Okay, so they wrapped up home court against the Knicks, but let’s not just toss that to the side, because the Knicks actually showed up tonight and made a game out of it. If you are a Knicks fan and wanted to see where your team is really at right now and where you need to improve, well, it was all on display tonight. The Knicks showed that they do have some good young talent, but also showed that they lack discipline (um…could this be an extension of their coach?) and have no idea how to control the flow of a game (read: no PG). Curry showed the kind of player he can be when he has his head in the game, but that’s the biggest problem with him (well, assuming his heart is okay).
It was nice to see Jose get some substantial minutes in tonight’s game, especially with the playoffs just around the corner. The Raptors are a team in every essence of the word and they will need everybody ready to go when the post season gets going. Not that Jose ever looks like he isn’t ready to play, but sometimes I think his shot suffers a bit when he doesn’t get the extended minutes, which is completely reasonable. Nice job by him tonight, but let’s point out one thing. After the Raps came out of the timeout near the end of the game and they ran a play with Jose dribbling out most of the clock, then driving down the lane and throwing up a layup against 3 Knick defenders, which didn’t drop. Did that play look familiar? Yep. Why did they run it? Because he had been beating the Knicks off the dribble all night. It was heads up D by the Knicks, sliding into the middle to create a wall. Now, if TJ had done that, tell me honestly if you guys wouldn’t have been all up in arms, saying that the Raps had won DESPITE TJ. Come on, you know it’s true. That play we saw is what Sam wants done when the time comes. He knows that TJ can break down most defences off the dribble and when he sees Jose exposing a team with the same ease, you can guarantee that is what he wants down the stretch. Thank you Jose for proving what I have been saying about that play. Not always a fan of it, but that’s what’s coming out of the break from the coach. In tonight’s case, I think it was the right play, let’s just give some credit to the Knicks for finally realizing that Jose had been exposing them all night with the same drive off a high screen.
I don’t know, should we take the “Gatorade” part off of Joey’s name? He has been playing some fairly consistent ball (although he has been disappearing on the boards…as in tonight’s game). He has been correcting the worst part of his game, his inconsistency, but does that connect with the fact that he is getting regular playing time or is he getting the regular playing time because he has been consistent? Chicken or egg? I think I’m going to keep the Gatorade there for now. I don’t think it will take much to upset the applecart on that front, one cold game and it could all be over. One serious bump from somebody in the playoffs and he could be off his game.
Okay, so the other night, MoPete gets ejected for his flagrant on Hinrich and tonight AP gets absolutely mugged by Steve Francis and he stays in with his flagrant. Why, just because he made sure AP didn’t crack his head on the floor after he was mugged? Pretty much it boils down to this. Type I or Type II flagrant fouls. To give a quick compare/contrast, in Type I, the ref has to judge that the foul was unnecessary and if there are two committed by the same player in the same game, he is ejected. In Type II, if the ref deems that the foul was unnecessary AND excessive, then he is automatically ejected. So it comes down to a judgement call. So going by the NBA rulebook, MoPete’s flagrant last week where he went for a block, almost got ball and then got a bit of Hinrich’s face was unnecessary AND excessive. Steve Francis putting his arm around AP’s neck while he was in the air, pulling it back and putting him in a situation that could have resulted in serious injury: just unnecessary. Nice work to the refs tonight. At least the NBA had enough sense to downgrade MoPete’s foul from a Type II to a Type I, essentially saying that the refs were stupid to have ejected him for it, but saying it in a PC way. No respect.
And once again, if you’re ever having a bad day, just remember, we got Hump for Hoffa.