Toronto Raptors Atlanta Hawks February 2, 2011We’re going to see a lot of this ^^ tonight

I’ve been staring at my computer screen for most of the morning now, and I have nothing to say about tonights game that hasn’t already been said. The Raptors are worse and the Hawks are better; this can’t end well.

Injury Report

Toronto
Reggie Evans – Out
Leandro Barbosa – Out
Linas Kleiza – Day to day
Jose Calderon – Day to day

Atlanta
Josh Smith – Day to day
Al Horford – Day to day
Marvin Williams – Day to day

Match-ups

Point Guard
With the Raptors giving up so many good looks from the perimeter lately, Bibby is licking his chops; he did go 2-6 from beyond the arc the last time these cats played against each other, but the second one proved to be the ultimate game winner; yea. Defending Bibby shouldn’t be so difficult: don’t leave him to help, and force him to put it on the floor. He’s basically there to shoot the ball and swing it to the open man; take that away and he’s got nothing. That’s not how it’s going to play out though.
Edge: Atlanta

Shooting Guard
I’m blaming Triano for DeRozan’s crap play of late. Just look at the stats; since Weems’ minutes have increased over the last three games, DeRozan’s production has fallen. It’s scientific, it’s conclusive, it’s the truth. You know it, I know it. F*ck I hate this team…

Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson are averaging 23pts 1.5reb 1.5ast and 21pts 1.5reb 3.5ast respectively; the Raptors have no answer.
Edge: Atlanta

Small Forward
Lucky for us, Evans is starting at the small forward, so Weems really isn’t going to hurt us that badly. I’m taking bets on how quickly Sonny puts up a forced jumper. For those of you who point to a 6 assist game he’s had, or a 5 rebound effort in a losing cause as proof that he’s a good player, I salute you.
Edge: Atlanta

Power Forward
This is where things get interesting in terms of match-ups and such, since the 4 is the only position the Raptors can compete with the Hawks. Davis and Johnson are playing like champs right now. The two of them are the lone bright spots on this team (until DeMar gets rolling again), and should be played as much as possible if the Raptors hope to achieve a respectable result. Through all this, for the two of them to be competing the way they have been…well, it makes me proud and only reinforces my hate for Bargnani who doesn’t seem to give a rats ass. If Josh Smith doesn’t play tonight (since he’s hurting a bit), Horford will shift over, giving Ed/Amir an advantage with their speed and athleticism.
Edge: Even

Center
The only thing that hurts more than Bargnani’s suckage, is Triano’s and Colangelo’s insolence regarding his heavy usage on this team. Horford is better than Bargnani, of this there is no question. I’m bringing back Vegetable Lasgna.
Edge: Atlanta

The Line

Since the Raptors were still stuck in Indiana because of the storm, if there is a game, the gamblers seem to think the Hawks will win by 12. I just can’t see the Raptors even covering the line since they’ve lost by an average margin of 11.8pts over the last 4 games to teams who are under .500. Good times folks, good times.

  • WhatWhat

    Bargnani is going to explode for 6 rebounds.

    • KJ-B

      Ohhh Snaaap!!!!!!

    • Statement

      That’s good stuff right there.

      • AlbertoDelRio

        Is that a career High?

    • Ihatehaters

      Nice.

  • Buschfire

    are we going to even make it to the game? last thing i heard the Raptors were still snowed in in Indiana?

    • Buschfire

      so anyone know if they are still stuck?

      • WhatWhat

        They’re fine, the game going to be on as expected:

        Eric__Smith Eric Smith:
        Touchdown Atlanta

        RaptorsDevlin Matt Devlin
        Raps land in Atl…tonight 7pm est Raptors at Hawks on TSN2. http://plixi.com/p/74256062

        And holy crap @ that photo.

      • barenakedman

        They are in Atlanta.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        For a second, I thought you asked if anyone knew whether they still suck. Yes, they do.

        • Sam Holako

          LOL I did too, had to re-read that a couple times.

  • Bendit

    Not to worry Sam, writer’s block and depression are somewhat synonymous.

  • Marcacherry

    we’ll lose by 18…it is what it is ya’ll…

  • DG88

    Watch Horford get 20/10 tonight lol. Looking for DeMar to break out tonight. So far his scoring is down but his assists, rebounding and steal have been up.

    • Nilanka15

      Horford will have 20/10 by halftime.

  • DG88

    Watch Horford get 20/10 tonight lol. Looking for DeMar to break out tonight. So far his scoring is down but his assists, rebounding and steal have been up.

  • Statement

    An oldy but a goody!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTqVjbEFh_s

    Ballin!

  • Nilanka15

    I watch this video at least once a day. It never gets old.

    • Statement

      It’s wonderful how he blocks himself and then simply crumbles to the ground head first.

      It’s like he transforms from human to test-dummy mid-air.

  • tonious35

    Vegas was very polite, they probably don’t want to hurt our feelings…Hawks by 23 before garbage time (as soon as Alabi steps on the floor)

  • omar

    sam your hatred for sonny is irrational and by definition personal. you suggest that sonny’s defense won’t “hurt” us as much if evans is his match up. wow! sonny shut down beasley and granger in the last two games! irrational. offensively sonny has the ability with his speed,size and quickness to create space to get a clean look! who else on our team does? personaly you do not want sonny to fill this leadership void. ok i get that and would add that miny of us non-haters wonder if sonny has mentality to be successful in the clutch. your hatred is irational and designed to prevent any attempt by sonny to lead! what do you fear? success?

    • Sam Holako

      I fully admit my hate for him is half-irrational.

      However, I’ve never suggested his defense would hurt us, actually never said anything about his defense.

      I think his offense is forced, which affects Bargnani and DeRozan (mostly DeMar).

      I’d love for him to be a serious contributor to this team, but he hasn’t shown me that for any significant stretch.

  • omar

    half-irrational? come on man!oh and you would “love” for sonny to be a “serious” contributor to this team! excuse me but i have doubts that love has anything to do with your hate for sonny! so sonny has not in your mind shown any serious contrbution over any sigificant stretch? he started the last 19 games last year! quote bc sonny stepped up on the defensive and offensive end! Sonny started 18 games after our 1-7 start with klieza. the team record was 8w-10L then he hurt his back. so nearly half a season is a insignificant stretch for you ok! yet somehow i have a suspicion that you are hiding your true reason[s] for your public hatred! come-on man have the guts to let it out! I am told it’s theripudic! half-irrational indeed!

    • Nilanka15

      “theripudic”…wow

      omar = Sonny Weems’ mom.

      Don’t worry, Glen Glunwald will promise you a very special parking spot at the ACC.

  • Sam

    Honestly I used to love RaptorsRepublic and still appreciate the work that you guys have put into the site. But I must say the constant criticism of the Raps is getting tiring. At this point in the season why would any true raptor fan want them to win. We have a terrible team but we are in the process of rebuilding. What people have forgotten is the more we lose the more likely we are to get a better draft pick. Isn’t this what the raps need most right now. The Raps should try to model themselves after the Thunder who have drafted extremely well and put together a great core of young talented players. Everyone should have expected the Raps to do poorly this year so it should not come a such a surprise. Just focus on guys like DeRozan and Davis and watch their progress over the year.

    • Nilanka15

      Although, I agree in principle, part of the rebuilding process is learning from your mistakes. The Raptors (including the coaching staff) haven’t figured this out yet.

      Don’t get me wrong, at this point in the season, I secretly pump my fist everytime we lose a game. I just wish the same mistakes being made in summer league weren’t still prevelant today. The frustration of watching the same mistakes over and over again is probably where the constant criticism is derived from.

      • WhatWhat

        Ding ding ding! It’s not that we’re losing, it’s HOW we’re losing. Davis working his ass off on defense, single-handedly bringing Pacers game back to respectalblity: 24 minutes. Bargnani, making Roy Hibbert look like Dwight Howard and practically wearing a Pacers jersey under his Raptor uniform on the defensive: 32 minutes.

        Something is horribly wrong here.

        • Sam

          Look I am not saying that the Raps should not be criticized. I think Bargnani has proven to us all that he will not be a dominant centre in the league. Over his entire career he has averaged 4.9 rebounds a game. It is time we accept the fact that he is not the player Colangelo seems to think he is.

          But with our younger core of players even if they are making the same mistakes as in summer league, it is only natural. DeRozan is 21 years old and is only in his second season in the NBA. He was drafted 9th overall. Look at the past 5 drafts. How many number 9 picks were playing consitently well during their second season. The best player drafted number 9 in the last few years was Noah and it took him a couple of seasons before he found his identity and began playing consistently well. All I am saying is that we are a young team, we are bound to make mistakes. No need to say “god I hate this team” because we are not doing well at the moment.

          • Sam

            And before DeRozan went on his little hot streak, I would say the members of RR were quite critical of him each time he had a bad game (especially Arsenalist)

  • Bob

    The Raptors better win. If Bargnani’s offense sucks, he better play some good defense. DeMar better be rollin and Sonny shouldn’t be getting rid of the ball as soon as possible. They need to play Julian Wright more.

    • Theswirsky

      if Bargnani’s offense is good he still better play some good defense…. otherwise the Raps just lose by less.

  • omar

    nilanka! a charter member of the hate sonny weems, lets run him out of town before he succeeds crowd! so you are the other half of sam’s irrationally that he doesn’t want to admit to! at least not publicly!

    • Nilanka15

      Lol, I was actually a Sonny backer earlier this season (pre-injury). But I agree with Sam now. It’s hard to visualize a future Raptor squad that has successfully implemented both Sonny and DeMar. They don’t compliment each other on the floor…instead, they make each other redundant. And if I had to choose one player to focus on (from a development perspective), the answer would undoubtedly by DeMar.

      Do I think Sonny stinks? No. But given his contract situation, it’s more likely he’ll look to “get his” at the expense of team cohesion…which probably explains the poor shot selection these days.

      Sadly, in today’s NBA, the easiest way to secure a fat contract is to score a bunch of meaningless points (see Mike James circa 2005-06). Sonny knows this. It’s up to Triano to fix it (with his distribution of Sonny’s minutes).