Raptors 95, Wizards 98 – Box

Two things I noticed. First, you know how Kevin Garnett always nabs the ball right from the rim when somebody tries to shoot after a whistle just to get a practice shot in? Ed Davis does that too. I like that, it sends a message, I’m not quite sure how to describe that message but it’s a good one. Second, whenever Sundiata Gaines was in the game I swear I thought it was Jarrett Jack.

With New Orleans, San Antonio, Orlando and Miami also coming up on this roadtrip, the normal reaction after this loss would usually have been dismay at not picking up the one winnable game in this stretch. That’s still the case even without Barbosa and Bayless, but at least we got to see some things, things like Jose Calderon abusing John Wall who didn’t look able or interested. Calderon finished with 21/9/15, and was the reason this game was within grasp until the final minute. After a horrible start, we saw Andrea Bargnani chip in with 25/7 and play decent overall defense (for him). The three negatives for me is the offensive rebound conceded to McGee for the late dunk, how he didn’t foul Yi on the break to prevent an easy dunk, and his second quarter man-defense.

Bargnani got off to a slow start offensively but Jose Calderon and Ed Davis made up for the production, and were helped by the Wizards shooting 33% in the first quarter. The 25-19 lead at the end evaporated as quickly as it was created with Andray Blatche (lazy f***er who doesn’t play D but is an OK offensive player) and the Wizards guards getting it going. The halftime score was 47-42 Wizards which was an acceptable scoreline for this snorefest. The third quarter saw Nick Young molest DeMar DeRozan for 18 points. I mean, I understand getting torched by Ray Allen but Nick Young? C’mon DeMar, show some pride and intensity. The Raptors kept relative pace thanks to Bargnani’s six and Davis (15/8), who was excellent all night long. The rookie was clever in his two-man games, ran the floor hard and presented himself very well to both Gaines and Calderon. The Wizards shot 61% in the third to edge it to a 75-67 lead.

A quick 8-2 spurt consisting of two Bargnani threes and a Gaines layup cut the lead to two and now you’re thinking it’s game-on. Julian Wright and Davis ran a great pick ‘n roll for an And1, and the game was tied at 79. The Wizards went back up by four and the only thing working on offense for the Raptors was Andrea Bargnani. He had 15 in the fourth quarter yet managed to get looked off by Kleiza and Gaines when he was wide open during that stretch after 79-79. That bit also had DeMar DeRozan get blocked by McGee (6 blocks, player of the game) which I saw coming about five seconds before it happened.

The Raps never had a chance to tie this game until after the FT-foul game had been played and there were 0.9 seconds left and Gaines missed at the buzzer (shot wouldn’t have counted). Triano did have a chance to demonstrate his late-game play-calling abilities and fell short once again. This time it was an ill-advised one-on-one Jose Calderon forced shot which airballed with 12 seconds left. Before that, the Raptors had gotten the miss they wanted but couldn’t corral the rebound despite having three bigs (Davis, Bargnani and Johnson) on the floor. Too bad, because that would’ve setup a nice final possession down two with 17 seconds left.

Some thoughts on this one:

  • Bargnani’s getting pretty good at drawing contact on the perimeter, he gets at least two or three points a game via that fake-the-jumper-and-lean move. Defensively though, man, I’m tired of saying it but the effort needs to be better. You saw last night the impact of a defensive center in Javale McGee last night, on a team full of offensive weapons a presence like that would be immense. Credit to Bargnani for taking full advantage of the Washington bigs’ inability to stick with a quick big.
  • I wouldn’t have picked this to be a bad game for DeMar DeRozan (3-11 FG), his 34 minutes are fully undeserved. If it weren’t for injuries to others, I’m sure Triano would love to nail his ass to the bench for a couple games just to send a message. The highly inconsistent sophomore has never had a proper talking-to about his effort level and defense, and I feel he gets off scott free by the fans too.
  • Surprised that Jose Calderon wasn’t put under more pressure by the Wizards. In fact, I’m surprised how bad John Wall was last night, you’d think he’d be the #1 threat for the Raptors, instead Calderon walked all over him. Again, wonderful game for Calderon, great overall distribution and his last basket where he forced a leaner was great. Calderon has always been as effective as his jumper (isn’t that true for most guards?) and this year he’s showcased himself well. It’s tempting to find out what he might fetch at the deadline.
  • Ed Davis did a great job of moving without the ball and showed that he can be a part of the structured offense instead of living off the scraps. He’s got a chemistry going with Julian Wright which the Raptors need to use more, maybe use Julian Wright as a point forward a bit more, he’s certainly shown he’s capable.
  • Everybody on the Raptors seems to have a fairly well-defined role except Linas Kleiza. He does a few things well but doesn’t quite excel at anything, he’s too poor of a shooter to spread the floor but will knock a few down when he’s hot. He’s not a great defender but can use his bulk when rebounding. He doesn’t have a one-on-one game except when he sees a seam and takes it to the rim. He’s got a little post-up game but nothing you can count on. In his best role, he’s a bench player playing the three or four on a per-matchup basis (like in Denver), not as a slotted starter at small forward. The lack of talent at that position for the Raptors has forced him into a starting role where he’ll have great nights, but mostly very mediocre ones. It’s not his fault, he’s just not a terribly snug fit on this team.

The NBA is divided into three main tiers. There are the title contenders like the Bostons and Miamis, then there are the good teams like the Denvers, Atlantas, and Utahs, and then there’s the rest of the bunch who either play the season in the name of rebuilding or hoping to take the step into the second tier. The Raptors and Wizards are in that last category, and any result here is insignificant. That’s my take on the rest of the season, I’m going to be taking the role of “development evaluator” from now on, and last night belonged to Ed Davis, not part of the Young Onez, but a good player nonetheless.

Last time the Raptors lost the “winnable” game on the roadtrip, they ended up beating Dallas short-handed. Who knows what’s coming up next…

  • mauro

    Nick Young is what I dream DD is becoming.

    • Theswirsky

      Nick Young is DD with a jumpshot and no ability to drive.

      The guy is as streaky as can be… is just as likely to shoot you out of a game as he is to shot you back into one.

      If DD becomes a Nick Young I will be completely disappointed.

      • yertu damkule

        hmm…interesting. so much depends on DD’s ceiling, how high we think it is, and how likely we think it is that he’ll reach it….vs. young’s ceiling, and whether he’s already reached it. but the one thing that can’t be ignored is that young can stroke it, and DD – as of right now – cannot (at least on a consistent basis). young isn’t a good defender by any stretch, but if he’s wearing down his check by forcing them to fight through/around multiple picks every possession, then his job on that front becomes easier. i see a lot of ray allen/rip hamilton in young’s game (blasphemy, i know), simply in terms of the way he moves without the ball & understands how to free himself/use screens & curls, etc.

        there probably aren’t many raptor fans who’d be in favour of a straight-up DD-for-young trade, but that, IMO, is based entirely on DD’s perceived potential. likewise, i’d be shocked if 3% of wizards fans would go for the same deal.

    • KJ-B

      No, I don’t think so…All he has is the shot, I’ll take everything else DeRozan has in his arsenal!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504323292 Cito Knickz

    demar will be better than young tho

  • TheR3dMenace

    McGee sure would look nice in red&white. Playing next to Bargs, they’d be in charge

  • JHP

    Nice game last night and it was just close enough to look real(kind of). When I look at the NBA I see 4/5 real contenders, Wizards/Clippers/Nets/kings can be caught but I would keep an eye on the Pistons. However the Timberwolves and Cavaliers are out of our league and mathmatically probably can not be caught. If the GM stays the course(and he is giving every indication he will), works on his golf game and tan then we have a chance. Jay needs to exploit all the injuries, ensure the players stay rested , don’t play unless 100 percent healthy and of course show just enough rage to be heard/believed/not fined. The players are doing their part, fighting hard against the good teams(maybe they will get noticed), disappearing against the above mentioned teams and of course saying all the right things after they lose(high percentage of the time). Yes it’s the NBA where amazing happens :-)

    • yertu damkule


      of course, it’s shaping up to be an abysmal draft, so undoubtedly, the raps will ‘win’ the first pick…

      • Alucart999

        Ya, this is definitely not the right time to win the draft. The Raptors really do have the worst timing when it comes to being bad in the “right” years.


    To my friend PickStar: NICK YOUNG, BABY! : )

  • Copywryter

    This is not the first time that Nick Young has torched us.

    How must it feel to be Rashard Lewis?

    Disliked the fact that the answer to last night’s Trivia Question was Manute Bol, and neither mentioned the fact that he passed not that long ago nor recognized his charity work.

    Check out Alabi yawning in the pic above : )

  • Valit

    Things we learned from last night:
    Calderon dominated Wall and played a wonderful game. Letting him go ( unless we get a top 5 PG and that’s not gonna happen ) will regress the team another couple of years.
    Wright has a very high basketball IQ and I think we should keep him because he looks interested to learn
    DD has a lower IQ basketball wise than any shoe size and I dont know if you can coach IQ
    Amir should be a wonderful bench player because the “wow” moments are far in between the OMG ..terrible.
    Everybody seem to embrace the idea that this team needs to be “busted open” and start from zero. If this is the case, we are looking at 3-4 years of a terrible team in a new economic scenery. I can bet RR will be reduced to 10 or less friends drinking beer and start to play backgammon
    Gunners won so all is good in my world

    • yertu damkule

      re. amir…what ‘OMG…terrible’ moments are you talking about? seems a bit harsh, considering.

    • Babyface_Killah

      Wtf Top-five PG???? So we would only trade Calderon for basically Chris Paul, Deron Willams, Rajon Rondo, Derrik Rose, and Russel Westbrook/Steve Nash. Or do you mean draft a PG that will became a top 5 Pg. I personally am a big Calderon fan (MVP of this team) but no waaaaaaaaaaaaay would I ever expect anything more for him than a prospect/draft pick and a expiring player.

  • 511

    I hate it when I start liking what a player is showing only to then, a few games or so later, make me question what I was even thinking. DeMar. I’m starting to think that those who wonder about his game IQ are right for doing so. If someone doesn’t show him how to pass and why he needs to be thinking about who he can pass to earlier than he does (if he ever does), there’ll never be a reason for opposing players to hesitate going right at him. If he doesn’t take this step, he’ll be in danger of turning into what some fear Sonny is/was turning into. That wouldn’t be good.

    • yertu damkule

      you’re right, in general…his court awareness is quite lacking. he did have a couple nice dishes early though. he’s a SG, remember (IMO, i think he’d make a better SF than SG, but whatever). the ‘S’ is for ‘shooting.’ i know, i know…he doesn’t do that all that well either. but it’s not his ‘job’ to be a creator/facilitator, his job is to finish, or at the very least, to put himself in a position to finish.

      • Alucart999

        Well, his “job” really is to make contributions towards winning, and the problem is that right now he doesn’t do much of that unless he’s getting to the line or sinking mid-range jumpers.

        He’s not dynamic enough off the dribble to be a threat to do much more than make straight line drives. He doesn’t have any range on his jumper so he can’t make people pay for playing off him. His lack of strength, awareness, and lateral quickness limits him on defense. There are a lot of holes in his game right now. I’d rather have Landry Fields than DeMar DeRozan, that’s for sure.

  • Milesboyer

    Jack Armstrong made a good comment – “Weems, Bayless, Stojakovic, Barbosa and Reggie Evans all didn’t make the trip – that would be a decent starting five right there”. Not upper echelon by any means, but as good as what we had out there. The point is – there is a huge lack of talent even when everyone is healthy, let alone when there are several injuries.

  • sangaman

    The key to the raps is reggie..The statisticians on this blog may not believe it. But heart and desire on the court are hard to quantify. (Rebounds arent)

    • Rexdale

      but the question is . do we want to go for the playoff spot that will see us knocked out, or go for a chance at the #1

      • Ralphstea

        Going for No 1 means trying to lose

        • Moh_yusuf27

          Playing your more inexperienced players (but with more potential than your veterns) will get you loses but its much more valuable then winning 30-40 games on the back of your veterans who have already capped out their talents. If we could win 30-40 with our younger players then fine thats great but to sacrifice time and experience for our younger players for the sake of a couple games is very short-sighted. Im glad the Franchise outlook doesnt agree with your viewpoint.

        • KJP

          I don’t think we have to try.

    • Dookielover

      scrublover ALERT. reggie isnt the key to anything but fail.

  • Red Baron

    Would a starting lineup of Bargs, Davis, Wright, Derozan, and Calderon not be a better offence-defence balance? Amir, Kleiza, Barbosa off the bench?

    • JiminyCrickit

      Yes but the Amir/Davis part is not an offence/defence trade off, it’s an offence/defensive rebounding trade off.

  • Theswirsky

    Derozan’s D was not pretty… never is.

    Young was beating him (and Wright for that matter who was right up on him consistently) with jumpers. I can live with that. 0 penetration that wasn’t stopped… 2 fade away 15 fters , 2 deep threes and more than a few with a hand in his face.

    If a guy is making those, so be it. What would have been nice is if someone would have tried to prevent him from getting the ball.

  • Ruuuuuuuu

    Wright is a much better fit than Kleiza with the Raps starting lineup. They have enough scorers, they need a guy to pass, hustle, and play D – all strengths for JW.

    • Alucart999

      Agreed. If Amir Johnson/DeMar is starting, I want Julian Wright to cover for DeMar. If it’s Evans/DeMar, then I’d rather have Kleiza in there because as much as Julian can pass, he doesn’t do much more than that offensively, and having both him and Evans in there who are probably instructed to limit what they do with the ball offensively, you’re just asking for teams to load up on Calderon, Bargs, and DD.

  • torontonian_24

    There were only a couple times I thought DD had his ankles broken. He seemed to play decent defense against Young but it just looked bad when Young made 6 or 7 shots in a row. Even Wright didn’t have great luck against him until he cooled off.

  • Rexdale

    i dont think calderon would mind going to a playoff team

  • John

    anyone else notice alabi yawning on the bench (picture on top)

    • Balls of Steel

      That’s gold, Jerry, gold!!! What an awesome find!!! It’s funny how people defend DD by saying that he’s better than Young. Numbers don’t lie man. If wings are supposed to score, this guy is a pure wing. If an offer of Young for DD were placed on the table, 90% of fans including our GM would be all over it. Yea, he may not drive as much, perhaps his defence might be the same. However, he makes shots, he can spread the floor and no, he doesn’t drive to the basket only to lose the ball like a 5th grader in gym class. That’s the truth Ruth!

      • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

        except nick young is 25 and is now having his breakout season in this his 4th year, averaging 16, 2.5, and 1.

        DD already provides equal production (14.4, 3.4, 1.8) as a 21 year-old sophomore.

        • yertu damkule

          true. but young has always been able to shoot from distance, and it’s a question mark whether DD ever will…and that’s pretty important from the 2-spot.

          also, i know another offensive-oriented 25-yr-old (in his 5th season) who’s having his ‘breakout’ year. i’ve heard he’s even all-star-worthy.

          • Theswirsky

            sg who can’t shoot

            big man who can’t rebound or defend

            all this team needs now is a PG who can’t pass.

            • Milesboyer

              we have one – Jarred Bayless.

          • cesco

            I are still living in a dream world where Bosh (Christine) was going to take the Raps to Shangri La country . Give up yertu , Andrea is the real deal , 100% guaranteed.

            • Theswirsky

              haha if Bosh wasn’t good enough to build around, in what fanatasy world is Bargs?

              Neither of them should be (or should have been) the focus of the team. Simply repeating the same mistakes of the past.

              • Jeff

                Once again a very short sighted view of Bargs. The fact is he can’t do it on his own, just like Nowitzki or Duncan cant do it on their own. Surround him with the right supporting staff and you will see the desired results.

                • Theswirsky

                  with that argument you can surround anyone with the right players and make them a contender.

                  Good thing Fisher was surrounded by Kobe and Shaq/Pau/Odom because he clearly couldn’t do it on his own in Utah…..

                  ok so obviously an extreme… but the point is you want a player that is good enough that the others don’t need to be superstars in their own right. I just don’t see that with Bargs… you are handicapping yourself before you start if your center peice is Bargs and then filling in the peices after (same as with Bosh)

                • Jeff

                  On Dallas, who is a superstar besides Dirk? If you sub give us that team with Andrea as the feature player, I dont think its out of the realm of possibility to assume we would be top 4/5 in the east.

        • Balls of Steel

          Well, DD started since day one while Young toiled in the shadows of Arenas. I guess it’s a wash but I still think people would jump on the trade.

  • Balls of Steel

    I do have another comment based on observations last night that Gaines has yet to really know the offence of this team. He also had a breakaway for a layup last night that he decided to pass for a TO (which was a turning point in my opinion). It looks like he’s not allowed to take a shot and yes, he is Jack 2.0

    Long story short, in a team full of injuries and players (especially Bayless and Barbosa on the mend), I think this guy will stick til the end of the season (which from early observations, isn’t a bad thing).

    • KJ-B

      Balls of Steel = lo Basketball iQ

      • Balls of Steel

        Wow, that got a bit personal. A comment on my ball IQ with no reason given. I guess you’re not a fan of opinion in an open community such as this one. Where am I basing my opinion on Gaines? Well I’m not basing it on his 23.9 PPG average with Idaho or his experience with Utah or being with a though minded, no BS coach like Sloane. I’m referring to his quickness and ability to create a shot for himself. Why are you so critical of this when it’s mere speculation? I didn’t say that he’s the future PG of this franchise but of all the 10-day signings this season (outside of Dupree), this one makes sense now and until perhaps the end of the year. Bayless doesn’t want to rest the ankle and keeps forcing himself in the lineup while Barbosa and his hamstring, along with his tender shoulder and right wrist needs rest. Gaines with the team right NOW, makes sense. Chill bro, your comment above is low IQ.

        • KJ-B

          Pardonez moi Mon. B.O.S…

  • yertu damkule

    swirsk & torontionan mentioned it above, but there were a whole lot of made jumpers by young in which DD was right there, hand in his face, etc…sometimes, guys just make shots, and there’s not much you can do (save for fouling). it’s like a corner in football who has great position, but the receiver just makes a great play (like the catch jones of GB made last night on grimes…grimes couldn’t have played it any better, yet the catch was made).

    i’m not trying to be a DD apologist (though i’m sure it will come across that way to some), but the reality is, the vast majority of shots young made in the 3rd Q were him coming off a well-executed screen, giving him just enough free space to get his (well-contested, all things considered) shot off. anyone bitching about DD’s inability to prevent those shots is simply outing themselves as someone who’s never played the game. they switched the defensive saviour (wright) onto him later, and the results were pretty much the same.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_47IOUM3SOHK4X4RXCB7NEXOFWM John N

      Exactly the comments from Triano, that he could not fault the defense on Young, he just got in a zone, and his shot was going in, much like Crawford in Atlanta.

      Funny game, as in the 1st 3 qtrs Bargnani’s shot would not go in, but he scored 15 pts in the 4th quarter.

      • AnthonyF

        Another spectacular game by an opposing wing….. This is getting old. For all you AB haters and his defense, wake me up when another center goes for 30 & 15 against him (I know people are waiting for the Minnesota game for that one) and he doesn’t do the same vs. them…..

        Crawford, a washed up T-Mac and now Young (nevermind the usual one’s who kill us throughout the year) exploiting the 2-3 positions.

        BTW I think AB will be hard to ignore for the All Star game looking at his stats right now…..

        • Theswirsky

          name me the big who go for 30 and 15 (I will wager Bargs is covering Darko all game long when they face minnesota), let alone whether he would be the one covering them anyways.

          I can however name a slew of bigs over the season that go from nobody to somebody in one game. And that is much worse than a streaky guy getting hot, or a hall of famer playing like a hall of famer.

          • John_P

            Oh please, i cant even believe what I’m reading. So now that Bargs is holding his guard and vastly outscoring them, the excuses start rolling in. Anthony’s point is simple, and its that its consistently a wing player who goes off (DeRo and Klaiza’s cover), yet everyone here seems to think Bargnani is the biggest problem on D. Also I can name a bunch of players that DeRo was covering this week that dont average anywhere near 30 points (Crawford, McGrady, Young????)

            • Dookielover

              meanwhile mcgrady went off for a big fat ZERO points last night….i bet he wishes he had demar on him nightly.

              • Mediumcore

                I beleive Julian covered T-Mac for stretches of that game as well and didn’t have much luck with it. It wasn’t all on Demar, and neither is it when Barg’s gets scored on. It’s a team game.

            • Theswirsky

              bargs is not holding his own at anything. He does a better job on his man than help defense, but thats because his help D is non-existent.

              If i have 1 apple and no pears, it doesn’t mean I have an apple orchard.

              As babyface said below, its generally the wings and guards who go off because thats how teams have been built. I’m not saying Derozan isn’t a bad defender… but I am more worried about the guys that should never do anything (Armstrong, Nazr, Yi) than the guys that are expected to or do when they are hot (Crawford, Young, Allen)

              • Theswirsky

                edit: not holding his own at anything on D.

              • John_P

                This arguement is pointless because you will continue to defend Demar when its clear that perimiter D is our biggest weakness and he is our weakest link. As Jeff mentioned above in reply to your post, look at Dallas with Dirk. I would argue that he is slightly worse then Bargs on D, yet with the right pieces, and him in the lineup, they are a top 5 team in the league.

                • Theswirsky

                  how am I defending demar? its not him but rather his position…. my goodness.

                  Dirk is not worse than Bargs at anything. Plan and simple. You are right a debate is pointless because you actually think Bargs tries.

                  Just ask Yi.

                • John_P

                  Are you an idiot? why do you reference Yi when he had 10 points? Is that supposed to impress me? Di Yi score all his points are Bargs facing him up? I dont think so. Yi is such an impressive player, i would much rather have him then a guy who is consistent and averages 22 points. Both Yi and McGee combined for less points then Andrea, but thanks for coming out. Also, in regards to the “hardest position to guard”, thats all relative to the position. I would argue that a PG is even harder to guard then a SG, but again its relative to size. This is just another excuse for those that cant handle being wrong about Demar. McGrady, Young and Crawford are not elite scorers, but they all went off on Demar.

                  Also, why not actually watch a Mavs game before you comment on Dirk’s defence. Its more then comparable, however he doesnt need to help as much as a result of his guards being blown by.

                • Theswirsky

                  why do you keep wanting to tell me that I defend Demar? Or that I am even a Demar fan…. I’m not.

                  2ndly my reference to Yi was Bargs willingness to try and stop him on his break.

                  Thirdly even if I wanted to get into Yi/McGee can you comprehend a world that everything is not just about points? We know Bargs scores, thats not an issue… its everything else

                  Finally, I don’t think I even remotely need to get into Dirk vs Bargs at anything they do. Thats simply ridiculous. Its like comparing Demar and Kobe.

                  Honestly just keep up your scapegoating. Bargs fans have had 5 years of blaming other people… I don’t expect it to end anytime soon.

                • John_P

                  Oh yes its all Bargs fault, and you’re not scapegoating anyone at all. Also, its not about scoring, because he has defnded well, especially recently and rebounded well since Reggie went down. People like you have a vendetta for whatever reason and will blame him for all thats wring with the Raps, when he is one of three NBA players on this team. It’s gotten so pathetic, that you have to single out one fast break, which is a result of someone else’s turnover, to try and prove your point. Also, I love how people try and diminish the importance of scoring and being able to spread the floor for others. Yeah thats not important at all, anyone can do that right?

                • Theswirsky

                  you take things to such extremes, put words in others mouths and then get angry with people for things they never said.

                  Never have I said its all Bargs fault, about anything… far from it. But when a guy is getting the most minutes, playing the most crucial defensive and rebounding position, and can’t providea adequately there its a serious issue. You can keep telling yourself he is rebounding fine and defending fine, that won’t change the fact that he is not.

                  As for the possession with Yi, you are right he didn’t create the turnover, that doesn’t mean you stop trying on D.

                  And nobody is diminishing the importance of offense.. but that doesn’t mean you ignore everything else.

                  Finally please stop responding to my posts. I know exactly what you will say time and time again there is no need to constantly put words in my mouth, tell me what I’m thinking, throw unnecessary insults and be a general ass. Consider it a favour to both of us. Honestly I don’t know what your problem is or what you plan to prove with the way you act/over react. Its ridiculous.

                • John_P

                  Just because someone doesn’t say something outright doesnt mean you don’t tiptoe around it. Anybody who reads your posts knows exactky what you’re going to say as well, so I would get off your high horse because you are far from original.

                  Also I don’t get upset, as I really don’t care what you or anyone here else thinks. However I will argue my point and defend it. If this is too much for you to handle then post Doug Smith’s blog, where everything will be moderated and your feelings won’t be hurt.

                • Theswirsky

                  this will be my final response

                  I’m not tiptoeing around anything. I don’t think Bargs is responsible for everything and I am not a fan of Demar. Not liking Bargs doesn’t mean I’m a young gunz fan. Honestly you have no idea of what I do or don’t think about this team or its players, outside of one, because you can’t wrap your mind around the idea of anything other than that one player. (its like Bosh vs Bargs all over again. People would tell me, just like you have, that I must be a Bosh fan or a Bargs fan because I criticized the other… fact is I didn’t like either player. Ofcourse they were such a fan of one, or disliked the other so much… that nothing else mattered) But Bargs gets the most minutes, the most usage, and is never held responsible for his action/inactions… there is a ton of evidence to show his inadequacies and that what he provides on offense doesn’t make up for what he doesn’t do on D. Not that its necessary, its obvious. I know not to you… but guys such as yourself will never give up on him, no matter what. And well good for you for having a favorite player.

                  And if you don’t get upset, why do you constantly feel the need to call people idiots, fags or tell them they don’t know what they are talking about, especially when they have not insulted you? And its not just to me, any time someone criticizes Bargs or disagrees with you, it always comes to this from you. Trust me it doesn’t ‘hurt my feelings’… I know from experience people such as yourself are much more put off by people who don’t agree with you. As far as I’m concerned its just complete denial about whats going on. Can not provide any evidence to prove your point (except ofcourse arbitarty baseless statements, or inaccurate limited statistics that have such a ridiculously small sample size they are pointless….. after ofcourse saying statistics are wrong) therefore need to turn to your only alternative; anger and insults. But honestly its a waste of time and its like trying to debate with a child… which I will say in the end is my own fault for getting involved in the first place.

                  Feel free to respond as you please… but I guarantee I no longer have an interest in it. I will play my part to and not bother with you.

                • cb

                  should we call you guys a waaaaambulance?


        • Moh_yusuf27

          In today’s NBA there is basically no more post up bigs who receive large enough touches to get 30 points. The offence is primarily created by wings and points and most bigs get their points off the ball (e.g. PnRs). So that moves the defensive requirements for a big to be a great post defender (Back in the 80s and 90s) to be a great team defender (which Bargnani is not even close to being).

          If you look at many of the recent bigs who have won the DPOY (it is a Big man award) majority are great PnR/Help defenders and some have been weak post defenders (e.g. Camby back in 07). When your Big man is sub-par Team defender and weak rebounder its almost impossible to improve on defensive. Still this doesn’t take DD of the hook, he is a terrible off-the ball defender and cant seem to stay infront of most wings.

          • AnthonyF

            So how is Bargnani getting 22 a night? The point was people say he is terrible on all facets of D (particularly help, which i can’t really measure). If that is the case, he should be abused nightly by whoever he is covering, regardless of his skill level, since AB is so so bad….. Haven’t seen it yet this year (i.e. that ridiculous stat line in my op).

            This opposed of the wings who are torched on a nightly basis.

            BTW, anyone notice Brook Lopez’ line last night? A very good rebounder managed all of 3….. If those here on the Raptor forum were on the NJ forum, I’m sure they’d be up in arms at that stat and ignore his 32 POINTS……

            • John_P

              Anthony how dare you bring the most basic logic into this debate? Just because Bargnani scored more points then Yi and McGee combined, doesnt mean anything. Did you see that play when someone turned the ball over and Bargnani didnt fould Yi from behind and concede a 3 point play? If he was any good he would foul people beyond the three point arc like Demar.

              • Alucart999

                Wow. I am missing something here – are people actually trying to defend Bargnani’s defense/rebounding?

                Let’s keep it real simple. DeMar is a bad defender – so is Bargs. Bargs is a TERRIBLE rebounder which contributes to his being a bad defender along with his non-existent help-defense.

                The only way you “put pieces around Bargs” such that you can win some games, is to pair him with Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, a healthy Greg Oden, or a younger Marcus Camby. And arguably Chandler (which they tried to do). You need a defensively elite big that can rebound the leather off the ball. That’s it.

                I have said this before on RR and I’ll say this again for those that didn’t see it the first time – this team sucks at defense because it fails at several positions, including those occupied by DeMar and Bargnani when they’re on the floor. You’re correct in that it can’t be solely placed on either player’s shoulders. Just like it can’t be placed solely on Calderon’s shoulders either (as people were doing last year).

                If this team ever wants to play credible defense, they really need to take a look at reducing the minutes of their greatest defensive liabilities (the three players mentioned above), or at least reduce the number of minutes that the three of them spend on the court together. You’re not going to effectively defend an NBA-calibre team when two or three of the five players on the court are below average defenders.

  • Maleko

    Triano would love to sit derozan if there were healthy bodies eh? Nah don’t think so. Triano is an idiot when it comes to substitutions and matchups. I have little faith that he could manage this with healthy bodies and cOntinues to show that he is not a fit as a head coach.

    • Theswirsky

      is triano an idiot or is he obligated to play guys who don’t necessarily deserve it? Last time a guy sat guys who didn’t earn or deserve minutes, he got fired.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_47IOUM3SOHK4X4RXCB7NEXOFWM John N

    The Raptors problem right now is the wing rotation of Kleiza, DeRozan, and Wright, thats it. Wright cannot score(3.4ppg), so if LK or DD should struggle in a game, it’s a huge problem. DeRozan, 14.4 ppg and Kleiza,11.4ppg have to at least score their min #s or forget winning.
    Playing without Barbosa, 13.4ppg, Weems, 11.5ppg, and Bayless, 9.9, gives Triano no options.

  • adam

    Games like this I see look at what Calderon could have been, and sigh.

  • Sek99

    Calderon played great, but people seem to forget that he single handled also took us out of the game. His last two plays, again a one on one with a big (at least it wasn’t Al Horford this time) and, with 8 seconds left and down by four, you need a quick 3, not a 6 second drive for a two. That’s a very poor decision. If Blatche had missed the second free throw, we never would have a shot with .9 seconds left. They gave us a shot with Sundiata (not that it mattered anyway since he let it go after the buzzer). He did the same against the Hawks. I’m not sure if Triano wants him to have the ball in his hands late, but no matter what the case, Calderon has made some poor decisions late that effectively cost us a game. It doesn’t matter if you get a triple double but end up throwing the game away with two plays, just like it didn’t matter that Bibby was 1-7 or something like that, but the second shot he hit was the game winner. Calderon played an amazing game, but fucked up where it counted.

    WTF was Triano thinking putting DD on young? Everybody knows Young likes to fade away off screens, or just about anytime he can, and when he gets hot he’s almost unstoppable. So what’s the plan than? Put arguably our worst perimeter D guy on him, and let him explode. Terrible coaching. I’m also very surprised Bargnani had trouble abusing guys like Andray Blatche, Yi, and Javaal McGee who all should have trouble guarding him. He had a good night, hit a clutch 3, just expected more from him.

    Where’s the future of this franchise? Amir, Davis and Bargnani cannot coexist. Unless Amir and Davis put on 30-50 pounds, they’ll never be able to bang with the bigger centres in the league, and Bargnani is never going to bang with them period. If they do put on that weight, their athleticism will most surely be affected, which is a major part of both their games. In order for us to be a decent to good team, we need a great defensive/ rebounding centre with some bulk and quickness (not many of those around) another scoring threat (maybe DD, too early to tell) and an actual willingness to play defense. With the centre on the team, Davis and Amir would be coming off the bench. That’s a waste of both these guys who’ve shown they are pretty able players. For now that would be good for Davis, but unless the guy becomes much bigger, he won’t ever be able to play the C beside Bargs. For Amir, the guys a good PF who’s extremely effective at what he does but can’t play well with Bargnani b/c of lack of size. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Even if we get the centre, Bargnani should never be on the floor without him, and this would make whoever our backup PF’s are minutes limited. Even if we were to trade Bargnani, we still have a duplication of skill between Davis and Amir, and Amir is getting paid too much to be a simple off the bench guy if Davis reaches his potential. Just feels like a huge mess to me.

  • KJ-B

    I have to go in a totally different direction– FT’s = Best Defensive Strategy… Because we’re such a poor transition defensive team and Team in general our best chance to win is by getting to the Charity Stripe, so our defence is set when the next team is running their sets… Unfortunately JOSE CALDERON DOES NOT AGREE WITH ME!!!

    You see, Jose, loves getting assists but the players he passes to more often than not, #7 and Kleiza (whether he’s going or not) are being set up for long 2’s/3’s which for poor rebounding team (minus Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!) is a huge problem waiting in transition…

    Jose understands that a past to DeMar will not necessarily lead to an assist, because DD is looking to drive to the hoop and get contact, so he directs the offense for the 1st 5 minutes of every game it seems like to either #7’s isO’s or j’s… The problem with that is obvious to the opposing team, the rest of the team is not getting involved, and getting into the penalty on D–WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THE RAPS WERE IN THE PENALTY ON O IN THE 1ST Q OF THE LAST HOW MANY GAMES???

    I would think that has nothing to do with brotherly Euro love, but DeRozan getting the ball in late clock situations/later on in the quarter HAS BEEN HORRENDOUS TO DEVELOPPING THE RIGHT RHYTHM and attitude for our team–we start playing soft a la #7 or start taking ill advised shots a la Kleiza, because no one’s really sure if they’ll get theirs with the Jose/#7 pick n roll show going…The dude runs the play to the strong side every time they’re on the court together…

    It’s not that it’s a bad play BUT WHEN YOU RUN IT OVER AND OVER, it unbalances the offensive flow and without a Karl Malone or Amare Stoudemire type, it’s a losing strategy if the guying picking and rolling never gets the opposing team into foul trouble…

    ((Might be a good time to trade Jose b4 the next injury/setback!!!))

  • cdub

    DD will never be anything more than a backup 2 or are starter on bad teams….probably the raptors for the next several seasons while they try to justify their pick. I can understand Bargs being first overall to a certain extent but DD was ninth…I’m not saying give up but I’m tired of guys getting spoonfed minutes and watching the raptors stink in the process. I’m getting to the point where I may not watch all the games anymore and I’ve been watching them all for the last 10 years.

  • OTFP

    “you know how Kevin Garnett always nabs the ball right from the rim when somebody tries to shoot after a whistle just to get a practice shot in? Ed Davis does that too. I like that, it sends a message, I’m not quite sure how to describe that message but it’s a good one.”

    Sorry, it sends no message whatsoever. Nobody gives a shit that Garnett does it.

  • Chris

    i always assumed the knock-the-ball-away-when-a-player-shoots-after-the-whistle routine was not about sending a message and more about not letting that player get in a rhythm, because (for me at least) seeing the ball go through the hoop is a psychological boost, especially if i haven’t seen it go through in a while.

    incidentally i always thought it was a pretty smart thing to do