Magic 98, Raptors 102 – Box

Persistence pays off. A night before in Chicago the Raptors gave a performance which was deserving of a win if it hadn’t been for the high quality of the opponent. A night later at home against Orlando, they repeated the performance and this time around the Magic succumbed to the Raptors’ decisive commitment to organized and intelligent basketball.

Two things jump out at you from the boxscore. First, the Raptors 48-30 (15-7) dominance on the boards thanks to Reggie Evans’ 17 rebounds. Second, and symbiotic to the first, the home team’s 21-10 second-chance points advantage. Not reflected in the boxscore is Evans’ defensive play against Howard, who he made work for every inch. In the post-game interview, Evans described Howard as being tired as the game went on by saying “he felt him leaning on him”, and it’s true. On the back of a good FT-shooting night Howard dropped 31 points, but they weren’t of the type which end up overpowering the opponent. The thunderous dunks that have the potential to embarrass and demoralize were missing, instead he had to rely on his jumper (an improving bank-shot) and grind it in the paint. It just might be that Reggie’s greatest contribution was to tire Howard enough that he missed his final three FTs in a tight game in the fourth.

The first quarter defense wasn’t as good as it was against Chicago, but it was still better than the norm. The Raptors held the Magic to 41% shooting, out-rebounded them 12-8 and were up 6-0 in second-chance points. Jerryd Bayless (23 pts, 8 asts, 7-14 FG) was controlling the game with his hard dribble, always looking to go inside and kick it out to James Johnson or DeMar DeRozan on the wings. The ball moved from side-to-side and the Raptors wings were making their jumpers with DeRozan showing improvement in his range and off-the-ball movement created due to proper Davis and Evans screens. James Johnson, as he’s been doing since he arrived, did some ball-handling as well, he serves as a great release point when the ball is pressured in the back-court. The Turkoglu-Johnson matchup was an interesting one because they’re being used very similarly by their respective teams – as alternate ball-handlers who can slash and create shifts in the defense.

The Raptors held a 23-19 first quarter lead and the Magic were in for a fight. There were no easy threes to be had because the Raptors were getting back in transition and closing out shooters extremely well, even Sonny Weems was into it. The bench scoring at halftime was 22-3 in favor of the Raptors and overcame the 10-2 Magic run to end the half. Joey Dorsey saw the light of day and in his brief time on the floor stuck with Raptor-killer Ryan Anderson, Weems was supplying efficient offense against Richardson, and Barbosa spelled Bayless very well by playing his patented two-man high PnR game.

Hedo Turkoglu was booed on every touch which prompted Matt Devlin to reflect on, and I quote this word-for-word, “the magic of Bryan Colangelo”. Jack Armstrong and Devlin proceeded to shower Colangelo with praise on trading Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa and saving the club from financial burden and improving team chemistry. My response to that: Yeah, but he also signed Turkoglu to a ridiculous deal so if he goes some way in cleaning up his mess he’s back to square one, not deserving of knighthood. I mean, if your friend comes over to your house and pisses on your couch and then cleans it up, do you praise him or be like, “WTF man, you just peed on my couch!”.

Jerryd Bayless kickstarted the Raptors in the third quarter by hitting two threes and a long jumper. I got the feeling that every time he plays high minutes he does well so I did a search on BR which says that every time he plays more than 30 minutes, he averages 16.4 points and 7.1 assists. As a starter, he’s averaging 18.4 points and 7.9 assists. Those aren’t shabby numbers and it does appear he’s a better contributor when starting, especially when you consider that he brings more on the defensive side than Jose Calderon. It’ll be interesting to see how Colangelo views Bayless’ strong finish to the season, does he still go looking for a point guard in the draft or roll the dice with Bayless, who has proven to be a volatile player and goes through spells of absolutely awful guard play. But that’s as a sub, as a starter he’s certainly something different. I’ll stick to what I always say at this time of the year: take these performances with a grain of salt because there’s no pressure to do anything.

The Raptors struggled to close out the third and the Magic ended the quarter on a Dwight Howard fueled 8-4 run, pushing the Magic into a six point lead entering the fourth. The Raptors held their ground, Ed Davis had four fouls and did well defensively against Bass for the most part, he also had his say on the offensive end by finishing near the hoop after Weems found him in that early fourth quarter run which gave the Raptors an 85-84 lead with 8:55 to play. The Raptors wings – Johnson, Barbosa and DeRozan – were stellar in that stretch, each finding the soft spot in the Magic defense after great ball movement had excellent screens had shifted the Magic defense more than Van Gundy preferred. DeRozan had 24 points on 8-16 shooting including eight in the fourth quarter. The shot-chart is improving and hopefully this is the beginning of him turning into a great mid-range shooter, which is necessity if a wing wants to be a great scorer.

The Raptors’ final five points came at the line, two of them off a great drive by Bayless who got hammered by Bass at the rim. He immediately got up and chest-bumped Barbosa showing that he wasn’t going to be denied tonight. Bayless’ steady FT shooting combined with Howard missing three of his last four FTs were enough as the Magic, a team which I think really misses the versatility of Mickael Pietrus, went down in Toronto.

I called up the Fan 590 and brought up two points with Eric Smith and Paul Jones:

  1. The Raptors performances at this time of the year should not be over-analyzed because they’ve historically done better at this time of the year. Teams tend to look at the record and underestimate them, and there’s little pressure.
  2. The Raptors need to explore utilizing Andrea Bargnani’s strengths much better. I made the point that his excellent scoring prowess is being lost in his bad defense. The solution would be to have a starting lineup built on defense, and bring Bargnani as a reserve for around 25 minutes. He’d be under less pressure and would perform better defensively against substitutes, thus giving the team an overall lift.

Eric Smith said that the move would make sense basketball-wise, but given Bargnani’s contract, it’s going to hurt the franchise and his confidence. Fair point on it potentially hurting his confidence, but he’s a big boy and will get over it. I don’t see how it would hurt the franchise, if the point of the team is to win as many games as possible, that’s a pretty good solution. Smith instead said he’s rather see Bargnani traded than come off the bench, as it would be more comfortable for everyone in the organization.

Paul Jones agreed with what I said.

  • Jose

    “I mean, if your friend comes over to your house and pisses on your couch and then cleans it up, do you praise him or be like, “WTF man, you just peed on my couch!”.

    LOL…

    • rockstar

      I actually have to refute this whole statement. Signing Turk was nothing like peeing on someones couch, unless that pee had just taken his team to the nba finals and was a wanted commodity. He thought he was getting kool-aid. I wouldn’t say for a second that Colangelo peed on the couch. that’s a horrible analogy. He did what seemed best on the market with the money available to him. When it went bad (no one thought it was going to, this place was roaring and happy for his entry) he fixed the mistake. Leandro for Turk? Great deal! Cleaning up pee means there are still effects from the damage and I don’t think so. If anything we picked up a better player who plays with heart.

      I think it was an unwarranted comment.

      • black angus

        Yes – Turk did just go to the final swith his team – but he had Dwight Howard playing centre and Jameer Nelson at the point. BC had just signed Bargnani and Jose to long term contracts – both players are not compatible with Turk – even BC should have seen that.

  • Milesboyer

    My friend’s girlfriend puked on my couch (luckily it was leather) at a party and then they mysteriously disappeared, when I finally found him I said – “Dude your girlfriend just Turkoglued all over my couch! you gotta clean it up”. He did, but I didn’t praise him.

  • onemanweave

    Hurting his confidence?????!!!!!! He’s a five year vet and this is the NBA. How many season’s ticket holders has he hurt with his listless efforts?
    The suggestion to bring him off the bench is bang on OR start him and jerk him immediately is he fails to impersonate a center.
    Everyone who dislikes him game says ‘trade him’. For what? I’m pretty sure NBA coaches and scouts have an idea what his shortcomings are. If he’s to work on a good team, it will be as an offensive boost off the bench.
    Try him in this role. Use a really novel approach and make him accountable for his minutes.He is a talented player. Back him into a corner and make him play like one. THEN you may get a good offer for him.

    • onemanweave

      should be ‘if he fails….’. My bad.

  • cesco

    With Andrea in the line-up , the team is 19/65 for a percentage of .292 , without Andrea the team is 2/11 with a percentage of .181 . You cannot play your best scorer (#3 in scoring among centers) as a substitute otherwise he will ask to be traded and play lousy until he is traded . There are 29 teams inquiring about Andrea availability but BC will try to get a defensive center that can play at least 25 minutes and see how things work out.

    • BiggieBiggs

      You really want to get into the games Andrea has missed? They practically sit him out for the tough ones and play him against the softies. That winning percentage is meaningless, cross-reference that with opponent winning percentage and get back to me.

      • cesco

        9 of the 19 games the team won with Andrea in the line-up were against teams playing over .500 . That is pretty good for a team playing .276 ball . Anything else ? .

        • cesco

          sorry , teams that are currently playing over .500 .

          • voy

            nice. what a dumb argument “yeah, bc sits andrea against the tough opponents and only plays him against the softer teams”. Can you imagine. Comments like this really do a diservice to all basketball fans, like andrea or not.

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

            Some problems with your theory. 8 of the 10 games that Bargnani sat, Reggie Evans also sat. And the team has a much better record with Reggie in the lineup. Many of those games that Bargnani sat guys like Barbosa and Calderon either sat or played injured. And 8 of the 10 games he sat were against +.500 teams.

            It COULD be that the team is better with Bargnani in the lineup, but the sample is so corrupted it’s impossible to tell.

            Besides, the fact is the team is bad with or without Bargnani, but we do know that they struggle defensively when he is in the lineup, in large part, because he is such a poor defensive player. They aren’t generally great without him, but if he’s part of the problem, it makes sense that you have to look into trading him away.

            • Nilanka15

              Cesco’s feeling the pinch. He knows that the end of the Bargnani era in Toronto is only a few months away 😉

              • James

                I really really hope you’re right.

            • cesco

              Out of curiosity , what is your opinion on how long it will take Minny with KL as their center to become a strong playoff team ? How long will it take Orlando with DH to win a championship ? Miami could win it all this year without a center , right , right ?.

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

                I’m not quite sure what this has to do with the topic at hand, but Kevin Love isn’t their center. Darko is. And they’ve got a lot more to do before you can be talking playoffs with them.

                As for Miami, they have 2 of the best players in the league, on their team, and their third best player was the Raptors best player for the previous 6 years. And they play center by committee. And two of them are pretty damn good defensively, in Erick Dampier and Joel Anthony.

                I’ve never said you need a dominant, back to the basket center to win. I have just said you need to have your frontcourt be able to defend.

              • hateslosing

                Not to butt in, but Minni’s problem is not at either of the big spots. Darko and Love are both very solid contributors and will continue to be. That team is in desperate need of a good point and a scoring wing, one of which they should get soon in Rubio. I’d say that they could make the playoffs in as little as two seasons from now if Rubio comes over and Wesley Johnson develops into a decent scorer. Plus they are going to be adding another solid piece in this draft. If it wasn’t for the fact that their ownership sucked, I’d be jealous of Minni.

        • sleepz

          The stats can definitely be used to support the argument that the team is better with Andrea in the line-up. That being said I believe many fans are simply putting this to the eye test and it just feels like the Raps battle a lot harder defensively when Andrea is not there, almost like they have something to prove.

          It’s also less aggravating to not have to watch Andrea take plenty of shots but coast on the other end of the floor as we’ve seen all year long. Imo they are less talented offensively when he’s not out there as the coaching staff typically works the offence to get him plenty of shots, but when he’s not there the defence seems more lively and shots are distributed to other players that are rewarded for their effort on the defensive end.

          • Nilanka15

            Nicely said.

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

            The stats aren’t as conclusive as you may think. On the surface, sure, but all the things I mentioned above, paired with the fact that the points differential with and without Bargnani is 2 points, and that’s against mostly +.500 teams. Again, I’m not arguing either side, just saying that a closer look at the stats makes you realize just how inconclusive they are. They simply don’t hold up under scrutiny.

            • voy

              I think thats a fair point – its tough to make a definative case on either side. On a macro view, what difference does it make now. The team, in its present state, has so many missing pieces till it becomes a contender I think the argument is moot. When we get better pieces and start filling up our holes then may be a more appropriate time to have this discussion, imo.

              • Nilanka15

                Ha! Classic voy. “Guys, can we please stop talking about Bargnani? It hurts my feelings…I mean his feelings.”

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

              “ekoreen: So, the Raptors are 2-9 without Bargnani. Then again, their average opponent without him has had a .622 winning percentage. MEANINGLESS!”

              Plus, as the point has been made, many were without Evans as well.

            • sleepz

              Your’re right Tim because Reggie Evans stats could indicate he is more valuable than any one else on the team.

              That being said I’m just giving it the eyeball test and they do miss Bargnani’s scoring at times when he’s not playing. How much that offsets the non-committal defence I’m not sure but I agree nothing is totally conclusive.

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

                Oh, they definitely miss his scoring when he’s not out there, but does him being on the floor hurt the defense more than his scoring helps it?

                • voy

                  I guess alot of this depends on who else is out there. Same goes with any player who you’re trying to look at in a vaccum, especially on a team with so many holes.

    • onemanweave

      He plays lousy anyway in every facet of the game but shooting. Light a fire under him. It will either motivate or incinerate. Either one works for me.

  • knickz

    the team just plays tougher withut the lazy italian, jose plays hard so leave my boy alone

    • cesco

      Nice logic you have , the team play tougher but loses more , percentage wise . And Bayless is a better defender than Jose , sorry .

      • Malefax

        Except the evidence all suggests that Jose is a better defender than Bayless.

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

        As I said, the stats in favour of the team playing better with Bargnani don’t hold up under scrutiny. At all.

  • knickz

    guys like derozan and davis will become better scorers so who really cares about the italians 21 points…anybody in this league can drop 21 a game with the touches he gets…we must trade this guy as soon as the playoffs are done

    • cesco

      Sorry to disagree , 22 points per game as the primary option on a lousy team is not within the reach of everyone in the league and Andrea will be here for the next 4 years . BC gave that stupid US writer (ESPN , I think) a piece of his mind for printing bull poop about trading AB.

      • sleepz

        21ppg taking 18 shots a game on a 20 win team is within greater reach than you think it is.

        BC shouldn’t be giving anyone a piece of his mind. He should be sitting quietly in a dark room awaiting an extension he doesn’t deserve.

      • Milesboyer

        Barbosa could easily average 22 pts. if he was made a focal point of the offense.

      • mo-sales

        Ask Mike James how hard it is to put up numbers when your not chucking from the bottom of the dregs.

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

        The best example of this is Tony Campbell. No, it’s not EASY to score 22 ppg, but just because you can doesn’t make you a good NBA player. And it doesn’t mean you can contribute to a winning team. Loads of players have scored lots on bad teams and couldn’t find a roll on a good team.

        • mountio

          If Tony Campbell is illustrative of how far back you have to go to find a good example of a guy who scored 22 ppg, but wasnt a “good” NBA player, Im not sure how compelling your case is. If you can point to a few examples in the last 10 years (vs the dozens of players who score above 22 ppg and are “good”) .. then your case might be in better shape ..

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

            Tony Campbell was simply the guy that came to mind. There are loads of other examples. Corey Maggette is a great scorer on a bad team, but hasn’t helped Milwaukee at all. Michael Beasley is a great scorer on Minnesota, but can anyone imagine how he’d fit on a good team? Monta Ellis is another guy I don’t see fitting well on a good team, except maybe coming off the bench.

  • Mediumcore

    I agree with E. Smith about trading him rather than bringing him off the bench. It’s the same as Jose where the contract is too big to merit being a bench player. Couldn’t care less about his confidence being hurt or not. Would Andrea be a good fit playing next to Dwight? He wouldn’t conjest the lanes since his game is on the perimeter.

    • Hotdog

      Best options for AB are : Denver with Nene, Orlando with Howard, and Oklahoma with Perkins.

  • voy

    ‘Dre coming off the bench is a proposition I’d rather pass on, especially if we’re gonna keep Leonardo as an offensive spark off the bench. Given the options of having AB come off the bench vs trading him I’d rather trade him and fill a need.

    All this being said, I dont think you can trade Bargniani without first getting a big body back. I’d rather not throw ED to the wolves and force him to deal with guys alot bigger than him and at the same ask him to develop his game. Same with Amir, I think we’re seeing the result of playing against bigger guys take its toll on Johnson. Its not like he’s playing heavy minutes but he’s starting to break down physically.

    I also prefer to temper my excitement and hold off on planning the championship parade for next year. However, it is great to see DD stick that jumper and extened his range. Hopefully he can continue to work on his handle and develop a dependable shot off the bounce.

    Apart from D12, Orlando looks horrible but it was still great to see the boys grind out a win.

  • guest

    I don’t know why it would be surprising that Bayless plays better with starter minutes when I think it is really like most players…they all play better with consistent minutes and not having to look over their shoulder or having fear of making a mistake. Isn’t that what happened with Calderon once they traded Jack? Once Calderon knew his role was as the starter and he was not looking over his shoulder, he played better. This is even more the case for a young guy. People who think that this team will get that much better in the draft are really kidding themselves. It will be at least another two year rebuilding project. Very few young one or two year player, especially point guards come out and lead their team to the playoffs their first year. TEAMS NEED TO DEVELOP CHEMISTRY! That is what I saw the last couple of games, the Raptors for the first time in a while looked like they had good chemistry. BC needs to let these young guys play out the season, see exactly what he has and then if it looks like it has looked, think about moving down in the draft to acquire another really really good experienced player who can provide some veteran leadership. I want to see the young guys play a little more before I say where they really fall short. Right nowI think a strong Power Forward or a center would help them the most. They need some Power in the paint.

  • sleepz

    Can’t believe you called the Fan post-game and got Smith and Jones to agree to anything that doesn’t agree with the current management regimes train of thought.

    Usually the post game is “defend anything Raptors” but if this was indeed how the conversation went that is a good step for those guys.

    Sometimes I find when it gets into conversations about Triano or Colangelo I feel they are not objective as they are probably too close to the team and won’t critically analyze anything objectively.

    • Bendit

      While I agree with you, the response may also mean that their answer could be in sync with management thinking.

      • sleepz

        Good point.

  • mo-sales

    Your right in thinking that BC shouldn’t look too much into this last stretch of games because hopefully he’s too busy packing his bags. This team is finally headed in the right direction with a Bayless, Derozan, Davis small three, but it is still two years away from being taken seriously.
    This should not reflect positively on the front office, but rather a belief in the law of averages. If you make enough moves, eventually some of them are going to pan out.

    Fire BC, package Bargs with Jose and wash your hands with slow, nonathletic player’s who aren’t good enough on offense to warrant not playing defense. Draft Barnes, Irving or Knight and ensure this franchise does not repeat the mistakes of the past by drafting a Kanter and making excuses for another half decade.

  • onemanweave

    Two mantras I hear again and again — ‘trade Bargs'; ‘draft Kyrie’.
    Great ideas, BUT again, what are you going to get for Bargs? If he doesn’t work for the Raps, who does he work for? NBA organizations, I believe, keep up on these things. You’re not gonna pawn him off for a good, young up-and-comer or the top lottery pick.
    He needs to establish some value beyond ‘good hit, no field’ or you’re gonna get back someone who’s: injury prone, a head case, hands of stone, a AB clone or someone being paid way, WAY too much.
    Find a productive role for him in this organization. Then he may have appeal for a potential trading partner. I’m sure other orgs are interested in him, but what are they offering?
    Make him earn his minutes. He has the talent to do it. Then he’ll either help the organization or bring something good back in a trade.
    As for drafting Kyrie, it kind of depends on the ping pong balls. I think a few other bottom feeders have that course of action in mind.

    • Nilanka15

      It’s nice to think that all GMs are created equal, but then you run into a David Kahn or Rob Babcock. People get screwed in deals ALL THE TIME in this league. Bargnani may not have much value among some frustrated fans (myself included), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a deal out there that would benefit both teams involved. I peronally don’t think it’s far-fetched to think Colangelo can pull something off.

      • mountio

        Or said another way, AB does have value .. its just that this team is brutal right now and so certain fans don’t want to admit he has value because they are frustrated with the teams performance and lay the blame squarely at his feet. Not saying its a totally irrational view, espeically when you consider the emotion involved (its not fun to watch a guy night in and night out who appears to lack effort).
        BUT – make no mistake, AB has considerable value .. the question is whether it will be realized on this team or another team.

        • voy

          Ha! The typical Nilanka classic. “Yeah, Bargniani sucks, is horrible blah, blah, blah, but I think there could be a deal out there that could benefit both teams”.

          Ooooo, yeeeaaah, Bargniani doesn’t have much value among some frustrated fans? How relevant and interesting. Wow, that must be a real hinderence to basketball operations. How can the organizaton be expected to succeed if many of the same guys who compare jimmer to allen iverson, or who have uncovered the secret italian conspiracy, or who think you dont need any qualifications to become an nba gm, dont find much value in Andrea?

          Hmmm, I wonder whose opinion is more relevant? The fans who don’t see any value in AB but who want to see more playing time for Ajinca, or what nba GMs think?

          • sleepz

            I think most fans and GMs alike would agree that Andrea has value. The question is what kind of value? Does a GM look at him as a starting 5 or an offensive weapon off the bench?

            You also need to factor in his contract that while reasonable on a per year basis for a ‘big’ he’s still owed $41 million on an escalating dealover the next 4 years. With that type of coin to be paid out in a financial landscape tat is currently uncertain I’d wager most GM’s would have to view him as a core piece going forward on their respective team to want to acquire him.

            Colangelo has said he gets a lot of calls about him. It would be interesting to hear some of the deals for players that have been offered up for Andrea.

            • voy

              i can see your points being argued, sleepz. I was just having some fun at some of the emotion based, nonsensical points we’ve heard recently. I can totally respect most fans’ opinions on Bargs, even if they differ than my own. Whatever it takes to make the team better in the long run.

          • Nilanka15

            FANBOYS UNITE! HUZZAH!

      • Bendit

        You forgot the Suns who took Hedo…but then they turned around and made Otis Smith look a bit silly for taking Hedo and giving up Gortat (who is missed greatly by the Magic).

        • Nilanka15

          Exactly my point. Just because Bargnani is utter shyte, it doesn’t mean a delusional GM won’t think otherwise 😉

          Afterall, there were 3 GMs in the last 18 months who actually thought Turkoglu could be a valuable addition to their respective teams.

          Even the worst players have value in someone’s eyes. It’s up to Colangelo to exploit it.

    • mo-sales

      You probably keep hearing them because they perennially represent the two biggest weaknesses of the organization, center and point guard. The raps are on pace for a top four pick and have historically been quite lucky bouncing up in the draft.

      As far as trading Bargs goes, just dump him. There is no market for him. He has marginal value when it comes to winning basketball games. It has been five years and his value as always lies in untapped potential and little else. Trade him in division and reap the rewards of playing against him a handful of times every year.

  • Peter

    If Barg can’t be traded, I would waive him, cuz I just can’t stand him any longer as a fan.

    • mountio

      Good idea

    • Malefax

      Three cheers for you not being GM of the Raptors!

    • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

      its hard to understand why NBA franchises don’t scout fan sites for their GMs.

  • Malefax

    Action: Raptors get great win over tough team

    Response: Raptors fan bash the injured players who missed the game, because obviously the team doesn’t need them

    Seriously guys? Seriously? That’s our takeaway lesson? So fucking lame…

    • Nilanka15

      The bashing of unnamed injured players has very little to do with last night, and almost everything to do with the last 5 years.

      Call it lame if you want, but to most, it’s perfectly clear which players fit, and which players don’t.

  • Malefax

    Oh, BTW Arsenalist, since signing Turkoglu’s contract was such a bad move, what should have BC done with the money instead? I’m sure there was some obvious better target that we could have signed. Maybe we could have got Ben Gordon if we’d gone after him really hard from the beginning…

    • Arsenalist

      He should have seen what a bad fit it would be, both on the court and off. Now the argument you’ll make is that hindsight is 20/20, except that he’s an NBA GM and should be held to higher standards than you and I when we play fantasy basketball. Obviously he thought that you can plop a player from one situation to another and the stats will be re-produced. If this was his first major mistake, then maybe you would’ve looked past it but it came on the heel of the JO fiasco. Ultimately, it all came down to the infatuation with building around Bosh, who was no-one to build around. That’s where it all went wrong and the Raptors wasted three seasons trying to build a house of cards.

      • Malefax

        Trying to build around Bosh was an infatuation? Again, what’s the brilliant alternative? The stuff BC did to build around him didn’t work that well… but that’s just the NBA. Look at Dallas and Dirk. Look at the Cavs and LeBron. Look at the 76’ers and Iguodala. Building around an MVP is hard enough: it’s doubly hard when your guy is just an all-star. But building around your best guys is not just plan A: it’s the only plan. You need to get more talent to make the team better. That’s what GM’s do.

        You are damn right I am going to say that hindsight is 20-20. I disagree that Colangelo somehow should have been able to foresee how things would go with Turkoglu. Turk was disappointing, but the things that poisoned his time in Toronto were surprising — who would expect the whole fiasco with going out to the club after he’d sat out a game? If Turk had just underperformed and had a down season, it wouldn’t have been so terrible. GM’s can’t see the future, and nobody can predict exactly how a lineup will mesh before you try it out for a while.

        Sure: Turk didn’t work out, JO didn’t work out. They were both risks (JO much more so), and it’s pretty clear what Colangelo was trying to do. I disagree that either move was obviously a bad idea in advance, especially not the Turkoglu signing.

        But seriously, building around Bosh was the mistake? WTF? Is this the whole “No team can win a championship with Chris bosh on it’s roster” bull again? In that case, I guess Colangelo’s big mistake was not getting hired by a team that already had an MVP candidate…

        • Arsenalist

          You compared Bosh to Dirk and LeBron in your first paragraph, those are apples and oranges. And if you do insist on making that comparison, know that both the Cavs and Mavs GMs made far better moves than Colangelo and got their teams to the finals, the Mavs got robbed by the refs and should have won it.

          Turkoglu did “underperform and had a down season”, not sure what your point is there. The problems with Turkoglu didn’t start when he sat out a game and went for ice-cream or whatever, they started in training camp when he was “fatigued” and missed out on crucial pre-season games and training time.

          Maybe building around Bosh wasn’t necessarily a mistake, but it sure was a weak platform to start with. If Colangelo had any real know-how, we would’ve won a playoff round in Bosh’s four years here with the blank cheque he had, instead he made all the wrong moves on every turn, and that’s what made the whole Bosh experiment a failure.

          You honestly cannot just exonerate Colangelo.

          • Malefax

            Exonerate Colangelo from what? Making mistakes? He’s obviously made mistakes. Jermaine O’Neal was a mistake (maybe understandable, but still). I wanted to exonerate him from blame for signing Turkoglu. The contract was Turkoglu’s going rate, and signing him was better than the alternatives that were available. He fit a need at the time, and as much as I despise the guy, he was still one of the Raptor’s better players last year.

            More broadly, though, I don’t think Colangelo has done a bad job as a GM, if that’s what you mean. He hasn’t had a whole lot of success, but his mistakes have never backed him into a corner, which is more than a lot of GM’s can say.

            LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki are ABSOLUTELY appropriate comparisons for Bosh in this context because they are both central players that a gm tried to build a team around. The fact that they are better than Bosh, but that neither has won a championship, just further illustrates my point, that building a team around a guy is hard — EVEN IF YOUR GUY IS LEBRON JAMES. And, btw, the cavs did a shitty, shitty, shitty job of building around LeBron.

            • Bendit

              LBJ & Novitzki are “ABSOLUTELY” appropriate comparisions to Bosh?

              because all 3 were central players on their teams? You cant be serious. That two of them took their teams to the finals or had perennial 50 plus reg season win teams is not part of the equation? Why dont we as well just throw in Stephon Marbury or Zach Randolph, Kaman, Elton Brand etc (all central players on their respective teams) that their gms intended to build around as appropriate comparisons to LBJ & Dirk.

              Lets put it this way, and as an original supporter, BC has to date not distinguished himself from some of the mediocre gms out there since his arrival here. Some of his moves and comments (re defense) post Bosh though seem to suggest he has turned the corner.

              • Malefax

                Yeah, we can throw in the busts too. If some team was trying to build around Stephon Marbury, then he is comparable to Chris Bosh in at least one respect: that some team tried to build around it.

                Look, it’s not a super hard concept. Any two dudes will be comparable in some respects and not comparable in others. What matters is what is relevant in the context. The context here is “Players that GM’s tried to build their team around”. LeBron and Bosh are ABSOLUTELY comparable in that respect, because both were, indeed, players a GM tried to build a team around.

                But, you say, LeBron is a way better player than Bosh. Yes, quite true. Perhaps that explains why the team that was built around him was more successful than the team built around Bosh. But if that is correct, it merely supports the point I was making when I introduced the comparison originally.That point was: it is HARD to build a team around even a very good player. It is even harder, it stands to reason, if your main piece is not really all that awesome. Since Bosh is not all that awesome, it is less surprising BC didn’t build a winner around him.

                I mean, compare Yao Ming. Daryl Morey tried to build a team around him. That didn’t work. Do we blame Daryl Morey? No, we blame Yao Ming’s feet. Yao Ming wasn’t the guy to build around, it turned out.

                Similarly with Bosh and BC, I say, but for slightly different reasons. Bosh as centrepiece didn’t work out all that well. BC’s fault? Somewhat, in that he made various mistakes and also took some defensible risks that didn’t pay off. But it is also Bosh’s fault, and some of it is Turkoglu’s fault, and some of it is no-one’s fault (e.g. Garbajosa breaking his leg, the 2006 draft being weak).

      • Bendit

        Your last sentence is it. For some reason he was committed to a Bosh anchored rebuild and that was the fatal error. If he was a true visionary (imo Bosh does/did not fit the Phoenix north style) he would have traded him right at the start and molded the team to that style.

        • Malefax

          Trade him for who, exactly? Who makes Phoenix north work that Colangelo could have gotten for Bosh?

          do you think you can just trade a guy like Bosh and get back another young all-star, easy peasy? That’s not how it works.

          • Bendit

            I dont know if Iam upto deciphering the rosters of the nba of 5 years ago however I shall point to Denver recently exacting a heavy price for someone who “demanded” he be traded to a particular team. BC would have had the pick of the litter at the time.

            My comment re the penchant to recreate the run&gun system with the Raps was never to my liking. I merely pointed out that BC chose this route/vision. That his anchor was a PF who wasn’t particularly deerlike and was only going to sign a 3 yr extension to coincide with end of the cba and other A listers in the same stable as his agent (Leon Rose) should have driven up the red flag. These were errors of judgement on basketball vision alongwith operational management. Most would have a difficult time denying this. That trading CB at that time would be difficult to explain to the fanbase here is not lost on me either.

            • Malefax

              I don’t think it’s useful to blame people for not being visionaries.

              Look, clearly BC has not created gold out of straw. So, if you’re saying the problem with BC is he didn’t make a move that probably wasn’t even possible to avert a problem no-one could reasonably foresee, then fine, he’s not a visionary.

              I DOUBT, however, that we will be able to find such a visionary to fill BC’s position when he leaves. I feel they might be thin on the ground.

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

                BC eats, sleeps & shits just like the rest of us- he is not irreplaceable and his Phoenix track record is sketchy at best(how much of that was his daddy’s doing that he took credit for?).

                BC’s Euro vision for the Rap’s has failed it’s time to move on to new minds, direction and ideas- BC had his turn and fucked up Raptor basketball- str8 up.

                The only folks I would keep around are Alex English (he should have Ed shooting jumpers/half hooks like Amir next season)
                Alvin Williams (I would move him to Jim Kellys position- director of scouting)
                JYD (Raptor community PR)

                Plus bring in some old Rap’ like DChristie, MBogues

                Chris Mullin
                Mark Jackson
                Kenny Smith
                Kevin Pritchard
                Julius Erving
                Steve Kerr

                All look better than current Raptor President & GM – BC.

                Plus there are countless NBA Assistant GMs who are ready to move up like Masia Ujiri (Rap’s ex assistant GM now the GM of Denver) who has done a much better job in Denver than BC has done in the TDot- by far. Put BC’s kool aid down- asap!!

                • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

                  BC eats, sleeps & shits just like the rest of us- he is not irreplaceable and his Phoenix track record is sketchy at best(how much of that was his daddy’s doing that he took credit for?).

                  BC’s Euro vision for the Rap’s has failed it’s time to move on to new minds, direction and ideas- BC had his turn and fucked up Raptor basketball- str8 up.

                  The only folks I would keep around are:

                  Alex English (he should have Ed shooting jumpers/half hooks like Amir next season)

                  Alvin Williams (I would move him to Jim Kellys position- director of scouting)

                  JYD (Raptor community PR)

                  Plus bring in some old Rap’s like DChristie & MBogues to bring back some old Raptor flavor.

                  As well:

                  Chris Mullin
                  Mark Jackson
                  Kenny Smith
                  Kevin Pritchard
                  Julius Erving
                  Steve Kerr

                  All would look better than current Raptor President & GM – BC.

                  Plus there are countless NBA Assistant GMs who are ready to move up like Masia Ujiri (Rap’s ex assistant GM now the GM of Denver) who has done a much better job in Denver than BC has done in the TDot- by far.

                  Put BC’s kool aid down- asap!!

                  **Edited

                • Seo

                  Ujiri had Carmelo to work with, BC had Bosh. Take a look at both players, and figure the difference. Not only that, the situation was far different on both sides. New York of last year isn’t the New York of this season, so which team’s scrub players did you want to load our bench with? I like Ujiri, but give it some time before you assess his job as a GM, he hasn’t even won anything yet.

                • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

                  His team is currently in the playoffs with major off season roster flexability.

              • Bendit

                As I indicated previously, I was a supporter of BC and still am currently because of his seeming change to the orthodox of bb style (defense being an important component) and player content but even more so because of the critical juncture/position of the franchise this off season. It would indeed be counter productive to have new management come in and make important decisions on the fly. I am willing to concede/accept that his incorrect infatuation with and assessment of Bosh blinded his otherwise decent record as a gm leading him to make moves that he might have otherwise considered imprudent. He should be allowed to correct matters and I think he understands this if for nothing else but for his own legacy and career going forward.

                I believe I also understand how difficult it is to build a winning ball team in the NBA. And herein lies the nub. Many including I thought BC was a cut above the rest in his field and so are more so disappointed. All this however does not mitigate that he tried to marry his vision for the DAntoni run&gun style with an ill advised player group anchored by Bosh and even a coach not sold on the style. One or the other would have even been preferable inspite of my own negativity to both. This was all I was alluding to in my earlier posts. Lost time and regression was the result. And thats a pissoff.

                • Nilanka15

                  I couldn’t agree more.

  • hotshot

    Bring back Bargnani and Calderon to the lineup! do we really want to start winning games now!? I want to see the weak ass defence we had all season long! we should be in tank mode otherwise instead of picking 4th we will be picking 6th!

  • Statement

    “Raptors are Pee Pee”

    That’s the title of my Ph.D. Thesis.

    • Statement

      In addition,

      Ed Davis is taller than a tall stalk of grass.

  • Rpsfan95

    i’m starting to think the worst case scenario will play out:
    5 more years of BC
    3 more years of Triano
    another Euro in the draft cause the lockout will scare away the best players (Sullinger and Barnes already out)

    • Malefax

      Do you know what I hate? Ignorant stereotypes.

      And soft Euros, obviously.

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

        I hate violent people. I just want to take a baseball bat to their heads.