Bulls 103, Raptors 108 – Box

Are the Raptors a bad team because they have young players that have a lot of unrealized potential, or are those young players just bad players that will always be bad? That’s the question I’ve struggled with for much of this year. The realist in me is let down by the fact that this team has one of the worst records in the league, has shown very bad defensive tendencies and not enough consistency offensively. The optimist in me, he’s kind of like the guy you see in those Viagra commercials, that guy points to tonight’s game. Sure, they have come few and far in-between, but nevertheless impressive. Was it just a coincidence that one of the most impressive efforts of the year came with the addition of an amped-up James Johnson to the team, in the starting lineup no less? Not really, the dude came to play, and the team just fed off his energy, even the Tinman was stirred out of his stupor on this night. You know that’s some high octane mojo when you’re getting results like that.

To say that the medium-sized Johnson, no pun intended, had a chip on his shoulder would be an understatement. He possesses a combination of size and athleticism at the three that we that we haven’t seen since, well Jamario Moon but I really wanted to say a young TMac, and if he can play motivated like that the rest of the way, we’re going to win a few more meaningless games before this season’s over. He’s a much better complement to the current lineup than Sonny Weems is. I liked him in the draft, especially his steal/rebound numbers. He really looks like someone who can mask some of the void that Andrea Bargnani creates defensively. It’s really hard to turn off super-optimistic ADub once the bugger gets going, I’m tellin’ ya. TMac? C’mon now.

The Raptors never let the game get out of reach. They survived a horrid stretch of irresponsible basketball by Jerryd Bayless to stay within 10 points, but some sloppy play by a clearly complacent Bulls team, accentuated by a James Johnson alley-oop brought the Raptors back to a 43-43 tie. The Raptors shot very well pretty much all game, much better than the Bulls, but Noah and Taj Gibson’s offensive glasswork undid pretty much all of that. But the energy Johnson brought was infectious, and he was seen talking some smack after blocking a Carlos Boozer attempt.

DeMar DeRozan started picking up his play in the second, and it’s quite obvious that his shot is different. It’s softer with a quieter release, for lack of a better term. You can tell just by the way the ball goes in, with a little more loft and spin . His aggressiveness was back, which seemed to be declining as his jumper was getting better. He needs balance, between the shot and the drive, and this is what willl make him a more consistent offensive threat. Especially with Kyle Korver on you, drive on that sumbitch every time. Sonny Weems had a decent game, and seemed a lot more focussed than usual. You have to think that James Johnson coming in, without a practice, getting the starting spot over him had to sting a little bit. This can only be a good thing, if Sonny views him as a legitimate threat to steal his minutes and his value to the team.

The third quarter was really where the game was won. It gave the underdog belief that they were better on this night, and the team rode that confidence right till the end. Boozer couldn’t shoot over Bargnani and wasn’t able to get around him on a few possessions. Amir Johnson gave him fits as well. Derrick Rose, who seemed like he was deferring to his teammates, was quiet. Let’s please give Jose Calderon some credit for not giving him space to shoot until that point. Rose did eventually go off in the fourth, but he got hot against Bayless to start the quarter.

Clutch plays defined the end of the game for the Raps. An assist by Bargnani to the post while he was falling down to make it 91 – 84. A Jose to Amir alley-oop to make it a 98 – 91 ballgame. Even when Derrick Rose activated MVP-mode to tie the game at 107-107, the Raptors, led by the steady hand of Calderon, calmly made play after play. Two excellent play out of timeouts to DeRozan worked perfectly, and are noteworthy. Is he becoming the go-to guy for the Raps? If he is, he’s passed one of the tests last night.

The biggest plays right at the end of the game belong to, who else, Amir Johnson. He had every reason to take it easy after what many were calling a generous contract. Instead he shows us a pretty up-and-under on Carlos Boozer to make 115 – 111 and 16 seconds left and then make a monster weak-side block on Rose with 10 seconds left in the game. Overpaid? Please.

On this feel-good night, you have to give credit to each member of what I call the Unholy Alliance (Triumvirate?) of Bryan Colangelo, Jay Triano, and Bargnani. Colangelo pulls of a pretty decent trade, giving up an unknown in a late pick of a weak looking draft for a player who he liked that was buried behind the more established players on a deep Bulls team. He has nailed the 2009 draft thus far with the DeRozan selection and now Johnson. Triano for some great out-of-timeout plays at the end of the game hooking up Demar DeRozan and not forcing touches for Bargnani. But credit goes to Bargnani as well. If Bargnani could build off a game like this, the majority of his detractors would be fighting to jump on Il Bandwagon. He still had a few lapses defensively, but played inspired basketball for some important stretches. His offence was aggressive and intelligent. He drove when guarded by bigs and drew fouls by pump-faking on smaller defenders.

I’ve noticed that he plays well on opening nights, this game was not that, but it did have the energy of the first game back after almost a week off due to All-Star weekend. Will he build on this performance? I doubt it, because of 5 years of experience tells me that. If Colangelo stays on as GM, which would be a mistake as long as he still undervalues defense, then we will have to accept the possibility that Bargnani will be here for a long, long time. Call me crazy, but if you stick him at the 3, his lack of defensive awareness and rebounding would be minimized. I mean if BC really wants to make it work with this guy for whatever reason, try him there. He’s shown that he can score on smaller defenders and he’s pretty much drifting out to guard a perimeter guy on most defensive possessions, and doesn’t get burned that badly out there from what I can see. Andrea at the 3 makes more sense than him at the 5 or even the 4, which is not saying much. Probably won’t ever happen due to the sheer esthetics of it, and because of the ugly precedent that was set in his sophomore season. I’d argue that he’d do better this time around.

The reality is that James Johnson will get every chance to prove he’s a decent three in this league, which after tonight, does provide room for optimism in a season that has been largely devoid of it.

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  • AlbertoDelRio

    If we draft Perry Jones then who is the back up SF. Sonny? Johnson III ? Julian? We have a lot of question marks that BC isn’t answering. What about Sullinger? We’d have 3-4 invested PF and one bad rebounding Center. Or Worse Ferdette being taught by Jose.

    • WJF

      Perry Jones is a 4, especially in his first few years. The guy is real mobile, but he is like Andre Blatche.

  • Ruuuuuuuuuuu

    I think this article is too high on James Johnson. Hey, if he becomes Danny Granger, I’ll be the first guy to eat my words. But lets keep some perspective here.

    He played well. It was his first game on a new team, plus playing his old team, I guess he was amped up.

    Guys like Bayless, Julian Wright, Sonny Weems have also had really strong games before that had people asking “wow, maybe this guy is a diamond in the rough”

    • Jose

      The frustrating thing with the Raptors players is that they only give their best (with few exceptions) when they play against their former teams. Bayless and Kleiza are the most recent examples. That’s why we need to be cautious about evaluating new players so quickly.

      I have seen this so many times, and that’s really sad as it shows that they can play much better as individuals and ultimately as a team.

  • Eatadic

    this article is downright embarassing. one game in and suckin on j.j’s dick? like dorsey,julian baylees before him. sad fucking commentary about raps republic and fan blogs like such. this bullshit about bargs triano and colangelo has steamrolled thanks to a dedicated section of brainless raptor fans who cant think for themselves and buy into brainwashing and retarded sentiment that runs rampant around here. thank god the majority of us arent dumb followers.

    • Ihatehaters

      You got issues, buddy.

    • Hassout

      I would beg to differ that your response is a “sad commentary”.

    • KJ-B


    • Statement

      I can’t stand that “baylees” fellow.

    • Ep

      Stay mad.

  • Eatadic

    so much sad fucking hate for bargs around these parts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7D_45_Qp2M&feature=player_embedded so much so that this dunk on jesus clone noah happens and its a yawn. demar or amir pull this and you lil bitches are all busting loads all up in this motherfucker.

    • WJF

      Huge dunk on what everyone would call an above average defender.

      • Mediumcore

        The dunk was nice, but what impressed me was how he took a great defender like Noah off the dribble. Granted it was the guys first game back after missing the last 30, but still.

    • Nilanka15

      Let’s put Bargs in the dunk contest next year!!!

    • Statement

      Yay Pointzz!!!!1

      Julian Baylees would be proud!

      • Judgejoebrown

        bargs is easily the best man on man defender we have. the rest of our team cant keep their man in front of them and when they get blown by and get into the paint punks in here jump up with their emo bitch fingers pointing n blamin bargs for not being the birdman. its funny.

        • Statement

          I disagree,

          I think that Amir is that defender. I recall Bargs being pretty good last year according to Synergy sports data, but my subjective observation (which admittedly isn’t worth much) tells me that Bargs has regressed in that area while Amir has improved. That’s why I think Triano sticks Amir on the other teams best big-man.

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

          “bargs is easily the best man on man defender we have.”

          Are you kidding me? Bargnani’s man-to-man defense is VASTLY overrated by a lot of people. He’s a decent man to man defender under VERY particular circumstances, but for the most part he’s below average. You can’t pick and choose games to try and prove he’s a good man-to-man defender. You have to look at all the games, and for the most part, Bargnani has consistently let his opponent score and rebound above their seasonal averages. When he does fine is when he plays against a slower big man who will use a lot of fakes and plays with his back to the basket. Bargnani doesn’t react well, so trying to fake him out in the post actually doesn’t work well.

          As I said, he does fine under very particular circumstances, but please don’t say he’s the Raptor’s best man-to-man defender.

          • C.d.G.

            Oh oh,
            Tim W. is out of his cave again!
            And guess? He goes like an obsessed over Bargnani!!!
            Let’s call Dr. House’s medical staff: another sick attack!

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

      Is Eatadic a kind of coffee, because you’ve got a lot of bitterness in you?

    • voy

      While I can appreciate the sentiment, there is no reason to follow suit and play along with the andrea vs amir/derozan sheep mentality.

      Just because you like one doesn’t mean you have to dislike the other. Just because one of your non-favs has a good game doesn’t mean you need to get overly defensive and microcritique the other’s performance (ie “yeah, andrea dropped 35 points, but it took him 20 shots, he only grabbed 4 rebs and he didn’t put any ketchup on my hotdog”, or “yeah, amir, hit the game winning jumper on a sweet up n’ under move but he picked up 2 fouls early in the game…”

      To me, all this sounds like high-school thinking and doesn’t serve any purpose other than internet fights, which lets face it, makes us all look like retards.

      Best Rap dunk by far this season, in my opinion:

      • Ep

        Hell no, this is the best dunk by a Raptor this season HANDS DOWN:


        • voy

          please, there wasn’t even any contact on that dunk. it was nice and it looked good but I think Bargs’ was waaaay better as it was on two guys and it was way more physical. my 2 cents.

          • RapthoseLeafs

            I agree … they don’t compare. Fact is, that wasn’t even close to being one of Demar’s better dunks. 2 of his 3 or so dunks last night were even better.

          • Ep

            It was # 10 on ESPNs top 10 plays of the first half of NBA season (google it). And it’s funny how you talk about no contact when Thomas was called for a foul, that was an and-1, and Tyrus Thomas has among the highest verticle jumps in the league, he is KNOWN for some emphatic blocks. Brooke Lopez? The guy jumped like 2 inches off the ground on that play. Come on now.. the DeRozan dunk even appears in google suggest, the video views even speak for themselves.

  • Mediumcore

    The two man game Bargnani and Derozan played at the start of the 3rd quarter almost makes me think this duo has a chance of working.

    The one thing that really bugs me though is that on a night when it seems like every player on the team seems to be hustling on defence why do we still end up giving up so many points. There just seems to be something terribly wrong with the way we play D.

    • Nilanka15

      The duo has a chance of working OFFENSIVELY…but that’s where the thought ends.

      • Mediumcore

        No argument there but….and I’m not saying that James Johnson is a defensive specialist, but if you put around enough defensive minded players aroung Bargnani ala the Dallas Mav’s with Dirk, could it work? Now I’m no Bargnani fan boy (hate that phrase), but trying to be objective here and have to admit Andrea has looked damn good on the offensive end, like Nowitzki good.

        • Statement

          Come on man,

          I think Bargs had a pretty good game last night, but Nowitzki good…not even close.

          Nowitzki eFG% = .561
          Nowitzki usage% = 27.8
          Nowitzki defensive rebound rate = 19.8%
          Nowitzki Win Share / 48 = .211

          Bargnani eFG% = .482
          Bargnani usage% = 28.6
          Bargnani defensive rebound rate = 14.8%
          Bargnani Win Share / 48 = 0.052

          Nowitzki is so vastly superior to Bargnani, even at his advanced age that any sort of comparison is just not valid (outside of skin tone and height)

          Imagine if Bargs brought close to what Nowitzki brings….we’d be on to something.

          • Mediumcore

            Alright, alright I stand corrected, but he’s been great on the offensive end and at times looked unstopable. As long as Andrea is the center peice of this team you’re going to have to build around him and try and mask his weaknesses like Dallas does with Dirk.

  • Chris

    JJ was arguably the reason why the Raps won. I dont think they win if he doesnt start and play like he did. It may have only been one game, but he upgraded our team defence bigtime last night…which doesnt say much. However, JJ is deserving of the credit as the chip on his shoulder was transferred to every player on the Raps team. Good on him for game one. I doubt his impact is the same for the games to come….but I cant wait to see what he becomes as he gets more minutes under his belt.

    • KJ-B

      Truth–the game changed tonight. James Johnson showed the Raptors organization how to make an impact off the ball and without taking a lot of shots… He’s like Julian Wright with a better body, athleticism, skills etc…. In fact, #7 couldn’t have done what he did tonight without a James Johnson standing tall behind him–his presence gave confidence to the entire roster… With unselfish and untalented players like him and Ed, the raps look to be well-armed for rugged NBA fare for several years pending expected development…

      The best part of the JJ trade, was his cold-hearted insertion of #0 into the starting lineup–it’s about time some1 in this organization finds their onions! Let’s just hope they won’t forget that today at the trade deadline or on draft day for #7/Calderon (See: Sell High)…

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

        Triano often starts players against their old team. He did the same with Wright against New Orleans.

        • KJ-B

          Weems wasn’t available though…

  • Daniel

    What a study in contrasts at PG position! One PG had only 5 shots and no FT’s however he ran the team to perfection, making everybody else better in the process. The other one had 22 shots and 16 FT’s however he was the prototypical “one-man show”. Individually they cancelled each other out however the team that won got its confidence from its PG. I dare to say that these two different styles have a role in playing defence: the team with the players involved in every possession played hard defence to the best of its abilities whereas the team whose players don’t see the ball for minutes played bad defence. Of course it is not afinal indictement on one style or another however for those who prefer pass-first PG’s last night was a nice confirmation. Just a curiosity fact: next 2 games will showcase the 3 best pass-first PG’s in NBA. It is a dying breed in NBA with all this “new age” era PG’s and it should be a show.

    • Jackie Moon

      Nice observation. I always played a little harder when I knew I had a chance to touch the ball on offense. Thats not saying if Chicago offered Rose for Jose I wouldn’t do it in a second….

      • Daniel

        Rose is a glorified Iverson. We would be worse with Rose and the current roster: take a look at the Usage rate for Rose and our players and you’ll understand they just wouldn’t mesh well. I have no personal appreciation for players like Rose who play only for themselves.

        • slaw

          You have no appreciation for a guy who has improved every year a a pro, is averaging 25/8/4, and who is leading his team to a 38-17 record? The reason his usage rate is so high is cause, um, he is their best player. Odd how that works, eh? By the way, he averages one less assist than Calderon and his AST% is fairly close.

          You should really try and watch some ball other than Raptors games. It warps one’s perspective.

          • slaw

            One other point: Rose’s Bulls are one of the best defensive teams in the league. Calderon’s Raptors are one of the worst. How can that possibly be given that the Bulls won’t play hard on defense cause Rose won’t pass them the ball?

            • Jonathan

              hahaha well said slaw, you just ripped daniel apart.

              Although I have no idea how you could ever rip apart rose like that and not look like an absolute retard… So I guess he brought it upon himself with that comment

            • Statement

              Rose is a good player but he is not an MVP candidate, he isn’t even the best point guard in the league right now. Rose should NOT win an MVP before Chris Paul does. That would be messed up.

              • Statement

                I hate the fact that the media just randomly hypes player to be an MVP without doing good research. They just choose a player to “push” and then “push” him, much like the WWE.

                Yes Rose is a good player, but an MVP – he is not. Seriously, Chris Paul is a better overall point guard than this guy on both the offensive and defensive end.

                Just tired of all the Rose for MVP crap that I hear from that dork Devlin.

                Okay that’s the end of my rant.

                • Nilanka15

                  I think all the Rose MVP noise stems from the massive turnaround the Bulls have seen this year compared to last. Mind you, it completely ignores Boozer and Thibideau’s impact, and solely looks at Rose’s career year so far. Not saying it’s right, just saying it is what it is.

                  But if you’re talking about pure PG play, you’re right. Paul, Williams, Nash (maybe even Rondo) deserve to be higher on the list.

                • Statement

                  I agree with that.

                  Oh well, I guess I have to start ignoring the basketball awards, just like I do with the baseball ones.

                  In fairness though, the baseball ones are getting a little better in awarding MVP’s and such to players that deserve it.

                  I have no such hope for the NBA

                • KJ-B

                  Pure PG, been in playoffs every year in the L–1st playoff game a resounding line: 36 points (most ever by a rook), 11 dimes, 4 boards… I’ll take a guy not afraid to tell the entire Toronto Raptors organization that “I guarantee that we’ll make the playoffs”–we all know how that one turned out… Onions baby onions!!!

                • Nilanka15

                  I’ll take a healthy Chris Paul over ANY PG in the league, hands down. But the keyword is “healthy”.

                  That’s why the thought of landing Kyrie Irving, who has frequently been compared to Paul (warranted or not), has me overly hopeful leading up to the draft. Last night’s win did nothing but make my dream less likely. Alas…

                • hound

                  The more i think about it, the more i don’t want Irving. It would take him at least 3 years to learn how to run an nba offence which means he would be a back up to Jose for at least 1 year and then we would have to trade Jose. Bayless isn’t a great backup, but is okay until we can upgrade. What we really need is a true center (maybe not one in this draft that i would want) or a pf who can score. That is why i am leaning more and more to Sullinger. He is a beast rebounder and has the body right now for the NBA.

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

          I’m not a fan of shoot first PGs, but if you think the Raptors would be worse with Rose, you need a reality check. The guy is an MVP calibre player and has lead his team to the 6th best record in the league.

          • Statement


            I normally agree with you on a lot of your points, but Rose is NOT an MVP calibre player. Only if you stretch the word calibre to be like top 30 or something.

        • Nilanka15

          I’m pretty sure 99.99999% of the population would trade Calderon for Rose. Rose is one of the league leaders in assists, he’s no Iverson.

      • KJ-B

        Hey, is Raymond Felton available???

    • Even-Keel

      Chicago fan here (although I live in Detroit). Daniel, if that is your perception of Rose, then you may be watching too many Raptors games and not enough of the rest of the league. DRose is NOTHING like Iverson. He couldn’t be more different. PRACTICE??!!! …its all he does. Defer to his team-mates? …it who he really wants to be. High-scorer? …If he must to win. Didn’t you see how he scored so many points in the 4th? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that he is not capable of doing that in the preceeding quarters, but it is my opinion that he would rather get his teammates involved. Don’t get me wrong: I like Calderon (I really would like to see him punch Garnett in the face!!!), and I would think that many Chicago fans are happy that JJ might get a chance to play. But right now, there is very little to criticize about Derrick Rose’s game.

      • KJ-B

        The Mis-Education of some fans in the TDOt sample does NOT apply to the rest… DRose is the MVP hands down right now not because he shoots 12-35 a la AI… “But right now, there is very little to criticize about Derrick Rose’s game.” So true…

        Game recognizes Game–it’s obvious some folk can’t recognize because they got none…

        • Statement

          Rose is a good player, but again he is NOT an MVP – he isn’t even the best POINT GUARD in the league right now.

          Geez, why does everybody get caught up in the hype?

          • mountio

            Who are the MVP candidates if Rose isnt? I would put LBJ ahead of him (although the voters wont out of spite), but hes gotta be #2 or #3. If not, who else? Dirk? Good year, but injures hurt. Boston players? Nope. SA players? Nope. Kobe? Maybe, but again, hes lost a step and Lakers have been struggling considering their overall talent.
            You mention Paul, Willams and Nash? You have to be kidding. Suns struggling to stay at 500, Williams traded after team goes something like 4-13 in the last 17 and Paul is playing on one leg (which is impressive, but hes not what he was a couple years ago).
            Rose is taking the leap big time. You can say he went into ball hog mode in the 4th last night, BUT it almost worked (when the rest of the team couldnt do anything). Hes lightning quick, gets to the hole and the line and has developed a soild jumper too. Top ten in the league in assists also.

            • Statement

              “Paul is playing on one leg”

              Well given that he is posting better stats than Rose, I’d say that’s doubly impressive and bolsters his MVP case.

              Top ten in the league in assists? That is probably per game, which isn’t the best way to quantify assist efficiency because it doesn’t account for the pace of the game and minutes played.

              For example, playing 40 min in an uptempo system will yield more assists/game than playing 30 min in a slow system, all else equal.

              This is really basic stuff.

    • WhatWhat


  • c_bcm

    It’s fun watching the euphoria on this website after a game like this. The sad reality is that this team still sucks and has serious flaws that must be addressed this summer if they are going to be competitive next season. Another season like this and the players and fans will check-out and kill this franchise.

    But it’s fun to have an oasis game like this. A respite from the shit-show.

  • Peacedawg

    It felt like Bulls had Miami on their minds, thinking they would just walk in and squash the Raps. The team played the hustle game that I was so proud of watching during the first 20 or so games – and if I keep getting that, win or lose, I am a happy camper. Funny that Rose gets in Bayless mode in Q4 and forgets all about the other players.

  • C.d.G.

    Much more funny, tough,
    in the comments section of The Chicago Tribune, readers saying something like: “We need another scorer! D.Rose just can’t do it all by himself!”
    And they got that Joachim Noah (you guys love so much) grabbing 16 boards (but just 6 points).
    Seems like people are never satisfied: you’d love more rebounds in To, they’d love more points in ChiTown! Who knows: maybe, they’d like to make a trade.

  • guest

    same haters as by realgm. lol

  • golden

    Nice line…

    “Unholy Alliance (Triumvirate?) of Bryan Colangelo, Jay Triano, and Bargnani”

    Unholy Trinity works as well.

    Add Maurizio G, and you’ve got the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.

    Add PJ Carlesimo and you’ve got the Italian Parliament.

    • Tommaso Nencioni

      i’m italian, and unfortunately there are much more than five morons in the Italian parliament…

      • Jose

        He-he that’s a good one Tommaso. It applies to many parliaments — not only Italian :)

        • Tommaso Nencioni

          Ohhh, i’m pretty sure about that… but, you know, we got 945 members of the parlament’s two chambers… a lot of bullshit to heard!!!

  • Bo4

    Now that we’re back to 15 real NBA players on the roster, here’s my plan, if I were BC …
    1) Trade away AB & LB and a future draft pick today to get an extra high 1st-rounder this year.
    2) Trade the TPE to get Gerald Wallace today.
    3) Draft both Perry Jones & Kyrie Irving. Sign one right away …
    4) Let two of RE or AA or SW walk away as a FA, then sign the other draft pick, and sign Marc Gasol as a RFA.
    Result for training camp:
    JD LK JW
    SA __?

    • hound

      Are you insane? Have you actually watched Perry Jones? He looks lost half the time adjusting to Division 1. Sure, he is a freak athlete, but he gets abused off the dribble and really hasn’t caught onto Scott Drew’s 2 -3 zone which JT likes to play as well. He also plays for a team that might not even make the tournament, can’t beat Kansas or Texas or Washington fucking State and you want to give away an above average center, a pick and a tradeable veteran for this guy? Sacramento would throw in free blowjobs for life to BC if he was stupid enough to make this trade. Not to mention how stupid do you think MJ is to trade Wallace for the TPE.

      • Bo4

        Perry Jones has three 10/10 scores on nbadraft.net while the other six players in the top 7 do not even have one between them.

        Yes, I want to give away both AB & LB, to make room for the players that I really want instead.

        If the Kings want to give me a BJ as well …

        MJ is talking publicly about trading Stephen Jackson … I think that GW isn’t far behind …

        • hound

          yes, he is an athletice freak. his 10’s are size, athleticism and potential. When building an NBA team you need accomplishments as well as potential. You will also notice his lowest scores are defense, nba readyness, leadership and intangibles. This is the exact kind of player I don’t want. I have watched him play at least 8 games and he lacks desire. I truly doubt you would like him if he was in a raptor uniform. Besides, who would he play for? He is very similar to Ed Davis.

          As for Gerald Wallace, MJ likes him far more than Jackson. I do agree that they would like to shed one of those contracts though.

          • paul

            if his knees check out i would love to draft enes kanter, the kid seems like the real deal and big men like that don’t come along often, but i want kyrie as well! Defensively it would address our weakest positions while upgrading on offence. Maybe colangelo can make something happen out of nothing. (trade bargs +jose+whatever for draft pick, or maybe even derozan it would be worth it)

            • hound

              Kanter is a risk, but may be worth taking. Too bad he couldn’t play this year at kentucky so we could get a look at him against american competition. Because of his knees BC may have trouble pulling the trigger on him. I would prefer Sullinger and there is no way I trade Calderon, Bargs or Demar for a lottery pick in this draft.

    • Smushmush

      Gerald Wallace was just traded to the Portland Trailblazers for Joel Pryzbilla and a second round pick. Perry Jones is a huge red flag, he is a 4 now(and we have lots of 4s – Amir and Ed Davis need their minutes which is why I am not a fan of drafting Jared Sullinger with our pick. Imo, Kyrie Irving, Terrence Jones or bust in the draft). In addition, Perry Jones is another athletic project(we have two in Demar Derozan and now James Johnson) and could be like a Joe Alexander or Gerald Green that never turns to a basketball player – huge gamble with a Top 5 pick.

      The other points, I agree with(though I would keep Ajinca for another season, get some meat on the guy and see if he can rebound with the additional meat since he can block shots already) . However, we are not gonna get Marc Gasol(the Grizzlies want to resign him back, since Zach Randolph would ask for a near max contract that he deserves and they are tied to Rudy Gay($85m, 5 years) and Mike Conley’s($45m, 5 years) contracts and they just lost a first round pick talent in OJ Mayo in a trade today). Imo, the centers that would be available this offseason are DeAndre Jordan(not likely unless the worst owner in sports Donald Sterling allows DeAndre Jordan to go), Sam Dalembert(very likely, the Kings have their franchise center in Demarcus Cousins and another good center in Hassan Whiteside that needs minutes too), one of Brandon Haywood or Tyson Chandler(it is very likely too, Dallas can’t keep both of these guys as they have to pay some huge money too to Tyson Chandler after this comeback year and they still have Ian Mahinmi – another center on their roster).

      So the two centers to go for(though we will be vying for these centers services with the Miami Heat (OKC is out of the running for a franchise center, they got one in Kendrick Perkins trade today with Nate Robinson coming from the Boston Celtics for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green – I think OKC won the trade both short and long term, but the Boston Celtics get their backup 3 in Jeff Green for the long haul of the playoffs especially with the Marquis Daniels injury)) are Sam Dalembert and one of Brandon Haywood or Tyson Chandler.

  • Statement

    Just throwing this out for the community.

    There is a lot of love for D Rose – as there should be as he is a good player. But there is also MVP calibre player talk.

    My question is this, what does D Rose do better than Chris Paul?

    A quick look at basketball reference shows that Rose gets to the line more than Paul, but what else does he do better?

    Paul eFG% = .520
    Rose eFG% = .487

    Paul assist% = 45.8
    Rose assist% = 40.7

    Paul rebound Rate = 6.6%
    Rose rebound Rate = 6.7%

    Paul Steal Rate = 3.7% (leads league)
    Rose Steal Rate = 1.4% (does not lead league)

    Paul turns the ball over much more than Rose
    Paul turnover rate = 15.1%
    Rose turnover rate = 13.2%

    Putting it all together

    Paul Wins Produced / 48 = .365
    Rose Wins Produce / 48 = .194

    So Paul shoots better, gets more assists, crushes rose when it comes to steals, rebounds at the same rate.

    Rose gets to the line more than Paul and turns the ball over less.

    What, in your guys opinions, makes this guy an MVP candidate over somebody like Chris Paul?

    • KJ-B

      CP’s had major knee surgery, is older and a step slower than before and his team has a worst record and cannot close like a freight train in the 4th Q like Rose does–never has, never will… If perception, or ‘hype’ as you say is the reality we’re buying–I’m ALL IN..!

      • Statement

        “and his team has a worst record”

        See my comments below about Avery Bradley

        “CP’s had major knee surgery, is older and a step slower than before”

        Yet he is putting up better numbers than Rose, played a harder schedule and has his team 9 games above .500.

        So CP slower > Rose healthy.

    • mountio

      Listen, Chris Paul is a great player .. and considering hes playing on one leg, his performance is even better. Hes probably a top 5 MVP candidate, so no knock against him .. but since you asked, I think it comes down to:
      Rose plays on a better team (and has had more injuries to deal with with Boozer and Noah missing serious time).
      Rose is a better scorer (both in terms of getting to the line and overall scoring).
      They are comparable assist men (Paul probably a little better)
      Rose is younger and on a better trajectory (maybe this shouldnt factor in, but Paul was clearly better 2 years ago and Rose is clearly on the rise .. take this for what its worth, but its a factor – at least if you look our more than one year.
      Also – there arent any other “guys like Chris Paul” .. Rondo, D-Will and Nash, while all great players, are simply not in the same class.
      Would like to know who you think is an MVP candidate if Rose isnt?

      • Statement

        Chris Paul is an MVP Candidate

        Lebron James is an MVP Candidate

        Dwight Howard is an MVP Candidate

        “Rose is a better score” – how so, besides the points/game total which is inflated by his insane usage. Paul is a much more efficient scorer.

        “Rose plays on a better team” so why does Rose get credit for that? Should we credit Avery Bradley because he plays on the Celtics?

        If anything the Hornets being 34-25 while surrounding Paul with inferior players and playing a MUCH harder schedule than Chicago (check out the Strength of Schedule data the NBA.com site, NOH has had the 4th hardest schedule while Chicago has had the 25th hardest) is a testiment to the greatness of Paul and further bolsters his case.

        • Adrian

          Can you link me to that?? I can’t find it anywhere?

          • Statement

            google nba strength of schedule and I think it’s the first link,

            Then sort the data by “SOS”

        • mountio

          I agree with your other three MVP candidates (and I already said LBJ should win) .. with Kobe, Durant and Rose, those are probably the top 6.
          To suggest that Rose isnt in the same class is totally blind.
          And, yes, Rose is clearly a better scorer than Paul. Maybe Paul is slightly more efficient, but in terms of total output, its not even close. You dont like pts / game. How about pts / 36 mins? Rose 23.7, Paul 16.4. Thats a HUGE difference.
          Compare their assist/36, where Rose is at 7.8, where Paul is at 9.7 – Paul is a little better, but not sure it makes up for the lack of scoring.
          We also havent mentioned the defensive end, where Rose is much more effective than Paul.
          Anyways – we could throw stats back and forth forever here .. they will show us both players are elite. I have never debated that .. my point is simply that Rose is ABSOLUTELY in the MVP conversation. Despite what you seem to think, the whole league and everyone who follows it arent missing something here. He is that good. Watching him, that should jump out at you. Lightning quick, finishes like crazy at the rim, gets fouled and now can even shoot. Shares the ball, plays great D and works hard to so the little things.
          Im not a Chicago fan at all .. but you’ve got to give this guy his due.

          • Statement

            Re: Scoring / 36

            Rose takes 19 shots per 36

            Chris Paul takes 11 per 36

            Of course Rose is going to have more points / 36 as he takes more shots / 36 than even Andrea Bargnani. Listen, anybody can just chuck shots, the key is to put the ball in the net, which Rose isn’t particuarily efficient at.

            I agree with you that Rose should not win the MVP this year. Now in terms of whether he belongs in the conversation, that depends on what you restrict your sample to. If you say that he is top 6, I disagree with that completely.

            If you extend the same to say, top 20-35, then I agree with that, but again that’s not really much of a MVP conversation.

            Going forward, Rose might become the most productive PG in the league, especially given how young he is. But to say that he is a top 10 player RIGHT NOW seems like a massive stretch to me.

            Re: Defense, I’m just curious as to how you figure that Derrick Rose is a much better defender than Chris Paul.

            Chris Paul leads the leage in steal percentage and more than double’s Derrick Rose’s

            Chris Paul is a better defensive rebounder than Derrick Rose. Chris Paul has a better defensive rating than Derrick Rose, 82games.com data says that the Bulls are a better team on Defense when Rose is off the court whereas the impact is neutral for Chris Paul.

            I have yet to see one piece of evidence saying that Rose is a better defender than Paul.

            Anyways, I’ve said my piece, you’ve said yours, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. In fact, the more I research this, the bigger the disparity between the two players is.

            Just curious mountio, are you a fan of Carmelo Anthony’s game

            • mountio

              Ya – we will have to agree to disagree if you think hes only a top 25-30 player .. no doubt there. In fact, you’ll have to agree to disagree with 99% of NBA fans and experts there too.
              As for D .. i watch games and see which players can stay in front of their men, play D and stop them from scoring. Rose is better than Paul at that. Steals is a quoted defensive stat, but doesnt have much to do with whether or not a guy can stop his man (see Allen Iverson)
              I find it interesting how people who are into advanced stats totally disregard regular stats (like points). I agree that advanced stats are helpful as a supplement to understand more than scoring .. but the game still comes down to putting the ball in the hoop and stopping the other guys from doing the same.
              Your thoughts are well reasoned for the most part .. I think you just like to seem like you are outsmarting the average fan by focusing on guys who do things other than score. Like somehow your analysis is more astute because you frequent 82games.com. Your leading question on Melo I assume would be to harp on his bargnani-esque game that focuses primarily on scoring (although hes obviously more well rounded than AB .. just trying to illustrate the point).
              Anyways – I like players with all around games .. for sure. BUT, that doesnt mean I disregard and dont value scoring .. in the end, its still the most important stat.

              • Statement

                “As for D .. i watch games and see which players can stay in front of their men, play D and stop them from scoring. Rose is better than Paul at that.”

                – Have you seen EVERY NOH and Chicago game this year? Also, are you good a picking out who is a good defender from a very good defender. It’s easy to pick out that Bargnani isn’t a good defender if you watch him a lot. However, how easy is it to pick out who is the better defender if each are similiarly skilled, given that basketball is a game with a lot of moving parts?

                “Your thoughts are well reasoned for the most part .. I think you just like to seem like you are outsmarting the average fan by focusing on guys who do things other than score”

                – Nope, just using advanced stats to prove my point because I think that they do a better job than per game stats, for many reasons. My whole issue with the Derrick Rose hype is that, according to what I’ve seen, he isn’t an MVP level player.

                I’m also into baseball and baseball geeks like me would debate stuff using RBI’s and Batting Average because it’s been shown that those stats aren’t the correct ones to use, so lets better the basketball debate by using better stats.

                “Anyways – I like players with all around games .. for sure. BUT, that doesnt mean I disregard and dont value scoring .. in the end, its still the most important stat”

                – I agree with you on that, efficient scoring is the most important thing, but my original chucking point still stands. Allen Iverson lead the league in per game scoring, but he was a chucker and probably not deserving of MVP awards.

                • mountio

                  Ok .. ill end this here .. I think weve both said our piece.
                  Of course I havent watched every CHI and NOH game this year – not even close. Ive probably seen a handful of each (more CHI as they seem to be on TV more here). Defense is a hard thing to measure statistically – but Paul is slower (and smaller) than Rose, and in my view, brings less defensively. I realize thats subjective and I cant point to stat, but thats defense for ya. Admitedly, he has great hands and is great at jumping the lane for steals.
                  Anyways – it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think LBJ should win, but I dont think he will. After him, D Rose looks as good as anyone to me. I just took a look around for MVP odds, and the latest from bodog.com are below. In my view, tough to say with credibility that Rose doesnt belong in the conversation ..

                  LeBron James 2/1

                  Derrick Rose 5/2

                  Kevin Durant 5/1

                  Amar’e Stoudemire 11/2

                  Dirk Nowitzki 10/1

                  Dwight Howard 10/1

                  Chris Paul 12/1

                  Kobe Bryant 12/1

                  Dwyane Wade 20/1

                  Carmelo Anthony 30/1

                  Blake Griffin 35/1

                  Deron Williams 40/1

                • Statement

                  Alright sir,

                  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      • Statement

        “Rose is younger and on a better trajectory”, he could be the best PG in a couple of years. So let’s reward him then, not now when he doesn’t deserve it.

  • EuroPussy

    It’s funny… If Nowitzki scores 34 and 1 so he is a biiiiiig player, if Bargs has 38 and 4 so he is only a baaaaad rebounder.
    Oh guys, get a life.