Raptors 87, Hawks 100 – Box

To be painfully honest with you folks, if you’re looking for change, a nice long double-digit losing has an interesting way of prompting reaction, even if that’s just from the fan faithful at the moment. On top of that, every loss takes us closer to another potential superstar in the draft. So let’s keep this sucker rolling. The only thing that’s important is that we realize what pieces we want to move forward and develop with. And perhaps as or even more important which pieces –not– to include in your future plan. Players that either don’t have the talent, or do have the talent but not that winning mentality you will absolutely require to even sniff a championship ring. While I’m not sure if Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson, even Jerryd Bayless are the answer, guys like Andrea Bargnani and Sonny Weems are not.

We’re not going to rehash Andrea Bargnani’s shortcomings and deficiencies in tonight’s game, even though he looks increasingly disinvolved as the murmurs are now growing louder and louder as this stretch of remarkably bad play wears on. He has to be aware to some level of the criticism being heaped on him, the lashing visiting commentators and now our own Raptor analysts are giving him. There were stretches where Jack Armstrong was following his movement off the ball on offense. While I’ll say that it’s the sign of a quality analyst to do that, how often have ever seen that? The heat is definitely on. Here’s what he had to say:

I try to do my best. I did my stuff, I was taking open shots, I don’t know, just playing. It definitely wasn’t the greatest game, that was obvious.

Sounds like a guy who was just trying to do his “stuff”, which sounds a lot like “taking open shots”. Guess Jay didn’t send him the memo? Look, he will return to averaging 20+ points on decent shooting percentages, and I really hope people don’t forget that this should change very little in their perception of him, as very passive and unaware player off the ball. The 20 points on middling percentages you can replace somewhat, the lack of a defensive anchor not so much. That’s all the Bargnani talk for tonight, hope you enjoyed it, because it’s kind of sad that we as fans have all pretty much figured it out, but the guys that get paid big bucks to do something about it have apparently not. I guess he’s about to turn into a serviceable big man one of these nights, kicking ass taking names, and we’re all going to eat some humble pie. I would love for that to be true, but sometimes, it is what it is.

The other guy, Weems, has talent, plays too loose for my liking. People assume guys with good atheticism are good defenders, tell Amare Stoudemire that, but a lot of it is good decision making and Weems doesn’t make too many good ones. He does some good things offensively, is more polished that DeRozan at most things, but he’s pretty much living and dying with this shot. If he was a better playmaker I’d be able to live with the freewheeling style, Demar isn’t one yet either, but I’d rather have his steady diet of free throws that is the hallmark of elite scorers in the league. Well, at least Cory Maggette in his prime, is that so bad?

A little nugget Jay Triano laid on reporters after the game:

When he caught the ball in the low block he shot over top of us, when we tried to bring someone else or collapse a little bit, he picked us apart with guys spreading the floor and hitting threes

Well, Atlanta’s shooting well above 50% and with Joe Johnson dominating, you’ve got to give Julian Wright more than 12 minutes. It slows down Johnson, allows them to play Johnson straight up and DeRozan probably gets more touches because Weems isn’t there. It’s a win-win, but for some reason the coaching staff feels the need for offense from practically every possession. There’s only one ball, I think every decent team can afford to have a guy that’s a void on offense, like Reggie Evans was. But Wright isn’t, he actually a pretty good ballhandler that isn’t a ball-stopper. Guys like that actually keep your offense flowing smoothly. Behind every bucket is usually a good basketball play. Then you have the cliche that defense creates offense. Behind every good run is some good defence, and there’s very few small forwards in this league that Wright could not stay with for 20-25 minutes.

What Atlanta does so well against the Raptors is that is fully takes advantage of the Raptors strategy to switch at every opportunity. Why not just put Calderon on Horford to start off with, because even the most harmless pick will produce the same matchup anyway? A big, usually Barganani, gets caught on the perimeter far too often and then the token double comes in and then it’s just a matter of making the right pass or two for Atlanta to get an open three. Don’t these guys know how to fight through screens?

Have to give Amir Johnson some recognition tonight. Only real bright spot, it was good to see him get 40 minutes, scoring a chunk of points off offensive boards. Seems like every night he has one play where he hurts himself because he’s going 100%, hurling his slight, aching frame at the ball. If playing with this guy doesn’t inspire others to play with the same passion, I don’t know what will.

  • Valit

    Sometime ago, I decided to watch the games without looking at the score but concentrating of small things that Raptors did well in that particular night; For ex. last night: after 2 months since the trade, Bayless learned the first P/R with Amir, Bargnani tried to post up twice and Sonny made the first 3 shots ( which is bad because he suddenly thinks he’s Jordan and his IQ drops to zero). That dosnt mean they all work but hey…it’s a beginning…. Having said that, some things are still not comprehended after 50 games in the season and you can still see Bargs looking confused on defence, absolutely no movement in the attack ( 1 pass-shoot kinda thing), bad basketball decisions, etc. Logically, here are my conclusions:

    – When Raptors say ” shootaround” they actually mean it…bunch of players taking aim at the rim ( most than 50% missing it) and smiling and goofing with each other.
    – They must have siesta during the ” watching the tapes” period because obviously they dont know squat about how the other team is playing.
    – When they have their medical assessments and injuries , not one from the medical stuff is checking them for Attention Deficit Disorder but a dose of Ritaline will be benefic specially for the Young Guns.

    I also think we , as fans, need some reality check in hoping that good decisions will come from our beloved management team.

    • KJ-B

      Sooo true, I hate it when “No Money” Weems hits his first couple of shots, then he starts having Euroleague visions of grandeur and it’s like he’s a kid stuck in “Sonny’s Playground” which exists only in his mind at this level, while every1 else is playing in reality and it shows in how terrible he finishes games!

      The guy only balls when little to nothing is expected of him, think ORL last shot, when no one, not even him expected it to go in, from the horses mouth, “I’ve never hit a game winner in my entire career on every team where I was ‘the man’ growing up; not high school college not anything.” The marvel of it all, is that it actually was NOT a gw shot, in that Pietrus hit a trey and DD’s 2 ft’s were the game winning pts…

      Yet Clarence persists with his Hoop Dreams @ everybody-else-be-damned’s expense! Why do the Raps luv him?! I think it’s a scouting department thing, “We got this great superstar in the making that’s now a minimum player”… WAKE UP RAPTORS SUPERSTARS COME THROUGH THE LOTTERY!!! Look at your own statistical analysis for cryin’ out loud!!!

    • smushmush

      About the shootaround stuff, I noticed it too which is sad. On offense for the Raptors especially on this losing streak, it is I get the ball as a Raptors player, I shoot the ball lol(No ball movement whatsoever). I also see a lot of cross court passes(which Jose has been making at least 2-3 in a game lol – Jose is a real culprit of that) which are usually picked off for a steal as a turnover waiting to happen.

      What harm will ball movement, setting multiple screens on offense, posting up, inside-out offense do to the Raptors offense? None. It is clear these guys have not learnt anything yet which is why they continue to lose.

      • 511

        I’ve noticed the more-than-seems-wise number of cross-court passes as well, going hand-in-hand with an overall lack of passing philosophy or structure.

        It’s THOSE kinds of things that for me, is making it harder to look forward to each new game. The difference between the Hawks making those extra passes and us, so not doing so, made me figure that no matter how close we got, we weren’t going to win. And it’s basic coaching, isn’t it? Make that VERY basic coaching. We stink, it’s true, but … we don’t have to stink this bad. Triano has to go. Absolutely has to.

  • KJ-B

    MLSE/Raps brass were sold a bad bill and they all lookin’ like fools wondering how it went bad so fast… Well, it means they should take their basketball headz out their collective buts and start smelling the coffee that’s a brewing –When the ENTIRE NBA thinks your team’s gonna finish next to last at the beginning of the season it says somethings wrong–

    It’s time these guys start listening to the league in regards to winning brand of basketball, winning style of play, speed, personnel… BryCo needs to stop isolating himself ideologically from what is current in the L and needs to recognized that HE WAS EXTREMELY LUCKY to sign Steve Nash, only because he was drafted by his dad + Dallas stupidly spurned him…

    There’s just no proper sound thinking reason to have a club that stinks this bad and to mishandle franchise players (i.e. Vince, Bosh) so poorly…Folks are already questioning if DeRozan’s gonna bolt and sharks like Chicago Bulls are starting to circle… An aggressive play needs to be made…Tanking and going 13-?? is not tasting sooo good in these parts…

    Admit your mistakes and MAN UP BRYAN COLANGELO, IF YOU’VE GOT A PAIR LEFT!!!!! ((Sooo sad + pitiful))

    • Rexdale

      if everyone on this team was healthy and without any trades happening this team could have easily been a 35 win team

      • Nilanka15

        I dunno about that. A healthy Reggie might’ve helped a bit, but we’re still talking about one of the youngest rosters in the league, that isn’t littered with much raw talent.

        The Bobcats are currently on pace to win the 8th seed with 36 wins. To suggest our team is good enough to fall 1 game out of the playoffs (much like our fate last year, with a MUCH better roster) is being eternally optimistic.

      • KJ-B

        Tru say BUT no team in the NBA goes through an entire season with everybody healthy and everything going just right…if that were the case the entire league would win 41 games! The great teams don’t just have talent, they have depth–have you checked out the career highlights/experience on the bench scrubbers on the MIA Heat?

  • voy

    andrea’s recent stretch of inept offence is akin to a hot girlfriend, with few other redeeming qualities, all of a sudden founding the ice-cream and getting chunky.

    Triano’s coaching, unfortunately, could never have been confused with a hot girlfriend. I’ve never been a fan of the 2ble team strategy but I can understand the concept when its applied to a superstar and your team shows at least a minimal ability to effectively close out on the open man.

    However, what I cant understand is the random or perpetual 2ble team on any scrub with the ball. Really, dude? 2bling on Teague, at the 3 pt line, and leaving Crawford wide open? I mean, how long into the season are we going to employ this strategy before you figure out hey, giving guys wide open looks is maybe not the best idea.

    clipboards beware.

  • Daniel

    Ever wonder why Rondo never developed a consistent shot? I see cliches used to describe skills like “rebounding is just the desire to go get it” or “more minutes will develop the young players”. The reality is that cliches are factually incorrect while intuitively correct. The development of any skill involves four stages: initiation or awareness, skill introduction, skill consolidation and skill refinement (or variations thereof). Bargnani is probably at the second stage in the rebounding skill, DeRozan is probably at the second stage in dribbling and third stage in shooting, Bayless is probably in the third stage in passing. Skills are never developed in games because players tend to revert to the skill stage they are at that moment. Games are important for the purposes of translating the skills in real-time environment. In other words, games are only an enabling environment and not a development environment. The development from one stage to another is a key variable in the psychology of learning and is far from being a settled science. Some people are able to develop through all the stages, some people are stuck at one stage regardless how much they practice. Bargnani, DeRozan and Bayless have not developed one bit in the skills I mentioned above. While not impossible to overcome the odds, I contend that they are not favourable for these players.
    Of course, there are exceptions, especially related to shooting: Bosh, Calderon and Amir are good examples (in our team and under our own eyes). However nothing is guaranteed and we should be more realistic in our expectations for our players. One more note: a player may have one or two skills that are so refined that they compensate for lack of skills in other areas. It is then the job of the management and coaching to create a team made of complementary skillsets.

    • arsenalist

      Practice and coaching makes perfect, sure, that doesn’t mean playing time isn’t vital.

      I agree that jump-shooting and dribbling can be developed without game-time, but evaluating either of those can only be done properly in an actual game. The correct cliche isn’t “more minutes will develop the young players”, it’s “more minutes will allow the Raptors to evaluate the young players”.

      • Jackie Moon

        Practice makes permanent, not perfect. If someone is practicing poor mechanics, it will eventually become the method that comes instinct. The more jump shots Weems takes in games, or rebounds that Dre doesn’t go for, the more likely that trend will continue. So I’m agreeing with you in that more minutes doesn’t translate to development.

      • Theswirsky

        “Skills are never developed in games”

        I completely disagree with this. This is exactly where these skills develop to their full extent. Its one thing to do anything in practice/training its another thing to execute when it matters (regardless of what it is one is doing).

        yes ‘practice’ helps one learn and develop the skill. It helps with repetition, learning details etc. But the skill is not fully developed until it is put into use in a ‘real world’ test/use.

        Nothing beats game experience. You can’t recreate last minute shots in practice. You can’t recreate playing Lebron James. You can’t recreate foul shooting with 20k fans booing/cheering you. You can’t recreate a truely unique experience day in and day out like is created each and every game. Players can and do learn from these things. (much like, say a police officer, can learn everything he needs to know in training, but the actual experience of being on the beat changes when and how all that training needs to be used, adapted, changed and/or possibly ignored in any individual or unique situation.) Experience teachs and helps one ‘develop’ that more than any book, class or practice will.

        Game time is when you really see what players are capable and made of. And its irrelevant if you have ‘developed’ a jump shot in practice, yet can never execute in game time. Just like its irrelevant if you have ‘developed’ a jump shot and never get the opportunity to use it during game time.

        One ofcourse is forced to distribute that experience and development differently among players as you have a finite amount of games/minutes/possessions… which is why practice becomes so important. (ie. you can’t give Demar every single possesion to take jumpers etc. as it will marginalize players, keep their development down etc)

        • RapthoseLeafs

          While I agree that nothing is like game experience, practice has a very valuable effect on how you perform for any game. Raptors – with a significant injury status – have not been able to practice “correctly”, and as such, strategies & implementation of plays have been much more difficult to enact.

          It’s like doing donuts in the winter (in a parking lot of course!). Practicing this – for which some might view as horsing around – enables one to handle a “fish-tailing” moment with more calm, and less panic.

    • KJ-B

      In a sense you are correct however, I would add that Basketball or any other sport/profession is first an art before it becomes a science…’Getting in the Zone’ is completely artistic and often has nothing to do with the science of the game… Jordan’s 13 ‘unconscious’ straight shots in the Finals , his dunk/layup against Perkins in the lane ‘unbelievable/spectacular move by Michael Jordan’… It’s Kobe going ape in the final 2 minutes… TMac in 30 seconds, Reggie Miller in 8 seconds… However somehwat like Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers” concept it takes the 10,000 hours of practice rule to make an expert…

      But where you are correct is that Basketball fundamentals facilitate the ability to enter ‘the zone’ and revisit it with even more precise regularity… Heart and Courage are qualities which are not quantitative in measure relative to any discovered stat–that is unless you consider sport psychology/medicine… Edwin Moses Track & Field 400m, Michael Jordan and Eric Davis of LA Dodgers were tested to have the greatest quick twitch muscle fiber reactions in sport and were hellacious V opponents when getting into those ‘zones’… Moses never lost a race for 20 yrs, Jordan never lost 6 Finals, Eric Davis played at all league level for various clubs even though he was somewhat injury prone…

      What I’m saying is that there is a certain God-given inert ability that transcends beyond training and refinement that makes certain test sample players that have near identical measurements, let’s say in the case Exhibit A) Sonny Weems B)DeMar DeRozan but in actuality beyond the ‘fantasy’/science of Basketball they express a totally different Reality…

      That’s why I picked DeMar all season long over Sonny, it was his cerebral curiosity and dogged commitment to develop even when he didn’t understand how that I knew would enable to him stand out the test… I’d say the fundamental factor to determine, which player in the sample will be greater than the next is not hidden in their strength but rather their weaknesses… It wasn’t just Sonny’s back that figuratively and literally started to cave after 6 week mark in the season when he and DeMar were ‘inseparable’…

      In essence Sonny Weems’ fatal flaw is wanting to takeover the game despite his rhythym or lack thereof be it on Defence or Offense–the Sin of Commission… DeMar is the exact opposite he will never seek to take over the game unless he is in rhythym–the Sin of Omission… In professional basketball, with emphasis of a total game impression through rebounding, stealing, blocking assisting etc, I take DeMar’s desire to improve over Sonny’s more refined output which I’m descibing in Hoops terms, Sonny’s hit his ceiling, DeRozan is on the ground floor–they just happen to be at the same eye-level… I’ll resist breaking down #7 fatal rebounding flaw fueled by desire to get dirty, Amir’s fouling,not moving his feet but hands, Bayless 1v1 blacktop mentality or Jose’s speed/lateral quickness and how these weaknesses reduce sustained consistency at their positions of responsibility on the floor making their projected usefulness somewhat weak over an extended career going forward…


    • Sam Holako

      Great comment Daniel

  • sleepz

    I found myself rooting hard for the Raps at the start of the game. They came out with purpose and intent and although they let JJ go off too much early on, they seemed like they were tired of the losing and were going to leave it out on the floor. As the game went on the dearth of talent, poor play calling and Hawks execution turned the game into what it became.

    Raps should be spreading the offence around. No player should be taking 15+ shots a game unless they are scorching. Not Andrea’s fault, but the 2nd quarter play calling of 4 (or 5?) consecutive looks for him doesn’t make sense to me. Its essentially the ball sticking that Triano knocked Bosh for. He needs to mix it up and start calling Jose/Amir pick and rolls more often.

    DeRozan has shown me enuff this year that he’s a keeper. The refs jerked him around in the first half, especially with phantom fouls being called against him but his determination at the start of the second half was good to see. He needs to demand the ball more when he is feeling it.

    • Theswirsky

      “Its essentially the ball sticking that Triano knocked Bosh for”

      and this is one of the reason why I really feel this team hasn’t changed much. They are still using the ‘Bosh style offense’ but with a much less efficient player. Include that Bargs is another soft (both physical and mentally) style big man, with no willingness to run the floor… and all this team is doing is what they did for the past 4 years, just with a much much MUCH less effective player.

      So if Bosh wasn’t good enough to build around (and I don’t disagree with that), in what world does one even remotely try (through high usage and minutes) with Bargnani?

      • RapthoseLeafs

        [” So if Bosh wasn’t good enough to build around (and I don’t disagree with that), in what world does one even remotely try (through high usage and minutes) with Bargnani? “]

        That’s been one of the big issues I have with our Offense. Raps need to move that ball around a helluva lot more. If AB takes more shots, then so be it. But not just throwing it to him, so he can dribble a bit and post up. Raptors need to learn from Atlanta – they moved that ball around so well. Toronto has shown this ability (maybe not a lot), and when they did, it provided great results.

      • C.d.G.

        you forget that the main problem with Bosh was never about the level of his play, BUT on his will to stay in Toronto or, otherwise, his will of stealing awaymost of our avaliable money!
        We might have as well builded on Bosh, putting better players around him (Bargs included!): a better PG, a much better small forward, an intimidator under the rim, a deeper bench.
        All of thi became impossible because of the money reclaimed by Bosh (or, by his will to go in hotter places). What we might do, here and now, is to build NOT around Bargs, not around Demar or Amir, but putting at last the right pieces in the voids. THIS is the reason for our real failure this season: this voids were not addressed during the summer. At all!

        • Theswirsky

          “voids were not addressed during the summer. At all”

          I agree… I just think the C is the biggest void of all right now.

          • KJ-B

            I’d suggest that we haven’t had a true SF since TMac left the building… A guy with a consistent J and that can take it mercilessly to the rack, can pass, rebound do it all on the perimeter that’s 6″7- 6’11″… Let’s see we’ve tried Villanueva, Fred Jones, Jalen Rose, Jamario Boom, and host of other guys that haven’t put fear into opposing teams…

            I think this draft in order of 1st rd pick should be (if Kyrie’s already taken) draft a game changing 3 Man … I like Perry Jones Baylor, Jan Vesely Czech Republic stud athlete in the lottery, I like Jordan Hamiliton Texas, Kris Joseph Syracuse, Kyle Singler Duke mid to late 1st round…Then there’s Harrison Barnes of course, but I don’t know or think that he’ll come out this year–just have that feeling!

          • smushmush

            However, I would not advise us to draft a C in the first round with our pick. We need an SF(one of Terrence Jones, Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes) or if Kyrie Irving is still on the board – go for him. We can get our C in the second round if we have good draft scouts(which we seem not to have – look at our draft history, ewwww) or use part of the Bosh TPE to acquire Hasheem Thabeet as long as he can rebound and block shots(Marc Gasol(RFA), DeAndre Jordan, Sam Dalembert(both UFAs) are other options).

    • RapthoseLeafs

      Those 2 charging calls in less than 18 minutes (of the game), were BS calls. And they affected Demar obviously, as he went to the line zero times.

  • Nilanka15

    If the Raps want to turn this thing around in the next 2-3 years, we’ll need the right combination of veteran players to compliment the youth movement.

    Wonder if Colangelo should go after quality locker room guys like Kurt Thomas, Anthony Parker, Caron Butler, Chris Wilcox, Shane Battier, Mbah a Moute, Roger Mason, Ronny Turiaf, Nick Collison, Jason Richardson, Tony Battie, Grant Hill, Mickael Pietrus, Przybilla, Dalembert, Carl Landry, Kirilenko, etc….not so much to contribute solely on the floor, but also to keep the kids’ minds in the right place during the marathon of the season.

    When the Raptors were in their prime, it was guys like Oakley, Willis, Bogues, Christie, Brown, etc. that kept the locker room honest. We’ll need that again, as long as they’re willing to embrace their roles as elder statesmen.

    • Ryan

      Why can’t Calderon be a veteran in a few years? He seems like a quality locker room guy to me…

      • Nilanka15

        I think his voice is stagnant. He brings a good attitude, but if he starts giving defensive advice, I can see young players simply rolling their eyes.

  • Rapture

    i’ve been sayin all this for weeks. Triano’s lineup selection is often illogical, i’m liking what i’m seeing out of Derozan, but i’d love to see us start making the hard decisions like taking play time off of our 7′ italian friend in the interest of developing the team, which is what i thought this season was all about in the first place

    • Nilanka15

      The problem was that this 7′ Italian friend was errornously considered part of the “team” going forward. I hope that is no longer the case.

      • knickz

        he will be though…bc will never trade andrea and we all know that…he’s our best offensive player but a huge liability in every other aspect of the game

  • d279

    # 3 ON SOME DRAFT BOARDS !!!!!!

  • knickz

    did anyoe hear the hawks fans chanting uss yesterday? lol dumb americans

  • Statement

    Where are Pizzaman, Cesco and John P?

    • slaw

      They are supporting Bargnani’s effort to have 2011 declared a national holiday by taking the year off as well.

    • Statement

      Actually, you know what, I retract my comment. This has been a really interesting comment thread and I shouldn’t attempt to relegate it to bashing.

      • KJ-B

        Correct is Right +1… Reality is setting in and I think we’re all no longer stunned but the brass is now feeling it–keep the bashing for MLSE/BryCo/#7/Trianothing [as in ain’t never won and probably never will win anything in the L–Trapezoid lane experience doesn’t always translate well on this side of the ATLantic]

  • brother

    Lost season. I think we’re all finally on board with this notion. Colangelo and the MLSE probably admitted this to themselves by Nov 15th. It may have taken me a month longer to accept it. Now that it is well and truly in the toilet, extending this losing streak to 35 games is the only thing that makes sense, although it truly disheartening to watch. Solution? Don’t watch. Teach MSLE that it takes winning ball to get people watching. Teach them that it takes money and sense to build a winning team.

    Colangelo won’t make a single move from now until after the new collective bargaining agreement is set. Then watch out (for better or worse). In the interim, I want to see more ping pong balls so keep them 3 for 14s coming Derozan and Bargnani.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      [” … extending this losing streak to 35 games is the only thing that makes sense “]

      I can’t agree with this, even if it’s sarcasm. We need to beat the bad teams (say 4 or 5 at best – lol), and stay close to the decent teams (including effort), otherwise a losing mentality could become enshrined into guys like Ed Davis.

      That being said, it’s painful to watch this team lately. Granted, we have a beat-up squad, with very little experience, and a reasonable amount of raw talent (that’s making small but “difficult to bare” errors). The positive is, we have time on our side (ie. draft, and a TPE – June 1st), to up the quality.

      While I can understand how our issues are creating loss after loss, what I can’t understand is how we went from one of the better 3pt shooting teams (5th last year), to the absolute WORST this season. We lost Bosh – not a perimeter threat – and Turk – not much of anything – yet we dropped with such a thud. Go figure.

      • KJ-B

        They attracted double teams and created space that opened up the floor… And because they were big they could see over the defense to pass out to the perimeter for an open look…

  • hound

    Here is the lineup we need to start 2011-12:

    Above all, we need a whole new coaching staff to make everyone accountable. It absolutely needs to be a defensive coach and I think Kelvin Sampson would be perfect. A great college coach who would relate to the young team and he also has now served a couple of years in the league as an assistant in Milwaukee where they understand defense. Give Bargs till Christmas under the new regime, and if he doesn’t improve, put him on the block.

    Bayless PG – Irving off of bench,#4 overall (trade Calderon for high 2nd round pick 2011 and cash, pick Renardo Sidney, C, Miss. St. 6-10, 275 with that pick)
    Demar 2 – Fredette/ Klay Thompson off of bench (Miami’s pick at #28)
    Wright 3 – Klieza off bench
    Bargs 4- Davis off bench – Ajinca
    Amir 5 – Alabi off bench – Sidney

    Trade Barbosa to Knicks for 2 round pick in 2012
    Let Weems go
    Let Evans go
    Buyout Dorsey

    Try to attrack 2 mid level vets through Free Agency (Big Baby would be a plus) or trade Exception. I believe this is doable, as the salaries are fine and although we won’t win with this group, the pieces would be in place to at least compete in 12/13 and give Derozan/Davis a reason to stay.

    Let me know what you guys think.

    • Theswirsky

      there is a complete lack of experience there. They’ll just become the next NJ Nets… lots of ‘potential’ no one able to help them execute it at the floor lvl. You still need SOME experienced players to help the team out.

      I’d keep Jose and probably Evans. Move Bargs as soon as humanly possible.

      • Balls of Steel

        If Bargs doesn’t straighten it out before the trade deadline, he’d be immovable. Now, this is the craziest conspiracy theory if there is ever one. Is it possible for Bargs to play “poorly” on purpose because he doesn’t want to be traded? I mean, if he’s playing bad, BC gets lowball offers and can never be moved right? If he’s awesome, he may get moved as well. However, if he’s playing really well, why would the Raps trade him? Just something to think about. I do think he’s really struggling.

    • slaw

      Next year’s roster will depend on where they pick and who is available at that spot, along with what happens with the CBA. The Bargnani question also looms large: will he be back? It’s too early to comment beyond they need to upgrade the 5-spot, add a legit small forward, and continue to add young pieces.

      I will note this: that frontline you have left them with is absolutely no different from this year. How’s that working out?

      • Hound

        That is the problem, good vets and big men don’t just drop into your lap. What experienced vets and/or big men are available via free agency or trade. The reality is not many. We can bitch about BC all we want, but what is possible? The draft is possible and all these guys will probably be available at the spots we will pick. We can bitch about a lack of vets, but i will take my chances with young guys. As for the frontline, we will just have to accept what we have, or take a chance on Katner or one of the big guys from Lithuania. I would rather take an Irving or a Jones (either one) than gamble on Kantners knees and anyone from lithuania. With Sidney, you have the potential of getting a solid NBA body and player in the second round.

        I will admit that keeping Calderon would be best, and perhaps that trade doesn’t need to be made, but he may be easier to move than Bargs.

        Does anyone have a better coaching pick than Sampson? I am all ears to here better solutions for this bad situation we are in. Including, how do we get the veterans and big men here? Explain the trades, etc.

        • Toshmon

          Jeff Van Gundy retired and is now with nbc i think.
          He retired to spend more time with family about 8 yrs ago.
          He was Great defensive coach with the Knicks & he would be extremely expensive.

          • Hound

            Actually Mark Jackson is interested in coaching as well, but he doesn’t have any experience. I liked Van Gundy with the knicks, not sure he would leave the cosy confines of announcing for this job though, regardless of money. Also, I hope to hell they don’t think Leo can coach!!!

      • RapthoseLeafs

        Couple of things:

        1 – We need a SF who can defend. If he can shoot from the perimeter, so much the better. We DON’T need another offensive style guy – unless we can get someone in the draft (at a high pick), that gives us ALL this, even if it’s potential.

        2 – Don’t bet the house on Andrea moving.

        3 – We need a banging Center, who can rebound, and play the position as a traditional Center. If he can only score 10 points a game, who cares. We need a Chandler trade that will actually be a Chandler trade. And no more dealing with MJ.

        4 – We need a PG via the draft (or elsewhere) that has some upside. Bayless could turn out to be special, but until I see him perform like a true PG, I’ll remain skeptical. Last night did not help his cause.

        5 – Jay (or the next Coach) need to decide that Sonny is a Bench guy, and then we can keep him for another year (at least). Otherwise, time to move on.

    • pran

      simply not good enough:

      we draft irving and trade bargnani and someone else for the highest draft pick we can get and try to fix the problem at SF
      we then sign a good big man this summer (i have my eye on marc gasol)

      • Hound

        If there is anybody stupid enough to trade us a top lottery pick for Bargs and company, I am all for it. But only if we can get a top 4 pick, as the only interest i have is in Terrance Jones or Sullinger, preferably Sullinger.

        • pran

          bargnani and derozan maybe, you have to give something up to get something back, and i honestly believe derozans potential is overrated

  • RapsM

    Our two Johnsons’ couldn’t beat their one Johnson. Obvious joke, but I knew someone was going to say it so it might as well be me.

  • Statement

    Kleiza has had knee surgery and is out for a year according to the globe and mail.

    • Nilanka15

      It’s not like we’re going to miss him.

  • Hound

    Also, i would not resign Evans for 5 million with his bad feet. i would prefer to go after Big Baby.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Quick question:

    If Kleiza is out for the season, does that leave a roster spot open for this season?

    • smushmush

      No, it does not open a roster spot. If the injury happened before December, we can apply for the Injured Player Exception(IPE) for half of the injured player salary or league average salary whichever is less. We can, however, apply for an IPE next season if Kleiza is still injured(and with a lockout even with a shortened season, Kleiza should be back).

  • KJ-B

    Yeah, and I believe there’s a TPE for half his salary… I’m just not sure if the rule governing that allows it this late in the season…