place that costs  a lot of time and money to be at. I find that the world and the Raptors got along without me with some good and not so good occurrences for both. ( end of rant on modern tech)

Related question(s), have you had the luxury of absence from social media in recent times?

Also how do you feel modern forms of media have affected the enjoyment of games – both positive and negative? An obvious negative to me are those glued to their phones while play is going on , a positive of course is the in game reports for those not there.

Finally , on your question re. sports on tv, I might not argue with your ranking, however I did find myself watching more football ( soccer) on the bar tv’s and gained a great appreciation of the enjoyment of the beautiful game.

all the best

A: That sounds like a great vacation, friends and loved ones who’ve been to Portugal rave about it and it’s definitely on my list.

I honestly cannot remember the last day I didn’t turn on the computer and type, was probably last February when I got things fixed up and even then I was e-mailing friends to let ‘em know all was well shortly after.

I think modern social media has perhaps taken more enjoyment out of watching sports than it’s provided because it leads to too quick over-reactions to some plays, it might be at times a bit of a distraction from simply watching a game. But it does lend itself to a sense of community that’s fun, I suppose.

It’s made my job a bit harder in that when it comes time to write, everyone knows what happened and often what’s been said about it so finding the right tone and context to a story can be challenging.

Q: I love Cory Joseph – his energy, defense, drives and mid-range game. And he seems like a willing passer too. I would suggest more so with the starters but with a predominantly bench group mostly  a passer after or as a part of penetration. It seems to me the ball with the second unit sticks with him a bit. The Raptors have had guys over dribble to get nothing whereas Cory dribbles generally with purpose but the ball sometimes sticks. Is that possibly partially why the second unit guys other than him are struggling?

Geoff H, Toronto

A: I really haven’t seen than as an issue with the second group at all, to tell you the truth. And guys like Patterson and Ross are getting shots, they just aren’t making them right now but I’d put that on them rather than the people distributing the ball.

Q: Hello Doug

I think Demarre Carroll has been as advertised but the other three signings have exceeded expectations.  What are your thoughts?

A: I dunno. I agree that Scola has probably exceeded expectations for sure but they are getting just what they hoped from both Joseph and Biyombo. Perhaps Cory’s ability to get to the rim and finish is a revelation but not that big a one.

Good Morning.

Why all the trips to Kemptville back in the day?

A: Way back in the day I was the associate sports editor of the Ottawa Sun in its nascent days and I’d type a little bit and would drop by Kemptville for the odd training camp story to help out.

Q: Hi Doug,

It is often interesting to contrast the various coaching styles in the various professional sports leagues. It seems that the NBA coaches tend to rant, pace and occasionally lose-the-plot more than your average bear.  What are your thoughts on this? Which current coaches tend to be the highest-strung? Does it benefit the team?

A: Not having watched many other coaches in other sports all that closely or often, I would tend to agree with you but it might also have to do with the fact NBA coaches are so often captured on the broadcast and that the game lends itself to more ranting because there are simply so many calls.

I don’t think it’s a benefit at all, I think constant haranguing of officials by coaches gives players and excuse to do it and if it’s all-present, it becomes white noise. There has to be a balance.

Highest strung? I think you’d probably put our old friend Sam high on that list, Dwane’s probably on the top rung of the ladder. I think Pop knows precisely when to go off for maximum benefit of his team and we saw Jason Kidd absolutely snap earlier this week.

Q: Doug , just read this story – didn’t know about some of the story about Sly and the Family Stone    –   might be an opportunity to feature another old/ new to some  group

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/11/25/farewell-cynthia-robinson-mother-of-all-hype-men-and-heart-of-the-family-stone.html

And of course https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URogrXiKsI

A: And, of course! Thanks for both.

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