A hope WNBA comes to town

Toronto Star - - SPORTS - Smith Doug Read more on Doug Smith’s Sports Blog at thes­tar.com and send your ques­tions to [email protected]­tar.ca. We re­serve the right to edit for clar­ity, punc­tu­a­tion an space.

I have a ques­tion about the WNBA. You have men­tioned that Toronto needs to wait for a new CBA, then go hard after a team. Why would a new CBA make a dif­fer­ence? I think it would be great if we could have a WNBA team one day. — Jo, Toronto

I think any pru­dent busi­ness would wait un­til fi­nan­cial ques­tions are an­swered in a new deal with play­ers, things like per­cent­age of salaries that will have to be paid out, what kind of rev­enue shar­ing would be in place, if any, and what co-op­er­a­tive mar­ket­ing plans might be com­ing.

If, say, you were to get a team and there was a work stop­page, you’d lose valu­able time in pro­mot­ing the play­ers and game at the time it was most needed.

That said, I still won­der if Maple Leaf Sports will see the busi­ness ben­e­fits in try­ing to get a team when the chance ar­rives. I hope they do. As I re­call, Roy Hal­la­day signed a one-day con­tract with the Jays so he could of­fi­cially re­tire as a Blue Jay. As­sum­ing Vince Carter never plays an­other game for the Rap­tors, when he de­cides to call it a ca­reer, do you see the Rap­tors do­ing a sim­i­lar deal with him to al­low him to re­tire as a Rap­tor? — Dr. Justin

I sup­pose it could tech­ni­cally hap­pen but it’s not re­ally a big deal in the NBA, so I doubt that it would come about. How do the coaches pre­pare teams for the sec­ond game of a back-to-back set? I think this week the Raps flew in from Mil­wau­kee and played at home less than 24 hours after the Mil­wau­kee game ended. There can’t have been time for a film ses­sion, cer­tainly not a prac­tice. — Jim

That’s where as­sis­tant coaches and video coaches come into play. They will know weeks in ad­vance which as­sis­tant is in charge of de­vel­op­ing a scout­ing re­port and game plan for a cer­tain op­po­nent ...

And there isn’t a lot of time (be­tween games) but there’s enough. For that 7:30 p.m. In­di­ana game, for in­stance, the play­ers and coaches would have met some­time around 2:30-3 p.m. to go over video and then gone on the court to walk through what they just saw.

It’s part of the work day that few see. Ap­pre­ci­ated the piece on Kawhi not play­ing in back-to-back games and the mes­sage it sends to the rest of the league about car­ing for a player’s health over the long term. But what I’m won­der­ing at this point, is there even a point in Kawhi play­ing in the re­main­ing back-to-backs — Bos­ton/ Phoenix, Sacra­mento/In­di­ana, Mi­ami/Cleve­land and De­troit/ New York. Would any­one re­ally care if Kawhi missed games against the Suns, Kings, Cavs and Knicks? Sacra­mento is the only team re­motely close to .500. Also, the other four op­po­nents are all po­ten­tial play­off matchups. And re­ally, how of­ten do back-to backs hap­pen in the play­offs? Any sense of the num­ber of back-to-backs in re­cent years? — John

Back-to-backs never hap­pen in the play­offs any­more, so it won’t be an is­sue.

As for the to­tals: Since the league ex­tended the days in the reg­u­lar sea­son to ease the travel and the work­load, the Rap­tors had 14 back-to-back sets last sea­son and will have 12 this year.

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