Pistons 115, Raptors 93 – Box

Teams have good memories, even bad ones like the Detroit Pistons. They remembered the embarrassment that was dealt to them on their home floor and delivered a dominating performance as they ran the Raptors off their own court last night. Their was one Piston whose memory was not so good, however. Tracy McGrady forgot he’s a washed up has-been and single-handedly put the Raps away in the second quarter. Yep, the game was over in the second quarter. You just knew that there would be no comeback given the context of the situation, at least not without bloody and far-ranging consequences. T-Mac was back in the house that fateful quarter, as he tore up the limping, undermanned Raptors with precise jumpers and drives to the rim. What made it even more painful was that he did everything predictably slower than we are used to from McGrady. He picked us apart in slow motion, except this replay lasted and excruciatingly long twelve minutes.

The Raptors, as mentioned were understaffed without notables Jerryd Bayless and Sonny Weems, and guys like Amir Johnson, Bargnani, Kleiza, and Calderon were playing hurt. Guess you had to play someone. Amir Johnson’s the one player who’s health should be re-evaluated because he’s clearly not himself right now. The activity level isn’t there and he’s laboring on the floor. He needs to mend. Bargnani seemed affected as well, but also had a couple of decent moves to the rim and his defence was relatively good as compared with the rest of the team. That’s not saying much is it? 16 points off 17 shots and 2 rebounds in 33 minutes. Ugh. So much for hoping Bargnani could build off his good game against New Jersey. What was I thinking? More ugly numbers: 8 turnovers from Jose Calderon, the same number Detroit has all game. The 8 Detroit had just shows to you just how little pressure the Raptors exerted defensively. It was pathetic, really.

But this is your homecourt boys, have some pride will ya? Nope, sorry, not with Chistmas right around the corner and some warm eggnog waiting for them, I guess. They rolled over like a cheap suit as soon as the Pistons went on that big run in the second. The Raptors made it a 16 point games with 9 minutes to go in the game, and had the ball, but rookie Greg Monroe stole the ball of Andrea for and a resulting 3 point play pretty much took the wind (more like a gentle breeze) out of their sails.

What else can you say? There’s not much to break-down, except that it was a lacklustre effort that seemingly sucked the energy right out of you. Let’s see how Tracy McGrady does in the next few games. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back to being his usual ineffective and lumbering self, as he has been for the last two seasons, essentially. He was getting into the lane unmolested, usually with a drive and kick in mind. His favorite recipient was Richard Hamilton in the corner. We saw this time after time. The entire team should not be collapsing on McGrady at this point in his career, especially the man on Hamilton, who is a dead-eye shooter and especially not from the corner because it`s probably still within his comfort range. The corner three is one of the effective shots in basketball and a lot of good teams attempt them by design. Remember Anthony Parker for us a couple of years back? What you want to do is pick your poison and let one of their other shooters take a regular three, but don’t send help from the baseline. I mean 6-10 from 3 point land for Rip, that shouldn’t happen, he shouldn’t even be allowed to hoist 10 attempts, let alone make 6. You’ve got to adjust at some point don’t you? Hamilton also scored in usual fashion, by running constantly off screens to free himself. No Raptor was up to that task on this night. They haven’t been taught to fight screens on simple switches, which is such a shame in itself, so why would you expect them to be any good at fighting through anything? It’s such a, what’s the word, wimpy (?) way to the play the game. Wimpy, yeah, that’s a damn good word to describe it.

One observation I want to throw in about DeMar DeRozan. If you saw how he played in that 3rd quarter of the Laker game, then you saw how he played in the Summer League. While I fully realize that it should be taken with a grain of salt, he was clearly on of the best players in the entire league. He played calm and composed and his jumper was sticking. It was very encouraging to see. Come the regular season, and you see an entirely different player. Passive, inconsistent, lacking confidence in the jumper. My take on it is that DeRozan is a rhythm player that (unfortunately?) needs the ball in his hands. He’s that kind of guy who ends up hitting that tough fading jumper from the baseline but then rimming an open jumper at the free throw line. Some of the greats of the game have the same problem. One of the things holding Miami back is that Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are not great off-the-ball shooters. The Raptors owe it to themselves to give this kid the ball and see what he can do with it. To me, there is no better way in improving our team outside of adding talent through the draft. Whenever he has the ball, he seems to be making what he thinks is the right play for the team, but not necessarily what he does well. It’s great that he has that team-first attitude but it’s time to get a little selfish.

Leandro Barbosa was the lone bright spot on the team, as he has become our most consistent player. Not suprisingly, he is also one of the more experienced players. Does he fit in the long term plan, or is he better off to look at as an asset that can be flipped to a contender that needs scoring off the bench? You can’t fall in love with players and even after 29 games it seems clear that this team isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so using tradeable assets like Barbosa to stockpile is always a decent option.

Here is the silver lining that seems to shining brighter after every loss: We’re getting closer to a lottery pick. This was like the ugly sister of the “4 point” game, where the loser gets to pull even with the other team in the standings, except in the wrong direction. You have to have this mindset to maintain some semblamnce of sanity when watching this Raptors sometimes.

  • Daniel

    I would take what Boston did in 2008 over rebuilding through the draft any day of the week. We have the pieces to make it happen.
    I watched intently DeRozan in defence and it is astounding how bad he is given his athletic ability. He falls for all the pump fakes, he trails the screener insted of predicting the screen, he has no lateral movement so anyone can spin by him, he has no reaction in a hand-off set. I’m sure the coaches are showing him everything he’s doing with no result. How many years are we wlling to wait to becoming better in defence? How many years do we have to wait before he develops a jumpshot and dribbling abilities? This is the problem with developing: it takes too long and if talent evaluation is wrong then it is all for naught.

    • Nilanka15

      The Boston situation is nearly impossible to duplicate. It’s one of those situations where the stars had to align perfectly for it to happen:

      – Boston already had a top tier player in Pierce, and had a LOT of expendable parts to offer Seattle and Minnesota (West, Sczerbiak, Green, Jefferson, Gomes, Telfair, Ratliff, two 1st around picks, and cash).
      – KG was desperate to leave Minny, and was still a top 5 player at the time
      – Allen was a member of a team facing relocation, and was desperate to lift themselves out of a big financial hole. He was also a player who had experienced everything, except winning a title, and was as hungry as anyone.
      – Boston is the most historic franchise in the league. Not only do players want to play there, they want their jerseys retired there.
      – If you replace KG with any other PF, there’s no way the C**tics win a title in 2007-08. It’s his intensity that’s not only contagious, but scares his teammates.

      It’s the combination of many factors that helped Danny Ainge pull off a miracle. It’s easy to look back and suggest, “we should do what Boston did”, but it was a chemistry experiment that happened to go well. Many of the preseason pundits had the C**tics topping out around 50 wins, and maybe the 3rd or 4th seed in the East. Nobody knew with any certainty it would work as well as it did.

      It’s a strategy that’s simply too hard to duplicate. The draft is the best course of action for us.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        I think this year is different. With the uncertainty of a new CBA, teams will be cautious, while some will exhibit the “panic” mode. If the uncertainty continues, teams (on the bubble) will try to jettison players – moving big contracts that make them nervous (in a new CBA).

        Teams that have the balls to venture forward, can take advantage of this. Raps need to be one of those teams.

      • Daniel

        You are taking it literally. Of course nothing can be duplicated. “Boston” is a code-word for a business model in a sport franchise in which draft picks and young prospects are traded for proven players. Its success generated its desirability.
        You have to answer though why with #1 draft pick, #9 in DeRozan (a “steal” at the time), #13 in Davis (another “steal”) and #11 in Bayless (of course, another “steal” of a trade) we suck and you still want more years of suckitude going through the draft route. Sports is a business, right: if it’s your money in play would you bet them all on the draft? Think about the Dallas model: continuously surrounding Dirk with proven players hoping to win it all. I have a feeling Cuban didn’t lose any money: he’s not a stupid businessman. The fans are happy: the team is always competing. The players in general are happy: they get to play for a contender and make good money. I don’t think they cared much about draft in the last 10 years. I rather prefer to be Dallas than Raptors. What do you prefer?

    • Nilanka15

      Also, nobody expected Rondo to turn into the player he is today. Going into the 2007-08 season, the PG was their biggest problem. Another factor towards the stars being in perfect alignment for this strategy to work.

      • Van Grungy

        And boy did the Celtics waffle over Rondo… now he is glue that makes the Celtics exceed their age…

    • Mediumcore

      Just wanted to add to what some of the other replies are saying that you also have to have an owner that is willing to pony up the cash and go into the luxury tax to do what teams like Boston, L.A., Orlando are able to do year after year.

      Also regarding DD’s defense…and not saying that a lot of his bad defense isn’t his fault, but if you look at the teams that in recent history have been good defensive teams they all have one thing in common. Good defensive big(s) that perimeter players can rely on to help when they get beat off the dribble. Boston has KG, San Antonio has Duncan, Detroit had Big Ben, and Sheed, Orlando has Dwight etc.. Playing good perimeter D is based on knowing that if you get beat that you “back is covered” so you know which way to get beat etc…

      • RapthoseLeafs

        Luxury tax – until I see MLSE venture into that territory, I will continue to believe that we need a LeBron/Wade/Kobe/Howard type, before MLSE really opens up their pocket books.

        I just don’t believe it’s in MLSE blood.

        • Mediumcore

          Agreed. I was commenting on an earlier comment from Daniel that he feels that trading is the only way to go as Boston did, as opposed to rebuilding via draft and development which is what the Raptor’s are doing.

          • smushmush

            Our draft history with all the busts and near busts coupled with most of the players being one dimensional players, the draft is not even a good option. I just wonder – How does Jim Kelly have a job with all these draft day gaffes?

  • voy

    How do you give derozan the ball when he has a limited handle? He has the spin move and the 3 dribble (same hand) drive to the basket when the red carpet is laid out for him. How is this going to translate into an efficent team orriented offence?

    • Nilanka15

      I don’t think anyone mentioned anything about an efficient, team-oriented offense. It’s simply a strategy to see if DeRozan has the ability to be a high-calibre wing in this league. It’s fair to say this season is a complete write-off. Might as well start experimenting.

    • voy

      i should mention two things. (1) obviously “oriented” is spelled with only one “r” and (2) I hope I am wrong about demar. I just dont see star potential in him or the qualities you want in a player with the ball in his hands. This being said, I certainly think he is an nba player.

      shit, I wanted to elaborate on this point but my son wants me to help him rock out with his paperjamz.

      adios and Merry Christmas to all raps fans if I dont get back before the 25th.

    • KJ-B

      His handle didn’t stop him against ORL, MIA, LAL and “when he got the ball from Jose” which was less than a handful, the Pistons weren’t stopping him either… That looked like a FIBA-freeze out to me last night (yup I know that a sore spot for some)–speaking of which, I’m not sure how many more gutsy wins this team can pull out to save their coach’s behind (see: Orlando, Detroit road games) with next 6 of 7 away from the ACC… I think it’s time to have a coach with real experience like PJ lead the charge or an offensive virtuoso like Alex English take the reins–Jay’s not getting it done and the Young1’s so to speak, are not developping based on any strategy he is or isn’t implementing.

  • Mike P

    I hope he is not going to be joey graham 2.0. he’s going to be better right than joey, right?

    • Maxv73

      I’m really not sure.
      He’s young, but seems to lack the mental toughness
      Honestly now I’ll trade him for a proven veteran like Hamilton

      • Nilanka15

        What good would that do? Hamilton is in the decline of his career, and would still be playing with one of the worst rosters in the league. We’d still easily miss the playoffs, and instead of having a low-priced wing with potential to improve, we’d be stuck with a high-priced wing who is sure to decline.

        I’m not saying DeRozan is untouchable. I’m saying an aging vet is the LAST thing we need right now.

    • arsenalist

      Young player with only two years of college/NBA experience, so it’s too early to draw that comparison. Joey went to college for four years and was classified as a dud around after his second year, that’s a total of 6 years. DeRozan is at 2.

      There are some ominous signs, though. No jumper, gets tunnel vision, can’t dribble, and can’t seem to use athleticism to his advantage. I think the last one isn’t so much a problem as that the league overall has become more athletic. For example, it’s hard to say that DD has a significant athletic advantage in any of his matchups, so you can’t really count on that to work for him consistently. What does bother me is that he doesn’t seem to consistently be able to finish at the rim, don’t get me wrong, drawing fouls is good but there’s something telling about a player who can’t seem to score in the face of pressure at the rim. That’s where I hoped DD would excel and that’s exactly where he’s disappointed.

      • sleepz

        IMO, most good swings in the league have their atheticisim built into their existing basketballl skill-set. They blend together. Kobe hits the toughest shots in the league based on his fundamentals and his athleticism to get his shot off. DeMar has some athleticism and is trying to gain skills. Ball handling is not a skill I want my 2 guard working to try and develop. Shooting is one thing but if you are trying to learn to handle the rock as a 2, I am officially concerned. I think he should play the 3.

      • KJ-B

        WHAT are you talking about??? Aren’t you the same guy predicting Weems to average between 12-16 ppg this season??? I don’t think you’ve been right about much and you’re dead wrong about DeRozan–not sure if you’ve ever played… probably not at a high level of competition if you did…

        “it’s hard to say that DD has a significant athletic advantage in any of his matchups, so you can’t really count on that to work for him consistently.” You’re kidding me right???

        • arsenalist

          And Weems is averaging 11.5 in a bad/injury year, so I’m half a point off my range. Forgive me.

          Athletic ability doesn’t count for shit on its own. Nothing, just ask Joey Graham, Darius Miles, Rodney Carney, Jamario Moon and the list goes on. Athletic ability will never give you an advantage unless you’re using it as a supplement to something else. J.R Smith only became a threat when he developed a consistent jumper and a drive game, before that he was a “problem child” for the Nuggets. Anthony Randolph is another highly touted athlete that hasn’t gotten it going because his overall game isn’t up to par to use that athleticism.

          Unless you’re in a Phoenix or GSW type system which rewards athleticism through run ‘n gun ball, a player’s going to have a tough time getting by just on that.

          There aren’t many great example of players dominating based on sheer athleticism and most of them are on the defensive end – Dennis Rodman, Bruce Bowen (could shoot the three) come to mind, but overall, you got to have concrete shit to back up the showtime and right now DD’s broke in that respect.

          • KJ-B

            Why you cussin like all tough for, shoot?!? The NBA is about athleticism, if you have a PG who can inspire confidence and make players believe they’re better than they are (just ask Marco B in New Orleans) then you’ll understand my point… Was Chandler any good in Charlotte, but he’s looking like an All Star again in Dallas… Bout ur boy Weems, let’s see how much ppg, he averages, let alone minutes when he returns–his ppg has taken a hit over the last month, what gives??? Oh wait, the League found out about him…

  • 511

    Last line made me laugh. “You have to have this mindset to maintain some semblance of sanity when watching these Raptors sometimes.” So true. So true.

  • Daniel

    Let’s say Bargnani has arrived. Let’s say he has proven to be a capable nr. 1 option offensively. If that’s the case then why will we waste his prime years through 3-4 years of rebuilding effort? Why don’t we add players ready to compete right now at SG, SF and PF positions? In 3-4 years anything can happen: he can be broken down injury-wise, etc. We have already rebuilt through draft: we have a #1 pick, #9 and #13. There is no guarantee there are any superstars or All-Stars in the next 2 drafts.
    I would have no problem getting Mayo, Iggy and Brand. Again, I don’t pretend to be a GM: I’m just using an example of what can be done to start competing.

  • John_P

    That was hard to watch, yet up until the 9 minute mark of the 4th quarter I kept thinking they were ready to make a run. The most frustrating part of this was the fact that their offense was entirely built up on turnovers and fast break points. What an awful way to lose and basically give away a game. Ah well, hopefully the break will heal some Raps that were clearly hurt.

  • Nilanka15

    Gotta say, that must’ve been the worst game I’ve ever seen Calderon play. I know it’s an anomaly, but still…that was just ugly. Too much rum in that pre-game, Triano-home-brewed eggnog.

    • KJ-B

      If you look again, he was playing to the side of the floor–the strong side–where DeMar wasn’t… He’d penetrate on the strong side then pass to the strong side. Any defense can play against a pg that’s freezing out 1 side of the court, you don’t have to guard that side which is why the lane seem so packed and there were sooo many turnovers–As a former pg myself, I HATED WATCHING HIM PLAY LAST NIGHT… I was the kind of guy that would play like a shorter Jay Kidd, score 6-8 points, get umpteen assists, steals and board well from my spot…

      Jose showed no desire to win, except for some hidden agenda that him and the Fiba All Stars seemed to working on (your guess is good as mine)– it sounds crazy but if you’ve got the stomach watch “Game In An Hour” whenever it comes again and you’ll see the Pistons reacting to the lack of pressure that Jose was putting on them by playing only on Kleiza’s/#7’s side of the floor… It’s comical!

      • VMart

        I agree with KJ-B, that raps (Jose in particular) didn’t swing the ball last night. It’s pretty deceiving if you look at the stats because they still had 26 assists. But I think a fair number of those came on the fast break/early offense.

        If you think back to the Lakers game, the ball swung pretty well. Triano even acknowleged it in the post game, and that allowed DeRozan to be effective. He started off the yesterdays game well, 6pts, 3reb, 3asts, 1stl in the first serveral minutes of the game…then he didn’t get the ball (and he got into foul trouble). The raps need better ball movement overall to ensure that guys don’t go into “get mine” mode.

  • Kumo

    bargnani is the leader as the first option will get Toronto nowhere, look at what happened with bosh.. it will be only an illusion.. since carter left we still dont have a real superstar player to lead the team and no superstar wants to come up north, so the drafts the only way

    • ConcernedinToronto

      I am surpirsed that you mention Carter as he just like so many others have faded once they left Toronto. Had anyone else noticed that all of our “franchise players” don’t seem to get anywhere once they Leave T.O.

      • Rookie

        I think you have to admit that Tracy McGrady did well for a number of years.

        • ConcernedinToronto

          True but not for as long as he should have.

  • http://twitter.com/bballjunk theBasketballJunkies

    DeMar’s tweets this month really show a kid struggling with the demands of an NBA career. I think Christmas break will do wonders for his mindset.

    • Nilanka15

      For those of us not on Twitter, what’s he been saying?

      • arsenalist

        Nothing much:

        I know god got me so I practice patience…

        Reasonable Doubt…


      • Raptoronto

        So far gone. For now…

        I know god got me so I practice patience…

        Reasonable Doubt…

        So far gone. In my own little world…

        If it ain’t one thing, it’s another…

        All my wrong doings did was put my faith to a test, which made me much stranger guess my mistakes a correct….

        I always manage to do better when doubt is shown…

        Everyone storm is different so this forecast is only mine…

        People best successes come after their disappointments…

        I miss high school low key…

  • hateslosing

    I’d like to have DD be a bigger part of the offense. right now he looks like he did last year sometimes, people aren’t looking for him to make plays. If you want him to be our two of the future, we need to start giving him the ball, sending Johnson or Bargnani on the screen, and tell him to create over an over again. Then we can truly evaluate if he can be the dynamic wing scorer we’ve been waiting for or if he’s just another athletic flash in the pan. Course he needs to get his shots from somewhere so management needs to decide if they want to take some shots away from Bargs or Kleiza and give them to Demar or if it’s time to move him.

    Terrible game last night.

  • 511

    Watching last night’s uninspired play, I got to thinking about what differences there could be in the growth of this team if we had a different kind of head coach, right now. Like a few others, I like to think that when someone at the top feels the time is right, we’ll get ourselves a top-notch coach, but if that is possibly true, mightn’t it make more sense to get him in here sooner, rather than later?

    It’s not that Triano is doing such a terrible job with what he has to work with, but to my eyes, there’s just something lacking in the offensive flow that I see on the floor, in general. It’s not fair to compare with teams like Boston (for example) but when I watch them as well as some other teams, each player so often moving with a sense of purpose that (often then) becomes clear when the play finally develops … a sense of wistfulness settles in as I wish we could have even SOME of that, with our team, or at least more than I see. Triano has his own strengths, I’m sure … and it might be that what I’m wishing for is more talent-driven than coaching or system-driven, but I do mostly think that a different mind-set coming from our head coach could get us started a little sooner onto the path that we’re looking to one day get on. Just a thought.

  • Rexdale

    The thing i’ve noticed with this Raptor team is that everyone wants to get their own (pad their stats). There really is no passing going around except for calderon, amir and wright who are passing up open shots for a better one.

    • Rexdale

      oh and i forgot, derozan passes up on his shots WAY to much. its like hes trying to achieve a perfect fg% this season..

      • Nilanka15

        It’s probably because of his lack of confidence in his jumper. I certainly have no confidence in his ability to hit wide open 15 footers.

    • blackangus

      continuing the theme of everyone looking to get there own shot – Kleiza did not touch the ball on offence in the 4th quarter until the 6:13 mark. Then he proceeded to attempt a drive to the rim and lost the ball. However, I can’t really blame him. It is super frustrating to run up and down the court, attempt to play defense and not even touch the ball on offense. And as soon as a player gets frustrated they stop setting hard screens, stop getting back on D, etc.

  • Bo4

    I’m giving BC 12 months from now to get the team headed in the right direction. The TPE should add one key piece. The draft a second. And free agency a third. Then they’ll need 30 games to gel as a unit. Right now, if BC’s contract is over at season’s end, I’d extend it one year, with a mutual option after that for the maximum number of years that can be agreed to.
    So, what have we got right now?

    #2 player in Bargnani
    #3 in Evans
    #4s in Johnson & Calderon
    #5 in DeRozan
    #6s in Barbosa, Weems & Kleiza
    #7s in Davis & Bayless
    & #8 in Dorsey

    This team is a #1 player away from being a .500 team, period.

    • Nilanka15

      Sounds like Colangelo is more likely to use the TPE in pieces, rather than one big splash. He already used a small portion of it in the Bayless deal.

      Don’t be surprised if he uses it chunks (as a 3rd team) towards the trade deadlines to perhaps, help other teams make their salaries match, while landing more picks/prospects.

      • Bo4

        You already know that I want BC to get Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline, Kyrie Irving in the draft, and Marc Gasol as an RFA. Then we’d still have Bargnani & Kleiza as trade chips to upgrade or add future draft picks, but that’s just my meagre little plan.

        • Bo4

          Oopps. I forgot to mention that I would indeed make DeRozan, Weems, Wright & Alabi available as trade chips, as well (if anybody wants them, too).

          • Bo4

            Thinking about it some more, yes, we can get another starting swing for Bargnani next season. Then we can upgrade or add draft picks using DeRozan, Weems, Wright, Kleiza & Alabi as trading chips. I’d want to get a bench swing with lots of potential to develop a complete NBA game. What we have now is falling short in that regard.

  • Mediumcore

    Up to this point in the season I considered Calderon and Bargnani the two players most likely to be traded.

    Then yesterday I got to thinking what if they moved Demar instead? What the Raptor’s need more than anything else is a play maker that can handle the rock during clutch moments (along the lines of D. Wade). If we can trade for someone like that, and yes I realize there is only a handful of players like that, then holding onto Calderon makes sense. Jose is a good point guard that knows how to run the team, and his contract though bad for a back up pg, is good for a starting pg. So what if we kept Jose, used expiring contracts, the TPE , Demar and the kitchen sink (or any combination of) to acquire a top notch SG?

    Still think we need to move Andrea, but any thoughts on keeping Jose, and moving Demar for an good SG? O.J. Mayo can play SG right? Same with Monta Ellis whom seems to be in a position in Golden State where he needs the ball in his hands all the time to play well, and can’t with Curry there.

    • Nilanka15

      I wonder what kinda of value DeRozan would have the in trade market. I fear that Colangelo, and us Raptors fans (having been force-fed the kool-aid) think his stock is much higher than it really is. Aside from a few good games this year, DeRozan hasn’t really shown any GM that he’s more like Vince Carter, and less like Gerald Green.

      • VMart

        I think guys are giving up on DeRozan way too easily. If you put another SG in that same scenario, say OJ Mayo, how much better would they really do?

        It’s hard to be effective when you don’t handle the ball, your starting PG is playing like Jose did yesterday, and your backup PG is Barbosa (who everytime he passes the ball I consider it a moral victory). And Bargnani, your primary offensive weapon whether he’s playing well or not, isn’t exactly an assists machine either.

        People need to be patient with DeRozan. He’s clearly more effective when he gets the ball. The raps coaching staff need to adjust their stratagy and either run some more plays for him, or let him bring up the ball more and initiate the offense. Even though his handle isn’t the best, it’s much improved from last year and he’s shown that he can make some plays.

        We shouldn’t trade him until he’s shown us what he can do

        • Mediumcore

          Not giving up on him. Just a different perspective on a player not many people have considered in trade talk. Wouldn’t it make sense to surround a dynamic play maker with players that can shoot the 3 ball? Well, Calderon can shoot the 3 ball wheras DD at this point in his career cannot, so why not trade for SG and keep Jose at the point position? Then you have 2 players at both guard positions whom can bring the ball up the court, 2 guys whom can create for others, plus have solid shooters on the floor.

          If Bargnani is the weak link on defense, it’s only fair to point out that (right now) Demar, because of the position he plays is the weak link on offense.

          • VMart

            Just to be clear, I’d be fully against trading Calderon at this point. We need his 3pt shooting and play making abilities on this young team. And DeRozan doesn’t have a 3pt shot right now (though I think his jumpshot is better now than last year). He needs to continue to work on it.

            But since Calderon shoots the 3 well, and DeRozan is more effective with the ball in his hands, doesn’t it make sense to at least try to give some of the play making responsibilities to DeRozan? Why get DD to spot up in the corner when the ball rarely gets swung that way?

            I just don’t see any SG coming in from a trade and lighting it up without having the ball in his hands more and getting more touches. If the raps are going to adjust the ball distribution for anyone, it may as well be DeRozan at this point and see how he develops.

            • Mediumcore

              To VMart

              I guess the way I see it, Derozan doesn’t have the ability to handle the ball well, so I don’t calssify him as a player that can reach the level of the player I’m hoping we can trade him for. I just don’t see DD as a guy that can, as you say “light it up”.

              Hopefully, I’m wrong and he can lead the Raptor’s one day soon.

      • Mediumcore

        True, Derozan would just be sweetening the pot in a potential trade for a star or player with star potential.

      • Sek99

        I agree that I don’t see much potential in the guy, but if you see the way all the analysts talk about the kid, they seem to think he does. Its not just us here in Toronto, watch the TNT guys, or the NBA Fantasy Insider crap every so often. When they mention Derozan, they seem to be pretty high on him. I totally agree that if we could get Iggy for him, I would do that in an instant, and I’d even take Brand with him if Philly would be willing to give up a draft pick. That way we can build through the draft, make the playoffs this year (probably) and get a good piece that would compliment the team with both defense, offense, guard rebounding and clutch shooting.

        As far as taking the Brand contract, I know its terrible but if the guy could step up and start playing even as a shadow of his former self, that’s not a bad team of Jose, Iggy, Kleiza, Brand, and Bargnani with a pretty good bench. I know the interior defense would be shit, but it’s not like its really all that good now, and Brands contract will be very valuable in its last year, and its not like we’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. Also, the Magic Wizards trade showed that no contract is unmovable, even if they did only exchange one terrible one for the other.

        • sleepz

          The TNT guys and the Fantasy Insiders all saw him play Summer League. I think they are remembering his play this summer as he was impressive, albeit against summer league rosters.

  • cesco

    Should the term ‘ young gunz’ be replaced by something else like ‘young underachievers’ . Has any one of them so far showed signs that they will be solid players in the near future ?. Oh well , the draft will provide us with the 5 starters in that futuristic team.

  • Van Grungy

    Thank Colangelo that we aren’t actually stuck with any max players going through these coming tumultuous times…

  • Dookielover

    id gladly trade weems and demar for marco belinelli…..hornets wouldnt do it though.