Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flexing my critical muscle

There's really nothing about the following blog post by man of all seasons, Doug Smith that warrants the FDS treatment any more than any of his daily cybervomits. But I'm bored. And he sucks.

Late again, blame time zones.

Be back in Boston on Monday – maybe – and will be back to the regular routine.

Please note that in the era of shrinking newsrooms and closed-down international bureaus, Doug E. Smith (the 'E' stands for 'Mediocre') gets to fly from Boston to LA and back to Boston. That's like $4,000 that could be better spent feeding hungry orphans or renting a really kick-ass bouncy room.

Garbo's as good as gone and you have no idea how much we’ll miss him.

I guess we don't. Don't cry, DS!

Funniest guy on the team (maybe a tie with Rasho), fine player, good person but, you know what?, it’s time.

Garbo was average for the one season he played in the NBA. You could make a statistical argument that he was below average but we'll stick with average.

With all the stuff swirling around him, playing last summer’s Euros when the team didn’t want him to, the lawsuit against the federation over the insurance money, the fact he’s will have played only seven NBA games in 18 months when camp rolls around, his desire to play in Beijing this summer, sort of had a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind this day might arrive.

Any stock tips for me, Doug?

Financially, it’s not a huge boon to the Raptors, although there will be some luxury tax help when they finally come up with a buyout number, but it won’t give them any extra room to chase free agents, they’ll still just have the mid-level exception.

On the court? Well, I don’t think anyone had any idea what Garbo would have brought to camp so if there were no expectations, he’s not going to be missed a lot. If he’d been the 2006 Garbo, tough, smart, a defensive anchor, that would have been great. But if he’d been less than that, I’m not sure how big a role he would have played.

Average. Better on defense than offense but he was too slow to defend 3s. I'm racking my brain for instances of toughness... That beard was certainly tough.

It bites when things come to an end, it especially bites when they come to an end because of an injury; this departure bites an awful lot.

Or it means almost nothing.

Oh, and no, it won’t have any impact whatsoever on his buddy Jose.

Thanks for clearing that up. I thought Jose might break his own leg in support.

We’re sitting around the hospitality suite here late last night, swapping stories and doing what beat grunts do – a wee bit of complaining, a wee bit of laughing, a wee bit of imbibing – and of course they have NBA TV on all the sets

This, my friends, is classic.

(He posts a Red Auerbach instructional video clip, the kind that is on NBA TV 10 times a day.)
Doug Smith has never seen the channel devoted to the sport he covers before, I guess. Instead of those red-eye flights across the USA, maybe the Toronto Star should spring for some better cable for the Gruntster.

Well, now I can tell my grandkids I saw Candace Parker play basketball in person.

To satisfy personal curiosity, and because some friends from the league invited us to suite, took in the WNBA game between the Sparks and Detroit Shock last night.

Wow, Doug, you get into all the cool parties!

Now, I don’t want this to sound at all condescending because some people who know me know I’ve been a fan of the women’s game for a while, but the caliber of play was outstanding.

Fast, skilled, better shooting than I can remember from other WNBA games I’ve seen in person or on TV and Parker is the real deal. Even though she was in foul trouble and didn’t play an awful lot, you could just see how excellent she is.

Now I can tell her brother I know for a fact he’s not as good (I keed, I keed).

Pointing out every time you attempt to make a joke is a surefire indicator you are exceptionally funny)

And, let me tell you, was sitting along the baseline for a few minutes in the third quarter and I saw Cheryl Ford deck Lisa Leslie with an elbow that was every bit as nasty as any her father threw in his NBA career.

I've been meaning to ask how Karl Malone has a daughter who must be pushing 30. Was he 16 when he laid some of that seed down? Utah should have made the Mailman marry all of his baby-mamas.

(ed: Malone was 18 at the time of Cheryl's birth, I looked it up)

I know there’s not much chance too many of you will get to see a game in person but if you do, I’d recommend it for sure.


From the mail, and tomorrow’s mail day, don’t forget:

Q: You said in your blog today (June 11) that Basketball is the toughest sport to officiate. Why is that? What makes it so tough? What makes it tougher to officiate then soccer or hockey?

T S, Markham

A: Many, many reasons. The speed, the size of the athletes, the physical nature of the game, the compact size of the playing field and the fact there probably could be a foul called on every single possession.

You could put two of the best basketball officials in a room, show them video and they may not agree with each other on a handful of calls. There’s a lot of subjectivity that goes into officiating the game.

Hockey? It’s tough, sure; but the players aren’t as big and the playing surface is huge.

Soccer? Please. I’ve watched a lot of the European championships these past few days and, yes, the officials have to run and cover a lot of area. There are also times when two thirds of the players on the pitch are either walking or standing.

No other sport penalizes otherwise incidental contact. Done.

Oh, right, there’s a game on out here tonight.

Trying to figure out who’ll win? So are we. If Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are merely average in Game 3, the Celtics win and the series is effectively over and it’s hard to imagine them both being that bad again tonight.

On the other hand, it’s quite possible that neither Lamar Odom nor Pau Gasol have any significant impact on the game.

That said, though, if Rajon Rondo can’t go – and there’s no word this morning on how his ankle is – I don’t think the Celtics have a chance. As we know. Sam Cassell’s done, Eddie House is a shoot-first guard and he couldn’t handle any measure of ball pressure the other night when the Lakers had Jordan Farmar guarding him and there’s really no one else.

That ambivalent enough for you?

That was actually ambivalent enough for you.

I’m thinking the Celtic win another ugly, low-scoring game.

The fact that you get to attend this potentially ugly, low-scoring game should be a human rights violation.

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