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And there was this:
An unusual night.
Not a lot of shots in the first half because (a) Scola had it going and (b) Johnson was killing Harden and (c) the Rockets did an okay job of getting the ball out of his hands and (d) he did have five of his seven assists in the half.
It had to do with circumstances, Casey did the right thing by giving DeRozan the three minutes off with two fouls in the first half because Norm Powell was okay and had probably earned them.
But the one that caught my eye a bit was the fourth quarter, when he got his usual rest to start the period but only got back in for the final 5:48 when he usually gets in with about seven minutes to go.
Cool idea – every now and then
Early in the second quarter, a play developed where Patrick Patterson passed up a good look to kick it to Kyle Lowry who passed up a good look to kick it to Cory Joseph who took th three and missed only to have Patterson emphatically hammer it home for a putback dunk that drew all kinds of oohs and ahhs and cheers.
Except from Dwane.
One thing he values almost above all else is transition defence and I know he would have preferred Patterson balance the floor and get back. It’s the wiser move to make, the chances at an offensive board are slim and he’d rather have maybe one big on the glass and the guys get back.
I’ve actually talked to Patterson about this because he can be an impressive offensive rebounder in traffic and he knows he has to avoid gambling too much because it’s more important to get set defensively and not caught in no man’s land.
So, good play because it ended well but not something that should happen with regularity.
An odd one, indeed
A cheap one for sure because you could tell he was simply calling a play (there was nothing to complain about because Lowry had just made a great out-of-bounds save in the far corner) and they ever started calling techs for coaches being on the floor, there’d be coaches ejected left and right every night.
Hell, Erik Spoelstra’s charging out to the paint to scream for timeouts three times a night and he creeps on the court to harass shooters as a matter of course.
This isn’t too bad, right?
This, my friends, is The Year Of The Atomic Ant.
I can feel it in my bones.
It’s going to cause some kind of dilemma over at Maple Leaf Sports because I don’t know which celebration they’ll sink the most time and money into, the one for the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the one for whatever the MLS Cup is called or the one for the winning numbers in the pucks lottery.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Go here and if you use the promo code “smith” (no quotes, all lowercase) you can get $ 5 off the ticket, money you might want to put towards, say, buying me a beer.
I don’t do this an awful lot but this turned out pretty well, I think, and it was fun to put together.
It’s the storybook end (Jordan should have left for good after that last championship-winner in Utah) and pretty much assures Manning’s place in sports lore, even if his main contribution to the last game was not screwing it up.
I didn’t follow his career too, too closely, although he would be one of the NFL stars I do know a lot about because of his longevity, the neck surgeries, even the stuff on Saturday Night Live and his television commercials because he was outstanding in them.
I’d say the greatest compliment I could give him, or any athlete, is that he never cheated the game. I believe he saw it as a privilege to be an NFL player and it was his obligation to give the sport everything he possibly could not only on game days but during his preparation for games and seasons.
Yes, there are dark sides and questionable circumstances that have come to light but that underscores the point that we can appreciate the very best athletes we see for what they do in their sports and how they treat the game and their place in it and their teammates.
And in those regards, there aren’t too many like Manning anywhere and the sports world will be lessened with him not in it.