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Playoffs are fun, aren’t they?
And there’s this stuff:
Jonas Valanciunas, that is.
The foul issues are small concern – strikes me as the third one again was a bit dubious last night – but the way he’s been playing is exposing a huge flaw in the Pacers and exploiting a gigantic Raptors advantage that turned last night’s game.
The thing that struck me was how he’s getting the majority of his baskets and that’s on rolls to the basket and lobs and catches in traffic that right now are perplexing Indiana no end.
If Valanciunas was just getting the ball on the block and beating up Mahanmi or Turner or whoever, you know Indiana would simply start doubling more from either the baseline or the top and that would be fraught with peril but JV’s passing skills have improved but they are still from perfect, or even consistent.
But coming off a high screen or a side screen and simply catching the ball and finishing, it’s going to create some creative adjusting for Indy to take that away and it could open up a lot of other options for Toronto.
Pressing a little bit
But he’s rushing his post-ups just a little bit and all I think he needs to do is relax and let the game come to him.
Can he have three off-nights in a row? I suppose so but I don’t think he will; more than anybody,, I think one win will free his mind and let him get on with the business of playing as well as we’ve repeatedly seem him do.
That’s what starting Carroll was and it certainly didn’t turn the tide of the game but I imagine they’ll stick with it, primarily because Dwane and his staff feel it’s fairer to not force him to catch up to an already rolling George and to start the game on even terms.
Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t but you can see the sense in it.
But last night simply didn’t work. They tried to match minutes even after both Carroll and George both got two first-quarter fouls and when the Pacers went back to their guy and the Raptors answered with Carroll at the same time, George scored 10 points in about four minutes to get Indy back in the game right before halftime.
More? A little bit.
I HATE SPURS, TOO.
And when Not Grace, who knows a thing or two about the football, told me at dinner that he thought Tottenham can pip the title from Leicester, it struck me that this fan thing works out every now and then.
And Canadian fans with memories that are a bit long will be glad to know that ex-pat Canuck and Olympian Claudia Brassard has ascended to the head coaching position with the Fire after three years as an assistant.
As they say: Fire Up!
Thanks to the early Patriot’s Day start in Boston and the way the day’s Raptors schedule of shootaround game worked out, there was time over a late lunch (Hello, Firkin On Harbour!) to catch some of the ball game.
And I tell you, even if you don’t quite appreciate or know the minutia of the game and live for three-run homers and Kevin Pillar’s willingness to dive for balls even if he really doesn’t have to, that eighth inning was a gem.