Raptors 118, Knicks 131 – Box

I just walked in the door from ball hockey at 8:50 (it went late, I had planned to be home by 8:15 and only miss a quarter). Obviously, I have missed the first half. Sadly, I do not have PVR and this doesn’t seem a crcuial enough game to necessitate downloading after the fact and writing a 5am post-game. As it is, I’ll do this post-game in two parts, the first at halftime trying to pull something from the boxscores and Twitter, the second being the generic post-game that, at this point in the year, is really just a post to give you a new message thread to debate GMs and draft picks.

Part 1 – Missing a Half
Holy hell am I glad I missed that first half. 78-54?? Really? REALLY?? The Knicks post two quarters of 39 points, shooting a ridiculous 66% overall while going 12-of-16 from long range. Read that again – 12/16 3FG!! Sorry to overuse the punctuation, but if I knew I was going to miss a game like this, I would have just copy and pasted the Warriors post-game from a few weeks back.

The Knicks have 20 assists on their 27 field goals (likely 12 of which have come on their threes), including seven from Chauncey Billups and five from the corpse of Anthony Carter in just seven minutes of play. Carmelo lead the way with 19 on 11 attempts, while Toney Douglas added 14 on 5/6 (4/5 3FG). Not much else to say about the defense…yikes.

Offensively, hey, at least DeMar has 13 and four rebounds. Jerryd Bayless doesn’t appear to be continuing his streak of strong playe with Jose Calderon out, adding 10 points but little else (one rebound, one assist). Bargnani played just eight minutes and went 0/4, but Ed Davis picked up some slack with 11-and-4 (and Amare has just eight points, so maybe he did something there, too?). Sonny Weems, also back from the dead of late, had eight points.

  • PJ Carlisemo thinks the team just needs to play better defensively.
  • Apparently DeRozan hit a three at the buzzer. So they had momentum into the half.
  • Andrea Bargnani will not return for the second half, being replaced by Ed.
  • Twitter revealed exactly what I thought – I should have kept playing ball hockey instead of coming home for the second half.

Part 2 – Wishing I Missed a Half
Well, it could have been worse. The Raptors at least made it interesting by slowly chipping the lead down to 10 points at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter, but the lead was never really in danger. The 131-118 final tells the story, a completely defense-free game for both sides, a fast-paced affair that would have been entertaining were it not so completely lacking in fundamental basketball.

In the end, the Knicks shot 58% and rained down 15 threes on just 27 attempts (just 3/11 in the second half though), but the Raptors were alright as well at 49%. Both teams walked to the free throw line in parade fashion, totalling 67 free throw attempts. The big difference came in the type of looks created, as both teams scored 45 field goals, but the Knicks had assists on 31 of them while the Raptors had just 11 dimes.

This is symptomatic of the team at times without Jose Calderon. As much as Bayless has been impressive when starting or playing large minutes, the big knock against him is how he gets teammates involved. While he runs the fastbreak well and creates havoc with his drives (some of his slashing lay-ups are a thing of beauty), at times he fails to identify kick-out opportunities, or attacks out of the sets (or so it seems). In the end he had a respectable 19-3-5 line and averages around seven helpers as a starter, but when you’re used to watching Jose create, five assists from 32 point-guard minutes stands out. Bayless’ improvement has been noticable, but it’s not yet at a point where I’d be comfortable with him as the de facto point guard of the future, especially with a few potential options in the draft.

DeMar DeRozan had another high-scoring night, which we’ve become accustomed to of late. He rode 23 second-half points to a 36 point total, shooting 13/27 and even adding a rare three. More importantly, perhaps, he grabbed 10 rebounds and added 3-1-1 on assists-steals-blocks. A large criticism of DeMar’s improvement is that it has been strictly in the Points Per Game department, and this is just one game, but DeMar will need to find ways to help in other departments for nights when the shot isn’t falling, as we’ve all been saying all year. This was a good sign, but potentially an aberration, so let’s withhold judgment until next season.

As for the rest of the squad, Sonny Weems continued his late-season contract push, scoring 14 points but none of them significant enough to change my opinion that he is an end-of-the-bench player worthy of being paid only as such. Bargnani did not return in the second half (and should probably just be shut down for the year at this point), and Barbosa sat, so I don’t have my usual rant about his game.

I should point out the continued strong play of Ed Davis, too, after hitting a bit of a rookie wall a few weeks back. Davis had 22 points and 13 rebounds on 10/14 shooting, and added a block on a Toney Douglas layup that kept the Knicks from hanging 100 in just three quarters. This was one of his best statistical games of the season, and it passed the eye test as well, even if it was against fairly weak defensive competition. If Bargnani does, in fact, sit down for the rest of the year, Ed should be handed the lion’s share of interior minutes to see if he can get more comfortable with his post moves and mid-range game.

Not much else to say about a fairly usual game, albeit a disgusting defensive effort, so allow me one sidebar.

Braggatory Side Note
I attended last Wednesday’s game against the Bucks while sitting courtside. I was across from the Raptors bench, 2nd row, right near tennis player Milos Raonic (likely didn’t get on TV though due to being on the camera-side and in the corner). Not only was this a great experience I had never had before, but it was also free! For purchasing lower bowl season tickets (valued at $110/seat, for $49/seat, plus a tonne of other benefits), me and the friends I split them with got free courtside seats. While I believe that particular deal has passed, the deals on season tickets are fairly impressive right now. I assume the team is having trouble with season ticket retention and new sales, but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to buy-in at great value and enjoy what, while not an elite team, could be an exciting team with considerable upside (I’m assuming the lottery pick this year will be semi-useful, and the offseason won’t be a disaster…sue me). Anyway, thought I’d share and encourage those willing and able to support the team to have a look.

  • WhatWhat

    If they played defense for like…48 minutes, they might have won.

  • Josh

    What happend to AB ? Was he hurt ?

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      Not sure. I think he tried to play (8:25 min) through it, but his ankle wasn’t up to it. Or maybe Jay figured at the half-way mark, that this game was done, so rested him for tomorrow night.
      .

  • Outlook

    Great night for the ping pong ball watchers. Raps lose and Wizards win, so now a tie for 3rd worst record. The Kings also further distanced themselves from us with a win, as did the Nets.

    And then there’s DeRozan….36 points and 10 rebounds, man what a night for this kid. I hope Bargnani takes some notes, because that’s a guard having a double-double right there and playing like a franchise player is supposed to. Great to see him get to the line a lot too.

    An then there’s Ed Davis, can’t say enough about him either, he beasted the whole game, so lucky to have this kid is the organization.

    Jerryd’s performance is not to go unnoticed either, solid night.

    Some great play by some of the young guys, an improvement in draft status makes for a rather nice night.

    Oh yeah, and the Jays won on a walk-off homerun 😉

    • The River

      Is there a Jays version of the Republic?

      • Statement

        Drunk Jays Fans,

        battersbox.ca

        bluebirdbanter are the sites that I normally go too. Lets go Blue Jays!!

        • tonious35

          Yunel Escobar and JoJo Reyes, last night was a taste of the Alex Gonzalez trade in full fruition…any Raptor trades reminiscent of it?

          • Statement

            Kris Humphries for Hoffa. Although the parallel isn’t exactly the same, the Raptors pretty clearly won that trade.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      Ed kept playing hard. Considering the score at half time, I have to commend him for keeping it up.

      As for Demar, Leo put it pretty simple. Bargnani scored 41 points against Knicks – so padding the stats was a benefit of playing against New York.

      Not sure how you can say Bayless had a solid night. 5 assists doesn’t cut it. Especially when you score 118 points.

      For the most part, the Second half was garbage time, as Carmello shut things down soon enough. Even though the Raps cut the lead to 10, the late run pretty much came against the Bench (and Stoudemire). Had the Knicks felt any “real” danger of a collapse, I’m sure that would’ve brought out the big guns again.
      .

      • Joe.M

        Bayless had 19 points, I’d think that is solid, especially for him. Probably what he meant.

        • RapthoseLeafs

          .
          Jarryd was 6-15 (.400) – not a good shooting %, and coupled with 5 assists, not what you want from your PG. If this stat line was from Jose, fans would be all over it. Especially after a blow-out.

          I agree that Bayless is still “learning”, and I’m not trying to be overly hard on the guy, but these stats don’t make for a “solid night”. Saying as much, diminishes what Davis brought to this game.

          Basically, we’re f*@ked if that’s the “price-floor” for Raptor success ….. an ode to all you Economists/Rap-fans out there. :-)
          .

      • WestCan

        BUZZKILL BUZZKILL!

  • DougSmithsadouche

    great nites from our franchise cornerstones: derozan and davis. bayless good again. and we keep losing…

    did anyone read Doug Smiths latest column where he says the Raps should resign Triano? is this guy serious? Colangelo is writing his columns for sure.

    • Milesboyer

      His logic makes sense – pick up the next year of his contract since there very well could be a lock-out and ride out the year with him. He’s cheap and the Raptors probably aren’t going anywhere for another year – especially if they only play half of it. Keeps some stability in what’s going to be alot of unknowns.

      • sleepz

        Not sure why you would want to keep a coach that hasn’t got a team to defend in 3 years on the job.

        Especially considering there are many young players on the team why have them continue to be coached and instructed by someone who is clearly ineffective in so crucial an area to winning?

        That type of ‘stability’ is not comforting.

        • Nilanka15

          Completely agree. It’s not too late to instill some good defensive habits in a lot of our young players. Triano definitely isn’t the man for that task.

    • tonious35

      If you think we are going to be in the playoffs next year, you have a disturbing amount of hope, unless there is no lockout and the draft nabs us 2 rotation players that will become All-Defensive or 2nd All NBA team talent

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        Can’t agree on the play-off perspective. If we miss the play-offs (and it’s not injury related), that means we haven’t progressed. Remember, this is the East we’re talking about, where shit teams round out at 8th spot.
        .

  • Josh

    How about defense tonight ? AB who most here claim is the reason for our defensive problems was absent from the line up and we still got scored on 138 points ??

    Doesn’t this tell us something about future ? Doesn’t this tell us that the problem with our defense does not start and end with Jose and AB !!!

    Then, I hear all the praise about Bayless !! How about his defensive efforts against Knicks PG ?? How was that ??

    How about DD’s defense ?

    Come on People, this was a wake up call to stop blaming one player for a failure of the system.

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

      I have to say, I’m sick of this criticism. I don’t know of anyone (credible) that claims the lack of defense is all Bargnani’s fault. You don’t become the worst defensive team in the league due to one player.

      OBVIOUSLY, it’s a team-wide (lack of) effort, but the fact is that if the team is bad defensively, which it is, continuing to keep the worst offenders is probably not a good idea.

      • Josh

        Actually you are one of the few who always blames AB for the defensive vows.
        When a team as a whole is this bad defensively and we can see that even without AB, they showed one of their worst defensive displays of the season, then It is NOT a GOOD Idea to pass on such talented offensive player just because he is weak defender.

        The logical step should be to fix the system first and then see if the problem is still there and if it is there, how severe it is.

        We have many examples from past that the so called ” BAD” defenders who were exposed under the Raptors defensive system, left the team and show under the right system in another team that they can play defense and be efficient.

        • Ihatehaters

          You know how you “fix the system”? Jettison the bad defensive players and bring in good ones.

          • RapthoseLeafs

            .
            How about jettison whoever designed this “defensive” system. Is that Jay, or one of the Assistants?

            It seems like whoever comes into the Rap system, somehow “adapts” and becomes a “below their defensive capability” player.

            • sleepz

              I think you need ot do both. A good defensive coach with poor defensive players is still an issue.

              This season at the very elast has provided a good indication of the players who are challenged defensively or just don’t care enough to work at it and get better.

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

          You’re confusing me saying that Bargnani is a major reason for me saying that Bargnani is THE reason for the poor defense. And, actually, I have said on many occasions that it’s not just Bargnani.

          Blaming Bargnani’s bad defense on the system is an excuse that doesn’t make sense when you actually watch him play. Besides, the system certainly hasn’t made Amir or Davis look bad, has it?

          If Bargnani were an otherworldly offensive talent, I could see trying to make a go with him. He’s good. Very good, in fact, but it’s a lot easier to find another 21 ppg scorer (or two 16 ppg scorers) than to find a roster that if defensively strong enough to make up for Bargnani’s weaknesses.

          And the fact is that the Raptors defense looks better, for the most part, when Bargnani is not in the game. It’s still not consistently good, but there are certainly times when it is. You can’t judge a roster by one game.

      • Milesboyer

        Excellent comment. The whole team is bad but Bargs is one, if not the worst on the team. And if defensive rebounding is considered defense than it’s a lock.

        With every passing game that Bargnani doesn’t, or barely plays, I’m starting to think his scoring can be made up fairly easily by guys like DeRozan, Barbosa, Bayless and maybe even Ed Davis. It’s not just his defense that bothers me and probably alot of others including his coaches and teammates, it’s his aloofness. It just seems like the chemistry could be so much better without him.

        In the last couple of weeks I’ve been converted from – let’s keep Bargs because he’s our most talented offensive player to – his negatives might outweigh his positives and exploring a trade is a fantastic idea. Maybe it was the NY Post article that planted the seed of hope and possibility even though Colangelo has since rebuffed it. But if Colangelo is getting as many calls as he claims, there must be a good deal to be had out there.

        • Nilanka15

          Colangelo’s probably playing it safe. Why create a negative media storm at the end of the season, while his contract is still in limbo, while a trade cannot be officially made? It makes perfect sense that he rebuffed the NY Daily News rumour. But it doesn’t neccessarily mean the rumour was false.

          Unless the player himself demands a trade, it’s not very often a GM admits to the media that Player X is on the trading block. It’s just bad business to show a level of desperation to sell.

      • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

        credible or not, you have to admit there are tons of people who blame the raps defensive woes on AB.

        your arguments usually make some sense, but i would say you seem a little obsessed with Bargnani.

        • Nilanka15

          Actually, I don’t remember reading a single post (that wasn’t written tongue-in-cheek) that blames Bargnani, and solely Bargnani for the team’s defensive woes. But I understand how it can seem that way to the Bargnani backers because of how ferocious the discussions have been this year.

          It’s obvious to anyone who watches this team regularly that Colangelo, Triano, Carlesimo, along with EVERY player (with the exception of perhaps Wright and Davis) are to blame for our defensive ineptitude.

          But what’s also obvious is that Bargnani appears to be the worst defender of the bunch, while playing the most important defensive position in the game. And that conclusion hasn’t come from watching a few games, but from witnessing the last 5 years.

        • sleepz

          I agree with you that the type of defensive woes we are witness to cannot be blamed on 1 player.

          The major concern I have regarding Bargnani is he plays a bulk of the minutes at a key position that can directly influence (good or bad) the team defence in general.

          His aversion to rotations, help d, contesting shots and even guarding the pick and roll this year has significantly contributed to their defensive performance. When you factor in he is the highest paid player (total contract) on the squad and takes the bulk of the shots it is a bad example being set imo.

          No one can blame him entirely for their defensive problems, as coaching also plays a key role, but his performance and repeated lack of effort to improve in these areas is dissapointing and angers many fans.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        As I recall, Raps had a reasonable defensive team a few years back, and it wasn’t because we had a top quality defensive Centre.

        [ “You don’t become the worst defensive team in the league due to one player.” ]

        The question then becomes … who “really” is in charge of our defense, and how long have they been “impacting” our team. I’ve either missed some posts (or threads) that explain this, or no one really has a definitive answer (other than “it’s all Bargnani’s fault”).

        Are there not some top notch Assistants out there, who excel in defensive schemes. And if there are, can we get them.

        .

      • tonious35

        Agreed, but as the highest paid player on the team, currently, you have to communicate to teammates, crash the floor, and foul opposing layups to send your teammates a message. Injured or uninjured, Bargs is not doing that, that is as bad as having a bad coach. You can probably be a bad defender, but you have to still show you give a shit everyday.

    • Pesterm1

      JOSH, AB played tonight… what are you talking about? a huge portion of that lead by NY was madewhile AB was playing . in the second half when they stopped playing AB raps actually made a decent run. Bargs played with no effort tonight. Hell Ajinca had a better game then bargnani.did u even watch the game?

      • Josh

        The game is 42 minutes and he played 8 minutes Pal.

        • Josh

          typo … 48. Pesterm 1, you are a poster boy of the people who likes to blame AB. The ridiculus defensive display tonight was not because AB was on the floor for 8:25

          • Pesterm1

            i am and have been a fan of AB for a long time. the entire problem is not andrea bargnani but he is a large part of it. basketball is a game of runs “pal”. when a team like new york (excellent scorers) gets hot in the opening qtr or “8 mins” they go on a rediculous run. like i said did u even watch the game man? it was something like 16-2 in the first 4 minutes (bargs played all 4 of the minutes just so u know). so wtf r u talking about?? u obviously didint watch the game. bargs is just a liability to the team when hes on the floor. he is defending the middle of the floor and if u watch closely alot of other players like DD and JJ suck into the middle more then they should be because theyretrying to help bargnani out with defence. the other team kicks it out for an easy three and thats exactly how this lead was started today. I wasnt a bargnani hater, but i am now. Enough is enough already something needs to change. maybe its a mental thing for the team, i dunno but when bargs is on the floor the team operates differently and isnt as physical or quick. its hard to explain but the raps jsut dont play consistently when andrea is their main option.
            can you andswer the question JOSH, did u even watch the game???

            • http://twitter.com/t_rapsfan24 erinobrien

              ok from the beginning of the game you couldve seen AB had no bounce in his step the shots he usually gets he was not making them so how is it HIS problem that NY got 138 pts huh? he played 4 mins in the first 4 min in the second and that was it. how could you say he didnt watch the game?? and oviously ajinca had a better game because he was not injured. AB was not ready to return and you could see it from the beginning so to blame it on him is unfair so the losses the raps played without him its his fault as well?

      • tonious35

        During those 8 minutes, he was worth a 2nd round final spot pick, he played crap offense besides his usual bad defense. He’s probably injured, but the way he “attacked” the basket, or shot the ball 20 ft away and did dumb hook shots, were like turnovers and fueled a NY 13-0 lead.

    • guest

      AB was out there at the beginning of the game when the Knicks went on there run. After he left the team began clawing out of the huge hole he left them with.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        [ “After he left the team began clawing out of the huge hole he left them with.”]

        Really? Or are you just being a dick?

        When Andrea left half-way thru the 1st Quarter, the Raps were down 17-6. When the Quarter ended, Knicks had pumped their total to 39 points.

        He played the first 2.5 minutes of the 2nd Quarter, which ended with a New York total of 78 points.
        .

  • FAQ

    Cleveland, Minnesota, Toronto …. that’s what it looks like for the draft positions.

    Wonder if BC has a deal with Minny, giving them the Toronto draft pick for Ricky Rubio …. hmmmmm

    • Cmills2000

      No, I think Minny wants Rubio in uniform next year. Love has been complaining about guard play and Ridnour and Flynn just don’t cut it.

      Bayless is good, but Kyrie Irving is the type of star that Toronto could use if they can get him. We’ll need a(nother) superstar now that it feels like AB may be headed out of town.

      If we slip in the draft order, could we trade up using Bargnani as bait and/or the Bosh TPE?

      • FAQ

        “Indications that Ricky Rubio has informed GM David Kahn that he plans to be in Minnesota next season barring a lockout.” CBSSports.com

        Here comes Ricky …..

  • Blanco

    Hey… I also got the free courtside tickets this year…we got two sets…one to a wizards game..and the other to Philli….pretty amazing experience for sure!

  • FLUXLAND

    Incredibly envious of you sitting next to Milos. I’ve seen him play many times, (before he became “famous”) but never got to speak with him.

    Did you strike up a conversation?

    ==

    It was pretty obvious since game one who and what Bayless is all about. Not sure why people are hoping things will change.. BC likes a distributor and a TJ type on his teams.

    • guest

      It is even more obvious that Jose will never get them to be a championship team. Bayless has shown a lot of improvement in his role as a pg from is first start in Toronto until now…all 9 or 10 starts. Jose has pretty much peaked.

  • Nilanka15

    “…at this point in the year, is really just a post to give you a new message thread to debate GMs and draft picks.”

    Haha, so true!

  • hateslosing

    Bargnani (bone spurs) and Amir (Ankle Sprain) both need to be shut down for the season, they have both been playing hurt for a while now and it’s getting ridiculous that they are still playing. Bring in Alabi and Ajinca and see what they can do with extended minutes (or any minutes for that matter). Give Dorsey some run, the guy has been breaking his back for us whenever we needed him all year and deserves some time to try to convince someone to sign him in the off season. Sure we won’t win anymore, but I don’t think anyone really cares about that anymore.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      I agree.

      Foot issues should not be taken lightly (with Big men), and back issues can become a chronic problem.

      All this “bravado” that I keep hearing, about how Amir is playing through the pain, is – IMO – plain stupidity. As much as Andrea gets ridiculed for his “nothing to play for” statement, the reality is, this season is not worth jeopardizing long term contracts like Johnson.
      .

  • knickz

    just gald jose didn’t play and we still gave up 131…get rid of the lazy italian…no wnats to play when he is on the court

  • dribbles

    The defence was no doubt bad, as usual, but the Knicks were just on fire. Melo and Tony Douglas would be hard pressed to shoot those percentages if they were alone in a gym.

    Apart from the debate over how bad Bargs is on D, the fact of the matter is that Ed Davis should be in the starting lineup next season, and even BC and Triano probably recognize that. Even though there’s a chance he may bulk up in a few years to the point where he can play the 5 (similar to JO), that’s not going to happen next year. So what does the team do with Bargs? You know that a traditional 5 is still a priority, so who starts at the 4?

    Maybe I’m just deluding myself, but I think the writing is on the wall for Bargs. He either comes off the bench as a mismatch scorer (may not be a viable option with that contract) or he’s moved.

    I’ll also just say that on Triano, the financial argument to bring him back in a lockout year makes sense, but that’s it. The defence is worst in the league for a 2nd year in a row (while he refused to play the best perimeter defender on the team 90% of the time, refused to play Dorsey much while Evans was out), and Bargs specifically has actually regressed in that area and faced no consequences.
    Accountability my ass. Don’t tell me that other coaches couldn’t get more out of this team defensively. Triano’s defenders go on and on about how he’s developed the younger players, but what does this mean actually?

    • sleepz

      Interesting post. I’ve been thinking some of these things myself.

      I do agree with you that the writing is on the wall for Andrea in some way or another. I think Colangelo admitted the issues with Bargnani in an indirect way with the attempted Chandler move. I think that failed trade was a concession that Andrea is not a 5 and that he hurts the team more than he helps it at that position as he is not going to rebound or defend very well.

      The problem now is like you’ve pointed out, Davis cannot be kept off the court and he is a 4 and can defend the position. There is no reason at this point why he shouldn’t be projected starter next year, which leaves Andrea where exactly? He could be the starting 5 again next year but it clearly affects the team defence. I can’t see them having him come off the bench so it will be interesting to see what happens.

      I also couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on Triano. Who cares about the money savings or ‘stability’ if this guy has had 3 different rosters to show his coaching abilities and every year its the same story. In training camp the ‘priority’ is defence and ‘protecting the house’ and by the end of the year we’re looking at one of if not the worst defensive squad in the NBA. Enuff is enuff already.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        [ “I think Colangelo admitted the issues with Bargnani in an indirect way with the attempted Chandler move.” ]

        By that extension, does this mean Donnie Nelson & Cuban were admitting the issues with Dirk. Dallas saw a brilliant move by BC, and basically stole the idea. Who knows what went on behind the scenes as well.

        As for this defensive Centre that Raps need (who’s a true Big), every team is hunting for one. Economics 101 – large demand & small supply make for either a difficult acquisition, or an expensive acquisition.

        Raps have 2 knocks against them, in trying to acquire a defensive Centre. A non-play-off team, plus a Canadian team – the latter being the more difficult hurdle to overcome. Unless of course we’re willing to pay a 20 % premium.
        .
        I do agree about Jay though. I think it’s time we acquire a tougher Coach who can inspire & design a real defense. We lack interior presence (with size), wing defense, guard defense, and I think, water boy defense.
        .

        • sleepz

          I think the Dallas situation is different as Dirk has played the 4 his entire career and was not playing the 5 like they have Andrea playing here. I think Dallas saw the opportunity to improve their 5 position especially considering they play in a conference where the Lakers have much size to their advantage. Not sure what issues with Dirk you are referring to as we’re talking about a former league MVP who continually has his team in the hunt come playoff time.

          I agree that most teams are looking for a defensive center but it doesn’t preclude the issue of playing one 35+ minutes a game who is a large defensive issue on your team. I’m not sure why some fans refuse to consider this.

          I don’t agree that because the Raps are in Canada that they should throw their hands up and assume that they cannot solve this issue by acquiring players. I’m not supportive of the “we can’t get anyone” attitude. It almost worked with Chandler. Perhaps they can call Cuban again and speak to them about Haywood who might be available after Dallas resigns Tyson in the offseason?

          • mountio

            I think the point was that Dirk doesnt have “issues”, simply that Dallas was doing a smart thing (that BC tried to do first) by putting a defensive minded 5 beside Dirk. By extension .. BC wasnt “admitting the issues with AB” .. he was just doing the smart thing by allowing to to play where we should be playing.
            As for Dirk playing 4 vs AB playing 5 .. thats out of necessity, not because AB is a center.
            Other than dirk being WAAAAAY better than AB, its hard to argue they dont have very similar games from a position perspective. They are about the same height, focus on jumpshots mostly, with range out to the 3 pt line. Neither has great handles (AB’s might even be better) .. and Dirk is a better rebounder than AB. When I look at all these things, its very hard to conclude that Dirk is somehow a 4, but AB is a 5 (you could in fact, argue the opposite given their rebounding abilities).

            • RapthoseLeafs

              .
              I guess I was a little behind in my response. You have a few extra thoughts, that I really agree with though.
              .

            • sleepz

              The major difference I see that wasn’t mentioned is that Dirk can guard the 4, Andrea cannot.

              • mountio

                Making him defficient to Dirk, but not different from a position perspective. AB can guard the 4 just as well as he can guard the 5 (both of which is not very well at all) …

          • RapthoseLeafs

            .
            Dallas is somewhat different, in that they do play their guy at the 4, and call it as such. We call it something else, which I feel has been part of our problem this year. Chandler would’ve altered the court landscape, mimicking what Dallas has done so successful – notwithstanding our level of inexperience & pieces still needing some ways to go, before we have Mavs level of success.

            As for 35+ minutes, I believe Bargs played too many minutes, especially if he was hampered by foot issues. In the last couple of months Andrea has lacked jump in his step (and yes, I’m sure some will ask “what jump”). Never-the-less, it doesn’t make sense to trot him out there, nor does it make sense to trot out Amir when his back is killing him. That’s where I think Jay has made potentially serious mistakes.

            I do hate tanking – very unprofessional – but I hate even more why a Coach would go all out to win at any cost, when the cost could be Raptor future. AJ’s situation worries me the most – not so much for what he could do as part of this team, but his potential trade value should Davis surpass him. IMO, they are too similar (and undersized), for both to command large minutes (together or not).

            As for Canada, I’m not saying we can’t get top players via free agency. History proves we haven’t – although I would be very happy to here someone disprove this. Suffice to say, as a team in Canada, we have to pay a premium – like we did with Turk. Trouble is, fans go nuts when we pay that premium.

            Hedo didn’t fit the team well, but I do think part of the problem was caused by a rookie Coach. A coach like Popovich would’ve benched him Turk, to knock some sense into him. Jay was not the Boss, in a real sense.

            Where BC made his errors, was trying to appease Bosh (and the Raptor fanbase), all the while recognizing that he couldn’t find anyone else of significance to come here. Hedo demonstrates to me, the challenge that BC (or whoever else runs the ship), has to face.
            .

            • sleepz

              Good post. I can’t consider it mimicking what they do in Dallas because Dirk and Andrea are different players with different talent levels and the other 3 spots on that Dallas team has dudes that can defend their positions consistently. It would have only been a way to try and mask the frontcourt defence we’ve grown to accept and would have been continued ‘enabling’ instead of improving.

              I do agree that Jay is playing guys he shouldn’t but the man is obviously trying to save his job. Surprised BC hasn’t stepped in and told him to cool it as I’m sure he influences other on court decisions.

              I somehwat agree with your points on attracting players but thats what trades are for. PLayers are locked into salaries and if they want to get paid they gotta put on ther uniform (No Babcock buyouts allowed! lol)

              I don’t find it appropriate to find reasons for BC errors. They are his errors however you slice it up. I don’t look at his mistakes like he was appeasing Bosh as the roster was never built like it should have been around him if he was appeasing him but nevertheless if that was the case it was his mistake to try keep a player happy that he shouldn’t have.

              There seems like there is NO accountability on this team at any level. Just a big bag of excuses.

              • Theswirsky

                I don’t think its mimicking considering they already did it with Dampier for a number of years prior….

    • Nilanka15

      The financial reasons to keep Triano make no sense at all. Coaches’ salaries don’t count towards the cap, and MLSE isn’t as cheap as we’re led to believe.

      • Theswirsky

        a coach still costs money… so it makes financial sense. You don’t have to be cheap to not want to spend 5 mil when you can spend 1 mil instead. (especially when it may be “wasted” money in a lock out)

        That said, I agree that financial reasoning should not be the reason to extend his contract or not.

        • Nilanka15

          That raises an interesting question: Do coaches still get paid during a lockout?

          • Bendit

            I think each contract is different. I read somewhere where JT gets 50%. Even the admin. staff get affected.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            Yes they do as do all NBA organizational front office folks- they have it written into their contracts from what I read on ESPN earlier.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        I can agree on your first thought (about the financial reasoning), but MLSE not being cheap – that’s a tough one to swallow. Not once in our history (even with Vince), have we exceeded the luxury tax barrier.

        Some say it’s because we’ve had little success (so why spend), but I believe we need to push that limit to succeed. Not just for statistical reasons, as almost all true Contenders or Winners are in Luxury tax land, but because of the accounting side to the equation. Which I’ve given my opinion on a number of times before (it takes too long to show the mathematics behind it). Of course, with a new CBA this argument may be a moot point.
        .

  • Mediumcore

    I know the game was played mostly in garbage time, but Ed’s play was promising. If he bulks up during the summer he could have a big impact on the team next season.

  • Bendit

    Iam surprised people are being so passionate about last night’s game. I think most who follow the team know by now the warts and shine on the team. What the Raps did was help soften up the Knicks for the playoffs by giving them an inflated view of their game.

    Take the higher pick I say.

    • Statement

      I do not like ANY New York teams, or the city of New York, for that matter.

      Yankee Fans are turds.

      Carmelo is an overrated whiner. Amare is also overrated.

      Eli Manning? Come on.

  • Asdref
  • sup?

    Ya’ll can argue about bargnani but the fact still remains. We gotta trade him.

    • RapsM

      So true. He only played for a short time, but its almost like him just being there makes their defence suck even more. Funny how people who critized “haters” for judging one game w/o Bargs are the same who say the raps defence is just as terrible in this one game.