There is no disputing the fact things are a bit off these last few games. They couldn’t make a shot in Philly and were more responsible for the loss than the Sixers were for the victory and last night they let more offensive woes trickle into their defence and once it started to go south in the third quarter they couldn’t stop the onslaught.
It was bad, no question about it.
But to think they need to change anything or that Masai has to get on the phone more diligently now is foolish.
But I also know that as tough as this week has been, staying the course is the most prudent thing to do and while I am sure Masai was ticked off last night, the last thing he’s going to do is over-react.
It’s obvious that Sullinger’s got some work to do to get back fully into game condition, no matter what aerobic stuff he did or how many three-on-three games he played, nothing is going to help him more than minutes at full NBA speed.
Take last night for instance. His first two fouls were basically conditioning-induced, he was a split second too slow to react, it’s understandable and correctable and they all know it’s a slow process that’s probably going to take eight or 10 games to get fully fixed.
They’ll eventually make threes again but the sooner the better
And now, some mail.
Q: Hi Doug, I’ve been wondering what you think of the idea that an NBA team needs three star players to compete for a championship? I’m not necessarily talking about the Raps here, but we’ve all seen how they play vs. Cleveland.
And do you think anyone on the current roster has the potential to emerge as a third star along with our dynamic backcourt duo? I don’t see it – but than again, I didn’t see either of Derozan or Lowry emerging a star players – they seem to have done it by sheer hard work more than anything.
A: I think the more good players you have, the better chance to you have to win and “star” is entirely subjective. So, yeah, I’d take a team with three over a team with two every day but I’d also say Valanciunas was a “star” in the Indy and Miami series before he got hurt.
Q: Hey Doug,
Our heroes are taking care of the lesser lights while we await Sullinger and Wright to hit the court.
Can you tell us what role can we expect from Wright, he’s still the 3rd Point Guard and anytime at the 2 takes away from Powell/TRoss which I don’t see happening. On Sullinger can you provide some kind of scouting report. I vaguely remember him in Boston and playing with an edge? If healthy, Is he capable of matching up with a Love and a Channing in Cleveland .
Does Lebron know there’s no crying in Basketball ?
Always a pleasures
A: It was nice to see Wright on the active Friday night because it means he’s fully back from the shoulder surgery but there’s really nothing expected of him. He’ll be the third point guard – I believe he eclipses VanVleet in that basically insignificant role – but as for playing time? There is none. What he might become is a piece that at least allows them to consider putting Cory Joseph in trade talks, but that’s a ways down the line.
Sullinger? Big body, good rebounder, smart player, above average passer for a big man but not sure he’s a great perimeter defender. And I don’t know, they don’t know about a Cleveland matchup because they’ll need to win two series before that and that’s not a given.
Q: Dear road weary one! I applaud you on your resiliency to pass over Yuengling for the Stella’s. Though still an excellent choice. In fact the two are three of my favouritism. Hate to admit that I still had a sister in law grab me a case of 24 cans in Tennessee just before Christmas. But on sale for $ 12 USD was too much to ignore!
Anyway, on to the Raptors. I am sure you’ve gotten a ear full, if it’s type is it still an ear full, of angst from the Philly game. I certainly read a lot on social media. And yeah, they did seem to have a mental lapse and appear wiped, but I just wondering if the Cavs would have had the same after a recent loss, either the blowout to Golden State or that. Enjoy being back home!
A: I have no idea if the Cavs would have or not, it’s not a concern in the least. I’m sure they have – they were blown out in Portland last season after a game in Golden State, if I recall, and lost Dec. 26 this year in Detroit after the emotional Christmas Day win over the Warriors. So, maybe.
Q: I loved what Bismack brought to our team last year, and was sad to see him go. Yes he was underpaid, and likely deserving of a starter role somewhere else.
Who messed that situation up? The magic for making a ridiculous offer when they already had Ibaka and nikola as firm starters? Or Bismack and agent for taking the $ $ knowing it would be similar backup role? If he was going to be playing backup anyways, wouldnt the raps have made good pitch to keep him here?
A: No one messed up any situation. Biz got $ 16 million a year and who in the world would turn that down, starting or backing up or whatever. Purely a business decision anyone with a brain saw coming. Will be the same with Sullinger next summer.
And since you asked, I’d take Lucas Nogueira at less than $ 2 million a year than Biz at $ 16 million a year six ways to Sunday. And that’s the reality so that’s all that matters. It’s not who’s “better” rather than who fits at the right cost.
I think we will find out in due time what the actual circumstances are, but for now, are you buying Derrick Rose’s explanation for skipping a game? If he really did have a family issue to attend to, you would think that any team in the league would grant his request to fly home had he simply informed them. And if you are Rose’s teammate, are you perturbed that you had to play a game without your starting point guard with basically no notice, and the distraction of wondering if he is alright?
A: I have no reason to doubt that it was a family issue and no one I’ve to does either. But if I’m his teammate I’m waiting for the explanation and apology that I hope was forthcoming.
Q: Raptors vs. Nets
Not to mention Masai’s expletive undeleted.
A: Was trying to keep the list to in-game stuff but that’d be right up there.
A: It wasn’t actually Jose’s shot, it was a lob to Bosh that he just didn’t get enough air under.