Raptors 106, Suns 114 – Box

A long, long time ago in a world when the Raptors used to beat the Suns I used to look forward to these 10PM starts in anticipation of spending the late evening enjoying meaningful basketball knowing I could write a recap right after the game, and then wake up to a late breakfast. Then I got a job. Then I got a wife. Then I got a kid. And now here I am at 2AM with a wake-up time of 6AM.

What Denver did to the Raptors the Raptors had a chance to do to Phoenix. After an emotional triple-overtime game the night before in LA the Suns looked exhausted after three minutes in the first quarter. Jay Triano’s strategy, as he revealed at halftime, was to increase the tempo and give Phoenix a dose of their own medicine, hoping to exhaust them to the point where they’d forfeit at hafltime. The Raptors played the part in compounding Phoenix’s misery early through DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani’s offense, neither of which Phoenix had an answer for. Andrea Bargnani always appears to do well against Frye (closer look says they’re pretty much even) and so he went about posting him up, driving at him and collecting the points he usually gets. In a moment reminding us how Raptors fans are accustomed to Bargnani, Jack Armstrong described Bargnani’s 12-foot fadeaway over Frye as an “aggressive move”. It went in so no problem.

DeMar DeRozan had Vince Carter and Grant Hill matched up against him in the early stages and he didn’t find any trouble getting space for his jumper. The other swing, James Johnson, has been seen playing a lot of point-forward of late and so he did again in the first half last night, with effectiveness too. The Raptors sparkling offense was shooting 55% by the end of the first and just like I didn’t rip the team after the Denver blowout, I’m not going to shower them with praise for keeping this close. There were many Phoenix defensive plays which showed just how out of it they were, my favorite was James Johnson driving after some side pick ‘n roll confusion for a thunderous dunk as the D didn’t budge. Alvin Gentry took out Grant Hill (great defense on Kobe the night before), evacuated Vince Carter (two early threes, trash otherwise) and put in the bench with had the desired effect.

A modest 10-4 Phoenix run in the second quarter got the crowd back into it and you got the feeling that the Raptors didn’t quite capitalize on Phoenix’ lethargy in the first. The Raptors bench led by Barbosa was great, but Phoenix’s was better and outscored their counterpart 63-40, the pesky Aaron Brooks abusing Jose Calderon at will for 25. Mind you that Phoenix did play its reserves a lot more (138 minutes to the Raptors’ 91). The Suns resurgence was only offensive and the Raptors should have had a bigger hafltime lead than just six at 61-55 but the double-whammy of turnovers leading to points hurt them. Credit to the Raptors for outscoring Phoenix 14-4 in the first half on fastbreak points, not many teams can ‘gun’ with the Suns and for the first half at least, the Raptors were doing fine.

The expectation was for Phoenix to play their starters more minutes in the second half to pull them away, but Gentry chose to stick with the crew that had lifted them in the second. Phoenix deployed a zone as a measure of preserving energy more than anything, except it had the side effect of being useful. At 31.5%, the Raptors are the worst three-point shooting team in the league so the decision to test the Raptors’ jumpers instead of allowing them to drive against tired legs made sense in a lot of ways. A 6-0 Raptors run had started the third and this looked to be a repeat of the first quarter until Nash remembered that he’s won 17 straight against the Raptors. He orchestrated better on the pick ‘n rolls and the Suns’ offense was flowing once again. The Raptors weren’t getting out on the break as much anymore (lost fastbreak points 6-8 in the second half) and their defense suffered because of poor defensive rebounding – Marcin Gortat causing major problems leading Phoenix +7 and +5 in offensive and defensive rebounding, respectively.

Andrea Bargnani had 16 at the half and Barbosa had returned to a nice reception to score 9, but when the Raptors needed them to crack the zone consistently, they couldn’t stand up to be counted. DeRozan struggled as well and Phoenix was now making the Raptors work a lot harder on defense which took away from their offense. The Brooks-powered 15-2 Phoenix run which ended the third can’t be called fatal because at its conclusion the score was 86-86, but the sense that the Raptors had already lost this game was creeping in very quickly. Jose Calderon’s attempts to breathe life into the offense in the fourth were appreciated, and he did pull off a couple great passes, if you think there’s a but coming soon here there is. BUT he was torched by Brooks on dribble penetration too often and even the current shadow of the old Phoenix teams know how to make you pay by swinging the ball.

Triano went with DeMar DeRozan and four other bench players for the first four minutes of the fourth, presumably to give Bargnani and company a bit of rest. In that span, Phoenix only took a one point lead. Bargnani didn’t capitalize and went 1-4 in the fourth and was largely ineffective. Disappearing in the fourth has been a story with him of late, I wouldn’t blame him too much because his game is such that any concerned defense will be able to slow him down just by paying a little more attention to him. Bargnani is far more dangerous as the recipient of passes for open threes, a dribble and a shot, quick glide to the rim etc. What he is not is a creator off the bounce which is what he’s forced to do too often.

Phoenix did their own resting as afforded by the good play of Aaron Brooks and Zabian Dowdell, they had Nash on the bench for the first 6:49 of the fourth quarter, when he returned he had 7 back-breaking points and 2 assists (both to Gortat at the rim). Ed Davis had some nice moments finding the soft spot in the zone and waving his arms until he was found for dunks and had a nice overall rebounding game. For the Raptors, DeRozan only took four shots in the fourth (made two), and Bargnani as mentioned was 1-4. These were two guys who were firing early and were silent late, that’s a problem.

Sonny Weems, otherwise having a decent game, made two bad decisions: a turnover in transition which should have been two points, and a bad decision to take a three, both were costly. The Raptors didn’t even need to play defense to win this game, they just had to continue scoring and maybe try to figure out how this zone thing works since they play it so often themselves. Their scoring by quarter got worse every time: 32, 29, 25 and finally a pathetic 20. What should have been a meaningless win is now a meaningless loss.

I suppose I should comment on Jerryd Bayless’ flagrant foul on Channing Frye, it was a dumb move which cost the team two points and got the crowd into the game as well. Jack Armstrong said he didn’t see anything in the call, I say it was a clear flagrant as defined by the book – you can’t pull a guy down by his shoulder at any point, that too without any visible provocation. Yeah, you went to the same high school as Frye but c’mon now, get your head in the game.

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  • Battyfish

    let the parade of anti bargs retardation BEGIN!

    • Nilanka15

      I’ll drive the lead car.

      “In a moment reminding us how Raptors fans are accustomed to Bargnani, Jack Armstrong described Bargnani’s 12-foot fadeaway over Frye as an “aggressive move”. It went in so no problem.”

      It’s so true. We’ve been COMPLETELY desensitized as to what a real post player, with real post moves, is supposed to look like.

      • voy

        yeah, drive the lead car…right into the ditch.

        what about drafting a 7ft italian who can shoot from the outside lead you to believe andrea’s job was gonna be to bang in the post?

        Seems kinda short-sighted to me to lay the blame at the feet of just one guy, in the entire organization, for the team’s lack of a legit bruiser during the previous several years.

        The team def needs a rebounding big body before its ready to contend. Waiting for Andrea to fill this need is like waiting for Amir to start averaging 15 points a game. Its not gonna happen. Get over it. If you dont like his game then, fine, you dont like his game just understand that posts like – yeah, andrea bargniani is 100% entirely the sole reason the entire city of toronto has become desensitized as to what a post player is supposed to look like – are pretty funny to read.

        • mountio

          Totally agreed. Its almost not worth typing .. but just for the heck of it, one more time. AB is not, has never been, never was marketed as, never claimed himself to be, a bruising, rebounding big man who spends the majority of his time in the post. He was drafted as a 3/4 shooting seven footer with a three point stroke .. as hes gotten bigger, hes landed in the 5 spot even though we all know its not a natural position for him (hes there more because of who he guards on D than how he plays on O .. and that is mostly because we simply dont have a better option to guard other team’s 5s (which is scary, but a whole other story)).
          Anyways — I get it, you dont like his game. Fine. You dont like his rebounding / defense. Even more fine. But to keep harping on the same tired argument and keep being shocked that AB spends his time 15 feet away from the hoop and doesnt get a lot of boards. Thats the player he is – finesse big man with nice a scoring touch. Ill listen to your arguments about how his scoring doesnt make up for the defeciences – they are fair enough (even though I might disagree with them). But enough with the mindless “hes a 5, he should have more rebounds” type arguments.
          Like Voy said, Im not shocked when Amir doesnt have any offensive moves, Reggie cant hit simple put back layups, Jose cant stop anyone off the dribble or Ed D cant hit a 15+ foot jumper. Its not their game and I dont expect it from them (maybe the odd layup from Reggie would be nice). Same with AB being a bruising, rebounding, interior post playing specialist.
          All in all – another great loss for the Raps. Signs of good things, but in the end, more ping pong balls, which is all we should care about right now.

          • tonious35

            He’s an un-injured version of Keith Van Horne, but he has much less rebounds. ‘Nuff said

          • minks77

            he wasn’t drafted as a 3/4. he was drafted as a stretch centre with a ton of offensive potential. His rebounding has been a problem all along. We gave him a pass in his rookie year but even then it was mentioned and mentioned often. Same with his D.

            Look, I can appreciate that you are a fan of his game and feel the need to defend him (with often preemptive posts) but don’t make shit up. We’ve all been following his career as long as he’s been in the L. The big problem is he does nt commit himself to Defense, rebounding or hustle. If you want to believe it’s cuz he’s 15 feet away from the rim you are deluding yourself. He isn’t the first outside shooting big man, fyi. Dirk, Okur, Lambieer, Frye, Van Horn, Sheed, Horry, Radmanovic…. get my drift? None of these guys got by “just” on their ability to put the ball up from 15+ feet. If he’s a specialist, bring him off the bench. But he’s not a good enough 3pt shooter to be a specialist. So he’s not a specialist, not a defensive player, not a hustle player, not 5, not a “power” forward, not a “small” forward (not fast enough) then what is he?

            A one dimensional scoring threat who happens to be 7 feet tall but plays like he’s 6’5″. He also happens to be the best pure scorer on this team. This 20 and 51 team. Yay.

            • mountio

              We can agree to disagree on what he was drafted for. Perhaps you and i think of centre as something different .. but to me, you dont draft a guy whose specialty is (and always has been) shooting and (gulp) ability to at times face up and take their man off the dribble (I gulp cause I realize he can do that against big guys, but Im not pretending his handle is great) as your center. Of the guys you listed above .. all are 4s, some are 3/4s (radmonovic, vanhorn to some extent) in my mind, so perhaps its just a terminology thing. And, outside of Dirk, AB has the most diverse offensive game away from the hoop – the others are mostly spot up shooters (thus my argument that he is more 3-like than 5-like). My point is, if you want post up rebounders / defensive specilaists (and we should) look for a guy who can do that. If you think that will be AB – you are completely wasting your time. Never gonna happen. To me, on our team, that is clearly Ed and arguably (other than the fact hes too short) Reggie. Complain to me when those guys dont get 10+ boards and block shots.
              If you want to call AB a specialist, thats fine. Clearly his scoring is lightyears ahead of any other skill he has. BUT – despite what all the advanced stat guys have convinced themselves of, scoring is important, and its hard to find guys who can score at the clip he can. Do I think hes the messiah of scoring
              You want to know why we lost last night? Suns went zone in the 4th and we couldnt hit an outside shot to save our lives. I realize you need D and rebounding .. and Im all for guys who can do both. BUT – right now weve got 5 guys who cant play D and a bunch who cant play O .. Ill take my chances building with the guy that can at least do one ..

              • pran

                I think its worth mentioning that versatility doesn’t automatically make you good, just the jack of all trades and the master of none, dwight spends the whole game 10 ft from the basket…..

              • minks77

                All of those guys are 4/5 and if you want you can go look up the teams they played for and see clearly defined sf playing in their line ups. I’m not looking for a jack of all trades either. I, and the rest of us so critical of AB’s game and his fanboys, merely want an actual NBA player. You know, someone who plays a lick of D and can grab a board or two. All the guys on that list played away from the basket yet still managed to be better rebounders and defenders and most of em with much smaller roles on their respective teams than AB has on this train wreck. It’s not advanced stats, it’s a fact. Vince was a much better player than AB. VC grabbed more boards, dished out more assists, scored more points and yet still got killed for his D. Why does AB get a pass?

                Lastly we cannot agree to disagree about what he was drafted as. NO WHERE did I ever see any scouting reports say he was a 3/4. He didn’t ever play the 3 in Italy and I think in year 2 or 3 they ran him out at the 3for a few and quickly realized he was getting torched.

                • mountio

                  Just like he never played 5 in Italy or was touted as a back to the basket low post threat, who focused on rebounding. Thats the point. As a result, his game is as much of a 3’s game as it is a 5’s game (realizing its really neither). Anyways .. this argument is getting useless going back and forth on semantics. Just like you can name me SFs on the list above, I can name you inside, bruisng centers – not sure either list is productive. My point is simply quit complaining about him not being something hell never be.
                  Does that mean you shouldnt expect more hustle? More rebounds? Better overall D? Of course you should (and I do to). But the mindless “Hes a 5, wheres his 10 boards and low post focus. Real 5s play in the low post” arguments are tired.

                • minks77

                  You’re right about the semantics, but you DID bring it up 😉

                  At any rate, I don’t think AB’s detractors are so mindless as to expect him to become a classic pivot and no one is really asking for that. However, much as my job title (graphic artist) would lead you to believe that all I do is create graphic art all day I also have many other responsibilities (meetings, production, image sourcing, pitches, supplies, mounting, dealing with couriers etc etc) that are every bit as important to my studio team as all of the pointing and clicking I do on my computer. No player as critical to his teams success as AB is can get by doing just one thing and he needs to shore up his weakness’ (not saying he has to be a major post threat or outrebound Dwight). Five years in, almost six, it’s time to stop ignoring the fact that for every silky smooth jumper he’s hurting his team by loafing in other areas.

                  BTW, you ignored the main point of my list: it was to show players who have similar outside games combined with size who do/did everything AB does AND everything he doesn’t do to counter the weak excuse that AB plays too far away from the rim that he can’t rebound, box out or play D.

              • Jonathan R.

                Id rather have the D than the O, O is easy to come by, D not so much.

                Plus if your team is playing D the game is so much more entertaining regardless of whether your team gets the win or not.

                I think what minks said does hold a lot of validity unforntunately for us as raptors fans that sucks.

          • pran

            if that’s the case he should never have been turned into fatty mcfaterson, clearly you(and a lot of others) and management see him as a different player.

        • Nilanka15

          voy (a.k.a. captain of the Bargnani defense legion, co-chaired by Battyfish the battyman), I was quoting Arse word for word.

          By the way, you mentioned Bargnani’s an Italian. According to your prior logic, that makes you a racist.

          You don’t like my thoughts on Bargnani? Fine, get over it. Don’t ever reply to my comments again. But seeing fanboys drop whatever they’re doing to come to his aid, is quite funny to see. “Someone on a internet msg board is critiquing Bargnani…WE GOTTA SAVE HIM!!! WE LOVE YOU ANDREA!!! YOU’RE THE SOLE REASON I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING!!! I LOVE BARGNANI, THEN GOD, THEN MY WIFE AND KIDS!!!”

          Bargnani sucks, put him in the hall of fame!

          • voy

            whoa, whoa, whoa, chaci. where did arse say bargniani is the sole reason toronto has become desensitized to what a post player is supposed to look like? What arse said and what you said is not “word for word” I’m afraid.

            I know its easier to sell your argument by name-calling those who have a different opinion than yours or by framing their arguments with imaginary sentiments like “i gotta defend bargs at all costs” or “I wanna put bargs in the hall of fame” etc etc and maybe this type of nonsense makes you feel better about yourself, I dunno, but I thought this was a website for adults not for kids. my bad.

            • Nilanka15

              I’m not sure why I constantly get baited into replying to your comments, but please tell me where I said Bargnani is the sole reason for anything? For someone who doesn’t appreciate “imaginary sentiments” flung his way, you certainly have no problem using them for your benefit. Seems quite hypocritical, no? Even a “kid” would think so…

              • voy

                First it was you were quoting arse word for word (wrong). Now it is “please tell me where I said bargniani is the sole reason for anything”. So I guess the below comment is in reference to the other post players on the team then, right?

                “I’ll drive the lead car…It’s so true. We’ve been COMPLETELY desensitized as to what a real post player, with real post moves, is supposed to look like”. – nilanka

                And this, of course, was in reference to Battyfish’s post regarding Andrea. Nilanka, stick to one excuse will ya? Were you quoting arse or did you mean the other post players on the team?

                Your question “please tell me where andrea is the sole reason for anything” is particularily humourus as only about 30 minutes ago, on the previous thread, you said…

                “the Raptors cannot achieve a level of competitiveness with Bargnani as a primary piece, whether it’s off the bench, as a power forward, or small forward. His deficiencies are just too large to mask”.

                …which is basically the same narrative as 80% of your posts. Thanks for the chuckle though, man. Maybe you can be a tough guy again and call me a fan boy. That would be a nice comeback. Or type in largecaps. Supercool, man.

                • Nilanka15

                  Buddy, cogent arguments are not your strong point…stop trying.

                  I actually did quote Arse word for word. (I urge you to find a discrepancy between what he wrote above, and his referenced quote in my post…you’ll be searching for a while). There’s this cool feature with computers these days called “cut & paste”. It saves a lot of time.

                  I used his quote to raise a point that we, as fans, have definitely been desensitized on proper big man play. However, it was YOU who assumed I was solely talking about Bargnani, when in fact, Bosh should also be thrown into the equation. We haven’t had a legit post player since Antonion Davis.

                  So again I ask, where did I say Andrea is the sole reason for anything? My comment from the Roll Call says nothing towards this…you know…cuz there are many other culprits contributing to this mess (MLSE, Colangelo, Gherardhini, Triano, Calderon, etc.), but nice try.

                  You keep harping on the fact that I call you a “fanboy”. You try to shrug it off like it doesn’t bother you…yet you keep bringing it up. My suggestion would be to stop being a fanboy. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

                • hateslosing

                  Just like to point out that there is no such thing as “proper” big man play. Some bigs don’t play back to the basket and the way Bargs plays on offense is perfectly acceptable.

                • Nilanka15

                  Nothing wrong with taking fadeaway jumpers while being guarded by someone a foot shorter? Perhaps you’d like to retract your statement…or better yet, ask Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, or Charles Oakley what they would think of such a move?

                • jimmie

                  Nothing wrong with taking a jumper if it goes in consistently.

                • Jonathan R.

                  it doesn’t go in consistently, Ever.

                  Biggest laugh of the seasons

                • hateslosing

                  No I wouldn’t like to retract my statement. Some guys play physical, some don’t. There is no right way to play, there are norms and some people fail to see that there are advantages to playing in different and new ways. I tend to agree that Andrea plays too soft in the post, but that doesn’t mean he is wrong to play that way. It is just his style and it is extremely effective most of the time. Those guys you named played in a league that had different rules, they learned the game in a different culture, and they were part of an era in the NBA where physical play was rewarded. Today you can’t hand check and you can’t send your center to camp out under your own basket, it’s a different game and face up bigs are becoming more and more common and will continue to do so because they are very effective on offense. They stretch out defenders to give more room to drive, they can see over the defense to make better passes at the point of attack, and they are difficult to guard because most bigs have bad lateral quicks. Do I miss low post monsters how would back down there man and destroy them with a dunk? Yes, the first player I was ever a fan of was Shaq because he punished opponents, but that doesn’t mean that the kind of game that guys like Andrea and Dirk are using is bad.

                • Ihatehaters

                  Fuckin burn!

          • Jon

            Shutup with the fanboy nonsense, no one wants him in the hall of fame, but to say someone that averages more than 20 PPG “sucks” is quite funny. What is good to you then? 30 and 15 every night? Sorry, you are asking for a superstar, and this team doesn’t have one yet.

            If Andrea is the sole reason the “fanboys” wake up every morning, then he is also what keeps people like you up every night. Get over yourself dumbass.

            • pran

              once again its not about the points, to some extent its not even about the rebounding, I would gladly give up half of what he scores and put up with his rebounding if he wasn’t the worst rotating big man on the planet.

            • Nilanka15

              Witness the “dumbass” label simply because I bashed your BFF. You fanboys never seize to amuse me. What will you do to keep yourself occupied next year with Bargnani in a different uniform, and perpetually in his new coach’s doghouse (for not providing any hustle whatsoever)?

              I hate to break it to you Jon, bur Bargnani doesn’t give two shits about you. He doesn’t care that you love him. He doesn’t care that we’re losing games. He doesn’t care to rebound, rotate and defend either. He’s a self-described lazy person who loves shooting pasta commercials.

              I realize how difficult it must be to exert so much effort defending someone who doesn’t deserve to be defended. He’s 180th in the league in true shooting percentage. I would certainly feel like a fool defending that kind of inefficiency with such vigor. But don’t worry….I’m sure there’s a counselling program somewhere for what ails you.

              • jimmie

                “I realize how difficult it must be to exert so much effort defending someone who doesn’t deserve to be defended.”

                Almost as much effort as you expend trying to discredit AB, along with insulting anyone who disagrees with you, on a daily basis. As I’ve said in other threads, both sides of the polarized debate are chumps. Somewhere in between those two poles, though, are the majority of Raptors fans.

                • Jon

                  Don’t worry, this anti-Raptor crowd is clearly in the minority. Nilanka is just a feeble old man who is mad at the world and likes to take his problems out on unrelated things. He is displaying symptoms of indirect aggression. He once beat his dog because he couldn’t pay rent. He’s nothing more than a troll. Bargnani keeps him up at night, for him it’s Bargnani all day, all the time. He has an obsession, its uncontrollable leaving him compelled to spread his anti-Bargnani propaganda. At home(downtown alleyways) he posts a picture of Bargnani on a dartboard for his amusement. He is truly a madman.

                • Nilanka15

                  Stop trying to play high-and-mighty, neutral moderator when you clearly sit on one side of the fence.

                  I use the general term “fanboy” a lot, but I only spew personal insults in retaliation to personal insults towards me. Critiquing Bargnani…which I’m perfectly entitled to do…strikes a nerve and brings out the worst in his loyal (creepy) defenders. I bust Bargnani’s chops, people bust my chops, and I return the favour. Simple as that. My suggestion would be to deal with it.

                • voy

                  yeah, jimmie, stop trying to be a voice of reason and objectivity. Who do you think you are, pretending to make sense and all and not typing in large caps and acting like an adult. We all know you secretly publish an “I luv Andrea” fanzine so stop fronting. You know how we know you are a “loyal creepy Andrea defender”? Cuz Nilanka says so, thats how. It doesn’t matter that all your other posts/content state otherwise. Nilanka says you must be a “fanboy” so you must be a “fanboy”. Yeah, dont bother posting again. Nilanka will just tell us what your thinking.

                  And regarding Nilanka’s use of personal insults, its not a big deal, man. He doesn’t do it to everyone. He only does it to those who disagree with him. Dont you know its his right to critique Andrea. And how dare anyone bring up all nilanka’s contradictions and hypocracy. I mean how dare anyone bring up the fact that nilanka must spend just as much, if not more, time on rr bashing andrea than any other poster who doesnt think bargs is the spawn of satan. I mean how unfair. Nilanka is entitled to post nonsense because he can read the motivations of Andrea. Nilanka knows Andrea is pursuing basketball in order to be in a position to film “pasta commercials”. Total sense, right? I mean, if it wasn’t for Nilanka, we’d never know “andrea doesn’t give a shit about us”. I’d still be thinking Andrea had a secret crush on me. Yeah, every time Andrea adjusted his shorts I thought andrea was giving me covert signals to meet him in the team showers.

                  So from now on, jimmie, please, if you must comment throw in the occasional insult, present half thought out arguments, type in large caps, toss in some paranoid theory about an italian conspiracy, be as polarizing as possible and try not acting like an adult.

                • Nilanka15

                  Haha voy, how long did it take you to go through 2 years of my comments? I’m kinda relieved you’re a Bargnani fanboy…cuz otherwise it would look like you’re obsessed with me…

                • jimmie

                  And which side of the fence is that? I’ve taken your side in arguments before, or do you conveniently forget that?

                  I clearly am NOT on one side or the other, and have been very clear in saying that a) I think Bargnani can be a useful piece on a playoff team, while also saying b) I would trade him in a second if it means the Toronto Raptors would be a more cohesive, effective team.

                  I repeat: those on the polar sides of this debate are, in the main, chumps. If you don’t like that, stop acting that way.

              • Jon

                BFF, fanboy? The extent of your vocabulary never ceases to amuse me. It’s obvious you have some kind of personal vendetta against him, it’s no wonder you’re here every minute terrorizing the thread and coming up with new things to say about the guy, you’d think he was Hitler or something. Doesn’t care about me? Good lol, the feelings are mutual.

                Stop pulling out random redundant facts out of your ass that have nothing to do with the argument, if only you’d pull your head out of there…

                • Nilanka15

                  For the love of God, stop liking your own comments.

                • Jon

                  I leave that to you. You should know by now that comments are IP-traced ya jackass. Go run along and make some more aliases now.

                • Nilanka15

                  Hahahahahahaha, this coming from the guy who’s got 17 aliases on this site. Does “John_P” ring a bell?

                  I dare you to find another comment on RR with the same IP as mine. Go ahead….I’m waiting.

                • voy

                  yeah, jon, or john P…. if that is your real name. There are probably only three or four Johns in toronto. What are the odds that both of them will be members of the RR?

                  Nilanka dares you, John. Ooooooo. He may even 2ble dog dare you. 2ble Ooooooo. Oh snap, son, he’s even waiting. Internet dares. So badass.

                • Nilanka15

                  You’re great at entering conversations that don’t concern you. Bargnani sucks.

                • Jerry

                  Do you ever get sick of writing the same shit? You seriously have to be one of the most obnoxious people on this site.

                • Nilanka15

                  The feeling is more than mutual

                • Jon

                  Looks like a similar scenario is playing out on these forums that is akin to your real life–>people ganging on you because you’re an obnoxious loner. Who’d of ever thought that the internet could draw such parallels…

                • Jon

                  Lol, look at this internet tough guy. Jon is a pretty generic name moron, just as voy said. This is the internet, you are no more anonymous than I am. I don’t see you plastering your face on a billboard. You’re right voy, it’s funny seeing this juvenile madman acting hard over the internet. Scroll up and refer to my earlier posting on this creep’s life.

        • Bill

          Exactly. Kevin love, NBA’s rebounding darling, has a double double everynight. What exactly has that done? Oh I know, give the T-Wolves a worse record than the already bad Raptors. Heck, Minni has the highest RPG total out of any team in the league. Frickin Atlanta has less rebounds per game than the Raps. Take it for what it is, all Peja Stojakovic ever did was score, he’s a 6″10 big man, but was also a 3 time all star that never averaged more than 6.3 rebounds in his career, and he’s only done that twice. This is Andrea Bargnani, as advertised.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            Minnesota’s entire Franchise is in shambles as the whole T-Wolves basketball culture in Minny is as backwards as their GM who drafted 2 pg’s in the Draft in 2009.

            At least KLove battles everynight and just doesn’t play when he wants to give the effort in a very dire basketball situation. KLove is light years ahead of Andrea as a NBA player.

            As well, Bargnani isn’t even close to Peja is his prime. Peja’s shot, competitive nature & basketball IQ is way more progressed than Barg’s. Plus Peja played sf not center.

            As Barg’s said this is basketball not reboundball- sometimes I get lazy.

      • Battyfish

        mentally challenged nilanka never disappoints.

        • Err

          Same, one must wonder why he’s allowed near a computer.

    • Statement

      Did you know?

      Andrea Bargnani has 16 brothers, all of whom post on this board!

      The more you know…..

      • Battyfish

        if bargs was black yall be suckin bargs dick claimin he be a young gun.

        • Nilanka15

          Was that supposed to be enlgish?

          • Poster

            says the guy that spells English as “enlgish” lmao.

        • Jonathan R.

          hahahahaahahaah this guy is totally a euro

        • Nilanka15

          voy, look…another racist! Jump all over him like you do Bargnani-haters…you know…for consistency’s sake.


            You really are retarded. How is that comment racist?

            • Nilanka15

              If you don’t understand a reference, it would be best not comment than risk making yourself look like a moron.

              Oooops, too late…

              • pran

                its funny how “ericthemidget” and “battyfish” pop up all of a sudden to defend bargnani and trash everyone else despite not being regulars on the board, which makes me think its a combination of jon/pizzaman/cesco being a bunch of pussies;)

                • Ashok

                  only in bramladesh do 2 smelly pakis like pran and nilanka go on like their tough.

                • Nilanka15

                  Dude, of course it’s those guys. Everyday there’s a new Bargnani lover who knows the regulars on this site far too well. Hardly a coincidence.

                • voy

                  yeah, like, for sure, brother. How lilkely is it that there are more than 3 people who dont think Andrea is the worst player in the league? Everyone here or every new member who doesn’t think andrea sucks has to be existing members, has to be!! I mean what are the chances that more than 3 people disagree with your (paranoid, impulsive, nonsensical rantings) views? Like, zero right, Nilanka?

                  Just think about it. Posting an opinion contrary to yours must be soooo intimidating that regular RR members create 2ndary handles in order not to confront you directly. You’re like Omar, from The Wire, dude. That scary. There is no other explanation. You nailed it again, brother. You’re totally gangster.

                • Nilanka15

                  Who’s talking to you, exactly?

                • Jerry

                  I am. Now shut the fuck up!

                • Nilanka15

                  Bargnani sucks asshole.

                • hateslosing

                  Is this Bargnani sucks, asshole or Bargnani sucks ashole? There is a world of difference. Also, inappropriate.

            • Cliff

              Leave him alone Eric, he’s retarded.

      • Fe

        You’re just bitter because he slept with your wife, and with the other haters’ wives as well.

        • Statement


        • Statement

          Oh I forgot to ask…

          At once??? What a pimp, and why was I not informed that there would be an orgy going on.

    • WhatWhat

      He was actually efficient offensively that game. Didn’t really rebound or defend but… *Shrugs*

      And he’s been flopping like crazy for some reason. He’s getting the calls though.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!

        Both Reggie & AB have been flopping alot lately but they have gotten the calls in favor of at a high rate. I thought the NBA was cracking down on flopping aka the Divac?

        I have come to the conclusion that Bargnani is a male diva- take it like you want to.

      • hateslosing

        He’s been watching old Divac games 🙂

      • Battyfish

        flopping?….he’s getting position and taking a charge. that’s part of playing d but not to the haters. haters discredit everything good the kid does.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          If you say so.

          Btw- I’m well beyond that Societal haters mental conditioning- it is what it is.lol

  • Sam Holako

    The Nash picture is awesome.

  • kimmy

    It was nice to see Triano take off his clown costume (or at least tone it down) and put Ed Davis is the game.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!

      Ed didn’t get into the game until the 2nd Q- wtf?

      Rebuild or BC/Jay/Gheradini ass covering media hype?

  • Corey

    on the plus side, JJ 8 ots 6 rebs, 2 blk. guy is looking like a player. i am coming around to liking this trade. JJ hustles, plays some D. cant shoot a three yet, but he is still solid. DDR, 19 pts, 8 reb. shooting a respectable 45%. weems 6-10, 12 pts in 16 min. ed davis had 9 boards, 5 offencive in 22 mins.

    it seems telling that the starters, save bargani at -3, were all plus for the game. our bench were all minus. bargs btw,had another big rebounding game, grabbing a whopping 4 in 38 min on the court.

    and another loss is a good thiong. the better pick and the lower we fall is more important.

    i am thinking the raps really ought to see what it will take to pry ray felton away from denver in the off season. currently he is backing ty lawson. but has played very well this season. has only one yr left on his deal.

    the raps might also want to seriously consider drafting jimmer fredette. he is looking like the stephon curry of this draft. his lack of athleticism is starting to seem over-stated (like currys) and his incredible shooting is elevating his value as he is cruising up draft boards and cracking the top 10 in some cases. we need a game breaker type PG and desperately need ouside shooting. we could bring this guy in on the second unit or start him if he is ready. its a strategy that has some risk, but this nba draft is all freshmen that will need time (Sullinger being the only nba ready guy). the harrison barneses and perry joneses will be three seasons away fronm any meaningful contributions. and i am not sure the raps r patient enough to keep losing.

    thats my 2 cents.

    • Quirk

      Is Fredette the Curry of this draft or the Morrison? I’d say the steals of this draft will be have Kawhi Leanord and Kenneth Faried.

    • Milesboyer

      Jimmer Fredette would make Calderon look like Bruce Bowen on defense – not a good fit for the Raptors. Whoever they draft (Sullinger, Irving, Barnes, Jones, D. Williams, Valanciunas, Kanter) let’s hope they exceed expectations and eventually blossom into a legit star. Logic would say they need another down year after this one to get high pick in the 2012 draft but I’m not sure Colangelo, if he’s still around, has the patience to extend the rebuilding process. If he drafts a big, one of Amir or Ed Davis needs to be parlayed into an asset. If he gets a wing, we need to trim the fat on this roster (Weems, Wright, Kleiza, not sure what he’ll become). Right now Triano’s playing a 10 man rotation – to me that’s a waste with a team that’s going nowhere. At some point you need to target the keepers, play them, and let them grow together. Keepers for next year will depend on who they draft and wether they decide to add a veteran or 2 and make a push, or stay with a youth movement and grow slowly.

      • Nilanka15

        Totally agree on the rotation. Going 10 deep with a 60-loss team makes no sense…especially if it means J.Johnson, Bayless and Davis are receiving less than 25 minutes, like they did last night.

    • Brasky

      Who are we gonna trade to acquire Jimmer? Because we sure as hell aren’t drafting him with a top 5 pick. He shouldn’t even sniff the top 10.

      • kimmy

        Jimmer should not even “sniff” the NBA. The Euroleague exists for a reason (to provide bad basketball players a place to chuck the ball without having to worry about defense).

        • slaw

          Fredette’s a ‘bad’ basketball player? Wow. That’s an interesting(?) take. The likely NCAA player of the year is actually terrible. Who knew?

          • Smushmush

            Jimmer is all hype and a voluminous scorer like a certain player (oh, Allen Iverson :D). Furthermore, his bad defense is a real cause for concern but what do I know as a fan sigh – the NCAA and the NBA hype the offensive players and even give MVP to offensive players (Dirk, LBJ, Nash and potentially Derrick Rose while multiple defensive player of the year in Dwight Howard gets jobbed 🙁 ) unlike the NFL.

            • voy

              Jimmer and AI should have never been mentioned in the same sentence.

              Without Jimmer on BYU the team is nowhere near as good, its not even close. He’s a fantastic college player. Just not the right body for a significant nba career, in my opinion. If the Hobbits had a basketball league, Jimmer would be Jordan.

              • Smushmush

                Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is an insult to AI or Jimmer. But if it is the latter, I can see why the media (which is an extension of the average fan imo) sits on players that scores in bunches jocks. There is another side to sports and oh wait…. , it is called defense. That is why Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks current teams will never win championships even if they have a big “3” or “2” in superstar talent :D. My 2 cents.

                • mountio

                  You better know thats an insult to AI. Sure he took a lot of shots, but AI is one of the toughest, most freak athletes the NBA has ever seen. Could shoot, drive and even dunk over guys on occasion. All playing 48 minutes and barely breaking a sweat after partying til 6am the night before. Also made up for his one on one D but jumping the lanes and getting a lot of steals.
                  Ya, he had his weaknesses (one on one D, not knowing when to pass) .. but lets not compare a guy who looks more like JJ Reddick or Adam Morrison to AI.

    • voy

      the world is full of 6 ft guys who can shoot. you gotta be an athlete as well or have some size. If you dont have either of these qualitites you may have a rough go lasting a long time in the nba let alone being drafted in the top 5. Just my opinion

      • Battyfish

        yeah jamario moon can jump and so can joey graham but they couldnt hit a j to save their lives…gimme jimmer. DRAFT JIMMER!….lol, the anti white bigots in here heads will explode.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      JJ is a role player not a starter on a good team- I like JJ as a back up. Did JJ even earn his starting spot or was it given to him on arrival in the TDot?

      Fyi- plus/minus is a bullchit NBA stat.

      Another loss is a good thing? I guess evil is good to? The Rap’s are basically locked into the 5th spot (pre Lottery selection) and could fall a couple of spots if a team under them like NJ(Utah)/LAC(Cle) moves up in the Lottery or the Rap’s can move up a few spots if they get a lucky ping pong ball bounce.

      I agree that the Rap’s should try and pry Felton or Lawson from the Nuggets as both want to be starters next season.

      Draft Fredette at potentially #5- fuck no. He’ll be lucky to have a JJ Reddick career in the NBA. If you think most starting NBA pgs abuse Jose…..

      As well Sullinger is an undersized 4 and there are no immediate NBA ready players in this draft as projected.

      Perry Jones I see as a potential Tim Thomas clone- very talented but will he maximize it with effort?

      Barnes will be nice in 2-3 years as with all players in this draft are 2-3 years away from being consistent contributing NBA players.

      Irving- see JWall, no guarantee of winning games- especially with a rookie pg.

      Myself, I like SF Terrence Jones from Kentucky the most in this draft for some reason.

    • Smushmush

      +1 on trying to pry Raymond Felton from the Nuggets and another Nugget acquiring could be one or two (preferred) of JR Smith(at the 2), Wilson Chandler (as the starting SF, he actually plays defense and can shoot the 3, have watched some Denver Nuggets games after the Melo trade 🙂 ) and Aaron Afflalo (at the 2) as they are RFAs and can be pried away with a frontloaded contract. Imo, I prefer the latter two as other guys from the Nuggets, I would like after Raymond Felton :D.

  • ChrisR

    Sacramento won, one game closer to 4th, fingers crossed

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Embracing losing- is this what BC has turned Raptor basketball culture into 5 years after the fact?

      • ChrisR

        unless you can think of a better reason to cheer a 20-51 team? “development”, “playing the game the right way?”…right…drink the MLSE kool-aid with Doug Smith, I’ll take the 250 ping pong balls….it can mean the difference between Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet

        • Milesboyer

          Amen, brother…..Amen.

        • Nilanka15


        • In a year when there will be no concensus No. 1 [overall] Draft Selection, a franchise’s ability to evaluate “NBA talent” accurately is what will determine the future success/failure of its team.

          Unfortunately, each game that goes by this season, when the Raptors consistently play the wrong players in combination with one another, at the wrong times during specific games, it reveals clearly that there is a lack of basketball acumen involved with the day-to-day management of this franchise.

          e.g. The Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat, Mavericks, Magic and Hornets do not suffer from this same problem, which is a large part of the reason they are among the top teams in the league this year.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          Take your Stern controlled ping pong balls and step off (Melle Mel voice).

          The better question is to ask yourself how did we get into this bullchit basketball position (20-51) in year 5 of the BC era? Don’t blame CB either as most under the influence kool aid heads tend to do as per BC pr media spins.

          Blake hasn’t made the Clip’s winners this season- they are in the 2011 Lottery as well.

  • Jim in Mississauga

    From what I saw last night a key contributor to the loss last night was Bayliss. Not only the foul, but his decision making is ‘self centred’ than the guy we traded to get him – Jack. Every time he makes a poor decision – shoot w/o a passing, trying an impossible pass, etc. the Suns came back with an odd man rush and scored a hoop. While stats showed he only had one turnover, anyone watching the game would see that his decision making process is totally a mess. It must drive the caoches and the rest of the team crazy to playwith him – it drives me crazy to watch such poor play.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Why was Jack, who is young and embraced the TDot in the off season, traded again? Oh, because Jose couldn’t beat him out as a starter so BC had to alleviate that problem.

      Jack >>> Bayless

    • Fletchmer

      totally agree with bayless . JT should put him on some sort of leash where if he drives the floor twice in a row without looking around to pass bench his ass for the night. This his what his third team and he still obviously can’t figure it out for himself

  • Bloodyhandedgod

    Just a thought. Does Arsenalist like being referenced as “Arse” all the time?
    Just wondering.

    • Ihatehaters

      Its better than Arse-hole.

  • WhatWhat

    We were up by about 5 with two minutes to go, and then lost by 8. It’s like we were the team that played triple overtime the night before.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      I thought that the Rap’s could steal this game given the triple overtime game that the Suns were coming off of- oh well.

      Why is Amir still playing injured this late in the season for? Rest the warrior before he gets seriously injured and give his minutes to Ed & Reggie to split.

  • Michel G

    The never-ending Bargnani threads on this site are really embarrassing for all involved. I cringe when I realize that other bloggers from around the league can actually read these posts. Ah well!

  • The primary reason the Raptors lost last night’s game is because their coaching staff failed to make the necessary adjustment[s] when Phoenix decided to match-up with Toronto’s “small” line-up while employing their Zone Defense.

    Instead of using:

    Calderon + Barbosa + DeRozan + Davis + Bargnani


    Brooks + Nash + Dudley + Frye + Gortat

    Toronto needed to get “bigger” at the G and F positions and use:

    Calderon + DeRozan [or Barbosa, or Weems] + Johnson + Davis + Bargnani

    If the Raptors would have gone with one of these combinations, instead, then … given the Suns’ injury situation last night, plus, their back-2-back status … Toronto would have had a much better chance to close the door, during the final 4+ minutes of the 4th Quarter, after building a 6-point lead.

    When teams use the wrong line-ups, at specific points in the game, they lose a high percentage of their games.

    • Battyfish

      sure miss cleo. keep blessin us with your sage like advice. all that money you makin on picking games aint got you out your mommas basement you bitch.

  • jlongs

    “Bargnani is far more dangerous as the recipient of passes for open threes, a dribble and a shot, quick glide to the rim etc. What he is not is a creator off the bounce which is what he’s forced to do too often.”

    Agreed. Giving it to Bargnani 20 ft out and waiting…waiting…waiting until finally he launches a contested long 2 has been happening too frequently lately, in possessions where we desperately need a basket. Another flaw on him, and this time on his much-touted offensive skills: his decision making in the clutch, with the ball in his hands. Awful. Yes, even the made shots are usually bad, low percentage ones.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      Actually … it’s those little hand-off plays that involve Bargnani & Demar (even Jose), that seem to be happening more often. As much as I keep hearing that Bargnani is a bad passer (or reluctant passer), I think his ability in getting it to a Scorer is not bad. And with upside still available. Raptors need to capitalize more off Andrea’s size – to Derozan’s advantage. As well as Jose – or some speedy guard who can nail the shot.
      As for those long twos, I find Bargnani – when played too much (or knowing that he’ll be logging 38 – 39 minutes a game) – falls back to the perimeter too easily. That’s incumbent upon a Coach to change that. Minutes & positioning – both going hand in hand – are ideal tools.

  • RapsM

    When their lead trimmed a bit in the third, I knew where this game was going. Too bad court surfing didn’t go past 11:00, coulda used another game to watch.

  • Seeten

    Epic Bargnani hate thread.