Suns 110, Raptors 92 – Box

The Bulls game was a shot in the arm for the club and maybe you figured they’d carry some momentum from that over to last night. Nope, any prospects of the Raptors being buoyed by Wednesday’s performance were quickly laid to rest midway through the first quarter when it became all too clear that only one team had shown up. The motivations were very different due to the circumstance, one team is chasing a playoff spot and the other is figuring out who the club representative at the lottery will be this year. Jay Triano was getting a lot of credit from this corner earlier on in the season when the effort was a consistent thing around these parts, but since January it’s been generally poor and the Suns game might have been the low-point.

Jumpers are nice if you can make them, when you can’t you look fat and lazy taking them. That’s a note to every Raptor not named Andrea Bargnani and Demar DeRozan. Shooting 30% in the first quarter doesn’t automatically translate to a blowout, lots of teams get off to slow starts and win the game, what’s unique and lovable about the Raptors is that they pile on the misery by playing such lazy and uninspired defense that you kick yourself for thinking that this might be a good game. And at this point in the season all you’re hoping for is to see a good game.

The transition defense (also known as effort) was terrible from 1 to 5, which is odd because that’s the one area of defense you know will be tested against Phoenix and you’d think they’d be prepared for that. Right from the very start, nobody was getting back and Phoenix was either getting fouled or laying it in. Vince Carter had a spectacular game, he was ‘on’ from the beginning on both ends and took the energy out of the retarded ACC boo-birds early with a spectacular dunk and a couple jumpers. He’s physically superior to DeMar DeRozan and it showed, further solidifying the theory that when Vince wants to, he can be great. Last night he came to play. His first-half display was demoralizing to the Raptors and his work on the defensive end was shockingly good – 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals, all of them earned.

Nash’s 9000’th assist. He passes is it to Robin Lopez who dribbles it twice, turns and shoots. How is that an assist? Nash’s shot wasn’t working which doesn’t mean he was worthless (ahem, you know who you are), he had 11 assists in 30 minutes, 5 of them coming on pick ‘n rolls with Gortat and Frye. Jose Calderon was brutal defending the play and got worse with each iteration of it. For Nash to burn you on the pick ‘n roll all that needs to happen is the big defender to come face-to-face with Nash as he blocks his path for less than half a second. It’s over. That’s all the time he needs to pick out a perfect pass to the pick-setter who is a step ahead of the big defender. A less risky strategy is to go under the screen and force Nash to test his shot, something he was struggling with. Instead, Calderon gets caught on the pick and next thing you know the Raptors are inbounding the ball. Say what you will, Nash is impressive, his chief pick ‘n roll partner Amare Stoudemire is gone and he’s increased his assists from 11.0 to 11.3 this year. Great player.

Jay Triano turned to Jerryd Bayless to slow down Nash and it didn’t make a difference, it didn’t help that Bayless got clocked by a screen that Bargnani didn’t call out, the second time that’s happened this month (Dampier). Bayless had two assists in his first stint and played alright in garbage time by getting to the line, his game just doesn’t have a nice feel to it right now. He seems a step slow and doesn’t ignite the second unit like he did earlier, the jumper isn’t going in and it’s preventing him from executing drive-and-kicks, which is when he’s at his best.

Phoenix’s versatility was hurting the Raptors in transition, they were eager to test their quickness on the break, perhaps fearing the Raptors’ perceived frontline advantage. Andrea Bargnani (26 pts, 12-16 FG, 4 reb) had Channing Frye for dinner by posting him and driving on him for the better part of the game, the only Sun that did a decent job of stopping him was Hakim Warrick who wasn’t matched up with him for too long. Bargnani was the best Raptor on the night and even for him it was job half-done, because the Raptors interior defense was non-existent, and one of the main reasons is Channing Frye and Jay Triano.

Frye’s three-point threat always drew one Raptors big away from the rim and when the pick ‘n roll was being executed, there was no interior help defense available. Frye had 16 points and 4 rebounds, but the real damage he did was by spreading the floor and allowing Nash to operate two-man games with the other big’s weak-side help being unavailable. Jay Triano didn’t adjust (or even notice?) this consistent trend and it ended up costing the Raptors – what was supposed to be an advantage turned out to be a 42-31 drubbing on the boards and a 12-6 deficit on the offensive glass.

Amir Johnson, a good help defender, was always in man-situations against the bigger and stronger Gortat, and Bargnani was about 8 feet away from the glass at all times. Johnson also had only four rebounds and didn’t do enough against the Phoenix frontline. Ed Davis’ work on the offensive boards (5 rebounds, 4 assists) was a bright spot, but even he was taken out of the help-defense equation by Frye, a player he does not matchup well against.

It was 35-14 at the end of the first quarter and the Raptors never quite recovered. A Bargnani-inspired second-half spurt cut the lead to 12 but Vince quickly deflated the building with a great And1 against DeRozan in the post. Jay Triano picked up a technical for a non-call and that was it, the Raptors were done.

It was a thorough defeat in which the effort was poor, the preparation inadequate, and the result deserved. On the bright side, Leo Rautins wasn’t calling the game. He usually spends 80% of all Phoenix games reminding us that Steve Nash happens to shit gold. Although he didn’t have the usual platform to air out his man-love for Nash, he did sneak it in there during those quarterly segments which everybody hates.

The TV audience had to sit through Bill Bellamy, who called Justin Bieber’s dribble “a little retarded”. Nice touch, I’ll take Bellamy calling Bill Cosby the Michael Jordan of comedy any day over Matt Devlin singing, or just talking.

James Johnson watch. His athleticism and size are good enough for the NBA, everything else seems a bit shoddy. The good was that he had two legit steals and two hard fouls, the bad was his ball-handling, presence of mind when driving, and jumper. Buy hey, as Jack Armstrong said, the Raptors weren’t going to get anybody as good as Johnson with the 28th pick so it was a good deal. Come to think of it, NBA teams are stupid for drafting outside the top 20.

Raptors lose, up next is Dallas on Sunday.

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    I was super excited with the Bayless trade, but the utter selfishness that he, Barbos and Weems display is beyond frustrating to watch. In the past couple seasons our 2nd unit has been an advantage, but this year its disgraceful. We have 5 backups, but to say they are a “unit” would be an outright lie. Bayless, Barbosa and Weems get the ball on offense and the other players on the floor may as well just head back to play D, because the ball isn’t leaving their hands… consistently attacking 1-on-3 and the other teams no it! Ajinca has the effort, but not the skills to match.

    Davis is the only legit team player aside from our starting 5 and I think that only him, Amir, DeRozan and Bargnani should be looked at as the core of the Raps team beyond this year. Everybody else is simply an asset. I would include Calderon in this group for the way he runs the offense, but his age, salary and complete lack of defensive ability resign me to the fact that he should not be included as a ‘core’ player for the future.

    With draft picks, cap space, the TPE and several marketable young assets, it should certainly be an interesting offseason for the Raps and us Raptors fans! I just honestly, objectively hope that Bayless and Weems can finally be recognized as bench players at best, who should be used to acquire more legitmate talent that could be developed into starting material. Team-first players, please!

    rant over… cheers!

    • cdub

      Yes it’s very easy to see why Bayless in on his 3rd team already. Just watching him put his head down, drive straight into 2 or 3 defenders and toss up a terrible shot hoping to get fouled makes me cringe. He’s not a good shooter. He’s not a good passer. He turns the ball over. Average defender. Even when Calderon isn’t playing well I still can’t wait for him to get back into the game over Bayless.

      • Nilanka15

        That’s why our 1st priority this summer has got to be a PG.

  • Speaker

    Surprised at the outcome of this game. Maybe someone on the Raps should’ve pulled a Kevin Garnett and sack Frye to stop the 3’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632775895 Eugene Earnshaw

    To be fair to the Raptors, I thought it was more Phoenix’s O than the Raps D most of the time. All those crazy pick and rolls with Nash…Calderon and Bayless were right there next to him but he’s just… sneaky. He finds the right thing to do.

    With regard to Frye, what is Triano supposed to do? Amir is NOT a good perimeter defender, and neither is Davis. If you’re going to have someone inside and someone hanging with Frye, it makes more sense for the inside guy to be Amir/Davis, and the outside guy to be Bargs. The Suns play Frye for a reason: he spaces the floor. It’s not like there’s a clever coachy way to stop that happening. They sure as heck don’t play him for his defense.

    • PeaceDawg

      first thing is you game plan what other teams have been doing to them..hell Suns are not a top tier team, they are #10 in the west. For christ’s sake, we took apart the nba’s best defense in the same arena two days ago..

    • Guest

      The answer is to play small with either wright or jj at the 4 and take chances that frye will venture into the paint.

      as an aside, with nash running the raps, bargnani and amir would be incredible weapons. they are upgrades over phx guys in the pnr and pnp.

      • Why

        Was at teh game last night and you could see the difficulty AB had in getting over the screens that were being set for Frye – I said to the fellow beside me that they should go small however they never did – don’t understand why Triano didn’t try this as two bigs wasn’t working.

        The backup PG for Phoenix killed us as well.

  • PeaceDawg

    This was the difference. Demar drives the lane and gets a hard foul at the basket by Dudley. Good foul, and hard and puts DD on his ass. On the other end, VC and Hill starts laying it in like a chain gang. I am yelling at the tv..don’t give a shit if its Captain Canada, lay them out..

  • Dookielove

    i was at the game.great seats. it was brutal,just brutal.was phoenix the home team.they got every call. only bright spot was bargnani and demar. the rest of the team pretty much mailed it in. the raps were pathetically soft.it was a phoenix layup drill.p n roll,drive n kick,inside out.raps looked like chickens with their heads cut off. not one hard foul.it was a pathetic dispaly.absolutely brutal…weems,bayless,leandro and jose should be fined by the team for impersonating basketball players….im disgusted. is everyone off james johnsons dick after tonight? adubb? ajinca is a freakin shrek lookin motherfucker…the end. glad i didnt pay for the tickets….and the sound on maestro fresh wes’s half time performance was way over modulated……bleh….for me personally, this is the low point as a hard core fan since 1995. i never seen anything like what i saw tonight.

    • AwesomeGuest

      Your space button broken or what? Shiet son.

  • tonious35

    I can explain why we sucked tonight, Triano wrote “TANK” on the clipboard.

    • hound

      i disagree, if he wrote tank, they would have played hard. they don’t listen to him!

      • Sam Holako

        LOL +1

  • John

    This team does not have the talent necessarily to compete in this league. People who thought Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems, Bayless, Acinja, James Johnson are full of potentials and … are either blind or are drunk by the Kool-Aid that BC has given them.

    The Only keepers in this team are the following players:

    AB
    DD
    Davis
    Calderon as a Back up PG
    Barbosa as a Back up Shooting Guard

    and Maybe Amir Johnson from the bench for 10-15 minutes as an energy guy.

    The future is not bright my friends since BC had 5 years and I can not remeber Raptor team with this many scrubs and lack of real Player.

  • Jamesk

    lol

    Triano’s Whiteboard:

    Three-point defense-cover frye
    Assists-swing the ball
    Nash-make him shoot
    Kick the ball out on defensive rebounds

    Maybe they got the message…

  • Lollipop

    no one played well, no one not named Bargnani. DD should learn how to attac the rim without offensive foul and Bayless should be traded to the Suriname-League.

    • Hanif

      +1 just because you knew Suriname was a country (I”m from there)

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

    I don’t think anyone played well tonight. No one. Bargnani scored, but didn’t do anything else. Amir shot well, but was manhandled down low. The secondary defensive rotations tonight were completely non-existent. This is a game you erase from your mind and move on.

    • Dookielove

      i hope you dont have children tim. you appear to be that tyrant type whos never happy. if you do have kids i really do feel sorry for them.

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

        Actually, I have two kids. Thanks. And it might amaze you that I don’t treat them the same way I treat a basketball team I actually don’t have any contact with.

    • Lollipop

      you’ll naver say Bargs plays good. It’s ok Tim, so what.

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

        Actually, I praised Bargnani’s game against Chicago. I said it was the best game he’d played all year. I praise players when they play well and don’t when they don’t play well. I’m funny that way.

    • hound

      Bargnani played the defense he was told to perfectly. He stopped Frye. He was 12 – 15 feet away from the basket all night because his check doesn’t leave the 3 point line. Can someone please start to understand basketball. No one can guard the 3 point shooters (like house, frye, etc.) all night and still get rebounds or play interior help defense. You are just too far away from the paint.

      On other nights when Bargs is guarding a big in the paint, he does regularly miss assignments and his defense is questionable. But on this night, he can not be blamed. He did his job! VC sodomizing us, Nash and Gortat playing like on the school yard has nothing to do with Bargs. Please watch the game properly or learn it!!! It is increasingly frustrating to hear the subjective “I don’t like Bargs and don’t care what he does”. For God’s sake man, he had 26 points on 15 shots, 4 boards (1 behind the team lead) and defended his man. What more do you want him to do? Guard the 3 line, beat VC to the basket and then race back and stuff Frye? Fuckin wake up already!!!

      There are 3 fundamentals in half court offense at any level – Ball movement, Player Movement and Proper Spacing. That is why Frye is important and Phoenix is a good offensive team. They do all of these well and we don’t, nor do we understand how to defend it.

      This all starts with the coaches. If PJ was brought on to coach D, I want the $575,000 he makes back and please send him packing. This team needs a young defensive coach who the players respect. A team is the reflection of the coach, nuff said.

      • Lollipop

        You’r absolutely right. +++1

      • Toshmon

        well said sir

      • Daniel

        Good post. I believe that it starts with the management and the type of players we acquire. It is incredible how many ball hogs we have in the team with the only excuse that they are athletic. James Johnson is not giving the ball up after a rebound to Jose, he keeps dribbling up court and losing seconds allowing the opponent to set their defense. Maybe the coaches did tell everyone to “develop” their individual game and work on certain skills during the game, I don’t know. It is just awful to watch how little b-ball IQ is in this team. All we need to know about PJ is the difference in Oklahoma’s defensive numbers before and after he got fired. Remember, coaches are appointed by GM too. In other words, all the links point to the management. Unfortunately, contrary to any common sense, it seems that there are talks of extending the current crop of managers. There is no mercy for the Raptors fans.

        • Reverendojazz

          I’m sure about the two following adfirmations:
          – JT does’nt understand anything about basketball.
          – The major part of the Raptor fans does’nt understand anything about basketball.

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

        Bargnani had a great shooting night, but Barbosa, DeRozan and Amir all shot over 50% and I never said they had a good game, did I? I love how everyone thinks I’m picking on Bargnani when I said EVERYONE had a bad game. If you think Bargnani did anything well outside of shooting, we have vastly different ideas of what playing well is. I saw countless missed assignments, late rotations, little energy on the defensive end, and an inability to prevent opponents from getting boards. Yes, he got 4, which was 1 less than the team leader, but he also played 10 more minutes than all but two of his teammates.

        A perfect example of how he played when he did have the ball was when he failed to tell Jerryd Bayless Frye was setting a pick on him and Bayless got clocked.

        Again, I AM NOT BLAMING BARGNANI FOR THE LOSS. I’M BLAMING EVERYONE BECAUSE NO ONE PLAYED WELL.

        This has nothing to do with how I feel about Bargnani and everything about what I saw on the court last night.

        • Dookielove

          yeah right tim. when hypnotists do shows they pre interview the audience and select the weakest minded and most mentally challenged persons in the audience to join them on stage.why? because they are susceptible to being brainwashed. some douchebags just want to blame everything on bargs and the lunacy has spread to the feeble minded. and tom liston clicking like on everything you say is jokes. i sat 2 seats away from the dork and i never in my life seen a more miserable face. i guess he’ll blame the teams woes on bargs as well.

          • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

            If you sat two seats away from me, why didn’t you say “hi”. This “dork” would’ve bought you a pint and talked ball. Bargnani should both be praised for his talents and skills some games and criticized some others. Coaches, media and others all do it. No one on this Raptors team has been consistently good this year.

            All dorks aren’t bad people. :)

        • sleepz

          You do have to call out screens. Bayless got drilled on that pick!lol

        • BB

          Shutup Tim, no one cares what you said or how you say it, hound just owned you

        • micky C

          Dude,
          Bargnani shot 80%. He worked hard to get a lot of high percentage shots, and made them. You gotta give the guy props for how he played on the offensive end.

          That approach is a lot better from what we have seen from him in many games throughout his career where he will settle for getting the ball beyond the 3 point line, take longer shots, and end up making shots at a lower percentage than he is capable of.

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

            I already said Bargnani had a good offensive game. But I’ve never been, and never will be, content with a player if he only bring it to the offensive end. If I grade him 80% for one end of the court, and only 20% for for the other end, that’s and average of 50%. I wouldn’t call that something to be too proud of. In this game, though, everyone else got bad grades, too.

        • hound

          Bargs absolutely is stunned when it comes to communicating on defense and has a none existent BB IQ on defense. That is why he is adequate, on the ball, man on man defender, but really struggles with help man D or zone. That being said no one is perfect. Melo goes two games shooting well under 50% but scores 27 points each night, no defense and he is a hero. The point is, he did his job which is to score. Bargs did his job well the other night as he did his job scoring efficiently and checking his man. That is really all he is capable of doing, just like numerous others in the league. If the rest of the team, including the coaches, played to their capabilities, we would have won that game. That is why I believe Bargs played well.

          • Nilanka15

            Melo doesn’t play centre. Teams can’t go anywhere with the 5 as their worst defensive player.

            • hound

              Pau is not a defensive beast, career defensive rating of 105 and they happened to win a few championships. But, i agree that Bargs should not play center and if we can get a center, and I believe we should sign Dalembert (career def. rating of 103) this summer, move Bargs to the 4, rotate ED and AMIR in at 4 or 5, cut Bargs minutes to 30 from 36 and get a coach who demands effort on defence. This would bring me hope. Once again, Bargs is not a Center, he is forced to play one on TV!

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

                It really doesn’t matter whether Bargnani plays the 4 or the 5. There’s almost no difference between the two, anymore. In fact, he’s been playing a lot of de facto 4 this year, and it obviously hasn’t made any difference defensively. The problem is if one of your two big men is a liability on the defensive end, it will be exploited.

                Carmelo isn’t a good defender, but he’s not Bargnani bad.

      • Dookielove

        rap of the day.

      • tonious35

        OKC tossed out PJ and look what happened, in addition to when they got Thabo, Serge, and Epic Beardman Harden

      • micky C

        Good post, Hound.

        I am pretty sick and tired of Raps fans who bash Bargs regardless of how he plays. When he has a crap game and gives little effort, and just hangs out on the three point line all game long on offense, I will be the first one to criticize.

        Last night he was fighting hard on offense to get the ball from within 16 feet, and taking good shots (and also setting solid screens, rather than some half-ass ones that we see from him too often). And what was the result….26 points, on fifteen shots (80%) – that is excellent. When Bargs works to get these types of shots he shoots at a high percentage, and is a very productive offensive player.

        On the defensive end he had a tough matchup, guarding Frye. The thing is, he is serviceable as an on the ball defender, but is rather week as a help defender. That being said, the whole team is really bad on help defense….which is an aspect of the game that needs to be carried out as a team….. i.e. if Calderon gets beat, everyone has to shift..not just the guy stepping up to apply. Amir or Bargs aren’t going to be prepared to step up all the way if they are not confident that someone else is going to slide down and cover their man. So often with the Raptors, you see guys that are half way between their man and the guy they should be helping on.

        I’m not saying that Bargs should be excused from blame on help defense, but I am saying that the problem runs deeper than just him. Also, I would say that the main reason we got killed last night was our wings were totally outmatched by Carter and Hill. By the time the first quarter was over it was pretty much garbage time.

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

          “I’m not saying that Bargs should be excused from blame on help defense, but I am saying that the problem runs deeper than just him.”

          Which is exactly why I said no one had a good game. Neither I nor anyone else blamed Bargnani for the loss. Why can’t I say that everyone played poorly in a blowout when that’s how I feel? I can understand getting upset if people were blaming Bargnani for the loss, but no one is. Least of all me.

  • Mediumcore

    On the plus side, Cleveland won yesterday, so we gained on them in the standings for the worst record…AWWW YEAH, MORE LOTTERY BALLS Y’ALL!!!

  • voy

    yesterday some of the great basketball minds on the RR chat were saying Nash was the reason the Suns never won a championship, cuz his defense sucks.

    you’re welcome for the laughs.

    • tonious35

      On the flipside, Nash is the reason that the Suns are the most positive-vibe team to ever walk on on the court, since after the year 2000. Players that played with Nash had their stats padded and they actually enjoyed playing basketball instead of collecting a cheque.

  • Toshmon

    I was walking to Realsports Bar as the game already started, a scalper ended up selling me cheap tickets. So I figured, Ill check out the game and maybe boo VC a lil bit. I got to my seat and it was 29-12 or something like that. The next thing I see is the Dudley’s bush league foul on Demar. But i still had hope, hope that they would make a game out of it.

    Wow.

    So I ended up moving to good seats after halftime as a result I got to witness the carnage up close, here are a few random observations:

    Steve Nash is the Dun-Dadda of pointguards. He is so slick. It wasn’t lack of Raptors defense so much as it was the Suns ability to ball and execute their offense. So much movement, they are a superior team in terms of preparation, communication and leadership.

    Gartat is a rebounding machine.

    Vince, no comment.

    DeMar’s foul trouble=the death of the Raptors offense.

    Bargnani played the best man on man defense yesterday. Not great but he was solid. For sure the only person on the raps that held his man in front of him(I wasn’t expecting this).
    But Andrea’s help defense was non existent. Guys were driving the lane and having fun laying it up. That’s on the coach. Triano needs to teach him how to foul, HARD. fuck. Its really bad almost comical, I’m not even a basketball coach.

    Bayless, is not a pointguard, Marcus Banks where are you right now? even Trey Johnson could have done better. Bayless’ only moves are A) a drive to the hoop(always contested)
    B) give the ball to Barbosa. He has no motivation or intent to make his teammates better.
    The guy is killing our team chemistry. For example: When one of his teammates turns the ball over he scowls at them and points at him temple implying, ” use your head”. When he turns over the ball, nothing is said to his team. No, “my bad” nothing. Hes a bitch.
    Last night he got subbed off after playing terrible and instead of giving Jose a high five or acknowledging that they play for the same team he walked right past him and ignored him on purpose. Is this guy serious?
    This is not all bad as it will help us tank. However, that guy is a…im running out of vocabulary to voice my displeasure.

    If there are such things as basketball gods, we need their tender touch. We all need to prey that they will grant us a point guard and soon. Jose’s great but he’s ancient now.

    As a die-hard raps fan I try to go to at least one game every season. This season Ive been to 6 I think(all losses). I thought other games were bad for example, the Detriot/Macgrady game. This one however, was the worst game I have ever witnessed live. And considering the opposition and the history with VC, the most disappointing in terms of effort. I’ve witnessed VC drop a buzzer beater on us with Sam Mitchell standing there with his mouth open. At least that was a contested game. This team wasn’t prepared.

    End of Rant.

    • D32858

      I was at the game too and what I saw was Calderon stinking up the place…overall I thought Bayless played better. I guess we see what we want to see.

      • Lollipop

        Bayless? He plays not for the team but for himself. He is not a playmaker.

        • tonious35

          F#$% Bayless… thanks for giving us a win in that Detroit game, but you make TJ Ford’s bad-behavior days look like Mother Teresa.

          I guess I see what Monty and Nate Mac saw in Bayless, a little bitch from Arizona. If Bayless thinks he’s worth anything in the league, he better know his F%&’n place, rehab whatever injury he has, be in the gym more than DeRozen to work on all his game.

    • PeaceDawg

      Problem is Bayless is the only guy with the handle and heart to get to the rim and take a hard foul. When was the last time you saw Calderon do that?

      In a late game this is what you need, and when the defence collapses on you then you kick it out.

      • Toshmon

        You’re right. I just think he needs an attitude adjustment.

    • Smushmush

      So true, about this game being a new low. This is probably the worst game, I have ever watched since I became a fan in 2006. We all can see the dressing room is really divided, but imo it starts with the untouchable player in Bargs. We all have that job darlings at our place of work and we all know it breeds a toxic working environment. My 2 cents.

    • hound

      Interesting observations. I also wonder about what kind of character Bayless is, and how liked he is on the team. I was in San Antonio for the Raptor game and the day before i saw Bayless walking around downtown by the riverwalk by himself, which seemed a little odd to me. I can see it if he was a rookie and hadn’t been to SA before, but to walk the streets alone with no other teammates seemed weird. I don’t know, maybe they all do it, but i certainly believe that the PG is the natural leader of the team and it is essential that they have leadership skills and are respected by the team.

  • Lollipop

    The Raps has unfortunately no idea about defense. I think the problem are the coaches.

  • Balls of Steel

    We shouldn’t be too upset with Triano and Colangelo. They are simply doing their collective jobs to get us to the bottom of this league. I’m hoping that the Raps pull a “Blazer Release”. You know, when back in June 2010 when then GM Kevin Pritchard was informed that he had been fired but had to stay for the draft before walking out the door. With the Raps, they don’t have to be that classless when it comes to these two. After draft day, promptly call them to the office and tell them they won’t be renewed. Plain and simple.

  • AnthonyF

    There was a spirited Bargnani debate on Doug Smith’s blog yesterday about a trade of Noah for Bargnani….. As much as here the sides have been taken…. A game like yesterday I can just envision what Noah would have brought the first quarter and am convinced we may have scored all of 6 points in the quarter….

    I was there yesterday and it was sad watching a team pass, find the open man and hit outside shots…. Curious to see the two teams shot almost the same, but it was night and day as Toronto actually played Phoenix even on points in paint and were beaten everywhere else.

    So those Bargnani hater here, explain how Noah, who has shown no creativity in his offensive game, is injury prone, has a larger contract, plays for a much better team and though much better then AB on defense would be a better player here and a worthy trade to make.

    • Toshmon

      I think u might be starting a sh*tstorm

    • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

      Some good points. Noah is a heck of a rebounder, but a poor defender (opposing Centres record a 20.2 PER against him). Bargnani is similarly poor (allowing 20.0 PER). Dwight Howard, the gold standard, only allows 13.2.

      Also has a poor on/off court defensive rating:
      http://basketballvalue.com/player.php?year=2010-2011&id=686
      His gritty rebounding is certainly a huge asset (esp offensive at 4.2 a game), but I think we forget about his other faults.

      Straight up, it is a tough trade in isolation as we would have to make a secondary trade for a more effective scoring wing or PG (and move AJohnson or Davis likely).

      If you simply switched those players and did nothing else, I think you’re correct.

      • AnthonyF

        Wow that Noah defender stat is telling…. Shhh, better keep quiet on that as it then makes the trade a total waste. I actually also noted that in the Miami game Thursday, Noah really should not be given 100% credit with shutting down Bosh, as Chris could not hit an outside shot, which is why I shake my head at Bball stats. It’s very simple, if a player/team is on and outside shots are falling, refs calling fouls and thus foul shots (i.e. Lebron and Wade phantom and ticky-tack calls) all of a sudden a team/player looks great. Now if the player/team misses open looks or just misses contested shots, we say that the defense was solid.

        As said in a vacuum, yesterday in the first quarter Bargnani was 5 for 7 (and 2 fouls too)…. Give those 7 to other players with Noah on the team, and remember Bargnani draws defensive help and Noah doesn’t and the Raptors are lucky to have 8 points in the quarter….. Of course I am sure Noah would have prevented the Carter dunks and Frye 3’s…..

        Face it the raptors shooting beyond 15′ and 3 pointers is pathetic right now, which I contend is the reason they are playing the way they are now.

      • Reverendojazz

        Please, how many points is Noah averaging this season?

        • AnthonyF

          13.5, which is up 5 from his career avg…. However 65% are lay-ups/dunks/tips (82games.com)…. Also expect the average to decrease with Boozer now playing. BTW Bargnani is 81% Jump Shots….

      • Guest

        Re Noah’s on/off #s, how much of that is due to strength of opposition?

        Re. points allowed for opposing Cs, how much of that occurs after Noah leaves them as very active help defender? Unfair to compare that to Bargs who is never a help defender…

        • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

          Good point. No way of answering that question, but both Gibson and Thomas are good defenders at the four.

    • voy

      Look, this expectation, that some push here, that all players need to be all things, is just plain dumbass. All good teams need rebounders and all good teams need guys to score.

      Noah can be a piece of a good team as can Andrea. Neither of them are franchise players. Neither of them should be expected to do it all for their teams. If you’re rocking a team with Noah you may want to pair him up with a 4/5 who has a little more of an offensive game. If Andrea is on your team, you obviously need another big who’s focus is more on rebounding.

      Obviously, if you get a chance to upgrade either Andrea or Noah’s spot, while filling in another team need, you do so. But you gotta keep in mind, unless you have Labron, a basketball team is a collection of players who all have different strengths and weaknesses. You’re not gonna have a team full of players equally excellent on both offense and defence.

      • voy

        Lastly, I forgot to mention, just because you like andrea shouldn’t preclude you from liking another big whose strength is rebounding. If a guy is a good basketball player, a guy is a good basketball player

        • AnthonyF

          Agreed…. Noah is an interesting comparison based on the fact if he had come out in 2006, he may have been the #1 over Bargnani. Now of course I would have cheered Noah and Bargnani would be an afterthought (like Aldridge or Adam Morrison)….. The thing is I really enjoy watching and marveling at Bargnani on the offensive end, where he is the most gifted center in the league bar none, and keep hoping for an improvement of D, which would make him an All-Star.

          • Nilanka15

            Keep hoping for improvement on D? First, he’d have to stop getting worse in order to improve. Second, if 5 years hasn’t been enough time for Bargnani to learn anything about defense, what exactly gives you any possible glimmer of hope that the proverbial switch will all of a sudden turn on?

            The fanaticism surrounding Bargnani is nothing short of mind-boggling.

            • hound

              The only hope we have to improve his D is a coaching/management change that brings in defensive toughness and accountability. I still hold out hope for that. I have mentioned Kelvin Sampson before as a coaching candidate and I am sure there are others out there that have college experience (as we are so young) and NBA experience. Call me an Optimist.

              • Nilanka15

                I guess that makes sense. But we tried it with Smitch, and it didn’t work too well. He may not have been the best defensive mind out there, but he most certainly was a disciplinarian. I think Bargnani’s been coddled too much lately by upper management for the “tough love” approach to work now.

                • hound

                  you may be right. A new coach would know by Christmas and then we could spend the next two months arranging for the best trade.

        • mountio

          Well said. I defend AB because I think hes the only raptor with a legit NBA skill (scoring) and people on this board think we should trade him for a guy with no legit NBA skills, but who is a serviceable defender and rebounder. But – I absolutely like Noah (and other many other players who specialize in other things). They bring great things to their team. Note, however, that they wouldnt bring nearly as much to our team, because we dont have enough scorers to counterbalnace, like the Bulls do.
          A good team is made up of a bunch of guys who can do a variety of things well (some score, some distribute, some rebound, some defend). The all stars in the league do at least one and usually a couple of these things well. To think all players need to do all is crazy.

          • tonious35

            A good team is also comprised of competent coaching that KNOWS HOW TO DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, and a drafted leader.

          • Nilanka15

            The fact that you don’t think defense and rebounding are “legit NBA skills” speaks volumes of your love for Bargnani.

            And the fact that you fail to realize how defensively important the centre position is (compared to any other position on the court) does not come as a surprise.

            YAY POINTS!!!

            • mountio

              You obviously misunderstand.
              By legit NBA skill, I am speaking to how someone performs the skill, not the skill itself. I mean a skill that someone excels at relative to his NBA peers – ie a skill that will keep you in this league for a number of years. Both rebounding and defense are imporant NBA skills, but no one on the raps does them in a legitimate manner. (Perhaps the word “elite NBA skill” is more appropriate). You could argue Jose is the next closest with his passing ability.
              My point is, AB does something very well – score the ball. It makes no sense to swap him for a guy that doesnt do anything well, but is a serviceable defender and rebounder. A good team is a collection of guys who have legit NBA skills (or, said another way, who excel at certain things). Some score, some rebound, some distribute, some
              I love you guys like you who think you are more astute NBA followers because you look beyond points. Yes, for sure, there are other important factors to the NBA game (rebounding, D, passing, hustle, teamwork, etc) – points alone can not win you games or make you an elite team. But that doesnt mean you can ignore points – scoring is the most important skill in basketball, and elite scorers are the hardest guys to find.

              • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                In fact …

                re: “But that doesnt mean you can ignore points – scoring is the most important skill in basketball, and elite scorers are the hardest guys to find.

                1. What Bill Russell proved years ago, unequivocally, is that THE MOST IMPORTANT skills in the game of basketball are DEFENSE and REBOUNDING, from a Team Perspective, not “individual scoring”.

                2. “elite scorers”, per se, are not the “hardest guys to find”.

                Authentically elite individual scorers who are not also “defensive sieves” are the hardest commodities to find in the game of basketball … which is part of the reason, certain players like Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, etc., are able to become legendary.

                Unfortunately, the starting center on this year’s Raptors team is not this specific type of elite level individual scorer.

                • mountio

                  Agree on your point “Authentically elite individual scorers who are not also “defensive sieves” are the hardest commodities to find in the game of basketball”. Also agree that this is clearly not AB now.
                  BUT – I would argue that if you start with an authentically elite scorer, you at least have a chance at an authentically elite scorer who isnt a defensive sieve. To me, the chances of a solid defender, mid first rounder type (K Perkins? even Amir) ever developing into an elite scorer are much much more remote. The AB detractors might say the odds of him ever getting it on D are just as remote .. I can see that point too, but at gunpoint Id take that bet over the bet of a guy whos never shown the offensive skill to excel.
                  I also agree team D and rebounding are important and trust me, if the next Bill Russell, Tim Duncan, even DH are available, sign me up all day, every day. But – I dont see those guys floating around, so Im trying to point out that, given the alternatives, I think we are better to stick with AB and build through the draft rather than get a 10 and 8 guy and then have an even larger rebuilding job.

                • Smushmush

                  Welcome, Khandor. Khandor is back, what do you think of this shitty team? Should BC and Triano be extended?

            • AnthonyF

              So please explain what Noah would bring to the team and the difference he’d make as per my comments. He gets rebounds as he is under the basket and Bargnani is away from the basket. Noah’s efficiency on a stacked team is equivalent to Bargnani, and it is all due to close in shots. He’d offer nothing to Toronto and just clog the paint and steal rebounds from ED and AJ.

              The more I see Bargnani this year, only Nowitski comes close in terms of skill amongst big men and there is no way Noah can be taught that.

              Is there no correlation of the teams bad defense and record based on the fact we are the worst jump shooting team in the league?

              But keep up the hate and pray he is gone and we can be subjected to 80 points offensive explosions.

              • Nilanka15

                I’m tired of trying to explain to people that this Raptors roster needs upgrades at MANY positions (not just centre). It just so happens that while most of the young guys are still in their “evaluation” phases of their careers, Bargnani is not. While DeMar might one day average 19ppg/6rpg/4apg, and Davis 15ppg/11rpg/2bpg, Bargnani will NEVER get to the point where he brings what I believe to be important qualities for a centre (defense, rebounding, lane-intimidation).

                That’s why you hear my harp on Bargnani more than any other player. He’s not being evaluated anymore. He’s a sure fire defensive liability (along with Calderon). If we’re seeing the same defensive mistakes from DeMar and Davis 3 years from now, you’ll hear my calling for their heads too.

                That’s why a straight up trade for Noah isn’t going to help. We’d severely lack in the scoring department. But we’d point ourselves in the right direction. I most certainly believe it’s easier to find scorers than it is to find anchor defenders.

                • hound

                  Ok, we have to put an end to this “It’s easier to find scorers than defenders” argument. As mentioned before, there are excellent defenders available, but the NBA knows that scorers are more important. For example, let’s take 3 of the top Div. 1 teams right now and look at their best defenders. Duke – Lance Thomas, Ohio St.- Dallas Lauderdale (mentioned as perhaps the best interior defender in the country), Kansas – Tayshon Taylor. Now, where are these top defenders getting drafted? They are not. So, the three top defenders on the best teams in college probably won’t make the NBA. The defenders are out there, it is just that scoring is more important. The key is to find balanced players who have offensive abilities.

                • mountio

                  Exactly .. flip through the top 5 picks over the last several years. The only guys taken because of their defensive abilities primarily are Thabeet (D league player whose team had to SEND a draft pick with him to trade him) and Oden. Dozens of players taken for their offensive abilities primarily … unless teams are drafting to make their teams worse, this evidence seems compelling.
                  Of course lots of the good offensive players can play D too .. but if they could score/contribute at the offensive end, they wouldnt be getting drafted where they are

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

                  If good defenders were really that easy to find, why are so many teams, including the Raptors, lacking them? ADEQUATE defenders are easy to find. I agree. But VERY GOOD defenders are not. A player who is as good at defending as Bargnani is at scoring is harder to find. And a top defender will make a bigger difference in your team’s win column than a top scorer. Especially if they are also not a liability on the offensive end.

                  The point is that Bargnani is an excellent scorer, but a liability on the defensive end. Getting an excellent defender, who is not a liability on the offensive end will have a far, far more positive impact.

            • mountio

              And .. the blind instance that the C position is so much more important defensively, and thus AB can never work on a winning team is completely flawed.
              First, all positions are important defensively. The best teams can lock down guys on the perimeter, close our shooters and protect the paint. Do you need to have some big men who can defend? Of course. Could it be your 3 and your 5? Your 4 and 5? Your 3 and 4? All work fine – there is no magic formula.
              Along the same lines, AB could just as easily play play PF (even a little SF depending on who hes playing with and what you do on D) – so even if you buy the C argument (which I dont) – you could easily add a defensivce C beside AB and be successful.

              • Pizzaman1

                Mountio, anthonyf, voy, John, dookielove and the other guys who actually watch the games and see what occurs, if you have not yet figured out that using reason and reality to debate with assinine morons like Nilanka and TimW amongst the other losers who somehow find ways to blame Bargnani for everything does not work.
                TimW is a committed moron who spends his time reviewing game tape to find any Bargnani errors he can point out instead of spending time with his two kids. It’s obvious where his love lies, and that his poor kids also think he’s a moron.
                Nilanka would have us dump Bargnani for a bag of curry powder because his rebounding is not up to par, but it’s ok for him to love rebounders that cannot do anything else.
                Frankly idiots and morons like them have taken over a decent basketball site and turned it into their own jerk off club. Not worthy of debating with morons who have no idea how a team works.

                • pran

                  aren’t people entitled to their opinions? you’re disgusting

                • mountio

                  Gotta agree with pran here – Nilanka and Tim are clearly biased against AB .. but no need to spew that much venum against them..

                • Pizzaman1

                  Mountio those two have spewed much venom at me and others especially that condescending curry bastard Nilanka. What he is is an envious dickwad

                • mountio

                  fair enough .. ill leave that to you guys ..

                • Pizzaman1

                  Thanks. I know I’m also stooping to their level but I have gotten so fed up of their bullshit that I’ve sunk as low as these pricks which is why I mostly stay off this now.
                  For the record mountio you know more about basketball than they will ever learn and you obviously don’t get as frustrated as I with their constant bs, and for your patience I give you much credit.

                • Pizzaman1

                  I’m disgusting? You freaking Somali dick have called me wop over and over and I’m disgusting? You are a child piece of trash I would kick all over the street if I knew who you were.

                • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

                  Just because someone may disagree with you, does not make them a “moron” or “idiot”.
                  And certainly calling people that degrades your arguments.

                  If one cannot have an argument that sounds like they are somewhere other than on a grade school playground, it won’t have much credibility.

                • Pizzaman1

                  Tom you are absolutely right. The moron. And idiot comment comes from the past where the same few got in the mud and slandered me every chance.
                  Meantime you are still right and I should get out of the sewer myself.
                  The problem is I am a bit of a hothead when people constantly trash or use personal stereotyping along with their arguments. Anyway that’s why I try not to post because I have a hard time handling the constant bs.
                  To you and others I apologize.

                • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

                  I hear you. There have been previous disturbing racist comments from others before. No need of either. Post away!! Just keep it to the good points you make for your argument and not makie it personal – wish others wouldn’t attack you the same way.

                  It’s been a tough year and thus more finger pointing. Thank you for taking the high road.

                • Pizzaman1

                  Tom
                  Thank you for helping me see this more clearly and getting me back where I should be. I will try to always act responsibly and hope others do the same.
                  Best

                • Nilanka15

                  I never made any racial comments. I just suggested that the hardest Bargnani fanboys tend to be Italian, because his play on the court certainly does not warrant the love he receives from people like yourself. You don’t see a player wearing a Raptors jersey, you see an ITALIAN player wearing a Raptors jersey, and thus, you feel the need to defend and protect him more than any other member of the roster…simply because he’s Italian. You’re no different from all the idiots who voted Yao Ming an all-star.

                  You certainly didn’t come to the aid of Bosh (who was a MUCH more efficient player at both ends of the court) over the last 7 years when he was being blasted for whatever reason. Oh yeah, cuz he’s not Italian.

                  Does that make me a racist? Fuck no. It makes me observant.

                  But “curry bastard”? Nothing racist about that, right buddy? Keep delivering those pizzas asshole. Capiche?!?!?

                • voy

                  “the hardest Bargnani fanboys tend to be Italian…”

                  lol. yeah, thats not racist. thanks for the laughs. how may I ask have you come up with this conclusion?

                  YEAH RACISM.

                • Nilanka15

                  Do you need a dictionary son??? Please explain to me how Italians are a “race”?

                  Regardless, Pizzaman and cesco have told us they’re Italian, and they’re definitely the loudest fanboys on this site. Again, not racist, just observant.

                • voy

                  nilanka,

                  there is no distinction between racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination. but thanks for playing.

                  oh, pizzaman and cesco like bargs. wow. I guess you’re right and “all the hardest fanboys tend to be italian”. thats a pretty impressive sample size for your case study.

                • Nilanka15

                  That’s why I said it was a “suggestion”. Stop putting words in my mouth.

                  BTW, no surprise you’re standing up for Bargnani and his clan of merry men.

                • voy

                  oooooohhhhh, THATS, why you said it was a “suggestion” because even though you said otherwise you still realized that there is no distinction between racial and ethnic discrimination? Ahhh, got it. Or maybe you “suggested” it because your sample size for this study was 2 people. lol. think much?

                  yeah, “suggesting” a racist sentiment is soooo much better than making a racist statement. If I’d wanna further pollute this board with your half-thoughts I’d ask you to explain the difference.

                • Nilanka15

                  How is suggesting that Italians like Italians a racist comment? Torontonians like Toronto. What a racist I am!!!

                  Grow a spine man. Your sensitivity is just plain comical.

                  And before you make outrageous claims about racism, it’s important you understand what you’re reading.

                  “Voy’s a child molestor…ummm….because….ummm….he said he plays with his kids….ummm, yeah”. Not very responsible, is it?

                • cesco

                  Nilanka , if Andrea was a Canadian instead of an Italian , you really , really believe that all the criticism he has received for the past 4 years would have been as huge ? If you think so , you are retarded .

                • Nilanka15

                  You just proved my point. You admit you give him preferential treatment because he’s Italian (you reading this voy???). Triano gets much of the same for being Canadian. They’re both wrong!

              • pran

                yeah but I’d rather have ed as our long term starting PF, where does that leave bargs? what makes you think he can play SF? I don’t think he will be able to blow by other SF’s and he won’t be able to close out on them defensively when they shoot from the perimeter. And I buy the C argument…..which i guess where our opinions differ. I think a perfect example is the miami heat, who have all-stars at 3 of the 5 positions, and a PG that can play defense……they are 2-7 against the top 6 teams in the league.

                • mountio

                  I guess I would start with what makes Ed more of a longterm PF than a centre vs AB? To me no reason that Ed cant be a long term C (as he hits the gym and gets bigger .. he already has a decent body for a rookie). When you think of their skill set, AB naturally spends more time away from the hoop whereas Eds game reminds me more of a center.
                  Next, there is no question AB is gonna struggle against a lot of SFs. Im not saying he should play there all the time, but Im also not saying that going big every once in a while (say with Ed, AJ, AB on the team now or with a different combo if we had different players) is a bad thing. Defensively you could either a) play zone b) put one of them on the “big” threes out there (like Odom).On offense, he wouldnt need to blow by anyone, just post up / shoot over top of them. Anyways .. not saying all the time, but every once in a while. Good coaches (unlike JT) understand that players can play a variety of positions and its helpful to switch it up and go big (or small) every once in a while.
                  Next, I wouldnt be calling out the heat (one of the best defensive teams in the league and one of the best overall) as an example of why you cant win with without a defensive C. Yes, they have struggled to date against some of the top teams in a few regular season games – but they are still 2nd overall in the east and the odds on favourite to win the NBA championship (http://sportsbook.com/livesports/indexmember.php?sportsname=basketball)
                  We’ll see how it plays out, but I would argue the heat may well be a perfect example of my argument, that a defensive C is not all that important if your other positions make up for it ..

                • pran

                  fair enough it’s not like they’re losing a lot of games, but we can wait until the playoffs to see if they falter. I’ll also be interested to see the effect on the celtic’s of losing kendrick perkins, a defensive minded centre. Listen to a competent coaches (stan van gundy) analysis of the event:

                  http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_magic/2011/02/stan-van-gundy-dwight-howard-comment-on-kendrick-perkins-trade.html

              • Nilanka15

                Well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. You believe the centre position isn’t the most important defensively, and I beg to differ. We’ll just have to wait and see what this teams looks like sans Bargnani to finally settle this debate. I’m hoping we’re only 4 months away.

                • mountio

                  We very well might know soon if the Heat (Big Z / Joel Anthony) or the Cs (Shaq!/J ONeal) win the title. Even the Lakers, Gasol isnt a defensive standout (albeit hes better than what the Heat or Celtics bring defensively at center ..

                • Nilanka15

                  Actually, the 2 O’Neals in Boston are good defensive centres, even at this late stage in their careers. Gasol’s not amazing, but he can hold his own (besides, Bynum starts at centre for LA). And even Anthony is a better rebounder/defender than Bargs.

                  If Miami wins the title, it won’t settle this debate. It will simply provide us with the idea that 2 all-world, superstar players can overcome a pylon like Ilgauskas.

                • mountio

                  The 2 o’neals are not good defensive centers. Shaq hasnt defended the pic n roll for the last five years or more .. and J oneal can barely walk at this stage. KG is an excellent defender and protects the paint, yes .. but lets not pretend the oneals are good defense Cs in order to prove your flawed point ..

                • Nilanka15

                  The O’Neals box out, rebound, challenge shots, and defend the paint. What exactly are they lacking? You don’t need foot speed to play sound positional defense.

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

                  Shaq definitely doesn’t defend the pick and roll well, but he defends the paint, doesn’t allow easy shots inside, boxes out and rebounds. Same goes for the other Jermaine. And both of them understand HOW to play good defense, which is extremely important.

      • hound

        Agreed. The real deal would be to trade Amir + something for Noah. That would be the upgrade we need. Noah and Bargs would complement each other perfectly with Bargs at the 4. That deal alone would change the competitiveness of our team and give me hope.

  • Smushmush

    Spot on on this article – but you forgot to show how horrible the effort was(the horrible defense is a given under Triano) by emephasizing on being outrebounded by the Freaking Phoenix Suns by double digits (smh) – one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA.

    “On the bright side, Leo Rautins wasn’t calling the game. He usually spends 80% of all Phoenix games reminding us that Steve Nash happens to shit gold. Although he didn’t have the usual platform to air out his man-love for Nash, he did sneak it in there during those quarterly segments which everybody hates.”

    Jokes again above. You guys know how to make jokes even in a article showing how this Raptors team plays which is horrible these days. Kudos to you guys.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      [” the Freaking Phoenix Suns by double digits (smh) – one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA. “]
      .
      I’ve heard this so often, I started to believe it as the truth. Unfortunately, the truth can be there for one moment, and somewhere else for another. In the month of February, Suns are 16th in rebounding. Raps by the way, are 28th. Phoenix is plus 1 rebound over their opposition. And 11th best (in February), for opponents OReb at 10.5. Bulls are first with an amazing 6.6 allowed. Toronto is 0.3 behind the Suns.

      These stats don’t dismiss the Raptor effort – it was crap – but they do show that stereotyping can alter analyzes. These type of losses emphasize that stats are far from ever being static. As are teams. Trades will do that.
      .

  • RapsM

    Never been so happy not to have tsn2.

  • Nilanka15

    I think Carter grows his beard to hide his double-chin. Man, he’s looking chunky these days…yet he still has skinny arms. Mother nature’s a bitch.

    • Pat

      I know, more and more he’s starting to resemble your mother.

      • Nilanka15

        Whoa! A mamma joke! Way to be original man. That joke may have been remotely funny 20 years ago. Nice try though…

        • BB

          It’s not a joke though, it’s true..

          • Nilanka15

            Bargnani being a cancer to the team is also true…

  • KJ-B

    Uhmm Bill Bellamy was referring to Bieber’s jumper not his handles… Too bad for those Raps, they have Triano as a coach, Calderon as their PG stopper and #7 as their interior enforcer… Oh yah, and Sonny lost his Devlin “Money” again… How do they call this a basketball team?

    GO LEAFS GO–and I’m not even a fan anymore but that other Brian just might make a fan outta me… Leafs 1-0 Pens!!!!

    • Joe

      K, then go discuss your love for the Leafs on their website, this is a Raptors forum.

      • KJ-B

        Bri/Bry-Gate is the point Joe Boxer…

        • KJ-B

          In addition, the boys of summer are getting ready to round the diamond, March Madness around the corner–i.e. another spring where the Raps are a negative focal point ((and that means less dollar$ and even less sense for MLSE))…capische?

  • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

    1. The individual defense played by Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless last night against Steve Nash and Zabian Dowdell, at the PG position, had no impact on the final score.

    2. What did have a profound impact on the final score, however, was the atrocious Pick and Roll Defense played by Andrea Bargnani and Alexis Ajinca, etc., against Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat, at the Center position, when the Pick defender was required to: i. Hard Show and Recover to his original check; or, ii. Trap and Rotate to a new defensive assignment; or, iii. Execute a straight Switch, and the original ball defender was required to Fight Over against the Picker.

    3. How many points are scored by the Raptors centers is irrelevant when they are responsible for allowing Phoenix to obliterate Toronto’s defense in half-court Pick and Roll situtaions and/or Defensive Tansition sequences, as the Last/First line of the Defense at the basket.

    4. When the other players on a team know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a a defensive “zero” at the Center position, then, it has a ripple effect to every other aspect of the team’s performance [i.e. defensively, offensively and rebounding wise].

    5. An important question which should be asked concerning last night’s game is this: “How come Andrea Bargnani/C was given the task of defending against Channing Frye/PF, while Amir Johnson/PF was given the task of defending against Robin Lopez/C? … when Bargnani is clearly “less mobile” than Johnson and Johnson is clearly “smaller” than Bargnani.

    6. When the Raptors choose to play “big”, by using James Johnson at the #3 position with DeMar DeRozan at the #2 spot, primarily, they are an effective match-up against a power-based team like the Chicago Bulls. However, when Toronto elects to go with this same strategy against a “quickness, speed and finesse” team like Phoenix, the Raptors are an ineffective match-up, if/when the Suns’ shooters are making a high percentage of their shots from perimeter locations on the floor … like they were last night.

    7. Joakim Noah is one of the very best interior Big Man defenders in the entire NBA. So-called “advanced stats” which attempt to assert otherwise merely demonstrate their own lack of credibility, as a sound way to understand the game of basketball, in isolation.

    • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

      re: point #5 I have to agree, puzzled me as well.
      re: point #7 He’s an aggressive defender, but not overly quick. He also allows 1.01 PPP in post up situations, ranking him 197th in the league. He’s an excellent pick n roll defender though. I think his aggressiveness is sometimes mistaken for good defense. He is one heck of a rebounder and I value that.

      The Chicago Bulls are 22-8 (0.733) without Noah and 18-9 (0.667) with him.

      http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/news/story?id=6144018
      “The most interesting aspect of how the Bulls have played without Noah is that their defense has actually improved without their 7-foot center. Chicago allowed 102.5 points per 100 possessions through Dec. 15 but has cut that to a 100.6 defensive rating since then, emerging as the league’s toughest D. Kurt Thomas, the veteran who has replaced Noah in the starting lineup, deserves much of the credit. ”

      I’m a fan of Noah – love the grit and hustle. Good player, but seems to be overrated at time.

      • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

        If the Bulls’ coaching staff considers Noah to be a superior 1-on-1 defendsive player in low-block post-up situations, it may well be the case that they choose to leave him without any help in isolated defensive coverage when this occurs, while devoting more of their defensive resources per possession to effectively reducing the opponents’ efficiency in other important areas of the game, e.g. 3PT-Shooting Defense. In contrast, because the Bulls’ coaching staff considers Thomas to be a not-quite-as-good defensive player in low-block postup situations, it may well be the case that they choose to devote more of their defensive resources per possession to effectively reducing the opponents’ efficiency in this specific aspect of the game, while allowing an increase in efficiency in other less important aspects, e.g. 3PT-Shooting Defense. Just because the “advanced stats” may seem to indicate that Chicago’s overall Defensive Rating is better when Thomas is on the floor instead of Noah does not necessary mean that Thomas is a superior defensive player compared to Noah.

        • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

          I’m right 67% of the time, 3 times in 20.

    • http://www.facebook.com/skiele Francesco Grigori Di Bene

      sorry dude, but in your point 2 you said the loss was caused by bargnani defending pick&rolls by gortat and lopez (their centers) and in the point 5 you asking why bargnani was defending frye and not lopez or gortat. it’s pretty funny to read those ridicoulus contradictions in one post, it’s funny because, to blame bargnani you have to defeat logic.

      • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

        Hopefully you can see the word “etc.” included in the quotation below:

        “What did have a profound impact on the final score, however, was the atrocious Pick and Roll Defense played by Andrea Bargnani and Alexis Ajinca, etc., against Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat, at the Center position …”

        In this case, “etc.” would refer to the Raptors’ other Bigs – e.g. Amir Johnson and Ed Davis – who ALSO had the task of checking the Suns’ Bigs, when they were setting Picks for Steve Nash and Zabian Dowdell, etc. … in each of Scenario i., ii. [i.e. when the original Pick defender was required to Rotate to another defensive assignment, one of which was Closing Out on a different perimeter player – e.g. Channing Frye/PF – when one of his teammates – e.g. Amir Johnson, Ed Davis and Alexis Ajinca – was responsible for helping-the-heper] and iii, outlined above.

        Cheers

        • http://www.facebook.com/skiele Francesco Grigori Di Bene

          sorry, I don’t buy it. I can’t see the Johnson or Davis names on your “blame post”. If bargani guarded frye on the 3pt line how can he be responsible for the bad p&r on the centers? I think it’s more honest write a post and start it with:

          “2. What did have a profound impact on the final score, however, was the atrocious Pick and Roll Defense played by Ameer Johnson and Ed Davis, etc., against Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat, at the Center position, when the Pick defender was required to: i. Hard Show and Recover to his original check; or, ii. Trap and Rotate to a new defensive assignment; or, iii. Execute a straight Switch, and the original ball defender was required to Fight Over against the Picker”

          But I can’t expect intellectual honesty when someone need to find any possible argument to blame bargnani, do I?

          ps: I don’t like bargnani effort on defense and on the boards, I think he’s a really bad help defender, I really want to see him work harder on that part of the game, but blaming him for every loss is pathetic.

          • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

            When Amir Johnson and Ed Davis, etc., are forced to check Lopez/C and Gortat/C, etc., in Pick and Roll/Pop scenarios, instead of Channing Frye/PF and/or Jared Dudley, etc. … whether Frye/Dudley/etc. is the Popper or the Picker … because the Raptors’ coaches are perpetually trying to hide/compensate for the sieve-like Pick and Roll/Pop Defensive/Rotational Ability of Andrea Bargnani/C … and a mediocre team like Phoenix absolutely shreds Toronto’s defense in yet another embarassing home-court defeat, then, it is most assuredly the fault of the No. 1 [overall] Draft Pick/2006, regardless of the number of points he also happens to score.

            • http://www.facebook.com/skiele Francesco Grigori Di Bene

              so… let me get it…. ed davis or amir johnson did a bad job defending p&r, but the fault was bargnani’s because he wasn’t there defending gortat or lopez. your argument is a non-sense, sorry.

              • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

                Bargnani, Ajinca, Johnson-A and Davis all did a poor job of defending against the Picker, the Popper, the Roller and the original Ball-handler when Phoenix ran various Pick & Roll/Pop Scenarios and the Raptors tried to defend against it in a variety of different ways. A main reason for this ineptitude by Toronto’s Bigs is rooted in Andrea Bargnani’s inability to play adequate Pick and Roll/Pop Defense, whether he is the Pick Defender, or the other defensive Big assigned to the opponent’s 2nd Big, who is then required to get involved in a variety of designated defensive rotations. The only way for a team to effectively hide/compensate-for a sieve-like Center like Bargnani at the defensive end of the floor, in half-court situations, is to locate him in the middle of a straight-up Zone Defense [i.e. 2-3, 2-1-2 or 1-3-1] which, unfortunately, is not allowed according to the NBA’s defensive rules. In defensive transition situations, OTOH, there is simply no way to hide a slow-moving/thinking player like Bargnani.

                • AnthonyF

                  And the fact they scored 2 points the first quarter minus Bargnani who was very efficient the first quarter is yet another indictment of your stupidity…… The 59 point they scored in the first 3 quarters with again Bargnani being 11 of 14 and scoring 40% of their points was probably the only reason they were within 20. Now Phoenix is still a very good offensive team and scored about their average (105.1) and allowed 13 less then their avg (105.2)…….

                  So basically with Bargnani shouldering all the offense they scored worse and his D did not really impact on Phoenix’s avgs…. So agian please explain how he is responsible for all things bad on the Raptors? Funny how bad the Raps D is, yet according to your comments with Bargnani out we’d shoot to near the top (we’d have to since he is pathetic), but that just is not the fact this year…..

      • AnthonyF

        Don’t you get it…. Everything is Bargnani’s fault. Replace him with a defender and points allowed would reduce by 10 and we’d be the among top rebounding team in the league on defense.

        On offense, we’d no longer be stagnant, as Bargnani is given preferential treatment on O (like Bosh before him) and we’d spread the ball…. Add to that we’d miraculously find outside shooters and our three point shooting would also reappear….

        Why are you so dense to think otherwise.

        • Nilanka15

          This needs repeating. It’s not a difficult concept to understand, but it’s just not sinking in with the fanboys:

          I’m tired of trying to explain to people that this Raptors roster needs upgrades at MANY positions (not just centre). It just so happens that while most of the young guys are still in their “evaluation” phases of their careers, Bargnani is not. While DeMar might one day average 19ppg/6rpg/4apg, and Davis 15ppg/11rpg/2bpg, Bargnani will NEVER get to the point where he brings what I believe to be important qualities for a centre (defense, rebounding, lane-intimidation).

          That’s why you hear me harp on Bargnani more than any other player. He’s not being evaluated anymore. He’s a sure fire defensive liability (along with Calderon). If we’re seeing the same defensive mistakes from DeMar and Davis 3 years from now, you’ll hear me calling for their heads too.

          That’s why a straight up trade for Noah isn’t going to help. We’d severely lack in the scoring department. But we’d point ourselves in the right direction. I most certainly believe it’s easier to find scorers than it is to find anchor defenders.

        • AnthonyF

          Let’s delve further into this Bargnani hatred…. Is it because he is white and Italian???? Okay seriously I took a quick look at Offense and Defense rankings for the Raptors and they are 16th on O averaging 98.9 points and 24th in D allowing 104.9…. Now seriously how far would they drop on O and improve on D if Bargnani is gone. As a reference we have Minnesota last in D with Kevin Love the rebound machine….. Let’s look at just how bad the Raptors are from distance as well…. Last in 3 point % by a country mile shooting .304 (next is .334)…. Add to that, while I can’t find it, I am sure mid range jumpers we are right at the bottom too…. Oh yea and our best shooter by far is Bargnani.

          So please explain how we’d be doing without him and who’d provide O and attract defenders?

          • Pizzaman

            AnthonyF
            That is exactly what I have come to believe of SriLanka and the others. They have an issue with Italians obviously, because they are too blind to see the same talents everyone else sees, and constantly harp on the inefficiencies instead. Noah and every other great player has their weaknesses, and only real superstar players have next to none, but there are always less than a few real superstars.

            • voy

              can we please keep the ‘lankan and eyetalian comments off the site? Its bad enough hearing the flawed reasoning of those who dont know the difference between an opinion vs an objective universal truth, let alone having to deal with an interjection of race into the equation.

              Is this what men do? You have a difference of opinion so I’m gonna call you a “fanboy” on the internet cuz I think I’m a badass. Or I think you’re being a dick so I’m gonna bring in your ethnicity in my insult?

              Please, fellas. internet insults is probably one of the gayest things you can participate in.

              ps. OMG, voy said “gay” what a homophobe. lets call john amaechi and reverse gay bash voy.

          • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

            Despite his rebounding prowess and sound 3PT-shooting %, Kevin Love is a relatively “poor” defensive player, and in no way qualifies as a “defensive anchor”.

            Joakim Noah, OTOH, most definitely qualifies as a legitmiate “defensive anchor”, despite his decidely mediocre offensive ability.

            What Noah also gives a team, however, is a outstanding hustle and Bball-IQ plays [e.g. asts, off rebs, steals, deflections, transitions scores prevented, defensive rotations, etc.], in all 3 main phases of the game [i. Defense, Offense and Rebounding] and simply FANTASTIC [perhaps, even as rare as, only once in a generation!] Leadership.

        • Beaverboi

          Wasn’t everyone saying the same thing about Bosh last year? Toronto seems to be a MUCH better team this year without him.

  • krix

    When did this site get so vulgar…

    • Nilanka15

      When superfan (Pizzaman1) decided to grace us with his presence. He cries himself to sleep whenever he reads a negative comment surround Bargnani.

      You can’t blame him though, being a die hard fan of Bargnani in the basketball world is equivalent to being a die hard fan of Michael Bolton in the music world. They’re both just a sad state of affairs, that usually lead to psychological and substance abuse problems.

      Hey Pizzaman1, get my pizza here in the next 10 minutes, and there’s a bright, shiny 25-cent piece with your name on it. Chop chop!

      • Pizzaman

        Hey SriLanka, FYI I am not a pizza delivery boy unlike what you would like to believe of all Italians, and you could only ever pray to someday get a job like mine while looking through want adds at the counter of your parents 7-11, while your mom is making lunch behind the counter and feeding your other 8 brothers.
        You would not know talent if it smacked you in the face.

        • Nilanka15

          I explained this to you the last time you brought it up. The fact that I have to mention it again concludes you’re either stupid, illiterate, and or just plain stubborn. I call you a pizzaboy because of your handle “Pizzaman1″, not because you’re Italian. If your handle was “Doucheman1″, I’d simply call you Douchebag (which would be much more appropriate). Capiche???

          Regardless, you love Bargnani because he’s Italian. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. You have an over-exerted sense of national pride which gets your pissed off when people use the word “capiche” for crying out loud (should we stop using other language’s phrases as well…”bonjour”, “sayonara”, “muchacho”?) . The fact that you completely disappeared on this site during Bargnani’s month-long sleepwalk wasn’t a coincidence. Spare me your “business trip” excuse bullshit. Pizza delivery runs shouldn’t take longer than 40 minutes.

          If and when Bargnani gets traded, I know we’ll never see you post on RR again. You’re a fan of Andrea Bargnani, not the Toronto Raptors. The world will be a better place without Pizzaman1’s constant ramblings about his compatriot being the best thing to ever happen to Toronto. YEAH POINTS!!!

  • TheDude

    http://www.tradebargnani.com

    Join the revolution!

    • AnthonyF

      You’re a moron….. I sure by the time you, Nilanka, Tim_W et al comeup with enough email addresses to meet you goal, BC will be all ears.

      Again for those so smart and with extended metrics, how do the raps do when Bargnani is not on the floor? As an example, since we are talking after Friday’s game and agin a Bargnani (not Toronto loss), without Bargnani’s 24 points through 3 (40% of the total), how far would we have been behind? Please forget the 4th where it was scrub time…..

      • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

        If the Raptors had used the following individual match-ups vs Phoenix:

        STARTERS:
        PG, Calderon vs Nash
        OG, Weems vs Carter
        SF, DeRozan vs Hill
        PF, Johnson-A vs Frye
        C, Ajinca vs Lopez

        KEY SUBS:
        PG, Barbosa vs Dowdell
        G-F, Wright vs Pietrus
        F, Johnson-J vs Dudley
        PF-C, Davis vs Gortat

        they might well have been able to reduce the Suns’ overall scoring output during the first 3 quarters, with improved half-court and transition defense, plus rebounding, while still maintaining a similar degree of scoring output themselves, predicated upon getting more defensive stops, inside/out offensive ball movement, additional offensive rebounds and free throw attempts/makes, and transition field goals, etc.

        • http://www.facebook.com/skiele Francesco Grigori Di Bene

          AHUUAHHUAHUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

          • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

            The way the Raptors just played the first half of today’s game vs Dallas is one example of how Toronto could function on a consistent basis without a defensive albatross like Mr. Bargnani at the Starting Center position for 35+ minutes a game.

            • http://www.facebook.com/skiele Francesco Grigori Di Bene

              yes yes, I really like them, they are under just by 20.

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

        Was that called for? You’re calling someone a moron because you don’t like their opinion. This is EXACTLY what bugs me about this site. Guys can’t disagree without calling someone a moron or retarded. Some people don’t feel the Raptors can ever become a contender with Bargnani. And we have VERY good evidence to support this opinion. You can disagree with it, but to insult someone PERSONALLY because you disagree with them is juvenile and brings the conversation level of the entire board down. And I, as well as a lot of others, don’t appreciate it.

        If you want to discuss something, then do it like an adult. Without namecalling. Until then, I don’t see the point in doing it.

        • AnthonyF

          I’m calling him a moron for putting up a site to trade Bargnani and thinking with 1000 signatures he will force Colangelo’s had and create a trade. Maybe he should suggest a trade too as part of the site. On top it probably is a good idea to start dialogue with other GM’s and force that trade through.

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

            I don’t care WHY you called him a moron. EVERYONE has some reason to call someone something, but my point is that creates a very bad atmosphere on this site, and I know for a fact that it’s driven away quite a few very good people. The fact is you called him a moron because you didn’t like that he made a website calling for trading Bargnani. He didn’t insult you. You simply don’t agree with his opinion.

            • AnthonyF

              Apologies…. I used Moron defined as “a foolish or stupid person”…… I stand by that, as that is what I think of someone putting up a site as above.

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

                I understand that you used moron in the correct definition, but my point is that it was uncalled for. Personally, I wouldn’t have started the site, and don’t really think it’s going to do much good, but he wanted to try and take some control and that’s fine. To call him a moron because you don’t agree with him starting the site is way, way out of line. Especially since, at no point, did he insult anyone.

                There have been many times when I wanted to call someone a moron or some other name, and felt it would have been a very valid thing, considering what the person said, but I didn’t because all it would do is lower the conversation to one of namecalling.

                You disagree with him starting the site? Great. Tell him so and why. But calling him a moron doesn’t accomplish anything positive.

        • Guest

          moron

      • Nilanka15

        Yeah, we might start losing games without Bargnani. Oh wait…

    • Tex’n’duet

      pretty ridicolous, i guess…
      You create a web site to make a petition in favour of Bargnani’s trade (a fact that statistically invalidate the opinion poll), and then the same poll is almost split between the two poles… Something didn’t work, dudes!
      Internet is a big damn thing, but some space are very wasted…

      • Nilanka15

        Actually, I’d say that the numbers being more or less 50/50 is quite significant. There are a lot of people on this site who probably don’t believe there could be this many people who are sick of Bargnani’s “I’ll show up once every 4 games” act.

        Hmmm, I wonder what a guy like Charles Barkley has to say about Bargs’ game…

        • Nilanka15

          Or Charles Oakley for that matter…

          • Smushmush

            Charles Oakley will rip him apart lmao, I can just imagine Bargs playing on the same team with Charles Oakley at a time and playing like this – oh what a carnage!(I can’t bear to think of what will happen lmao).

    • Nilanka15

      My new homepage! Thank you. This brings tears of joy to my eyes. There is hope for this franchise after all.

      • Hound

        I would agree to trade anyone if it would improve our team, but no one ever comes up with a legitimate trade option or realistic value for Bargs. I am all ears, but I will never believe in the addition by subtraction theories. We need to get value in return that improves the squad.

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

          I’ve seen some legitimate trade proposals and I’ve seen others that weren’t. What the fans come up with, though, is kind of moot, isn’t it? The fact is that many of us are wanting Colangelo to FIND a deal for him. As for addition by subtraction, I’ve seen it too many times, in the NBA, to say it’s not true. The first one that springs to mind is Shaq being traded from the SUns.

  • AnthonyF

    I threw out Noah for Bargnani, because we know the haters would trade him for Hasheem Thabeet or Greg Oden, because of their College defensive #’s and throw in the plane ticket….

    I asked for an explanation of what Noah would bring to this Raptor team seeing he has defensive deficiencies, has had a # of injuries since he entered the league, earns more and will never be an offensive threat beyond 6’….

    Still no answer though…..

    • WhatWhat

      Rebounding, leadership, energy, chemistry, and he would be a defensive anchor. He gets paid more than Bargs because he’s a better player.

      But we would have to *gasp* create a normal team for it to work.

      • AnthonyF

        And you know the leadership and chemistry Noah provides? You are part of the Bulls inner circle? Pretty easy to say those things when a team is winning? And he signed a bigger contract. So a bigger contract equals a better player in all cases? Thanks for pointing that out.

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

          Noah was one of the main lynchpins on the Florida team that won the NCAA. And his high basketball IQ, energy and intangibles are well known. Noah is a much better defender than Bargnani, no matter what one advance stat says. While both have their strengths and weaknesses, what makes Noah a better player is that he is not a liability at any point when he’s on the floor. And he’s able to contribute to the game in more than one area. The two big problems with Bargnani is that he’s a liability literally half the time he’s on the floor, and if he’s not scoring, he doesn’t help the team at all, as we witnessed when he went through his slump.

    • Nilanka15

      The answer has been provided over and over again. You’re just ignoring it.

      • AnthonyF

        Actually no it hasn’t. But go ahead and keep on throwing out catch phrases (energy, leadership, IQ….)

        • Nilanka15

          Again, you’re just ignoring it by writing them off as “catch phrases”. It’s not possible to debate with you.