Raptors 103, Nets 116 – Box

Kris Humphries, season average: 9 points, 9 rebounds, 0.9 blocks. Yesterday vs Raptors: 18 points, 17 rebounds, 4 blocks. There’s your Man of the Match. The Raptors have a glorious history of letting scrubs have career games, add in the motivation of playing a former team and you got a motivated Humphries dominating the Raptors bigs. Yes, Hump dominated the Raptors, it’s hard enough to write that in a sentence let alone live blog it.

A few tides and turns later this was a close game in the fourth quarter when another marginal former-Raptor proved to be the difference: Sundiata Gaines. He had 7 fourth quarter points in the key Nets run which established a lead the Nets would not relinquish, on a side note I never quite figured out why the Raptors cut him in favor of Trey Johnson. Not that it would have mattered in the very least, it’s only that pound-for-pound, Gaines is just a better player. The game was earmarked by poor Raptors interior defense and the only hope was that strong offensive performances would overcome the burden the frontline had put on the team. DeMar DeRozan was the only one that delivered as advertised, as the rest of the Raptors struggled to keep pace.

DeRozan (30 points, 12-19 FG, 6-6 FG) was on point from the very beginning with his jumper which he is now unleashing from areas where he wouldn’t dare from two months ago. He had two turnaround fades where he turned towards the baseline and released high-arcing shots which met the bottom of the net without the least chance of being blocked by anyone in the league. His catch-and-shoot mechanics in the short mid-range area are also improving, he executed at least three shots where he took a couple dribbles, stuck his toes in the paint, and faded back for a soft swish. The mix-and-matching with the drives was also present, and he’s learning to finish despite the contact instead of getting ruthlessly blocked. You don’t see those embarrassing blocks at the rim anymore against him, when he goes in now he knows what he’s trying to do.

Brook Lopez started the game chewing us inside and shooting a ridiculous 8-10, Amir Johnson was no match and neither was Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors were forced to double and when the Lopez kicked it out to their point man Deron Williams, the ball started moving for them and seams opened in the shifting defense which rookie Damion James, drafted 24th, took every chance at exploiting. His 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 FTs were a real sore point for the Raptors who couldn’t deal with his aggressiveness and determination. And yes, that’s a career-high in points for him as well. Who knew you could find decent players late in the first round, eh?

The Raptors weren’t looking for Andrea Bargnani as a primary offensive option, opting instead to use the Amir Johnson/Jose Calderon pick ‘n roll as the driver of the offense. Amir had a terrible offensive game, perhaps influenced by his poor defensive game, and for the first quarter the offense was stagnant, the ball movement minimal and the one-on-one shots plentiful. When Bargnani did get the ball, it was the usual jumper which went in at a poor percentage in the first half, and at a higher one in the second, evening out at .500 for the game. His game-impact? Zero. Sorry, but I can’t look past collecting 3 rebounds in 39 minutes when the team was -5 in that category. His defense was terrible and made to look worse by the Raptors switching on matchups that clearly made no sense, Bargnani guarding Farmar? Honestly, what is going on?

Ed Davis’ boost off the bench converted a 23-27 first quarter deficit to a 51-47 halftime lead, it was helped by Ajinca (strained his leg, had to leave) and Barbosa giving the Raptors a lift and at one point in the first half the Raptors bench was outscoring New Jersey 21-7. Lopez had 17 at the half and Humphries was having a say on every possession on either end of the court. It’s amazing how good a player can look when you’re playing with a point guard that gets you the ball right where you want, taking nothing away from Humphries but Williams’ delivery on the pick ‘n rolls with Humphries and Lopez was impeccable. Calderon’s been up against Rose, Kidd, Nash and Paul recently and fared okay, not yesterday. His assist numbers are there, 12, but he was 2-11 and other than a third quarter spurt of assists, he was anonymous.

The Raptors came out cold in the third, James Johnson missed some looks and looked decidedly lost, Calderon missed everything and Damion James had 9 manly points in the early third to give the Nets a five point lead. It looked like they wanted it more. With Anthony Morrow out for the second half, Sasha Vujacic saw the opportunity and capitalized with a couple threes which came too easily against the Raptors defense. The zone was deployed and even that didn’t stop pure dribble penetration, which is surreal. The Nets had layups against our zone! Vujacic quieted DeRozan for a little bit, just enough for the Nets to get some momentum, but DeRozan quickly corrected his ways and started scoring after a momentary interruption.

The Nets appeared to be pulling away with the Raptors effort-level and interest dipping, when Jose Calderon had an inspired spell where he notched four assists in 2:48 of playing time late in the third. That erased the Nets’ 7 point lead and a Bargnani three helped the Raptors to a three point lead heading into the fourth. Too bad the Nets started the fourth on a 13-4 run, which included two Farmar threes, both coming from the result of poor Raptors defense. The first one was due to a screen that nobody called out for his man and he had a wide open look from three – no contest. The second one had Weems switch on him, Farmar size him up and then step back for the three. Weems didn’t even raise his arms. Then there’s that seven point Gaines spurt against Barbosa, who wasn’t exactly helped by his defense on those screens. Brook Lopez sets great screens and really clears you out, there needed to be better communication and there wasn’t. The lead extended to 11 shortly and was then punctuated by a four-point play when Calderon fouled Lopez trying to get around a screen, that killed any mild momentum there might have been. The Raptors never got close because they couldn’t get sustained stops, when the did manage to get the odd one, Humphries or Petro dominated us in the fourth quarter rebounding to make up for it.

The only defense played last night was by Jerryd Bayless, who played hard against Williams and tried to use his strength to offset the ex-Jazz point guard. That’s it, though, he couldn’t do much of anything else. The quarterbacking of the team was poor and right now all he does is try to draw fouls, which is nice except it’s not job #1 for a point guard. The Nets adjusted to Davis in the second half and he saw things come a lot harder for him when the Nets focused on boxing him out and keeping with him in transition. He was on course to have a great game and was stopped short due to a coach’s adjustment, on the other end, nobody quite adjusted to met Humphries’ challenge and the Raptors were run over.

You might say offense wasn’t the problem because the Raptors shot 48%, problem is that situational offense has always been an issue for the Raptors. And if you take out DeRozan’s percentage the Raptors are at 43%. Still, that stat is wholly eclipsed by the Nets shooting 56% and scoring 38 points in the fourth! Our defense sucks ass, pure and simple. Hard to win anything when you give up that kind of percentage and have Hump walk all over you, contract year or not.

We’ll do this again tomorrow.

Random: English cricketers Monty Panesar and Steve Finn, and Chelsea players Didier Drogba and David Luiz were at the game.

  • Showtime

    There was something like a 20-6 run for the Nets to start the fourth, that’s the main killer, and Williams getting fouled by Calderon while making the 3 pointer was a momentum killer on the little run we had going. The real question is why didn’t they give DeRozan more touches late in the game, feed the hot hand damn it, I saw some guys that weren’t even looking to pass, it was just ridiculous. Hump’s not that good, we just made him look like it tonight, either that or Kardashian said “if you get a double double I’ll…”

    If there is a silver lining….Cavs win! Cavs win!

    • Free DeRozan

      Agree completely that they should look to feed DeRozan more when he’s hot. The next step in his game is working on the ability to get multiple buckets in a row, go on runs by yourself and drag your team through cold stretches. Give the kid the ball, see what he can do.

  • Balls of Steel

    Of course he’s good now, he’s taking the Kardashian “Elixir”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Radpoy Alex Taylor

    Meh. Raps just weren’t fired up… and don’t have the talent to just skate… Nets on the other hand were licking their chops, hungry for their first win with DW…

    • Milesboyer

      That’s pretty much it – when they’re fired up they can beat the likes of Chicago, New Orleans and other top teams but when they coast, they’re like a boat without a motor. Never know which team is going to show up, the studs or the duds (more often than not it’s the latter) but at least it leaves something to make the games worth watching.

  • Jude Emery

    “His game-impact? Zero.” Compare Bargnani’s stats to Brook Lopez

  • joey

    espn guys were laughing their heads off at d will’s cross on $ weems. what they may of not known (or intentionally didn’t want to) that though d will was great at taking weems into another direction it was actually humphrey who tripped weems over.

    again, raps are the laughing stock in basketball circles.

    btw, triano has become more vocal about bargnani needing to rebound the ball instead of acting its not an issue – probably best comments from him all season.

    i end with this, raptors republic – world you consider trading for the draft right to ricky rubio from minnesota for demar derozan? especially if we get a slight chance at irving kid from duke in the draft.

    • hateslosing

      Derozen is now regularly dropping 20+ games in just his second year. I honestly have trouble of thinking of any rookie or sophomore that isn’t named Griffin or Wall that I would rather have than Demar. If he makes the same step in his game next season that he did in this one (maybe adding the three and improving his defense and rebounding) he will become the best player this team has seen since Vince left.

      Ricky Rubio may never come over to play and may not do very well when he does come in.

    • BCJayBargsHave2GoAway!

      That DWill crossover on Weems was nasty I don’t care if he tripped over Hump. DWill also shook Jose a couple of times. Rap’s need to try to acquire either Felton or Lawson from the Nuggets as both want to be starters next season.

      Jay should have told Barg’s that 2 1/2 years ago when he initially took over from Sam not now- it’s too late as BC, Gheradini & Jay have coddled Bargnani’s lackadasical approach to reb/defense all these years plus gave him a 5 year 50 million dollar extension as a reward.

      As well, Barg’s was quoted by a journalist over in London as saying this is basket-ball not rebound-ball, wtf?

      BC, Jay & Gheradini are just like Barg’s- full of bull chit. If MLSE can’t see that then fans need to speak with their wallets and stop supporting bull chit Raptor basketball aka not reboundball.

    • OTFP

      1 75% of crossovers are carries. This is one of those times.

      2 Weems tripped

      • KJ-B

        So, why do you think he tripped??? That was straight blacktop naaaassty!

        • Theswirsky

          hey clearly tripped on Humps leg. Technically it should have been a foul… (atleast thats what happened to the Raps in Atlanta when Crawford tripped on an Amir screen)

        • Arsenalist

          Weems doesn’t play anyone tight enough to be “crossed over”. The guy played much better defense last year, this year he’s taken a big step back.

          It’s late in the season and I’d experiment with him playing a bit more PG, I think he’s got enough handles to run the offense like Delfino used to for the Raps. Not an official backup PG, but someone who can cause matchup issues. Whenever the Raps have done that this year, he’s been ok.

          • jlongs

            I think he’ll make a much better back up PG than Bayless to be honest. You’re right in that whenever they stuck him against opp. PG he’s done well. I just seriously don’t like him at the 3 for some reason. I was impressed by him last season, this year disappointed. Huh.

  • Darien

    I’m now 100% for getting rid of bargnani. I used to be a giant apologist but enough is enough. The team is getting younger and heading in a different direction and you can SEE the promise of the young guns/guys whatever and he is like an anchor around this teams neck. BC, time to drop that shit while other teams still pick up the phone and inquire! Barbosa needs to go in the offseason hopefully for a low pick or a serviceable energy banger. I can live with Calderon manning the point just for a little bit longer because hes got fire and drive and I have no doubt he would give way to a young stud PG and provide great minutes and mentoring off the bench. The rest of those guys have got to go.

    • Smushmush

      Welcome to the BC “haters” club lol. But he can score and he is your best player – Beasely too can score and he is their best player on the Minnesota Timberwloves lol. While Bargs goes, if we really want a good basketball team not a joke in the NBA we have now, BC and Jay Triano have to go too. I don’t see where people are rewarded for bad performances in real life except Canada’s retail companies(a big culprit is Zellers lmao and Walmart to some extent). So why should it be different for the Raptors organization as a business?

      • Jose

        I know, I know. If you say anything against our current GM, coach, or MLSE you are labeled as a hater. Wanting this team to do better (which may involve giving another GM/Coach a chance) puts you in a category of “hater”. I would say it is the other way around. And BryCo’s fans’ main argument is — who is out there to replace him? I would say whoever comes in, cannot do much worse. What is there to lose?

        P.S.

        Somehow many people are forgetting that Raps are actually regressing year after year since Colangelo arrived. The only winning season was the first one, and every season after that one, has gotten progressively worse. Based on this simple fact, why on earth would you reward somebody with millions of dollars and new 5 yr. extension for moving backwards, not forwards? I cannot see any logic here. MLSE should understand that people will stop paying for the tickets and the merchandise at some point, unless there is a competitive team out there.

  • Santimo

    #1 Yes you can find decent players late in the draft…depending on the draft class.

    #2 Damion James is a decent NBA player now? I think it’s still a little too early to say that. 15 points and 7 rebounds against the Raptors doesn’t automatically make you a decent NBA player. Let’s wait and see if he does it consistently first, against other teams.

  • joey

    not much has changed after 1 yr even minus franchise player…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPcAPLxBSpU&feature=related

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

      So the Raptor’s best player leaves and the team gets worse. In other news, water is wet…

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

    “The only defense played last night was by Jerryd Bayless”

    Ed Davis was the only Raptor big to have any success defending either Lopez or Humphries. He played very well on defense. He just didn’t play very much.

    Speaking of defense, I understand Amir is the better defender, but sticking him on a much bigger and stronger Brook Lopez didn’t make much sense. Amir is a good defender, but he’s undersized and he’s most definitely not a center. Bargnani’s not a good defender, but at least he can give a little more resistance against Lopez because he’s closer to his size.

    • Theswirsky

      thats what I didn’t get about last night.

      Bargs on Hump…. Amir on Lopez? It make more sense (to me) to go with Amir on Hump and Bargnani on Lopez?

      • Arsenalist

        Amir always guards the better offensive player regardless of position.

        • Theswirsky

          Yeah I realize that….

          … but in a case like this where there is just no way in hell Bargs will ever match Humps energy and effort, and Amir can’t match Lopez raw size (plus Lopez tends to play on the soft side anyways)…. to me it makes more sense to go with Amir on Hump.

          Plus think of the rebounding battle that would happen between Lopez and Bargnani… would be like Mothra vs Godzilla

          • jlongs

            I agree. We ended up getting mismatched on BOTH positions, getting overpowered by Lopez and out-hustled by Hump.

    • Mediumcore

      +1

    • Arsenalist

      Sure, Ed Davis was alright too. Not much in terms of a stopper, but did play hard.

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

        I’d say Davis did more than play hard. Lopez was hitting everything until Davis started defending him, and then I don’t know if he hit a shot the entire time Davis was defending him. At least in the first half. Davis is obviously usually a good defender, but I thought it somewhat surprising because he often struggles against bigger, stronger players, which Lopez is.

        • Arsenalist

          Fine, Ed Davis is a Hall of Famer.

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

            Thank you.

  • sangaman

    This team will go nowhere with “young guns” or bargs unless a tough rebounder/defender is added to the mix. Reggie was that guy but injuries and age will be his undoing. Remember with reggie the raps were close t 500. Nowitski isnt a defensive marvel either but he has muscle to back him up. Trading bargs is idiocy, he is the only scorer that would stay in TO.
    Find a guy like the worm to fit between bargs and amir and we might have a team to beat in a few years.

    • John

      this team is not going anywhere till the day we pay scrubs like
      amir Johnson 6-7 million a year to be dominated by Hump man !!!

      • Theswirsky

        rather have Amir at 6 mil than the skirt at 8-10 mil. Atleast Amir earns his money. (oh yeah and Bargnani spent most of the night covering Hump)

      • Gary

        We’re getting great value from Amir. You’re a scrub.

        • John

          Yes, I saw the value last night, getting dominated by Lopez 😉 while scoring 4 pts and 3 rebound.

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

            You’re judging a player based on one game? I think there has been enough written to safely say that Amir is more than earning his contract. He’s an above average rebounder and defender, he’s one of the more efficient scorers in the league, his energy is constant and infectious, he consistently has a positive impact when he’s on floor, and he’s being paid below the average.

          • Dan

            Man open your eyes, look at what big men around the league are getting and say with a straight face we’re not getting proper value from Amir this season.

            Pure lie, unless you’re judging based on one game. Give me a break.

          • Gary

            Watch a few NBA games, educate yourself about basketball, then come back, reply, and tell me what you’ve learned.

            • John

              LOL, Gary, Are you watching the 2nd game NOW!!:) Your boy with all his values has 4 ts and 2 reboud so far in the 3rd quarter. How is that about education on Basketball;) :)

              Liston and Tim, Did your stat included games like this where Amir has ” the most positive impact” on the team 😉

              Come on guys, your boy is embaressing you.

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

                Is your point that Amir, because of a couple of games, is not earning his contract over the course of the entire season, or that Amir is not earning his contract for the last two games? Or are you just trying to incite people?

                Plenty of players string a few bad games in a row together, but you look at the overall season. Bargnani stunk it up for at least a couple of weeks. Does that completely nullify the rest of his season?

                In the vast majority of games, Amir is very productive and has a positive effect on the team whenever he’s on the floor. Picking and choosing games and saying “see, he’s not that good”, does work. And I’m pretty sure you know that.

              • Mike D

                Amir is having a fine season, considering his limitations. But sadly, John is on the mark here. Amir is only “earning” his contract because he’s getting a “starters” minutes – and there isn’t a proper “starter” on the team. Only Colangelo would have paid a back-up like Amir starters money.

                • John

                  Next Year, Ed Davis will be much much better than Amir and the majority of the minutes will have to go to this guy. Then BC needs to find another place for Amir and he will trade his contract out for another bad contract and … just like he did for Kapano and … There is no real plan and no real directions.

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

                  Amir is earning his contract because he’s one of the most productive players on the team, if not THE most productive player. I’m not sure why you say Amir is not a proper starter. Is he an All-Star? Obviously not, but he rebounds and defends at an above average rate and, offensively, is one of the most efficient players in the league. He makes his team better simply by being on the court, unfortunately a fact that can’t be said for the majority of his teammates. Amir could easily start on a contender, as long as he’s surrounded by more talented players, again something you can’t say for most of his teammates. If any.

                  Amir is being paid LESS than the average salary. Even if he were a backup, which he probably will be in a year or two, he’d still have a decent salary.

                  If you want to get fussy, you could say that Bargnani is only earning his contract because he’s being given starters minutes. And he’s making nearly twice that of Amir.

                • John

                  “Amir is earning his contract because he’s one of the most productive players on the team, if not THE most productive player”

                  LOOOOLLLL, yes, specially in the last 2 games, Don’t you agree ?

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

                  Can we dispense with the “LOL” whenever you disagree with one of my points? It’s an attempt to try to disregard my argument without actually debating it.

                  And as I asked, are you judging Amir on 2 games? Over the course of the season, Amir has the Raptors highest PER, highest win share, and among the rotation players, he’s got the best on/off court production difference, as well as highest difference in production for he and his opponent.

                  But ya, he sucked for a couple of games so I guess he’s no good.

                • Gary

                  Leave the idiot alone, where was he the rest of the season when Amir was helping us win games. Notice how he only comes out of hiding during a micro-slump.

                • John

                  Tim, you have no idea how funny you sound every time you come here and repeat the none sense, unproven, baseless statement that ” Amir has the most positive impact on the team ” …. LOOOOOLLLL , It make you sound like a desperate man who thinks if he repeats what he likes, it may come true.

                  You consider the games that Amir was pinned to the bench for being in foul trouble + the games like the last 2 in which he was spanked by the starter of the other team + the games that Evan’s strong play made Amir’s stay on the bench much longer than it usually is, and then you will be left with HAND FULL of games, which some of them were blown out games with no meaning, in which Amir put up some descent numbers :)

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

                  John,

                  You apparently think if you try and insult someone or attempt to make fun of them, then their argument suddenly is baseless. Lol. Doesn’t work that way. LLLOOOOLLLLL.

                  LLLLOOOOLLLLL.

                  Amir has averaged 30 mpg since he was inserted into the starting lineup. Hard to argue that he’s been stapled to the bench. And as for my “baseless” statements….

                  This backs up my argument he has the highest PER and win share of any Raptors…
                  http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/TOR/2011.html

                  And this backs up my argument about production and on/off stats…
                  http://www.82games.com/1011/1011TOR.HTM

                  LOFL.

                • Gary

                  He will never understand Tim, because he’s just a little toddler that doesn’t know how to read. He will run and hide when he is confronted by REAL facts and evidence. He’s a waste, let him laugh and wallow in his own misery.

                • John

                  Oh, Gary, Don’t be too upset, Amir is next Pippen, you just believe that and drink the Kool Aid that BC is giving you.

                • Gary

                  I’ll believe that, and you just stick to believing that you’re a somebody in this world. Try to convince yourself lol.

                • John

                  Again, you just don’t get it. Do you know what average means ? Also, play attention to ” Since he started ” 😉 then look at my argument 😉 I am sure you will get it. Try Pal, Try.

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

                  You said absolutely nothing that disputed my comment. Saying I “don’t get it”, when I’ve brought up evidence to support my claim isn’t actually disputing it.

                  My claim is that Amir is not only not overpaid, but probably underpaid because of what he does on the court. And despite claims that he can’t stay on the floor, in the 44 games he’s started, he’s averaged 30 mpg, so that is obviously untrue. Yes, there are some games he gets into foul trouble, but since he averages 30 mpg, it’s obviously not as big a problem as some might leads you to believe.

                  I’ve already provided links to show he is the most productive Raptor, and in fact far more productive than the average player, despite being the 5th highest paid Raptor and earning below the average NBA salary.

                  Please back up your argument.

                • John

                  I feel like a nice guy so I will break it down for you. Your stat shows an average for min he played since he was a starter !! how about before he was a starter ? How many games was he nailed to bench while Evans out played him !! What does the 30 min say about the game he was nailed to bench because of foul troubles !!! He could play a game 40 minutes but then in a crucial game, he was playing 20 because of foul trouble. We have seen many of those games , didn’t we ? How about the distribution of the minutes in crucial minutes versus garbage time when it is Amir’s specialty to play ??

                  You see my friend, numbers can be used to explain any lies however, a wise man asks the right questions 😉 😉

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

                  Amir started the season poorly. Nobody disputes that. But as the numbers show, since then he has played very well. Again, we’re talking about the big picture, here.

                  What Amir did while Evans was starting doesn’t matter, as long as he has been able to sustain his level of play since then. All players go through slumps. This is especially true at the beginning of the season, especially in cases like Amir’s, where he signed a big contract and wanted to prove he was worth it. He needed to make some adjustments and did. That’s what matters.

                  Amir has averaged fewer than 4 fouls per game in the last four months while averaging 30 mpg. What you want to see most with players is improvements in areas which are weaknesses. Amir obviously has had real trouble with fouls throughout his career, but this year has improved quite a bit, in that area.

                  In the last 40 games, Amir has played fewer than 30 mpg due to foul trouble eight times. Not great, but he’s obviously able to be on the court at crucial times in the vast majority of games, especially in the last five minutes. And, unlike Bargnani, Amir doesn’t have to be removed for defensive purposes.

                  Asking questions is great, but you have to actually make sure you find out what the answer is. It seems you may have assumed what the answer is, but it was apparently not true.

                • John

                  I don’t know where you get the 8 times because I am looking at the numbers and it is 12 times. Add to that the first 12-15 games of the season, then you have almost 40% of the season so far that Amir did not play any role.

                  Now, from the last 40 games, you look at how many games Amir played which were blown out games and then again, you see that his 30 minute numbers is irrelevant.

                  Once again, I point out that numbers just say small portion of the story and can be twisted and presented in many way.

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

                  12 times when he played under 30 minutes, not 12 times he played under 30 minutes due to foul trouble. Some of those games were blowouts, a couple he was hurt and a couple he simply wasn’t playing well.

                  And, as I stated, who cares what happened the first 12-15 games of the season? He’s obviously turned a big corner since then, and is fouling at a much lower rate.

                  I’m not sure how Amir’s 30 mpg are irrelevant because there were a lot of blowouts. Amir generally doesn’t play at the end of blowouts. He’s usually sitting on the bench with the rest of the starters. And if Amir’s 30 mpg is irrelevant because of blowouts, does that make Bargnani’s 35 mpg irrelevant?

                  Amir has played 64% “clutch minutes” this season. That’s 11% more than he plays over the course of the game. And that includes the first month when he wasn’t playing well, so wasn’t playing much at all. That compares to about 78% for Jose Calderon, another player who struggled early and saw another player start in front of him the first part of the season (which is why it’s a good comparison). That 64% is more than Serge Ibaka’s 59%, a player who has VERY similar numbers across the board as Amir.

                  Obviously your assertion that Amir doesn’t play a lot of important minutes is not correct. And since he has started, the percentage of clutch minutes Amir plays has gone up.

                  Yes, you’ve shown just how you can attempt to twist numbers to say anything you want, but a closer look will tell you a lot.

                  Amir does still foul more than he should, but you seem to be desperate to say one thing even when the stats say the opposite. I don’t think anyone is under the illusion that Amir is a great player. He is what he is, but at $5 million a season, a player of his productivity is certainly not overpaid when compared to the majority of players in the rest of the league, or even on his own team.

              • Gary

                Apparently 2 sub-par games can make or break a player? Get out of here you troll.

                • John

                  LOL, Troll ?? Oh, Gary, It seems like you are running out of logical answers and have to sink to personal insults.

                  It is OK Gary, BC has pulled a fast one on you and many other Raptors fan by introducing and paying a scrub like Amir as a REAL Player.

                • Gary

                  Not a personal insult if it’s true, and the fact is that you’re a troll. Why are you on a Raptors forum if you don’t like them? Oh I know why, you’re a troll, cry more.

                • John

                  LOL, oh, Gary, you naughty teenage Raptor fan 😉

                • Sjkfdsdffsd

                  Naughty toddler…lmao.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620662109 Rob Donald

    Can’t wait! I’ll be at the game tonight… wearing Raps red of course.

    Oh… side note. In looking forward ot the game, I started thinking about how I felt being a fan of the Raptors, especially one a continent apart.

    http://futilitarian.co.uk/2011/02/27/unenviable-adventures-in-nba-mediocrity/

    • Jose

      Nice article Rob. Enjoy the game this afternoon.

      Cheers

    • KJ-B

      WOW ROB that Football game looks waay Live–KOOL dude!!! Why a Raptor’s fan though, we suffer, suffer and suffer again–hopefully the mates can pull out one for you across the pond!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620662109 Rob Donald

        Epic game. Great to see the boys over here. DeMar will have a great third year and Ed has heart… positives to take from a triple OT thriller.

        Oh and I chose the Raps as I love Canada and they set their own ball roling the year I starter playing.

        It’s tough though.

        • Jose

          Yes, it is tough. I think the best thing about the Raptors are the fans. I guess, being the only Canadian team make Raptors fans pretty loyal. We don’t have any choice :)

  • 511

    DeMar may not have the natural talent that Vince did (does) but compared to Vince, his work-ethic is probably off the charts … which one day, might (will, I like to believe) see him surpass Vince on the overall impact-scale. Whatever else is said about Colangelo, selecting DeRozan might, in retrospect (one day), be seen as good a move as he ever made. Add getting Ed Davis here and Colangelo’s legacy – such as it is – might even end up looking a whole lot better around these parts, than it has to now.

    I’m starting to cringe a bit when J Johnson insists on carrying the ball up the court. I know it’s been said that Triano likes the idea of having another ball handler but … c’mon. He’s starting to look like a guy who doesn’t yet know his current limitations and that trying to stretch them during a game (repeatedly) is just all kinds of wrong. I suspect it’s one of the big differences between good NBA players and those who really aren’t. That is, the discipline to know when to curb raw enthusiasm to let those who DO have the skills to do those things that he wants, but isn’t quite ready yet, to do. I like him but it’s time for the coaches to reign him in a bit, to my eyes.

    That similar refusal to play (somewhat) within one’s own self might also be what bothers me these last months when watching Bayless. He’s got some talent, no doubt … and he might not even be as stupid as I sometimes think of him lately, but his head, I suspect, is made of granite. He doesn’t seem as coachable as a player like him really needs to be to take it to the next level. Hope I’m wrong but at this point, I’d just as soon see what he could be packaged up for, if I could.

    I wish Matt would forever bury the ‘Money’ Weems moniker. He’s so not ‘money’, it’s getting kind of embarrassing to hear him say that.

    • Guest

      Agree on Johnson and Bayless. Re. both, the problem is the coach. A coach needs to find a way to get through to players who were once highly touted but whose NBA careers are on the rails. It doesn’t need to be tough love but it can be. The point is that they must get better WITHIN THE SYSTEM or get on a plane (to the D-League, Europe, Russia or China).

      For the players themselves, they need to identify who they’re trying to emulate. Johnson has already seen that guy – he needs to try to do everything that Luol Deng does… Play defence, rebound the ball, play a focused game and shoot the open jumper. If JJ does that, he’s a starter for the next 10 years and becomes a better player than Deng because of his incredible frame and athleticism.

      Re. Bayless, I don’t know who his precedent is. Is it Barbosa? Is Juan Dixon? I can’t think of a backup PG who likes to shoot as much as Bayless does but doesn’t facilitate or even shoot that well… If he wants to be a Barbosa, he’s in a terrible situation because we have the real Barbosa and don’t need 2 guys going 1 on 5 inefficiently. Bayless’s NBA skills are his ball-handling and ability to get into the paint and to the FT line. With that, Bayless only needs to add good defence to have a long career as a backup SG on bad teams. To be a backup PG on good teams or a starter anywhere (I don’t think that can happen) he needs to do more… he needs to shoot the 3 and shoot it well (37% or more) and he needs to define his success by how well he has run an offence and, especially as a backup, how he approaches each game situationally. Does he bring the tempo up or does he slow it down? Does he try to feed the hot hand or does he get more guys involved? Does he call his own number and try to get to the line? I don’t think Bayless is a headcase egomaniac like TJ Ford but at this stage I don’t think he sees the whole game for what it is… a game involving 48 mins at PG and 48 mins at each other position. The backups get 12-mins to work with. A backup PG needs to take his 12-18 minutes a game and figure out how he’s going to make a positive contribution and needs to have the variety in his game to make that happen. An effective backup 2-guard needs to spend that time coming in to score and to drive and kick. Jerryd Bayless, which one are you going to be? My best guess is neither because he is never going to be as skilled as Barbosa and I don’t see him developing a backup PG’s mindset. Throw this fish back – it’s too small.

      • 511

        Re Johnson and Bayless, I agree that it’s on the coach to find a way to get through to them, but even so, the players have to be inclined to meet the coach halfway. Johnson looks and sounds coachable; Bayless, not so much. As you aptly said, ‘throw this fish back – it’s too small’.

        • 511

          In the spirit of ‘fair is fair’, if Bayless kept playing more like he did Saturday, I might change my mind on whether or not we should keep him. Fingers crossed for him.

      • Statement

        Bayless has tried to become more of a facilitator, but he is just not that good at it. He is passive on the offensive end

        So far, the only real strength i’ve seen from him is breaking his man down off the dribble. If he has to go 1 on 5, so be it, it can’t be any worse than the consistent overmatching which occurs whenever Jose sits.

        But seriously though, Bayless is too small to be a shooting guard and not good enough of a distributor to be a point guard. This guy isn’t an NBA player IMHO, at least we know this and can work towards getting a decent backup PG in the offseason.

        • Guest

          He’s not too small to be an SG, just too small to defend SGs. He needs a facilitator who can guard SGs or SFs if he’s going play off ball as a starter. He can’t play that role b/c his shooting is underdeveloped and he can’t guard PGs well enough.

          There are lots of small guys who aren’t PGs who play the scoring role off the bench like Barbosa, Juan Dixon, Aaron Brooks (on an elite team) and many others…

  • Ericnorris

    would anyone else want to see new uniforms next year, maybe just to get rid of the Rupaul era stank

  • Mike D

    Here is a question. Assuming both players were making the same money, would the Nets trade the “Hump” for Bargs – straight up? Oh and by the way, great move on James Johnson B.C. Thanks for adding another stud to our stable.

    • AnthonyF

      Why are you bringing Bargnani upe here after a double double? Yes Hump is playing well , but c’mon…. Haters unit

    • mountio

      Here is an answer. Yes – in a heartbeat. But i think you knew the answer ..

  • golden

    If Hump keeps playing at this level, then that Marion & Hump for Hedo & Antoine Wright might go down as one of BC’s worst transactions.

  • Copywryter

    Hump is the same old hump, though he’s pulled back a bit from trying to be the offensive threat he was in college. No more dribble drives like we saw when he was a rap (the memory of which makes me wince).

    He still can’t shoot and is at best an average defender with above-average rebounding skills and a high motor.

    He’s a bench player having a good year on a bad team.

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

      Humphries always had talent. His problem was that he never realized he wasn’t good enough to be a star anymore. Now he has. The first step to being a good role player is realizing that’s what you are. He has the chance to be a good role player.

  • lol

    Oh my God, Triano…. What an idiot.

  • http://twitter.com/Buddahfan Buddahfan

    Wost game ever by Amir, or at least the worst one I have ever seen him play.

    I expect an equally or close to just as bad performance on Wednesday vs the Jazz.

    He has never played well with more than one off day between games. I don’t expect that to change on Wed.