Raptors 105, Rockets 114 – Box

Raptors go 1-2 on the roadtrip with the 1 coming from the unlikeliness source, I’ll take it. Just like the other two games on this trip, the G1H2 (good first, horrible second) syndrome reared its ugly head, only this time there was no recovery in sight as Houston’s bench pummeled the Raptors into a 65-23 submission.

The defensive quality of the shorthanded Raptors in the first quarter matched their shooting (54%) and it appeared the Raptors had picked up where they left off in Dallas. Warm and fuzzy feelings disappeared as soon as the benches came into play; a hobbling Jerryd Bayless was unable to sustain the momentum provided by his predecessor, and after shooting 32% in the first quarter, Houston bounced back by shooting 64% in the second and converted a 14 point deficit into a 7 point halftime advantage. From that point it was all about whether the Raptors could find a way to get three consecutive stops to get themselves back in the game, and it seemingly never happened. Even late on when DeMar DeRozan was tearing up Chase Budinger and the Houston defense, the Raptors defense kept giving it back in the form of offensive rebounds, missed interior rotations and a general lack of an answer for Kevin Martin’s sneakiness.

The Raptors spent the last three quarters in a quest to find their form of the first but it wasn’t to be. DeMar DeRozan’s quick start was stymied by Kevin Martin sending him to the bench through two quick fouls, DeRozan ended up with a career-high 37 points on 12-21 shooting thereby disproving the theory that two early fouls can take you out of the game permanently. Jose Calderon was the player of the first quarter, his three points and four assists sparked the Raptors offense which was already working off the support of the defense. Joey Dorsey and Amir Johnson were overwhelming Jordan Hill and Luis Scola with their activity on the glass, and the Raptors held an early 18-8 advantage on the boards and a 13-2 edge in fastbreak points – it was your classic defense generating offense.

Jerryd Bayless, already nursing ankle issues, got his broken by Kevin Martin on a baseline drive which reduced his impact to zero. Jay Triano went with Barbosa at the point, though the Brazilian was doing his fair bit on offense with an effective jumper, his creation wasn’t there (3 assists in 34 minutes) and without a double team threat a distributing point guard is essential. And I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but without Calderon in there the Raptors’ defensive energy seemed to dip. He picked up two steals last night and was causing Lowry and Brooks difficulties that Barbosa couldn’t replicate. It didn’t help that the Raptors’ demise coincided with the Rockets’ resurgence in the second quarter. Patrick Patterson (completely outplaying Ed Davis), Chase Budinger and Courtney Lee did for them what the starters couldn’t – stretch the Raptors defense and force them to make interior rotations. Houston’s bread-and-butter is ball movement and when they weren’t coughing it up, the Raptors found it very difficult to contend with them. The bench really bailed Houston out because other than Martin, their starters were really not up for this one.

Getting outscored 65-23 off the bench is pretty ridiculous and there’s no way on earth Chase Budinger should be going 8-10 against you. Linas Kleiza, DeMar DeRozan and Julian Wright’s defense was shaky at the best of times, and Ed Davis missed a few shots you would normally count on him to make; the same can be said about Dorsey, an absolute beast on the glass with 6 offensive rebounds. If those two things would’ve been a little better for the Raptors, there was no reason why this came couldn’t be had. It’s not like Houston was dominating us in any way, in fact, the Raptors should be given credit for sticking around in this game while being short-handed. Obviously, DeRozan needs to be given loads of credit for his work along with Amir Johnson (14pts, 11 reb), still suffering from the effects of his back problem. The fact that the Raptors only lost the second-half by two points in a game that never even came close to entering garbage time deserves a lot of credit.

As the Raptors shooting percentages fell and Houston’s rose, the visitors needed an element of defense to support them and nothing quite materialized. P.J Carlesimo described the overall defense as “disgraceful” at halftime. Unfortunately for the Raptors, it didn’t get any better as Houston was always able to maintain an 8-12 point edge for the rest of the game. The spark that the Raptors rely on Bayless and Davis to provide off the bench was never there, and without that the Raptors were always longshots to take the spoils, even without Andrea Bargnani.

The former #1 pick is the subject of this next little bit where I ask the question Are the Raptors better without Bargnani?. Based on empirical evidence and simply watching the games, my feeling is that we’re better off defensively but worse offensively. To answer this question statistically, I relied on the defensive and offensive ratings (points per 100 possessions) which seem to be well respected across the board. Realizing that the Raptors have only played 5 games without Bargnani and 27 with, the sample size might be brought into question. Without further ado:

Stat With Without
Defensive Rating 110.52 109.23
Offensive Rating 104.87 102.81
Offensive Ranking 21st 24th
Defensive Ranking 27th 24th

I was surprised when the Excel file popped out these numbers because I was expecting a much more drastic shift in both directions, turns out the impact of Bargnani’s absence on the offensive and defensive ratings is rather minimal. The most significant shift is probably in league defensive rank, where the Raptors jump three spots while improving a little more than a point. Of course, the on/off stats are another matter.

I mean this, I really do: Thanks for visiting RR and Happy New Year.

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  • cesco

    I am 100% sure that BC is trying to trade for a defensive center WITHOUT giving up Andrea . He nearly succeeded in the summer . The games without Andrea have allowed the young ones to mature much faster than expected , let us see how this is playing out when Andrea return in the line-up . By the way , they won 1 of 5 without AB , they are 10-17 with AB , they have a much better winning percentage with him in the game.

    • cesco

      What the stats are showing is that trading Andrea for a defensive center will make the team better defensively and worse offensively . That is why BC will want to get a defensive center without losing Andrea.

      • pran

        if we do get a defensive centre, I think bargs would be best suited coming off the bench to provide the scoring punch, while Ed eventually becomes the starting PF. There is no way i would start bargs over Ed Davis (at PF) when he’s playing the kind of defense he plays.

      • Statement

        The problem with that cesco is that Bargs can’t guard PF’s.

        The only way he is not worthless on defense is if he guards less mobile centres.

        • Statement

          If I had to choose 3 players of this roster, I would choose Jose, Amir and Ed Davis.

          I am perfectly aware that Davis got abused yesterday, but this is like game 13-14 in his NBA career. I think we can afford to give the guy a little bit of rope.

        • cesco

          The game against Boston in TO , he defended well against KG . One on one , he is as good as any other player on the team , I think.

          • Babyface Killah

            But he struggles against mobile bigs (or even stretch bigs) since he doesn’t have the greatest lateral quickness (e.g Ryan Anderson, Troy Murphy). His struggles defending outside of the paint and three point line would be even worse, since today’s NBA features even more stretch 4s then ever. Personally I could live without Bargnani being destroyed at the high post/three point line.

  • Webcrawler89

    Well, I think that shows that with Bargnani out we’re better able to spread the offense around or try to put it through other people, and the defence gets better I think because we have more guys who are just capable of playing gritty defense playing more minutes. That being said, it’s no reason to trade Bargs like some people have mentioned, we just need to find a way to either motivate him on defence and/or punish him for not playing defence.

    • Albertan_10

      He is only 25 and even though he has been in the league a while I think he is just starting to get it. I don’t think pau gasol was ever known for his defense until he was a bit older. It’s just a sharp learning curve for euros who never had it pushed on them

      • Babyface Killah

        I think Pau Gasol problems on defense in Memphis was as big as many talking would love to say it was (and that the Lakers fixed or he got “tougher”). He got worse near the end of his tenure in Memphis (on defence) as his minutes was extented to past his abilities and seemed to be too tired.

        Plus Pau Gasol was always a good rebounder and was always smart player on both sides, so a lot of the problems on defense for him was mostly because of his bulk. Bargnani defensive IQ his is biggest problem not anything physical with him. He has the length and the bulk to be a decent defensive center but positioning, knowledge of opposing players strength on offence (e.g. if a player likes to finish left or right), and his horrendous defense on PnRs (which is a result of lack of film study).

  • Poiter

    The only problem I see with trading Bargs is how much are you going to get back? I don’t see the raps getting a player back in a deal that has as much upside, and doesn’t have significant flaws to his game.

    Also, Bargs is the only player on the team who has above average talent at one end of the floor, and on a team that is generally devoid of top end talent (yet), I don’t its worth trading him away unless you get a significant return

    • Ruuuuuuu

      Yeah you cant trade him just for the sake of trading him.

      You’re not going to get top level talent (eg. Griffin, Wall, etc) in return. And you’re not going to get a top 1-3 pick.

      BC always says he gets tons of offers for Bargs – Im sure most of them are teams looking to rebuild themselves. They are probably offering guys like Calderon, ie. decent vetern players they just want to get rid of.

  • Mediumcore

    Happy New Year to you and the rest of the crew at RR. You guys are doing an awesome job!

  • Daniel

    I almost pulled my hair yesterday watching DeRozan’s defence or lack thereof. I checked today the +/- stat for the season, one of the few stats I completely trust over the long term together with the PER and DRtg and ORtg. There is a reason why Andrea and Demar have the worst +/- in the team by far: they are both uni-dimensional players, concerned only with offense and pretty bad defensively (and I like Andrea). In order to compensate for that they have to either become offensive beasts, scoring 60-70 points/game or the other positions have to be world-class defenders. Of course, one other option is for Andrea and Demar to become average defensively which I would not bet my money on. It looks like we will start DeRozan for the foreseeable future therefore we should start Wright at the 3 to provide some defence at the wings position. Martin, Budinger and Lee killed us yesterday thus completely nullifying the effect of DeRozan offensive output. He had -14 for the night which was justified watching the game. I’d personally start Barbosa and bring DeRozan off the bench which it will not happen.

    • pran

      I agree, but if I had to, I’d bank on Derozan becoming a better defender, he’s been in the league 2 years, while bargs has been there 5….

    • John_P

      Oh no Daniel you committed a sin on this site by actually suggesting that someone else other then Bargs may be responsible for this teams poor D. Perhaps the real problem is our perimeter D which is pathetic and the reason why our Bigs get in trouble (specifically Amir and his foul rate).

      I 100% agree with you when you suggest that Julian should be starting alongside Demar. This change alone will see our team D improve, along with not much, if anything, being lost on O because Sonny Weems just sucks, pure and simple.

      • Daniel

        Well, the hate against Jose and Andrea is well documented on certain online forums. In reality Jose, Andrea and Barbosa are the only top NBA talent we have on this team. They happen to be white which probably makes some people mad. Amir, Reggie, Dorsey and Wright are excellent blue collar players who contribute to this team however they are limited in their abilities. The rest of the roster is made up of prospects and spare parts who trigger peoples’ imagination without any grounds in reality. Bayless, DeRozan, Weems, Davis haven’t done anything in NBA however for some people they have this aura of perfect solution to our problems. I prefer to be a realist and see everyone for what they are and not for what they should be.

        • John_P

          I’m begining to believe that there are people on these boards who will tip toe around the race issue. They will target certain players and criticize them more harshly, as is the case with Andrea and Jose.

          • Cornriddler

            Enough pt for wright already

            Eventually colangeo and triano are going to figure out that julien wright is hogsh** and does two sporadic unforced bonehead moves for every good pass or good defensive stop he makes. Why do they even waiste time on this guy, he”ll be out of the league when the raps are done with him?
            christ and leo rautins is going off on the broadcast about how solid wright is so of course triano is going to look back at the footage and get stupid idea’s subconsciously planted into his head by leo raving of wright when really he cant shoot, he cant finish, his face is pointy and the ball slips out of his hand every time he trys to dribble

            now i know marco is going off in NO and colangelo wants to make it look like he didn’t get hosed but BC needs to realize that the only reason marco and the hornets in general are overachieving is because the NBA took them over and was planning too all season long. The hornets need to be kept respectable so that stern can offload them when a suitor comes around so obviosly anyone on that team is going to be gettin calls right now and look better then they are. BC needs to realize this and also needs to realize derozan has been chosen by stern as the teams next allstar so all shots should be going to him even when bargnani is back. Its a corrupt league, they chose their allstars and who gets the calls so dont fight the trend, your blind if you cant see derozan has been chosen

            20 shots a game for derozan

            10 shots a game for bargnani off the bench ina toni kukoc role

            wright waived

            luberman out

            • cesco

              Beli was traded because BC decided that DeRozan , Barbosa , Weems and Kleiza will get most of the minutes in a game and there will be to few for Marco . He did a huge favor to Marco and the Hornets and he return he got a pretty good defensive winger . Triano decides how many shots a player generally take in a game , not BC and certainly not Stern .

            • Pesterm1

              I dont know why now one else see’s this stuff. Its unfortunate but id guess to some extent the NBA is rigged in the foul direction your saying it is. The refs are who make or break an player in this league and demar has been getting alot of the calls he needs when he is agressive and stays agressive. this year bargs has been getting the same thing but instead of always staying agressive and attacking the net he shys off and shoots a long J. if Demar can bring it together in the next year and we acquire another good player the raptors could be a very good team. i would have to guess the stern want Canada to have a good team that people would want to watch , it makes for a much better fan base and revenue for the league.

              happy new year!!!

            • JoePanini

              I disagree completely. Wright is pretty good, and is a young and is a proven defender. His offense is by no means decent but he is our best defender. And he is what, 23? He is one of the few Raptors who should get more minutes. Even if he doesn’t play much, as long as he plays 3 times as many minutes as Weems we will win more games.

              • Babyface Killah

                I think Wright offence is serviceable at worst, he might not hit outside shots consistently but he has good handle and always trys to make the extra pass. That for me is great addition to the offence that has many ball-dominant wings (Weems, DDR, and Kleiza).

          • guest


          • Babyface Killah

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, really is the guy for real????

            What I’m guessing is that you are saying that Andrea and Jose are insulted because their white (since European isn’t a race)??? Im also guessing that most people on this blog are white, so either they their self-haters or just think Black players are just better basketball players.

            My third guess is that neither of those two possible answers are wrong and that many people on this blog believe that Calderon is just pylon on defense and that Bargnani is sieve in on defense.

            I might not agree with this view but it isn’t blasphemous to believe that due to prior history with these two players on defense.

            Seriously can we just have logical discussion on raptors players without playing the race card???

    • Cornriddledpoo

      would have lost by 25 with bargnani, scrota would have went for 50 and 30

      but instead bargnani decided to stay home and smoke grass to heal a minor injury rather then put the team at even more of a disadvantage with his laziness and for that i commend the nani

      • John_P

        Is that why the last time they played Houston they beat them and Bargnani was there leading scorer? Pathetic arguement, which no doubt is a reflection of who you really are.

        • Statement

          Houston was in a funk when they first played the Raps. They are now at .500 and are a hot team.

          • John_P

            Nice excuse. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that none of their bigs had to worry about playing D last night because Bargs was missing. They did such a great job marking last time so I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.

    • JoePanini

      I must agree, his defense was really bad (so is most of the Raptors team unfortunately) and when he was on we pretty much got destroyed. But in the 4th, and late in the third he was pretty much the only reason we were still kinda in the game.

  • draftedraptor

    Bargnani is definitely the face of raptors right now and selling him would be a disaster. We must hold on to him for now.

  • Gregast

    Trade Bargs for two first round picks now or STFUp and ride him like the horse he will become in 2011 and 2012. I say trade him because I prefer the raps game ( even when they lose) without the big guy. I want the draft picks soon and the young gunz now.

  • Stat With Without
    Defensive Rating 110.52 109.23
    Offensive Rating 104.87 102.81
    Offensive Ranking 21st ——-24th
    Defensive Ranking 27th——- 24th

    Dorsey and Johnson have started three games together.

    All on the road
    All against WC teams
    The first two in which Johnson was playing injured – Last night he was moving pretty good

    Games————————3 – All against WC teams
    Points per game ————91.3
    Points allowed per game —95.3

    Now lets look at the Raptors on the road without Johnson and Dorsey starting together

    Games————————-13 – Not all against WC teams
    Points per game————-101.8
    Points allowed per game—-108.5

    So when Dorsey and Johnson start together the Raptors are only minus 4 points per game on the road as opposed to minus 6.8 points per game when Johnson and Dorsey do not start together.

    That is an improvement in points per game differential of 2.8 or slightly over 40%

    So off of the very small three game sample it appears that the Raptors are playing better on the road when Johnson and Dorsey start together then when they don’t. Keep in mind that Johnson was playing hurt for two of those games.

    I like Dorsey and Johnson starting together.


    • John_P

      You’re an idiot. So from 4 games, you’re ready to make Dorsey and Amir the starters. Wow this is a whole new level of stupid you have just entered. Just curious mike, did you happen to notice the score when the raps played Houston the last time and Bargnani lead the team in scoring and they actually won? How does that fatcor in to your 4 game equation?

      • Why are you such an angry person?

        Maybe you should consider taking a anger management class.

        Just saying,

        • Dookielover


          • Babyface Killah

            Why is the being liked???

            This adds nothing to the discussion and is just a flame post by immature man or woman.

        • John_P

          Mike you make no sense and then when your called out on it you come back with something irrelevant. Also why is it an issue with my “anger” and not one of you being too sensitive. Maybe you should consider courses that help you deal with your hyper sensitivity, just saying.

    • guest

      yeah, all those victories on the road without Bargs… oh wait, they only won one game… and didn’t both Memphis and Houston score over a 100+ points? Yeah great defense!!!

  • Ostertagcornriddler

    the raps should trade bargnani for any sucker that think they can change him, never going to win a first round series with a Big that grabs 4 boards in 40 minutes and makes no contact on screens

    bargnani and weems for igoudala and williams then dump bungholeron and that outrageous contract to racist larry bird who loves white players like johnp for the little engine and his expiring

  • Pesterm1

    if the raps got a good defensive center does any think bargs could play the SF and have Ed davis at PF to compensate for guys blowing by him? Alot of SF’s already gaurd bargs and he can exploit them pretty wellat the best of times.

    • Lubermancornriddler

      offensively yes but bargnani at times is to lazy to even stay in front of centers so i dont see any way in hell he can guard the 3, davis and amir could guard the three better then bargnani but that would pull their rebounding and shotblocking talents aways from the cups

      it would not work in my opinion, the raps need to hope ED or amir turn into ben wallace who would have been great with bargnani 10 years ago

      • JamesJ

        Can you imagine Barg guarding Lebron? Or ‘Melo? AHAHAHA.

        • dalmatino

          Can you imagine anyone guarding ( successfuly ) Lebron or Melo??? If you can, please write his/their name(s). If you can’t, please go to bathroom and look at yourself at the mirror and then enjoy with what are you seeing. BUAHAHAHA…

    • Statement

      Bargnani was briefly tried at the 3 when JO was here ( JO, Bosh, Bargs)

      He was completely and utterely abused on the defensive end. Seriously, I just felt bad for the guy, he was absolutely dominated. It should never be tried again.

  • A-Dub

    Very disappointed in you Arse, but I’ll blame last night’s egg nog for this ridiculous comparison. Sample size is already an issue at 5 games, and even more of an issue when it’s weighted heavily towards some the better teams in the NBA.

    Chicago (road) – 8 – 7
    Los Angeles (road) – 12 – 6
    Dallas (home) – 13 – 6
    Memphis (home) – 9 – 6
    Houston (home) – 10 – 5

    Total – 52 – 30 (63.4 %)

    Overall record – 98 – 61 (61.6 %)

    I’ve loved how Bargnani got to play New Jersey and Detroit at home sandwiched between these other much harder games. GM trying to make his golden boy look good perhaps? With the current state of this organization, nothing surprises me anymore.

    • Statement


      Be weary of making logical arguments against Bargnani, it makes people’s blood boil.

      • John_P

        yes this is a logical arguement. So what would your arguement be when they beat the Celtics and he dropped 30 on KG? Seems like a more difficult opponent then Chicago.

        • Babyface Killah

          fair point that was one bargnani better games and its just boils other raptors fans when he doesnt bring that intensity on a more consistent basis.

    • cesco

      I believe that Andrea had a succession of three leg injuries . First the knee then the ankle and finally the calf . It seems that anyone who has an injury on any limb try to compensate by using less that limb and possibly end up getting an injury elsewhere . And how come Davis , Weems and Peja were/are given all the time in the world to recover ? are they BC golden boys also ? .

      • John_P

        Why bother these idiots will always try and find a reason to trash the guy. If it were up to them we would have 5 idiots who can compete in a dunkoff and offer very little towards the success of the team.

        • Statement

          You’re dumb.

          That is all.

          • John_P

            Thats quite a statement.

            FYI you’re one of the idiots I was referring to when i said ” If it were up to them we would have 5 idiots who can compete in a dunkoff and offer very little towards the success of the team.”

        • Moh_yusuf27

          What does this have to do at all with bargnani leg injuries the prior commentator touched upon. A useless shot at the other commentators and a illogical point you brought up.

  • NZ Raptor

    I like this site and I enjoy the analysis but I think that I would fail most of it in research methodology at the MA level, which I teach. The problem with most of your analysis and basketball stats in general is that it does not take all factors into consideration. For Bargnani the stats do clearly show a couple of things (a) he is very good offensively and (b) he is bad defensively and yes you and everyone else has picked up on that. Things that are rarely mentioned and should be strongly stated that the stats do not take into consideration are: what does his progression as a player suggest about his future development on offense and defense? and how good and bad on offense and defense would he be on a different team? (a) is particularly important and I am always amazed that nobody working on this site ever goes into detail on this. The expectation for Bargnani this year was that he would struggle for a while on offense as he got used to being the man and getting double teamed. However, this has not happened he has outperformed everyone’s expectations on offense. Thus his offensive development this year has been truly impressive and shows that he is still able to make great improvement in his play. With your stats though Bargnani is always a finished work. Yes he is bad on defense but this assumes he will not improve there. His play this year suggests that there will be further improvement on both offense and defense. Putting development on offense ahead of defense is pretty much the league norm so no real shock that he has done so as well. Rather than looking at only stats for today for young players who you expect to develop, you should regularly look at development over time for all of these players and look at valid comparisons. Someone earlier today mentioned Gasol’s development on D which I thought was a good example. J Oneal’s development over time is always another good example I think of about how long it can take for a young big to develop. Now Bargnani may never develop into a good defensive player but the thing to take out of this line of thinking is that he is still developing. This argument can also be made (and sometimes is) for Derozan. He is very young and is improving. His D is also awful but he is putting offensive development first and making progress there. I dont think it is as clear about Derozan as a player because he still needs to improve in both areas a great deal. With Bargnani we can see he is a top player offensively.

    Gasol’s development on D also leads to (b) how the team context would affect things. Bosh is another example. His D was often painful on the Raptors but it appears to be pretty good on Miami. What is clear about the Raptors is that they are generally awful on D. If you were to put Bargnani on a good defensive team would his D still be awful? Probably he would still be bad (he still needs to develop in this area) but overall statswise he would probably look okay. On the Raptors which have so many problems on D, his stats just look ugly. Calderon could be similar although I dont see the potential for much improvement with him. Put Calderon on the Lakers and he would be talked about as one of the better pgs in the league because a solid defensive team would hide his limitations.

    Okay that is about as much as I can be bothered to write. Hope that some of the RR writers can think about it a little. That said I enjoy this site.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      Some good points – I might suggest you break-up your comment into a few more paragraphs … it makes things a little easier to read.
      I definitely believe that Defense is a team issue – perimeter & interior. As such, Raptors need to balance their 5 man units better, between offense & defense. While Kleiza has earned his starting job back, I still feel we need a defensive specialist on the SF spot (like Wright – but prefer an upgrade), to complement our Offensive side.
      With Jose, Demar & Bargnani (on together), Toronto has enough firepower. That’s when the 3 & 4 positions can be more defensive-orientated. And when the Bench starts to enter the game, Raps can switch to Kleiza, Weems & Bayless for scoring, and balance this unit with either Amir & Davis. It’s too soon to put Ed into a starting role – next year at the earliest – while Amir seems to function better off the Bench. A Chandler (type) Centre, just to start (20 minutes a game), could mesh well with Andrea.

    • 511

      Good post. What you say here reflects a lot of what I’m thinking whenever I’m reading the ever-continuing Bargnani-storm that goes on, not only here, but most every Raptor site I stop to read. I really think that whenever a Raptors fan (one who is generally more anti-Bargnani than not) is in ‘spew-mode’, he’s (or she’s) factoring in allllll those moments when Bargnani has SO disappointed over the years that it’s just too easy to do so (or too difficult not to) … and I say this because I’ve found myself — more a Bargnani fan than not — pulling up those less-than-enchanting memories a few times when venting about a particularly bad performance (the last one that I recall – that I’ll probably never forget – is that Washington game when he’d been operating on the FULL dose of ‘horse-tranquilizer’. *Somebody wrote that here today and I did laugh.*)

      The key sentence you wrote that stood out for me is “With your stats though Bargnani is always a finished work” … and I say this because that’s the thing that I suspect many don’t see (or agree on). To my mind, Andrea Bargnani is not yet a finished product. While some will go on about him ‘already being in the league for five years’ … I can only go by those twenty-five year olds I’ve known in the past (including myself) and all I can say is at that age, I was far from a ‘finished product’. (And no, still not.) Point being, it’s easy for me to see how Bargnani might very well, even yet, grow to be a far more complete player than what many Raptors fans – here and elsewhere – are tending to believe. This might be especially true when considering some of the other points you made about other players developing in different ways at different times … as well as how other teams very much affect the play of certain players. (I often think of how Bosh’s defense was criticized for example, yet on the U.S. Olympic team, it was widely lauded.) I loved the show the team put on without Bargnani the other night in Dallas but even still … for this Raptors fan, Bargnani’s potential is one of the more exciting thing about this team. With DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis (especially) right there, as well.

      Happy New Years, one and all. RR rules.

      • Statement

        The only difference is that NBA atheltic ability peaks at around 25 (if you believe Sports Economist Berri’s work). Bargs is who he is, a Mike James. I would call him a Barbosa, but Barbosa is a better defender.

    • Toshmon

      The thing that excites me the most about the Raptors is that this will be one of the first times that all of our draft picks will develop on the same team for the next couple years.

      Many Toronto fans fail to understand the development rates of different players and most of or star players usually exit before our draft picks fully develop.

      For Example:
      McGrady left as Carter was entering in his prime and developed elsewhere.

      Vince was a superstar. That only happens for a franchise every so often about once every ten years. I think Toronto fans started thinking that if our draft picks weren’t ROY or All-Stars by their second year they were under performing.

      When Vince was on the team and they drafted Bosh. Not many people understood that he would be capable of being one of the best PFs in the game.
      It just takes time. (about 7 years)

      One could argue that its not the fans’ fault for this negative opinion towards young players; They just haven’t had the luxury of seeing young players develop and build chemistry over a long period of time.

      They will experience this soon.
      DeRozan, Bargnani, Davis & Johnson are all locked up and very young. Toronto fans will learn about the development rates of different players and Im crossing my fingers that the results are going to be great.

      DeRozan scored 37 fucking points last night. I only watched half the game and I’ll admit his defense needs to improve but this kid is going to be a star.

      Give people time they’ll figure it out.

      • NZ Raptor

        “Many Toronto fans fail to understand the development rates of different players”

        I agree and I can accept that and gloss over most of those posts. However, the people who run RR should understand that and write about it.

    • “What does his progression as a player suggest about his future development on offense and defense?…Yes he is bad on defense but this assumes he will not improve there.”

      Nobody doubts he’ll improve on offense as the season go by, but defensively is another matter. His past rate of improvement is indicative of his future rate of improvement, and his on/off’s are looking worse every year and he also doesn’t seem to “get” help D. This is not opinion, but fact. Comparing Bargnani to Jermaine O’Neal is ridiculous in every respect. You’re better off comparing Ed Davis to JO if you really have to. And JO started 18 games in his first four season and didn’t cross the 15mpg mark until his fifth year, his growth was hindered by the team he was on, such is not the case for Bargnani. This is really a bad comparison. Gasol’s D was never close to being as bad as Bargnani’s is, and Gasol is a better parallel to Bosh than Bargnani.

      “However, this has not happened he has outperformed everyone’s expectations on offense.”

      Not mine, a four point increase in scoring should be the least one should expect once you run your offense through someone and increase their FGA by 3 and USG% by 5%. You’re confusing an increase in ppg as offensive “growth” when his efficiency is pretty much the same as last year (slightly worse, actually). He’s playing with a lot more confidence and seems to care more, which is a sign of growth and kudos to him for that.

      Your paragraph about putting Bargnani looking “okay” on a good defensive team is probably valid, but that can be said about any bad defensive player in the NBA, so I’m not sure where you’re going with that.

      • 511

        “He’s playing with a lot more confidence and seems to care more, which is a sign of growth and kudos to him for that.”

        That’s the thing that got me re-hooked. Just when I was TRULY ready to throw in the towel on him, once and for all … and mean it, finally, after that stinker in Washington, he seemed to grow in a very particular way that I hadn’t seen up to then.

        NZ Raptor said above, “the expectation for Bargnani this year was that he would struggle for a while on offense as he got used to being the man and getting double teamed” … and we did see that – the struggle – but then, just as so many had hoped (and yes, had been hoping for a long time but this was the first season of him being ‘the man’), he started to blossom. So I don’t know if “his past rate of improvement is indicative of his future rate of improvement” is really the way to look at it. Maybe the step he’s finally taken, if it’s not fools gold, is the kind of step that’ll make comparisons of growth rates from previous years, meaningless.

        If he now somehow learns how to be more consistent re those things he’s been showing improvement on, like defense, rebounding and just showing how much he cares about winning by how he plays, we COULD end up having a heck of a player on our hands. I don’t suggest it’s over and done (as in ‘he’s there!’) … but with what he’s suddenly shown himself to be capable of (“suddenly”, relatively speaking, even though it’s still ‘two-forward-one-back’ to an extent), I for one, am willing to wait out whatever else is coming this season. I’m a Raptors fan first and foremost (by far) and the way I see it, I think we owe that … not to him, but to ourselves.

      • NZ Raptor

        The point I was making with J Oneal was that some bigs take a long time to develop. The fact that Bargnani is also coming from a different environment suggests that it could take longer for him to develop. Obviously they are totally different players. The skill set was not the comparison. Enough said.

        Well you expect an awful lot then and I have to wonder how realistic your expectations are. We are only 30 games into the season and Bargnani has succeeded in becoming a force on offense. For a guy who was clearly still having problems on offense particularly when Bosh was out last year to be hovering around the top 10-15 in the NBA in points would seem to be a pretty solid improvement.

        Yes he sucked on D in the past and he still sucks. The point is though and this is a very important point, he is not a finished product. D takes time for a lot of players to develop. Can you really expect him to be vastly improved on offense and defense when taking over a new role within the team? You would hope there would be signs of improvement on D by the end of the season but again we are only 30 games in, and also remember the team he is playing on – almost everyone sucks on D. It is not like he is in the perfect environment for improving his D.

        The fact he has shown improvement in one area is important. No improvement in any area and still sucking on D and you have a better argument. Arsenalist, I respect your posts. They are the best thing about this site, but in your reply you sound a little like the many posters who write about how amazing someone is after a good game and how awful they are after a bad game. Distance yourself and be a little more objective.

        • First up, the tail end of this blog post was supposed to support Andrea, not bash him but that was apparently lost in this discussion. Second, nobody flip-flops on the site, unless you’re referring to the Roll Call which is specifically geared towards that particular game and will rip/support the same player in a matter of two days, but that’s just the bit. For the record, here’s where I stand with the majors on this team:

          Bargnani: high expectations, needs to be offensively efficient consistently and be an average defender. No complaints about his offense, defense sucks. And if he’s to be our franchise player he’s got to be above average on both ends of the floor. The only player that’s a franchise player and is a shitty defender is Steve Nash, can’t even think of anyone else in the last 20 years. I fear his defensive ceiling has already been reached.

          DeRozan: poor defender, streaky shooter but with only two years of ncaaa/pro experience, you’re willing to cut him some slack. In other words, he’s got till his rookie scale expires to find his shit. If he was traded tomorrow, I wouldn’t care.

          Weems: talented player, doesn’t give a shit.

          Johnson: hard worker, improving offense, great overall defender, but struggles with consistency. Has taken his contract to heart and gives it a 100%, can live with him.

          Calderon: Has adjusted his style of play to fit the situation, almost looks like he can run with this team. Still not sure if his value is as a starter here or as trade bait elsewhere.

          Bayless: PG is a tough spot to learn, he’s got a chance to be a starter in this league, but should be looked at as a backup for now. I can live with his mistakes in the name of rebuilding.

          Kleiza: role player, best three on the team, unfortunately.

          • Sek99

            Kleiza best three on the team? That’s debatable. I’d say the team would be better with Julian Wright having more minutes than Kleiza because it gives the team more balance. Maybe Kleizas more talented, but Wright is far more productive in what he does. Also have to say Weems, when hes focused, is by FAR the better three, just a matter of getting him there. Better to get rid of Kleiza for whatever we can get for him. Not really a loss since we got him for nothing anyways. Let Wright and Weems try and develop, its not like they have terrible contracts and we’re going nowhere with Kleiza as anything more than a role player getting limited minutes.

          • NZ Raptor

            sorry i cannot remember if my comments were in reply to your original post, a number of posts or just the comments. Wasnt trying to dump on you but just make a point about analysis.

            Generally agree with you although have higher expectations for Bargnani’s D (see reply to Tom below) and expect Amir to learn how to stay in the game.

        • We did this earlier in the year. Andrea’s improved in some areas where you would expect, but hasn’t in others (rebounding, blocked shots, eFG%, turnovers, win shares, etc.)

          “Bargnani is also coming from a different environment suggests that it could take longer for him to develop.”
          He’s played almost 10,000 minutes of NBA basketball plus countless international games. Players start to peak around 26/27 and he’s 25.

          “and how good and bad on offense and defense would he be on a different team?”
          We talk about adjusted +/- often which attempts to address this.

          “The fact he has shown improvement in one area is important. No improvement in any area and still sucking on D and you have a better argument.”
          As someone that teaches MA students I would hope you’d teach them differently. Just because someone has a few higher numbers after the loss of a star player, doesn’t mean he’s improved significantly. He could simply mean he has the ball more (very true) and thus will likley have higher PPG, for example.

          You’ve contradicted your own argument. You say “and how good and bad on offense and defense would he be on a different team?” – but this IS a different team. Much different. And its efficiently we should be looking at correct? He takes almost 3 more shots a game (entirely expected) and makes 1.4 more (I expected a little better).

          Not sure how that translates into a “force” over one year. He’s just taking 3 more shots. As I mentioned above, many metrics are down. As Arsenalist said “He’s playing with a lot more confidence and seems to care more, which is a sign of growth and kudos to him for that.” Excellent to see. But he’s not magically improved overnight.

          Don’t get that methodology you’re using to claim this.

          • NZ Raptor

            Thanks for the comments. You haven’t convinced me but I appreciate the reply.

            In research any significant difference is deserves mention. I guess the question here is whether the difference (improvement in ppg) is significant? You and Arsenalist argue that it is not while I think that is. My problem with your argument is that I wonder if you are getting blinded by the stats. I am not going to claim to have a great deal of knowledge of the advanced basketball stats but I am not sure if they have the same weight as baseball stats. Maybe I am wrong about this but I think a lot of these stats have been created to try to do what baseball stats do. Baseball stats are pretty clear. A lot of the newer basketball stats are not and there are so many of them it seems like it is possible to make claims in both directions about the same thing sometimes.

            I prefer the basic older stats which seem a little more black and white. From these I can see that his FG% is good for the type of player that he is and the fact that he is now the focus of the offense. You might have expected him to struggle at the start of this season in this area. His rebounding is still poor and requires improvement. I dont think there is any argument there. His FTs have increased. An important sign. Looking game to game, we can see that he is inconsistent here but the increase suggests he has learned that he needs to get to the line. When you talk about the number of shots it does not seem like you are factoring the increased free throws in (but perhaps a stat does). Blocks down – not sure about that but I wonder about sample size. Assists up – and this is trending up, I think suggesting increased awareness of the need to pass it out (one might argue if he had better teammates that he would have figured out the value of this earlier.

            Okay those are basic stats. What about what we can see? He has learned that he needs to post up more. Something that everyone has hoped for. He has exceeded my expectations here. Defensively he still looks like he is not putting in much effort a lot of the time. This may be true and it certainly something that everyone states as a fact. Problem is though this cannot be measured. yes there are hustle stats that might indicate effort but my guess is that the correlation may not be that high and it is probably related to position. One thing about Andrea his offensive game has always looked effortless, you have to figure he is making an effort though. Could the same not be said about his defense? That may just make his crappiness on D even worse but my point here is that effort is total speculation and should not be part of the argument.

            Going back to my point, the improvement on offense so far this year seems enough for me to think that his game may continue to improve. The fact that it is his offense that has improved makes sense to me. I am sure he was told again and again that he was now the man who had to carry the offensive load and needed to show great improvement there. I am sure they have been looking for improvement on D since day 1 so I doubt it was stressed to the degree that offense was stressed last summer. Also like pretty much every gifted player on offense, the norm is to work on your offense until you get it to where you want it and THEN work on your D. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here because of what I see as improvement on offense and thinking that if he feels like he has finally got the offense down that he may focus a great deal more on D. I think this is fair because until this season, he has shown glimpses of great offense but those were sandwiched around poor offensive performances. You have to assume that he has never been happy with his offense (apart from a game now and then) until now.

            Your point is fair that players often reach their potential by 26 or 27 but I am sure there are exceptions and Bargnani seems to be the type of player that does not conform to common standards.

            Regarding Arsenalists earlier point about J Oneal, I think I missed his point which may have been that Oneal developed slowly because of the people in front of him. I would counter that with if he was as good as he was at year 5 in any of the earlier years, he would have played a lot more minutes. He took a long time to develop into a star player.

            Okay that is probably enough on that. As I said before, I appreciate the replies and I also really enjoy both of your regular posts. You are now where I come first for all Raptor news.

            Thoughts on posts you might do are: look at individual raptors and look at yearly development. Look at some player comparisons as well as league norms and discuss where you think the players should be in a year or two and what you think the team should do with them if they meet or do not meet these goals. Keep up the good work.

            • NZ Raptor

              Too long a post so could not finish that up. I thought it might also be interesting to look at good players on bad defensive teams and see how they measured up defensively. If they were later traded to a better team it would be interesting to see whether their perceived defense also changed. Bosh is a recent example although the sample size is far too small.

              Last point – I have no idea if Bargnani will meet my expectations. As a fan though I still want to cheer for him and the other raptors. There are many things I enjoy in basketball but as a raptors fan more than anything right now I enjoy seeing Bargnani successfully drive from the 3pt line. I hope his D will improve. I also hope the other raptors players’ D will improve because if they get it then hopefully he will too.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        [ “his (Bargnani) on/off’s are looking worse every year and he also doesn’t seem to “get” help D. This is not opinion, but fact.”]

        Saying something is fact, is adding subjectivity to an objective analysis. I looked at Andrea’s stats in a different way, and I got an increase. I used December’s numbers as a better reflection of AB’s “current” status. The month of December offers more recent scoring, plus numbers without Reggie, and sufficient time to adjust to the greater focus that a 1st option tends to get. I compared his December 2010 averages to All of last season – as his Dec 2009 numbers are worse than the full year.

        Comparing Bargnani’s Dec 2010 to (All of 2009-10):

        21.9 pts (17.2) … 6.5 Rbs (6.2) … 2.4 Assists (1.2) … 0.8 Steals (0.3) … .500 FG% (.470) … 3.4 FTM (2.3) … 34.8 minutes (35.0)

        December may not be a big enough sample, but it is recent. And it falls during a period of injuries that hampered AB’s play, so there is sort of upbeat side to them.

        [ “ …. … a four point increase in scoring should be the least one should expect once you run your offense through someone and increase their FGA by 3 and USG% by 5%. You’re confusing an increase in ppg as offensive “growth” when his efficiency is pretty much the same as last year “]

        Offensive growth is a step by step process. Bosh did not suddenly become a 20-10 guy. There was 7 years getting there, 5 as the “Man”. This year, Bargnani may be the “go to” Guy as the 1st option, but he is not the “Man”. I hated that type of team last year – centred around Bosh. This year I hope Demar & Davis become more a part of things, as Andrea does.

        Raptor numbers have changed since last year, some to the good – as opposed to the doom and gloom predicted (by the “experts”). Andrea’s free throw numbers could use a bigger increase, but the Raptor team as a whole has made only 0.8 less per game than last year – not a devastating loss from Bosh days. Rebounds – the bane of Bargnani’s existence – have made a 3.2 Rb gain from Dec 2009 to Dec 2010. That`s without Reggie. Last year featured a minus 2.4 Rbs versus Opponents (and going 9-6), while this past December saw a plus of 0.8 Rebounds (over Opponents).
        As for help-defense, it seems more often that this Raptor team (including Bargnani), can play a pretty decent defense when they give the effort as a team, along with better awareness. We judge players by years in the league, and assume that’s the only factor to development, when in fact, it’s experiencing the “next level” that is more relevant. Bargnani’s development as a primary guy, with more responsibilities is simply a function of this whole team’s development. Demar being asked to be the 2nd option (instead of 3rd, or 4th); Davis just developing his game; Bayless potentially being the future QB.
        In our past, the Raps have put too much success on one player – with results less satisfying. Andrea may lead (in some aspects), but he is not Bosh. Nor should we analyze this team as if he was. For better or worse, he’s our draft pick. And as I read in a comment, so is Demar, Davis, and the next guy, next year. Maybe even two. In the end, I thought this was the way to develop our team, instead of grasping for successful / maybe successful – players. We have this tendency to pack our talent off, so someone else can enjoy.

      • cesco

        Arse , a simple check at NBA.com stats show that last year Andrea had an efficiency of 16.5 and was 13th among centers . This year he has an efficiency of 17.0 and is # 11 among centers . So his efficiency has improved not got slightly worse as you are saying.

      • Dookielover

        arse has officially been brainwashed by the retards.

    • frantoc

      + 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000……

  • Pretty soon, our starting five will have Barg’s, Jose, Kleiza and Demar. Thats not going to cut it defensively. I like Barg’s but he’s prob our most valuable trade chip. It should be a no brainer that he gets shopped.
    One nice trade combined with a good draft can put this team in a great position next season

    • John_P

      He’s your most valuable trade chip because he’s the guy you should hold on to. Out of that quartet, why would you trade the young centre who’s still progressing and keep the PG and SF who are older and have hit their ceiling? Not to mention the fact that the top of the draft board is littered with SF’s and possibly 3 (not sure about Irving’s intentions) good PG’s.

      • Statement

        The problem with Bargs is that he isn’t progressing defensively. If anything, he’s gotten worse this year. Do we have to wait another 5 so this guy can “develop” into a mediocre defensive player.

        I’d quote some stats, but they would just get thrown in my face by the fanboys so why bother.

        • John_P

          You’re stats are so one sided and biased so it wouldnt matter anyways. Allow us fanboys to enjoy the development of Bargnani, while we allow you fagboys to do the same with the “young onez”. I seem to remember all of you pumping up Sonny Weems because of his summer league stats. How’s that working out for you?

          • Statement

            I never liked Sonny. I also never liked Demar,

            Amir is the only dude that I like.

            Given you mad obsession with defending Bargnani, I would say that you are the “fagboy” and you need a little pasta fasul up your you-know-what every now and again.

            • Statement


              I’m done talking with you, I’ve dignified your responses for too long and even sunk to your dumbass level.

              You like Bargs, more power to you.

              • John_P

                If you can’t handle it then take your thoughts over to Tim W’s blog and all of you can share the same point of view, sing songs and hold hands.

            • John_P

              Oh thats quite the dirty mouth you have. Did you blow your father with that mouth?

          • Statement

            One other things, how are stats biased, dummy. They are supposed to be OBJECTIVE measures that try to value players.

            Tony Gwinn batted .335 one year, but who cares, statistics are biased and one-sided.

            • John_P

              Bargs is the leading scorer and number one option, but who cares? Sound familiar dumbass.

      • pran

        bargs won’t be traded this year anyways relax…for now.

        and stop liking your own goddamn comments it’s childish.

        • John_P

          I don’t “like” my own comments. I know he wont be traded because he’s clearly our best player.

          • Spreadcrackripperinjohnsface

            look john bargnani very well might have the biggest penis on the team as you say, i’m not going to dispute that.

            but the fact of the matter is john, that until he sprouts some balls this team is going nowhere with bargnani as a building block. His laziness and work habbits are as pathetic as mine though to his credit his penis is probably bigger if your constant descitpions are accurate

            none the less this is basketball not porno, bargnani is going to have to leanr to rebound or hit the road

            • John_P

              Well all the vivid descriptions of his penis were generously provided by your mother, so make sure to thank her for that. She certainly got the best view from what I hear, he decorated her face like a birthday cake.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      [ “It should be a no brainer that he gets shopped.”]
      I’m glad your brain is not in charge.

  • Sek99

    Been coming onto this site for a few months now and its kind of getting ridiculous. Its always, jump on this guys bandwagon, than stab him the back and threaten to murder his family every time he has a bad game. Every ones touting trade this guy, trade that guy, this guy sucks, that guy sucks, e.t.c. Few things people need to realize:

    -Trading 1 guy (i.e Bargnani) won’t really improve the team all that much unless that person we get bask is a franchise player. Of which, I think there are only a few of those out there in the league, and I think it is way too overused (i.e Bosh)

    -Defense starts with the team. Bargnani is shit on defense. Derozan is shit on defense. Kleiza, Jose, Weems, and everyone who isn’t named Amir Johnson and Julian Wright has had trouble on defense this year. Sure Amir fouls, but I’d rather him keep the heart and willingness to hard foul someone than watch Bargnani finish a game with NO fouls. For an NBA centre, that’s awful. Ed Davis blocks a lot, but the guy is still young and raw and that shows as hes often easily beat one on one.

    -Teams play through their management. Right now were an offensive minded team. These teams never go anywhere, ever, except when they have special talent. Even then, its hard to win a championship. Look at the suns during Nash’s MVP years. They had AMAZING talent, but didn’t play with defense, so they lost. Offense develops over time as its based on talent, skill and learning to use the tools that any given player may have. Defense is a mindset that every single player should have, but doesn’t. Sure speed, athleticism and IQ play a factor, but watch Reggie Evans play defense from some of the earlier games. The guy has none of these physical gifts, but is still able to defend some great players (Stat, Howard, e.t.c.) because of toughness and heart. Until we rid ourselves of nervous fucking Nancy Triano, we’ll go nowhere even with decent talent. The guy bites his nails during games and looks like a 3rd grader forced to spell Tennessee. I wouldn’t even respect the guy if he were my boss or teacher. How are guys who grow up in fucking Compton and are some of largest human beings on the planet going to respect him? A coach needs to be tough, first and foremost, to incite his players to give the most they can give on any given night. He doesn’t have that. Until the entire raptors team changes its culture, it doesn’t matter who we have.

    In my eyes, this team is centred around selling tickets through getting A) Euro players in order to appeal to the cultural demographic of Toronto (may also be a factor of Americans being ignorant fucktards about Canada) and B) Management thinking the only way to sell tickets is through exciting offense. I think Raptors fans would love to see a defensive mindset for the whole organization, and can be like Boston in that we would love defensive guys over offensive guys. Just look at some of the fan favourites over the years. JYD, Pops, Amir, Reggie, Oak, Alvin Williams, all these guys were tough. MLSE needs to build around being a tough defensive minded team before anything will ever change in T.O. Nows the time to do it with the youth movement. Triano and BC need to go and we NEED someone who will finally preach defense to this team as a priority and not just an afterthought.

    • cesco

      Good thoughts but Doc Rivers was the coach in Boston before KG and Allen arrived . How good were the C**nts defensively BEFORE these two arrived (i.e the players that Doc developed) . So maybe the coach is not as important as acquiring (trade or draft) a few quality players that can play defense.

      • Sek99

        Like I said, unless a franchise player is taken, than the management needs to change. KG was on the down end of his career, but he was a franchise player, and the intensity he plays with is contagious. He’s pretty much a coaching change in that everyone respects him and his defensive mindset sets an example. Same way that Reggie Evans sometimes inspires our team when hes playing. Just not nearly on the same level. Ex: KG made Davis cry. Now the guy is looking like a really solid PF. So ya, if we get one of the best PFs of all time who is known for defensive intensity, we’ll probably get better, but until that happens, BC and Triano need to go.

    • Dookielover

      this team isnt geared around euros for ticket sales. this team is still contending with its weak canadian fanbase and their inferiority complex in regards to american teams and its american players.american franchises and americans dont have and inferiority complex with canadians so they embrace their euro or foreign ballers whereas our pathetic fanbase still clamours for american love and american recognition.for example”bosh love us! bosh dont go!”…or in the past the “tmac come back “campaign. most inferior bitches here in canada view euro or non american ballers as second class citizens because of this very inferiority/insecurity with the states…..its fucking pathetic and a main reason why a very vocal minority takes every opportunity they can to bash our best player….its to bad writers on this site lack the insight to nip this shit and they’ve allowed the hatred to fester and have practically promoted it…..you dont see this crap on real sites.in real papers.makes rap republic bush league.

      • Sek99

        I have to disagree. I lived in America for a few years, and I can say that the people I knew were very ignorant about Canada. I’m not going to generalize, but the kids I knew all thought Canada was polar bear land. I think our unwillingness to embrace Euros isn’t due to self-esteem issues, but because most just aren’t up to par. Look at Kleiza. The guy won in the Euro league as one of the star players on his team. I’d argue he’s one of our worst players right. Just most Euros don’t have the talent to keep up in the NBA, and we’ve never had the Dirk or Tony Parker type to prove otherwise. Even then, they often have trouble on defense as they have different systems over there. Really don’t think it has to do with an inferiority complex as I’m pretty sure its fact that a lot of American players just don’t want to play here. I can’t think of us ever getting a marquee or even a particularly good player that wasn’t through the draft. The only semi-allstar we were able to draw was Turk, and he is, surprise surprise, a Euro. No problem with them, but I just feel like we build a team around ticket sales and with winning as a far afterthought. I get most teams are like this, but at least they have some semblance of a will to win. Also, if you hate the site, why are you here?

  • demar

    hello…. if you guys think that the 6 games or whatever bargs has not played has made us a better defensive team when hes not out there kinda tells me you guys look to much into stats….. that is based on 6 games….. and the other based on bargs 25 or whatever games… also the game in dallas gave us a huge boost in those defensive ratings so if u take out that game, you will see different numbers So really its not just one player… its a team game and defense is done as a team with communication stop trying to single out bargs to see if we are better off without him, its just useless

    • Statement


      It’s not 6 games, it’s 5 years of data. He has been horrible his entire career.

      Given that we are stuck with Bargs, the best way to hide him is to have him come off the bench as a barbosa type.

      I do agree that Bargs has offensive value, but when he plays as long as he does, he negates that value on the defensive end.

      He is talented offensively, but offense can be replaced. Look at Kleiza or Demar, Kleiza is averaging over 20 ppts with Bargs out simply because there are more shots for him now. Demar dropped 37 – this never would have happened with Bargs in the game simply because there are more shots to be had for other people.

      • John_P

        Yeah we are “stuck” with Bargs. A top 20 scorer and matchup nightmare for other bigs. You should replace “stuck” with “blessed”.

  • Balls of Steel

    If we had a defensive minded center that didn’t want the ball all the time, Demar’s development would be much faster? No?

    • Dookielover

      yeah we get it. demars from compton. hes the compton kid, d squared,dbl d. a young gun. kids had one good game. plays ZERO d…lets hand him the team and get rid of bargs…we get it.lol.

    • Dookielover

      first all the bargs haters are pissed hes not demanding the ball,now that hes sorta demanding the ball and puttin up big numbers hes a “yo guy, he want the ball all the time yo” to the detriment of the next vince carter….sure.

      • Statement

        That’s not the point – the point is scoring can be replaced by others on the team. It is overvalued and that is why offensive minded players who don’t deserve fat contracts get them (Charlie V, Ben Gordon, Joe Johnson)

        Just to bring up a point – guess who went on this scoring tear for the Raptors a little while back

        Game 1 34
        Game 2 36
        Game 3 32
        Game 4 32
        Game 5 21
        Game 6 39

        Season Average = 20.8 pts/game

        It was Mike Freaking James.

        Where’s that guy now?

        • Statement

          Another funny thing about Mike James – that year 2005-2006 for the Raps he was shooting .469% from the field and .442% from 3 pt land.

          Bargs this year is shooting .468% from the field and .356% from 3 pt land.

          Although the season isn’t over, it appears that Bargs is on pace to be bested by Mike James in terms of offensive efficiency.

          I hope all the Bargs defenders were as solidily behind Mike James when he was being criticized back in the day.

      • Statement

        In my mind,

        There is a much more plentiful supply of players who can fill it up offensively versus those who play good defense. If the NBA market were efficient, those one-trick offensive ponies would be competiting with each other for the mid-level exception and not receiving 8 or 9 million (or in some cases more) and the defensive players, who are in relatively shorter supply, would be the 8 million dollar/year players.

  • SteveL

    Barg’s is not the problem. Calderon is!!! He’s the worst defensive PG in the NBA. His inability to defend at the point causes his backcourt to rack up fouls or for the actual elite PG’s tofind the open player, when the Raps need to collapse to stop the penetration. He’s a drain on the team, he’ll never be an elite or even top 15 PG. Once Weems, Bayless, Bargs are back healthy, Calderon needs to go.

    • Statement

      I disagreee with you SteveL,

      Calderon is not a good defender, but I submit that he is an average defender for his position.

      One thing I’ve never heard on this blog is that if you have an efficient PG, you get people a chance to score in the places that they like, and that means higher scoring %. If you have an efficient PG, that means the other team has to play half court offense, which is easier to defend then transition. They have to play half court offense because you score, so the ball gets played in and you have a chance to get into your defensive set.

      SteveL, not a lot of people can defend Rondo or Paul or anybody. It just takes 1 screen to free the PG. It’s how your bigs react to the screen I think in this particular situation, that makes for good defense.

      BTW Calderon leads the team in steals.

  • voy

    been fooling around with the on/off stat per 100 possessions on the 82 games website.

    did you know the lakers are a better defensive team without kobe by 9 points and are only better offensively with kobe by 6 points? trade him.

    OKC better defensively w/o westbrook by 8.5 points; but only 3 points better offensively with him on the floor. i guess they’d be better w/o him.

    Miami is only 0.09 points better offensively with Labron on the floor. He makes no impact defensively as the team’s points allowed per 100 possessions are exactly the same.

    Noah improves the Bulls offense by 5.6 points. Yeaaaaah. But hurts the team’s defense by 8.3 points. Fail. Noah actually also hurts the bulls total rebounding by 0.06%.