Toronto–Made it to Canada, where somehow it’s a nicer day than any I can remember in Atlanta for like the last week. (When I saw the border agents, for some reason all I could think about was: “She got a cousin at customs that get (stuff) through . . .”)
– Chris Mannix of SI.com asked Woody if he’s concerned about Bibby’s problems with quick point guards as the Hawks head to the playoffs.
“You think Bibby has trouble with quick point guards,” Woody said, smiling. “I’m going to tell Bibby that. Maybe he better speed it up in the playoffs.”
Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com got to Bibby before Woody could and relayed the exchange.
“You keep some things, some things you can’t,” Bibby said, and it looked like he would let it go and that would be it.
But after a bit he added: “I aint’ the only one who has trouble with quick point guards, I can tell you that.”
Bibby was offered the hand-check rule as an out but he wouldn’t take it.
“I’ve got other things to worry about,” he said.
My take: Bibby is Woody’s guy, and the coach knows Bibby gets motivated by talk about his decline. So Woody will use such slights to coax him.
When Woody met with Bibby a few weeks back, he told him he needed to be more aggressive offensively. He was back on that theme again last night.
“He’s passed up a lot of shots he should have taken this year,” Woody said, adding with a smile: “Maybe he’s saving it up.”
From what I’ve seen, Bibby is a prideful player who cares about winning. He’s a gamer, too, so it’s no surprise he was back in the lineup last night after sitting out practice on Monday.
Look for more of Woody’s sly needling of Bibby to get him fired up for the playoffs. Or maybe more of this will do the trick.
– Woody keeps insisting he’s not really looking at the playoffs picture beyond still trying to catch Magic from 3 games back with 16 to go: “We still have a legit shot to win the division”
His standard line about the postseason: “We’ll figure that part out when we get there.” I believe him.
He’s been getting questions about Milwaukee lately but he keeps deflecting them.
“It could be Milwaukee, Toronto, Charlotte, Miami,” Woody said. “Or if any of those teams fall back Chicago could slip in there. It’s not just Milwaukee we’ve got our eyes on. But I haven’t given much thought to the playoffs. We are focused on the regular season.”
– The Raptors have become the anti-Bucks. They are reeling, losers of five straight and nine of 10. Assuming the Bulls get healthy at some point and that avoiding D Wade still is a good idea no matter what he’s got around him, the Raptors might now be the team everyone wants to see in the first round.
Raps coach Jay Triano might replace Jarrett Jack with Jose Calderon in the starting lineup tonight. Not that the Raptors think that’s the ticket. Calderon in the Toronto Star:
“It doesn’t matter who starts, it doesn’t matter who plays more minutes, we’ve got to win games. We’re upset because we’re losing games. We’re not upset because I’m not playing or I’m not starting or something like that. Let’s keep things simple: We’ve got to win, and everything else doesn’t matter.”
Here was the part in that story that should make the Hawks’ eyes get big: “(The Raptors) once again are being hammered on the defensive glass – Golden State had 18 offensive rebounds and Portland 19 in Toronto’s past two losses – and their transition defence is lead-footed.”
– The Hawks might be for sale.