That was an entirely forgettable night, wasn’t it?
Outcome never in doubt, a few memorable plays if you think really, really, really hard but other than that, just one of those games you gotta play because the schedule demands it.
And now having seen the Cavs live and how the Raptors are exponentially better than them at every single position, I’m wondering just how brutal the New Year’s Eve game will be.
But there were some things in last night’s 133-113 yawner and here are three of them.
Is one change afoot?
Nick certainly made it clear that Norm Powell’s ascendant play will at least give the coach rise to consider starting him over Fred when Fred’s healthy, as we mentioned in the game-over epic.
And Norm, of course, went all Norm on the subject because the guy’s not going to say anything too inflammatory or “wrong” ever.
“I’ve said it before – I’ll do whatever helps the team. I’m going out there to help the team, whatever decision they make, how they feel, I’ll go out and put my best foot forward. Coming off the bench or starting, it doesn’t matter to me as long as we’re winning. I’ve always been like that, and that’s not gonna change.”
That’s entirely Norm and it’s admirable and there’s no reason to not believe him.
For roster balance, it’s probably the right move and I’m a bit surprised they didn’t start the season that way but I suspect Norm hadn’t shown enough to that point.
But now I wonder what the trickle down effect will be on Fred if they walk back from the original decision. I don’t think it’ll be a thing and I am dead sure Fred will still close basically every game that matters but it’s still a bit of a move away from what had been working pretty darn well.
Norm’s not big enough, I don’t think, to be a starting “small forward” and OG’s not done anything to deserve a demotion so Fred would be the only spot.
And, of course, if Norm regresses, they can always switch back again, especially if Masai and Bobby find a creator and point guard in the next couple of months.
If Norm keeps doing this, though …
Are two changes afoot?
I know Nick said after the game that there was a tweaked hamstring issue that made it reasonable to DNP-CD Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
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But I wonder even at full health whether he would have played anyway. Nick, who’s “I don’t give a crapometer” is always working, didn’t mince words when we asked him about Rondae regression as an active offensive rebounder before the game.
Hollis-Jefferson had 36 offensive boards in his first 13 games in the rotation, he had four in the last four. That’s regression that costs guys minutes.
“If he wanted to just make a living doing that because he’s so good at doing it, he probably could. I hope he does.”
So how to get to him?
“We talk to him. And then we show him video … not just him, anybody — carve out a role, and if you want to play it and you want to keep it, you do it. You go outside that role too far, then you’re probably gonna sit and watch. It’s hard to carve out a role on the bench.”
Nick then lauded Chris Boucher post-game for, basically, staying in his lane and it wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t keep that first big off the bench role for a few games.
A helping hand
One good turn
And that’s the kind of pace this team thrives at, the turnovers leading to transition and easy buckets that get the people all excited.
All right. Remember I’m taking the morning tomorrow to loaf a bit and not get up and type at 7 a.m. ‘cause it’s the only day I can do it this week and I need at least one a week.
That means I can get up to a flooded inbox of weekend mail queries, right? If you go to email@example.com and ask away, you’ll feel better and help me out.
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