Raptors 100, Spurs 111 – Box

Ok, so the Raptors shoot 50%, DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani combine for 54 points on a combined 23-38 shooting. Sounds like all the right ingredients for a rare Raptor victory. Not really. And people think offense is still the issue. At least it was an entertaining game for the first 3 quarters. Then we saw DeJuan Blair score 16 points in the 4th quarter basically off one of three scenarios:

a) Duncan sets pick for Spurs guard, Raptors automatically switch, but Raptor guard not fully committed to marking Duncan, while Raptor guard procrastinates, Spurs guard, undisturbed, finds an open Duncan. Amir leaves his man Blair, chooses between the lesser of two evils and rushes to cover a future Hall of Famer in the low post. Duncan finds Blair for a gimme.

b) Same as a) but Blair sets the pick, gets the ball and easily scores over guard who has switched over because he doesn’t have to worry about help coming over, because that person would probably have to be Andrea Bargnani, who’s more concerned with boxing his man out than contesting the impending layup, so he just takes it in himself. But damn was it a great box out by Andrea, just the stuff of legend.

c) Blair grabs offensive rebound and scores easily

DeJuan Blair is the antithesis of Andrea Bargnani. He was drafted pretty low. He’s not exactly the prototypical center, he gives away pretty much 4, 5 inches every night to his opponent, but he plays the position exactly the way its supposed to be played. He anchors the defense (although having Tim Duncan definitely helps out in that regard) and he rebounds the snot out of the ball. The three offensive rebounds he had at the end of the game pretty much sealed the win for the Spurs. He got those in the span of one minute, Bargnani couldn’t manage 3 rebounds of any kind in 38 minutes of play. I don’t care that he scored 29 points. I really don’t with that kind of rebounding futility. It wont win you basketball games. Don’t tell me it’s because Bargnani plays on the outside, because Kevin Love takes just as many threes but has still found a way to average 15 rebounds a game. Offensively, I do give him credit for taking it to the bucket and finally stop chucking like he has been for the last dozen or so games. At least he showed effort on one end of the floor for this game.

I know it’s the Spurs, but some of the stuff we saw this game and pretty much all season on the defensive end, are avoidable. Kind of like unforced errors in tennis. But when your coach is a softie who can’t hold players accountable and has not gotten his team to play half as hard on the defensive end than the Sam Mitchell-coached teams did, then these will continue to pile up. Not fighting through screens, not hedging with purpose, not making simple rotations, not rebounding. Look, we can all admit that Smitch wasn’t a basketball genius, but even he knew how important these simple concepts were to winning games. I mean 58% shooting for the game, come on. Especially in our fair city who loves their blue-collar lunch pail athletes like no other. After watching another great clip of Jay Triano commanding his troops in the huddle, I don’t know, if I’m a player in that huddle and Jays barking instructions at me, Id have this irresistable urge to just blurt out: “I’m just not convinced, Jay.”

He doesn’t have it, Triano, that leadership quality that most NBA coaches have and he will probably stick around for a lot longer than he should be, because Colangelo desperately needs a yes-man at the position. Thats the only way he can control the on-court product in a way that would justify his decisions. I know the GM and coach should communicate, but when it’s this blatant, it smells like a major conflict of interest. There’s plenty of situations where a coach doesn’t think a new player has what it takes to help the team and the GM accepts it. The GM is obviously holds more of a bias towards his player, and the coach offers a more objective analysis of said player.

We could scream until we’re blue in the face about this shady stuff, but its been going on for a couple of years now, so lets just accept this franchise for what it has become and end with a couple positives.

Amir Johnson has clearly established himself as the best player on this team. He’s a warrior, a gamechanger defensively, and his offense is starting to bloom, no doubt due to countless reps on his long-range shot. There was one play where Duncan came out of a newfound respect for Amir’s jumper, and Johnson just drove the ball right at him and finished it off with a turnaround hook. Expect more of that in the very near future.

Leandro Barbosa was unstoppable off the bounce as he has been all season. He may fetch something decent if a contender decides to deal for him.

DeMar DeRozan is starting to nail that jumper, but the 4 assists are more noteworthy. If he can score and distribute, I think we would all be willing to wait on his 3-pointer.

Waiting and more waiting, us Raptor fans are getting pretty good at that, aren’t we? Like they say, practice makes perfect.

Share this:
  • arsenalist

    “After watching another great clip of Jay Triano commanding his troops in the huddle, I don’t know, if I’m a player in that huddle and Jays barking instructions at me, Id have this irresistable urge to just blurt out: ‘I’m just not convinced, Jay.'”

    That was gold.

  • Paps

    I believe it’s more on the players than the coach.

    • tonious35

      But these players right now play like a bunch of kids. They NEED proper parenting or nannying, but Colangelo seemed to hire “Ryan’s mom” from Russell Peter’s world famous sketch.

      • Kevin Oppella

        Wow that was the perfect way to sum up this years play

    • rapsfan92

      Are you serious dude? Sam Mitchell was able to win 47 games in 06-07 with a team that had half the talent this years team has. Jay Triano has been given the roster Sam Mitchell always wanted and never had, and when I say that I mean having slashers like Demar Derozn, weems, barbosa, bayless. Mitchell had the settle with players like Kapono, and anthony parker. And he never had any bigs that would do the dirty work and grind and rebound in the paint like Amir Johnson, ed Davis, joey dorsey and reggie evans(when healthy). Again he had to settle with players like Bosh, bargnani and a young unexperienced humphries at the time. Bosh was and is a finesse big man who has never been a grinder or done the dirty work, we all know what bargnanis about, and like i said humphries was young and experienced at the time. So I guess my point is the whole issue with this team basically comes down to the spinesless Jay Triano who is not a good NBA headcoach at all, good assistant but nothing more. This team would easily be in the playoffs this season if Sam Mitchell was still coaching it!

      • Toshmon

        Colangelo wants a top pick man.

        he knows Triano isn’t a Godsend he wants to tank make no mistake about that.
        Plus triano is good at developing young players.

        I think we all need to take a collective breath and wait until after the draft before we make demands on triano leaving.

        I want Triano gone, but not because I don’t think hes a good coach. Its because I don’t believe he is at a level to win a playoff series. I believe like Sam Mitchell, he will develop into a good coach(for example this year he is way better that last)

        Colangelo cant fire another coach under contract, it looks bad on mangaement. The top brass doesn’t care if we win or loose the care about $. Firing triano and hiring a better coach costs $.

        My guess is: BC will sign a extension with MLSE, draft well(which relies on losing=triano coaching) and then give triano one more year THEN fire him and get a new coach by the time Derozans in his 4th year.

        • Toshmon2

          funny how Mitchell had teams made for Triano’s preferred style and Tirano has had teams made for Mitchell’s preferred style.

      • arsenalist

        Not taking anything away from Sam, but the East was shit that year. The Raps were the only team in their division over .500 and the top seed in the East (Detroit) would have been the 6th seed in the West. Let’s just say it was far from a shocker that the Raptors, as a third seed, lost to the sixth seeded Nets.

        Give you this though, Mitchell didn’t tolerate lack of effort. That much he needs to be credited for.

        • RapthoseLeafs

          Yeah … everyone forgets the mood in Boston back then – sans Garnett. Heads were being threatened, and being as basketball is so much more in that city (unlike Leafland), something had to give. Then the luck of the Gods came in, and Blue Jay Ainge saved his own dear life … coaching life, that is.

      • giulio

        anthony parker is a great player, he won games for the raptors and was the best defender of team, an all around player like him is always good and there is a little thig you must consider: labron james wanted him in cleveland, i repeat, labron james.

        • giulio

          not only this, but a healty caldern (in that year considered one of the top 10 pg in the league) and garbajosa, a great champion and an absolute veteran of the little things you must do for win, and with sam mitchell he was always on the floor.

  • Statement

    I was watching Raptors post up and Popovich had nothing but praise for Triano, indicating that Triano “carved them up” with his offensive sets.

    This could be just one classy coach putting over another coach to the Canadian media, but he was genuine with his remarks (and Popovich seems like a genuine guy) then maybe it IS more about the players than Triano, at least in some respects.

    • Statement

      but “if” he

    • Brasky

      Triano is a fine offensive coach, no question. He just can’t get them to play a lick of defense, and that’s why he needs to go.

      • lol

        Triano is a fine offensive coach?
        O MY GOD

        • Marc

          I’m inclined to believe Pop on this one

    • NineNewFaces

      There’s a Smitch quote I always loved, I can’t remember what the context was or even the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of ‘you’ll start to win basketball games when losing them stops being acceptable’. In other words, it’s always to some degree on the players to control their own destinies on the court by simply playing hard and learning from their mistakes. That comes more from within than it does from coaching; coaching can motivate for short spurts but a team of players that polices itself is far, far more effective. In an ideal situation the coach should be worrying mostly about strategy and less about how to handle certain players.

      Don’t get me wrong, I fully agree on Jay’s lack of leadership skills, but to some degree that’s a case of a coach whose strengths simply don’t match up with the situation he’s in and the roster he’s been handed. I suspect he’d do better with a more veteran team than he is developing this group of undermotivated youngsters.

      • Jamesk

        That would be to assume veterans are more coachable; just not the case. Jay is far better off with a young group he can develop and shape without any veterans pre-concieved notions of how they should be used. Turkoglu and Bosh being perfect examples of guys not willing to listen to a younger coach, at the end of the day deciding what their roles should be, what perceptions they need to live up to. Jarett and Antoine being examples of guys who thought they should be the coach, role players who couldn’t step their game up with the opportunity to do so, and went screaming to the media it was the coach’s fault that their teamates didn’t give an honest effort. Not exactly leadership, but a veteran move nonetheless. Bosh needed the ball, all the time, so did Turk. The funny thing to me was I’d rather have the ball in Turk’s hands and let him get it to Bosh when appropriate, but in the context of the team, Bosh was the man and owned the ball on offence, others were allowed to borrow it. In the coming year or so, Jay will have his chance to determine the roles on this team and make a name for himself and his roster. He is a player’s coach, he let’s them make mistakes, but he does have a philosophy of coaching that has been successful in other contexts; he’s not here by accident, nor is he on the usa staff just because he’s friends with the boss’s son. Coach K calls the shots or he wouldn’t be there himself. When this team has a little more talent and is able to taste some success, then we can judge whether or not he has what it takes to lead a team into the elite. In this day and age, i think his temperement and noted strategic prowess will serve him well with a group that owes its allegiance to him and his staff. Or not, just the breaks of the game sometimes.

  • Nilanka15

    We’re one step closer to Kyrie…that’s all that matters.

    On another note, Ginobili really does play in slow motion. Even his step-back jumper is slow, yet he manages to create good looks for himself consistently. It’s remarkable.

    • tonious35

      If Kyrie bails the draft…WTF do we do?

      • Nilanka15

        We change our underwear…

    • thatpeterguy

      Kyrie would be nice but he’s out for the season now. Do we really want a guy who played only a few games in college anyway? And I don’t know why people keep proclaiming him as our saviour and the main reason to tank our season when he probably won’t even be in the draft.

    • giulio

      ginobili slow?

  • Dan

    I can’t believe people who watch NBA ball regularly still believe Jay Triano is the problem here.

    Right, it can’t be the roster. Absolutely not.




      You mean like the Pacers?

      • Dan

        Right, because we have a legit 7 foot center who defends the paint (Hibbert), a stud swingman (Granger) and a really exciting young point guard (Collison). If you really think the Raps roster is constructed better, you’re out of your mind. One 7 footer who doesn’t defend the paint, playing with 2 power forwards who are often forced to play out of position guarding centers…. not really the same thing. Also, I didn’t realize DeRozan was as good as Granger (talking best swingman on the team here), but if you say so…

        The Pacers have 4 players who play good D in their on-court rotation and the Raptors have 1.

        Get a grip on reality FLUX.

        • FLUXLAND

          If I say so? I asked two questions. I didn’t make any statements. 😛

          Perhaps I should have been more clear. How do you explain Indiana’s coaching change/performance thereafter. The roster suddenly… what, Dan?

          I’m not entirely dismissing what you are saying. Just think it’s a situation with a little bit of both mixed in. I mean, A-Dub is not breaking any news here today – Jay’s command of anything (see: post games interviews) leaves much to be desired, let alone a pro ball team.

          What exactly have you seen from Triano that makes you think he would do “better” with a “better” roster? Isn’t it a giving his results should be “better” based on that change alone?

          The man has stuttered, sound lost and started sentences as if talking to a head coach, more than a few times this season during time outs , on a.. as you say… flawed roster. I’m guessing he would get so nervous in a Mavs, Lakers, Celtics, Hawks etc huddle, he’d get instant diarrhea.

          Some coaches become known for winning, or taking weak rosters and getting them to play, others for breaking clipboards and uttering profanities on national TV.

          • cb

            exactly flux. they can o’brien and look at what happens. finally indiana’s talent emerges.

            but yes, our team lacks; but so does the coach. and the GM for that matter.

            anyway, we’re all spitting into the wind as far as this team goes. there’s just no point in caring or watching them anymore.

          • Dan

            Look, there’s no way to prove that Jay would do better with a good roster, because frankly he’s never coached one (even last year’s was completely flawed in that Bargs/Bosh with our wing players were NEVER going to stop anyone)… but I truly believe he’s a great offensive mind who already gets more out of the Raps on the offensive end than many others would (when Calderon is off, we have nobody to make the 3 ball except for our center.. great).

            Indiana is playing a better offensive system than they were before (but no better than toronto’s), and it’s paying off. They also have some great young players who continue to improve (Hibbert, Collison), and come on… who have they beaten since the change? Toronto, Cleveland, Portland, New Jersey, and Charlotte. Good, but nothing to really brag about, save maybe Portland.

            Was Doc Rivers a terrible coach when his Boston roster was a piece of crap? There was no way to know, was there?

            I’m not saying there aren’t better coaches than Jay, but I think he’s FAR, FAR from the real problem here, which is a roster that contains practically no playmakers, no 3-point shooters and only 1 7-footer who plays like he’s 6-2. Not to mention a starting lineup full of defensive liabilities.

            Are the Raps competing hard almost every night? Yes. Have they beaten several teams far above them in the standings? Yes. No, I don’t think Jay is the problem… Colangelo and the players are the problems, though I do believe that DeMar, Amir and Ed can be very nice core pieces of a good NBA team… another good draft and a good signing would go a long way.

            • sleepz

              With the roster they had last year, if before that season you said they wouldn’t make the playoffs there would have been an uproar.

              Look around the East. There are many flawed rosters, heck the team that won the division title in ’06 was a flawed roster by your standards. Excuses get painfully tired eventually.

            • FLUXLAND

              Doc Rivers was COY in Orlando. He took a team that everyone picked to finish last to the playoffs. Besides having had teams that were picked to be awful, Triano and Doc do not belong in the same breath.

              All I know is that he’s been around the NBA and USA Basketball quite some time, and in those circles good future head coaches are known about and spoken of. At best, he’s been their ball boy and court jester with his entertaining trick shots. Have you heard of anyone asking for Jay’s services in the NBA?

              Not that I’ll deny he’s a man dependent on his roster, but what does that say about his skills? Coaching in this day and age is not about x’s and o’s. Guys with stacks of offensive plays are a dime a dozen. It’s about managing the personalities and getting them to play together … @ 14 – 39 I don’t care who’s on the roster, the coach HAS to be a MAJOR part of the problem.

            • KJ-B

              No, but took a D-League type roster not too dissimilar from this yrs Rap led by Chuck Atkins/Ben Wallace to the playoffs @ circa 41-41 and got coach of the year in Orlando… Apples or is that Oranges???

              • KJ-B

                (i.e. Doc Rivers)

          • yertu damkule

            playing the cavs, raps & nets immediately after the change didn’t hurt…though they played the heat tight the other day (of course, they thumped them earlier in the year with JO’B coaching, so…).

    • EdDames

      Can’t it be both?

      • jamesk

        Sure can, his name is Bobby Knight.

    • Ibzilla

      The Raps roster is one step below the Timberwolves (Love/Beasley) and Kings (Cousins/Evans) and slightly a step above the Cavs. If it wasn’t for Bargnani they would also set losing records as the team wouldn’t be able to score nor defend

    • sleepz

      I’m not here to blame anyone cause the whole organization needs to be cleared out imo, but for those who say Triano can’t be at fault for this year due to lack of talent, what were the excuses for last years performance again?

      I forgot, it was Bosh that messed it all up.lol

      In no other NBA city could this type of stuff take place.

      • yertu damkule

        well, to clarify, the raps won significantly more games last year than they will this year. not that that’s saying much, losing is losing…still. it wasn’t so much a lack of talent last year, it was that the talent that was being relied upon shat the bed for 85% of the season (turk), or had a boo-boo (bosh). let’s keep things in perspective…at the AS break last year, the raps were, what, the 5th seed & playing well (due to a favourable sked at the time, but still). bosh goes down, never really comes back, turk (among others) doesn’t step up, and they fold. is that on coaching? to a degree. but i’d put the actual talent level on the current team at around the same (or slightly worse) as it was at the end of last year, when bosh wasn’t playing. they’re winning now at about the same rate they did to close out the season, give or take.

        • sleepz

          I don’t necessarily agree with the notion that Bosh never came back. When he did return from injury his numbers were pretty much the same regardless of the ‘checked out’ conspiracies. That being said, there were other players on the team. Their prized FA acquisition didn’t do anything and the player taking all the shots this year dissapeared. Solid coaches are supposed to get the most out of their talent. Can the Raps fall last year be solely attributed to players not performing? Maybe, but I think Jay is a significant reason for that as well.

          What about players not defending? I agree that minus Bosh the talent isn’t signifcantly different from 2010-2011 but for the past 3 years Triano has failed to inspire his team to play defence, although every year it’s the top thing on his list to improve. He also has the ability to not play players that don’t defend (like Mitchell did) but doesn’t do it and defends their efforts after the game. Thats all on him and if his GM won’t allow him to coach the way he should, then he should resign.

  • Valit

    great post; I think last night was a very, very important game for this organization because with the exception of Jose shooting slump we got a benchmark performance from all the players.In other words, these are the Raptors 2010-2011 with their strenghts and more important their weaknesses. Now it’s time for the organization to adress the vision for the future. It is time to adress who are staying for the next 2-3 years, who are expandables and what can we do to improve those who will stay. Everybody is saying that they want to follow Spurs path so…now It’s the time ladies and gentlemen. Having said that, if I look back at MLSE history, something in me is not too hopeful that anyhting will good will happen

  • Ryan

    If you think Sam Mitchell coached teams played defense then you’re delusional.

    • Nilanka15

      We certainly weren’t defensive juggernauts under Smitch, but we were hardly the pylons you’re seeing today.

      But then again, having guys like Parker, Garbajosa, Rasho, O’Neal, etc. as part of your rotation certainly makes coaching defense easier…

    • WhatWhat

      The team’s defensive rating rankings during Smitch’s tenure year by year:


      It’s on basketball-reference.com, just flip through seasons.

      The team this year was 18th before we traded for Bayless. Methinks the huge increase in Calderon’s minutes (AND…no, well mostly playing him primarily together with Bargs) is the cause of the drop to 29th. Unless replacing Reggie with clearly better defenders in Amir and Davis is the real problem somehow.

      In fact I bet there’s a disturbingly strong correlation with our defensive ineptitude and Calderon and White Swan’s minutes increasing. But I digress. Smitch got them to play D.

      • giulio

        calderon missed games and was injuried after that trade.

    • arsenalist

      13th, 12th, 29th and 24th under Mitchell. Not great, but definitely better than dead or second last.

      • cb

        and the stats got worse as colangelo instructed sam to play bargs. worth noting.

        • Theswirsky

          Raps opponents fg% increases as Bargnani sees more minutes over the last 5 seasons. Says it all to me.

      • Alucart999

        29th is second last.

  • EuroPussy

    Please explane me why, after Bargs played 3/4 very very good he has been ignored in the 4/4 and they played only barbosaball???
    Second, we all know Bargs is not the best rebounder (ironymod out), but if he has to defend at the 3 point line he CANNOT grab any rebound! The defense is totaly wrong organised.
    I was all the time not a big friend of DD but i have to admit that he is improving his shot and he start to combine (??) with Bargs. Very good job for both.
    As usual please sorry my bad english.

    • Bendit

      And who was Bargs defending at the 3 pt. line? Duncan? Blair? Splitter (maybe on a couple of plays)? That was some miserable defense 3-4 possessions in a row when Blair just did what he wanted in the paint.

    • Alucart999

      Watch some clips of Kevin Love playing basketball. Then compare and contrast with Bargnani. You will then realize that it has nothing to do with where Bargnani is defending on the Court.

  • WhatWhat

    (God, the coach, roster and management are all huge problems. Stop bitching about how we focus on one too much. Everyone knows this, shut up about it.)

    The game was like one of those Dragonball Z episodes where you think that the villain’s almost defeated but then he’s like “You fool! I was only using 50% of my power!”

    Blair did some amazing stat stuffing.

    White Swan had a nice offensive game…It’s too bad he STILL gave up more points than he scored. It’s the defense and rebounding….and he has regressed alarmingly in those areas.

    There was a lot of unnecessary switching. If we ever want to play decent (read: passable) D, we can NOT have Calderon and White Swan playing so many minutes together.

    Don’t know why Bayless only played 7 minutes. But he still didn’t look healthy yet.

    And is anyone terrified that BC will move Davis or Amir to get a “real center” to cover up for Bargs.

    • EdDames

      I’m a Pistons fan who is disgusted with the state of that team and is essentially following the Raptors because Amir got traded to you guys. The Raps simply cannot hitch their wagon to Bargnani for very much longer because he is absolutely killing you on the defensive end. Just killing you. I’m an Amir slappy, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt, but there were so many possessions in the 4th quarter where Amir was left all alone down low on defense. It was basically him vs. Tim Duncan and Blair, plus any of the guards that ended up blowing by their man and into the paint. That is going to lose games night after night.

      I’m not a Bargnani hater. I have no reason to hate him, and sure the man can score. But the Raptors are basically playing 4 on 5 on defense when Bargnani’s on the floor. The problem’s made worse when your wings are matadors. I’m not saying that Ed Davis and Amir are world-beaters, but I gotta believe that duo would give you extra possessions and prevent the other team from getting extra possessions and too-easy buckets.

      Bargnani is an above-average/good offensive player, and I’m not saying that you trade him away. But this guy is not the franchise, and I think all of you here are smart enough to see that so I don’t even know why I’m typing it honestly.

      • Seeten

        Bargnani is a bum. I’d trade him for a bag of chips and a bag of basketballs…like what we got for Vince.

      • WhatWhat

        Regarding White Swan, we have two options…if we want be successful: bring him off the bench as a kamikaze chucker or trade him.

        Personally, I’d be shopping him heavily at the draft.

      • yertu damkule

        you are, literally, preaching to the choir.

        • pran

          ever since wopapalooza left, damn straight.

    • Jamesk

      The game was like one of those Dragonball Z episodes where you think that the villain’s almost defeated but then he’s like “You fool! I was only using 50% of my power!”

      If game wraps tried to be concise instead of verbose,this would be the perect summary.

  • Boring bullshit MLSE conspiracy theories. Yawn.

    Hey, how about more actual analysis of the game, and less complaining about how Bargnani doesn’t rebound. ‘Cuz most of us know that already.

    • Sek99

      Uh, that is the analysis of the game. Bargnani can’t rebound, or defend, and Blair got about 70 layups most people posting here could have made.

  • EuroPussy

    Bayless played only 7 minutes, but it was enough. More than enough.

  • Jonathan

    The game was clearly over in the fourth pretty fast with the lack of defense and defensive rebounding that occured in the fourth quarter, so honestly, it really didn’t matter what happened on offense at that point EuroPussy.
    Praise is definitely earned by bargs with his “attacking the basket” and what a surprize? after he started attacking and driving he started getting much better looks for jumpers and they started falling! Hope to see more of this in the future, he should have been playing like this from the start of the season, duh…
    Bargs defense 1 on 1 guarding the post wasn’t all to bad tonight if you watch some plays from him on defense but his help defense was SOOOO bad he literally just started at the player run right by him.

    And euroPussy, bargs is down low near the basket more than he is at the 3 point line when on defense. The guy gets destroyed when he guards from the 3 point line so your statement about him not being in the right position to grab boards is retarded he has plenty of opputunity but his lack of intelligence, toughness, physical anger, boxing out, makes grabbing even 4 rebounds a night seem like a job well done.

    Honestly, is ANYONE intimidated by bargs? Even I (150 pounds, 5’11”) feel like I could be physically tougher than this timid guy fighting for boards. His facial expressions show it all the guy is just a panzy when it comes to toughness and being aggressive with anything to do with defense.

    Now, if he ever improved his game to JUST average ability of an NBA center on defense and rebounds he would be a such an amazing piece to this team and with the right guys around him would make for a great run into the play-offs.

    I am doubtful this will ever occur but I can dream, and if this doesn’t occur, him becoming average on the defensive end, then bargs is useless and we should deal him fast because he hurts this team SOO much with his current all-around playing abilities…

    I really hope a decision can be made on this guy, either develop your weak skills or GTFO.

    • smushmush

      BC’s teams have always been nice guys – nice guys that get punked by other NBA teams and probably annihilated and still shakes their hands. Every NBA team needs an enforcer especially at the center position – but Andrea does not even scare a 5 year old kid let alone grown men in the NBA lmao. Basketball is a game that was being played most in the hood, you are likely to get punked(which is why I am not into, he has a bad personality bullshit, does he have talent? – that should be the question, see Zach Randolph) and it extends to the NBA too.

  • pran

    my expectations are very clear, by the start of next season we should have kyrie, and marc gasol. that is all

    • Jamesk

      you ain’t getting Marc Gasol…wtf.

      • pran

        the grizz sure as hell arent signing him, he has to go somewhere.

        • Kretzc

          The grizz have made it abundantly clear that they need cap relief. But its going to come at the expense of Mayo and, more importantly, Randolph. There’s no way we get Gasol. No way in hell. Randolph has a bigger contract and is too old to nature with the core of that team. Plus their GM already lost Pau; no way he’s going to lose Marc as well. He’d be fired for sure.

          Marc Gasol is #1 on my list of players to acquire, but it’s no more than a dream.

  • Easy to kill Bargs for his obvious defensive deficiencies, but can’t deny he, amir and ed are constantly hung out to dry by our guard’s inability to stay in front of anyone…

    • yertu damkule

      true. they’re stuck in defensive limbo – the frontcourt D is weak, so the perimeter guys slough off their checks to provide ‘help’ (i.e. not really any kind of legit help, just enough of a show that the post player knows it’s not legit, and just enough to leave 3-pt shooters wiiiiide open), and that leaves the perimeter open…any decent 3-pt shooting team eats the raps alive.

      the perimeter defenders don’t have the lateral quicks to stay in front of their men, and either don’t know or don’t care to know how to properly negotiate perimeter screens. the bigs are lazy/inexperienced in terms of understanding how to defend PnR/PnP situations.

      • The weirdest thing is how our guards actually hop to one side, apparently to force guys to drive with their ‘weak’ hand… News flash jose, this is the NBA, guys can go either hand and they’re really just licking their chops when they see it’s Bargnani waiting at the rim… They need to just need to move their feet, get up on guys, block their vision, make them uncomfortable…

        • Nilanka15

          I’ve harped about this before too. Our backcourt players openly allow penetration (instead of forcing their checks in a certain direction). There’s a big difference between forcing a player one way and completely getting out of the way, but that concept seems lost on Triano.

  • Milesboyer

    In watching last night I could only think of one thing – our first line of defense (Calderon usually) and our last line of defense (Barn-yawny) are so deficient it’s beyond laughable. One of the two being poor makes for a challenging defensive system but having both at a rec. league level makes it impossible to compete. It’s like trying to eat soup using a fork (and I’m not talking chunky). Calderon and Bargs both have valuable skills, they’re just so specialized, that the rest of their and the team’s game suffers.

    This has been mentioned before, and I would be very much in favour of it – allotting Bargs shots or PT based on how many rebounds he gets or by grading his overall defense.

    I work in construction and if I said to the other guys – okay, you carry all the material and do the heavy work while I watch – and I’ll put the finishing touches on and take all the credit, no one would respect or like me and I probably wouldn’t have a job. Why the hell can Bargnani get away with being a slacker. If I was on that team, I’d smack him on the back of the head and tell him to grow some balls and do some work on D.

  • Captain Haddock

    Captain Haddock here;

    Bargnani was terrible defensively, but did you seriously watch the game? You’re completely overlooking the fact that their guards were dancing around through our “perimeter defense”, and had all the time in the world to make a decision. There was something HubieBrown once said during a game is to play Kidd tighter even though he was a terible shooter back in the day so he doesn’t see as much of the court and has less of an idea just how much room he has to operate with. It’s a simple tweak, but I remember someone had to be listening becuase in the second half Tinsley (I think it was Tinsley) was a fraction closer and Kidd was able to drive but definitely wasn’t finding his teammates as easily and it forced NJ to play a lot more one on one than they had been and they fell out of sync. Tinsley is not a good defender, but a simple adjustment and the ability to restrict his view compensated for his inability to keep up with with Kidd. They didn’t try to stop the lane penetration, but cut down on his options when he did.

    Our roster is full of sub-par defenders that are overmatched every night. Even if we had a better coaching staff, we’re still going to get crushed more nights than not. Blaming one player or the coach is useless, we need to upgrade our roster significantly, right now the only untouchables on the team should be DeRozan, Ed Davis, and AJ (although I don’t see how we can keep both AJ and Davis)

    • Bendit

      The number of times I saw Calderon hang 5-6 ft. from Parker at the top of the key I also noticed the drool on Tony…a small head fake to the left, a dribble and blow by to the right and off to the rim. Jose just doesnt have the lateral quicks no matter how far he is. Both he and Bargs have a very low foul rate. A good stat but not at the expense of such passivity or just plain physical deficiency.

  • While Triano is not holding his players accountable and not looking for plays outside of Jose/Bargnani pick and roll, you cant entirely blame Triano for the roaster and the injuries that have killed this team. Lets be straight, Triano doesnt have much talent to go with. When we did have Reggie, Bragnani’s incapabilities to rebound and play defense were neturalized but now they are painfully obvious. We have Amir and ReRozan which are good players, not great but good, and thats about it.

    Another issue is the team players dont trust one another like they did at the starting of the year. There is no movement. For instance, in one key play last night in the fourth quarter the raps had the ball after a time-out, (the timeout where Parker’s shot was reviewed and removed from the score) the raps were down by 11 I think. Andrea had the ball about 5 feet away from the basket and decided to jump up and attempt to shoot over Blair and another defender for a shot. But under the basket DeRozan was alone and open waving his hands to recieve the pass. Andrea keeps with his poor shot selection and it clanks off the back rim and the Spurs come back to score making it a 13 point game instead of a 9. Game done

    Not sure if thats triano, the injuries, or the players, or just Bargnani’s inability to do anything but score and shoot for himself. Either way, the model is broken.

    • Randyspierre

      Andrea Bargnani is so bad a defense, he plays offense for the other team

  • Suds

    It really does not matter which coach we have, or which GM, or even if we have Micheal Jordan in his prime on our roster, because the team is run by a corporation. The primary reason for the existence of the team is to generate profits.
    We had Vince Carter, who demanded a trade because he was not impressed by the fact that Raptors did not go after Steve Nash in free agency, and instead decided to use their 6th overall draft pick to choose Rafael Araujo. (I hate Vince Carter btw)
    We had Chris Bosh, who left to Miami, to be a championship winner, because the Orgnaization decided that the core of the team was Chris Bosh, Bargani, and Calderon. (I hate Chris Bosh for bailing, Bargnani for impersonating a turtle on defense, I love Calderon but dont like the fact that he never fights through screens and always goes under)
    There is no mandate to win a championship. Just profits.
    Look at this year, we have trade exception, but since there will be no chance of playoff revenue, salary is being dumped. We gave Peja away, why? Because we thought Ajinca was going to be an integral part of the team? Is that why he is on the bench? By being below the salary cap we reduced cost by $14 mill, and will earn based on the luxury tax rule about $3 mill. Thats like a 17 mill increase in profit.

    • Milesboyer

      It’s not the lack of spending that makes us bad, it can’t be summed up in one sentence, but it’s a series of moves that haven’t worked out. Colangelo is the architect, he came here with a great reputation and it was seen as a coup in getting him. In hindsight, maybe he’s not as great as everyone thought but it’s not through lack of effort on MLSE’s part. When we did spend money – on Turkoglu – who has widely believed to be one of the best free agents on the market that year, it didn’t work out. We are now in the midst of rebuilding. There was nothing out there for Stojakovic except maybe another washed up veteran with a bloated contract. We need patience, youth development and some luck to get out from under this, it’s as simple as that.

  • hopefully blairs knees can hold up…a lot of teams might regret passing up on him

  • Balls of Steel

    AMEN. By the way, it stands for Andrea Molested Every Night.

  • Kallaghan

    Article by A-Dub

    I stop reading.

    • A-Dub

      What ever happened to constructive criticism? I was looking forward to your critique, but I guess you just like to do less of everything. Maybe next time.

  • “Leandro Barbosa was unstoppable off the bounce as he has been all season.”
    7 for 16 isn’t horrible, but certainly not “unstoppable”.

    Spurs sent help since he refuses to pass the ball – even without a clear shot. Missed a lot in close, blocked or turned it over in limited min. The Spurs knew how to deal with him as he wasn’t looking for the open man. Hence, he was -16 and on the court despite playing a lot against the second unit.

    Take your man off the dribble, but kick to open man (when help comes)….

    Ball movement for the Spurs is a thing of beauty. Take notes.

    • giulio

      He is been unstoppable for all season, not only for one game, see more games.

  • Ku

    Note- Triano HAS worked with USA basketball, they don’t just select scrubs, and the players have raved about him.

  • Andrew

    I know I’ll probably get hated on for saying it, but I think we should just say heck with it and give Colangelo and Triano free reign to keep doing what they’re doing until they get it right. I think staying the course and weathering the storm will pan out. Maybe I’m just sick of all the transitions we’ve gone through the past decade. I’d prefer some loyalty and consistency on our team.

    I think Toronto’s biggest problems will always be two-fold: our bi-polar fanbase will consistently lead to knee-jerk reactions regardless of who our GM is, and second the Raptors is owned by a pension fund when it would be best served by a billionaire who can take the bull by the horns.

    • Balls of Steel

      Andrew, I understand what you’re saying but wholeheartedly disagree with what you’re saying. The musical chairs of a roster that we have is done by a GM that likes to gamble (BC would so terribly in Vegas based on his track record). Sometimes he needs to stop his own knee-jerk and step back and really evaluate his moves. Ajinca was the latest trade that made me scratch my head. As for Triano, he is Andrea’s babysitter and it’s embarrassing.

      As for the bi-polar fan base, dude, we’re Clippers North. Who’s not going to get frustrated with that? As for ownership and the kind of dough dished out to Hedo, Calderon and Bargs, there’s no shortage of where that came from. Profits for MLSE have gone up despite the losing franchises (especially since BC took over for BBall). What needs to happen is for people to realize that they should no longer have free reign. They got 5 years (BC and Jay) to make this happen. BC F’ed up the number 1 selection back in ’06 and since then, the rest was history.

  • Borntobewild

    What happened to the roll call? Havent seen it these past few games

    • RapsM

      It’s probably getting harder and harder to come up with newer insults to throw at this team.

  • Paps

    Get a couple more guys like Ed Davis and we’ll never have to bitch about defense again.

  • Red Baron

    Rant time…Bryan Colangelo is 110% responsible for this squad. 5 years go every single news article written talked about how he had the “perfect situation” to come into as Raps GM….cap flexibility, expiring contracts, first overall pick, etc..Calderon is the ONLY player (I think) that is left on the roster that is not a BC draft selection/trade/free agent signing. He drafted Bargs, which I’m actually ok with, but then continued to play him at Center. He…is….not….a….Center!!! (or at least not a starting calibre one). Why select a perimeter oriented big who can score the hell out of the ball, but can’t defend or rebound a lick, and then expect him to be some paint clogging, rebounding, shot blocking, weak side helping, defensive presence. It’s like drafting Dwight Howard and asking him to stand out behind the 3 point line and fire away, it’s not using his skill set correctly. 5 years ago we were a bad defensive team that lacked a stud small forward and a bruising center, and 5 years later after all the trades…..we are a bad defensive team that lacks a stud 3 and bruising Center…arrrgghhh.

    • Jonathan

      Very good analysis, I completely agree with what you said. The issues are obvious, they address the issues publically, Triano announcing his team is going to be defensive oriented, season starts, and then its one big joke with the same ol’ problems.
      It makes you so angry a fan. And makes you question what is going on here?

  • BC&JayHave2Go!!

    BC’s Raptor vision in Year 5 is exactly what? And some people want to give him & Jay more free reign? To do exactly what? Mess the franchise up even moreso? This Canadian head coach story line is insulting to true basketball fans as is BC ‘s Euro based basketball philosophy. Are the Rap’s just a test team for the future European Division? Is all the Bosh bashing by BC & Jay coming back to haunt them- karma? We are back in Bacock territory. BC it was nice to know you but you gotta go, you don’t have to go home but you gotta leave the Rap’s- & please take Jay aka Company Man with you.

    • AO

      1)Don’t compare Colangelo to Babcock, ever. 2) Read this article on Triano http://goo.gl/P2yWA, and 3) Lighten up, give it a year, for the first time in a long time we actually have some pieces in place, not just 1 piece.

      • BC&JayHave2Go!

        That article is a str8 up fluff piece probably order by BC to pacify the natives.lol

        How much of a chance did Sam get while being fired at 8-9 while Jay finished up at 25-40? The Canadian head coach storyline is a sellout.

        How legit of a group did Sam get to work with?

        Jay has been a head coach for almost 3 years in Toronto- he had a playoff caliber roster last season and fucked it up with no player accountability thus the high roster turnover in 2010-11.lol Jay preached defense last season during training camp and this season as well-fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Jay is a company man(as per Jack Armstrong) meaning he’s under no pressure to win games or hold any players accountable. He’s just a fugure head of BC’s Raptor vision.

        BC is Babcock- take a look around Toronto’s roster and overall record. Another high draft pick in a weak draft ala 2006? Looks like TO has turned into the TWolves of the East- praying for ping pong balls.

        I have gave it ever since Jay took over for Sam. Throw enough shit against a wall and some of it will stick. Rap’s Franchise player is Bargnani aka BCs Golden Child- nuff said.

        Time 4 some new minds, ideas & structure in the TDot not more media spins on players, coaches & related Raptor particulars. Bosh TPE- do you know me?

  • pran

    guys i’ve had a change of heart, i’ve always been behind the stance that colangelo has no idea what he is doing, but lets look at what he’s really done:

    1)made a bunch of ticky-tack small ball moves (including drafting) that have got us: bayless, derozan, kleiza, amir, sonny, alabi, wright, ajinca

    2)I think davis is the only one of this group that is above role player, but he was the best talent availible and its more the other teams fault not drafting him than colangelo taking him.

    the facts: NONE of these players will ever be stars, they are all role players (except davis) but still nba caliber players. I’ve always hated the fact that they’ve been marketed as the backbone of this team, but that is my own gullibility and i have no one to blame but myself for having hope.

    His Mistakes:

    Swinging for homeruns:

    1)Hedo Turkoglu *I hope he`s learned his lesson about which players need BALL to be effective

    2)Jermaine Oneal *I like this one, too bad it didn`t work out.

    3)Marion *meh, dont really like this one

    4)Drafting Bargs *IMO one of the biggest fails in franchise history

    if any of those players could do what they could have done on paper we would have a decent team, not contenders by any chance but maybe 3rd or 4th every year.

    verdict: This draft and free agent signings will make or break whether we should give colangelo a contract extension, because it will definitely be one of the swings that could leaves us with an all-star(s) and contending team or have us striking out big time. One of my favorite put together teams of all time, the boston celtics had pierce,rondo,and perkins before swinging for the fences and signing KG and Ray Allen, what was their record again the year before…right.

    *This all depends if colangelo has learned from his mistakes, because boy he sure has made many…..

    • JoJo

      Dumbest comment ever. DeRozan is not a role player, he’s averaging 16 in only his second year, wth are you talking about, get a clue dummy.

      • pran

        derozan is not a fucking star, his ceiling is probably iguodala at best, im not saying trade him but he will probably ever only be 2nd or 3rd or 4th…. option on a good team….ya dick.

        • pran

          and that’s if he figures it out on defense (which i assume he probably will)

          • JoJo

            See how no one likes your comments or even give a shit about what you say? And then you seem to step back from what you said earlier by saying he will “probably” ever only be a 3rd option etc. You obviously have no confidence in what you say, I can detect your lack of certainty.

            BTW, Iguodala averaged 12.3 ppg in his second year. Dumb comparison, dumb comment. Who lets these kids on the internet, smh…

  • Sek99

    First of all, totally agree with the article, been saying the same crap myself all the time.

    The lose came from two things. Defense, and Barbosa. I think both can be attributed to the coach to some degree. Barbosa, as good as he may be, is not Kobe. He’s not going to be able to go one on one in the fourth and dominate (at least not often). We need to move the ball in the fourth, but its clear that Triano has designated him closer despite the game DD or Bargnani may be having. Shot selection is killing our team in that, DD has been fucking Rip Hamilton with the jumpshot recently, but we never give him the ball for any period of time. We did a better job today, but still the guys on a tear right now, feed him the ball all the time.

    Now for defense. Our entire team defense is out of whack. Our guys try and force the guys to go in a direction, instead of playing them straight up and trying to stop the initial drive, which almost always resulted in a wide open three or easy layups. Bargs doesn’t scare anyone Triano, why would you make our defense reliant on help from the bigs when that’s probably our worst area? Calderon also gets smoked easily, and having him and Bargs on a line together is disaster. How many years are we going to do the same experiment until we get things right? These guys are not the future. Everyone knows this. Why doesn’t BC get it? Listen Leather Face, you fucked up with Bargnani, but no one really blames you because that draft didn’t have any higher projected prospects at the time. Live and learn. You did well with DD and Davis. So get your shit together and fix the team, instead of beating the dead horse, or the italian who plays D like a dead horse.

    Finally about coaching, don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. It plays a huge part in a team. Doug Collins took the 76ers, with Brand and Hawes (not exactly Timmy D and Robinson) and is winning games. A lot of them. They really don’t have that much better of roster in my opinion. They play defense. There are so many examples of teams overachieving and becoming better than they should be through defense (Bobcats last year, Bucks last year, Philly). Wake up.

    • giulio

      amigo, you should see the games the raptors won this season, and witch horse was winning those games for the, included the one with the 76ers at the beginning of the year, only raptor fans say thet andrea is not a star or that he is the reason for all this, the commentators, the coaches, the players, they all say is that is the only one who is playing….then barbosa….he is not kobe and…he takes 13 of the money, bargnani is not howard and….he takes half of his money, good things with dd and davis, is true, but tell just one time that demar wasn’t destroyed in the last minutes of the game by opposite guards, just one decisive play, he is not the hair of the dick of a manu ginobili tipe of player, hyperspeed spins or great dunks make him a spectacular player, but never, i mean never, a decisive play.

  • kaine

    I fucking hope that we grab jerry sloan. for a change, a real coach!

    • Sam

      Unfortunately, I doubt Jerry got a call from BC and then marched into Utah’s head office and announced he’s resigning. Great coach but I’m guessing he’s done coaching, and if he isn’t I don’t see Toronto being on his short-list. The guy collects farm tractors. Does that seem like a guy yearning to live in Toronto for 8 months a year?

      Oh, and yeah, fire BC. Why have faith he’s learned enough to draft well and construct a team when most evidence points in the other direction? Hiring a total unknown probably can’t end up worse than what BC’s done these past 5 years and might end up better.

      Back to watching the Bulls, my new mistress-team

  • Richardtaylor70

    Did you just call Amir Johnson the best player on the team? Maybe the Brazilian sun is getting to me, maybe it’s the brazilian women? But that’s just crazy!!!!!
    I know you’re frustrated but come back to earth for moment.

    • Jonathan

      With the current conditions of the team… Amir Johnson is the current best player on the team…

      He is most consistant, most aggressive, most confident, best defense, and works hard for rebounds.

      He is the best all-around, most consistent player on the team.

      • EdDames

        I think Jon’s right in that it illustrates the state of this team right now as much if not more than Amir’s recent play.

        • Jonathan

          In addition, check out the picture that was tweeted by Reggie…
          Amir has a ankle boot around his foot/ankle which makes it look like the ankle injury in the game where he left the first quarter look very serious but they guy is so tough and is so use to fighting and playing through pain that he came back and played through the injury and put up respectable numbers against the spurs.
          Enough said..
          You can’t deny this guy is getting better every month…

          • EdDames

            Oh, I’ve had irrational man-love for Amir Johnson for almost 5 years, I don’t need any convincing. In terms of decisiveness mentioned below, I guess I’m not really clear on what that means. In terms of decision-making, he’s light-years ahead of where he was with the Pistons, so I guess that is improving and presumably will continue to improve. But he has to keep doing it, there’s no doubt about that. That’s why I’m more interested in his play than ever, because it finally seems like he’s “getting it.”

      • giulio

        he is a willing player, but was never decisive and he will never be, he is a very good team player, i can agree only that he works hard.

  • Statement

    Where are John P, Cesco, Pizzaman?

    • Nilanka15

      It would take considerable restraint for them to read the Bargnani comments and remain quiet, so I’m assuming they just don’t visit this site anymore.

      • Jonathan

        too true, they are too embarrased and so they should be.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        oh … they do.
        Essentially, it becomes … why bother? Analysis is so heavy on one player – and not enough about what next year should bring. Like the draft, use of the TPE, upcoming free agents, and potential trades (for guys like Barbosa). Part of the problem with certain Raptor fans, is that these latter issues don’t generate traffic, like the Italian does. In essence, they’ve become “corporate dogs”.
        From my perspective, there is nil to almost nil, in-depth perspectives on the REST of this team. Like, can Davis & Amir co-exist – even if Andrea was gone, and a true Center came on board. Or whether Wright – and I’m trying to understand this better – will most likely not be here next season. A CBA situation that has no upside, due to factors I’m very green on (his cap-hold for example). Or whether Weems will be here. Or Jose for that matter. Lot of questions, but unfortunately, the answers are obscured by an extreme dislike for a player expected to be all, when it’s not possible – the top scorer, the top defender. And please, don’t say we’d just like him to be at least an average defender. On this team, that won’t do. A real C (with balls) would probably tear a strip off this team every single night.

        • Nilanka15

          All those issues will probably get their due attention towards the end of the season. But from a game-to-game basis, it’s this team’s biggest flaw (i.e. Bargnani) that continues to stand out, and continues to frustrate the masses. It is what it is…

        • EdDames

          I agree with this to a point. An average defender won’t do to keep this team from getting shredded. That’s because the team defense is pretty damn awful. I don’t know if it’s scheme, poor communication, lack of effort or talent deficiencies. It’s probably a combination of all of those factors. At the same time “real Cs with balls” tear the strips off of a lot of teams every single night. There’s not a lot of those guys to go around either.

          Also, if Bargnani was an average defender he might still be scapegoated, especially if he is sucking it up offensively. But I tend to think fans are a little more rational than they’re made out to be. If Bargnani were an average defender, then you could better separate rational criticism from some of the nonsense. As it is, Bargnani is noticeably bad and so with each mistake draws more and more attention to the problem. Factor in that the Raptors are in the dog days of a season going nowhere and that’s how we got here.

          The last section of your post is all right on the money. From what I’ve seen, there is a huge issue with Sonny Weems. I realize he was injured, but there are nights where he is just nonexistent in any phase of the game. Julian Wright is a total mystery as you mentioned. Calderon is schizophrenic. Boy do I wish I could see Ed Davis play more.

          I think the Raps pushed Andrea as the face of the franchise, and with that comes the barrage of criticism that accompanies a bad season.

      • maputo88

        I cant watch anymore, Bargnani’s defence is too bad to take. Please can we trade him for a talented wing. Can we give him away for Andrei Kirilenko and a bruiser centre from Utah>