It was a sad finish to what looked like such a promising shot at the Olympics for Team Canada early this morning.
Canada played extremely tight and almost exclusively on the perimeter in a terrible opening half which found the Canadian contingent down by 18 early in the second half. For some reason the club decided to do a 180 on Tuesday morning's loss and neglected their big men until it was virtually too late.
So...that is what I had written to start the recap of this morning's match between Canada and Korea.
However some stifling defense, relentless rebounding and some unreal late-game heroics by Jermaine Anderson and Rowan Barrett gave Team Canada a two-point win in the final seconds of a game which concluded minutes ago.
I'm not even sure how to recap this one as I'm still absolutely stunned. This was the greatest comeback I've ever seen from the Canadians in international play and hopefully it will carry over to their do-or-die game Friday.
If you didn't get to see this game, it was an incredible finish and Canada managed to overcome some of the most surreal shooting from an opponent that I've ever seen; either at the pro level or the amateur one. You talk about hitting some playgroundesque shots, Korea did that and more knocking down 13 of their 25 long-range attempts, many, while falling away or jumping awkwardly off of one leg!
The Koreans despite being less talented were simply more aggressive early on and quicker to the ball at almost every occasion.
However a few minutes into the second half team Canada finally got the memo about using their size as an advantage over the much smaller Korean club and began pounding the glass. Levon Kendall and Dave Thomas were particularly effective and in the end Canada finished with a 44 to 26 advantage on the boards.
These rebounds helped give the Canadians woeful offense some easy looks inside at last. When these started to drop, the outside game opened up and with a much improved defensive effort, the Canucks were able to turn the tide.
However even with the exciting win, it will be interesting to see the comments by coach Leo Rautins after the game. For some reason Samuel Dalembert was a DNP and the rumour was that it was due to a disagreement between Sammy D and the Canadian coaching staff. Had Canada lost this game, Rautins may indeed have come under major fire for his handling of not only this situation, but the ones involving Juan Mendez and Denham Brown. While originally it sounded like Brown had not "bothered" to show up for training camp, there may be more to this than meets the eye as Denham may not have appreciated the role Leo was giving him.
From there we head to the NBA as yet another big name was moved in what has been a crazy NBA off-season.
Marcus Camby for the right to swap second round draft picks?
"Heck, isn't pretty much anyone worth more than that?"
It's true, as a Raptor fan this is yet another deal that at first glance makes you scratch your head.
Back in the spring we even threw out some ideas on the site whereby Toronto would acquire Camby, and for much more than the right to swap second-round draft choices.
But the reality of the situation is that Denver, desperate to cut salary, was willing to give Marcus up without having to take on additional contracts, and the Clippers were the only team that could do this. (Well so could Memphis but it's obvious they're making like Scrooge McDuck this year.)
Toronto had no chance of obtaining Camby as even moving Rasho's deal wouldn't have given the Nuggets the immediate financial relief they were apparently looking for.
And even if the Raptors could have swung something earlier in the off-season, you have to ask yourself if you would have rather had JO or Camby. I'll take O'Neal thank you.
Next topic, Summer League.
OJ Mayo has been a human highlight reel so far but the player who has really impressed me has been Jerryd Bayless. He's been absolutely unstoppable and for a Blazers team that already looked primed to make a jump, their future just looks absolutely scary.
Nicholas Batum and Petteri Koponen have also shown a lot of promise and this is club that is going to be well stocked for years to come. And considering the anti-Clippers nature of Blazers' management, this is a franchise that looks willing to pay to keep their young talent, luxury tax be damned.