Can we avoid losing 10 straight? Las Vegas says no, Raptors are a 2.5 point underdog. That’s the major question tonight as Milwaukee comes in to wrap up the three-game homestand for the Raptors. Sam Mitchell lost 10 straight twice, the franchise record is 17 straight, a little unreachable but if Triano really gets this team motivated, there’s no reason why we can’t lose at least 13 straight and be tied for second all-time.

I’ve seen the Bucks play two full games this year (against Detroit and Portland), and both times they’ve looked turribble in blowout losses. Then again, teams that sit ninth in the abysmal Eastern conference have their fair share of blowouts, and that’s where the injury-ravaged Bucks sit – 9 games under .500 and still only a 1 1/2 game back of a playoff spot. To cover all my bases, I suppose I should talk about how they’re one of the teams between the Raptors (second-worst in East) and a playoff spot. The Raptors are now a full 8 games back in the loss column behind Charlotte for the final seed, and it would take a comeback of impossible proportions to make the post-season. But I suppose if one had to start, today would be a good time to start it. This is the first of four meetings between the two teams.

The Raptors brass is smart enough to realize that the season is for all intents and purposes over, and should look at contracts like Barbosa, Calderon and Evans. Only keep them past the trade deadline if they factor into next year’s plan. It’s reasonable to hang on to Evans because of his expiring deal, but as this season is now a write-off, there’s one question to be asked of Calderon and Barbosa’s contracts: Is their value to the franchise greater as trade-bait right now, or as players next season.

Back to the Bucks, you talk about injuries with the Raptors, check the Bucks out: Michael Redd is out for the season. Brandon Jennings has missed 18 games (out tonight). Carlos Delfino has missed 32 games. Drew Gooden has missed 18 games (questionable). John Salmons has missed 6 (questionable). Despite all these injuries, they’re in hunt for a playoff spot, this can be attributed to their depth which has seen Chris Douglas-Roberts (that guy Colangelo didn’t trade up for and instead picked Nathan Jawai) start, and them get valuable contributions from the likes of Boykins, Ilyasova, and Mbah a Moute. Although the Raptors are at an earlier stage of it, the Bucks are in the middle of a rebuild under Scott Skiles who has ensured that the team competes every night on the defensive end – 6th in overall defense (29th in offense). Again, defense trumps offense when it comes to competing.

Their ability to defensive rebound the ball is what’s kept them in the race despite injuries, they are third in the league (behind Orlando and New Orleans) in clearing their defensive glass. Something’s got to give tonight because the Raptors are 6th in offensive rebounding (how much of that is Reggie Evans we don’t know). The point I’m trying to make is that Skiles’ focus with the Bucks has been defense and it’s what’s kept them in the playoff chase. In contrast, the Raptors don’t play a lick of defense and everybody gets a hard-on when we score a 100 points. What’s that gotten us? 14th in the East.

Injury report for the Raptors has Kleiza and Barbosa remaining out and Dorsey being questionable.

Here’s a piece on DeMar DeRozan and Brandon Jenning’s friendship:

“Me and him, we go way back to when we were kids, playing AAU basketball,” DeRozan said. “We won the AAU championship together. We did everything together. I actually talked to him the other day and told him to get back healthy soon. He’s one of my favourite players in the NBA. I love watching him play.”

Not that you need to read that article since this TMZ clip of them says it all.

I was cleaning out my iPhone and came across Chris Bosh’s stupid iPhone app, the dude is still listed as being a member of the Raptors (pic1, pic2, pic3). Somebody should tell his douchebag of a manager.

Work-permitting, I’ll swing back later with a post. Like us on Facebook. Or don’t. Whatever man, do what you want, it’s your life.

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  • WhatWhat

    It’s going to be hard choosing the Bucks scrub that lights us up, so many worthy candidates.

    • Statement

      I’m going with whomever is guarded by Bargs.

      • Statement

        The most hilarious has to be Luke Harangody though. That’s like Hoffa going off on somebody else’s starting centre.

      • Whatwhat

        I am actually going with who ever is guarded by Amir and DD to make it interesting. I am also planing to count the number of times Amir gets Blocked under the basket tonight.

        • WhatWhat

          Someone felt the need to impersonate me for some reason. Should I be flattered?

  • Statement

    Whoops, just remembered that Bogut is on the team, if he is playing he’ll be guarded by Bargs. He’ll still go off but he isn’t a scrub.

    • yertu damkule

      bogut isn’t really a ‘go off’ kind of guy. he’ll get his usual pts, and he’ll pick up a typical # of boards (likely slightly above his season average), and he’ll play solid D (in the post…but so what, the raps don’t have any legit low-post offensive players, so his impact there may be negligible, outside of providing help).

      but he’s a (generally) shitty offensive player, so ‘go off?’ i don’t see it. plus, he’s playing with an ‘undisclosed infection’ that he describes as ‘pretty personal.’ wtf does that even mean?

      i vote for larry sanders or ilyasova…or CDR, who’s very streaky, & may still be hurting.

      • Statement

        I’ll defer to you Yertu,

        I was too lazy to do any research on Bogut, I just figured that he had good post moves and was an efficient scorer.

        • yertu damkule

          he CAN score, and does have some decent moves, but his ‘thing’ is rebounding, D, and controlling the paint. he’s not an efficient scorer by any stretch, and he’s horrible at the line. there isn’t much variation to his game, and since bargs’ biggest strength as a defender is against guys just like bogut, i think he (bargs) will have the advantage (i.e. he’ll outscore bogut); bogut will have his way on the glass, i’m afraid, and he’ll be a constant pain in the ass for DD on his foray’s to the hoop.

      • KJ-B

        Just WATCH him go off tonight–Naah, I’ve never Bogut go off for 20-15-5-5-2 kind night…Yaaaah Right!!! Raps r in tuff!!!!!!

        • slaw

          I don’t think we can count Bogut cause he is too good of a player. I am going with Larry Sanders. 18/10 in 15 minutes. He is averaging about 4 and 4 on the year so he seems like a safe bet.

  • Jackie Moon

    That TMZ video always makes me laugh. “the chicken tastes like jesus blessed it”

  • Statement

    So to recap Colangelo’s track record,

    2006 – 1st overall draft pick, cap space, budding all star.

    2010 – same payroll as Heat, 4th worst record, lost franchise player.

    That is HORRIFFIC.

    I know people say, who would you get. I don’t know, I think anybody could have accomplished what Colangelo did.

    I nominate Kevin Pelton, Justin Kutbatko, Neil Paine, Dave Berri, Kevin Pritchard. Anybody, anybody else please.

    • cb

      ^^this. a thousand times, this.

    • yertu damkule

      not that it matters, but how do you have the heat & raptors as having the same payroll (based on players currently on the roster, that is)?

      • Statement

        It is a bit of a disingenous statement as the Raps will have money coming off the books next year.

        Still, EVEN TO GET TO THIS POINT with an equal salary to the Heat indicates failure on the part of Colangelo.

        • yertu damkule

          they’re still including peja’s $15M – sorry, i don’t really ‘count’ that, since he was never really a part of the team…

      • AnthonyF

        Really, really, really you believe that? Look at 2011-15 and the trouble Miami is in when you look at the salary cap. No wonder your posts are so non-sensical and biased…….

    • slaw

      But, but… he wears nice suits, he has a big rolodex, he once signed Steve Nash, he makes money for the Teachers Pension Fund, he is good with the media, his dad works for USA Basketball, “they” all respect him, he make complicated trades, he can’t sign guys in Toronto, it was Sam Mitchell’s fault, it was Jay Triano’s fault, it isn’t his fault the guys he traded for/signed didn’t play well, Bosh was holding him back, his hands were tied by MLSE, his hands were tied by Bosh, he needs more time, he needs another chance, etc.

      Am I missing any of the excuses?

      Statement, don’t concern yourself with his track record in identical scenarios or his results in Toronto. That’s crazy. You just need to have blind faith based on no evidence whatsoever that BC is a genius and will build a great team from scratch. If not, you’re just a hater.

  • yertu damkule

    YES! WE! CAN!

    lose 17 straight. at times like this, i like to think of a few of my favourite proverbs to get throught the ‘dark’ times. allow me to share:

    – Consistency is only a virtue if you’re not a screwup.
    – In the battle between you and the world, bet on the world.
    – If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions.
    – Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
    – When you earnestly believe that you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do.
    – If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.
    – Mediocrity: It takes a lot less time, and most people won’t notice the difference until it’s too late.
    – Before you attempt to beat the odds, be sure you could survive the odds beating you.
    – Hard work ofen pays off over time, but laziness always pays off now.
    – If you never try anything new, you’ll miss out on many of life’s great disappointments.
    – Quitters never win, winners never quit…but those who never win AND never quit are idiots.

  • 511

    Just watching some video at – something I haven’t had the urge to do in a while (and no particular reason for it today) – and I was sort of impressed at how calm Jay Triano seems to be. While my knee-jerk response, if I was asked what to do with Jay, might be less than kind … aside from the team having so little defensive presence — ok, none — I’m not sure what replacing him right now would serve, exactly. Maybe the lack of defense is everything that needs to be pointed out, but, as I read somewhere (else?) this morning, the Celtics had a lousy defensive team before the BIG trade a few years ago, and suddenly, they were stellar. And likewise with Doc Rivers’ reputation. So … with all things considered – mostly, lack of mature talent – I’m seriously mulling over exactly why we’d want a new coach at this moment? Is it possible that Jay could, even yet, be the right guy for this team, long term? Again, normally, without thinking about it too much, I’d say ‘no’ but … trying to assess the situation honestly, I’m not so sure that’s really the right answer. Thoughts?

    • KJ-B

      I just don’t think NBA refs respect Triano, whatsoever… It’s apparent by their complete ignoring of him, when he’s complaining about getting jobbed… I just think either guy like Alex English/PJ Carlesimo, would get a lot more respect from the refs from the get!

      That’s my biggest beef with that dude, the refs are NOT afriad to piss him off –all he does is cuss ppl– he can’t intimidate/simultaneously joke around like Sam Mitchell could and does have a BIG NAME or rep that makes them conscious of fairness… With all the ref probz that started this losing streak with the Hawks I’d think that MLSE would want a ‘BOSS’ like the Legend Alex English, or PJ known around the L to PATROL the sidelines… Jay’s a pussycat in comparison!

      • KJ-B

        “not afraid of to piss him off” ( I gotz to use Chrome up in here–hate the edits)

  • Valit

    it will be a very interesting match up and I can bet they will put a better fight than the “zombie edition” of 2 nights ago. I see there’s a lot of vitrolic debates in our beloved space regarding trading Calderon and Bargnani. IMO, I would absolutely stay put until the end of the year unless something extremely amazing is showed to us ( which will not happened). Dont forget next year the economic scenery might be totally different and our “beloved leader” will have move to manoever ( even though I’m scared about this prospect). Regarding next year, I will still keep the two for different reasons:
    1. I’d play bargs at 4 and bring a solid defensive 5
    2. I’ll let Calderon mentor whomever we decide it is out future PG
    I simply think that the lack of defense is a team concept and we can be quasi respectable if we bring a solid 3 and a 5.

  • Milesboyer

    “there’s one question to be asked of Calderon and Barbosa’s contracts: Is their value to the franchise greater as trade-bait right now, or as players next season.”

    May as well debate this statement since there is nothing else to talk about with the Raps these days. I would not trade Calderon before the deadline. I might trade him in the offseason if we acquire a top flight point guard in the draft, but even that is debatable because a year of mentoring might be a good thing. I have no faith in Bayless as the first option at this point. Unless his point guard skills increase dramatically over the next few months, I consider him a combo guard who can provide energy off the bench.

    As for Barbosa, I really like the guy. The way he can put up points in such a short amount of time….you just don’t find those guys on every street corner. The man is talented and we need talent. So unless the return on a trade is great, I don’t see a need to get rid of him just for the sake of clearing cap space. In fact, I think that’s overblown, the idea of clearing cap space during a rebuild, or unloading any player who makes more than a few million unless they are part of core. Should the core be only guys under 25-24yrs old? You have to have veterans in this league to win. I’m not a fan of the strategy of keeping only young guys around, hoping for a good draft pick and waiting for them to all blossom into a superteam. And I guarantee you, neither is Colangelo, like him or not.

    “Has Colangelo’s approach of mixing and matching worked up to this point?” many of you will say, for the most part, no. But his winning percentage as a GM, not including this year is .546%. That doesn’t imply that his teams finish around .500 every season – he’s had some excellent years as a GM – this happens to be a down period. But his track record suggests he can turn it around.

    • arsenalist

      Please do not discount the influence of his father in Phoenix, that’s all I’ll say to aggregating his winning percentage.

      Has he shown that he can turn it around? I don’t know, that statement is up for debate. It certainly isn’t black-and-white as you’re suggesting. Before reaching those two conference finals, he had 6 first round exits and a year missing the playoffs. Boy, that is an awfully long wait to get something going, no? I wouldn’t call that a “turnaround”, that’s just a mediocre team being mediocre and pulling a couple “Phillys” (see Iverson’s trip to the finals, except he only made it to the CFs).

      I’ll give you that making the playoffs alone in the West is an accomplishment and deserving of credit, but he hasn’t taken a shit team from nothing to something, and that’s the position the Raptors are in right now. Remember, the Suns won 62, 56 and 59 games the three years before he took over, so you could even say he just carried the momentum over and if anything, made them worse his firt few seasons. I can’t recall the player movement during that time right now, but if you’re going by statistics (which you are by throwing out his winning percentage), then your argument doesn’t hold.

      The signing of Nash and the drafting of Amare deserves immense credit.

      • FLUXLAND

        Arse, if I may:

        re: The signing of Nash and the drafting of Amare.

        Nash only signed because a. Cubes wasn’t opening the wallet and b. PHX was conducive to his style of play/Bryan’s… err vision? (purists nightmare?)

        That’s not exactly convincing a guy into the impossible.

        One could also make the argument Dallas was better off after him leaving.

        And Amare…even a blind squirrels find a nut every once a while. The list of his other picks speaks for itself, not to mention the litter of “hoping injecting” signings to the likes of Luke Jackson, Andre Barrett and Jake Voskhul.

        • arsenalist

          You have to give him credit where it’s due. I’m a Colangelo critic and so are you, saying that his drafting is like a blind squirrel finding a nut is hitting below the belt, which is unnecessary in this debate.

          • FLUXLAND

            I’m just saying it’s over valued, considering the body of drafting choices. Credit wise, he did not only (re)sign Nash, he drafted him. Marion’s in there. So, there’s that.

            However, look at the high risk involved in each selection. Jerry factor is huge, in my book and when development and focus is spent on volume (of shots) rather then quality basketball putting up “impressive” number is not surprising.

            BC has been hitting the fans below the belt and wallet, a jab from a mere peasant like myself will do little to dent his Cheshire Cat grin.

    • yertu damkule

      re. jose – i like him as well, and see no reason to move him…now. as for bayless, he’s 22, was very highly touted as a high schooler & a college player. does his game translate to ‘starting PG on a playoff team?’ i don’t know, he certainly has flaws…but he also has something rare amongst his teammates, and that’s heart. it’s a turn-off to some fans, ’cause he comes across as brash & whiny, but i like it. before we concede that he has no future, i’d like to see him get consistent minutes in a well-defined role (something that’s been lacking so far). it’s not always gonna be roses, but it’s not as though he’s untalented. why, how good do you think jose would have been in the NBA as a 22-yr old?

      as for BC – way to conflate his winning %, since it (obviously) includes his time with PHX…it’s like claiming peja is a 20ppg scorer, because he did it for a couple years 1/2-a-decade ago. what’s BC at with the raptors? oh yeah, .465. slightly less impressive. if anything, his track record indicates that he’s capable of building fundamentally flawed (if not exciting) teams as long as he has a HOF PG & MVP-calibre players.

      • Milesboyer

        Way to compare a player with a GM. Players’ abilities decline with age for obvious reasons. General Managers have a much different trajectory. Why wouldn’t you take into consideration his time in Phoenix (unless you want to play the “Daddy did everything” card, which I don’t buy). Building a team is entirely different than playing basketball. As a player, you’re either good, getting better, not good, or declining. GM’s are architects – building takes time and doesn’t always go as planned. You have to look at his whole body of work (which obviously includes Phoenix) and decide wether he has it in him to make something of this team. I, personnaly have enough faith that I would not replace him at this point, but you would seem to want to get rid of him today if you could.

        “he’s capable of building fundamentally flawed (if not exciting) teams as long as he has a HOF PG & MVP-calibre players.”

        Are you sweeping under the rug the fact that he was the one that recognized Nash’s greatness by signing him, he drafted Amare.

        When he first arrived, he was rebuilding (around Bosh, wether he liked it or not). That didn’t work out. This is the first year of another rebuild and y’all want to jump ship before it’s even left the dock.

        Hindsight’s 20/20 – an armchair GM’s favourite tool.

        • yertu damkule

          so, is it hindsight to declare building around bosh was a mistake? and if he didn’t ‘like’ it, why did he do it? or at least, why did he try to do it like he did?

          i guess just have a hard time lumping his (relatively) successful tenure with the suns & his unsuccessful tenure with the raptors together & saying that, cumulatively, he’s been pretty good. he’s been good in the past at building a team in the vision he had, and there was a degree of success in doing so.

          would *I* fire him or replace him? hmm…to be honest, i’ve never considered myself a ‘fire him’ kind of guy. i mean, all coaches/GMs get fired eventually. what i can’t handle are the rationalizations for why he ‘can’t’ be fired…namely, that there’s ‘no one better’ to replace him. really? there aren’t any kevin pritchard’s out there who might (might!) be interested in a GM gig? there aren’t ANY young up & coming asst. GMs out there looking for a chance to take over a team? there isn’t ANYONE out there capable of assembling a team that’s currently 13-33, on a 9-game losing streak & staring a top-5 pick in the face? really? NO ONE COULD DO ANY BETTER THAN BRYAN COLANGELO HAS SO FAR??? REALLY?

          • Milesboyer

            People have been crying for a proper rebuild and that’s exactly what’s happening. Would you be happy if we were 23-23? The record is insignificant other than the fact that it’s bad and allows for more ping pong balls. What would Kevin Pritchard do at this point that’s any different? Did his Blazers go much further than the Raptors as far as playoff wins?

            I don’t think Colangelo is untouchable, but I’m willing to ride this next phase out. If there isn’t much improvement in the next couple of years with real hope for future competitiveness, then yes, let’s call Kevin Pritchard if he’s still in need of a job.

      • Milesboyer

        With regards to Bayless as a point guard, I’ll use one of your proverbs with a slight adjustment –
        When you earnestly believe that you can compensate for a lack of skill with heart, there’s no end to what you can’t do.

        I’m not ready to close the book on him quite yet, but he definitely has more heart than talent (as a point guard, still think he’d be a solid combo guard off the bench in limited minutes).

  • Leavingtheoffice

    Just for fun, I looked up some stats this morning:
    Bargnani 1429 minutes, 227 rebounds (51 off)
    Evans 409 minutes, 182 rebounds (65 off)
    Dorsey 363 minutes, 135 rebounds (55 off)

    Of course, Davis and Johnson have more offensive rebounds as well. So, the starting 7ft C is 5th on the team in ORs. Since Kevin Love shoots lots of 3s you can’t use the “he plays on the perimeter” excuse either. He makes Turkoglu look like Kobe in terms of intensity. The team needs another legit 7ft guy who forces Bargs to COMPETE for his minutes. It’s that simple.

    • yertu damkule

      fear not, they’ve already addressed your concern.

      ajinca. that is all.

    • Statement

      It was pointed out in the forum that Bargs is the 3rd worst rebounding 7 footer in HISTORY!!!!.

      Man, that is paper-soft.

      • RapsM

        Not surprised.

  • Suds

    Raps are under-dogs 2.5 tonight right? If it looks like Raps may win, I wonder if all the questionable calls go towards the Bucks. And conversely the Raps get a lot of no calls/play ons

    I would like to see if there is a correlation between the betting line, and the number of calls vs Raptors when the game is close/raptors are winning

    I know the Refrees in the NBA are above reproach and have no history of fixing games…no wait that happened… and since it happened once, there is no way it can ever happen again, especially since the economy is doing so well

  • Juicy

    In contrast, the Raptors don’t play a lick of defense and everybody gets a hard-on when we score a 100 points. What’s that gotten us?

    A lot of free mediocre pizza. That’s enough right?…..Right?