Hawks 104, Raptors 101 – Box

There’s good and bad in this game, but let’s start with the blame:

  • Jay Triano – Why would you not put your strongest defensive lineup out on the final possession of the game? Why is Jose Calderon in the game and why is Julian Wright not defending renowned Raptors-killer Mike Bibby?
  • Amir Johnson: Three fatal errors. 1) Crucial illegal screen late in the game, 2) Did not communicate on the switch with Jose on the Bibby three, 3) Fouled Jamal Crawford on a three for no reason.
  • DeMar DeRozan: Horrible decision to drive the ball right at a shot-blocker while nursing a one-point lead, ended up getting blocked. And then fouled Crawford on another three.

I suppose this is what rebuilding is all about: fighting hard but making mistakes and hopefully learning in the process. Last night a relatively healthy Raptors squad again showed us glimpses of what they are capable of, and just when you were about to commend them for a job well done, they reminded you that this is a work in progress and that there’s a lot to be learned by everyone. Jay Triano’s decision to go with the zone befuddled the Hawks for most of the second half, it forced them into outside shots they were reluctant to take and introduced a hesitancy in their drives. By all accounts, this was a game to be won, if not for the mental errors (and they are all mental) described above.

DeMar DeRozan had 9 points in the first quarter on 4-5 shooting, his drives were purposeful and his finishing strong, it actually made me jot a note down about how he’s using hesitation moves on his dribbles. His burst was countered by Jamal Crawford’s 11 points in 4 minutes, two threes and two drives in transition, which gave the Hawks a 27-21 first quarter lead. The Hawks were using Windex on the defensive boards and the Raptors commitment to offensive rebounding was hurting them in transition, adding fuel to Crawford’s already heated game. Crawford was only just getting warmed up for a big night of 36 points, unfortunately for the Raptors, DeRozan was never to be heard from again except when he was making mistakes. Also up for debate is whether Triano should have nipped Crawford in the bud by sticking Wright on him, perhaps the damage could have been minimized because simply ignoring the problem didn’t do anything. The bigs for both teams were silent in the first quarter despite getting a lot of touches, Bargnani for the Raptors and Smith/Horford for the Hawks.

The Hawks have always been able to bother the Raptors on the offensive end by playing them tight on the perimeter and using their length inside, and until Leandro Barbosa introduced himself, it appeared this time around was going to be no different. Barbosa had his best overall game as a Raptor, his 26 points on 11-16 shooting will get the limelight which is only half the story. His defense was outstanding in every respect, he played the zone very well, he nicked three steals and had at least three deflections. He was the Raptors’ answer to Jamal Crawford and he did it wisely. He was always looking for a 1/5 switch on the high-screen and when he got it, he accelerated and finished with accuracy. He managed to counter Atlanta’s length with sheer speed and showed a real knack of using the window wisely.

As Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford continued to dissect the Raptors (specifically Bayless and DeRozan) in the second, the Raptors turned to Andrea Bargnani. Some excellent hi-lo feeds leading to deep post-ups had Bargnani scoring rather easily in the frame, he needs to be credited for moving very well without the ball and his 13 efficient points in the second quarter went a long way in keeping this a five point game at halftime.

With individual defensive matchups not producing desired results, Triano went for the zone and stuck with it. He usually uses it intermittently to throw offenses of, but since the Raptors were so outmatched in their individual matchups, his hand was forced. The strategy worked wonders because the Hawks appeared as if they were seeing it for the first time. Contested threes and drives right into the strong part of the zone didn’t produce the results Larry Drew was hoping for. The Hawks shot only 30% in the third quarter – one where they had pulled away from the Raptors last time around – and looked in disarray. The home team was contending nicely with the Hawks’ defensive pressure by making their perimeter looks, thus negating the discrepancy on the boards. The Raptors’ offense was patient with Jose Calderon, Leandro Barbosa and Andrea Bargnani making smart decisions through the frame, often testing Zaza Pachulia’s horrible help defense. I felt the Hawks could have done more to pressure the Raptors, but their offensive difficulties surely must have hampered their defensive cause.

It was a 77-75 game heading into the fourth with the Raptors carrying the lion’s share of the momentum. The third quarter break didn’t resolve Atlanta’s issues with the zone and they continued to labor on their sets. Joe Johnson made two very tough shots for them with the shot-clock bearing down, shots that big-time players are supposed to make. However, even with Johnson and Crawford operating efficiently and the Hawks getting to the line far more frequently (31-12 FTAs), the Raptors were keeping pace thanks to Barbosa and Bargnani’s 7 fourth quarter points each. The Hawks were hanging in there by getting perimeter scores and the Raptors were getting inside often – the points in the paint had the Raptors with a blistering 60-38 advantage. Of course, the fourth is also where we saw the questionable play mentioned earlier in this tale.

I’ll be honest with you, I usually go back and watch the last little bit of the game one more time before writing these, but this time I didn’t have the heart to do it. The lingering feeling in my mind is that the Raptors’ inexperience came into play and they made boneheaded decisions which at first kept Atlanta in the game and then later, pushed them forward. Jamal Crawford’s 30-foot three is something you can’t plan for and chalk up to luck, that is not the case with the final possession. I am a matchups guy, just because somebody hasn’t played a minute in the game so far, doesn’t mean he can’t step in and contribute when he’s needed most. In my opinion, you have to put the strongest defensive lineup out there when the other team has to score. Jay Triano did not do that. The miscommunication between Bargnani, Calderon and Johnson led to Bibby being wide open from dead-center and he drained it. If nothing else, you have to automatically switch on the perimeter, force the drive and hang your hat on your help defense. You can’t give the offense their first option, and that too a wide open look.

Amir Johnson’s effort over the last couple weeks has been impressive, he’s shown a commitment to his teammates, has played through injuries, and has displayed a quiet sense of leadership. However, a player in his fifth year has got to know better than to set an illegal screen up two with 10 seconds left, that’s just lack of concentration. I don’t expect offensive consistency from DeMar DeRozan, he is destined to struggle in the league during his first three years. That doesn’t excuse him for not exploring a better option than to go up against Josh Smith without having a positional advantage, and it certainly doesn’t excuse him for repeating Johnson’s earlier mistake and fouling Crawford on the three. As usual, his defense throughout this game was nothing short of atrocious, and something Jack Armstrong is keen on pointing out time and time again.

When the Raptors did finally get a ball down one with 8 seconds left, the two natural options for me were Andrea Bargnani or Leandro Barbosa. Bargnani was getting his shot off against Josh Smith much more easily than he was in the first quarter, and Barbosa was on fire. At the very least, these two could have put pressure on the defense and perhaps drawn a foul with the help of the home support. The play was for Calderon who challenged Al Horford, the latter gladly obliging with a block.

The distasteful feeling left after this one shoudn’t take away from the performances of Bargnani and Barbosa, or the Raptors zone-driven team defense, it should serve as a reminder that this is what rebuilding is all about. Coming close but not necessarily winning, that will come later. Hopefully.

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  • TheR3dMenace

    What an exciting game! Too bad the refs decided the outcome.

    • Mediumcore

      I completely agree! This was an awesome game, but I swear there was a stretch in the first half where it seemed like the refs were calling fouls on the Raptors on both sides of the ball that was just ridiculous. And the non-call at the end where it looked like Calderon was fouled…just pathetic. Still a great game and good learning experience for the team.

      • Theswirsky

        didn’t think that was a foul at all. It was very much great D by Horford.

        I also don’t think it helps that Jose has a tendency to embelish falls on his lay ups.

        • Mediumcore

          Horford got a clean block, but I thought he got a lot of the body leading up to it.

      • John_P

        Guys are you serious? No way was that a foul. That was a poor decision by the coach to run the play through Jose and Amir, when it was clear that they had no answer for Bargnani and Barbosa.

        • TheR3dMenace

          Jose and Amir converted the and-1 on the possession before. Hindsight is a beautiful thing

          • John_P

            To be honest they shoul,dn’t have even had the ball during that possession. It’s nothing against them, but you got to ride your hot hands.

  • Brain Colangelo

    On the inbound pass that led to the Bibby 3, Barbosa was not very active. It’s sometimes harder to shoot when you receive a worse pass. On that inbounds play Barbosa should have worked ahrder.

  • marques johnson

    Exciting game. Raps lost because Bayless blew two layups, Barbosa also two (but he gets a pass), DD missed a dunk and Bargs a fairly easy layup. Teams like Raps cant miss 6 give mes.

    • Copywryter

      dont’ forget DD’s missed dunk

  • voy

    re: amir’s moving pick

    the football equivalent is when a guy on the punt coverage team elects not to down the ball on the one yard line because he wants to be cute and let it roll and stop it at the one inch line. Looks great if it works but the risk/reward? Is there a statistical difference between the one inch and one yard line? You know half the time you’re gonna end up stepping on the goal-line.

    Just set the pick amir. Dont try and be cute and buy jose a few inches by trying to clip his defender.

    • Watching the replay from a second angle definitely supported the call. Surprising, since that pair *usually* execute as good as any on it… Close game against a good team and we weren’t sharp down the stretch. Hopefully they learned something from the experience.

      • slaw

        I believe it was the same play they ran against Sacramento to get Bargs the wide open 3, so, in fairness the play had just worked for a big basket. Still, I was more than a little surprised that neither Barbosa nor Bargs saw the ball in the sequence. 2 possessions in a row where the two best offensive options (who were both having good nights) on the team never saw the ball. That was… odd.

      • tonious35

        Right call… a 24 shot clock violation or jacking up a bad shot when the shot clock is at 1 would of ate up a lot more clock at worst case scenario. Now Amir must live with the goat tag and so does Jose and Triano.

    • I only watched it a couple of times, but it might have been the case that Jose was at fault, sending his defender into Amir before he was set. Most people think in cases like this it’s the guy who fouls’ fault, but often times the ball handler moves too early. To me, at least, this looks like it may have been the case.

      • Theswirsky

        yeah thats what I thought to. Jose left a split second to early and Amir wasn’t set.

      • voy


        didn’t amir purposely move his leg to clip the defender? I could be wrong but it didn’t have anything to do with his body moving or not being set. Thats how I saw it. I could be wrong though. Anyone have a video clip of the play?

  • steve

    There is no rebuilding here. We have just two decent players: Calderon and Barbosa. And a future decent player: Ed Davis. Others just bench players and garbage with no talent.

    • Milesboyer

      A very poor analysis. Glad you’re not the GM.

      • Ruuuuuuuuuu

        Raps have solid building blocks: Bargs, Davis, AJ, DD, Bayless….but no superstar, which is what Raps desperately need

        If you had those players surrounding a John Wall or Derrick Rose, you’d be in a very good position

    • John_P

      That was the worst contribution on this thread. Thanks for coming out.

  • JoePanini

    The last minute of this game pisses me off.

  • Milesboyer

    I don’t know what Triano’s love affair with Kleiza is all about. 30min, 5reb, 0 asst, and 6 pts. For the love of God, give some of those minutes to Wright.

    • tonious35

      Hindsight is tough, but we should of never wasted 5.5 million a year on Kleiza and just stuck with Julian since the beginning.

    • slaw

      I think 2 things are three things at play here: a) BC didn’t sign Kleiza to come to Toronto to surf the net and Triano knows this, so he plays him; b)the organization feels Wright has hit his ceiling as a player and Kleiza still has room to become a more effective player in Toronto’s system; c) Kleiza is more of a ‘fit’ with how Triano and BC see players (i.e. Wright just isn’t a Raptor type guy).

      • Sek99

        If Kleiza hit his threes I’d agree with you about c), but hes at 30%, which is awful. Wright is basically better in every way. His offense may not be as polished as Kleizas, but he has a way higher IQ which evens out. And how can he have hit his ceiling? He’s a 3rd year guy. The only logical explanation is. . .BC is a racist!!! Heard it here first folks.

  • AnthonyF

    Mentioned on Roll Call too…. Bargnani only 3 rebounds!!!!! C’mon that should be the headline….. Was there and tried to closely watch Bargnani’s defense and guess what???? It was good. Burned by aggressive wings, where have we heard that before? But I believe it was Bargnani’s fault for not rotating….

    He played well on defense, and even reemed out Ed Davis on a switch when Ed was slow in switching.

    Very good offensive game, but team not very active on the offensive boards. DD was invisible.

    Interesting to see Bargnani thoroughly outplay Horford, who probably is ahead of AB on people’s All-Star radar.

    Ref’s were atrocious…..

    • Bargnani’s defense certainly was better than usual, but I don’t understand how you could ever classify it as anything resembling good. I think it’s incredibly ironic that he reemed Davis out because Bargnani is usually so far out of position on defense people often don’t realize he is. Right now, Davis is a superior defender, and he’s only a rookie.

      • John_P

        He’s also an inferior offensive player and has less of an impact on the team actually winning, and likely always will.

      • Sek99

        I wouldn’t say he’s a superior defensive player. Defense doesn’t just mean blocks. He’s definitely more active on defense than Bargnani, but than again, who isn’t? Davis gets eaten by guys with any amount of weight no him (see Patrick Patterson) and is easily faked/caught out of position. Don’t wanna destroy the guy, he’s a rookie, but still. IMO I haven’t seen anything from him that makes me go ‘wow’ and start believing. Derozan has made me a believer with his recent play (he even tried being active on defense with blocks/steals tonight, but he still can’t guard his man and fight through screens) and Davis will have to show some consistency like that before I would be able to judge where I think he’ll end up or how good he is.

  • Daniel

    We have 6 losing seasons in the last 8 and we are still talking about rebuilding. We are playing DeRozan, a 9th pick, more minutes than Bargnani, a 1st pick, at the same point in their career. The reward: the worst +/- in NBA. All our wings are better than DeRozan defensively and we still played him yesterday at SF because Barbosa had it going at SG. If companies were run like this they would be bankrupt in a few short years.

    • Nilanka15

      Technically, this is the first true rebuild attempt since the expansion era (which was more of a “build” instead of a “rebuild”).

      Every other attempt has been half-assed with mediocrity on the GM’s mind. Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall don’t exactly scream long-term potential.

    • Brain Colangelo

      Bad analogy – companies aren’t rewarded for failure with business equivalents of 1st round picks (except in the case of the rescession bail-out which is arguably bad policy).

  • Copywryter

    No mention of DD’s hilarious air-dive in the first half? I mean, he didn’t even touch the ball! It helped the game go from a comedy to a tragedy in fine style.

    • Raptoronto

      He also seemed to lose focus after that play…the embarrassment derailed him.

  • sleepz

    A loss is a loss. They should have won but didn’t execute when it counted on either end of the floor. It was embarrasing and sad listening to Jay’s post-game interview. The theme of the refs being the culprits is whiny and soft. Your team had more than enough chances to get the job done coach. Johnson’s moving pick was a…..moving pick and Jose’s shot got blocked by Horford. No outrage necessary. More than enough oportunities to win that game without blaming refs.

    • Pizzaman1

      sleepz I totally agree. This was not lost because of the refs. This game was lost because of questionable plays by our players namely DeRozan and a couple by Amir.
      DeRozan played horrible and should not have seen the floor in the fourth, yet there he was and agin he tried to drive on several bigger better players hoping to get some phantom call. He had five turnovers but easily five more shot attempts that I would classify as turnovers because there were much better choices on the floor. He is never held accountable for his poor judgement, hoorrible defense, and the fact he is so damn predictable…he puts his head down and you know he has zero chance of passing to an open guy.
      Arsenalist once again you captured the complete game the way I saw it as well. Very good coverage!!

      • smushmush

        Triano’s coaching blunder yesterday that decided games for the Hawks:-
        In the Raptors loss, Triano decides to go to Derozan for the 4th quarter. As a coach, once you see that a player has been scoreless for 2 quarters after a decent start(especially if he is not a go-to player or clutch player) – you don’t play such player in the 4th quarter.

        Furthermore, the last second defensive lineup since have been Barbosa-Weems-Wright-Johnson-Dorsey or Davis. Barbosa to deflect the ball, Weems and Wright to defend the perimeter with their long arms and Dorsey or Davis with Johnson to get an all-important defensive rebound since we were burned on the offensive boards with Bargs in the game.If your starting line-up is not your best defensive team, you are allowed to change it, Triano.

        Consequently, the last possession should have been in Barbosa and Bargnani’s hand since they were hot. If they did not make the jump shots, they would still have the benefit of a call(I know the refereeing is bad, but it is what is).

    • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

      why is a loss a loss, but if the team wins it’s never good enough because of of so-and-so’s lack of agressiveness, no rebounding, bad defense etc? people are so pessimistic. is this how you live your lives? how can you possibly ever be happy with anything?

      i do agree that you can’t blame this one on the refs. how about 9 FTAs because of fouling the shooter on a 3? i’ll take this one as a part of the learning process.

      ps not a personal response to you in particular, but the general negativity of the sports-watching community. i’m sure even the lakers board is full of complaints about their team, so i don’t get worked up over what randoms on the internet are saying.

      • sleepz

        A loss is a loss because thats how it’s counted as part of their record. There are no asterisks in the w-l column. I’m not pessimistic, I just don’t always believe in moral victories and know from watching that game that it was a game they should have won but didn’t and it wasn’t because of the refs.

        less about those teams.

        • sleepz

          meant to say….. I find Raps fans are sometimes blindly supportive. There are teams that win more but fans expect more and could care less about those teams.

  • KJ-B

    I just think Triano’s execution in the last 2 minutes of the game when it was winning was atrociously-horrendous-awful… It’s hard enough winning with inexperienced players BUT WE NEED AN UPGRADE AT THE COACHING POSITION!!!

    Giving Calderon the ball to win the game, like he’s John Wall quick or somethg–NO I don’t care if the other guys were being denied…ANTICIPATE + THINK of what the next team is gonna do then CREATE A PLAY!!!

    Don’t complain after the game when you had the wrong personnel in the game!!! I could see Barbosa/Bayless even DeRozan with the ball in that situation–he can’t elevate and isn’t very fast…What play call was that exactly?!?


      Calderon was given the ball, because of his decision making and FT throw shooting. It wasn’t a bad decision to design a play with Jose driving to the basket.

      • Sek99

        You want Jose Calderon to drive against one of the best defensive bigs in the game in Al Horford? They’re most likely not gonna make a call, and he got blocked, fair and square. Ball should have been in Barbosas hands at all times, with some sort of high pick and roll with Bargs.

      • Dan

        On the play, he had 3 options:

        -Drive for a potential lay-up
        -Hit Amir on the screen and roll (covered well)
        -Hit Bargnani for the elbow 3 (where it looked like he might have been open)

        Jose took the drive, he’s usually a good decision maker but it wasn’t the greatest idea there

        Triano has done a very good job with a very inexperienced team.

      • mountio

        There is a BIG distinction between being a good decision maker generally, with little / no time constraints (which I would agree that Jose is for the most part) and being the guy you want with the ball in his hands at the end of the game. In a one on one situation, Jose almost never gets by his man (when he does its because he surprises them and they are overplaying the pass and he sneaks by them for a quick lay up). As the other poster said, his other options are Amir in pic n roll (well defended, and frankly, not Amir’s strength) and AB for 3 (again, gonna be well covered).
        In this case, go to Barbosa (who was schooling guys left right and center off the driibble, when they KNEW it was coming, all game) or AB – who can draw a double team in the post or shoot over his man at the wing.
        Bottom line – bad coaching and another example of trianos inability to draw up good plays at the end of the game.
        btw – no foul whatsoever … jose tried to get bailed out (like he does on 90% of his drives) .. I wouldnt have given him the call either.

  • Nilanka15

    “Triano should have nipped Crawford in the bud by sticking Wright on him…”

    I really think Colangelo has decided that Wright (warranted or not) will not be a part of this team going forward. Instead, it’s pretty clear we’re rolling the dice with DeRozan, thus giving him minutes (deserving or not) in the name of gaining experience.

    It’s the ONLY explanation as to why Wright was shafted last night. And we have no reason whatsoever to think this trend will change between now and April.

    • cesco

      This is full proof that we are in the rebuild mode . Finishing 7th or 8th is less important than improving the youngsters.

  • PapiJulio007

    2 words…. Jay Triano.

    He does great getting players minutes. His plays during the game and after Timeouts are good, but WHEN he calls a Timeout needs work. PLUS…. who calls a play like that at the end of the game when El Mago & Blur where tearing it up? Duh….

  • WhatWhat

    Leaving Calderon on the floor when we need a defensive stop is blatant tanking. Proceeding to reward him with a shot against Horford however, is just plain stupidity.

  • derekvaz

    This might have been brought up before but don’t faul Amir for that “illegal screen”. I was there and Jose jumped the screen which happens often — bigs don’t have time to set their feet and they get called for a moving pick. Agree 100% on the other two points — Triano needed to go offence/defence in those last possession. DeRozan gaffed big time down the stretch and should have been pulled earlier on as the game was just not coming to him last night.

    • Nilanka15

      Good point about Amir’s screen. I find this happens a LOT at the pro level (just another example of the “best players in the world” losing sight of basketball fundamentals). The ball carrier hardly ever waits for the big man to establish position on the screen before attempting his move. It leaves the big man out to dry.

      • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

        it’s fundamentals, but we’re also talking about the biggest, fastest, most athletic players in the world so sometimes things break down. every team would be good if this sh*t were easy.

        • NoFrillz

          They set picks like that every single time in the NBA. Most picks set in the NBA are technically moving picks. If you watch replays of all the picks the Raps and the Hawks set that game, they will all look like the last one Amir set. The unfortunate thing is that the refs decided to actually call it in that situation, when 8 times out of 10 they wouldn’t.

          • Ryan

            No excuses, but there are times where it feels like 29 times out of 30 they wouldn’t make some calls they do…

    • slaw

      At first I thought Jose jumped the screen. I even scared my gf by yelling it out as it was happening. But, on the replay, Jose gave Amir time to establish but Amir, for some reason, kept pushing forward right through Crawford to set the pick. That was why it got called. It was on Amir.

      • LTrain

        Jose and Amir share the blame on that play. Jose went early, Amir had trouble stopping. If you watch the replay you will see them discuss it when they get back to the bench. Amir clearly says “I couldn’t stop”. Jose aknowledges it.

        • mountio

          Lets not forget that the big part of the reason is Amir took too long to actually set the screen, thus everything was rushed. Not sure if this is on Jose for not itiating the play, Amir for not getting there sooner or Jay telling them to start the play too late in the shot clock, but one way or the other, that screen needs to be set sooner. Even if the foul doesnt get called, there was like 2 secs on the shot clock and Jose was in no mans land .. so to me the whether Jose jumped the screen or Amir was moving is moot if they start things a couple of secs earlier …

    • Pizzaman1

      DeRozan is the single biggest reason we lost last nights game. He makes horrible decisions over and over and turns the ball over in crucial situations more than a starter ever should. He should not be playing in the final minutes of close games

      • John_P


        • Theswirsky

          its amazing that you two have found your…. ‘who can we blame each day guy’, yet get so up in arms when people do it to Bargs.

          You want to know whats even funnier about it…. both one dimensional players, each got limited play time in their rookie season. Difference, Derozan looks 10x better in his 2nd year than Bargs (and that shouldn’t be taken as a compliment).

          I remember in Bargs 2nd/3rd/4th year when he always got the ‘oh he’s young’, ‘he’s developing’, ‘he’s playing 2nd fidle’, ‘he’s learning’, ‘give him time’ huh… guess that only applies to Bargs…

          • John_P

            what the fuck are you talking about? I love how you and your fag boys defend Demar to the death, considering he’s the biggest cancer on D. I also remember Andrea needing to earn his minutes and not just being handed them, but i guess that only applies to Andrea.

            • Theswirsky

              Just like the other day… the smallest comment on Bargs and you are calling people fags and next thing you know talking about blowing guys and taking loads.

              oh by the way, I wasn’t defending demar. But rather making a comparison between him and Bargs. If there is anyone you ugys should like it should be Derozan. No D all scoring… thought thats what made Bargs so good?

              as for Andrea “earning” his minutes… what a joke. He gets handled with kids gloves. Earning minutes is applied to everyone but Andrea and Derozan.

              • John_P

                Yeah he’s clearly the best player on the team by a country mile and yet he doesnt earn his minutes. Makes sense. Also, how predictable are you, that despite the fact that Andrea was one of two people who showed up to play, you reference his second year. What the fuck does that have to do with the game?

          • Pizzaman1

            You can call Bargnani one dimensional if you want because he is not at this time a great defender but he is at least average and DeRozan is a completely bad defender. Meanwhile on offense you say DeRozan is 10 times better and that is a complete joke. Bargs had more in his offensive arsenal before he ever played an NBA game than DeRozan has now. DeRozan is an athletic basketball player who can drive on one guy when he is not a great defender. Otherwise he runs into walls and gets stuffed and loses the ball more than any SG I have seen play. Bargnani has better handles and can dribble better at seven feet than DeRozan can and has a tremendously varied offense where DeRozan cannot shoot, has no range, cannot pass, cannot dribble. It is a joke for you to even compare their offensive games.

            • Theswirsky

              I never oncec said Demar is better on offense. I said he was a better player in his 2nd year than Bargs. Everything doesn’t need to come back to offense

              • Dookielover

                buddy. smitch that cunt fucked with bargs development and set him back years. meanwhile demar has been coddled and handed the starting gig that he still doesnt deserve.

                • John_P

                  No according to this idiot its Andrea’s responsibility to win the game on his own. Everyone else plays defence on the team and he’s the only reason they concede points. Even though Andrea scored more points then Smith and Horford combined, and Demar’s man went off for 36, it must be Bargs’ fault. Also he insists on bringing up the second year when this article is referencing last nights game.

                • AnthonyF

                  I said it earlier…. It was all Bargnani’s fault that he didn’t help enough or rotate that Crawford & Johnson torched us….. Oh yea he too should have scored at least 35 (26 is not enough), and remember only 3 rebounds……

                • Theswirsky

                  who even blamed Bargs last game here? I didn’t. Others put words in my mouth (not that that is rare from these john_p or pizzaman).

                  This was about others blaming Demar in his 2nd year while giving Bargs the benifit of the doubt specifically when he was a 2nd year guy. Criticizing Demar’s D, while a 2nd year guy, playing 2nd bananna, still developing, young etc… that dosesn’t sound familiar?

                  I’m not exactly a fan of Demar, but if these same guys felt Bargs deserved the benifit of the doubt in his 2nd year (and up to now) its complete hypocracy to not give it to Demar to.

                • Pizzaman1

                  swirsk Bargnani was so screwed around in his second year, versus the hand holding DeRozan has received you cannot compare stats. DeRozan starts and plays heavy minutes and gets the ball alot no matter how badly he plays whereas Bargnani played 4 minutes one game, 30 the next, and was benched everytime a mistake happened anywhere near him.
                  My point was you said DeRozan is a better basketball player than Bargnani was in his second year and I said that DeRozan is not even close. Forget the circumstances, minutes, ball distribution etc.., Bargnani was, is and will almost surely always be a better basketball player than DeRozan. DeRozan has a long long way to being a SG; He needs to learn how to SHOOT, get some range, get some handles and learn how to dribble, Learn how to pass and use his teamates so he’s not so obvious, play avaerage defense, develop more than the one spinarama move he has now that most already know. That’s why he’s a gym rat, because he’s an athlete right now, and not a very good basketball player just yet.
                  All that said I believe he will get better, just not sure how much and I want him to stay, but I would like to see him come off the bench for 15 to 20 minutes a game.

            • pran

              1)bargnani is not an average defender

              2)until bargnani learns to get to the line consistently(i think he will eventually) i think derozan is/will be a better scorer than him

              3)at leasts derozan knows when to take advantage of situations, we still have bargs taking jumpshots when they put the smaller man on him.

              No, I say we give derozan one more year, he has a lot to learn, and by the end of next year we’ll see if he has improved more in other facets of the game and his value will be sky high. Bargs on the other hand, i want traded for minnesota’s draft pick………..

              • Pizzaman1

                pran you’re obviously entitled to your opinion but point 1) DeRozan is not today for sure a better scorer as he has pretty much one way to score and that’s to drive and layup, or get fouled. His jump shot stinks.I also find it very hard to believe he will be a better scorer as Bargnani who can score from anywhere on the floor and is much smoother than DD.
                3) DeRozan does not know how to take advantage of situations because again he only has one thing he does ok, and that means that when there are one or two good defenders in the paint he gets blocked or turns it over, and taking advantage means also looking for a better option and he never does. He puts his head down and drives no matter who and how many defenders are in the paint. Bargs does not always take jump shots over smaller guys as he drives to the hoop alot this year especially, yet when he does shoot over people he does so at a much more efficient scoring rate than DD, so his jump shot is a good option.
                I agree with giving DeRozan more time, yet I would also trade him now or next year if we got back fair value. On the other hand there is no way I would tade Bargnani for a draft pick. There would need to be much more than one draft pick to trade away the best scoring center in the league who’s only 25 and is still improving.

  • barenakedman

    The Raptors as a team played well enough to win against a strong Hawks team and that is encouraging. The difference maker could have been Kleiza but he certainly wasn’t up for it. Give Wright some minutes.
    I listened to part of the game in the car and they pointed out a lot of non calls and bad calls that hurt the Raps right on their home court. If the league is concerned about integrity something should be done about making the calls based on who is involved in the play instead of just the play itself.

  • Blub

    DD, Johnson and the Refrees are the best team – in the d-league-. What a bullshit this game.

  • Dgeris

    What I don’t understand is why they went away from what had been working the whole fourth quarter on the final two real possessions. Barbosa had been running an effective high screen game but yet the ball was placed into Jose’s hands? Why? Ride the hot hand there.

  • Raptoronto

    I hate the term but it was a good loss for a young team…call it a fantankstic game. Obvious lessons learned, the hard way.
    As a fan its painful to watch at times but we are a young team developing, agreed? Calling for DeRozan to be benched when he has finally gained some confidence and is running through the best stretch of his career is severely short sighted. He needs to play in these types of games and situations so he can feel his way through regardless of his struggles (frankly his development is more important than a W at this point). Yesterday he took a step back but at this stage in his career (and life) he needs nurturing not the whip…eventually tough love may be the answer but I believe yanking him yesterday would have been a lateral move for the team and two steps back for DD.

    • Lucas Lopes

      I don’t agree. Every player must be accountable for his actions in court. They must think “I better show effort, play well, otherwise I won’t play as much”. If we are rewarding Demar big minutes despite poor play, we are not putting enough pressure that every pro athlete must take. He will settle into a confort zone and that is not good for his further development.

      • cesco

        Yeah , DD is so comfortable that he chooses to be a gym rat at night . That is to me a sign of someone who is NOT comfortable and want to improve.

      • Raptoronto

        I might agree if he hadn’t been playing his best ball of his career in the stretch of games leading up to this one or if we were a solid team truly needing a bump in the standings.

        DD seems to be pretty hard on himself so I see most of his development this year coming from mental maturity (confidence). I’d much rather he be pissed that he didn’t contribute while on the floor at a critical time and knowing exactly what he needs to improve on and move on than being pissed for not being given the opportunity to contribute, dwelling on his mistakes and questioning himself. (Now if he plays lacklustre for a stretch of games…I’m 100% on your side, crack the whip).

      • Sek99

        If we benched players based on effort, we wouldn’t be able to field a team most nights. Bargs, DD, Weems, Kleiza, and (sometimes) Barbosa don’t show consistent effort on both sides of the floor every game. The key isn’t benching them, it’s finding a guy who can illicit this effort but is willing to bench them if they continue to sleep on plays. That guy is not Triano

  • Fellow TrueHooper Sebastian Pruiti does a great job breaking down he Biddy three here:

    Atlanta Sets Up Mike Bibby For A Game Winning Three

    Interesting that Bargnani had a clearer view of the play developing and path to get out on Bibby (although may have created an easy dump for a clear layup/dunk by Horford). At least Johnson fought around the two screens to attempt to get there. It was just a well designed play – “Bibby does a fantastic job of selling the fact that he is setting a screen for Johnson,” which I think is valid. Good play, we should use it.

  • Bottom line a great game by a young Raptors team VS a more talented, better team on a winning streak.

    Atlanta made one more big shot than Rap’s, with Bibby who was shooting 1/7 making the big 3 pt shot to finish 2/8, just the NBA
    with Andrea hitting the rim on his shot at the buzzer.

    • mountio

      Agree. Was there and by far the best game live this year (maybe in the last couple) .. even though we lost (which sucks, dont get me wrong). No one seems to be mentioning the Crawford knuckle ball three from like 8 ft behind the line in the 3rd last possession .. of all the things that happened, that one was the heartbreaker for me ..

  • Pmack_745

    The Raptors shot 54% and Atlanta shot 43%. There a lot more positives than negatives to be taken from this game. Hopefully, the Raptors can win the next two games against Detroit and Washington.

  • Mediumcore

    Not sure how relavent it is, but the core of the Atlanta team has been together for several years now, and you could tell the way they were moving the ball around for open shots and easy backdoor cuts, that they know what each other is going to do before it happens. The Raptors core is being rebuilt right now, so they still don’t have that experience of knowing where everyone is on the court like Atlanta does. Once the core has that time together they will be able to run plays on instict which is an advantage they don’t have right now.

  • nothing hurt more than bibby doing that gay dance right after he hits that 3

    • tonious35

      It was GAY… but he earned that right….

  • tonious35

    Where was Julian Wright? ‘Nuff said……

  • mauro

    It was as simply as replacing DD with Wright for all the 4th period.

    6 FTA less and we won

  • Sek99

    Was a great game by the Raptors. I even liked how Triano used the zone, until he made me hate him again with his drawn up plays. What kind of play is a step back three from half-court? I understand there’s only one second, but work to get him a standstill shot from three over someone. The guys 7 feet tall. He could have shot over anyone. I’d rather a contested shot from three instead of a half-court fader. Bargnani played good defense, weak rebounding but it’s alright, he had a great game. Barbosa has fucking handles. Derozan had a great first quarter, but I have to say, what’s wrong with the refs? Not complaining bout the moving pick (good call) or the non-call on Horford (who blocked Jose) but the non-calls on the Hawks. Once I saw Josh smith put his arm across both of Derozans forearms, in clear view of the ref and everyone else of the building who stood right across and. . .no call. Meanwhile, Bargnani than gets a ridiculous and-1 call which was not a foul on Horford. NBA refs are the worst in any professional sport. . . its so clear that they make a call based on who’s playing rather than the play itself. Fuck ‘Respect the game’ rules, make these refs accountable for every goddamn call they give to Kobe, Lebron, Wade e.t.c. which aren’t fouls, than seem to lose their whistle when less known players are being thrown to the ground. Hell, even the Barbosa dunk where he got hit from behind by Smith would have gotten a call on any star in the league.

    Enough rambling though. Solid game. Trade Kleiza, free Ju Ju, and if Barbosa can string a few more of these games together, send the guy to a team with a chance and get some value out of him while we can. Also, Triano needs to go back to high school coaching, or at best assistant.

  • kuzzybear

    Rpas were screwed. how can people on 1 hand say the refs always swallow their whistles at the end of a game and yet call a extremely minimal blocking foul on AMir?
    How can anyone say the Raps don’t get calls because they don’t attack the basket enough? Last night points in the paint were
    60-38 for Toronto. On the season the Raps have had more points in the paint than their opponents!

  • Bendit

    Coaching substitutions or lack thereof, playing players out of position (DD at SF) and not playing others (JW on Crawford) are examples of what has been going on for most of the season. Play calling may just be bad so I cant speak to the purposefulness there. Does anyone else see a concerted effort not to win games?

  • Dookielover

    you got a 7 footer who can post up anybody in the l and get his shot off wherever whenever. yet jay triano and his teamates only give him the ball for desperation heaves or when the shot clocks run down to nothing…..its fucking dumb….when the games on the line give him the fucking ball.afterall every game weve pretty much won he’s been the one to get us there.

    • John_P

      Seriously I can’t understand why the fuck that ball wasn’t in his pr Barbosa’s hand. So frustrating.

    • Theswirsky

      “you got a 7 footer who can post up anybody in the l and get his shot off wherever whenever. yet jay triano and his teamates only give him the ball for desperation heaves or when the shot clocks run down to nothing”

      umm yeah because Bargs posts up so often. Apparently Bargs got 22 shots without anyone getting him the ball. Ofcourse if he wants/needs more, he could always REBOUND THE BALL. Maybe he should talk to Pau…. when he felt he wasn’t getting enough shots, he went out and grabbed the offensive board.

      • John_P

        Are you a fucking retard? why dont you wacth thw game you fucking idiot. If you were watching, you would have noticed that the only two people scoring efficiently and consistently were Bargs and Barbosa. Demar was too busy fouling beyond the three point arc, turning the ball over and driving into shot blockers because he can’t pull up and shoot.

        • Sek99

          Dude, are you drunk when you post or just generally miserable that Bargnani won’t take you out on a date? We lost as a team. Everyone has bad games, and I’m still amazed at how the refs seem to refuse to give a call to DD recently, but besides the point. Bargnani played well. Which is to say, he had a good offensive game and a passable defensive game while getting equal rebounds to the other teams two pgs combined. And its not like they have Kidd or Westbrook, they have Bibby and Teague. That’s not good play by a big no matter which way you spin it. He also finished with 0 FUCKING FOULS. That’s terrible for a centre. I don’t want the guy to foul out, but you gotta throw someone down every once in awhile. He had a good game, but DD carried us in the 1st quarter, went cold and stopped shooting. He was bad. I agree. But they had 10 offensive boards to our 4. That’s six extra possessions. That’s the difference between the game. So. . . BARGNANI LOST US THE GAME. ALL HIS FAULT. (imitation of idiotic fanatics)

          • John_P

            Please do not suggest to me that the 10 offesnive boards were a result of Bargnani, especially when you contradict yourself and say we “lose as a team”. What I find so ironic, is that he played really good D, great on O and was one of two reasons as to why we had a chance. Demar was terrible on both ends and was eaten alive by Johnson and Crawford for 26 and 36, and by the fourth quarter when it was clear he wasn’t contributing anything, he should have been subbed. Also if it wasn’t for Jay switching to a zone D to hide how bad Demar was, Crawford would have easily surppassed 50. Finally, if that wasn’t enough, he decides to foul beyond the arc twice. So i think i’m more then justified in suggesting he cost us the game.

          • pran

            its the way he was raised..stupid wop

            • John_P

              You smelly Paki what the fuck are they doing letting you use a computer when you should be busy answering customer relations concerns for Rogers customers. Get to work!

              • pran

                lol im a grad student, what do you do, construction?

            • Pizzaman1

              pran I just answered you in another post disagreeing with your opinion but answering you respectfully even though not long ago you got racist and immature with your name calling.
              Now here you are using the derogatory word WOP about someone so again I tell you that if you’re man enough to use that word, then let’s do it in person.

              • pran

                are you defending him b/c that was you two weeks ago, kindly stfu kareem abdul jabbar, you’ve already proven you know nothing about basketball

                • John_P

                  I don’t need anyone to defend me, he’s just pointing out that you consistently act like the little pussy that you are and make rascist comments. This isnt the first time you have thrown around the word WOP, its just the first time i’ve responded to it. You’re a pussy who offers little to this conversation. You just like to run your mouth and consistently make rascist remarks because you wont have anyone to answer to.

                • Pizzaman1

                  listen pran you little fucking mouthy student fuck, I tried being nice but for a guy who points out he’s in grad school I’m wondering how you could have such a racist little girl mouth, so obviously you must not be in grad school unless you’re trying to get a masters degree in how to run your family’s variety store without having evry fucking family member sleeping and eating behind the counter 24 hours a day. You obviously do not want to earn a post graduate degree to work in the business world where there happen to be alot of senior positions and ownership by so called WOPS that will kick your pussy ass right into your own nose. If you had any balls you would hook up with me and call me a WOP or perhaps some other Italian decent Canadian that you are afraid of.

        • Theswirsky

          I never said they weren’t or he shouldn’t have gotten the ball. I’m just saying Bargs did get shots (or more specifically he did get teh ball from his teammates) and he doesn’t post up (to infer he would have is ridiculous). If he wants the ball more, then go rebound it.

          How does Demar have anything to do with this?

          Why are you so angry all the time?

  • Pizzaman1

    It was not in Barbosa or Bargnani’s hands because of bad coaching plain and simple, and bad coaching also caused the loss as DeRozan should have been on the pine far before he got a chance to turn the ball over on another awkward drive, and also foul a guy beyond the three point line in the dying minutes. Also Amir did foul by sticking his leg out clear as xray vision. The coach should have called another better play involving the only two guys who the Hawks had no answer for.
    Also letting Jose go in expecting a foul is ridiculous as he only makes lay ups when he has cleanly beat the man and Horford did not foul him. Again the play from Jose should have been to Bargs or Barbosa who showed the ability all night to make their own shots.

    • John_P

      I couldn’t agree more. I also don’t understand these people who are saying that Jose didn’t wait for the screen to be set, which is why Amir fouled. He was clearly set, and if he wasnt, what was Calderon supposed to do wait until the clock runs out? Also, name me another game when a team fouls the opposition 3x beyond beyond the arc for 9 foul shots. What a fucking joke Demar and Amir were last night. At least Amir played well beyond those mistakes, but Demar was total shit.