Toronto turned the ball over nine times in the second quarter alone. Just as worrisome, the free throw shooting was horrendous (52.4%) and apparently, Andrea Bargnani has gone back to the version that has driven the Raptors crazy over the years.
The new and improved edition of Bargnani that was playing so well has vanished.
After being so successful when going to work inside of late, Bargnani got one chance down low along with a host of long jumpers.
Bargnani once again could not explain why he didn’t go inside — is it teammates looking him off, or is he not going into the paint?
“I don’t know I have no idea,” Bargnani said. “We were tied with two minutes to go so we had our chance, they played better, they deserved to win.”
Bargnani’s effort at the other end was even more of a concern. He looked completely lost and uninterested throughout the evening, letting the normally stationary Nazr Mohammed blow by him for a dunk and a layup early and later not sprinting to catch slow-moving Boris Diaw who threw down a dunk.
Mohammed was the player of the game with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Bargnani finished with 12 and eight on 4-for-14 shooting.
It wasn’t just Bargnani at fault though. For too much of the evening, the Raptors didn’t go all out and it cost them.
“When you play hard it covers up a lot of deficiencies,” Bobcats head coach Larry Brown said. “It’s always about playing as hard as you can every possession.”
“We can’t turn the ball over,” coach Jay Triano said matter-of-factly. “We’re trying to help these guys as much as we can and a lot of (the turnovers are on plays) going to the basket, which is good, our guys are being aggressive, but we have to be more careful with the basketball.”
The Raptors’ 19 turnovers led to 29 Charlotte points and took Toronto out of any kind of offensive rhythm.
“Teams these days are too good,” said DeMar DeRozan. “When you turn over the ball, there’s a good chance they’re going to go down and make something happen. That definitely killed us.”
Despite the gaudy turnover totals, Toronto would have had a better chance to beat an equally-listless Charlotte team had its best player – Bargnani – been anywhere near normal.
The team’s leading scorer missed 10 of the 14 shots he took, and though he did manage to grab eight rebounds, he was physically unable to handle Charlotte’s Nazr Mohammed or Kwame Brown in the post.
Bargnani, who spent a large chunk of time immediately after the game with team’s training staff, was oddly detached all night, a step slow at both ends of the court.
“Nope,” Triano said tersely when asked if he had any explanation. “No idea.”
DeRozan had the play of the night, a leaping, one-handed tomahawk dunk over Thomas in the third quarter. … Raptors coach Jay Triano hadn’t received a report on how Calderon’s individual workout went before the game. But when asked if he’d play Wednesday against Chicago, Triano replied, “probably not.
It was Brown who said Saturday – after a 31-point home loss to the Boston Celtics – how surprised he was by his team’s lack of grit. Team owner and icon-in-residence Michael Jordan addressed the team after that game, and by every description Jordan was both loud and stern in holding the players accountable.
This is still a work-in-progress, but Wallace (who might not play tonight in Memphis, due to a sprained left ankle) saw a start.
"I’d call this a pride/confidence win. After what we showed against Boston, this was something our fans needed to see,” said Wallace, who hurt his ankle in the first quarter, but still finished with 16 points, four blocks, four rebounds and two steals.
"But this still isn’t Bobcats basketball; we shouldn’t get outrebounded like we were” in the first half.
The pass first point guard is dead, and Colangelo found himself the perfect player to take the team into the next generation. Bayless is just 22 years old, but is already in his third full season in the league after spending just one year as an Arizona Wildcat. He learnt how to play perimeter D in Portland, and he is the best thing for the Raptors to succeed right now.
With the amount of wing players that are on the current roster, especially athletic ones, the team does not need slow moving half court sets to win games. They need to ball pushed up the court and passed to them on the break. DeMar, Sonny, Julian Wright, Amir, Ed Davis. They all excel in transition. Andrea does prefer to slow it down and get the odd kick out for deep long balls, but he gets his touches to matter who is running the show.
In 10 games for the Raptors so far, Bayless has put up 12.3 points per, 4 dimes and 3 boards. He has done all of this in just 21 minutes per game, and while shooting 45% from the field and an astounding 50% from downtown.
Whenever Jose gets injured, is is nearly impossible to pinpoint when he will return to action, so Bayless could be at the helm for the forseeable future. After Bayless struggled in his first start against the Nuggets, Triano told him to stick to his game and focus on getting to the rim and finishing. Jerryd thought that he had to be the floor general now that he was starting, and he got out of his groove. But you could tell from the tip against the Pistons that his mentality had changed. He was going to be aggressive and take it at whoever was guarding him.
Andrea Bargnani had one of his worst games of the season and could not get into any kind of groove. Jarryd Bayless was Jekyll and Hyde out there going from brilliant to ridiculous from possession to possession. He clearly has some upside and has done some great things since being thrust into the starting job, but he’s young and doesn’t always let the game come to him.
The Raptors had control in the first half but couldn’t score in the second. They were blocked 18 times by Charlotte and had very no interior defense to speak of. Triano mixed things up a bit tonight but there was no combination that could hit the mark.
A tough loss for the Raps.
The Charlotte Bobcats were up by two points against the Toronto Raptors, and they were looking to extend their lead to a two possession game. To try and achieve that, the Bobcats ran a nice little play that involved a curl off of a pindown screen.