The “that’s what good teams do and bad teams don’t” edition:

Ajinca: my frustration is beginning to mount at his use. He is far from an all star but he is just as serviceable as Sonny FREAKIN Weems. I’m not sure if that upsets me more or that every time I hear his last name, I remember this song. #r2d2

Alabi: according to the box score, he played. In real life, not in a video game. Interesting. #r2d2

Barbosa: in a stretch of a few minutes it was like he was a robot. Back to back threes from almost the exact same spot and speed out of the late 90s. Then he fell back into his rut. #r2d2

Bargnani: stayed late after practice yesterday watching his game tape. Not surprisingly he had the same reaction we all do when watching him play. Therefore he took the night off due to illness. #r2d2

Bayless: I think I have seen Arsenalist more in control of himself and his bodily functions at a kegger than Jerryd is in control of his game. He reminds me of a hamster seeing a big wheel and deciding to take it for a spin. #r2d2

Calderon: nice offensive game tonight. Had the eye to make shots and some nice dishes. This is an important end stretch for us and for him. We need him to be a commodity and with a longer than usual offseason coming up, now is the time to show it. #r2d2

Davis: got the start as Andrea was hugging a toilet and calling it Shirley. Did a bang up job too against a pretty darn good team of veterans. He is a stud if he can remain healthy and will be the leader of this new team. #r2d2

DeRozan: quickly becoming the Raptors version of Rasheed. If we are playing, a technical will be used. Shut your trap and let your game demand the fouls to be called. You had a chance to make a name for yourself on the world stage 2 years in a row now and shat all over it. You expect refs to give you credit? Please. Your coach barely stomachs your game. #r2d2

Dorsey: Given AlkaSeltzer duty by Micah Nori. #r2d2

Evans: This guy ever gonna play? Ever? #r2d2

A. Johnson: in a season of solid hardworking games, add another to the list. Out there running the floor and flailing body parts, it was a welcome sight in this building on a day we needed it. Wasn’t enough, but great to see someone cared. #r2d2

J. Johnson: from no minutes to 33 minutes and a sweatband that actually has game-earned sweat! Blimey, we really are that bad. His game has dropped off already, but that could be him just setting in to his surroundings. #r2d2

Kleiza: just call him C3PO #r2d2

Weems: only one thing will make Sonny an NBA player who can contribute on a nightly basis. Ambien and a clear head. #r2d2

Wright: and the winner for Comeback Player of the Year Who Ended Up Being Inconsequential is….    #r2d2

Driving The Bus: Amir Johnson

Under The Bus: Jerryd Bayless

Game Theme:

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  • WhatWhat

    May I call for civil discussion on White Swan? Please? Pretty please? He’s both underrated and overrated by our fanbase. You can’t really ignore the great defense to start out the game, but you can’t ignore the offensive drought the team went into either.

    Imo, if White Swan came off the bench to chuck away, we probably would have won the game.

    • Webcrawler89

      I agree, considering our bench was severely outscored, this is when you need guys who are better offensively. That being said, our bench sucks if we got half of them shooting like 30%.

      • We shot the same percentage as Dallas (think we even had a higher eFG). Problem was turnovers and fouling (defense). Not so much offense.

        • Webcrawler89

          fair enough, makes sense.

        • voy

          we scored 39 points in the 2nd half and gave up 64. didn’t sound like anything was working too well once dallas made halftime adjustments.

    • voy

      great defense to start the game… what about the rest of it? I didn’t see the game so I dont know. All I see is the 114 points allowed on 48% shooting and DN going off for 31. Did we have one guy, for the most part guarding him or was it by committee?

      • WhatWhat

        They started the game off REALLY nicely. I was stunned. We had like a 22-5 lead mid way through the first quarter. Then in the 2nd half everything went to shit. Bargs probably would have helped the team get out of that funk…probably.

      • Nilanka15

        It was by committee (Davis, Amir, JJ Ajinca, etc.). Dirk is just automatic from 15-18 feet. Perfect swishes everytime.

    • Martin

      Why discuss Bargnani (again) particularly in a game he did not play

    • hound

      Actually, I believe if you go back and watch the first quarter again you will see that our defense wasn’t great. They missed a bunch of open looks. Hardly any of the shots were contested.

  • Webcrawler89

    Seriously? You trash Derozan and Bargs, but say all Weems needs is an Ambien and clear head? Maybe I didn’t understand it, but I’m beginning to wonder if you’re not just RaptorsFan4Life in disguise….

    And I don’t like that JJ took 12 freakin’ shots in his 3rd game with us, but besides that he had a pretty all-round game.

    • Nilanka15

      Aside from his jumper, I’m REEEEEEEALLY liking what I’m seeing from JJ. I love his ability to bring up the ball, his passing ability is fantastic for a SF, he cleans up the defensive glass like a big man, and he has active hands constantly getting into the passing lanes.

      If he can work on his jumper this offseason, I can see a Wilson Chandler type (with better defense). This could turn into a great find by Colangelo.

      • hound

        I couldn’t agree more. I really liked his game and he had some of the best passes I have seen from the 3 this year. His technique on his jumper is questionable and brings it back to the side and past his head most of the time. Kind of like Demar early last year. That is correctable as you mentioned this summer. I was against this trade, but I may have to eat my words and tip my hat to BC.

        Also, Nilanka and I are agreeing on something. The world is becomeing a better place!

        • Nilanka15

          Cheers 😉

    • AwesomeGuest

      You shouldn’t take AltRaps seriously. He isn’t much of a writer and only writes this stuff to vent off his hate for a team that he will continuously watch.

      Maybe he just has too much time on his hands. Maybe he’s just trying to be funny. Either way, it’s kind of pathetic.

  • JIMMYjohnson

    Hey Tim and other Bargnani hating douchebags. What happened to our d tonight? Aren’t we supposed to be a superior defensive team without this albatross. YOU PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC.

    • Dallas is the hottest team in the league, winning 15 of 16.
      The Raptors lost by the exact same margin against PHX – with Bargnani in the lineup and against a PHX team that’s not nearly as good as DAL.
      DAL scored a whopping 4 points more than PHX.

      The Raptors, with Bargnani, allowed 86 points after 3 quarters of play. If you look, they rested their starters (offensive weapons) the ENTIRE fourth quarter.
      Andrea Bargnani was a team worse -21 against PHX.

      If you watched the game (or look here:
      you would find Dirk played to 3 1/2 minutes left in the fourth.

      Still not a good defensive effort, but you really have to watch the games and understand what happened (who sat when, who missed defensive assignments, etc) before you start calling everyone names.

      • AnthonyF

        Andrea didn’t play more then a few minutes the fourth vs. Phoenix and their subs when we outscored them. He was the only reason Friday we weren’t beaten by 40, as he accounted for 40% of the offense through 3Q’s and shot 80%….

        Phoenix is also one of the hottest teams in the league in February too if you check the stats.

        After the first 6 minutes we were smoked by 33 and scored 72 the last 42 minutes….. Yep we didn’t miss Bargnani at all….

        • We may have missed Bargnani. But to for someone to claim victory (and insult other ppl) based on one game is tiring (the exact same thing can be said for those down on Bargs after one poor one).

          • AnthonyF

            Absolutely right…. The Raptors have won one game with Bargnani out. Our defensive #’s are no different with 103.5 allowed (vs. 105 overall) and 93.1 scored (vs. 98.8)…. Math says the difference is -10.4 when out vs -6.2 or 4.2 overall….. Of course it is not all Bargnani but just having fun with numbers.

            As said the defense was bad yesterday with the “Biggest Liability” missing and the 7 games he has missed the Defense is pretty much the same.

      • voy

        you’re right, tom, phx isn’t nearly as good as dallas but the suns drop 105 points a game and the mavs average only 99.

        today the mavs put up 15 points more than their average. I’m not saying this means anything but I would like to point out its tricky to try and draw conclusions from one game to the next vs other teams.

        Next up we play NO Hornets and they are better than phx too. Does that mean our expectation should be to allow more than the number of points phx dropped on us? No of course not.

        • Like I mentioned, the PHX starters did not play one minute of the fourth quarter.
          (My issue is taking one game and drawing conclusions – either way…)

          Points scored depends on how much the other team’s best offensive weapons are playing.

          I would argue we missed him much more on offense – Chandler is not a large offensive threat (only scored 3 pts against the Raptors) and on the other end Bargnani may have been able to draw him out of the paint.

    • Theswirsky

      its amazing how when Bargnani doesn’t play its against

      Boston, LA, Chicago, Dallas (2), Memphis and Houston. Of those teams only Houston isn’t a playoff team. Of those teams 4 of them are contenders for the title.

      And then his supporters have the nerve to say… see the Raps are just as bad without him. Impressive guys… you should be proud of your Italian philly.

      • AnthonyF

        We got drilled by Chicago at home without Bargnani and the next they played Chicago in Toronto they beat them….. By the above logic it was solely due to Bargnani’s inclusion in the lineup.

        And no, the Raptors were much worse yesterday without him minus the first 5-6 minutes.

        Thanks Theswirsky for again spewing your hate.

        Again where was the D that should have miraculously appeared with the worst player in the history of the league out? How could Dallas on good not great shooting have their 3rd most productive effort of the season?

        The only win was vs. Dallas without Nowitzki.

        • Nilanka15

          Your argument implies that Bargnani is the only defensive liability on the team. Calderon is almost as bad. And Triano has no idea what defense is.

          There are MANY upgrades required to bring us back to respectibility (not just the displacement of Bargnani). It just so happens that Bargnani is no longer an experiment. There’s no point in “waiting” for him to improve his defense (same goes for Calderon). But, DeMar, Amir, Davis, and both Johnsons need more time to show us what they’ve got.

          Looking at last night in a futile attempt to prove Bargnani is Toronto’s MVP, is quite short-sighted, and lacks fundamental, logical basketball cogency.

        • Theswirsky

          “We got drilled by Chicago at home without Bargnani and the next they played Chicago in Toronto they beat them”

          indeed… did you happen to miss that the time between then when the Raps had Bargs they lost by the same amount? Did you happen to miss that the last game was also Noah’s first game back after missing 30 games? In fairness the Raps did play good that game… and Bargnani FINALLY played some D. Suprising what happens when he tries on that end huh?

          Nobody expects the D to appear great without Bargnani. This isn’t some team full of defensive studs, there is a ton of inexperience on this team, they are also completely short on big men (total of 3 last night… unless we are going to count Alabi)… and it isn’t going to go from the worst to the best over night. No one is claiming that. The only people that do are the Bargs lovers who also love to put words in other peoples mouths in an effort to make them feel better about their philly.

          But I will say this… you give this team the rest of the season without Bargnani and by the end of the season you will see a much better defensive team. Not a great defensive team, but they will move beyond pathetic.

          PS just a side note your sample sizes are amazing… 1 game… nice work!

          • AnthonyF

            Like your sample size….. No the defense should have been better because Bargnani is the sole reason the defense is so bad….. We’ve been told this over and over. Dallas did not even shoot 50% and still put up their 3rd highest total.

            The Chicago game is a good example as I was there the first game at home and they were down by almost 40 and then win the next time. As I said below check the 15 wins Bargnani did play in and the close games and the one thing that strands out is he played well every game except the New Orleans game. That is a fact……

            • “No the defense should have been better because Bargnani is the sole reason the defense is so bad….. We’ve been told this over and over.”

              No you haven’t. No one has said Bargnani is the sole reason, so please don’t say this to try and make a point. Most of us have been saying he’s a MAJOR reason, but not the sole reason. This is an incredibly young and inexperienced team. Anyone who thought that one person was going to make a difference to this team is either incredibly optimistic or lying to themselves. THis is a 16-44 team for a reason. They simply aren’t very talented.

              • hound

                After watching the game last night I have to agree with you Tim. We are not nearly skilled enough to compete on a nightly basis. We all stick up for certain players due to some subjective thinking, but the reality is no one on the team is so good we have to keep them. I think all could agree that really the only true NBA talent on the team is AB, JC, ED and Demar. We are trying to mold Amir, JW, Ajinca and JJ into NBA players and Barbosa is an enigma. We need to revamp this team with new coaches, a few new people and hunker in for the long haul. After last night, i can clearly say there are no quick fixes.

            • Theswirsky

              “The Chicago game is a good example as I was there the first game at home and they were down by almost 40 and then win the next time”

              again… no they didn’t. They lost the next time they played them (with almost identical results, with Bargnani playing…. ) The 3rd time they played them they won…. with Noah back after a 30 game lay off, and Bargnani FINALLY playing good D.

              My sample sizes can only be as big as you allow them if we are limiting this to ONLY Chicago…..

              • AnthonyF

                Obviously you were not there…. They were down by 40 in the third….. Can’t ignore facts….

                • Theswirsky

                  umm what do you understand… game one loss… game two loss… game 3 win…. thanks for coming out.

    • I was going to ignore this, but let me just ask why you call me a douchebag and pathetic when I have never insulted you in my life. Because you disagree with my opinion? Is that really worth the insults that you just spewed out? Does that make this forum a better place? Does that raise the level of conversation?

      If you want to have a real conversation, I will gladly do it if you dispense with the insults.

  • Maleko

    Hey JimmyJ I thought we would have anemic offense without AB. Other than Bayless stalling out the offense for stretches, it was ok O.

    • AnthonyF

      Actually it stunk after the first 6 minutes…… Part of the improved offensive #’s was Calderon hit shots today and we made some 3’s….. The fact the forwards hit maybe 3 shots outside the paint is telling too…..

      • Nilanka15

        The offensive stunk because Bayless, Barbosa, and Weems decided to play one-and-done. We had no movement, no consistency, and no good shot selection. That’s not a question of skill, but a question of coaching and discipline. It hardly proves Bargnani’s worth.

        What’s much more relevant is our 16 wins in 60 attempts. That should probably tell you that there isn’t a single player on our roster who should be deemed “untouchable”.

        • sleepz

          Thats what I find so humorous about this debate.

          They get drubbed without Bargnani in the lineup the same way they get drubbed with him in the lineup.

          The roster lacks talent and the coaching staff just cannot coax any consistent defensive effort from these players. Sad state of affairs from top to bottom. At this point in their careers our starting line-up would be a good teams 2nd unit and the 2nd unit would be 3rd unit dnp guys on other good teams.

          Waiting to see if Bayless, Weems, J.Johnson, Ajinca, Wright or Alabi “develop” is comedic to me as the Raps are “evaluating” end of bench players.

          • Nilanka15

            J.Johnson is the only player who’s shown (in a very short time) that he’s got game. His shot can be worked on, as DeMar has proven.

            Alabi also intrigues me simply based on the fact that he was a projected 1st rounder up until his health condition was revealed. I’d like to see some more minutes just to get a better idea of what he can bring.

            • sleepz

              I respect your opinion but I don’t know if I’m prepared to conceed that yet.

              All of the other players I mentioned (excluding Ajinca and Alabi) have shown flashes when they have been given increased playing time but over time, their flaws become more obvious and we can see why teams have given up on them. Not syaing Johnson can’t improve but he’s also a little older than some of the other young guys and weren’t most saying the same things about Wright earlier in the year?

            • There were a lot of people that thought Bayless should replace Calderon after his first few games. Let’s get a much bigger sample size before we start making judgements. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Johnson, but anyone can play well for three games.

        • AnthonyF

          No it is because we are missing our offensive anchor, who draws coverage and can help open up the offense. That is exactly why we stagnate when he is out, because we have no outside shooting or anyone worth covering, which resulted in this one and done…. I know that is hard to comprehend…..

          • Nilanka15

            Speaking of comprehension, maybe you can explain the following losses in which Bargnani played heavy minutes:

            – Nov. 3rd vs. Utah: 125-108
            (36 mins, 8-19, 26 pts)

            – Nov. 6th vs. Portland: 97-84
            (31 mins, 6-17, 12 pts)

            – Nov. 16th vs. Washington: 109-94
            (28 mins, 3-13, 12 pts)

            – Nov. 28th vs. Atlanta: 96-78
            (34 mins, 6-17, 14 pts)

            – Dec. 5th vs. New York: 116-99
            (33 mins, 8-19, 16 pts)

            – Dec. 6th vs. Indiana: 124-100
            (32 mins, 5-11, 16 pts)

            – Dec. 8th vs. New York: 113-110
            (39 mins, 16-24, 41 pts)

            – Dec. 22nd vs. Detroit: 115-93
            (33 mins, 6-17, 16 pts)

            – Jan 4th vs. Chicago: 111-91
            (32 mins, 7-17, 23 pts)

            And so on…

            I think you catch my drift (or at least you should). YAY POINTS!!!

            • AnthonyF

              Actually no idea what you are talking about. Yes plenty of games he has not played well and they are noted over and over and over and over…… You included the 41 point game…. Pinning that loss on him? Don’t get it…. Mabe the Miami 38 point game too was his fault and you can complain about the 4 rebounds…..

              • Nilanka15

                Sigh….just when I thought I couldn’t be any clearer.

                You implied that we lost last night because of our “offensive anchor’s” absence. My point was that this team stinks even when Bargnani plays. Last night would not have been any different if he was in the lineup.

  • Amir is still playing hurt.

    He might still be wearing the ankle boot.

    He looked at about 85% tonight

    His quickness and jumping are still not there.

    I imagine it is still a game to game thing as too how much it is bothering him.

    Not very likely Davis will become the Raptors leader unless they trade Amir.

    • John

      LOOOL, Where were you when Amir was stinking up the place the last few days ?
      Come on !! Playing hurt, what a bunch of ***

      • Nilanka15

        Hey Everyone, John_P is now just “John”.

        Amir’s putting up 12ppg, 8rpg, 2bpg on 58% shooting in February. What garbage eh?

  • If James Johnson can ever learn how to shoot and make a jump shot (That is why he could never get off the Bulls bench and was stuck behind Deng and Korver, two players who can shoot) he will be pretty good with a lot more experience.

  • AnthonyF

    They played well for a good portion of the game (i.e. first half)….. 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? Once Dallas got tougher inside there was no answer, which Bargnani provides…..

    Nice to see Jose get his stroke back. Better shooting by the PG/SG positions today and hit a few threes.

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

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

    • Nilanka15

      You’re right, this was a guaranteed win with Bargnani banging in the middle.

      There’s nothing like a 1-game conclusion (against one of the better defensive teams in the league) to “prove” your point. LOL.

  • Daniel

    I went at the game tonight. When Bayless and Barbosa entered the game it was brutal. They are trully our own Killer B’s. I’m wasting my time talking about the players when obviously Colangelo and Triano are the main problems. In my opinion, MLSE is preparing to sell so they are cutting costs to the bone. I hate tanking and losing so I’ll be back only when I’ll see commitment to winning.

    • Was very tough watching Barbosa force shots. 3 for 10, 1 assist and 2 turnovers. Just never looks for the open man.

      • Nilanka15

        He just lowers his shoulder, gets called for the charge, and looks at the refs in bewilderment. It’s startling how good Nash makes players seem.

    • Beaverboi

      Why would they sell when they are making money? And with a potential lockout coming, who would buy?

    • MLSE is preparing to sell? What on earth makes you say that? It is a HUGE cashcow for them, even when they’re losing. And teams that rebuild cut costs. That’s the norm.

  • WhatWhat

    People, the offense won’t die without Bargs playing. We have the 22nd ranked offense, and White Swan generally doesn’t score very efficiently. The Raptors don’t become the Celtics either when he’s not playing…and you know, most importantly, IT WAS ONLY ONE GAME. Using it to argue for either side of Bargs’ worth is a weak argument.

    • AnthonyF

      Of course you’re right, but I promise you if the Raptors won, it would have been Armageddon on here with the Bargnani haters celebrating and dancing in the streets.

      But wow what a start…. Too bad that couldn’t clamp down and hit an outside shot later… This is exactly what Bargnani brings.

      What is most telling is the defense was no different with him out….. That is what the “haters” spout and they need to come up with some creative explanation for.

      • Jose

        Look dudes…IMO this discussion about Bargnani is pointless. This is team is BAD with or without him. Does not make much difference at all.

      • sleepz

        There was no party or parade the last time the Raps beat the Mavericks without Bargnani which was earlier this year if you recall, where we hadn’t won in like 10 years. Were you burning your Andrea paraphenalia at that time? Of course not.

        If you thought the Mavericks were going to lose to this current Raps edition 2 times during the year you are sadly mistaken. The Raps with 5 Bargnani’s 3 Derozans and 2 Davises and a 34-3 first quarter lead were still going to get beat by double digits last night.

        The loss was to be expected under any circumstance or condition.

        • AnthonyF

          Actually no…. The team was up 22-5 and were thumped thereafter….. They should have won without Bargnani, because the defense should have been so much better and they had a 19 point lead at home with the fans behind them!!!!!

          Dallas barely beat the Wizards Saturday (game tied with 1:30 left), and came back and drilled the Raptors after hitting only 1 of their first 9 shots…..

          • sleepz

            This version of the Mavericks was not going to lose to this Raps team twice this year.

            They already beat the Mavs without Bargnani this year and the the defence was indeed much better that game but just like me not thinking that win came from Bargnani not playing (it was just a good team effort and no Nowitzki) I don’t think the loss yesterday was because Bargnani didn’t play (they would have lost with him playing 35+ minutes regardless)

          • Not sure how the Raptors SHOULD have won without Bargnani, even if they were up 22-5. The Raptors are young, inexperienced and, quite frankly, not very talented. And Dallas is one of the best teams in the league. Dallas had three quarters to make up the difference. Is anyone really shocked it only took 2?

            In my opinion, if Bargnani is playing, the Raptors don’t go up 22-5 in the first place, because it was mainly defense that helped them do that. Of course, we’re talking semantics here, so it’s really pointless.

  • Fletchmer

    Mavs have only scored more points 3 other times this year. Nice defense. From what I seen Bargs help defence was non-existent tonight. He was destroyed in the paint . He went could not make a shot for his life. This loss is on him. Other guys played over their head congrats on a good game

  • Jim

    Great defense in the absence of AB 😉 , Haters you were proven wrong tonight 😉

    • Not sure how “the haters” were wrong. I don’t recall anyone saying that, without Bargnani, the Raptors would be a good defensive team. The Raptors did play excellent defense, at times, but they obviously still have a lot of work to do. Young teams, as the Raptor are, are rarely good defensive teams.

      It’s obvious that the Raptors are handicapped defensively when Bargnani is on the floor because he’s such a poor defender. Without him, they are better, but still a ways off from being good.

        • Just out of curiosity, are you agreeing or disagreeing with me? If you are agreeing, which is what I’m assuming, how come more people “liked” your comment than mine?

          • Nilanka15

            I would assume the “…” implied stunned silence due to disagreement.

      • jimmie

        So when AB plays, are the rest of the players making up for his shortcomings to get beat by as few points as they do? Or when he doesn’t play, are the rest of the players not playing as hard on D as they do when they are covering for his shortcomings?

        Because what folks here seem to be suggesting is that, liability on D that he is, his presence/absence doesn’t seem to have an effect one way or the other on the team’s defense.

        If you keep harping on what a liability he is on D, and that it makes his contributions on O (and value to the team) worthless, then it should logically follow that when he’s gone, the team defense gets better. This is not borne out by available data.

        I think the point is that, yes, this WHOLE TEAM is bad at defense, and that AB is simply a part of the overall problem; not a larger part than anyone else, not a smaller part than anyone else. Context, perspective, blah, blah, blah.

        • The team defense DID look better to me. I saw better rotations and a team better at protecting the paint. The defense still wasn’t good, but it looked better to me. Unfortunately, Dallas is a very good team so anyone expecting the Raptors to suddenly be able to stop them the entire game and come away with a win need to have a reality check. Bargnani is a problem on the Raptors, because he’s a liability on the defensive end, but the team still lacks talent and is VERY young.

          • jimmie

            You’re entitled to your opinion re: whether the team D looked better to you or not. The result was the same, however. What I do agree with is your last sentence: Bargnani IS a problem on the Raptors because he’s a liability on the defensive end, but the TEAM still lacks talent and is very young. That sentence cannot be criticized. What people have issue with is that your argument is rarely couched in that context.

            Tim, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’ve appreciated your perspective in the past on a number of topics, but your stance on Bargnani as the one component of this team that is the key flaw and the one which absolutely must be addressed before the team can be considered to be on the right forward path has become a bit much this season. It just seems to lack perspective when there are clearly SO MANY areas in which the current roster is flawed…

            • Nilanka15

              You make a valid point.

              But another perspective that’s often lost when critiquing is where each player currently stands in terms of their development. Aside from Bargnani, Calderon, Barbosa and Evans, we have no idea what the rest can turn can turn into. DeRozan, Amir, Davis, Weems, Ajinca, Alabi, Dorsey, Bayless, J.Johnson, etc. are far too inexperienced to say with any certainty whether they can become serviceable NBA players or not. So, there isn’t much point in focusing on these young players’ deficiencies because there is a universal understanding that these deficiencies will be identified, worked on during the offseason, and re-evaluated next year.

              However, with Bargnani, Calderon, Barbosa and Evans, they are well past their evaluation stages of their careers. You know exactly what you’re going to get from them. Their deficiencies have been identified for years, and we have not seen any improvements. And out of these 4 players, Bargnani is the only player labelled as part of the “core” as this team attemps to rebuild. It is this reason why so much attention is directed towards Bargnani. Not because of personal vendettas. And it is this reason why you can’t compare Bargnani with Amir or DeRozan.

              When you factor in the combination of years of experience, offensive ability, defensive ability, and contractual obligations, Bargnani deserves the most attention on this flawed roster. It isn’t fair….but profesional sports (like any other business), isn’t fair.

              • jimmie

                Disingenuous to say that Bargs has hit his ceiling and the rest haven’t. We don’t know what ANY of these players are capable of going forward, because they ALL contribute to the current flawed collective. Without a complete, decent team around ANY of these guys, you have no idea what their role would be or how much they would contribute to the success/failure of the unit as a whole. They can currently only be evaluated in the context of their own young, inexperienced, flawed team.

                For instance, in terms of a single roster change, there are arguments that, if you put a legit defensive C beside AB (like, say, Tyson Chandler…) you could mask his defensive shortcomings and maximize his elite offensive abilities. You can’t discount that argument any more than the one that says AB’s flaws are terminal and that he needs to be gone for this team to be successful.

                My point is not to defend AB blindly — I would trade him for the ‘right’ pieces, too — but I always feel compelled to weigh in when it becomes a binary discussion whereby Bargnani represents the total failure of this franchise.

                I also object to the assumptions that are made here regularly (BC will never trade AB because he drafted him; AB will never be a bench player on this team, he’s been designated a starter by management forever, etc.). I’ve seen nothing yet from Colangelo that suggests there are ANY sacred cows on this team. Bargnani is still here simply because he was a 2nd banana to Bosh for his first 4 years and now has had what, 2/3rds of a season to show if he can develop enough all-round game to be the man?

                Make no mistake — he is being evaluated the same way the younger players are, despite your contention that he is a finished product. If this team improves around/ in spite of AB next season, I have no doubt he will be on the block along with everyone else. Colengelo has shown no predilection to keep anyone on this team; it’s just not the time to move AB yet (they still feel he has more to give, he’s a BYC player this season, etc.).

                • Nilanka15

                  When I speak of Bargnani’s ceiling, I meant his defensive/rebounding ceiling. Everyone knows what Bargnani can do with the ball. His offensive game probably will improve over time. But the roster during the last 5 years has absolutely nothing to do with his defensive and rebounding regression (Bosh or no Bosh).

                  You’re right…anything’s possible. But common sense tells me otherwise. There is nothing anyone can tell me that will make me believe Bargnani can improve his defense and rebounding. He’s had more than enough time to show us during his career, and he’s failed time and time again. At some point, you have to ask yourself, “how long is enough”. For me, 5 years is plenty.

                • jimmie

                  If your definition of “improvement” is that he will eventually become a defensive stalwart averaging 25 and 10, then I agree, he’s not going to get there. Although to say he’s regressing is not true at all. He’s not improving much, but he’s not visibly regressing, either. I think the critics tend to view his play with a slightly skewed microscope.

                  My point is not remaining ceiling vs. finished product. I don’t put the same expectations on Bargnani that you do. And I don’t think management has the same expectations, either. If he stays completely static in terms of his development on both ends, I still see distinct value there, even as an offense-only asset who makes a very-reasonable $10M/year.

                  Would I prefer a C who rebounds and defends, even if he contributes only decently on the offensive end? Of course. But the other 4 guys on the floor had better damn well be able to score. And that’s not the case right now. As current players develop and new players continue to be brought in, the value of AB within the context of this team will inevitably change. It may even change to the point where his value is as a 6th man brought in solely to light it up on O, or it may change to the point where the guys ahead of him make him entirely redundant. Or, with other, top-notch defensive players around him and slight improvements on his help-D, he may even remain a valuable starter.

                  I fully expect the same ongoing evaluation of guys like Demar, Amir, Davis, etc. Demar has shown great leaps in his 2 years in the league, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to cap out short of where it seems he’s heading. Amir has been in the league a long time, too; he hasn’t had the floor-time AB has, but he also hasn’t played on perennially terrible defensive teams to stunt his growth, either. A young player on a bad team has as many development challenges, if not more, than a young player on a great team. Ed Davis looks good now, but his self-generated O is terrible. He has a great chance to improve, but I’m not betting my house on it. If all these guys with “ceiling” do as much with it as AB has done in his 5 years, this team is worse than treadmill.

                  You just never know, is my point. Pinning all the shortcomings of this team on the current top scorer and one of only 2 guys who can realistically be depended on to put up 20 a night when you offer no alternatives is unfair. I get it, you’re frustrated with the the results, so am I, but it’s naive to suggest AB is the primary offender here, and to keep harping on it daily.

                  And if it’s merely an attempt at riling the AB fans for some online entertainment, as it often seems with the “where are the fans now?” nonsense, then that’s just childish.

                • AnthonyF

                  Interesting, but we don’t have 4 other scorers and are a long way from getting there. DD may be a a very serviceable piece if he learns to shoot the three, where he is pathetic at this time juncture of his career.

                  Now after yesterday, rotations were still bad and the overall defense showed no improvement.

                  I still maintain AB has shown passable defense and has been engaged in every win and close game this year. Add to that he has been very instrumental offensively in all those games save the NO game, I keep wondering what people think would happen if he was not here? You really think a single game we lost by 10+ points would miraculously have been a win with AB out of the line-up?

                  As for wanting to see these end of the bench players…… Please there is no interest here to see if players who play 10 minutes are worthy of playing 20 minutes a game…. This is classic Toronto Maple Leaf fandom cheering on the 4th line players…..

                • Why do you think DeRozan needs a three point shot to be a serviceable piece? A three point shot would be nice, but it isn’t necessary in the least. And considering he’s averaging 16 ppg for the season, and doing it fairly efficiently, I’d say he’s serviceable right now. Is he a great scorer now? No, but he’s shown a lot of promise and has improved his game (not just his scoring) every month of the season.

                  As for yesterdays game, I would certainly say the defense looked better. The defensive rotations looked a lot better, but considering they are usually awful, there’s still A LOT more room for improvement.

                  And Bargnani has not shown passable defense on a constant basis. Yes, he’s shown he’s been engaged in most wins, but considering they’ve won 14 out of 68, I don’t think that’s much of an accomplishment, quite frankly.

                  And no one thinks that simply removing Bargnani would make the Raptors even a passable team. I don’t think anyone can deny there is simply not a lot of talent. But the argument that the Raptors should keep Bargnani because he’s one of the best players on a team with little talent is flawed. The Raptors are rebuilding and to hold onto a flawed player because he helps a 16-44 team score, even though he hurts it on the defensive end, doesn’t make sense. The biggest argument I’ve heard against trading Bargnani is then who would score for the Raptors. My answer is, who cares? Bargnani’s scoring certainly hasn’t prevented the team from being a bad team, but it has prevented them from improving defensively.

                • AnthonyF

                  No Bargnani is the best player and talent on the Raps by a long shot. He is also the most compelling reason to watch night after night. To say the Raps defense giving up the third highest total Dallas has scored this year looked better just solidifies your dislike of Bargnani.

                  I am not only talking the wins but the dozen games they have lost but were in ’til the end and yes a great deal of reason was Bargnani’s offense and engaged defense…..

                  As for hitting the three it is absolutely essential for the SG. To be by miles the WORST in the league (2 all season) again shows the deficiencies this team has in not drawing defenders out and opening the paint at all…. Only one who does that is Bargnani.

                  Tell me who comes close to AB’s offensive talents or at least a replacement at the 4/5 who we can get?????

                • Well, it appears the difference is that I see talent as not simply scoring talent. Bargnani is obviously the most talented scorer on the team, but I don’t believe that means he’s the most talented, especially when he’s such a poor defender and rebounder. I consider defense, rebounding, passing, hustle, etc to be skills. And Bargnani is below average in every area BUT scoring.

                  Amir Johnson is a very talented player, too. He just isn’t as talented offensively. But he’s a better rebounder, defender, better at moving without the ball, has better hands, and is a more efficient scorer. I’m not saying he’s more talented, but it’s close, quite frankly.

                  I believe that talent are the skills you possess to help your team be in a position to win.

                  And Dallas scored a lot of points. Yes, but the pace of the game was pretty fast. What I saw on the floor was that the defense looked better. Not good, but better.

                  If hitting the 3 is absolutely essential to be a successful shooting guard, then explain Dwayne Wade. Or Clyde Drexler for the majority of his career. Or Michael Jordan for the majority of his.

                  And I’m not talking about the team as presently constructed. The team, as presently constructed is a 16-44 team. Obviously they don’t have all the right pieces. If they did, they’d have won more than 16 games.

                  As for who would replace Bargnani’s offensive talents, at this point, that’s the least of my worries. My biggest worry is getting players who don’t have fatal flaws and increasing the talent level on the team. If you get a center and SF who can average 15 ppg AND play defense, then you’re in a better position than with Bargnani. And you don’t have to cover up for anyone.

                  Bargnani is a very good scorer, but my point is and always has been is that scoring is important, but not at the cost of defense. Not if you want to build a successful team.

                • Nilanka15

                  Well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I don’t pin all our problems on Bargs. But along with Calderon, Triano and Colangelo, Bargs is one of the main culprits. That’s just my opinion based on 20 years of following NBA ball, 20 years of playing ball, and 16 years of watching this team.

                • jimmie

                  Yep, we’ll agree to disagree. And it’s not about how long you’ve been a ball fan. I’ve played for the past 32 years, watched NBA and NCAA almost as long, and like you, have watched the Raps since they entered the league. Those types of qualifiers are unwarranted; it’s as if by saying so, your guesses about the future of this franchise are better than someone else’s. So not true.

                • voy

                  jimmie, exceptional insights and well thought out opinions. certainly a pleasure to read.

                  Your comment on judging players within the context of a poorly constructed team is bang-on, in my opinion.

                  Regardless on if we agree or disagree on other basketball/raptor related topics, i certainly hope you chime in more often.

                • mountio

                  Well put jimmie .. well reasoned and articulate.
                  Youve done a good job of pointing out one of my key beefs with the anti AB movement – the contention that everything is so absolute with AB (he will never improve on D, a team cant win without a defensive minded C so we must go in a different direction, after [x] years in the league and [y] amount of playing time guys hit their peak and wont show meaningful improvement (but guys with one or 2 years less experience are different).
                  As with you, if we got good pieces in return, Id support an AB trade for sure .. but I wont support a trade for a 10 and 8 guy who plays serviceable defense. It doesnt make sense and wont help the team.
                  The whole team is flawed, the situation is flawed and needs help in many areas. My point is simply to abandon your best piece only makes the rebuilding process longer if you dont get something similar in return ..

                • Nilanka15

                  There’s guesswork, and there’s educated guesswork. You’re willing to wait 5+ years to see of Bargnani can improve on his deficiencies. Yet, we gave up on Araujo after just 2 years. According to your logic, Araujo could’ve improved, and we pulled the trigger too quickly. But common sense said otherwise.

                  Sure it’s theoretically possible Bargs can improve on defensive and rebounding, but what reason has he given us to think this might happen? None whatsoever.

                • mountio

                  Youre contradicting your own point. Hafa sucked, had no skill and never would improve. You dont need five years to figure that out .. a half a season was plenty. He had no NBA skills whatsoever. Same would be true for other players. But, everyone is different.
                  My point is there isnt a timeclock where guys stop improving thats the same across the board. When players overall games are regressing, I would think about putting them in that bucket .. that could be 6 months in, 2 years in, 5 years in or 10 years in.
                  How you put Amir, for example, in a different bucket than AB from that perspective is beyond me. both guys have been in the league a number of years and both have shown developments over the years in a number of areas. AB has added a number of things to his offensive game every year. Increased scoring, better footwork, reduced offensive fouls, reduced stupid defensive fouls (I would argue swung the pendulum way to much and should be more aggressive now). Point is – evolution of his game. You are correct, has barely done anything on the defensive end. Will he ever? I dont know .. but considering a lot of that is effort related, perhaps that would change in a better situation with more winning? Maybe not, I dont know .. but to dismiss the possibility or say the possibility is statistically remote doesnt make sense to me.
                  Am I expecting him to turn into a defensive stalwart – of course not. No chance in hell. But given he should continue to improve his already strong offensive game and might (might not) also improve defensively, thats enough to make him the most valuable raptor to me.

                • Nilanka15

                  Sorry, no chance in hell he improves his defense. It’s a psychological issue. Bargnani just doesn’t have the personality to be a banger. You can’t change people’s personalities, especially when we’ve seen no change in 5 years. It’s naive to think so.

                  As for Amir being in a different category, it’s because of his career minutes played. He was buried on the bench on a VERY deep and experienced Pistons club, coached by Larry Brown no less (someone known to be hard on young players). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Amir wasn’t given a proper opportunity to prove himself. His situation was similar to Jermaine O’Neal’s. Bargnani, on the other hand, has been playing starter’s minutes for the last 3 years.

                  That should clear up any apparent “contradictions”.

                  Lastly, 90% of your pro-Bargnani post concerned his improving OFFENSE. No one’s arguing with you about his offense.

              • Jonathan R.

                This was very well Put Nilanka.

  • Toshmon

    Hey Altraps, watch what you say about DeRozan. That guy practices and plays his ass off for this team and tries to represent this city the best he can.

    And he didn’t shit all over his chance to make a name for himself, he has just started.

    • Webcrawler89

      Naw man, Altraps like his American players to just pretend to like Toronto, pretend to get injured and play, say this city sucks, or not work hard in the Gym, or say it’s a hockey town, oh and he really loves them when they follow other players down to South Beach. Altraps LOVES those guys. F*** the players who can’t win dunk contests that are rigged against them.

    • I know right? Whats up with the hate on Demar? Are you trying to say he has no right to be upset with the officials when its clear he gets almost NO calls? Damn .

      • Nilanka15

        I absolutely love the attitude DeMar’s showing lately. Most non-calls against him are downright laughable.

  • Balls of Steel

    I really liked the effort in the first half. At one point, they were up 22-3 in the first quarter. The was effort there. However, the energy and talent level tailed off as the game wore on. There’s no way that the Raps could’ve come out like that in the first quarter had Bargs started (see Phoenix and other blow out games). If Barg’s started and was shooting well, we’d give up 30 points in the first quarter and maybe lead a bit. If he shot poorly, everything else goes (especially his already porous defence).

    Also, it’s only one game. What if Bargs was out for an extended period of time. Would this team cope? Will they have a 5-man attack? Will help defense improve? I’m not sure of the answer but I do know that the effort was better on the first half simply because they HAD to fend for themselves. We still lost but the difference in this game (at least in the first half) was effort.

    A Bargs that comes off the bench may remedy this. His scoring touch is deadly and would’ve countered any attack from Dallas’ second unit (while the starters rest). There are players of that calibre around the league and their jobs are very specific (see Crawford, Barbosa, Terry and really, Bargs should be in it as well).

    • Nilanka15

      The Bargs off the bench experiment has been done (during the Smitch era), and it didn’t work. He’s too inconsistent with his scoring for it to be an effective plan. And with limited minutes, he would have even less time to shoot himself out of a funk.

      • Balls of Steel

        Actually, I disagree. When Smitch was here and Bargs came off the bench, it was because for the most part, AB7 was young and his effort was not appreciated by Smitch. The last Smitch pre-season started with him ignoring Bargs for 2 weeks! It’s much different now as he is older, more adept at scoring and presumably have better confidence. He’s still a bench player in my opinion.

        • yertu damkule

          odd how in hindsight, bargs being benched seems more & more like something that might have worked, given enough time. y’know, since the things that caused the benching in the first place are as bad (if not worse) now than they were then. alas, the king didn’t like his prize sitting on the bench (not a good image, i guess), and changes were made…

          i think we all need to accept that bargs is a circus sideshow…the fanbase in general has accepted his shortcomings because it’s neato watching someone with such a ‘unique’ skillset. woohoo, we’ve got the bestest jump-shooting 7-footer around!

          • AnthonyF

            And your solution the 10/8 grinder who clogs the middle battles Amir & AD for rebounds and every opposing player ignores resulting in DD, Calderon, Bayliss and Barbosa trying to create their own shots????

            • Teams can’t ignore Amir. He scores efficiently, moves well without the ball and can now hit the 15 footer on a consistent basis. We’ve seen what he does when teams ignore him. He makes them pay for it. You’re exaggerating here to try and make a point. No one is suggesting getting as player who is a liability on the offensive end. We’re suggesting getting players who aren’t liabilities on EITHER end of the court. You can score 10 points a game, but be enough of a threat that you can’t be left alone.

  • Co

    Altraps, why do you hate DeMar so much? Did he sleep with your wife or something?

  • PeaceDawg

    Altraps, did you see the game.. JJ had a bad shooting night, but he had one less assist than Calderon, and was almost working on a triple double.

    • I’ve got to agree. Johnson had a very good game. He was one of the main reason the Raptors were up by 20 points in the first quarter. He didn’t shoot very well, and probably too much, but just look at the stat line. 8 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, no turnovers and all around good defense.

      I also don’t know why you were so hard on DeRozan. He certainly had a right to be upset after some of the questionable calls.

  • Yep

    That block at one end and dunk on the other end by DeRozan was spectacular.

    • onemanweave

      Not in either Bargnani camp — for or against . Love his game occasionally, hate it quite often; split personality — fanboy-hater lol.
      For those saying AB would have provided the outside shooting we needed — have you watched him lately? He was a good three point shooter when he started. Something has happened.
      Saw a recent article grading the best — and worst — NBA shooters from each area on the floor. Deep centre zone, where AB launches most of his three pointers from — he has the WORST shooting percentage in the NBA from that area.
      His worst games come when he stiff-legs threes at a 20 per cent rate and does nothing else. The ‘stretches the floor’ mantle he’s given by some has lost its shelf life.

      • AnthonyF

        Amazing, now he isn’t an outside threat? Yes his 3-point shooting is down this year, but still okay. Remember we are the worst in the league by a long shot right now. He also stretches the floor as he can hit a jumper from 15′-25′, which not a single Raptor forward did yesterday and when Dallas packed the paint and started hitting their shots it was over.

        What makes this debate (though hardly one imo) so frustrating is that our best player is treated with such contempt. Yesterday showed that the defense was absolutely no different or successful without him and this in a game where we had some great performances and shot well. Could you imagine complaints and such venom for the stars of other teams?

        Yep you are right Bargnani can be frustrating at times, but those who even after a drubbing can not recognize his value and continue to spew he is a sub who should be traded for scrubs and declared an utter failure really need to get over it.

        • onemanweave

          Jeff Van Gundy had an interesting point in yesterday’s Lakers-Thunders contest. Kobe, who wasn’t exactly lighting it up at that point, took an offensive charge to nullify a fast break opportunity by Oklahoma.
          To paraphrase Van Gundy –” that’s what your best players have to do when they’re not scoring — the little things. When other players see your best player working hard on those things, you are going to have a good team — they’ll key off his lead and do those things as well.” That was his meaning, if not word for word.
          If AB is truly our best player, maybe it helps explain the Raps’ record this season.
          I certainly didn’t say he had no value. There are games he lights it up. His jumper and drives to the basket are much better than he used to be. His three-point shooting isn’t. Check the stats.
          He needs to do some things a big man does. He needs to do them on a regular basis or he is not Toronto’s best player. He is a scoring option off the bench on any good team, if he continues to play the way he has for five years.

          • AnthonyF

            And in the games we have won and in many close games he does do those little things… When the Raptors win it is as a team and you can point to many things done well. In these blow out losses the opposite is true.

            Bargnani to use the whipping boy, did not have a great shooting game vs. Chicago Wednesday but did the “little things” and was a huge contributor in the win.

            JVG pulled out one of those truisms and catch phrases that are oh so common.

            • The Raptor’s record should show how often Bargnani is able to do the little things to help his team win. The Chicago game was an anomaly, unfortunately, and I think you know that’s true. On a consistent basis, the only thing Bargnani does well is score.

            • Maleko

              “JVG pulled out one of those truisms and catch phrases that are oh so common.”

              Unlike Bargnani’s effort

        • C.d.G.

          “but I promise you if the Raptors won … with the Bargnani haters celebrating and dancing in the streets” … “so frustrating is that our best player is treated with such contempt” … “Could you imagine complaints and such venom for the stars of other teams?”
          That’s what I meant so many times before. Sadly.

        • sleepz

          The best player on a 16 win team is like being the tallest midget unfortunatley.

          I couldn’t imagine complaints or venom for other fans of other 16 win teams as they wouldn’t care who the percevied best player is, as the team sucks.

          I am not asking in a confrontational way but were you defending Bosh last year when he was dropping 24-10 yet the ” he’s not getting to the line enough” or “why isn’t he playing with a broken face” comments were being thrown about?

          Your passion for defending the teams best player when undue criticism abounds could have been useful then as well.

          • AnthonyF

            Again missing the point. Let’s look at the bottom feeders. What would you say if GS traded Curry, Minnesota Love, Washington Wall, New Jersey Williams or Lopez (new acquisition), Cleveland who lost their star and was built around complementary players, and Sacramento are messes, so I admit they may not miss Hickson, Evans, Cousins, would they all be traded for a bag of peanuts as some here suggest Bargnani should be?

            Hey I will harp again that I said Noah wouldn’t be a fair trade for Bargnani here and still await an explanation why I am wrong. Noah is the perfect example in a game like yesterday’s who would have offered absolutely nothing as he could not have done anything to help offensively and we still would have been burnt by Dallas’ wings.

            • Nilanka15

              Since you conveniently ignore every attempt at answering your question, how about this: Bargnani’s lazy. Noah isn’t. There’s your answer.

            • Nilanka15

              Do you not realize than when you mention Curry, Love, Wall, and Lopez, you’re talking about players in their ROOKIE CONTRACTS? Ever heard of upside?

              Bargnani has no upside. What a ridiculous comparison.

            • sleepz

              I would never trade Bargnani for a bag of peanuts. I tihnk those that make those comments are displeased with his effort and attitude but they say it to get you vex.

              That being said Curry, Love, Wall, Williams and Evans are all better players in my opinion. I would also take Noah for Andrea because I think it’s easier to replace Bargnani’s scoring by next year then it would to get better defensively, and rebounding wise which is what Noah supplies. A 3 man big rotation with him Johnson and Davis would be problems for the opposition and your front court is officially shored up. The culture needs to change around here and he would be a huge step in the right direction. The Raps might score a little less in the short term but scoring has not been a problem with the Raps for the last 6 years and could be more easily replaced than getting better defensively as recent history has shown us.

              If he wasn’t so immature I would consider a Barganani for Cousins swap as well as that kid plays like a man, has nastiness in his game and cares about winning and losing, however these are all players who I think are valuable or have considerable upside. I would never suggest trading Bargnani for the Troy Murphy’s or Carl Landry’s of the world because Andrea is a better player imo opinion than those guys.

        • I’m not sure who think that Bargnani should be traded for scrubs and declared an utter failure. That sounds like a bit of an exaggeration done to try and prove point. I think he should be traded, but for a good return, and I don’t think he’s a failure, just one of many players in the league who don’t do enough of the little things to be a rotation player on a Championship contender.

          • AnthonyF

            Is this a new Tim_W? Many here have stated he is a bust and useless. Most detractors say he brings more negatives then positives and downplay his offense. They definitely would welcome a Vince Carter Babcock-type trade (all defense/no skill players)…..

            Take a look at the 16 wins and you will see in a number of games he did the little things. The team allowed only 99.2 points, Bargnani scored 30 in a number and averaged over 26 too…. So again I admit Bargnani has warts, but is by far the best we have and if he was traded for pieces, which the “haters” espouse, it would be disaster……

            • AnthonyF

              Just reviewed their “competitive” losses (i.e. close ’til the last 4 minutes) and only the NO game where he was a dog, he has played well in every other game.

              • sleepz

                Is your interpretation of him playing well based on what he scored?

                I know very well Bargnani can score. In fact I would prefer no pump fakes or posting up. Just get the ball one dribble and shot from 18 feet. I am confident in that shot he takes. What troubles me to no end is the no rotations, help d or effort on the glass.

                How do you think his teammates feel when they see that? No one ever considers this but it’s a point I harp on repeatedly because it means a lot more than some think and contributes to the enabling culture that this GM and ooach has sunken into the team.

            • Nilanka15

              I love how you claim the detractors want bit “pieces” in exchange for Bargnani. You’ve taken tongue-in-cheek comments like, “I’d trade Bargs for a new rack of basketballs” literally in yet another futile attempt to prove Bargnani’s worth. As a fan of the team, you never want to see the Raps get fleeced in a deal.

              As sleepz said, claiming Bargs is the best player on a garbage team hardly proves anything. What else should we discuss? The sexiest geriatrics, the fastest mo-peds, the richest homeless?

              • Statement

                “What else should we discuss? The sexiest geriatrics, the fastest mo-peds, the richest homeless?”

                That’s funny.

            • You can search numerous comments on the forum. I’ve never, ever, ever said that Bargnani was a bust or useless. I’ve said he was one of the better players drafted and even defended him, on occasion, to what I felt were unwarranted attacks.

              Of course, that doesn’t mean I’d want him on my team. There are a lot of players who are talented, but I don’t think are players you can win with.

              My problem with Bargnani, is if he doesn’t score 26 or more points (with the amountof minutes he plays), his negatives usually outweigh his positives. This is a major, major problem when the guy only averages 22 ppg. That means that the vast majority of the time, he’s not scoring enough to have a positive impact. The Chicago game was an anomaly. Normally he simply doesn’t play good enough defense, doesn’t rebound enough and doesn’t do enough of the little things to help his team win.

              Now keep in mind, there are not a lot of other players on the Raptors that really help the team win, much, so Bargnani is not the only problem. But he’s one of the few that seems to be in the longterms plans of the team that I don’t see becoming the type of player you can win with.

              And I’m not quite sure who trading Bargnani for pieces would be a disaster. This is a 16-44 team. At this point, not much they do, apart from trading away several young players for a mediocre veteran, could constitute a disaster.

              • AnthonyF

                His avg is up 4.8/game from last year and he is the focal point with no Bosh or believe it or not Hedo to protect him. He is down .5 boards from last year and blocks too….

                Anyone who says offense is easy to replace has no respect for the pure scorers in the league and amongst big men Bargnani is in the top 3 and he is still young and is improving dramatically on offense….. I get it, his dog games stink (had a terrible 12 back in January) and he can be frustrating on D, but he is by FAR the best we have…. Enough already……

                • Bargnani is the best scorer the Raptors have, but it’s arguable he is the best player. Personally, I think Amir is the best player on the team this season because he does so many things well. That said, I don’t think Amir is a great player, so that says more about the lack of talent on the team than it does about Amir.

                  And I’m not talking about Bargnani’s bad games. EVERYONE has bad games. You can’t judge players on their bad games (unless there are a lot of them). But the problem with Bargnani is that his norm is bad defense, little rebounding, and good scoring. For a big man, that is a major problem.

                  Offense is not easy to replace, but bad D is even harder to make up for.

                  Look at it this way, Bargnani is currently scoring 22 points a game. Great. But if Bargnani played even average defense, he could have the same overall production if he scored 15 ppg.

                  For the sake of argument, let’s say that Bargnani gives up .75 points, on defense, for every minute he plays. That means he has to help produce at least .75 points for every minute he’s on the floor. He can do that by scoring, passing, doing the little things, etc. With Bargnani, you get mostly scoring, so, based on him averaging 35 mpg, he has to score at least 26 points to remain effective.

                  If Bargnani played even average defense, he might give up .5 points for every minute he played, which would mean he’d only have to score 18 ppg over 35 mpg to be as effective.

                  Obviously I’m simplifying things, but you get my point. Bargnani’s 22 ppg are great in a vacuum, but they can be replaced by a big man who plays even average defense and only scores 15 ppg. That makes his scoring 22 ppg a little less impressive.

                • Maleko

                  And shoots at a guard’s percentage.

          • hound

            Who do you think we could get for him that would make the deal work

            • Well, I’ve been talking for more than a year about doing a deal for Ricky Rubio and one of Minnesota’s centers. Obviously it depends on how much you like Rubio.

              If Stephen Curry is available, which at one point people thought he might be, then A Bargnani+ for Curry would be good, but TOronto would obviously have to throw in more.

              Someone suggested a Bargnani for Marvin Williams deal, which is intriguing because, while Williams will never be a star, he’s still young and he’s got a good all around games that is often undervalued and might blossom in a different situation.

              There are always options if you look around, and you never know. Did anyone think that Deron Williams was available?

        • hound

          I agree. It comes down to if an expansion team could pick anyone off our roster, I am pretty confident Bargs would go first. I don’t think it is even close.

          • Nilanka15

            You’re probably right. I’m sure most would pick Bargnani first (the odd person might go with DeRozan or Davis).

            But an expansion team, vs. a team 16 years into its existant would probably have different expectations for success, right?

          • I think it would completely depend on the team doing the picking. Not looking at salaries, Bargnani, Amir, Davis, DeRozan and Calderon all bring different things to the table. A team like New York is probably going to take Bargnani, but a team that has plenty of scoring and values defense more, isn’t going to. Most good teams already have plenty of scoring, so Bargnani would make little sense for them, especially since he does little else. SOme teams might be fine with drafting a project like Davis, knowing it will pay off more down the road than any other selection, others might want a player who will be able to contribute right away. Hell, Miami probably takes Calderon because their biggest weakness is at PG.

            I don’t think there is ANY Raptor who is head and shoulders better than any other (of the players I mentioned).

            • hound

              Oviously it depend on the other pieces, but if there first selection had to come from Toronto, It has to be Bargs or Calderon. Anyway, the point is, he is for sure 1 of our best 5 players and I am not convinced we would be better with a trade. Steph Curry maybe, if the price isn’t too high, but not the Ricky Rubio deal with an average center. Rubio could be a bust and the 9 point, 7.5 rebound center is almost worthless. It would also necessatate another deal, sending Calderon or Bayless packing. I would like to take my chances with the draft, a free agent like Dalembert at Center and a new coaching staff.

              • Bargnani is definitely one of the 5 best players the Raptors have, but that’s because they don’t have much talent. Would the Raptors be better off immediately by trading him? Who knows. But that’s not the point. In my opinion, in the long term trading Bargnani is best for the team because he handicaps the team too much. The better the team, the less Bargnani would play because good teams don’t need scoring as much, and his lack of defense and rebounding would mean he would be relegated to a much smaller role. Bargnani’s value decreases the better a team gets.

                Right now, Bargnani is a necessary evil because the teams lacks scoring, kind of like Reggie Evans, and his pitiful offense, was a necessary evil because he made up for Bargnani’s rebounding deficiencies.

              • yertu damkule

                what happened to ‘…the 9 point, 7.5 rebound center is almost worthless.’

                what, exactly, do you think sammy D is?


                • AnthonyF

                  Not worthless….. Dalembert is earning $12,200,000 this year….. Boy that would be a great investment….. Get him for $3,000,000 next year???? Maybe, but again AB is our only offensive threat.

                • EdDames

                  I guarantee if we picked up Samuel Dalembert, 30 games into next year we will all be like “Why did we sign Samuel Dalembert?”

                • hound

                  I meant worthless in trade value, knowing we can pick up that guy in free agency. This would make the trade simply Rubio for Bargs and that doesn’t work for me. Sorry, I should have clarified that in my post.

                • As I said, it depends on how much you like Rubio. You are obviously not a big fan. I, personally, would do it because I think RUbio is going to be a very good player in the NBA. I think his game will do better in the NBA than in Europe.

                  And may I just add that this discussion has been extremely enjoyable because at no time did anyone get personally offended by someone else’s opinion and feel the need to insult them. It’s proof that you can have an intelligent, level headed discussion about Bargnani. We obviously don’t all agree, but that’s okay.

                • hound

                  Yes, good discussion and debate is what this site should be about. Frustration does creep in, especially when we only have 16 wins, but all posts are best when written with civility. That said, I couldn’t do this trade for Rubio alone as I don’t think we could trade our best NBA talent for any 1 prospect. I do believe Rubio will be a good NBA player, but the risk is to great. If Bargs goes, a current NBA talent has to come back our way back.

                • I think too much emphasis is put on the fact that Bargnani is the Raptors best player (which is arguable). He’s the best player on a team that might not even win 20 games. And he’s probably a bench player on a good team. Trading him for a prospect that probably has a higher ceiling than him is the best thing Colangelo can do.

  • Statement


  • dgiu23

    I can’t wait to see Bargs gone perhaps to the Nets, and come back to Toronto and drop 40 on you haters. He ain’t good in D that’s reality and can’t grab more than 5 boards, but he can score flat out, and w/o him the raps are just s!@%. Unfortunately Toronto is a jinxed city where no team can live up to the expectations of the fans (Maple L and Raps), just get on with it and love and respect your players they try to do their best all the times.

    • Nilanka15

      “Being lazy maybe. That’s the only reason it can be. I’ve got the body, I’ve got everything to take 10 rebounds a game. It’s just sometimes I get lazy.”

      Does that sound like someone trying their best?

    • The question is whether he would come back and score 40 while his team won. And the Raptors are 16-44 WITH him. Without him isn’t going to make much of a difference.

      And what fans expect is for their players to play adequately on both ends of the floor. If that is expecting too much then you want fans to settle for mediocrity.

      • dgiu23

        please read my response to the previous reply.
        Thank you

    • dribbles

      Actually, without trying to sound like a dick, it’s very much in doubt whether Bargs tries to do his best all the time. Count the number of charges he’s taken in his career, or the number of times he’s gone to the floor for a loose ball. The guy could average 30 a game and I still wouldn’t be able to stand him. Bargs gets paid more than anyone on this team and you can easily argue that he tries/hustles less than anyone else.

      Also, Ben Gordon is a gifted scorer who signed a ridiculous contract. One dimensional players don’t deserve $10M/year, especially with the new CBA coming.

      • jimmie

        We’ll see what the new CBA brings, but in today’s climate, your suggestion that one-dimensional players don’t deserve $10M/year is lost on 95% of NBA GMs.

        There are many less-than-one-dimensional players making more than $10M/year right now. Say what you want about Bargs, but his salary is not the issue; he makes very fair wage for what he brings to the table.

        • Nilanka15

          I agree with this. Calderon’s contract on the other hand…

      • dgiu23

        Should trade him for Pachulia then? 21pp nearly 6 boards ain’t bad. Attitude is an problem with Bargs, he does not possess the charismatic traits required to be a franchise player, this greatly contributes to all of your frustration.
        Is CB worth the contract he got from Miami? Igoudala? those guys have swagger and attitude but ain’t worth the money they command.
        Bargs is his own man his numbers are good you cannot crap on that.
        Moreover who of the starting line up from the Raps would be a starter in a decent NBA team? NO ONE they are all below average all of them!

        • So you are arguing that the Raptors shouldn’t trade Bargnani for Pachulia, that he’s not a franchise player, that Bosh and Iguodala are overpaid and there’s not much talent on the Raptors? I don’t think anyone is going to argue with any of that. Unfortunately, I don’t see what any of that has to do with the discussion at hand.

          But the point is whether or not the Raptors would be better, in the long term, if Bargnani were traded. And I would say most definitely. I think Bargnani’s stats are vastly inflated because he plays on a bad team without much scoring, so he’s the first option. On a good team, he wouldn’t be. Personally, I don’t think he’d even start on a good team, but that’s another argument. Anyway, if his stats are inflated, I think it’s the PERFECT time to trade him.

          • AnthonyF

            Actually on a good team he would be much more efficient and better as he would not be the #1 option and have easier covers and more space. He is right now the only option on Toronto (DD getting better)…..

            This year he took Bosh’s roll and on the offensive end has actually been better when you look at his shot distribution, thus opening up the middle for AJ, who has benefitted much more then AJ would have if Bosh was there……

            • But, as we’ve seen throughout his career, Bargnani is a volume scorer. He needs shots to be effective. Besides, that’s not the argument. The problem with Bargnani is not his offense, but that he contributes nothing else. Good teams already have good scorers who aren’t defensive liabilities, so Bargnani wouldn’t be nearly as valuable. WOuld a good team like a 7 footer with Bargnani’s offensive talents? Sure. Does that mean they’d want him to play big minutes? Not if he can’t contribute in other areas. He’d be subbed in, and if he wasn’t playing with energy and hitting his shots, he’d be pulled back to the bench. On the Raptors he’s forced to play so many minutes because the Raptors need his offense, so Triano puts up with long bouts where he is ineffective because he hopes that he’ll eventually catch fire on offense. On a good team, his offense wouldn’t be so necessary, so he’d be inserted only for short amounts of time.

              • AnthonyF

                And I pointed out in every win or tight game this year Bargnani has had a good offensive game and in many cases also playd well on defense except the New Orleans game…. That wouldn’t be helpful to many teams?????

                • Theswirsky

                  “And I pointed out in every win or tight game this year Bargnani has had a good offensive game and in many cases also playd well on defense except the New Orleans game”

                  ummm when did you point out he played well on defense? But I am more than willing to listen to (read) any evidence you have for that. In fact I’m quite curious as to what you think means ‘good defense’.

                • No one is denying that, when he scores well and plays half decently on defense, that he can help a team win. The problem is that, as the Raptor’s record shows, this is not a common enough occurrence to be able to depend on it. The Raptors have had only 21 games where they either won or lost by 3 or fewer points. That tells me that in 39 games the Bargnani either did not play well, or his playing well didn’t have a positive enough effect on the team.

                  A guy who has a positive effect in only 1 out of every 3 games is someone you bring off the bench for 15-20 mpg to see if he gets hot.

                  And I only recall maybe a few games this year where it could be argued that Bargnani played well on defense. A good game on defense for him is when he’s not a liability. And I’d put that number at less than 10 for the year. And that’s being charitable. That’s less than a 15% of the games. So in, at least, 85% of the games Bargnani played this year, he was a liability on defense.

                  That would certainly not be helpful to a lot of teams.

            • EdDames

              I pretty much agree with this.

            • Theswirsky

              “he would be much more efficient and better as he would not be the #1 option and have easier covers and more space”

              so explain the previous 4 years then pls

    • RapsM

      Bargnani is not vince carter and it’s toronto’s a “jinxed” city cause the organization doesn’t know what winning means.

      • dgiu23

        That’s spot on! VC what has it done for the RAps?