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No break for the Raptors from the NBA schedule-makers

Dwane Casey was joking yesterday about this horrific back-to-back the HOTH are beginning tonight in Cleveland (“The computer that spit out the schedule, I’m going to find it and break it. Break the keys on it”) and we all chuckled because, yeah, Cavs on the road and rested Golden State at home has some, um, challenges to it.

But the bigger picture kind of runs counter to what the NBA has wanted to do with the schedule, which is ease some of its grind to make sure teams have a fighting chance every game and aren’t worn out from travel and too many games in too short a period of time.

Check this out and tell me if they’ve accomplished that:

Tuesday in Cleveland, Wednesday at home to the Warriors, Friday in Denver, Sunday in Sacramento, Monday in Los Angeles, Wednesday in Houston and Friday in Milwaukee.

By my (often incorrect) math, that’s seven games in 11 days in three different time zones with two sets of back-to-backs.

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One: Lucky ticket holders for games at the end of that grind because the quality of play will have to suffer.

Two: Even with cushy charter flights and five-star hotels, that’s horrible travel.
Three: It’s about surviving physically as much as it’s about winning.

I guess the only good thing is that it’s early in the season so the bodies aren’t broken down quite yet and they are getting this kind of tavel out of the way early but I’m sure treading water over the next fortnight will be a major accomplishment.

Kicking it off with Cavs-Warriors sure isn’t good but I agree with Dwane that there’s nothing major to be read into these two nights, they are games the schedule says they have to play and to think anything great or horrendous will come with the results just isn’t right.

“I think we’re still trying to get our rotations down as far as what we want to do in certain situations, who we want to guard who, who can do what in certain situations. Still trying to figure those things out a little bit.

It’s that part of the year, I’d rather go ahead and get these two of the best teams in the league in now and go from there.”

This guy turned 71 this week.

Hey, listen to us!

We keep knocking off I’ll Have Another and we hope you keep enjoying them but feedback would be nice so we can tell the Tall Foreheads how much you like it.

So help us out, would you?

One thing we did touch on pretty heavily was the apparently imminent departure of Edwin Encarnacion – and most likely Jose Bautista, too – and how I think the Jays management and ownership will rue the day they gutted the middle of a very good order primarily for financial concerns.

Maybe they’ve got some grand plan to fill those voids (here’s Griff’s piece on the qualifying offer situation from this morning’s paper) but I honestly think it’s going to be hard sell to the bandwagon fans that hopped on each of the last two years.

Okay, gimme one more day of putting together what you think about yesterday’s list of Raptor Ranks and we’ll get ‘em up here for all to see.

And old familiar name – Not That Mrs. O’Leary’s Son – is taking care of our Cleveland needs tonight because I’ve got things to take care of so make sure you pay attention to what he’s got on the game.

A personal thing, one more time?

Here’s one thing about me that you may or may not know: I don’t really like change all that much.

Like the same stools, same bartenders, same daily schedule pretty much; I like consistent and a bit of routine.

So, how much do you think it sucked yesterday when we found out that The Mighty Quinn is taking her leave of our department.

Yeah, she’s off to become the Senior Editor, Breaking News/Enterprise at our place where she’ll oversee a team of journalists on coverage of stuff as it happens now along with bigger, deeper feature items.

It is a wonderful move for our paper and a wonderful move for Jennifer but, holy crap, does it put a crimp in what we do.

Over these couple of decades, I’ve worked for an awful lot of people – seven or eight different sports editors as I recall – and I haven’t had a better working relationship with one than I’ve had with TMQ.

She’d been what I am, worked on the road and in successful years and knows what can and can’t get done.

Unfailingly supportive – hell, she got me through open heart surgery as a friend and a boss – she also had to deal with shrinking resources, basically unworkable deadlines that changed all the time and a staff of strong-willed men and women who, believe it not, could be difficult at times.

And she did it wonderfully, we wrote good and important and informative and entertaining stories, we covered Olympics and playoffs and Pan Am Games and the daily minutia of sports in our area better than any of our competitors and it was in no small way because of the steady hand that was on the tiller.

We don’t know when the move is actually going to be official, nor do we know who gets to occupy the corner office next but the change will come sooner rather than later and whoever ascends is going to have some very large shoes to fill.

We’ll keep doing our jobs and doing them well and providing the insight and news that you deserve and have come to expect but it ain’t gonna be the same.

No chance it will.


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