A quick one today.

Another roller-coaster week, two disappointing losses sandwiched between an expected and an unexpected win. With injuries to Bargnani and Calderon, there was a chance for some reserves to make their mark and Jarrett Jack made the most of the opportunity. Sonny Weems had a nice run against Houston which many of us feel is something he can do rather consistently if given the chance. His game isn’t dependent on an outside jumper like Belinelli’s so it’s easier for him to be consistent. Utilizing ones athleticism is a matter of effort, something which is up to the individual to maintain, jumper’s a different breed as we’ve seen with Belinelli. You just don’t know when they’ll fall or when they’ll miss.

Jack’s been the most impressive Raptor for me, he averaged 14.75pts, 6.25asts and 5rebs for the week while playing 35mpg. The turnover numbers are rather high at 3.25/game but you’ll take that since he’s being very forceful on offense. He’s gone up against some quick hotshot young ‘uns this week and came out looking pretty decent, facing Flynn, Jennings and Brooks can be a defensive nightmare and he’s done a commendable job of it. Does he deserve the starting job? Before you answer yes or no to it, think back to Forderon and when some of us thought Jose should be the starter based on his play in a stretch of the season. I’ll try not to anoint him ‘the next one’, maybe he’s just a backup who’s having a good game, maybe he’s a starter in backup’s clothing. The good thing is that Jose is going to feel threatened which should help his game, just like it did when TJ was around.

Triano’s deservedly came under a lot of heat with the way the team lost against Milwaukee and Atlanta, in both cases the opponent made second quarter surges which we failed to overcome because of our inability to get stops. Fans just want to see him do something when the team is down, maybe call a timeout, gather his squad, draw up a couple good shot opportunities in the hopes of getting the team going. The frustration with him stems from his in-game management which seems to be non-existent, we’re 26 games in and I don’t recall him making a true change mid-game which gave the Raptors the advantage. We saw Milwaukee crowd Bosh in the second half, we saw Phoenix be prepared for the PnR switch a couple weeks ago, we even saw Minnesota, despite a size disadvantage, make a distinct effort to go at our bigs, I don’t know if anyone can remember Triano tweaking something at halftime to gain advantage.

Click on the play button below or listen directly in iTunes (37:31), you can also download the file (12.8 MB).

Podcast topics include:

  • Living with Bosh and Bargnani.
  • Whether Triano is screwing up DeRozan or is DeRozan just passive.
  • A case for Sonny Weems.
  • Lethargy against Atlanta.
  • What the Houston win really means?
  • The quest for .500 by January 1st.
  • Bench depth. What do we have in Belinelli?

Looking Ahead

Tue @ MIA: Revenge mission for Miami. We beat them 120-113 earlier in the year. Since then they’re 4-6.

Wed @ ORL: Third time’s the charm against Orlando? If you can’t beat a team at home in two tries on Sunday afternoons, you’re not going to beat them on the road.

Fri v NJN: Lose here and…well, nobody will be shocked. I’m looking forward to seeing Brook Lopez operate, he killed Jermaine O’Neal last year and Bargnani should get a dose of the ‘inside’ against him.

Sun v NOH: Revenge mission for New Orleans. This seems ages ago, it was at the time a very impressive win but NOH went ahead and dropped 4 of their next 5 when Paul went out. Now he’s back and they’ve won 3 of 4, albeit against the Kings and Wolves (twice). They did lose to the Knicks at home 113-96 so that tells you how bad they could be. This is Mo Pete appreciation night, watch him go off for six threes. He’s pulled himself up to a 5.08 PER since we last checked on him, but good ‘ol Antoine Wright remains the worst player in the league:

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