Toronto Raptors Dallas Mavericks February 27, 2010

Injury Report

Reggie Evans – Out
Linas Kleiza – Out

Caron Butler – Out

Player Report

Jose Calderon
Friday was a low point for Jose since taking full control of the starting unit. 0pts 7ast in 24mins; much like the rest of the team (Bargnani/Barbosa/Davis excluded) he was pretty flat. 0-3 from the field, no trips to the line. Are you serious? This only serves to strengthen our draft position, but it’s out of his character to dog it on the court. Either he’s hurt, or he’s tired. Regardless, he wont need to worry about a fast point guard who can beat him off the dribble tonight. Jason Kidd turns 38 in a month, but he’s no Steve Nash, and is more reputation than production at this point.

The Mavs are 8th in the league in defense, and while they have guys like Chandler patrolling the key, you have to give Kidd some credit for being part of a team committed to D. The guy still rebounds the ball very well, is an exceptional passer and can hit open threes. Jose needs to attack the old man, make him work in transition and not leave him open at the top of arc for the long ball. I’m smelling a comeback game, even though I’ve been calling for it all it.
Box: 10pts 11ast 5rebs

DeMar DeRozan
I liked that technical he got on Friday, love seeing my guys fired up and pissed off. It was disappointing that he only got to the line twice against a weak (I’m be generous here) Suns defense. There were all kinds of lanes that he could have taken to the rim, but the offense was disjointed, and everything seemed like it was one-and-done. Hard to get going in those circumstances, but he still managed a pretty decent showing. Still, two trips to the line, that’s pretty brutal. Looking back on his year, when he shoots at least 6 free throws, he’s scored at least 20 points (note: there were three cases where he took a great deal of shots to get past 20 though). Getting to the line = being aggressive with the ball = attacking the defense = jumpers not the main course for the evening.

He’s got Beaubois tonight in a match-up he should own. The Mavs are very reluctant to trade the kid, and while he’s nice, I don’t know that he’s good enough to justify not making moves to bring in savior  vets who make better decisions with the ball. Much like the Cavs not wanting to part with JJ Hickson when Amar’e was on the table. Rodrigue will be a pest with his speed and quick hands, but he doesn’t have the size to really bother our boy. Heres to hoping for 8 trips to the line.
Box: 20pts 4rebs

James Johnson
I’m starting to like him a lot, more than Wright. I do have one question though: how did he jump the line so quickly when Wright is as good defensively, but better on the offensive end? Also, if his starting gig holds, how much do you think it will cost Weems as a free agent this summer? Personally, I don’t care if he scores if he keeps giving us that defense on the wing; it was how I felt with Wright, but I like this kid more, must be the Iverson arm sleeve he wears.

I love Peja, wish we held on to him if for no other reason than have him sit on the bench with the pimp suit and nicely combed part in his hair. Since being traded, he’s averaging 11pts 3rebs 1ast 1stl while sticking two treys a game. Granted he gives very little on defense, so there will be plenty of opportunities for JJ to get to the rim.
Box: 7pts 7rebs 1stl 2blk

Amir Johnson
Not sure what Friday was, but I expected much more from Amir against the Suns. He’s averaging 8.6pts 5.4rebs 1ast 1.4blk, nothing to write home about especially since we were getting used to him approaching double-double’s on a regular basis. Could be time to start thinking about using his energy off the bench and giving Davis some burn as a starter, I see no downside. He’s going to need all the energy he can muster against Chandler, who’s playing for another $10mil/year contract in the summer. I’m still pretty pissed we lost out on him in the summer, and have been meaning to write a post all year on what this team would look like had that Bobcats trade gone through (Jack/Bayless, DeRozan, Diaw, Bargnani, Chandler w/ Davis, Johnson, Barbosa, Kleiza off the bench – that’s good for 45 wins with a very manageable cap situation and young player development; sigh). You know he’s going to want to avenge that pathetic 3pt 6reb performance in the loss earlier in the season.
8pts 14rebs 2blk

Andrea Bargnani
Friday against the Suns was a bizzarro night where I tweeted this. Loved Andrea’s performance, even though he only grabbed 4 boards (the team as a whole was doing a sub-par rebounding job). Nowitzki is going to be a tough check for Bargnani, since he’s a better rebounding version of himself. Still, I’m looking forward to watching this match-up since both were absent during the Raptor win earlier this season.
23pts 6rebs 1blk

The Line

The gamblers have the Mavs as 5.5 point favourites with an over/under of 207.5. I just don’t see the Raptors getting that close. If you think we will see the same thing as the win earlier in the season, you have to realize a few things:

  1. The Mavs without Nowitzki are a bunch of old guys who can’t score in the paint
  2. Ed Davis put up the best game of his rookie season with 17pts 12rebs (made up for the lost Bargnani production)
  3. The Mavs are currently on a streak of 15 wins in the their last 16 games as they gear up for the playoffs

This is going to be a totally different kind of game, and if the Raptors come out with the same energy as Friday, this game will be lost in the 2nd quarter.

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  • Thecaptain2000

    Hi, Let’s see what happens tonight, but fot the last couple of encounters, the face offs has been a pain for Nowitzki more than for Andrea. As of today, Novitki is a better rebounder, an as good (or as bad) defender and a as good on O. It could be a good food for thoughts having a look at Nowitzki this evening and picture him in the current version of the Raptors, think at his salary (comparing it with Andrea’s ) and start wondering how many games it would take for some the self appointed gurus surfing this and other blogs to start asking for a Nowitzki trade.

    It could be worth it also having a look at the Mavs and realise they have built (ALL THESE YEARS) around Nowitzki a similar team as some envision it should be built around Andrea, with a big defensive C to mask his D shortcomings.

    You may not agree with me, but keep in mind Nowitzki is a hall of famer, even if you think he is still better than Andrea, between a hall of famer and a 6th man, a “please trade him even for nothing” kind of player some funny people came up with

    • Sam

      Dirk rebounds

      • Sam

        And Dirk shoots a higher percentage and is a better and more efficient scorer and has way more assists. And he is man enough to admit a love of David Hasselhoff.

        Trade Andrea if you can since to date he has shown little ability to be a scorer off the bench. Maybe he’s serviceable as a PF with a good C but good C’s are few and far between. The Raptors certainly don’t have one. Fair enough if you disagree but that’s the logic for those of us who see Andrea, particularly as a “core piece”, as a big problem.

        I liked him as a rookie but he’s just not producing enough and it looks like he never will.

        • Tex’n’duet

          just “serviceable”?? come on man… Imagine Dirk playing center in toronto, right now…
          could be this dream so different that reality?

        • Thecaptain2000

          andrea had a span of 14 games where he shoot horribly (he was also injured). have a look at his % on the rest of the games.

    • Thecaptain2000

      oops it was meant to be like:

      You may not agree with me, but keep in mind Nowitzki is a hall of famer, even if you think he is still better than Andrea, between a hall of famer and a 6th man, a “please trade him even for nothing” kind of player some funny people came up with, there are plenty of tones of grey…

  • Tex’n’duet

    and offensively? who’ll be Andrea’s defender?
    For Andrea maybe would be better be covered by Nowitzki, but for the raptors game maybe would be better that Chandler come out on Andrea, and let’s the inside more free for dd, amir&ed, and even for the new kid.
    just an opinion…

    • Thecaptain2000

      sorry, you do not need to wonder… they have plaid against each other, goo on Youtube and look at Andrea blowing by Nowitki a few times. The one on one argument is a non starter in favour of Andrea. A different thing is how do they fare against the rest of the league.

      • Tex’n’duet

        i thought about the game, more than andrea/dirk challenge…

  • Ryan

    “…what this team would look like had that Bobcats trade gone through (Jack/Bayless, DeRozan, Diaw, Bargnani, Chandler…”

    We traded Jack for Bayless, so we couldn’t have had both.

  • Amir Johnson is playing injured.

    It is fairly obvious by watching him.

    The question is. Should the Raptors have shut him down when he injured his ankle or are they going to pull another Kleiza?

    Last time he had an ankle injury this severe it took him about two and half months before he could run and jump normally and when that injury happened he was actually shut down for a month or so before being allowed to play again.

    • barenakedman

      Never heard anything recently about his ankle, only his back.

  • voy

    The Mavs are an interesting case study. Dirk is certainly a stud scorer. I always thought though the Mavs never gave him a proper 2 and/or 3 to help take some of the burden off of DN.

    I know, Jason Terry and Josh Howard are good pieces (I guess it can be argued) but I’ve never been a fan of tweener positions at the 2 and 3.

    Now, despite a great record and a solid veteran cast, it appears as though the championship window is rapidly closing.

    • Closing? I’d argue it closed a few years ago, but no one in Dallas realized it. Yes, they were one of the best teams before Caron Butler got hurt, but did anyone really expect them to beat the Lakers or San Antonio in a 7 game series?

      • Tinman

        With Nowitzki the Mavs have been right up there this season with the top teams. Not that I’m saying the West is theirs, but ruling them out completely, the way they have played with Dirk in the lineup seems premature.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        Dallas is the dark horse in the West. Fans (and some teams) who discount that, could find themselves on the outside looking in.
        Whether they make it through the Western gauntlet is a matter of opinion. But to relegate their current achievement as “not good enough” has a certain irony coming from a Raptor fan. We could only wish this kind of debate involved us, although to a certain extent it does. It’s called Barney blindness, where anything resembling an option (or direction) for the Raptors (ala Dallas), is roundly disputed as analytical stupidity.

      • voy

        hey, timmer. closing. closed. i guess you can argue either way. by closing i certainly didn’t mean, despite a great record, they’d be any type of favorite to win the championship this year. Still, I dont think its beyond the realm of possibility of them making a run, although I certainly dont anticipate it, I dont discount the possibility if all their key cogs stay healthy.

        It’ll be interesting to see when dallas begins jetisoning their veterans.

  • I like James Johnson better than I thought I would, so far, but what the hell is up with him trying to bring the ball up the floor himself so much. Does he think he’s a guard? It’s funny, because you can see Jose waiting for Johnson to pass him the ball after he gets the rebound, but Johnson just ignores him until he gets to about the three point line and realizes there’s nothing else he can do.

  • Smushmush

    It is a given now sadly that Jose Calderon can not outproduce any point guard in the league(even old as the hills, Jason kidd lol) as he can not hit a shot now to save his life and has been stinking up the court offensively for 2 months going on more smh(the only reason, Jose Calderon is starting despite his matador defense is because of his passing ability and offense, but when your offense goes, how do you rack up the assists(see Phoenix game and some other games this year for evidence)). Jose is now given the Rondo treatment and invited to make a jumpshot when our opponents clearly know he can’t hit shots now. sigh.

    Imo, looking at the position of need on this team(I thought we really needed an SF ahead of a PG) – I have reversed the need, we need a PG(even if we don’t get Kyrie Irving, we should have a look at other point guards likely declaring for the draft a la Jimmer Fredette(if he has the natural quickness and smarts to play defense, and does not have tunnel vision to pass the ball like Bayless does, he should be looked at), Kemba Walker and Cory Joseph). If I am BC, I am looking at those point guards, I mentioned earlier at basketball games now since we are in the lottery anyway(Infact, I were BC, I would be a regular staple at those PGs NCAA games and not show up for a long time at the Air Canada Centre) and trading some assets to get another lottery draft pick which I suggest we use to draft a do it all SF in Terrence Jones.

    We can sign Dalembert(Sacramento Kings has a franchise center in Demarcus cousins to give minutes to and a very capable center in Hassan Whiteside that also needs minutes) or one of Brendan Haywood(really possible, expensive contract extended by Dallas before they got Tyson Chandler, we can get him through a sign and trade) or Tyson Chandler(unlikely, Dallas is really high on him)(however, we have to fight for both centers with the Miami Heat that needs a center badly lol).

    Filling all 3 weak positions we have after this offseason makes BC sit back and start thinking of other tweaks to the lineup (instead of swinging for the fences each year, and if he is gone (which I hope happens, as BC is not the right GM for this team – however, he can set the team up for the next GM and leave with some leagacy at least a la Kevin Pritchard), he gives the new GM some team to work on and add a few tweaks to)(the tweaks can come in trading Weems(Euroleague material lmao), Jose(lost his confidence and offense), Bayless(he has tunnel vision and a nasty me-first attitude with no achievements to show for the swagger so he should go), Barbosa(another ball hog with an expensive contract – verdict, gone!), Bargs(if he really likes Bargs, make him a 6th man(still ok with me, I sort of prefer this than trading Bargs) – there he is not inimical to the team on defense), Reggie Evans at the draft or in the offseason and the final tweak will be sacking Jay triano and getting an experienced coach in Nate Mcmillan, Jeff van Gundy(if we can coax him out of his plum reporting job at TNT lol) and Mike Woodson in that order who can get these guys to play defense and bring some accountability(where there has been none for the past 5 years starting with the untouchable child – Bargs)).

  • Robinquivers

    all these trades and signings are nonsense, the only hope is to continually tank until we have 2 legit allstar/hof ers on the roster, and aim for the end of the upcoming Heat/Knicks era

  • WhatWhat

    No White Swan today.

  • AwesomeGuest

    “I’m still pretty pissed we lost out on him in the summer, and have been meaning to write a post all year on what this team would look like had that Bobcats trade gone through (Jack/Bayless,”

    How would we have both Jack and Bayless? Hornets just gave him to us for free, er what?

  • Lollipop

    Bargs out today.

  • RapthoseLeafs
    • AwesomeGuest

      Aiyayayayayaya…. I’m hoping for another upset last the game then..

      • RapthoseLeafs

        no Dirk last game.

  • hound

    I am tired watching what i see, I am sick of losing, I think I will have six more Coors Light to try to cope.


    • AnthonyF

      They played well for a good portion of the game….. Surprised that sans Bargnani the defense didn’t miraculously become shut down and ferocious as some here suggested would be the case.

      What I did note was the forward position made maybe 2 shots outside the paint….. Who would have thought that.

      Nice to see Jose get his stroke back.

      Remember Dallas played a bad Washington team yesterday and struggled too…..

      Now the Bargnani haters will need to come up with a different tact.

      • Nilanka15

        One game hardly proves anything. The haters can just as easily point to the first half to show you what life sans Bargnani can be like, but it hardly proves anything either.

        For the last time AnthonyF, trading Bargnani isn’t the only part required to fix this team. Every single position needs work, along with coaching and management. Nobody has ever stated this is all Bargnani’s fault. It just so happens that Bargnani and Calderon are the only 2 players showing no signs of improvement. Unlike the rest of the roster who are still “experiments”, you know exactly what you’re getting with Bargnani and Calderon…which isn’t a whole lot. Therefore, they shouldn’t be considered part of the rebuild.

        I can’t make that any clearer.

        • hound

          what would we get for bargs in a trade? I am all for trading anyone to improve the team. Haven’t heard any suggestions yet though.

          • Nilanka15

            Your guess is as good as mine. I honestly have no idea what kind of offers Colangelo will/can get if he ever put Bargnani on the trading block. As fans, all we can do is hope that he makes the best move(s) for the team.