Toronto Raptors Milwaukee Bucks March 30, 2011

Raise your hands if you had a big ear-to-ear grin on your face after reading the rumours that Colangelo would be open to trading Bargnani if re-signed. Even though the article was pure BS, and the Knicks clearly need someone to spread the floor like Galinari did, it was great to see that written in a traditional media site since all us bloggers have been screaming for this for about 3 years now.

Still, there is no one on the Knicks that I’d want that they would be willing to trade, plus I don’t want Bargnani going to a division rival; call me old fashion but if he does turn the corner and fills out his all-around game, I really don’t want to play against him four times a year.

Had a chat with Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksetball:

You recently wrote about Salmons’ struggles this season after getting a massive contract for carrying the team in the second half of last season. For those who haven’t read the article, whats been the contributing factor to the massive regression, and is there hope of salvaging him going forward?
What I focused on in that piece was Salmons’ struggles late in games. Last season the Bucks could turn to Salmons when their offense broke down late in games and he would bail them out. This season, Salmons has just been part of the problem. He wasn’t overwhelmingly athletic last season and he seems to have lost a step this season, possibly due to an early season knee injury. Maybe he’s just having a bad year, one in which his shots just won’t fall. If he can hit the shots he was hitting last season once again, he can be salvaged. But he’s never going to get to the hoop and finish with ease or consistently. That’s not ideal for a leading scorer type.

Injuries have clearly ravaged this team, and so far have seemingly cost them a playoff birth this season. How difficult is it building with Bogut as a (the?) core piece when he hasn’t played more than 70 games in the last 4 seasons? Is it time to move him and bring in someone who is a bit more solid? (His migraines have been killing my fantasy team this year; sorry, had to bitch)
It has been frustrating, but it’s hard to blame the guy too much. The injuries have seemed flukey enough that every year there’s some hope that they won’t be a problem going forward. Obviously last season’s fall and elbow injury carried over more than most expected this season, but he’ll likely be feeling better by next season. Given the injuries everyone else on this team had this season, it’s hard to spend too much time bemoaning Bogut’s. He’s so good defensively though and means so much to the team in that regard that it’s hard to envision moving him and getting equal value, especially since his offense is so inconsistent.

After Redd comes off the books this year, almost half the team’s payroll will be locked up between Maggette, Salmons and Gooden (all of whom will be tough to move). What moves do the Bucks have to improve this lot in the summer?
There won’t be a lot of money available, but bet that Milwaukee will be listening to offers regarding Maggette. Maybe once everyone can get healthy and the team gets more time to gel, he’ll find his place and get consistent minutes, but Coach Scott Skiles hasn’t trusted him a bit down the stretch. Maggette has eight DNP-CDs this month. Milwaukee needs an athletic scorer that can shoot and pass the ball. But what team doesn’t want that?

How much does Redd really have left in the tank? Could we hope to see a Grant Hill like rebirth in a different situation, or is he done?
The difference between Redd and Hill is pretty significant. Hill always was great in terms of awareness and passing the ball, whereas Redd’s always been a volume scorer. Perhaps Redd can still score a bit off a team’s bench, but he isn’t the shooter he once was. We’d need to see a pretty significant transformation in Redd’s game for him to stick around much longer, but he hasn’t put in all the work he’s put in for no reason. He’s going to give it a go and he’ll be on a roster next season. That will be his chance to prove he can contribute.

Can you talk about Brandon Jennings’ development this season?
It’s been difficult, since he missed a large portion of the season with a broken foot. Then it took him a good 10 games or so after returning to get his feel back it seemed. But he’s been better this month, shooting better than 40% for a month for the first time since his first month in the NBA. If he ever can get it together and start to hit around 43 or 44 percent of his shots consistently, he’ll be perfect for Milwaukee. He’s not there yet, but he has improved a bit this year.

I was never a Scott Skiles fan, as a player or a coach, so this might come off as a stupid question; but what’s your assessment of him, and how much longer does he have behind the bench in Milwaukee?
Skiles makes a pretty good chunk of change and earned an extension based on his work the last two years. Coaching in a small market for a team that’s bleeding money is going to work to his advantage. This season will probably get thrown out due to the injuries, so don’t expect anything crazy to happen any time soon. He’s safe. Especially since this team is still top five in defensive efficiency, despite all the offensive mishaps. He’s kept this team together, which is commendable given their problems making shots.

Injury Report

Toronto
Linas Kleiza – Out
Amir Johnson – the guy is hurting, let the man rest
Andrea Bargnani – day to day
Jose Calderon – day to day
Reggie Evans – day to day
Leandro Barbosa – day to day

Milwaukee
Ersan Ilyasova – day to day
Michael Redd – day to day

Not much time this morning, so I wont go into the individual players, just talk about a couple key match-ups:

Bargnani vs Bogut
After we did our fantasy team draft, I was really short on size and had zero shot blocking. I tried to pry away Bogut from one of the guys in the league, and he started asking about Chris Paul from my side. The trade grew into me sending Chris Paul and Wilson Chandler to him for Andrew Bogut and Blake Griffin. I clearly won that trade looking back at it, but no one thought Griffin would be a fantasy beast like he is. Anyways, if not for Bogut’s poor shooting form the field/line, he has been a great pick-up. The guy can be counted on for points in the paint, rebounds and bock shots, every single game. Very much a steadying force, and if he didn’t have so many injury issues, I would have no issues of him as a core piece. Against the Bobcats a couple nights ago, he did 26pts 9rebs 2blk; I’m expecting the same from tonight. Bargnani has a chance to light it up a bit since Bogut can’t cover him on the perimeter, and Gooden/Sanders/Mbah a Moute can’t cover him in the paint. i’d like to see Andrea take some defensive queue’s from Bogut, especially his defensive positioning.

Bargnani could be injured, and is listed as day-to-day, so if he doesn’t go, expect lots of switch-ups and zone to try to contain Bogut…not that it will do anything…

DeRozan vs Salmons
It’s feast or famine with Salmons who’s either hitting his stride offensively or building a brick house. The Bucks are a great defensive team, bout the only thing Skiles has done right – hate that mother ______, so getting to the rim will be tough for DeRozan (and everyone else) on a consistent basis. Fast breaks will be few and far between, and the defensive rotations will be on the ball. A key for DeMar will be drawing contact, and getting to the line 8+ times tonight. Have to challenge Bogut in the paint, and get him into foul trouble, it’s the only way.

Much like the Heat game where the Raptors welcomed Mike Miller by handing him the best game of the season, the same could be said of the Bucks. Redd has been out for the last 5 years, and can use the Raptors lax defense to get into a mini-groove. I don’t think that he will, but Salmons will definitely feast on us a bit.

The Line

There’s no line on the game (at time of publishing), but consider a few things:

  • Raptors are home after losing their last four games on the road, most of them badly
  • Raptors are 3-7 in their last 10 games (1-4 over their last 5)
  • Milwaukee is 4-6 in their last 10, having lost 2 in a row
  • Milwaukee is 3 games out of 8th with 9 games to go
  • The Bucks have owned the Raptors in both games they have played this year

If the Raptors weren’t such a question mark in the injury department, this would be a competitive game. The Bucks want to get into the playoffs, and if they did, who do you think the Bulls would rather play: them or the Pacers? Even though this season has hit the wall (a long time ago), they can still affect other teams playoff positioning; and I have to believe that there is still some iota of pride left in this lot.

Let me leave you with this question: would you trade Andrea Bargnani for Andrew Bogut straight up? If Bargs wasn’t a BYC player this year it would work in trade machine.

  • Nilanka15

    At this point, I’d even take Redd’s pain medication in exchange for Bargnani. Watching Bargnani loaf around for 36 minutes per game is migraine-inducing.

    • Junior

      u dumb bitch. keep talkin shit.its become u.

      • Nilanka15

        Can you be any gayer? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). Man-crush galore!

    • VP

      Hilarious, more jokes please. Hey everyone, save your money, don’t go to a comedy show, the laughter is right here.

  • Nilanka15

    In terms of coaching, I haven’t been much of a fan of Skiles either. He’s a great defensive coach, but he would probably be better suited as an assistant coach.

    If the Raptors are considering replacing Triano, I don’t think D’Antoni is the answer. Instead, I would love Colangelo to see if Lawrence Frank is available from Boston.

    • Dgeris

      I also would like Lawrence Frank. However Doc Rivers is done after this year and Frank is the likely replacement.

  • feas

    I’d trade them Bargs and our pick for Bogut… he’s one of the few players that aren’t on their rookie deals that would be worth moving the pick for on our rebuilding team. A Bogut/Ed/Amir frontcourt would look very solid imo, and could really set the tone for our team defensively.

    • voy

      you need alot more creativity at the 3 in your frontcourt, imo, especially if you have a 2 like dd who is still working on imroving his handle.

    • hound

      I am sure glad you are not the GM. That would go down as a colossal bad trade. Barnes/Irving/Sullinger could end up being great. I am not sure I would Bargs and a second rounder for Bogut (due to his injuries) let alone a lottery pick.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632775895 Eugene Earnshaw

        I’m glad nobody on these boards is GM. Panic trades FTW!

    • Junior

      bogut is worse then shaq at the line. disappears for games at a time….you are stupid.

      • corey

        Shaq has 5 rings? has it really mattered thast he cant shot FTs? seriously, man. bogut plays D, boxes out his man, blocks shots. makes teams adjust. Bargs just put up another 32 minute nite with two, yes TWO rebounds? how is that pathetic total possible? there’s alotta guys you could trade bargs for. its a question of who can be tricked into taking him. he is garbage. he puts up the most costly 22 pts per game in the league. a minus player.

        • Nilanka15

          Junior is Bargnani’s stalker

  • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

    “Amir Johnson – the guy is hurting, let the man rest” +1
    Love to watch him, but would much rather he’d rest and prevent a more seriously injury – we have him for 4 more years.

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

      Are you kidding? And miss out on the chance to win 23 games?

    • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

      if he can play, he should pay. he’s getting paid to play basketball, not rest. in a few weeks he’ll have the whole summer+ to rest up. every single person out there probably has some nagging injuries. it’s different if he actually has a serious injury he’s fighting through, but i haven’t heard anything along those lines.

      plus like any young baller, he wants to be on the floor. you tell him to sit for the rest of the season, he’ll probably just get mad at management.

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

        Apparently you’re not familiar with Grant Hill.

  • sucka

    fawk please dont let the 7 foot italian play. hes a waste really

  • Nilanka15

    According to Yahoo:

    “A little birdie says the Timberwolves have received word from Ricky Rubio’s family that he’s open to signing with them for next season — if there is a season.

    The NBA’s labor agreement expires June 30, and that’s an issue for Rubio, the Wolves’ 2009 first-round draft pick who could continue playing for FC Barcelona in Spain if there is an NBA lockout. The 6-foot-4 point guard is averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 assists in 45 games this season.”

    Minnesota has a team option on Flynn for 2013, and Ridnour is signed until 2014. If Rubio joins them, something’s gotta give.

    • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

      Jonny Flynn, while a nice man, is not someone we want. Ridnour is solid, but getting old and that contract is likely too long.

    • sleepz

      When you think something has to give are you referring to who Minnesota might or might not select in the draft? It would seem they are pg heavy. Washington also probably has no need in selecting a pg. If all things play out according to form that would probably leave Clevland to decide on which holes they would want to fill first. They would probably take the best player available, however after watching Baron play yesterday I don’t know if pg is their biggest need at this point. If they deem Williams or Barnes more or equally as talented than Irving, who knows who they may pick?

      This is of course acknowledging that none of these players have declared for the draft yet. lol

      • Nilanka15

        I guess I was referring to their draft strategy, and the fact that they’d have 3 PGs, none of which should be considered 3rd string.

        But I agree with j bean below…Rubio seems to be pretty overhyped (at least so far).

    • barenakedman

      Looking at Rubio’s numbers I’m wondering what all the excitement is about. Even in a lower scoring league they’re nothing to write home about.

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

        Numbers are very deceiving in Europe. You have to actually watch a guy play. And there’s a lot of people, including myself, that feel Rubio’s game is more suited to the NBA.

        • slaw

          What’s with those shooting percentages though? They are really ugly for a guy at his skill level. That has to be disconcerting.

        • barenakedman

          Still 1 assist per quarter and 5 points a game? I agree somebody is very deceived if they’re excited about that. If he’s a point guard that doesn’t score or assist what is he doing that would make you think the Raptors should go after him?

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

      I’d rather try and pry Rubio out of their hands. I really don’t see either Flynn or Ridnour being any better than Calderon, and possibly being worse.

      • Mediumcore

        Just curious if there has been any word that Rubio is up for grabs? They’ve been waiting on this kid for a couple of years now, so it would be more likely they try and move Flynn as opposed to Rubio wouldn’t it?

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

          Probably. He’s just someone I’ve had my eye on since long before he was drafted. Of course, the T-Wolves seem to love drafting PGs, so if they do, then they might be open to moving Rubio if offered a nice enough package for him.

      • corey

        i agree. calderon’s deficiencies are less apparent. his weaknesses r easier to cover for. and he has shown some flashes of his 2009 self.

        bargani wont rebound or box out his man. and his 3 shooting has declined. he is a less efficient scorer. keep caldy, trade AB for either a good wing or a pick.

  • WhatWhat

    (I’m as critical as White Swan as the next guy, but y’all are being too hard on him. I mean, we shouldn’t trade him for nothing/he’s not a complete waste, etc. >.> That said, I want him to play, because I’m sure Bogut would abuse him again in the clutch.)

    Must lose game. The Kings AND the Cavs won yesterday, and we’re 2 games behind the Wizards, iirc. Believe in miracles. Believe that we can get a top 3 pick.

    I like Skiles as a short term coaching. He gets his team to overachieve like crazy, permanently improving their defense, then after that first year, everything inexplicably goes to shit. If he’s avaliable I would REALLY want Adelman to be hired here.

  • Bendit

    And why the dislike for Skiles?

    True, he doesn’t smile a lot and always has this intense look on his face. But his teams play DEFENSE and he holds players accountable on that side of the ball….probably why Maggette sits. Now, if only he had a full deck to play with with all the injuries and those who put the ball in the hole the last couple of years continued this year that team is in the playoffs and giving their first round opponent fits.

    • Nilanka15

      Skiles seem to be the anti-Triano: all defense, no offense. My ideal candidate for a coach would be someone knowledgable on both ends of the court.

      • Bendit

        I doubt highly that Skiles is a “no offense” coach. What he is if I may is a no nonsense old fashioned (post play and ball movement on offense and intense coverage and rebounding on defense). This is a coach who has the nba assist record for a game…30…who figured! So he must know a bit about offense.

        And yes he outlives his usefulness after awhile because players tune him out if the results diminish because of injuries or too many benchings. He is a Sloan type coach and I admit a dying breed.

  • Blanco

    This sums up bargs….his response to what he is working on personally…

    Check out this link…just about 1/2 the way through are reporter asked what he specifically is working on….

    anything around rebounds and defense??? NOPE

    http://www.nba.com/raptors/video/2011/03/28/RWEB110328BARGS-1610360

    • LeeZ

      But you know what? I’d much rather him answering that question honestly (his answer as to what he’s specifically working on to get better? jump shot, dribbling, low post. Yeah, that’s the ticket, Drea.) than spewing out that b.s. we heard from him in the off season about how he wanted to improve his boards and help defence. Yeah, as IF.

      • Blanco

        Ya i agree…. and we also now know really really watsup…. so trade him

    • Bendit

      Did anyone do a count on “Keep getting better…” lol. If he got a rebound or blocked shot for each occurrence he’d be one heckuva player.

      • barenakedman

        His body language is saying he’s still not comfortable doing interviews and he wants to get it over with. You’d think after five years he’d have gotten better and could come up with something a little more intriguing to say.

        • Nilanka15

          His body language seems somewhat uncomfortable while on the court too. Even while at the FT line, waiting for the refs to give him the ball, he shifts his weight from side to side, which seems like a gesture of anxiousness. He just doesn’t seem relaxed.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      These are Barg’s standard replies- work hard, get better, be the best (Andrea voice).lol

      Andrea speakeasy- It’s basketball not reboundball (or defenseball). Sometimes I get lazy.

      BC has created, coddled a very lackadaisical monster 5 years after the fact of him drafting Andrea #1 overall.

  • Roarque

    The problem with AB is that he does not respond well to the current coaching staff. He needs to find a coach that can motivate him day in and day out. Apparently earning more money in one season than his entire family back in Italy earns in their combined lifetimes isn’t enough. So where is this coach? Not Smitch and not Triano whose styles are opposite ends of the coaching spectrum so perhaps somewhere in between?

    • Alberto_Forgione

      the problem with AB is he’s a goddamn little momma’s boy in a giants body. Why is it up to the coaches to motivate him? He needs to be a man and realize that basketball is his job and what puts pasta on the table, grow up already realize your weaknesses and work on them 9-5 like the rest of us.

      • FunnyRabbit

        And the rest of this team are player without basketball-iq and a coach with a brain like a rabbit.
        Not sure if the problem is the momma’s boy or the jumping no-iq guys or the rabbit.

  • http://khandorssportsblog.com/wordpress khandor

    Sam,

    Bogut is not the tpye of Center that will form the foundation of a championship team in the NBA. That said … he is still so much better than Bargnani, it isn’t even close.

    • Ruuuuuuuuuuu

      Bogut may not be the best player on a championship team, but he is exactly….EXACTLY…the type of centre you need to win.

      For example he would fit like a glove on that Miami team (with two dominant perimeter scorers) instead of the Boshtrich.

      He has a low post game, blocks/alters shots, good passer, shoots a high percentage….

      basically he’s not Dwight Howard, but he is as good as anyone else.

      • hound

        Absolutely!! But imagine Bogut and Bargnani. With Bogut, Bargs would be that much better and with Bargs playing the 4 and drawing his big away from the glass, Bogut would have more room. I am all for getting Bogut. Just don’t know how.

      • corey

        Boshtrich. too funny.

  • IchLacheMichTot

    Hahahahaha this is so funnyyyyyyy! Every day the same… Trade Bargs because he is our best player, yes trade him and please take a very very gooooood player like…häämmm like..hmmmm ah ok like the others very very good player of our team. LOOOOOOOOOL
    Hope for Bargs he is going to be traded, this is a ridicolous team with the opposite of a couch. loool

    • FunnyRabbit

      …opposite of a coach. LOL

    • Nilanka15

      How is he our “best player” exactly?

      • hound

        Who is our best player and where would Bargs rank 1-15?

        • Nilanka15

          Bargs is probably within the top 3, but I wouldn’t say he’s the clear-cut best player. Calderon and Amir should be in the conversation.

    • sucka

      Bargnani our best player? AHAHAHA He would not even be considered as a first five player in winning teams. HE JUST TAKE ALOT OF SHOTS AND BC AND MADE HIM LOOK LIKE HES THE BEST IN OUR TEAM so his value will go up for a trade.

      • outofbalance

        let’s imagine the rest of the team

      • FunnyRabbit

        Ok my friend, say me please WHO should shot??? DD? LOOOOOL he cannot do a jumper with 4 m.

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

      If he is the team’s best player, which is debatable, he’s the best player on a 20 win team. And he’s really not all that good, so why would you be against trading him, especially if it helps the team in the long run?

  • The Rawth

    Bargs is pretty much the reason i support Toronto, and i actually HOPE he gets traded to a team like Denver. I think he would feel alot more comfortable there with another Italian in Gallo and his ofense would suit well, also Raptors would benefit if hes traded for someone like Felton.

    I just get so frustrated with all the arguements on this forum, all it is Bargs is an R-tard, trade him blah blah, hes ucomfortable and understands all the hate on him, he cant help his natural inabilities, and would be much more appreciated with a team more suitable to him aswell as a half decent coach.
    Somewhere like Denver, Knicks would be awesome to see him go, wont have to read whinging and whining posts on this forum, oh wait youall will probs find someone to moan about jus to seem like your all half-knowledgable about how a team can be succesful.

    Plus if it does happen and he turns out freakin awesome in another team, i will laugh and so will he at all them haters, then everyone will say ‘i knew all along it was the coaching staff , they just didnt know how to use him”
    that would be an amazing day

    Churr

    • Theswirsky

      if he went to another team and played “awesome” I think everyone wins.

    • WhatWhat

      Bargnani would be a HORRIBLE fit on the Knicks. Melo-STAT-Bargs-Pringles combo will never, EVER get past the first round.

      Denver would only get diminishing returns with him. They need more defense, they’re already fine offensive, even w/o Melo (who I think is really overrated).

      If Bargnani does pan out on another team, I wouldn’t be mad at all. I would even be glad for him, but I’m absolutely sure that it won’t happen here, despite the franchise giving him every opportunity to do so. Him being uncomfortable undermines the caliper test, which basically said that his confidence is unwavering. Or he could, you know, grab a measly 7 boards per game. You know why the hate is so strong? Because he CAN do all the things that he needs to.

      Also, despite his glaring flaws, Smitch DID try to push Bargnani and hold him accountable. Method of doing so was poor, but he held him accountable. A real coach wouldn’t start him, unless they were terrible offensively…even then he would think about it hard.

      So now the argument has gone from “Don’t trade Bargnani, he’s our best player”, to “I hope that he does get traded, so you’ll see how much you undervalued him.” Come on, son. If he were that good, he would have shown it by now.

      • NoBargsHater

        wow what a basketball-iq

    • outofbalance

      don’t worry man, next year Bargs will be trade to OKC for Nazr Mohammed, so everybody
      wins. Bargs for sure

    • Smushmush

      George Karl will skin Bargs out alive for his no defense lmao. Looking at the crystal ball, I see some DNP-CDs lol in Bargs future on George Karl’s bench. Is it the same George Karl that continued to criticise a “superstar” in Melo for playing no defense? Now, just imagine, what he will do to Bargs if he sees he can’t rebound and play defense *shudders* (Now, imagine ultimate thugs in Kenyon Martin, Birdman Andersen and even JR Smith taking Bargs lunch, *jokes*).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632775895 Eugene Earnshaw

    People are just bitching about Bargnani because the Raps are losing but Jose is playing well. Otherwise Calderon would be getting the hate. Fortunately, all the bullshit in the world about how bad Bargnani is doesn’t make even a tiny bit of difference.

  • Nbg_30

    LOOOOL with Andrea +12, without Andrea -1. hahahahaha

    • outofbalance

      our coach is on holiday

  • FunnyRabbit

    wowwwwwww Amir on Bogut, 20cm smaller…. BIG decision again and again. Triano is the Brain!!!! hahahaha

    • Nilanka15

      Can’t blame Triano on that one. But you can blame Bargs for his inability to guard other centers…

  • outofbalance

    trade Bargs for Drew Gooden and DD for Delfino so we will se a great D next year

    • FunnyRabbit

      rofl. yes please trade Bargs so he will play in a basketball-team with a basketball-coach.

  • Rpsfan95

    F Bargs! no wonder Ed Davis is pissed, he’s a rookie PF that has to guard Bogut, gimmie a break

  • Guest

    some of the ppl on here are so full of it