Raptors 79, Heat 97 – Box

“The Raptors fall tonight to the second seed in the East”, is how Matt Devlin polished the turd as he signed off for the 82nd time this season. While technically true, it’s the farthest thing from the truth. The Raptors fell to Eddie House’s 35 points and Jamal Magloire’s 19 rebounds, as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were all resting since they have bigger fish to fry. Thankfully, the season comes to an end and not a moment too soon. The Raptors end it losing 11 out of 13, and reach the finish line bruised, battered and literally out of breath.

The Raptors entered the game knowing that they’d finish 28th in league rankings so there was nothing on the line for either team. Eddie House lit up the Raptors for 18 points which makes sense because he’s a scrub and scrub’s always have good games against the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan struggled to start the game, had a strong middle portion of the contest including a couple very sweet drives and dishes to Dorsey for dunks, and then ended it with a whimper. The Raptors bench (8-man rotation) responded in the second quarter, Julian Wright and Alexis Ajinca complemented Jerryd Bayless as the Raptors assumed a 1 point hafltime lead, fully recovering from House’s early blow.

House didn’t score in the second quarter and things were on course to be a tight game where at the very least the home crowd would get some pizza. Unfortunately, House launched another second-half assault . This time scoring 17 points midway between the third and fourth quarters. This time around the Raptors 8-man rotation had no response, and Miami’s control of the boards saw them comfortably ease through with a 97-79 win. Jerryd Bayless with a good scoring night (21 pts, 4 ast, 5 TOs, 9-10 FT), and James Johnson with another statistically sound overall game (12 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast) were the highlights. It took Jay Triano 81 games to decide that Solomon Alabi is worth a season-high 13 minutes (didn’t do much, 2 rebounds). He looked rawer than sushi, making you think hard just as to why he was exiled to the D-League when this was supposed to be a developmental year. Anyway, in a battle of “B” teams, the Heat came out on top, rather easily.

So, season over and what did we learn? Depends on who you are and what you value, for me, there is one potential bright spot on this team – DeMar DeRozan. And I can’t even decide whether his numbers are a product of playing high minutes on a bad team or a sign of basketball growth. Time will tell, in either case, right now he’s the Raptors best player and that’s saying a lot for a sophomore who played one year in college. Ed Davis has raw potential, but so does James Johnson. Davis seems to have the work-ethic and seriousness that is required to be good, so he has a lot of fans on his side right now, I get that, I really do, but we might be getting ahead of ourselves when anointing him as DeRozan’s sidekick for years to come. As the RR poll on the left sidebar seems to indicate, all this team has is a chance to be good. But guess what? Every other bad team in the NBA can lay claim to that.

Remedying the defense should be top priority this summer, even if it means hiring Kevin O’Neill and Mike Fratello as assistants. It doesn’t matter how many points Andrea Bargnani is averaging or how many great dunks DeRozan had, all that offense is easily trumped by defense. It’s not even close and let me put it in simple terms – 14 NBA teams miss out on the playoffs each year. Of the 14 that missed out, 13 are the lowest ranked defensive teams in the league, Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks being the exception. Now let’s look at it the other way around, 5 teams with bottom-14 offenses made the playoffs. Granted, such crude analysis isn’t proving anything, but it should at least make one think about where the priorities should lie.

For the second straight year the Raptors have finished with the league’s worst defense. Last season the team displayed very poor effort and deservedly finished dead last, this year the effort was more or less good, and the defensive capacity of the players was better, yet we replicated our misery. Discussion on why the Raptors are so poor defensively is pointless because the conversation ends up channeling to a stream such as “Bargnani is a bad defender”, “Jose Calderon lets in too much dribble penetration”, “DeRozan can’t guard his shadow”, “Triano/Iavaroni/Carlesimo suck” or some other conjecture that is impossible to prove. The man whose job is to fix this is Bryan Colangelo, and he’s got some very tough decisions to make.

Does he finally pull the plug on the Bargnani experiment? Just like I was sick of Chris Bosh in Toronto, so am I of Andrea Bargnani, at least in the role of starting center playing 35 minutes a night. His defensive ineptitude has not been overstated and it is difficult not to subscribe to the theory that a center who cannot anchor, or at least help, the defense should not be starting. His offensive talents deserve minutes and he can, and I truly mean this, easily be the Sixth Man of the Year in this league. There is no shame in that, except that the likes of Eric Smith think that his contract mandates him starting. Manu Ginobili makes $12M a year and was only slotted in the starting lineup this year, Jamaal Crawford makes $10M a year, Jason Terry makes $10.6M, Lamar Odom makes $8M a year, do I need to go on? What is the bloody shame in coming off the bench? Someone please explain to me.

The draft should be dead simple. Get the best player available regardless of position and if you don’t have a need for him, package him. I made the point a few posts ago that the Raptors have enough young guys on the team and adding more youth to the mix might not necessarily be the best idea, at least not unless you ship a couple off at the same time. Depending on who’s declaring and where the Raptors are picking, this decision could be made for Colangelo well before the draft. This team is also lacking veterans who can hold the young guys accountable, no offense to Reggie Evans. Finding glue guys isn’t easy and you almost always need to have a reputation that precedes you if you’re going to try and be one. Browsing the free-agent list there’s not much to pick from, but you get the idea of what I’m saying. Take a look at Tony Allen’s impact in Memphis, a subtle signing that paid dividends beyond statistics.

Reggie Evans, Alexis Ajinca, Sonny Weems, Julian Wright and Joey Dorsey are all free agents. The two guys the Raptors should consider bringing back are Dorsey and Wright, both have been nailed to the deep end of the bench without cause for much of the season and can be part of the extended bench next season. I’m sure the summertime will be full of discussion and debate as to how Colangelo should continue the reconstruction of a franchise that is desperate for a taste of success. The term “long suffering” has often been associated with fan bases in every sport, I can honestly say that Raptors fans are a perfect candidate for that moniker.

My win prediction in this development year was 27; the Raptors have fallen 5 shot and have hit a remarkable loss total of 60. The losing was expected and was fairly tolerable because the effort was on the north side of acceptable. In terms of player development, DeRozan improving his jumper (Dave Hopla’s take), tightening his dribble and using his athleticism and aggression to get to the free throw line was easily the highlight. Andrea Bargnani didn’t take a step back or forward, his scoring may have increased but his TS%, eFG% and WS/48 all regressed, not the way a “star” player should respond to the perceived obstacle in his development being removed. DeRozan did the same, only he has the excuse of being a second year player. In either case, the impact of losing the double-team threat of Chris Bosh played on their numbers. Ed Davis was what we expected him to be – an athletic, hard-working, defensive-minded player with a work ethic that will make him a mainstay at this level. Jerryd Bayless and James Johnson were late additions to the “pseudo core” of the Raptors, their trail awaits this summer.

Season number 16 has ended. It certainly wasn’t anything to remember, and if it weren’t for us all swallowing the rebuilding pill, it would be a lot harder to take.

Thank you being part of Raptors Republic, we appreciate your visits and contributions, and work hard to make this site an enjoyable experience even though there is often disagreement. I’d like to take a minute to thank the people that make RR possible, a site of this size needs a lot of work and these guys do it (alphabetical order): Josh Budd, Steve Gennaro, Sam Holako, Nils Linnenbruegger (and the forum crew of Apollo, MangoKid, Matt52 and .40 Cal Flakes), Tom Liston, Trevor Martin (chat mod), Wahab Mohammed, Blake Murphy and Scott Phillips. We’d also like to thank ESPN, the TrueHoop Network, and in particular Henry Abbott and Kevin Arnovitz.

Thank you.

  • WhatWhat

    Can we make a full list of scrubs that lit us up this season? Off the top of my head:

    Omer Asik
    Luke Harangody (sp?)
    Nazr Mohammed
    Eddie House (Can we all pitch in and send him a fruit basket or something?)
    Ben Wallace
    T-Mac
    Drew Gooden
    Mike Miller
    The town of Denver
    The Golden State Warriors

    • Darien

      I know right? Eddie House single handedly saved our (ping pong) balls.

    • wienermobile89

      Don’t forget the modern day reincarnation of McHale/Parish: Kwame Brown and Tyrus Thomas.

    • Rob

      Ersan Ilyasova, Beno Udrih, and made Kris Humphries look like Dwight Howard.

      • KJ-B

        FINALLY…we can now focus on the Draft Lottery/Draft–THAT was painful……………….

  • Tank

    What a way to (W)Rap it up. Enjoyed the opinions of many on here, and the stories on here provide for an amusement that cannot be achieved by reading news from any other Raptor-related site. Although this was a dismal season record-wise, there are some things to look forward to for this Raptors team, would never have imagined DeRozan to have progressed as much as he did, and Ed is indeed someone to look out for. Here’s hoping to a 2011-2012 season and a successful draft and offseason for the Toronto Raptors. In the meantime, enjoy the playoffs, should be the most entertaining set of match-ups in a long time.

  • Darien

    I was a little worried there that we would beat Miami’s “pathetic” bench because Cleveland beat Washington tonight. Looks like the only thing more pathetic than miami’s bench is us…

  • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

    For everyone who wondered why Alibi didn’t get any floor time: He sucks. Not only does he suck, but he gets in the way, which is even worse.

    Hoping the ping pong balls fall our way..

    • Axl t

      He is really, really bad…

    • Nilanka15

      What I don’t understand is how Alabi was projected to be a 1st round pick until his health concern was revealed. Are NBA scouts that stupid, or did the Raptors just do a horrible job of developing him this year?

      • mountio

        I agree .. Ive been crying to see him play .. but he is bad. How the hell did he score 20+ in the d-league? It doesnt seem like he could make 10 shots in a layup line ..

      • sleepz

        He looked decent at FSU last year and 7 footers always get a look based on their potential and size.

        That being said the 2 year deal given to him was coimpletely unnecessary in hindsight.

      • Bendit

        My take is that the speed of the game at this level simply mesmerizes him.

  • tonious35

    Thank you for your coverage and forums. They brought some relief to this predictably terrible rebuild season… see you next season for some more bad defense and bad contracts to lament about.

  • Dookielove

    jr smith – sg
    josh howard – sf
    tyson chandler – c
    marquis daniels – sg
    ALL 4 UNRESTRICTED….make me proud bc.
    get lucky n get kemba or kyrie have jose mentor em.

    pg jose, bayless, kemba
    sg jr smith, emar, marquis
    sf josh howard, james johnson and kleiza
    pf bargs, amir, evans
    c chandler, ed davis and solo

    • Nilanka15

      Chandler’s the only player worth going after, and I’m sure Dallas would rather keep him over Haywood.

      JR Smith is a bigger chucker than Bargnani and Bayless combined.

      Howard’s a pothead.

      And Marquis Daniels looks like Whoopie Goldberg.

      That projected lineup would be lucky to repeat 22 wins next year, especially with Bargnani in your starting frontcourt.

      • Shitsplanka

        all 4 unrestricted. all 4 above average defenders. jr smith is underated. who cares what marqui looks like u faggot.

        fags like shitsplanka get emo then base things on how a nigga looks….battyboi.

        • Nilanka15

          Joshua Reynolds chews on Bargnani’s choda hair.

  • onetimeposter

    “It’s bitter,” Triano responded after a pause. “I mean, I don’t think anybody’s happy with our record. But at the same time there was some positives this year. The development of our players is probably the plus.”

    Duh, really? Ya think??!?! Maybe, just maybe, if you had played them more during the season instead of the remaining 10-15 games, their development would have been more significant. Dumb mofo. I can bear it if Colangelo remained, but not this incompetent coach.

  • Raptoronto

    All three Raptors TV analysis were critical of Bargs today and went out of there way to mention him as a trading chip…no way they do that without a nudge from above. I believe he is done as a Raptor.

    Also don’t think it’s s coincidence that the three biggest (expendable) trading chips were held out of games down the stretch. I know we were in stealth tank mode but I suspect it had more do with not wanting them injuried going into the summer trading season/pre-draft. I expect at least 2 of 3 of Calderon, Barbosa and Bargs to be gone and would be surprised if more than one of the free agents is back (Reggie or Wright at the right price).

    Arse and team, thank you for providing the supplementary entertainment and the vehicle for us fans to express our angst and opinions. You made some great additions to your crew this year; Liston was a steal of a free agent pick up and B. Kennedy performed well for a mid-first rounder…both solid rotation guys. Good work.

    • Dookielove

      the problem with bargs is the talent around him. much like why bosh ran away. but bargs signed , he wants to be here. he aint goin nowhere u cunts.

      • Nilanka15

        Bargnani is a little bitch who will be lucky to get an NBA contract once his current one expires. He’s as good as gone.

        PS – Joshua Reynolds goes to sleep hugging a Bargnani plush toy every night.

      • Raptoronto

        Didn’t say I wanted him gone just yet (but for the right peice anyone should be up for grabs) but believe me if the TV crew are ALL mentioning him as a trading chip then the idea was opened to them from upstairs.

    • ghotte

      I’m hoping Reggie re-signs at a reasonable price. He can ensure the “kids” give the proper effort. I believe Barbosa is gone – he can easily be a 6th/7th man on a contending team but his injuries precluded that last summer. And, although I like Bayless, it’s pretty apparent he still knows nothing about running a team – I can’t remember one assist where he broke someone off the dribble and dished for an easy basket.

      Here’s hoping for Williams in the draft. Because we need talent; pure talent, not role=players.

      • Nilanka15

        There were many times over the past few games where Bayless found his way into the paint, drew help defenders, and had a plethora of opporunities to kick out to open shooters….which he never did. This kid, although I admire his toughness/gril, is NOT a PG.

    • ghotte

      And then overpay for Deangelo so you can “hide” Bargs at PF. Presto: Rebounding solved. Defensive issues next on tap.

    • http://profiles.google.com/kujoo1 Kurt Joslyn

      Right on. Bargs, Calderon, and Barbosa must be traded in the off-season. We still haven’t fully committed to rebuild mode. It’s now or never.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=58003817 Adam Nathanson

    Arse for GM?

  • ghotte

    Thank you to the RR crew. The balance between statheads versus common-sense-aficionados made even the most extreme characters almost palatable. Umm.

  • Pesterm1

    bargs could be a very good 6th man IMO. i think he is gone though too. as soon as i herd leo mention bargs being a good trade chip at the halftime i knew bargs is gone. maybe not be the begiing of the season but at the deadline most likely.

    • Raptoronto

      The RaptorsTV crew also all mentioned it (including Jack). I know several guys that work on the show…they WOULD NOT bring it up without BC’s OK or nudge.

  • Jdifr

    Moving Bargnani to the bench is a great idea as long as we can get a defensive minded centre such as Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler, etc. Right now, Bargnani’s trade value isn’t that high. So, I doubt any team will offer something decent for him. On top of that, with a hard cap likely on its way, teams will be hard pressed to take on the 4 years and 40 million dollars left on his deal. Then, there’ s the pattern of BC not easily giving up on his draft choices. Because of these reasons, I see Bargs coming back next year but more likely as the 6th man coming off the bench with Barbosa. I think the veteran more likely to move is Jose Calderon. If we get Irving in the draft, I see Jose be moved for a 3 point shooting small forward.

    • EuroPussy

      Bargs to the bench. Ahaa and WHO should score? DD? loooooool
      And DD also as best defender of the league? loooooooooool

    • Nilanka15

      I’ve been back and forth on the topic of trading Calderon, but if we draft Kyrie (or any other young PG), I can’t think of a better mentor to teach him the ropes than Calderon.

      • Jackie Moon

        Agree 100%. I think his body would hold up better over the season with reduced minutes and it would give a completely different look off the bench.

    • Raptoronto

      Problem with moving Bargs to the bench is his trade value. It’s best to either unload him as a 22 pt starting center or start him one more year to polish his game a tad more and reaccess from there.

      • Raptoronto

        *reassess*

      • hound

        How about this. Chandler signs with Dallas and they trade him for Bargs. They also re-up Haywood. I think Bargs absolutely would excel with Dallas and I believe they may be fooled to think he will turn into the next Dirk.

        • Mediumcore

          That is the worst thing that Dallas could ever do. Two jump shooting bigs in the starting line up? Don’t see how that would work

          • hound

            No, Haywood would be the starting center. Bargs would sub for Dirk

        • Statement

          Negative,

          They use 2 year adj +/- as a player evaluation system and Bargs doesn’t score well on that.

    • sangaman

      Are you out of your f-in mind…A 22 point scorer off the bench! All the statisticians on this blog bleat about bargs numbers going down but fail to mention the fact that he was the go-to guy and everyone was ready for him.. And what about that great team defense when he was on the bench the last few games….Trade all the american scrubs except amir, reggie and derozan.

  • Milesboyer

    Matt and Leo talking about Dick Bavetta –

    Matt: “Leo, you were tossed from a game by Dick Bavetta, was it really justified?”
    Leo: “To be honest with you Matt, I really enjoyed getting screwed by Dick, I just love Dick”.

    I don’t know what was worse, listening to Matt and Leo’s schoolgirl banter or watching the Raptors wilt in the last quarter of the season like daisies in the sun. They needed the loss but having to watch Lebron dance and preen with Eddie House makes my blood boil.

    • Fred

      Lmao, I didn’t catch that little conversation, but I must say, I always knew that about Leo..

      Watching LeBron play cheerleader and Eddie House’s cocky ass was definitely annoying though… but it doesn’t hold a candle to Matt and Leo’s drivel.

  • 511

    It is kind of ominous that the commentators – who usually seem quite beholden to Raptors management – would openly talk about Bargnani as a trading chip. I use the word ‘ominous’ only because I’m firmly with Arse on this one: I think he could be a valuable, maybe terrific sixth man off the bench. I also don’t get how some think his contract — which I don’t think is outrageous, at all — precludes him from that role, whatsoever. It would be a luxury in a way, but it’s one we can afford, unless whoever we could get for him in a trade completely blows the doors off the whole notion. All things considered, I’d much rather we keep him, letting him know right now that he’s coming off the bench next year so that he has plenty of time to get comfortable with the idea. And somehow, I don’t think he’d even mind all that much.

    • cesco

      Since Ginobli was mentioned by Arse , isn’t it obvious that the Spurs did not need him as a starter when Parker and Duncan were at their prime and now that they are less effective , they need Manu starting . The situation is quite the opposite here with a bottom of the barrel team . The experiment with Andrea being the 6th man will last at most 5 games as DD will be double covered and there will be too little scoring from the starters . However , a combination Davis / Andrea will be better than the combination Evans / Andrea who had some success at the start of the season but where the offense was constantly 4 against 5 .

  • golden

    It’s over. Tank goodness.

  • cesco

    After scoring 79 points against a D-league team , BC must have been thinking the following :
    Without Andrea and DD getting double coverage , we will become the lowest scoring NBA team of all time , other teams will just practice their 3 points shooting and kill us with those 3 pointers and they will laugh at our feeble attempts at 3 points shooting . Better find a defensive center and keep rebuilding around Andrea , THERE IS NO OTHER SOLUTION .

    • cesco

      BC will also consider Davis/Andrea as a possible solution if Davis is willing to gain 20 lbs or so but he may be unwilling to do that .

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        Daddy Davis apparently “guarantees” that Ed will gain 15-20 pounds. If he does, he could move to the Centre position – and solve that issue (for the time being).

        We have too many needs, and as such Raps might be best to focus on specific positional needs (PG & SF), and see if a Davis / Bargnani Front Court could work. Even with Amir in the mix, Raptors are still short a Big.

        Suffice to say, we need 4 quality Bigs. And by quality, I don’t mean Reggie or Dorsey types. These 4 guys need to have some semblance of an offensive game.
        .

    • Nilanka15

      Why do Bargnani fans seem to think that he’s the ONLY player capable of scoring 20 pts on 20 shots in the entire league??? There are 450 players in the NBA, and the majority of them are attainable for the right price. Sheeeesh….

    • sleepz

      There’s always another solution my friend, especially when that recipe has produced 60 losses.

      Hopefully the draft yields a player that can contribute this year, but if next year means offensive ineptitude but significant defensive improvement sign me up for another year of losing because thats the type of ‘change’ that is needed and will ensure one more top pick in the draft next year as a talent infusion is also essential in rebuilding.

      This has to be built ala OKC, SA, PORT. The draft has no guarantees but its a better longterm strategy than we’ve ever employed and if done correctly can create long-term stability.

      BTW Cesco, No disrespect to Andrea but: 8-18. Thats what Andrea shoots on average. No need to rebuild around #7 as that type of production can be found elsewhere and doesn’t outweigh the negatives in his game.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        [ “No disrespect to Andrea but: 8-18.” ]

        There-in lies the problem, as Bargnani’s usage was too high this season. If you track his previous 2 seasons, his efg% was over .500.

        Taking into account the need for him to be a traditional Centre (as we had none), plus a lack of offensive threats on this team, as well as opponent focus (for the 1st time), and one can see why his effectiveness dropped this year.
        .

        • sleepz

          The problem is he wasn’t a traditional center or rarely tried to play like one. I don’t even need to see his rebounding numbers, blocks etc, go up, I just need to see him put forth the effort cause it’s important and conducive to winning. Maybe he took to many shots but I guarantee you if 2 or 3 more of those shots were putbacks on the offensive glass that fg% would be considerably higher, and I know some will say he’s on the perimter but so is Love and it doesn’t prevent him from doing it.

          More defenisve focus was indeed on him but he wasn’t seeing double teams every minute. I think there is sometimes the incorrect assumption that all fans want the world out of Andrea and while some might, some others like myself just want the effort and leaving it all on the floor.

          • RapthoseLeafs

            .
            Good points.

            This is where I think a veteran Leader would help. Someone to kick guys like Andrea in the ass. And a Coach that needs to sit his ass when Bargs’ effort lacks, not put him out there more.
            .
            I’ll never dispute certain issues with Andrea. What I will dispute is that we can’t find a way to bring out the best in him. To me, that kind of thinking belongs to losers.
            .

            Like Demar, Davis, JJ, Bayless, and Amir, Andrea needs to work on his game. This season was only a failure when it comes to wins. To me, the upside was in exposing multiple players to what it takes to succeed. Analyzing on an individual basis forgets how dysfunctional we were AS A GROUP. That incumbent upon a LEADER to sort out this issue, and bring some unity to this team – the latter I have seen as a rarity.
            .

            • Nilanka15

              It’s naive to think you can change a grown man’s personality.

  • EuroPussy

    Ok, we all know that Bargs is “not a good defender” (but he is ok 1 vs 1), but ist DD one? Oh my god, he is terrible.
    This team need a REAL BIG CENTER and Andrea should be pf, this is his position!
    Is someone really thinking that you can build this team around DD an Davis? Really? boaaa

    • cesco

      Ya , 13/26 3 pointers by a team of scrubs against the likes of DD , JJ and Bayless . A lot of posters here are blinded by their hate as simple as that .

  • mountio

    Thanks to RR for a great season. Im new to the forum this year and it certainly helped me get through what was a tough year to say the least.
    My closing thoughts.
    Most dissapointing rap – had to be AB. NOT because of his rebounding / defense (I knew what I was getting there (not much) and think hes got enough to turn it on and be servicable if he needs to .. and can see through the silly “hes a center, wheres the rebounds?” arguments when we all know his game is more of a 3/4 than a 5). BUT – because he actually failed to prove himself as a crunch time scorer (where I thought he would excel, especially compared to Bosh, who was useless down the stretch in iso situations.) There will be no more painful moment(s) for me than the “holds it, holds it, holds it” 18 foot fall aways against the Nets in London. Seemed to sum things up for me. AB proved he can draw a double team and score easily in many situations, but what seperates the men from the boys is doing it in crunch time, when it counts. I was very dissapointed there.
    Most promising development – DD’s midrange shooting. He actually has a consistent 15-18 footer and is developing a game to hit it in semi-contested situations (through turn arounds, fall aways, etc.). This has also allowed him to get to the rim more since guys have to respect that shot. Hopefully three point range will come (not even close yet) .. but I like what I see.
    Most surprising rap – I think Id give this to Ed. I expected him to be soild and serviceable .. but this guy looks like he could have a real future in the NBA. Maybe not all star – but very solid contributor to a good team – solid defender, good rebounder, developing offensively. A steal at 13th overall.
    Biggest wildcard going forward – Has to be Bayless. At times I want to throw my TV threw the window watching him play, but at other teams I think he might just have enough talent to put it together someday. Of course, I want Kyrie if we can get him .. but if not and we get a SF .. will be interesting to see what JB can do (who btw should start next year if its still him and Jose .. Jose has proven he can play off the bench and we have a higher ceiling with JB out there).
    I think thats it. Frankly .. Im not as fussed about JT for this year We are gonna suck in any event, and I think the more important question is do we have a quality coach the next year. Given the potential player changes between now and then, I could live with Jay struggling it out another year and a new coach coming in fresh the year after when we actually have a chance to do something ..

    • EuroPussy

      DD midrange shoting? What? He is not able to do a shot from 6 meters, no chance for a threepointers!!
      You blame Bargs because the coach is NOT ABLE to build a defense. Sorry, Bargs is not the reason of this terrible year, but Triano and the poor player (exept AB, DD, JC and sometimes AJ).
      Imagine this team without all the problems with knees, ankles or something like that, i cannot be sure but i think the PO could be possible.

      • Nilanka15

        Are you actually suggesting that DeRozan doesn’t have mid-range game? Surely you jest!

      • mountio

        You obviously dont watch the games if you dont think DD has a midrange game – thats how he scores the vast majority his FGs. Like i said mid range is 15-18 ft (4.5m-5.5m). I realize 22 ft (or 23 ft 9) is
        And – I said AB is the most dissapointing rap. I still think hes the best rap .. just the most dissapointing, because I expected more.
        And – Im not blaming AB for anything .. this team sucks and has very little talent .. thats why we lost so many games .. but I thought AB would be better, and I thought he would be able to perform better in the clutch. Hes still (by a long shot) the player I have the most confidence in on this team in clutch situations .. but he didnt do much to help his case on that this year ..

        • RapthoseLeafs

          .
          I think EuroP is misusing the term mid-range, as 6 meters (actually 6.7 metres) is not mid range, but the perimeter distance. And from there, DD is not a good shooter.

          As maligned as Andrea was, and the expectations for Rap fans “imagining” him to become a superstar (and wanting to flush him out cause he wasn’t), he was the only guy I felt comfortable taking a 3 point shot. Two other players contributed (Barbosa & Bayless), but one is gone soon enough, and the other’s future depends on a draft/free agency not bringing us a top level PG (now or in the future).
          .
          3 point shooting was amongst some serious flaws in this team, and one I hope we address.
          .

    • Raptoronto

      I thought Andrea did quite well for his first year as a primary scorer…factoring in the lack of offense around him, he exceeded my expectations.

  • tom

    “…but we might be getting ahead of ourselves when anointing him as DeRozan’s sidekick for years to come”

    Using a phrase like “Derozan’s sidekick”, who’s getting ahead of whom?

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    Is it just me, or did Dexter Pittman (who has played all of 11 minutes in his NBA career) look more comfortable on the floor than Solomon Alabi?

  • Nilanka15

    Kudos to Statement for finding this juicy nugget (http://dberri.wordpress.com/):

    “The Andrea Bargnani Award (Formerly the Darius Songaila Award)– This award goes to the player who has provided his team with the least overall production. I use Wins Produced to determine the winner here. (Minimum 500 minutes)

    Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani has been the favorite all season, and in the end, he did not disappoint. With a WP48 of -0.122 he’s “contributed” -6.0 wins in 2,353 minutes. As promised to several disgruntled Raptor fans, this award has now been renamed The Andrea Bargnani Award.”

    Colangelo, please trade this useless sack of shit. He’s making the city of Toronto nauseous with his lathargic, uninspiring, lazy play.

    • cesco

      There are two more awards : ” the invisible perimeter defense ” and the ” no outside threat offense ” . Both of these awards are needed to reward those that made the 3 points offense the worst in the league and the 3 points defense the second worse in the league .

    • voy

      the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    • slaw

      It baffles me that anyone still wants this guy around. He brings nothing to the table on the defensive end of the floor and his offensive efficiency is average, at best. To read commenters suggesting he is irreplacable and there is no future without him makes me wonder if: a) these people even watch games and 2) they watch any other NBA basketball. I guess it’s just that expectations are so low with a lot of Raptors fans they’ll accept anything.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        Andrea is not irreplaceable. Neither is Demar for that matter.

        And yes, I watched EVERY game (1 exception maybe). Does AB have to elevate his defensive game? Of course. So does the REST of this team.

        Putting in a defensive Centre may reduce opponent scoring, but ours will as well. Circumstances “pressed” Bargnani into this Centre position role (because of Bosh), and we continued that set-up (without Bosh), because WE HAVE NO ONE WHO CAN STOP TRUE BIGS.
        .

  • Nilanka15

    I think James Johnson’s a keeper. He’ll never be a primary scorer, but he contributes in almost every other facet of the game. If he works on his jumper this season, there’s no reason why he can’t become our version of Wilson Chandler.

    If Vince, Bosh, and DeMar can all drastically improve their jumpers, there’s no reason why Johnson can’t (as long as he’s motivated to do so).

    Having said that, if Kyrie’s gone, and D.Williams is available, I jump all over that pick in attempt to mold him into an NBA-ready small forward.

    • mountio

      Agree on J Johnson. Especially cause I think hes a guy who can succeed playing 5-10 mins one night and maybe 25-30 the next night. Doesnt really need shots (but is an adequate enough scorer if forced to). Can play both O and D at 3 (arguably 4) positions. You need guys like that ..

  • C-Note

    First of all, thank-you to the RaptorsRepublic team for the wall-to-wall coverage this year. I had a hard time watching alot of these games, so I can only imagine what it was like to have to write a story about them night in and night out.

    Second, I totally agree that experience was the deciding factor last night. The Raptors had the better athletes, but the Heat had the better basketball players. They knew how to play; we didn’t.

    Finally, we all knew this was a rebuilding year and what we wanted to do was upgrade our young talent and get a feel for what we have and also what we need. For better or worse, I think we now know what we have with guys like Andrea, Demar, Ed and Amir, while Bayless and James Johnson have shown flashes of competence. That knowledge alone makes the rebuild easier. Hopefully we can add a top-two pick that should produce an impact player; then we can really get this moving in the right direction.

    – BIG FAN

  • cb

    eric smith is to basketball insight what solomon alabi is to the nba playoffs.

  • slaw

    Thank god it’s over.

    My wife kept asking me why I was watching these games and the only answer I could give was because I love this team. As awful as the organization is, as bad the players are, as inept as management is, and as misguided as ownership is, I still love the Raptors. I watched these games cause I remember Game 5 against the Knicks and getting revenge… I remember Carter vs. Iverson in 2001… I remember the excitement of 2007 and finally getting back to the playoffs.

    Eventually, it will turn. Eventually it has to. And after sitting through seasons like this, it will be that much sweeter. Even if it’s 20 years from now….

  • points

    2 baskets per quarter and couple times to the f/t line and you got yourself 20 points as a starter Bargs can be replace

  • Arsenalist

    Just transcribed the DeRozan interview from today. Guy has the right frame of mind.

    He says what kind of player the Raptors need to get next (hint: it’s a swipe at Bargnani):

    http://raptorsrepublic.com/forums/showthread.php?5944-Great-DeRozan-Clean-Up-Day-quotes-(Takes-swipe-at-Raptors-Interior-D)

    • Nilanka15

      That’s as direct a shot at Bargnani as we’ll ever get from inside the locker room.

      So long Primo Pasta….you will not be missed.

      • mountio

        I love how you guys take a dead obvious comment and somehow assume / twist it to be a shot at AB. He is saying what everyone knows – we could use a big defensive presence down low. No shit! Of course we could. That is about as non contreversial a statement as anyone could make.

        How is that directly correlated to a shot at AB? A shot at the team for having to play AB at center because we dont have any other alteratives .. maybe .. but I wouldnt read much more into it than that ..

        • Nilanka15

          If DeMar had said, “we need a guy who uses his timeouts well, motivates his players, and draws up good plays”, you wouldn’t assume he was talking about Triano? But it’s just another dead obvious comment, right? 😛

          Only among the Raptors fanbase is Bargnani “playing out of position”. Among the rest of the league, he’s a centre because he’s too slow and clumsy to defend any other position.

          • mountio

            How about this as an analogy. If one of the raps was interviewed and said “we need more 3pt shooting” (which is a factual, very obvious and true statement), do you think that person would be taking a shot at DD because he plays the 2 (typically the best 3pt shooting position on the team)? No, of course not.
            He’d be stating a fact and noting a hole that needed to be filled (whether through development of current players or acquisition of new players that can fill the hole)

            • Nilanka15

              I get what you’re trying to say, but it’s my opinion that DeMar’s “interior presence” remark implies an anchor, which is always your centre position.

              On the other hand, 3 point shooting can literally be performed by any member of the rotation, thus not specifically knocking DeMar.

              But you’re right, DeMar isn’t DIRECTLY pointing any fingers. I suppose it’s up to each reader/viewer to come to their own conclusions, which can never be proven true or false.

              • Guest

                he could just as easily be saying that they need to stretch ed davis

            • RapthoseLeafs

              .
              Exactly … if Bargnani says we need to improve our 3 point shooting, does that mean its’ directed at Demar.

              Or is Jay to fault, if AB says we need to stop putting him into another Bosh role (dribble dribble dribble … 10 seconds … dribble dribble shoot). If Bargs says we need to pass more (including him), does that mean Bayless should be moved on?

              Given time, and Demar is patient (plus Andrea is moved), DD will eventually “acquire” that hate that goes with this bi-polar environment in Raptorland.
              .

              What I don’t understand, is why people would rather move out our draft picks, so we can grab another player who can’t stand our cold, our taxes, and whatever smells differently here. That just seems beyond me.

              If we become a Contender, and it’s deemed that Andrea will become our top quality 6th man, then what the hell is wrong with that.
              .

        • Mediumcore

          Actually it sounds more like a swipe at Reggie instead of Bargnani since Reggie is the teams veteran big.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        I read the comment, and his statement was obvious – we need a defensive Centre. Andrea is a PF, who’s been asked to handle the C position because WE HAVE NO ONE.

        How the f*@k people read into these comments, is beyond me. Well, actually it’s not. Just atypical hate going on.
        .

        Hell, one could ask Demar if we need a SG who:
        1) can shoot from the perimeter (Raps were last)
        2) can defend his position
        3) has more than one spin move to the basket

        Not meaning to trash Demar (as I like him), but he still has to work on the above facets to his game. If he WAS implicating Andrea in such a manner, one only has to ask – “Shouldn’t you get your own house in order, before trashing another”.
        .

        Suffice to say, I think like others, in that Demar was only pointing out what we all know and want – a defensive Centre. The problem is (and why AB played this position), is that there are FEW Centres out there. Add the fact that a portion of them (and other NBA players) don’t want to play in Canada, and you have our dilemma.

        I really believe the solution is to bulk up Ed and run with Davis & Bargnani as your Front Court, with Amir off the Bench. In time, maybe we can get a 20-25 minute defensive Centre (and be okay with one who struggles at scoring).

        Our priority is PG and SF positions. Jose & Bayless are not the answer. And as much as JJ surprised even me, Raptors need a top notch SF going forward. Johnson would make for a great back-up on many teams, and that speaks volumes for our needs.

        One thing I would hope Demar doesn’t devolve into though, is morphing into a Bosh, and his patented statements “we lost but I played good”. Personally, I don’t think he’s that kind of player.
        .

        • mountio

          Agree completely. Save for maybe 10-15 pounds (which he will add – the guy is young), ED is EXACTLY what a center should be. Blocks shots, rebounds, offensive game limited to ~10 feet. Is there something Im missing here? Why people think Ed is a PF and AB is a center is beyond me.
          Add JJ (or new SF out there) with some decent perimiter defenders (and AJ off the bench), and I think this team could hold its own defensively and have a nice offensive punch..
          Having said that, would I take a great defensive center (there are probably less than 5 in the league) .. all day every day .. just not sure we will find one

    • Raptoronto

      Loved that interview. I usually take exit interviews from BB palyers with a grain of salf but with DD it seems different.

      Also LOVED the Terry David quote in the G&M article. Ed Davis will not have choice but to work his ass off….I think he will be specail (particularly if he develops his right hand….soft soft touch for big man).

    • Joey.C

      You should take a look at the Amir Johnson press conference on raptors.com, says the team needs a “legit centre” there’s another swipe at Bargnani.

      • mountio

        See above. AB would agree with the statement, Im sure (in fact, he should be making it, just as much as AJ) …

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        ahhh … listen to Andrea’s press conference, and he essentially says the same thing – when he says his natural position is PF.
        .
        So as I gather with all this talk about getting a true Centre, is that Amir, Demar and Andrea are all on the same page.
        .

    • tom

      Lots of talk about improving his own offensive game (good point) and the teams interior defense (another good point).

      Any other good points to make regarding the defense Demar?

      (hint, he’s in the mirror)

  • FAQ

    22-60 …. and I predicted (to the chagrin of the tribal honkers) the Raps would win less than 10 games this season.

    Oh well, they more than doubled the wins and are twice as good as I expected. Can’t be perfect predicting wins for the Raps.

    Question is does BC have enough to build on, or is he again forced to blow up a good part of the roster to field a fan-worthy team in September. Gotta put bums in the seats and get the tv ratings up.

    The baby-faced youth on the Raptors must inject several pounds of muscle on their bones this summer or else they will be ground into dust next season …. notwithstanding facial acne, shrunken testicles and bitch tits …

    Anybody predicting playoffs for the Raps in the next several seasons ..???

    • slaw

      Well, Davis ‘gets it’. He’s a keeper. Derozan has a chance to be a good pro but he isn’t quite there yet. Other than that, there isn’t much. But let’s say Derrick Williams becomes a Raptor and turns into Paul Pierce 2.0. You now have one potentially elite player, one potentially very good player (Davis), and one potentially good player (Derozan), plus a high pick in 2012. That’s not bad. Adding a veteran or two in 2012-2013 then makes sense.

      It’s ahrd to know what the next window is for this team cause so much depends on this draft and the 2012 draft but I would think, given how weak the East continues to be, that there is an outside chance in 2012-2013 (if you hit a home run this draft) and a more realistic chance in 2013-2014. For example, Vince Carter took a pretty average Raptor team to the playoffs in his second season and to the second round in his third year. I don’t know if a Derrick Williams or Kyrie Irving can do that but it is possible. They’d certainly have more around them than VC had…

  • barenakedman

    I can’t believe the Raptors won over 14 of their games. It seems like there were such long stretches between wins.

    As far as those 22 wins, some against very good teams I think something can be taken from them that can be built on for next year.

    The 60 losses provides lots of fodder for critical analysis but if there is one thing I’d like to see improvement on outside of individual performance it is fundamental communication between the various parts that make up this organization. Player to player, coach to player, coach to coach, GM to everyone.

    If I would call anyone out in particular it would be Triano. Head coach is very different than being an assistant that works on improving player skills. From his monotone timeout huddles to his lack of motivational skills and I could go on but will just say that if he is the head coach next season hopefully someone will communicate to him all the areas that he needs to work on if he is going to really succeed in helping this team.

  • Statement

    Just wanted to say thanks to Arse and the whole crew for their excellent coverage of the team.

    Also, to all the commenters, you rule. You make this place fun.

    Anways, another year gone and another year awaits.

  • Arsenalist

    Here’s the Andrea Bargnani interview transcribed:http://raptorsrepublic.com/for…He thinks the team needs to get more people who can play help defense because it’s tough to guard one-on-one. Oh, the irony.

    • Nilanka15

      “My natural position is a power forward. Other than that, I don’t know how they want to build the team next year. Of course, my position is power forward, always been.”

      Could it be that Bargnani intentionally sucked on defense/rebounding in a feeble attempt to be moved to PF? This guy really has been coddled too much by management…

      • mountio

        I feel like Im takling to a brick wall here. You think he says this for sport? … like hes really a post up center, knows it, yet continually wants to f*ck with the nilankas and arse’s of the world? This is completely laughable.
        Listen – bash him for all his faults (i do too) .. but you have to be crazy to watch this guy play and somehow think hes a center (espeically any more than Ed or AJ).
        I also love the “he cant guard anyone, at any position” .. but the reason hes absolutely a center is because “hes too slow to guard 4s”. If hes useless at the one thing you think defines him as a center, then how the hell can you use that as evidence for why he should play the position? Its completely non-sensical ..

        ps .. I cant believe Im back into this debate .. I know its totally overdone .. I guess just need to get it out of my system cause I wont have raps for a while ..

        • Nilanka15

          Bayless thinks he’s a PG, but that doesn’t mean he is one. Triano thinks he’s a coach, but that doesn’t mean he is one, lol.

          But you’re right, it doesn’t make sense to use Bargnani’s defensive weaknesses to define what position he plays. I admit my fault on that one. He so terrible no matter where he is, it doesn’t matter what position he plays.

          The only thing that DOES make sense is getting rid of a player with so many defensive weaknesses.

          • mountio

            There we go .. something I can agree with (at least the logic of it, even thoguh we disagree on the conclusion). Nice that we can end this banter with some sort of mild consensus ..
            Enjoy the playoffs.
            As much as it pains me to say it .. I like Heat’s chances. I think they will prove again, what we have known for years, that this is a league of stars and playoff time is star time. D Rose had a great year, but hes not as much of a star as either Wade or LBJ and Im just not sure how that team performs down the stretch (i agree many ?s for the Heat too .. but Ill take them to figure it out given their talent).
            Im biased cause I hate the Lakers more than any other team (even boston) .. so hoping for OKC or SA ..

            • Nilanka15

              I actually thought Boston had the best chance of knocking off Miami…that is until they traded Perkins. There were a lot of people raving about how good Danny Ainge is as a GM, but that was a bonehead move if I’ve ever seen one. It was very Dumars-esque gutting a championship calibre team before they’ve run their course.

              • Copywryter

                So true. This trade didn’t look good on paper or pass the gut test.

                Thinking about the ‘future’ by trading a big (pun intended) piece on a team that went to Game 7 last year (and frankly was a 50/50 shot to win if Perk could play) seems insane to me. You get so few chances to win a chip, so much has to go right over the course of the season. Who cares if the Celts couldn’t resign Perk next year? The window on that ageing team and its fragile bigs was closing fast, and they were a great team to watch.

                Ainge is a gambler, sure, but here’s a situation where he should have gone all-in instead of hedging his bets.

            • RapthoseLeafs

              .
              I’m gonna have to disagree on the Miami thing.

              Watching the “2 & 1/2 Men-less” Heat team play, I couldn’t help getting the feeling that Spoelstra is worried. This game was worse than watching paint dry, as it showed – IMO – how bad their “back-ups” are.

              One can’t equate the win last night as redeeming, since the Raptor line-up that was put out there featured guys who might not even be in the league next year, let alone have any significant minutes. Of course, this doesn’t say much for the 8 guys they played against.
              .

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            Barg’s is best suited as a 6th man/1st big coming off of the bench as a pure scoring threat where his defensive deficiencies can be hidden & and his offensive exploits better managed in limited minutes.

            BC, Gheradini & Jay created this lackadaisical monster named Andrea- don’t forget that particular.

            Unless he can be properly coached up and not coddled Barg’s will just be another stretch 4 in the NBA.

            • Nilanka15

              My problem with bringing Bargnani off the bench is that we get back into “experimental mode” with him. It’s been years since he’s been a 6th man, and it will take time to adjust to this new role with reduced minutes. And with reduced minutes, there is even less room for error, and less ability to play through mistakes. And through it all, he will still be expected to rebound, rotate and defend.

              Secondly, very rarely does Bargnani start a game on fire. It usually takes him 4, 5, 6, 7 attempts before he gets warm and engaged in the game. He’s not exactly Jason Terry-like instant offense.

              You simply can’t hide a player with such glaring deficiencies.

              • Guest

                name a big man who plays an instant offence off the bench role… harrington? not nearly as big but ok… any one else?

                the idea is silly. bargs would be a big off the bench on a good team because he’s not good enough to start for a good team (yet).

                doesn’t matter, raps will trade him for a good pg this off season. you heard it here first.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      Arsenalist …. I know you’re generally pretty even keeled about things, but do you ever give any credence to the fact that language is an acquired taste.

      To pick apart a statement from someone who’s English skills were horrible at the start (and he’s come a long ways), and then to dissect them piece by piece, just strikes me as a bit judgmental.

      I’m not making excuses for his season – which I thought / hoped would be better. But have you ever found yourself in a foreign land and made an ass out of yourself because of language skills.

      I have a friend who emigrated 6 years ago from a European country (not Italy either – but close), who has made excellent strides in his English. Yet every so often, he pulls what I call a real boner when speaking. It’s not because he’s stupid (actually very intelligent), or because he’s aloof about things. It’s simply because his language of understanding (and origin), doesn’t always translate properly when English is the output.
      .
      Criticize him for his playing abilities, but now we’re harping on what he says. I think that’s why I defend him so much, as I really “dislike” how much hate rolls out so often here, with all our bi-polar fans.
      .

      • arsenalist

        Pick apart a statement? I factored in what he said and what he meant, and I’m pretty sure he feels that the help defense on this team is poor. Hence the irony with him being a center and all.

        I was actually defending (somewhere in this thread) his apparent comment that he does things that are more complicated than rebounding and defense, which I didn’t hear in the presser but which he actually did say. WTF.

        By no means am I taking advantage of his poor English skills and putting words in his mouth. What is written there is what he intended to communicate.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        .
        All this being said, I do like a lot of your opinions Arse. And hate aside (for particular players, not just Andrea), I’ve enjoyed learning perspectives, and analysis that goes with each game.

        I just think when it comes to Andrea, you can’t figure out a solution, so the best bet is to stop trying. Colangelo tried to address certain issues, but unfortunately he ran into a weasel of a owner.

        Never-the-less, it’s not like we were going anywhere this year. For the most part, this season was about youth. AB was certainly part of our focus, but to me it was more about Demar stepping up, and seeing what Davis brought to the table. For AB, one had to believe that defensive focus was going to dramatically increase for him, so in that regards, its’ next year that will indicate whether he learned from his “rookie” season as the primary.
        .
        At times it seems like Groundhog day around here, where we tend to train players and watch them move on. I’m really tired of that trend. I like cheering for players – its’ the connection to a team. It’s why the Leafs have (temporarily) lost my interest, brandishing a roster that seems foreign to me (at times).
        .

  • Rpsfan95

    I’d like to see the silver raptor logo on the front of the jersey, get rid of the maple leaf on the back, get rid of the red ones totally

    • Nilanka15

      I was thinking the same thing. It’s about time for a redesigned uniform.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    Andrea: “What I do on offense is more complicated than rebounding or defense.” *Quote of the year

    DD & Amir are taking shots at Barg’s at the Rap’s end of the season presser ie saying that they need a big man to bang in the paint and do the dirty work.

    Jay now talking facetious balderdash……

    • arsenalist

      He didn’t say that, he said;

      Everybody could see that, I learned all the stuff. Without Chris, it was even more difficult to score the ball, last year the opposite team was more focused on playing defense on Chris so for me it was much easier. This year it was more complicated, I got much better offensively. I still got to get better, especially on the boards. Definitely need to do a better job of being more focused, it definitely has to be a focal part of me.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        He didn’t say it verbatim but that’s what I took from the quote- see realgm.

        Anywayz Barg’s is full of shit he got too tired playing on offense (harder for him to score w/o CB presence) to play consistent defense or rebound?

        • KD

          When you use the words “quote of the year” you are saying that those were the words he used verbatim. Also, what you “took from the quote” was about as accurate as your grasp of the word “quote”. Think before you state things as fact. Holy Jebus.

          • arsenalist

            Apparently he did say that, they just edited out of the official videos.

            • sleepz

              Really? lol. I need to hear that with my own ears!

              If that was said, I am very certain Andrea will be playing for a different squad next year.

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              **Andrea:

              “What I do on offense is more complicated than rebounding or defense.” *Quote/Rap of the Year

              I knew I heard him say those exact words but when I went back and viewed the video I only heard the part that you posted up out of his interview- thought I was losing it for a minute.lol

              That’s the BC “cult like” consensus in action as BC is operating like a dictator by censoring Raptor related particulars from the fans- his privileged “my daddy owned a NBA team” Ivy League ass needs to go asap.lol

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            No worries, apology accepted.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          Barg’s did say it verbatim.

          BC just ordered the official end of the year interview presser tape of AB edited as so to cover up that juicy soundbite to the average fan.

          BC’s player evaluation is beyond questionable.

  • hound

    Arse,

    Thanks to you and the RR staff for a great season. I would put you guys at 48 – 34. Clearly in the playoffs, with the grit to pull an upset in the second round. As a newbee to this site this year, I have really enjoyed it.

    Nilanka – you torment me sometimes, but you definately know your roundball.

    Too the Bargs Haters and Lovers – It has been a tough year for both of you. Hopefully, some resolution will come to pass. Either Bargs will be a sixth man, working under a touch coach. Or he will be sent packing. If so, we definately need a valuable piece coming back. We can’t get taken in the deal.

    Too all of you – Have a great summer, cheer for anybody playing the Heat and say your prayers every night leading up to the draft!

    • Nilanka15

      I seem to torment a lot of people, lol. But talking bball is always fun. Looking forward to picking up the discussions with ya over the summer, and into next season.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      If Bargs is sent packing, I can just see him return (as an opponent) and completely kick our ass. What I learned about certain games this year (where he was compared to particular opponents), is that when motivated, he’s extremely dominating. My question is, why can’t we find the key that brings this all out? Trading him for another piece may appease some anger, but only as long as that piece stays with us – which as history indicates, is not a good bet. .

      What would disturb me to no end, is the fact that Andrea’s chances of winning a championship, would be better served on another team.
      .

      • Nilanka15

        It’s almost guaranteed that Bargnani (if traded) will torch us in his return. It’s human nature to want to spurn the guys who gave up on you, and it happens all the time. Mighty Mouse did it, TMac did it, Carter did it, Bosh did it, LeBron did it, Shaq did it, KG did it, etc, etc.

        • sleepz

          I’m considerably more fearful of the other names you had on that list than the newest member about to be added.

          Just don’t leave your feet for the pump fake and you’ll see 8-18 guaranteed.

      • sleepz

        I’ll take my chances.

      • swish

        BARGS will be playing for EURO-NET see their owner

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    Andrea: “I’m a PF”.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Andrea:

      My natural position is a power forward. Other than that, I don’t know how they want to build the team next year. Of course, my position is power forward, always been.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    Did Jay just say that he would take DD over Tyreke Evans- wtf?

  • arsenalist

    Here’s Jerryd Bayless comments, he says Portland and OKC models need to be followed:

    http://raptorsrepublic.com/forums/showthread.php?5947-Jerryd-Bayless-says-the-OKC-and-Portland-models-needs-to-be-followed

  • Mediumcore

    Was at the game yesterday and it was pretty amazing to see how engaged Spolestra was with his team…he was so far on the court he should have had to put a jersey on. With two minutes left in the 4th quarter and the game well in hand he’s still calling out plays standing almost next to the Raptor logo at mid court. Triano on the other hand was just sitting there in his chair not saying a word, perfectly rigid like he was constipated or something. Two coaches cut from completely different cloth.

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      One could win it all.

      The other will be drinking … and thinking about it.
      .

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    My almost perfect off season Raptors rebuild:

    Raptors Team President: Julius Erving

    Raptors GM: Chris Mullin

    Raptors Head Coach: Lawrence Frank

    Raptors Director of Scouting: Alvin Williams

    Director of Community Relations: Jerome JYD Williams

    Draft: SF DWill (Arizona)

    Trade for either Denver pg Lawson or Felton.

    Bring back: Dorsey, Wright, Weems, Reggie (@ vet min or Magloire) as bench support.

    Try to sign an UFA’s center like Chandler or Dalembert to start in the middle.

    Maybe even go after Jamaal Magloire as a back up big man.

    Trade Bargnani for assets (Barg’s has good value around the NBA as BC has previously stated that he gets offers for Barg’s all the time- now it’s time to play that hand).

    Trade Jose for assets (I don’t look at him as being a mentor to any young pg plus Dallas, Memphis, Lakers or PO could be good fit for Jose).

    Trade Barbosa for assets (should be able to get something back good for Bosa aka Instant Offense).

    Be active in pre draft trades & free agency (barring lockout).

    Let both Ajinca aka Bargnani Light & Solomon aka I Got A 2 Year Deal (buy out his contract $800,000) walk.

    Last but not least Matt, Jack, Leo- you got to go. You don’t have to go home but you have to go.

    I can’t tell you how numbing it is to listen to their bland, scripted in game commentary especially when I watch other NBA games and listen to their in game announcers- night & day.

    It’s time to change the Rap’s karma from the front office on down to the court and everything in between. We, the fans deserve that much respect to our collective basketball intellect.

    Hopefully the MLSE drama will play out soon enough and new owners (or MLSE) will make those necessary changes in order to move the Rap’s forward & out of this “stability of stagnation” we fans have endured the last 3 years under BC & Jay.

    In order to truely “rebuild” one must dig out the roots (ideologies, people) of the old front office regime and plant new roots (ideologies, people) as if one just trims the hedges on the bush it just gives a new appearance to the very same old bush- same ol’ same.

    • mountio

      At least your posts are entertaining .. Ill admit I got a good chuckle at a few of your ponits (inlcuding the buyour sentence) ..

    • Statement

      My dream offseason.

      Magically wake up a Heat fan.

    • Elec

      Who do you have to replace Gherardini?

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Because he was hired to be BC’s eyes & ears for Euro talent- fail. Gheradini aka Mr Magoo has got to go!!

        Plus he was hired to be Barg’s own personal GM in order to ease his transition into the NBA ie coddle.

        • Elec

          Read my comment again….I didn’t ask WHY replace him, I asked WHO should replace him, because you didn’t list it in your first comment. I agree with what you said about him though.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            My mistake.lol

            That would be up to the new Raptors President and/or GM as they would fill out their front office with qualified people from Assistant GM to all the stat-salary cap specialists as they see fit.

  • arsenalist

    Amir Johnson recap. Says he wants to be the team leader and that Raps need a legit center:

    http://raptorsrepublic.com/forums/showthread.php?5948-Amir-Johnson-wants-to-be-the-team-leader-says-team-needs-a-quot-legit-center-quot

    • Nilanka15

      Are we led to believe that Amir also wasn’t talking about Bargnani [rolling eyes]?

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      Yes … we need a Leader. That’s a huge need for this team, being as I can’t recall having one here, in all my times as a fan.

      Never-the-less, we need a team Leader who will put all this BS out to pasture. Team leaders lead, not judge. And while I like Amir, he doesn’t have this quality.
      .

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    Something interesting that I read on espn:

    The NBA has fined Phil Jackson $75,000 for making unauthorized public comments about collective bargaining, according to sources close to the situation.

    The Lakers also separately were fined $75,000, sources said.

    Jackson talked about the potential lockout as a reason for his retirement.

    “It was really about the fact that there’s going to be a lockout,” Jackson told the small gathering of traveling beat reporters April 7 at a Portland hotel. “It’s the perfect time to help the organization cover a gap if there’s a lockout. My staff, all those guys who work with me. All those things played into it. I felt like an obligation.”

    “Who knows what the NBA is going to look like next year?” Jackson continued. “It’s going to take on a whole different proportion. How long is it going to last?

    ********I think there are some people who are pretty convinced there’s not going to be a year next year.”********** END

    If there is no 2011-12 NBA season how would people feel about that?

  • Nilanka15

    Michael Grange, one of the best sports writers in the province, sums it up best:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/first-up/bargnani-the-door-is-to-your-left/article1985621/

    • Jamie

      Wow, one of the stand-outs of that article is that Bargnani’s 17.8 shots per game is more than Bosh has ever taken in his career…

      • Nilanka15

        Exactly. Fanboys absolutely rave about Bargnani’s offense, yet fail to realize that his best strength is pretty inefficient.

  • Kujo

    Grange nails it. Bargs is a sixth man. Period. Hopefully it will be on another team.

  • points

    people don’t worry Bargs and K. walker will lead us to the promise land for real.

    • Mel

      I think Kemba Walker will have a pretty successful NBA career. People always knock him for his size, but if Allen Iverson could have a pretty good career at a height of just 5’10, I don’t see why Kemba can’t as well. Kemba seems more coachable too, and a hardworker with leadership qualities. Don’t see Bargs in the picture, but I think Kemba would gel real good with this team, he’s a motivated guy, and those can be dangerous. That being said, it really depends what’s up on the draft board, wouldn’t take him with a top 3 pick, and maybe not 4th either, but who knows.

      • Nilanka15

        Kemba’s other knock is that he’s not a true PG (he’s a SG in a PG’s body….much like Bayless), which is probably why he won’t be given a serious look by the Raptors.

        • Jackie Moon

          True about AI as well. Sure people all talk about how Walker could be as good as AI, but what did he ever win? Later in his career he always seemed to make teams worse when he went there.

      • mountio

        Can not compare Kemba to AI. AI is a one in many million athlete .. the likes of which the NBA has never seen. This guy dunked on people (including a classic on Camby – a 7 foot shotblocker – in college). In addition to that, his toughness was off the charts and his ability to contort himself and get to the rim unparalleled. Sorry – but we can NOT compare Kemba to AI.
        Damon Stoudamire? Still a solid NBA player .. might be a better comparision of his upside ..

  • swish

    who would pull down more rebounds? NATE ROBINSON OR BARGS

    • Statement

      I think Mrs. Robinson could outrebound Bargs.

  • swish

    All fun aside this is some real shit, coming next full NBA season when BARGS will lead this team and make JT COY just like he did for SAM

  • points

    Don’t you guys know that what KING BARGS does on offence is more complicated than defence and rebounding

    • Kirk

      What a dumbass comment by him, like he needed more of a reason for some of us to dislike him, this comment crossed the line. Now he thinks he is exempt from defence criticisms just because what he does is “more complicated” than defence and rebounding? I wish that were the case, if defence and rebounding is so easy, then why don’t you try your hand on it numnuts? Forget the awful play, this guy should be traded because of piss poor statements like these.

      • Disqus

        Lol, speaking of that interview, if you watch it again on the Raptors web site, at around the 8:53 mark of the vid, Bargnani talks about how it’s tough to be focused for “90 games” lol, looks like the fool even forgot how many games there are in a season. One of the reporters was absolutely grilling him on defence lol, and all Bargnani would use as an excuse is “focus.” Well if you’re not gonna focus on a job that is paying you tens of millions a year, then you can GTFOH as far as I’m concerned..

  • RenaldoSugarbush

    It was a tough season. It’s not easy cheering for a team that sucks.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    A side note on Jay and his bullchit- he shook Mike Bibby’s hand before the Heat game but refused to shake CB’s hand earlier in the year when he extended it to Jay- str8 up classless just like cussing at Holly MacKenzie for asking a Raptor related basketball question in his response to her.

    • Nilanka15

      I missed that MacKenzie incident. What happened?

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        http://blogs.thescore.com/raptorblog/2011/03/14/were-talking-practice-where-its-time-to-relax/

        • Here’s Triano after I asked whether he thinks Barbosa puts pressure on himself to score when other guys are struggling, since he’s always been that scoring boost off of the bench:

        “I think that’s who he’s always been. His ability to get to the basket and get past people. We needed to share the ball a little bit better and we showed some clips of that today, but listen: We’re the seventh or eighth best shooting team in the NBA without being able to make a 3-point shot. We have one game where we don’t really get it going for a variety of guys, so let’s just f–king relax a little bit, alright?”