Can Jerryd Bayless turn into more than a backup?
The performances that made you wonder whether he’s capable of elevating to the next level were as frequent as the ones that had you scratching your head about whether he’s Marbury-lite (the bad kind). I’m going to assume Calderon’s going to take a back seat or get traded as it doesn’t make sense to have him on the court in a rebuilding year, does it?. This means Bayless will/should see his playing time increase from 22.5 minutes a game. What he does with them is anybody’s guess, the things that he needs to improve on include his jumper, passing out of drives, handling presses, foul rate, his dribbilitis and so on.

Can Amir Johnson develop an offensive game?
Yeah whatever, so he can finish on the pick ‘n roll at an average level. That means he’s just that: average. And I’d argue that overall his offense is found more lacking than it should be at this stage of his career. Even though he wasn’t getting much time in Detroit, he’s been around the league long enough that he should have developed at least a couple go-to moves. All we’ve seen is a hook-shot that looks like he’s trying to scratch his armpit, and a jumper that resembles some fancy yoga move. Give me a up-and-under, or something.

Will Casey get Bargnani to play defense?
It’s been a question of effort and ability, but mostly of effort. The big man hasn’t been able to take the next step in his career because he’s constantly been hounded by his defense and work ethic. The efficiency of the points isn’t nearly strong enough for anyone to overlook the defensive part of the his game, and if Casey – a supposed defensive mastermind – can’t correct or at least significantly improve Bargnani’s defense, then there truly is no hope.

Can DeMar DeRozan have an impact? Again.
Last year was big for him and I’m not even talking about his numbers. His floor-presence got better as the season went along, he was more authoritative, wasn’t scared to take it to the rim, wanted to take the big shot, was confident in his jumper, and even tried to man-up on defense (albeit unsuccessfully). He needs to improve at the same rate and not level-out, or worse, regress. If his jumper and drive game were priority #1 and #1a last season, those get shifted to #2. #1 becomes his defense. We can’t have our “franchise player” getting his ass handed to him by Nick Young. He needs to show the same defensive improvement McGrady showed entering his third season.

Will Ed Davis usurp Amir Johnson?
Scenario: Bargnani gets guaranteed minutes at the PF to start the season. That leaves two options for Casey: Either play Davis and Johnson at the C, or splits their backup minutes. If the latter happens, then Johnson and Davis will be going at each other for playing time, and the younger kid will get a chance to make the spot his own. Basically, Casey could let these two decide how the logjam at the PF should be cleared. Does Davis has what it takes to outclass Johnson? Yes, he’s got a tighter offensive game, excellent reach on the rebounds, but alas, is lacking in pick ‘n roll and pretty much any other kind of defense against Johnson. I know, I know, who gives a f**k is what you’re thinking.

  • Galil

    1) No, Bayless lacks the court vision and creativity to be a starting PG and this season will prove it.  If Bayless wants to prove that he is a starting PG, then he should significantly increase his Assist per game and NOT his scoring.

    2) No, he can not. This is it. The guy is too mechanical to do what you are asking him to do. This is the best Amir you can get. A 3rd big man off the bench , Is he overpaid ? You bet he is. Are there worst contracts than his in NBA ? Aaaabssssolutelyyyyyy. 

    3) AB , defence, too little too late. He does not have the physical fitness to do it . It is that Simple. they need to get him a personal trainer and stop him from going back home and laying on his ASS. They did not so he will not be able to .

    4) DD needs to be a better defender and bulk up to become effective. He basically has to become a man and not a boy. From what I have seen this summer, no he is not. DD is a great player for Chicago to play along side a man like Rose on that #2 spot. Just a Perfect match there.

    5) Yes, if given chance, Ed will eat Amir up for breakfast. 

    • Black angus

      1. Agree
      2. Agree
      3. Agree
      4. Agree – DD is an average player at best, who only looks marginally above average because he is on the Raptors
      5. Agree

      • K.J.P

        Not sure why you guys visit this site, lol JK. It sounds like you want to blow up the team and start over. Is that what you are suggesting? Or you think they will be worse than last year and that won’t change until………? Just wondering, =).

      • Aidin_D

        If Derozen is an average player after two seasons I’d say he’s doing pretty well considering most players don’t hit their stride until their 4th or 5th season. If he’s shown the willingness to play defense and has all the tools, there’s a good shot Casey can help him put it together

  • Tabernac

    If Amir does what he’s supposed to do on defence (and he is an above average defensive player) then offensive output isn’t a huge issue imo.

    Will Casey get Bargnani to play defence? Short answer is no, Bargnani has to get Bargnani to play defence, it’s up to him.

  • 2damkule

    1. possibly…but it’s on him to bring the same drive/intensity he did as a starter while filling in for jose to the back-up role.  IMO, he’s got to show/earn the starting job by playing well as a back-up first, something he’s simply not done.  he’s played well as a starter, but hasn’t proven he can do so over the long-term.

    2. it depends…are we concerned with how the ‘game’ looks, or are we concerned with results?  i’m perfectly fine with him having a limited offensive repertoire if it continues to produce a 60+% FG rate.  he is what he is (like most players on this team), and is never going to have an aesthetically pleasing post game (or silky jumper).  i can live with that.

    3. to a degree, both their fates (casey’s & bargs’) are dependent upon it…if casey can’t, then this team likely isn’t going much of anywhere, and his tenure here will likely be brief.  if bargs’ can’t, well, i guess that’s it for the excuses, right?  RIGHT?  what happens then?  his trade value won’t be high (since he’ll be exposed even further as a guy even the great defensive genius can’t get to play a lick of D – or, i assume, rebound), he’ll be making what – in the new cba – will be considered an onerous amount of money…so, he’ll likely be stuck on the raps (unless they’re willing to take back an even worse contract…though this cba seems to help teams to make uneven – salary-wise – trades).

    4. this is DD’s make or break season.  at this point, anyone who’s watched him over his first two seasons has to be (or at least should be) impressed by the offensive improvements he’s made.  for a 2, that’s pretty important.  but D is also important, and no one can say with a straight face that he’s even close to being average.  he MUST improve significantly…his window is starting to close in that regard, and fan patience will (and should) start to erode if he doesn’t.

    5. it’s only a matter of time.  of course, in 6 months, we could be asking question #2 about easy Ed as well.  he seems to have more innate offensive skill than amir, but there are legit questions as to whether he’ll develop a consistent offensive game as well.  he’s already an above-average rebounder & shot-blocker, but his overall D needs to improve significantly as well…something that should happen relatively quickly with increased PT….though moving to the 5 on a regular basis could slow his development (he’s not yet big enough to handle most 5’s).

    speaking of the ‘move bargs to the 4, because it’s his natural position’ argument – can we put a moritorium on this?  the 4 & 5 are – for the most part – interchangeable, and only really come into play on the defensive side.  bargs has quite often in his career assumed the role of the 4 on D anyway – more often than not, they put him on the opposition’s weakest offensive post player.  he really only plays the 5 when the raps are facing a team with a ‘traditional’ back to the basket C, mainly because they’re limited in terms of who else they can put on that player.  but even in those situations (for example, against orlando & DH), we saw an awful lot of a woefully undersized amir trying to defend against dwight.  at the end of the day, calling bargs the 4 & going with either amir or ed at the 5 works out to…exactly the same lineup they went with for the majority of last year.  yay?

    • Statement

      Totally agree on Amir,

      Don’t care how pretty it is, just care that it goes through the hoop.  That said, it would be nice to integrate Amir more into the offense and thus up his usage rate because he is so efficient.  That would require some development on Amir’s part, but so far he has improved his jumpshot and his free-throw percentage.  I’ve been happy with his evolution and would argue that he is the team’s best player, currently.

      • ezz_bee

        I thought I was a pretty big Amir homer, but arguing his is the teams BEST player is a stretch imo.  Yes he has been in the league a long time, but keep in mind he is a straight from high school second rounder… he’s still young enough that some improvement (even if it doesn’t look cool) is still believable.

  • Bendit

    Now isnt thiscoincidental after I read the slam in the main post I glance to the right (web articles) and find that Bargs has been in town a few weeks working out!!

     http://www.lfpress.com/sports/basketball/2011/11/28/19031436.html

    • 511

      That’s encouraging. 

    • cesco

      Thanks for pointing it out , AB is not overweight  , he is not out of shape , he is not sipping an espresso on via Veneto and ogling all the pretty girls going by . He will be ready for the preseason  . I will just ignore all the negativity from Statement , Nilanka , Swirtsky and co. in the meanwhile . Sweat it out Andrea , you are my man .

      • Au

        It is exceptional news, the guys that you mentioned in your post must be fuming with anger over this news lol. Good for AB, looking forward to the season.

        • Theswirsky

          fuming about what? 

      • Nilanka15

        Lol, no amount of “working out” will help Bargnani look less like a pylon on defense. But I admire your blind devotion!

        • Eatadic_nba

          dumb nigger.

          • sleepz

            I don’t know who the administrator on the site is or manages comments but certain comments should be removed immediately.

            You wouldn’t be saying that to any one’s face, I’m certain. Tough guy behind a keyboard.

      • Versus

        Yep, very nice to hear what AB is doing. Even Kyle Julius, who was mentioned in the article as one of the trainers had this to say about Bargnani via Twitter:

        “We have been working very hard over the past month to make sure Bargnani was sharp and in great shape!@ae44643aa2ff381ebab03ab11513fea4:disqus He is a true pro.”

        via juliushoops

      • Statement

        I’m glad to see that he has been working out hard…I hope that gives him an edge against opposing players in the first few games.

        Alas, I’m not to optimistic about the defence and rebounding, and that is really where my qualm with Bargs sits (oh and his salary, but that is a Colangelo thing).

        Any news on the minimum age requirements clause?  Are potential draftees going to have to go to college for 2 years or what?

        • sleepz

          thats all that should matter right now, because that rule will clearly determine who the next real talent on this team is.

          • news flash

            kabongo!!

    • Mansour

      That is very encouraging. Hopefully, he will lose some weight which will hime more agile now that he is going to be our PF. A lighter, more agile AB means a better AB in defence and a AB that can run more without being out of breath and also is good for his knees.

  • 511

    Bayless – I always figure that players who even get to the NBA have that extra drive to begin with, so, I like to imagine (as I often have in the past re certain other players) that during the off-season, he was working hard to get himself to the next level that he HAS shown he’s capable of playing at … on occasion. If he’s been focused on improving and if he put in the necessary work (he seems like a guy who might), he could possibly be ready to take over the starting position and begin to help to move this team forward. I haven’t heard anything about what he’s been up to since the end of last season, so … I guess we’ll see when we see. If he’s right where he was when we last saw him, I’ll be disappointed. 

    Amir – I like Amir. He probably won’t be a night-in-night-out offensive star but he will have games when he looks like it. His shot improved considerably since he first got here so we know he can learn new things and he’s young enough (24) to still do so. As well, I like his competitiveness, his attitude and I suspect his longer time in the NBA for his age is probably more valuable to the team than some think. Finishing last year with an injured ankle (that bothered him much of last season) was worrisome, but I’m trusting that with it all good now (?) he’ll be better equipped to show more of what he’s capable of. I’m hopeful. 

    Bargnani – If this was a couple or so years ago, I’d probably be way too optimistic right now about Coach Casey being able to get Bargs to play better defense. As it is now and not then, my optimism is a bit muted … but what I am hopeful for is that Casey can get Bargnani to do enough of what he needs to do to work effectively within a defensive system. Of course, most know that Bargs’ work ethic could be Casey’s real challenge, so … I look forward to seeing what happens with his play under the boards as much as anything. I think it’ll tell us a lot. Fingers crossed. 

    DeMar – Having Dwane Casey come along right at this moment in DeRozan’s career could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to DeMar. Time will tell but on the day that Casey was introduced, it was easy to see that he was already excited to have DeMar on his team and I’d wager that he’s watched enough of what he does on the floor these last months to have a pretty good idea of how to get him to the next level, defensively. DeMar has a very good work ethic so I expect him to soak up whatever instruction Casey has to offer … and combine that with the bit of extra muscle that it looks like DeMar has added and the three point shot that it’s been said that he’s worked on this off-season, I think this could be an important year, even a pivotal year for DeRozan. I’m excited to see what kind of play he brings. So yes, I think he can have an impact. Again. 

    Ed Davis – Good question about whether or not he’ll eventually usurp Amir Johnson. I’d say that Ed’s natural instincts on the floor (nose for the ball, rebounds and such) suggest that the value of what he brings could outgrow what Amir brings, but … I dunno. I’m real curious to see how Casey deals with this and how they each respond to it all. With Valanciunas on his way, one of them will likely have to go but I doubt that even they (management) know, just yet, which one it might be. I really like Ed and as much as I like Amir, my guess is that Ed could be the guy. But what I wonder about is if Ed wants to be here as much as Amir seems to enjoy playing here. It’s something that might have to be factored in one day. (I wish somebody would interview Ed Davis’ dad. I’d love to know what his thoughts are about his son playing here. I don’t like how little we’ve heard from him- nothing that I ever have – and I suspect it would give us a better feel as to what we might expect Ed Davis to want to do down the road a ways. It’s not that unimportant in the whole scheme of things.) (And … I might be wrong there – about how important it is – but I’d still like to hear from Ed’s dad. Cuz Ed doesn’t exactly wear his heart on his sleeve about it. And I really suspect that his dad factors in somehow.) 

  • Matthew Lopez

    1)Jerryd should start this season barring the raps get a better PG through trade. PS: averaging 18 pts and 7 assts/game as starter is pretty good) 2)Amir is always bashed but he is pretty solid. Is efficient, plays when injured, is the best defensive player on the team, is forced to foul, due to him playing with 3 horrendous defensive players (Jose, Bargs and hopefully not anymore Bargs). 3) Bargs is what he is, ppl should unfortunately accept it. His rebounding is bad anyway you look at it: per game, totals, in advanced stats, etc. His help D is as bad as his rebounding. 4)DD should improve, however, improving D (significantly) doesn’t happen over one summer, it happens gradually. 5) Ed Davis will start. He is arguably the best player on this team (taking into consideration contract, age, efficiency, potential). He is already a better player than Bargs and Amir. He knows what he can + can’t do on offense and ppl need to stop bashing his shot. He was a rookie.

  • Theswirsky

    Amir – if he can keep doing exactly what he has been doing (efficient offense, solid D, lunch box work ethic) he is a perfect fit for the team.  Getting paid what he does to do it, just ends up being a bonus. 

    (Except ofcourse to those who value razzle dazzle over actual production)

  • sleepz

     “We can’t have our “franchise player” getting his ass handed to him by Nick Young. He needs to show the same defensive improvement McGrady showed entering his third season.”

    It would be nice, but Demar has way more offensive responsibility than McGrady did and he doesn’t have the same physical tools McGrady had. Not to say Demar is not a good athelete but McGrady was the best shot blocker on that team and a good on the ball defender who could guard the 1-3 who was able to focus on defence because Vince was the main scoring option. 
    Demar’s still trying to make a name for himself and for most young players they see this happening through scoring points.

  • ad

    The best case scenario for the Raps is suck really bad this season and get a really high draft pick. Amnesty Calderon and trade Bargnani for the most expensive spalding basketball on the market. The Raptors need to do everything in their power to sign Chris Paul. Get Drake to recruit for them. Seriously. A lot of NBA players love his music. He can help dispel all the ignorance by US agents and players have of playing here since BC  cant seem to do so. By next season they should have a core of Derozan, Davis, val. and young player x (preferably a sf like Barnes). That should make it more appealing to a big free agent. If they land Paul, they should be at least a 45-50 win team. With a few other additions they can compete for a title.

    • Creebrave

      lol, I can’t even begin to comprehend your thought processes

    • c_bcm

      I appreciate your enthusiasm. Never lose that. But none of that is ever going to happen.

      • ad

        This team needs to get a star player(s) badly. The easiest way is thru the draft but their are no guarantees. Maybe my plan is too unrealistic, fine. But they should have cap room and a good young core next summer. The pg is the most important position on the floor and paul is a bonafide allstar. I’ll be very disappointed if they don’t even try for Paul. I want to see them offer him a boatload of money. If he rejects it, fine. To me, it would just prove that nobody wants to play in Toronto and that would make this situation even more depressing.

    • Eatadic_nba

      lol…retard.

  • p00ka

    All good points except having Calderon on the court during a rebuilding year not making sense. Until Bayless shows that he can actually run an offense less focused on himself, Jose is by far the better PG to assist the young guys in their development, which is what we’re looking for this year.

  • AmirFan

    Arsenalist, how Dare you criticize Amir !!! He is perfect the way he is :) :)

  • chach

    Where does Reggie fit into the potential Bigs rotation?  Is he around this season?

    • c_bcm

      I doubt they will re-sign him.

  • news flash

    BC please draft KABONGO and a sf

  • Eli

    Already counting down the days until the draft…..Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, or bust! 

    • steve

      I like Sullinger over Barnes.  I find  Barnes way to passive.

  • Sprechen

    Why is the main guy for this site shitting all over the Raptors at every opportunity, trying to be clever? I thought this was a fan page.

    Anyways, Arsenalist clearly doesn’t watch that many Raptors games. If he did, he would have recognized the huge strides Amir made this year. It’s nice to see the actual fans have a better perspective.

    Question #6: Will Arsenalist pull his head out of his butt before December 9?

    Probably not, he doesn’t even know where he is and he can’t see, it’s too dark.

    I suspect he tried to get Amir’s autograph one day and got rejected.

    • Aidin_D

      Preach. Sometimes its funny when you write a sarcasm filled psuedo-bashing post, but that’s pretty much all I see on RR. The team sucks and has sucked for a looooong time, but that’s common knowledge. Its lazy to repeat what is already known, how about a little effort in writing about the positives (as few as there may be).

      • 2damkule

        go read doug fucking smith if you want an unrealistically positive spin about all things raptor-related.  if you want a little truth tossed your way, stick around.

        • p00ka

          Like the absolute real truth that what you see is what you get, and that Bargnani will never have the work ethic to work hard at improving his game? That kind of truth? I wish Doug Smith was a little more critical now and then, but I’ll take his optimism to read every day over your incessant whining. There’s enough far more important negatives happening in the world, without needing a daily dose of kule whining.

          • 2damkule

            you’re free to feel any way you like.  if what i write is overly negative for your tastes, then don’t read it.  i’ve simply lost the desire to pretend things are different than what they are.  but you’ve been around here long enough – and have read, i assume, enough of what i’ve written – to know that i’m usually pretty reasoned in my commentary.

            as to your assertion that there are more than enough ‘real’ negatives in the world, and that we shouldn’t focus on the negatives of something so trivial as a pro bball team…i can see where you’re coming from.  but for many, sports is an outlet, an escape from those ‘real’ negatives.  complaining about – and cheering on – our teams/players gives us a break from thinking about the soul-crushing debacle this planet has become.  sports are a distraction, and part of that distraction is engaging in forums like this.  like any social interaction, there will be differences of opinion…difference is, on here, we’re protected with anonymity, and can come/go as we please without having to make ourselves accountable for our thoughts/actions.

            • p00ka

              I appreciate your style and your message in this instance. I certainly share the release enjoyed through both sport and these places, but prefer to keep my cheering for the team I support and most of my complaining for those I disagree with in these places :-)

        • Aidin_D

          Double comment by accident

        • Aidin_D

          Where did I say I wanted to hear an unrealistically positive spin? Perhaps you need to take your own advice and read. The Raptors suck? WOW! So much analytical worth in this, as if it hasn’t been come at with 1,000 different angles, from 1,000 different people. All I said was, it would be nice to highlight some of the positives (notice how I said “as few as they may be” in those fancy brackety things). The Raptors sucking is not exactly an earth shattering revelation at this point.

    • 2damkule

      clearly, you’re new here.

      • Sprechen

        Yes.

        • 2damkule

          then i would recommend either waiting for the season to start (or at least camp to start) & read some of arse’s articles, or look back in the archive for game recaps/columns.  he’s one of the best in the (blog) biz at breaking down games & actually telling it like it is.  if a player – any player – has a shyte game, he gets called out for it.  there is no need for the writers on this site to colour their analysis, as they have no access to the team anyway (they’re ‘just’ bloggers).  doug smith (as an example) can be ‘critical’ of the team, but he has to do so in a delicate way, because access to the team (players, coaches, front office) is really the only thing that separates hims from the lowly blog masses (which is something he’ll remind his readers of every 3rd paragraph).  the star uses a pretty effective good cop/bad cop routine (feschuk is the bad cop).

          • Sprechen

            Everyone is entitled to a shite game here and there, but even when Amir does have a shite game, he still plays hard every possession. If we had a team of guys that played as hard as him we’d be doing pretty well. When you talk about the culture of a team, that’s what you want. Amir has a great touch in the paint, dramatically improved his jump-shot, plays stiff defense, out hustles his opponent down the floor and should have received more minutes than JT was sending his way. Too many PF’s on this squad. Amir will be one of the main beneficiaries of having a guy like Casey at the helm. My feeling is that by the end of the contract we’ll be saying, yep, that’s about right. Of all the guys on the squad he deserves the least criticism, imo. I don’t know why the issue keeps coming up. I may have been a little harsh but I guess I’m trying to tell it like I see it too.

  • Eatadic_nba

    unlike most I actually support our players and want them to succeed…

    • 2damkule

      congratulations.  some here support the concept of team, and want to see it succeed…

  • Daniel

    I’m always puzzled by fans praising inefficient players like Bayless and DeRozan compared with highly productive and efficient players like Jose or Amir. I swear some people are living in a different universe in evaluating the players. Bayless is just an awful b-ball player and DeRozan got schooled by Nick Young and Landry Fields.
    This year the blogs will be unbearable keeping in mind how many hardcore fans relish the tanking proposition. I’m sure the vast majority of people hate losing even with a purpose. Anyway, I’m excited to see Casey at work, the first proven coach in a while.

    • points

      please tell me what casey has proven?

    • Statement

      Personally, I think Bayless is a backup PG, period.  Even then, he has to improve his passing and basketball IQ. 

      Derozan – I don’t know what to think about him.  He has to improve in EVERY facet of his game.  He still has some time to improve though

      Jose – Good dude, but doesn’t stay on the floor enough to earn his money

      Amir – good player, aside from Jose is the only real starting quality player on this team (maybe Ed Davis?).

      • 2damkule

        a little harsh on DD, no?  he’s going into his 3rd year, he’s 22, and he just came off a season in which he doubled his scoring avg while maintaining a decent rate of efficiency (all things considered).  yes, he’s a poor defender, and definitely needs to improve significantly in that regard, and yes, he’s been – to date – a non-existent threat from deep (yet, despite not being an outside threat, he’s still able to get to the rim), and yes, he needs to improve his ability to finish at the rim (at least draws fouls & converts FTs at a high rate). 

        ‘still has some time?’  he just started to scratch the surface.  do you really think he’s not a starting calibre 2-guard in the L?  IMO, he’s one of the few raptors that could actually not only contribute to a playoff team, but start on quite a few.

        • Statement

          I don’t know,

          I want to see some real improvement on the defensive end.  Right now he is a middle of the pack rebounder for a guard his size, I would like that to improve.

          He does get to the line with the best of them though but he is not a good creator.

          So I guess I’ll elaborate:

          Strengths – gets to the line, good mid-range shooter, doesn’t turn the ball over that much relative to his peers (that surprised me when I looked it up).

          Weaknesses – playmaking, 3 pt shot, so-so rebounder, DEFENSE

          So, he still has a ways to go, IMO.

          • 2damkule

            you’ll get no argument from me…and i’m about as fervent an advocate for the importance of D you’ll find.  i just think that he made some impressive strides in many aspects of his game last year, to the point that he’s AMONG the top SGs in a number of areas.  of course he absolutely needs to improve his D & rebounding, esp. considering how little of both many of his cohorts do. 

            i’m not sure how much i’d consider his playmaking (or lack thereof) a true weakness…he’s not necessarily on the floor to be a creator, he’s a finisher.  i assume, of course, that you’re using ‘playmaking’ in the sense of creating offensive opportunities for his teammates.  IMO, he does a pretty good job of creating his own offense (i.e. making plays, or ‘playmaking’)…again, considering his age/experience.

            when you look at the big picture, one could argue that derozan actually delivered more bang for the buck (on-court contributions against % of team salary used) than most players in the L.

            • Statement

              Fair enough,

              He did make some good strides last year and that makes me hopeful he can continue to improve other aspects of his game this year. 

              His defense MUST improve though.  I just want him to evolve into at least a league average shooting guard.

  • FAQ

    Casey will have little to no impact on individual or team defensive efforts because defense  is hard work and why work hard for an obvious losing team.

    As for Barg’s defensive abilities, they get overwhelmed when the guards and wings fail to stop their man from penetrating and then depending on the big men to rescue the dire situation.  Bargs can do an adequate job of one-on-one defense, and can even outscore others. Rebounding is a team effort and not a  one-man job.

    Young players on the Raptors only need to boost their scoring stats and then play out their rookie contracts before making a run for the border.  That’s what Bosh did in his final year.

    Playing tough defense is… tough and you can get injured too.  Why open yourself up for injury and diminish your long term value?

    • 2damkule

      this all seems eerily familiar somehow…

    • AmirFan

      ^^^ Couldn’t have Said it better myself.

    • Aidin_D

      Casey will have an impact on the team/individual defense because he will hold players accountable despite the team’s record. All Triano did was hand out pats on the back and break clipbroads instead of reeming the players when appropriate. Shitty defense is like petty theft – its a crime of oppurtunity.

  • FAQ

    Can you really rebuild the Raptors with the current roster of players… I wonder?!

    • news flash

      yes you can all you need to do is get rid of #7

    • 2damkule

      well, ‘rebuild’ intimates that the current roster will be changing.  so, ‘current roster’ + ‘rebuild’ is a non-sequitur.

  • Mediumcore

    1.No. He’s played next to two of the best passers in the NBA (CP4, Calderon) and it hasn’t rubbed of on him one bit.

    2. Not enough to keep him around long term. JV is our future centre and he seems to be more in the mold of a true defensive center, as in his forte is to rebound, block shots and be a presence in the paint. Which means our starting PF needs to be able to score to balance out the offense which I don’t see a lot from JV. Davis or even Bargnani are better suited for that role and Amir has just a big enough contract that coming off the bench may not be palatable long term.

    3. Doubtful. He might be able to get Andrea to rebound better, but much like Nowitzki, Casey may let him be a scorer and try to get the others around him to focus on defense.

    4. Yes, he will have to have an impact as the second option on offense. They say the third year is when a player really starts to show what they can do, so this is a big year for DD. I’m hoping to see him create for himself and others more this year. His current lack of creativity with the ball puts a lot of pressure on Calderon as the only player on the team which can make plays for others.

    5. Yup.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    .

    1. Bayless > Back-up. Can’t see it, but would love to be wrong.

    2. More AJ offense. Amir is effective right now as a quality back-up Big, and I’m good with that. Like some past years, our Bench could benefit with this type of quality – instead of  D-League types. 

    3. Bargnani > with Casey. I’m in agreement with some of FAQ’s recent comment, except the Casey scenario. While I don’t presume to think coaches can turn wood into gold (lol), I do believe Raptors are different. They’ve lacked a Leader for far too long, so until they develop that guy (or acquire one), it’s incumbent upon the Coach to instill some firm leadership & discipline – which “nice guy” Triano had none of.

    You wouldn’t have seen a Hedo eating pizza while on the phone with his Coach. What you should’ve seen, was a Hedo doing sprints, and maybe puking up that pizza. I can’t emphasize any harder, how Leadership was the Raptors GREATEST weakness. 

    If Casey can instill a greater work ethic into Andrea, you will see a better AB – as I’ve always believed he’s needed that push. IMO,  Mitchell was too soon for AB – and JT was too late. 

    4. Demar’s Impact. If Casey can bring a defensive presence to DD, to go with an much improved perimeter shooting – then Demar’s progression will have a greater impact on the team. Especially on the Bigs – as more room inside (the opponent’s end) will help improve their offensive odds, while less energy will be needed in defending the paint.

    5. Ed Davis vs Amir Johnson? I truly believe that Davis will usurp AJ – in terms of quality – but that Ed will go on to better days somewhere else (after this season). And Raptors will benefit in what comes back – as another team will gamble on “further” potential. 

    .

    • 2damkule

      i’m pretty sure that the raps own ed’s rights for the forseeable future (not sure of the exact # of years, but it’s at least a few), and i have a hard time believing that he’ll try to force his way out of TO anytime soon – haven’t heard anything to indicate he’s unhappy here, and further, he really has no leverage to do so.  he’s not considered a ‘marquee’ player, and has less than one full season under his belt.  those that *know* the game realize he’s talented, but not on a level that GMs are scrambling to try to pry him away.  he’d have to have a break-out season that ranks among the best sophomore campaigns in history to garner the kind of league-wide interest that would make him such a hot commodity that teams would be looking to acquire him…and further, if he has such a season, why would he want to leave?

  • Otr

    DD and ED would lose a pickup game to Barnes and Henson.  

  • Dovyair

    Again and again we’ve seen that the Raptors can’t hang on to a good American player; right now there’s a great big man out there named Marc Gasol, who could easily fit in with Toronto’s European game, work with Calderon, and move Bargnani out of the center position (Barg is a forward).
    If and when they make the playoffs, they’ll be able to go after other players.

  • news flash

    get on the KABONGO bandwagon

  • guest

    Nice to see the lockout is over and all of the idiots are back posting dumb shit