Solomon Alabi is headed to the D-League for some playing time.
The 7-foot-1, 250-pound centre made his regular-season NBA debut on Saturday in Miami but it was a very brief one. With playing time at a minimum, it was decided to send him to the Erie Bayhawks, the Raptors affiliate in the D-league.
Alabi is expected to practice with the team Tuesday and be in uniform for the BayHawks opening night on Friday.
“Got to get him playing time,” Raptors head coach Jay Triano said of the decision. “He can practise with us as much as he wants but he needs to get on the floor and get in game situations. Get that game-type conditioning. The running on the sidelines, the running in practice is good, but we need him to get in a game.”
For Jack it’s not just the elite point guards in the game that is the most impressive. It’s how many really good points there are throughout the league.
“I just think the depth of it has gotten better, he said. “Some people would think, ‘OK, he’s just a backup guy.’ Well the backup guy might come in and chop your head off more than the starter will sometimes. You have some guys who come off of the bench now who contribute what typical starters do. From top to bottom, I just think it’s got deeper.
“You don’t really have those guys who just come in who don’t rock the boat, make the pinpoint pass, keep it simple,” Jack said. “It’s more guys that have more ability. I don’t want to shoot this guy down because he had a great career, but there are no more Jacque Vaughn types. Just come in, run, pressure defence, and that’s pretty much his game. A lot of these guys have a lot more ability. Young guys like Jeff Teague just come in and fill it up.”
As for Wall, his absence, if it comes to that, will see the Wizards flip Hinrich who has been starting at the two-guard to the point and start Gilbert Arenas.
Arenas hasn’t been the ball of fire he was since before his break from basketball following that gun incident in the Wizards locker room, but he’s still quite capable.
On Saturday, after Wall had to come out with that sprained ankle, Arenas went in and lit up the Bulls for 30 points including seven three-pointers.
Jack knows both he and Jose Calderon can count on having their work cut out for them no matter who is injured these days.
It’s just the way the league is right now.
The probability that John Wall will miss his first NBA game Tuesday against Toronto seemed more likely on Monday as he moved around the halls of Verizon Center on crutches, unable to apply any pressure on the left foot he sprained two days before in Chicago. The crutches were an escalation from the protective walking boot he wore as he left United Center, weary from chasing around Derrick Rose during a 103-96 loss to the Bulls.
The Raptors should be a team the Wizards can beat as well. Chris Bosh is gone, now with the Miami Heat, and Hedo Turkoglu is with the Phoenix Suns. However, the Raptors still have guys who can knock down the long ball, such as center Andrea Bargnani.
When Washington challenged the New York Knicks they had trouble guarding their 6’10" forward Danilo Gallinari, and the Wizards tried to use Al Thornton on him, followed by Nick Young. The 7′ Bargnani shares a lot of the same abilities as Italian countryman Gallinari, however, Bargnani will play in a center match-up against JaVale McGee, which should help Washington.
Outside of Bargnani, the Raptors have suffered a couple of key injury woes. Speedster Leandro Barbosa is sidelined with a left shoulder strain and energy man Linas Kleiza is day-to-day with right achilles tendinitis. Without the threat of Barbosa, the Wizards might be encouraged to sit Wall if he needs the rest.