Wizards 107, Raptors 116 – Box

After a game like this, I don’t know whether I should have serious doubts about this “core” that the Toronto Raptors have, or if the deficiencies in all other areas are really that bad. Like Rebecca Black bad.

Ok, so let’s go over this. We have our SG of the future, but he’s a sophomore player so he’s still growing. Fine. We have our PF of the future but he’s still a raw rook. I get that as well. The 3rd piece to the core and supposedly the franchise player, Bargnani, is finishing his 5th year and is 25, which plenty of statistical evidence indicates that is the about the year where NBA players peak in overall performance. So the franchise SG and C combine for 63 points off 30 shots, yet the Washington Wizards keep it a game until the final minute.

That’s bothersome, because you can tell the Raptors wanted this game and had pretty much their full lineup. Washington? John Wall, Javale McGee and a bunch of D-League scrubs even Rick Kamla would have trouble recognizing.

Trevor Booker, yes that Trevor Booker who you’ve never heard of, goes 12-15 with 13 rebounds, 5 offensive. This is despite Reggie Evans pulling down 15 in 27 minutes. Ed Davis and Amir Johnson play 12 and 15 minutes respectively, so you know where I’m going with this. If a team, and we’ve seen this all year, wants to get after it and grab offensive boards, they will have no trouble doing it with Bargnani as the starting center of the team. It’s that simple.

While Washington sat guys like Josh Howard and Rashard Lewis, the Raptors play Ed Davis 12 minutes while a guy like Reggie Evans who’s about 30 on an expiring contract gets 27. I don’t get that. Maybe it has to do with this rebounding conundrum and not wanting the embarrassment of losing to a D-League edition of the team that’s won only once on the road all season.

Then you have someone like Jerry Bayless, who gets only 14 minutes, when the jury is still out on the guy. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but often gets in the way of himself. To me, you play him big minutes and see what he’s got before you make a decision on him, because Jarret Jack is still the better player in that trade if you had to make a call today.

I’m having a lot of trouble watching a guy like John Wall complain like a little bitch after every layup attempt he misses. What’s happening to the NBA? The way they call the game these days, can you blame a high-draft pick with a sense of entitlement to whine after every play where there’s incidental contact? Even as a Raptor fan with a bit of a conscience you wonder whether you’re winning the game because the calls are going your way.

If the NBA ever called the game like the NCAA does now, it would be way more entertaining, but the NBA is shortsighted in it’s thinking that high-scoring games drive interest. Yes, a 110-105 game may be more watchable than an 80-70 game to most, but it’s the way the points are scored, tons of one-on-one, superstar calls that are just hurting the game, in my humble opinion.

Speaking of March Madness, I mentioned “glaring deficiencies in all other ares”, one of which would definitely be the SF position, and who better to fill that hole with one Harrison Barnes. Outside of Jose Calderon, this team sorely lacks in the play making department and Barnes would fill that role along with bringing enough scoring as well.

I’d be looking for center as well, but you know that would mean Bargnani would get preference at power forward over Ed Davis and Amir Johnson. What should happen is the Bargnani becomes the backup if this draft pick is any good, but we all know that won’t happen as well. Because, you know 20 POINTS! Does it matter that Jordan f***ing Crawford has averaged 20 points in the last 5 games on the Wizards, and will continue to do so given the opportunity? Nope! Build the man a statue, he averages 20 points!

I digress. By the way Harrison Barnes is projected to go 4th in the draft right now, according to Draft Express. Raptors current lottery spot? 5th. Time to shut down the vets, including Bargnani, because “we know what he can do”.

20 POINTS!

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