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Another one they got through and put on the correct side of the ledger and the kids were really good.
Other than that, it was a somewhat predictable win and even if there was nothing memorable about, it beats an unmemorable defeat.
And there was this before a big week gets going in full:
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Knowing his limits
The two opportunities came on the same possession, both above the break, one on the right and one on the left and, twice, Pascal Siakam did the right thing.
Pass up a three-pointer to quickly move the ball.
He knows, his coaches know, his teammates know that his three-point shooting is still very much a work in progress and while they want him to take them, knowing time, score, situation is far more important than him getting some in-game work.
Both passes yesterday got the ball moving side-to-side, once and then again and was far more effective than Siakam even dribbling – which is high drama in itself – let alone shooting.
Siakam did get up three three-pointers in his 25 minutes and missed all of them but knowing when to not even think about taking one and getting the ball going rapidly was a sign of at least some growth.
The cumulative effect
It was pretty nice for the starters to get to sit and watch the entire fourth quarter yesterday, just as it was nice for most of the starters (all except OG) to get and sit and watch the entire fourth quarter on Friday night against Portland.
And you know that had to be in the back of Dwane Casey’s mind when he decided to let the kids run out both games.
All year, he’s been talking about wanting to ease the regular season minutes of workhorses Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and this weekend was a perfect example of how he’s doing it.
Trust me, there would have been times both games when he’d look down and see Lowry and DeRozan sitting there and be thisclose to getting them back in. Resistance was hard, but important.
These guys have just come through a stretch of five games in eight nights and by my (often incorrect) math, Lowry’s averaged less than 30 minutes a game and DeRozan isn’t at 32.
That might help in the long run and it hasn’t hurt in the short term, either.
Thought you’d seen it all?
How about Marc Gasol, as smart a player as there is in the NBA and a guy who’s been around, gets sucked into a Jonas Valanciunas pump-fake on a three-pointer and Valanciunas calmly puts the ball on the floor, drives the middle of the lane and dunks.
But it speaks to what JV has become, teams know he’s getting up a couple of threes a game and the mere threat is as important as whether he makes them or not.
And Fred kind of hit the nail on the head about the whole three-point process with this one:
“We’re watching it kinda live, watching him evolve as a player. It’s still funny every single time. I don’t know when that’ll get old, but it’s still funny to watch no matter what.”
Okay, the more because there is always more.
For the longest time I thought the Prince Super Bowl halftime show was the gold standard for that event and in my heart of hearts I probably still think that because, holy crap, it was good.
But, jeezus, this was pretty fantastic, too, wasn’t it?
That was a helluva game of football, wasn’t it?
Just want you wanted with great drama, great plays, tight finish and, for some of you, great news that Tom Brady lost.
And, no, I didn’t like the halftime show but that’s my opinion and yours is just as valid.
But I’m gonna tell you, I don’t know Eagles coach Doug Pederson from Adam but, man, do I respect him.
The gadget play with the reverse and passing to the quarterback for the touchdown, going for it on fourth and one late in the game? Those are bold coaching moves and too many coaches play it too close to the vest too often that a guy makes or okays those calls has to be applauded.
I don’t imagine it’ll change things but maybe if others see that it pays off, it might loosen some minds.
Sadly, I did miss the Puppy Bowl.
I see all the colleagues have landed in Pyongchang, various instagramming tweeter things telling me so, and, you know, there seems to be a distinct lack of buzz about the Games.
Am sure we’ll do more on it as Friday draws nearer and they get ready to light the flame but at the moment, it’s underwhelming, isn’t it?
Happy Trade Deadline Week.
The expectation here is that we’re in for a rather substantial few days in the player movement department heading into Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
I don’t think much is going to happen with the locals – although things do tend to come up quickly so you never really now – but the rest of the league seems primed for this to be a rather adventuresome time.
Cleveland, New York, Memphis, Orlando, maybe Utah, the Clippers, Chicago. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of them did something in the next three days and it would shock me if it started early.
I know many want to breathlessly wait until 2:45 Thursday afternoon for the floodgates to open but the difficulty in doing any transaction – making the money fit, primarily – means a lot of work is going to get done early.
Might be a fun week.