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Three pointers from the Raptors win and some of the weekend mail

Neat. Tidy. Easy. Quick.

If they were all like last night, life would be grand.

Alas, they are not and there will be stress-inducing buzzer-beaters in the future so it’s time to relish that one.

And do this

That little extra

The game was probably over but there was still a whiff of a miracle left with about 2 1/2 minutes left and Toronto up 12.

That’s when Kyle Lowry made his play of the night and delivered the dagger with a heads-up move.

He makes a steal off the Richardson kid, heads in for a layup with the Heat guard hot on his heels. Lowry gets to the rim, stops pretty much dead in his tracks knowing Richardson’s going to plough into him from behind, he takes the hit, makes the shot, follows up with the and-one free throw and the game’s over.

Just a smart, smart play by a guy whose high Basketball IQ sometimes flies under the radar.

Analytically sound

Dwane harkened on this in his post-game chinwag with us when the discussion got around to the sudden three-point proficiency of DeMar DeRozan (discussed here in the late gamer) and James Johnson.

The two had combined for six of Toronto’s 13 threes and I believe five of them were of the corner variety.

“The corner three is one of highest percentage shots you can get(but) neither one of them should forget about attacking the paint and getting to the free throw line,” he said.

It’s a valid point and worth watching going forward, to use one of the clichés of the day.

I don’t think DeRozan’s gonna sit in the corner and fire up five or six every – most of the stuff they run for him begins on the wing or on top anyway – and Johnson has to know the strength of his offensive game is garbage stuff off the boards or in transition or taking his man off the dribble.

Biz doing Biz things

His numbers weren’t overly impressive at all, a couple of points, eight rebounds, a couple of blocked shots and a couple of fouls, but in the “little things” department, Bismack Biyombo made one beauty of a play.

About a minute and a half left in the third quarter, someone missed a jump shot, I think it was DeRozan, and Biz was under the boards trolling for an offensive rebound.

He didn’t have great position, the rebound came off at a weird angle but he fought through the box-out and contorted himself just so and was able to tip the ball about two feet to a wide open Patrick Patterson for a layup. I don’t know if he did it on purpose or whether it was instinctual but it was impressive whether it was planned or improvised.

All right, here’s some of the mail I’ve got done, I know there’s a bit more to get through for tomorrow morning but if you want to get in on the fun askdoug@thestar.ca is the place to be.

Not a Raptors question but i’m hoping you will indulge me here.  Anyone who mentions Iron Mike Sharpe must have been a pretty decent wrestling fan back in the 80’s/90’s.  I was hoping you could expand on what you thought of wrestling back in the day.  ie. how big a fan were you, what was your fondest memory of wrestling, who your favourite wrestlers were, and so on.   Finally, do you keep up with any wrestling these days, and how would you compare the current WWE product to the glory days of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, etc.

Dr. Justin

A: This is not indulgence at all, I love questions that are unique and away from the minutia of the game and team.

Now, grappling and I go way back. I wouldn’t say I was a fervent “fan” but Saturday afternoon Maple Leaf Wrestling and then old Channel 29 in Buffalo, I believe it was, was fun viewing. I liked the stereotypical nature of it, the evil Russian dude Volkov? Sgt. Slaughter defending his country. The nefarious Sheik and the Camel Clutch. The mysterious masked guys from “Parts Unknown” and the zany Pompero Firpo, the Wild Bull of whatever. The all-Canadian Dewey Robertson and Tony Parisi, I believe, had some connection to Niagara Falls. It was hilarious, I found.

I didn’t go to a lot of shows – I did go to one at Maple Leaf Gardens and found it mind-numbingly boring because I missed the commentary (Lord Athol Layton? Gorillla Monsoon?) and I worked at a time when my man Zic used to to “cover” Wrestlemania. And for the longest time – and it may be true to this day – the single greatest selling one edition of the Toronto Sun was post-Wrestlemania with, I believe, Macho Man Savage and Miss Elizabeth on the cover.

So, yeah, I used to know my way around the squared circle but, as I got older and the show seemed to become more violent or nonsensical or something, my interest waned and I’d be hard-pressed to tell you the difference between babyfaces and heels these days.

Q: Doug – your three pointers make the game complete – great insight and better writing ! I have been saying for a while now give TR time and he will blossom like DD has. The last month Ross have been very impressive in my mind. Are you still doubtful about him?

A: My doubts still exist but they are being eased with his play of late. And it’s interesting that you ask because …

Q: Hi Doug,

I have read your column for a long time, you do a great job. My question for you is regarding Terrence Ross. Have the Raptors ever had a player who looks like an all-star one game and the next game goes completely invisible both on the offensive and defensive ends ? I am amazed that Dwayne Casey has not ended up with an ulcer trying to coach a player like him.

Have a great weekend.

Neil in B.C.

A: Timing is everything on questions, isn’t it? And perception is reality and that these two queries should come so close to together underscores his inconsistencies.

Q Hello Doug

Wondering about Amir Johnson – Do you see him as a coach when he finishes his playing days?

A: I’ve never had a post-career plan conversation with but nothing I saw over the years makes me think he’d be interested in that kind of thing.

Q: Hey Doug.

I saw where Drummond missed 23 FT’s last night. He is a

bad FT shooter we all get that, but what galls me is that the Rockets intentionally fouled him 5 times in a row within a 9 second time span (thats hard to do).

I get the strategy, just like I got the strategy in North Carolina when Dean Smith utilized the 4 corners on offense but I feel they both just go against the whole grain of the game (hence why they introduced shot clock and banned 4 corners)

In the NBA I would like to see a rule where a team can’t intentionally foul the same player twice in a row, unless it is in the last minute of the game, or something like that, a rule that incorporates the weakness of a guy like Drummond but also helps maintain the integrity of the game to me there has to be a balance or this just becomes a charade as the 4 corners did.

What are your thoughts.

A: I see your point clearly and it’s interesting you bring up the Four Corners, although the change there wasn’t to protect teams that couldn’t do something.

And this does give me a chance to link to this week’s Nothing But Net that makes my point and is a good read top to bottom.


Q: Hi Doug. Have you heard what the Raptors might be interested in acquiring at the trade line and what they might be willing to give up to receive that asset(s)? Hopefully it will not be an expiring contract.? Someone with some term on the incoming contract.

Thanks for your input.

A: I don’t think they’ll do a thing at the trade deadline and I don’t think they should unless something shocking comes to them and that seldom happens. And if they do anything, I cannot see it being a move that will cut into the money they’ll have to spend this and next summer.

I think the only tiny hole they might want to fill is at the four but even that’s not a crying need.

Expect a quiet day, which is good because I’ll be in Chicago for a game the Friday night and would like to have my late afternoon and evening free.

Q: Greetings Doug,

So the hiring of Kathryn Smith by the Bills and the subsequent online misogynistic crud floating to the top of the pond — I first found out about the hire through people reacting to the reaction on twitter – got me wondering: how is Becky Hammon doing down in San Antonio from a “isn’t she one of them there fe-males” perspective? Has time, and a dominant summer league coaching stint, helped turn her into just another up-and-coming assistant coach yet?

Mike from Gores Landing (formerly of Oshawa)

A: I am overjoyed to report that Becky Hammon, and Nancy Lieberman in Sacramento and Lauren Holtkamp and Violet Palmer are absolutely non-stories. And I give the NBA and a vast, vast, vast majority of its fans credit for it becoming nothing.

Q: I wasn’t expecting a belly laugh last night but Valanciunas body checked Sullinger to the floor to set up a first quarter basket, leading to Jack Armstrong’s impersonation of Tom Heinsohn. Hilarious for anyone familiar with Boston broadcasts

A: Jack’s got a million of ‘em. I’ll make sure to mention this to him next time we talk.

But, really, doing Tommy doesn’t require Rich Little-esque skills.

Q: Just a quick thanks, Doug, for marking out with photo and words the importance of celebrating/remembering King’s life.

We are all involved in the work of remembering and applying the example of his life’s work, the NBA, players, teams, writers, fans, all of us.

Charles N.

A: And we all need as many reminders of that as possible; it’s an important part of being a contributing member of society.

We don’t do an awful lot here in that regard but it’s important to do what we can, when we can.


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