never too old.
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 24.12.10
Young Raptor Davis getting mentored by Wallace
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
Davis said while having an ex-NBAer in the household to lean on was great, “a father-son relationship is kind of like, you don’t want to hear it from your dad ... Having someone else in your ear other than (your) dad is good.”
The Raptors, who happily selected Davis out of North Carolina with the 13th pick of the 2010 draft, hope Davis will be half as good as Wallace. He has shown impressive flashes so far, but missing all of October and November — including training camp — has made his rookie campaign extra challenging.
On the bright side, Davis should be fresher than most first-year players down the stretch having not played as many games and he rebounded from a couple of subpar performances with 10 points and three rebounds against the Pistons.
The skinny Davis knows he must put on considerable weight if he wants to compete with the league’s behemoths.
Wallace thinks he’ll be fine as long as he keeps working hard.
But he also wants his protégé to know he isn’t there yet.
“I’m still the top dog. I got him,” Wallace said of his emphatic third-quarter block on a Davis attempt.
Wallace, in his 15th season, had also notched a career-high for points the last time he met Davis and the Raptors.
“Everybody thought I’d be gone by now, but I’m still here.”
Still here and still serving as a shining example for his star pupil.
Feschuk: Christmas Day games the NBA’s gift to itself
A Christmas tale for the ages; at least for some of you
‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
(Oh, wait; I’ve heard that before, must have stayed with me somehow)
Anyway. Heard any good holiday stories lately?
NBA season brings unexpected results
Kobe Bryant came up with the right answer, as he usually does these days. For the 13th time in his storied career, Christmas Day will be a workday for the five-time NBA champion. Yet you won’t hear him publicly grumble about the imposition on his mostly charmed life.
“I love it. Because there’s so many basketball fans . . . and I certainly was one of them . . . you get up, you open your gifts, you turn on some Magic and Bird, you turn on some Michael and Knicks,” Bryant, the L.A. Lakers star, told ESPN recently. “I think it’s great to be able to provide that for others.”
Bryant’s take, of course, comes in contrast to some upper-echelon grumbling about the pains of playing on Dec. 25. Phil Jackson, the Lakers coach, was railing against it this week, just as Stan Van Gundy, his Orlando Magic counterpart, had a year earlier: “I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day,” Jackson said. Also cursing the schedule maker was LeBron James, whose Miami Heat will meet the Lakers in L.A. on Saturday.
“If you ask any player in the league,” James told reporters, “we’d rather be home with our families.”
If Jackson and James sounded a little bit like Charlie Brown — lamenting crass commercialization while the estate of creator Charles M. Schulz, like the league of commissioner David J. Stern, piles up the cash on advertiser-friendly yuletide ratings — they should be comforted by the Peanuts-worthy prospect of the ball imminently being yanked from play. If the league’s talks with the players’ union don’t turn a corner in the coming year, model NBA fathers will have a decent shot at being at home with the kiddies on Halloween, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day, not to mention Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day. Because, as the world’s working stiffs can attest, those four to six months of summer vacation on the NBA calendar have never really seemed like enough.
Calderon flatters to deceive once again
After so much gnashing of teeth over how it would belong to Miami’s threesome, the 2010-11 NBA season has veered off course. Over the first quarter, the Heat tanked, the Teflon Lakers showed weakness, and if they faced off tomorrow, it would be a contest between the fifth-place team in the East and the fourth best in the West. Not quite the dream rivalry forecasters had imagined.
Instead, a host of new storylines have emerged: The aging San Antonio Spurs are on a tear, middle-of-the-road squads such as the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks have crawled out from the wings, and even the Chris Bosh-less Toronto Raptors, panned by many, have showed surprising grit by vanquishing the Orlando Magic, New Orleans Hornets and Boston Celtics, three league superpowers.
As the NBA rolls into its second quarter, here are some of the hottest stories so far.
SAN ANTONIO SPURRED
The aging Spurs have defied predictions of a decline, riding an 11-game winning streak to an outstanding 17-3 start, the best record in the NBA. Led by Tim Duncan and expertly guided by coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs’ quick start has forced the rest of the league to play catch-up. (The Spurs are 2-1 against the Los Angeles Lakers so far). Even starting point guard Tony Parker’s high-profile, messy divorce from actress Eva Longoria hasn’t derailed the squad, now the toast of the West.
The Lakers’ recent struggles and the much-hyped Heat's tepid start have unexpectedly derailed what was supposed to be a dream storyline for the league. Lakers fans must be scratching their heads: Fourth place in the West? And Miami got off to a disastrous start. But it’s early days – the Lakers can afford a small slide (such as their recent four-game skid), and Miami has the time to develop chemistry.
“Soooo happy the season is finally here … Can’t wait to play!!” tweeted 21-year-old Blake Griffin, the first pick of the 2009 NBA draft, before the Oct. 26 kickoff to his belated rookie season. (He missed a year due to a broken kneecap). A glut of lasting images thus far have been of an airborne Griffin, face above the rim, dunking viciously and repeatedly over his opponents. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Oklahoma City native is the clear front-runner in the rookie of the year race – through 22 games, he’s had an incredible 15 double-doubles, including in the last nine consecutive tilts. He’s also created a compelling reason to watch the woebegone 5-17 Los Angeles Clippers.
When the Celtics won the 2008 NBA championship, point guard Rajon Rondo chipped in, but was by no means the catalyst. Now, the fifth-year point guard is clearly the man steering the veteran squad, stocked with future Hall of Famers. The Celtics have quickly jumped to a 16-4 record, making them the team to beat as the Lakers and Heat scramble to gain a foothold. In his steely-eyed pursuit of another ring, Rondo’s stock has risen. As ESPN’s Boston columnist Jackie MacMullan writes: “He knows they could win it all. And this time, his fingerprints will be all over it.”
U-TURN FOR NEW YORK
After LeBron James rejected New York this summer, the Knicks took a gamble on $100-million (U.S.) power forward Amar’e Stoudemire. Early on, his knees are holding up and he’s on a tear (five consecutive games with more than 30 points). Admittedly, the surging Knicks have had a light schedule so far, but they’re 13-9 and have won nine of their last 10, good enough for second place in the Atlantic division. Stoudemire is clearly the leader, but strong offensive performances by young guns Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton mean that New Yorkers could be looking at their first playoff berth since 2005.
It is understandable that so many people in Toronto want Jose Calderon to do well because on the surface he seems like a prince of a guy and it is at times painful to watch how much he wants to exercise leadership.
But in the new NBA world, it seems too often to be a matter of the spirit willing and the flesh failing to deliver. Just when his supporters in this city pointed to consecutive double-doubles and a return to the ranks of the NBA leaders in assists-to-turnover ratio as a sign he'd re-established himself, Calderon comes up with a performance like Wednesday's – a career-high eight turnovers in a 115-93 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Calderon's game went south long before Amir Johnson pulled up lame late in the first half, his pregame treatments for back spasms not effective. Or before Andrea Bargnani strained his left calf muscle midway through the third quarter, then left for good in the fourth. There would be no franchise-record 25-point comeback on this night as there was the last time these teams played, because the Raptors had only eight and a half men (give or take a Joey Dorsey) and even against a club like the Pistons – beset by the type of internal strife that naturally results when a player such as Richard Hamilton gets accused sotto voce of pulling the chute on his team – it was not enough.