Pacers 90, Raptors 85 – Box

This is what it boils down to. The Pacers have three matchups they can explore for points that are either mismatches, or bordering on one. First, it’s Danny Granger versus anyone on the Raptors, the Pacer is skilled enough to drive against anyone, and can create his own space. Second, of all of Bargnani’s excellent play, he remains a defensive mismatch for the stronger David West when the latter decides to operate from within 15 feet with an angle to drive. Third, the bulk of the Pacers inside, specifically Roy Hibbert created a lot of problems for Amir Johnson and company. The play that epitomized this might be the one in the fourth where Hibbert rather easily backed Johnson all the way in from the elbow for the layup.

The defensive improvement that Dwane Casey has brought on is evident, but nobody should be fooled into thinking that it can compensate for lack of overall talent. You can point to several key swing plays that turned this game around, but ultimately it was Indiana’s ability to go to an offensive well for scores that won them the game. The Raptors fought bravely with Bargnani carrying the torch for most of the game, and DeRozan coming strong in the fourth quarter, but when a crucial stop was needed, the Raptors didn’t get them often enough. And when they did, the offensive rebound eluded them.

Let’s run through this game. The offense never quite got going for the Raptors in a team sense; there were a tremendous amount of long jumpers that seemed to come about from very casual play. Calderon, DeRozan, J. Johnson were all guilty of it, and it set a bad tone for the Raptors. There was very little in terms of going towards the basket, and the Raptors offense was a classic “one and done”. The Raptors remained in the game on account of their defense, despite Amir Johnson picking up two early fouls. It should be noted that in years past, this could easily have turned into an ugly blowout with the Pacers running back the misses in transition. The defensive highlight of the quarter had to be Andrea Bargnani defending West very well in the block and on the elbow, even picking up a charge.

The lack of a post-up presence hurt the Raptors, who navigated the ball on the perimeter in hopes of a seam or two opening up, and that never happened consistently enough. Jerryd Bayless’ first spell fired the team up briefly, but at the end of one it was an ugly 18-11 game with the Raptors shooting 29%. Maybe it was home court jitters, or maybe just a case of jumpers not falling in. I would’ve liked to see Ed Davis get a shot against Hansbrough in the block, if nothing than in the name of development. I don’t think he got more than five touches in his 20 inconsequential minutes.

Dwane Casey recognized the need for an interior game in his first quarter talk, and the second swiftly started with James Johnson, DeRozan, and Bargnani establishing post positions. It was met with moderate success which served the purpose of getting the team going offensively. Andrea Bargnani owned the second with 11 points, countering some blistering three-point shooting by Paul George.

The second quarter was also a showcase for what’s different about this Raptors team. Jamaal Magloire might be an old carpet looking for his day in the sun, but he frustrated Tyler Hansbrough enough that the latter looked visibly agitated. And then are details of this scuffle too. It’s not often in the last few years that you can say that the physical presence of a Raptor had any psychological bearing on an opponent. By the way, Jamaal, keep swinging those elbows regardless of if anyone is within 10 feet of you.

Gary Forbes got his first action of the season in the second quarter and looked a mess. At halftime, the Raptors’ bench outscored the Pacers’ 17-4 (Bayless, Barbosa mostly), Bargnani’s scoring, and overall team defense was keeping them in it. The man missing from the Raptors’ plans was DeRozan who was held scoreless, mostly by himself. Taking long jumpers is never the way to get yourself going, and I’m disappointed that he didn’t rise to the challenge of facing Paul George. It was 38-33 at halftime for the Pacers, and I’m thinking it’s not too bad since we’re holding Indiana to 36% shooting, while shooting 40% ourselves, and it’s only a -1 rebounding differential.

The Pacers were quick to start the second half by going inside, feeling that they weren’t making the most of their interior advantage. David West became a lot more active in face-up situations, and the Pacers were wearing the Raptors down inside through Hibbert. DeMar DeRozan in the post against Paul George isn’t a great option because of the latter’s height, yet we continued to try and mine it for something. West was playing Bargnani much tighter in the third, taking away the space and making dribbling for a drive rather uncomfortable for the Raptor big.

The Raptor highlight of the quarter had to be Bargnani’s dunk on Granger, which seemed right about in line with the Italians’ aggressiveness of late. Yes, you’ll point to his four rebounds in 30 minutes as a reason this game was lost. I’d contend that it had very little to do with the overall affair because his defense was again spot on again (especially the footwork). Of course, this is ignoring the missed defensive rebound late in the fourth. There were two major swings in this game, the first of which happened in the third. It was at 4:11 of the quarter when George nailed a deep three after Butler had missed his own wide open look, after which the Raptors had missed another open look. It was a five point swing that ended up giving Indiana an 8-point lead which the Raptors never quite recovered from.

Bayless’ first spell had packed an offensive punch, the second was highly forgettable and suggestive of his future in the NBA: a point guard who just doesn’t “get it”. The barrage of jumpers continued well into the third with Barbosa now doing his part. At the end of the frame, it was an eight point game with momentum squarely on the side of the Pacers, and the Raptors desperate for offensive options. Not to mention, the Raptors’ interior bigs were visibly tired at this point. In my opinion, Amir Johnson had no business entering this game for Ed Davis with 8:34 left because he was already exhausted, and could not offer anything defensively. Davis was fresher and might have contributed more, then again hindsight is 20/20. It would’ve been a perfect time for Casey to challenge Davis to slow down Hibbert or Hansbrough.

There were a couple key defensive rebounds that the Raptors failed to gather, and what made it gut-wrenching was that they were missed after excellent defensive possessions. There was a very questionable foul on James Johnson which led to two crucial FTs (I’m talking momentum here), but the real dagger was the second turning point of this game. It happened after Bargnani missed a wide open three pointer, and Granger came back with an And1 to push the lead to Indiana’s largest, 12, with 4:28 left to play. One of those missed defensive rebounds led to another three pointer by Granger which extended the lead back up to eight with 2:18 left.

Credit to the Raptors who clawed back to within three thanks to DeMar DeRozan’s torrid shooting, and Bargnani’s continued focus on the offensive end to do the right thing. When it came down to the possession when the Raptors required a stop, a defensive gaffe by James Johnson left Granger open for his second trey of the quarter to push the lead to five with 1:14 left. He totally lost track of him in the paint and Granger was wide open. Let that not be the lasting memory of him, though, because he was again solid with 6 points, 8 rebounds, and worked hard to keep up with Granger in single coverage. The Raptors clawed back to within three on Calderon’s layup, and there was one more lifeline left, of course, dependent on getting a stop.

Indiana ran a quick pick ‘n pop which Bargnani correctly hedged on, and Amir Johnson correctly rotated on, but David West nailed the jumper to ice the game. A classic example of a very good offensive player beating a good defense. Casey’s comment on both plays:

“Those two plays, with kind of hesitant rotation, really broke our back”

At the end of the night you feel the Raptors had a chance in this game and if it weren’t for key possessions and lady luck, could’ve easily won it. Honestly, I like this Raptors team far more than any in the Colangelo era and can root for them without feeling depressed. That is progress!

Some notes:

  • Three-point shooting surprising again at 40% – 6-15, DeRozan and Bayless both going 2-2
  • Rasual Butler doesn’t do much on the floor, mostly stands in the corner or circles the perimeter
  • The Raptors could’ve used Aaron Gray, who wasn’t spotted at the arena. Hope he gets better, but it’s exactly matchups like these which he was acquired for
  • It speaks to how much confidence Casey has in Alabi that he can’t get in a game like this
  • DeRozan should have made himself heard much sooner than the fourth. Right now he’s a little lost in Casey’s offense, which has seen very equal ball distribution, accomplished via high-post play, early pick ‘n rolls, and a significantly reduced amount of one-on-one play. More on this after a few games have been played
  • Defensively, I feel every Raptor is doing their job, and when they don’t, recognized they didn’t do it so corrections are made. There aren’t any easy layups where the defense completely crumbles and you have situations where four Raptors are watching the guy lay the ball in

  • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

    A major swing was also the ref who have been correctly “booed” by the crowd. If it was Wade,R.Allen,CP3,K.Durant playing yesterday I can understand, but not when it is   Hansborough or Granger or Collison. The no call on Amir was terrible as the one on Calderon while the one on JJ made me believe we were playing away….. DCasey was jumping all over the place. Coming from Dallas he maybe used to be there with ref 

    • Akash_singh

      Im as big a fan of Amir as the next guy, but after seeing the replay the pacer players did all they could to get out of the way and Amir was losing control of the ball all by himself anyways….in my opinion, good no call.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Amir lost the ball by himself- get over it……..

    • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com/ JT’s Hoops Blog

      There were a lot of bad no calls and although I have liked Tyler since his days at UNC, he fast becoming a first class pr1ck á la Bill Laimbeer 

  • Brian B

    Ugly is the word for it. unlike you, I did not find this an enjoyable game to watch. Nor was I particularly impressed by the defence- granted, it is better than last year, but still, that’s not saying much. Almost all those Paul George jumpers were uncontested, which suggests that either DD still doesn’t get it, or he was rotating, and no one was picking up his man, even after George showed the danger. And Granger  had his way with whoever – JJ tried, but typically, fouled. Though the bigs get credit for effort, they were outmuscled by not only Hibbert, but West & Hansbrough. total lack of talent. BC should have been fired long ago. Going to be a long season.

    • points

       BC wont bring in anybody who might be better than #7 so this is what we have for the next 5 years

      • mountio

        ? that makes less than zero sense …
        BC is actually making a calculated effort to only bring in players worse than AB? Ive heard some crazy shit from BCStefanksietc.. but this one takes the cake ..

        • points

          understand this his best piece is not good enough

        • points

          who do you say is the best player on this team is,and who gets the most money bargs will always be the best player on this team and thats the best the raps can do we’ve got an guy who i think can be effective at both ends of the floor but we have him on the bench

        • cb

          hahaha. laughable. so little talent, so many GMs….

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Exactly, no matter what BC says to the contrary he is building the Raptors around AB.

        People will look back at the Bargnani era in the TDot and wonder how BC lasted so long tying the Franchise fortunes to a lethargic player in No Star……….. 

        Best case senario BC is fired in 2 years and new minds and brought in to really change the Raptors basketball culture not pay lip service to it with slight of hand pr moves while still starting AB & Jose.

        • KJ-B

          I have said in the past that #7 was the worst pick in franchise history… Not because he can’t play, but he’s masqueraded as a 5 man, that messed up CB4 when he was here, now him masquerading as a 4 man, stunting Ed Davis’ development…

          ON A GOOD TEAM, like Dallas, LA or Orlando #7 is an ideal stretch big… on a bad team and in a city that struggles to attract talent T.O. he is NOT the guy you want to build a future around…

          What happens BryCo, yet again when #7 quits on this team when we’re 10 games under .500–who’s fault is it gonna be this time, Casey??? This city is full of ppl who don’t want to understand, that #7 is too weak to play the 5 or too slow for the 4 BUT perfect as a “frontcourt” super sub on a super team–TRADE HIM STRAIGHT UP FOR MO WILLIAMS… Then let JOSE GO TO THE BENCH… Never let Bayless (tweener not a combo guard who made a couple million on potential) play another minute!!!!

          • mountio

            Thats an intersting trade. Clips would jump at it in a split second. Not sure I love it for the raps .. but if you buy into the argument that AB is not a part of the future here .. that might be about as much as you can get for him.

          • p00ka

            oh brilliant!! Give the Clips exactly what they need to be a contender for a PG that shoots more, for a lower %, and averages fewer assists over more minutes. Why doesn’t BC think of such great moves?

          • Hound

            the only thing smart you said was about Bayless. If BC traded Bargs for Mo Williams he should be shot before being fired

            • KJ-B

              Maybe they’re the two centre-pieces… They also have that intriguing young guy in his 2nd year out of Kentucky, Eric Bledsoe that could be ‘thrown’ in…

              With Jonas coming next year–start clearing house BryCo-he’s gonna be all over that new red paint for a while!

          • Bigbalboski79

            BC would never do that trade straight up.  but, if mo williams comes with a pick?  then maybe. i think the prob here is upside.  bargs still has upside.  mo-will? he is 29, small, and his numbers have dropped the past three seasons…

        • Akash_singh

          do you have any proof BC is building around AB? the fact that he has drafted a PF and a PF/C in the last 2 drafts lead me to believe otherwise……How do you know we aren’t showcasing Bargs so we can bring up his value before the trade deadline?

          • p00ka

            It’s just part of his daily diarrhea.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            The proof is in the pudding buddy- recognize game or remain mentally lame.

        • howlonghowlong

          Look I don’t think bargs is a guy to build a team around but I don’t think BC thinks that either.  The reality is, he’s a future 3rd option for this team.  I’ve always wanted to see him traded but for the right piece.  We can all pretend to be smarter than GMs but the reality is non of us can do better than bitch on an online forum.  I agree we need better talent on this team but how do you suppose we get it?  Do you want to call D12 and ask him?  maybe DWill?  Why wasn’t TO in the convo for Paul or Wade last year?  Do you guys think we’re based out of NY or Boston or LA?  The reason Bargs is the best talent on the team is because that’s the best we can draft (sadly).  You can’t build around davis, and you can’t build around Derozan.  Maybe Valanciunas will be good but how good?  The best chance this frachise has is to stay a lottery team until we land the next D-rose, Durant, King James, … until then please stop your bitching about not enough talent, NO talent is coming to toronto via FA and whatever we get via trade is not staying!!!

          • points

            stay in the lottery until we land  LBJ ,DWADE or a ROSE that could be three years from now and we wont be getting a stud with a 9 or  13 pick look at NY they’ve bin bad since 911 and now 2012 istha what awaits us

          • KJ-B

            Give DeRozan a chance, if Casey really releases the reins on that guy, he’s a legit top 5 scorer in the association, THIS year!  Hope he puts up 35-40 2nite in Dallas! ((BUT I do think that Valunciunas has Franchise Player written all over him)…

      • Bigbalboski79

        seriously?  thats like saying colangelo want the team to suck???  and thus, wants to fail?  makes no sense.  if anything BC has shown he will reverse course when he makes a bad move (ie trading turkoglu, jermaine o’neil)…  i think he would trade bargani for the right offer, but his value is too low to justify moving what was a number one overall pick for say, a bunch of spare parts. no GM wants to get fleeced in a trade.

    • cesco

      The difference between you and Arse is that he sees the glass half full ( I believe the majority here see it as half full ) and you see it as half empty ( and you are in a minority ) . They have held the opposition to less than 40% shooting in both games and they could have won the second game . Casey said that it will take a while before all his schemes are implemented and working .

    • Steve

       “…they were outmuscled by not only Hibbert, but West & Hansbrough. total lack of talent…” So, muscle and talent are the same? Would never know!? Thank you!

      • Brian B

        “muscle” or the ability to apply it is an ability, thus, a type of talent. Would Dwight Howard be as talented without the muscle? No. But it isn’t just lack of muscle to which I referred. Also a lack of shooters, ball handlers, consistent rebounders, players with court vision and solid instincts HOW to play the game… how often did the announcers point out that “Barbosa is the only one who can create his own shot”? Why is that? Poor roster creation. Beyond AB, DD, AJ and possibly ED and Jose, how many Raptors would even be rotation players on a .500 team? And playing AB & AJ slows ED`s development. In Kleiza, JJ, Forbes & Butler the Raps have a mixed bunch of fringe wings, each pretty much with one skill, or a skill and a half, none likely to get better. It makes no sense to keep this group of bigs, and the fringe wings- the marketable bigs should be marketed for better wings, an upgrade at PG, or a true center (though that likely is just not available). THEN the 2012 draft pick and JV will join an improving team.

    • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com/ JT’s Hoops Blog

      Here’s another h8er for u!  It’s was a very good game considering the Raptors held the Pacer to .400 from the field.  Who can ask for anything more?

  • Ppellico

    Totally agree!!!!

    Why are other post all talking the new Raptors?
    I see the same old poor shot selection.
    I see the same one on one basketball vs team ball.
    I see stupid outside shots instead of pounding the ball inside…then out if nothing there.
    I see NO offensive rebounds.
    I see defensive rebounds by 2 guys…and crap from forwards with 30 plus minutes.

    Look…They might speak poorly of Gray…but he had better come back soon to try to establish some inside game or this team is tanked.
    And get another starting post up big guy.
    I absolutely love Gray, but he should only be your 15 to 20 minute guy.
    You need a starter with at least his size and strength PLUS perhaps a bit of an outside shot as a threat.

    Please come back, GRAY!!!

    • Nilanka15

      Yes, he’s a big body, and a hard worker, but I’ll say it again…Gray is not part of this team’s core moving forward. He’s a stop gap to fill out the roster. Nothing more.

      A Gray superfan’s opinion will be taken as seriously as a Rick Brunson superfan’s opinion.

      • Ppellico

        how do you know Gray is not part of the team’s future?
        Are the Raptors so stacked at big men in the middle at Gray’s ability that you can so casually dismiss im?
        Is there a reason you feel he cannot be your solid second bench center?
        Have you another?
        And why is a super fan’s opinon any less worth than anothers?
        Is there a standard that I am missing out on here?
        Look…this team has not a history of success, so to casually throw off such opinions and such is, in my humble opinion, pretty weak.
        All I ask is for a factual discussion…not one based upon wishful coolaid thought.

        Gray was drafted by the Raptors.
        Without him playing the inside work has been horrid.
        If you think otherwise, then I am stunned at what games you have been watching.

        • Ppellico

          well, not drafted…but signed…so there must be a need and reason.
          You cannot tell me the future.
          I think the Raptors would be a better team with him as a solid 15 minute backup.
          Last nights game was simply played misserably inside.
          So if you have another way to fix it…and fix it NOW…give it up so we all can seee it.

          • points

            he was cheap and you know BC is trying to save some money so that he can buy a player next year who is better BARGS he said we are going to be rich next year,have lots of money to spend and players are going to be knocking at the door we’ll sign them and then we hit the ground running

            • Ppellico

              cheap?
              Again I ask…what was the contract for?

        • Nilanka15

          I’ll admit that I don’t know for sure, but common sense says Gray is not part of this team’s future. There’s a very important reason Gray’s averaged a mere 11 minutes, on 3 teams over 5 years…..he’s just not a good player. He’s not quick, not athletic, doesn’t have good post up game, doesn’t have a reliable jumper, can’t hit free throws, and doesn’t block shots. SIGN THIS MAN TO AN EXTENSION, STAT!

          Amir, Bargnani, Davis, and Valanciunas would all supplant Gray on the depth chart next year. He’d be in street clothes waving his towel on the sidelines for 82 games.

          Even if I agree with your stance that our inside play has been horrid, why would Colangelo choose Gray over such available 2012 free agent big men as Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez, Chris Kaman, JaVale McGee, Marcus Camby, and Robin Lopez… just to name a few.

          If you weren’t a Gray superfan (a.k.a. “fanboy”), then you’d realize that Gray isn’t worth the breath to even mention his name. Your opinion is biased, and emotionally driven towards a mediocre (at best) player. Hence why superfan’s opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. Objectivity isn’t a superfan’s strong point.

          • Ppellico

            “Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez, Chris Kaman, JaVale McGee, Marcus Camby, and Robin Lopez…”

            I totally agree.
            I would take any one of these over Gray…AS A STARTER.
            That is the part that so astonishes me everyone here is missing.
            Superfan?
            OK…I lve the kid and think he is a citizen unlike most in the NBA.
            But I have always…I will say again..ALWAYS wanted him as a back up center giving 15 or more minytes of solid play.
            This group stuns me with the narrow minded discussion as far as backup.

            I can go on for a long time about Grays earlier play time, but once again…what for?
            You wouldn’t understand.
            But Please remember his position with Chicago and Noah (whom he outplayed and will soon, once again, show he has no tools) and then the trade to NO where he broke his foot in the preseason. THAT is why he was limited in playing time.
            Now stop with his playing time as I bet my right arn not a single pster here could come back from a broken foot in NBA shape!
            Please stop and think!

            And nobody here even knows WHAT his contract here is for?
            Does anybody?
            If so please shade with the audience so we can all know.
            So was he cheep?

            He is and will be/could be the bench center the Raptors need for the next 7 years.

            If you cannot see this, your blind.

            • Nilanka15

              If you’re expecting Gray to play just 15 MPG, how do you suppose his impact will be that noticeable in the overall win-loss column?

              • Ppellico

                wow…really?

                15 minutes (minimum) means everything in a game.
                These minutes are what sometimes give your starter the bench time needed to reboot and breath.
                These minutes are when leads are lost.
                These minutes are actually when leads are gotten against competition benches!
                These minutes are in fact WITH the starting guards and players becuase fouls have taken your starter out.

                Please these 15  t 20 inutes are exactly why hte bench center can at time make a winning team.

          • Ppellico

            BTW…

            I must explain that although I come across as agressive when I blog…I am actually a fan of yours.
            I love reading your, and many others, replies and insights on the Raptors.
            Please accept any irregular feeligs as wrong and that I actually truly enjoy bantering with you and many others here.
            I must step back when discussing the real history of the Raptors as I never really followed them…so the inside information discussed here is all new learned Raptors knowledge for me.

            However, I am a long fan of NBA basketball and still demand big, powerful inside game.
            But just like in football…MY dream team begins with the line…both defensive and offensive.
            This is were the game is one in the long term.
            And the NBA has 2 seasons…regular show ball, then REAL playoff basketball where power and war take over under the basket.
            THIS is where I want my team prepared to win.

            Give me 4 BIG centers I can use at will and a team that plays pass the ball.

            Thanks and looking forward to reading all you postngs…

            • Ppellico

              won…NOT one.
              Forgive me as I have not recovered, and possible never will, from a horrid stroke 4 years ago.
              The words I think do not always come on the page when typing.
              I am getting better, however.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Gray is an excellent 3rd roster center going forward…I hope that the Rap’s keep him over super scrub Alabi next season.

      • Dan

        It’s really cute that you like Gray but not Casey. 

    • Bigbalboski79

      we just held two teams to 40% shooting?  get a grip.

      • Ppellico

        um….can I say Cleveland and Indiana without striking fandamonium?

      • Ppellico

        I want this team to stand up big against so much more than Cleveland or Indiana.
        I want them to swagger off the court after beating Orlando, New York or Miami!!!
        Hell…I want them to compete against Oklahoma and Dallas or LA!!

        Not Indiana!
        Puleeeze…

  • nate

    Games like this will be a microcosm of the season, fight hard, play D, keep it close, and earn ping pong balls. What else were you expecting here. I for one am very pleased with this squad and this is the exact type of loss that I can stomach.

  • Nilanka15

    Tough loss, but for the most part, I liked what I saw from the home team.

    Bargnani played decent defense. I can tolerate his weak rebounding as long as he isn’t hurting the team defensively (such as last night). Having said that, I don’t think he matched up well against West. I would’ve liked to see Bargnani on Hibbert, and Amir on West.

    Seems like Derozan tried to attack the rim early, but wasn’t getting the calls. If you’re forcing shots in traffic against multiple defenders, chances are the refs will not bail you out (Bayless, take note). That seemed to fuel Derozan’s disappearing act through the first 3 quarters.

    Overall, this team lacks sufficient talent (we all know that). But I definitely get the feeling that our defense will be strong enough to keep us close in most games. There will be a lot of good defensive habbits formed under Casey, which bodes well for our future. And the offense will come around in time.

    We didn’t hang our heads, we fought hard, and we made a game out of one that would’ve been a blowout in previous years. And I’m sure it left a bitter taste in their mouths, which should have them extra focused for Dallas. The culture is definitely changing.

    • points

      “the culture is changing” BC can do all the changes he wants colour of uniforms,claw on the floor, 3D raptor sign all good packaging but my problem is with the one ingrediant in the product after 5 years i have had enough (get the sun flower seeds out of my O’HENRY) only the we will have change

  • Red and White

    Great article.

    With the shortened preseason, and the little practice that the raptors will get, it will be a while before the Raptors execute the defence properly.  What is truly amazing to me is that the Raptors held their own defensively against a much more talented team, without all our bigmen.  

    What I still am not understanding is Rasual Butler on offense.  I just flat out do not understand.  But I suppose the offense will come with time as well.

    • Ppellico

      I totally agree the season will not see any great play until some weeks to come.
      But that is for all NBA teams, with the exception of those whose core are still on the court.
      But most NBA games I am seeing are sloppy and almost school yard in style.
      I think it will be a few weeks before we see some solid game play.

  • voy

    – I think two of those 2 of those 3 mismatches could have been minimized or eliminated by having Bags on Hibbert and Amir on D.West, in my opinion.

    – I think charge that Bargs took, early in the 1rst Q was on Hibbert

    – great to be talking ball again.

  • Thefuturelooksbright

    In the first game against Cleveland, Casey easily won the coaching matchup against Byron Scott. Last night, it might’ve been close to even, with the difference being the simple disparity in talent between the two teams. In fact, considering how the Pacers are that bit more loaded (or more than a ‘bit’), maybe Casey keeps the ‘who-out-coached-who’ side-game to at least a tie with Frank Vogel, who did a very good coaching job his own damn self. Good game. Good write up. If all the games this year are contested this well, I’ll be a happy Raptors fan. 

  • Steve

    You people should decide what do you want from Raptors. Playoff or Lottery!?

    • Nilanka15

      Lottery, THEN playoffs.

      • mountio

        Yup. Its pretty simple. Every game I watch, I cant help but WANT the raps to win (I assume every fan is the same) .. but I have enough perspective to understand that losses are not the worst thing and the only way we will be successful long term is to a) get more talent (lottery), b) develop young players and c) develop good habits.
        I think we on our way to doing all three

  • Bendit

    Good analysis. Casey is going to be the star of the team before the season is over.

  • sangaman

    Again the asinine defensive move that has bargs playing perimeter defense and trying to trap guards.  His rebounding numbers reflect his positioning on the court. 

    Bayless needs to distribute ball more. He hurts offensive flow by taking quick jumpers.

    • Ppellico

      not sure why his defensive rebounding is so putrid, but you might be right.
      But to me…that number is absolutely NOT acceptable from any of my forwards.

      I really saw 2 players rebounding well last night.

      Again, and I will say this until banned from posting…your inside game is missing.
      Until we establish an inside game where opponants have some fear, we will not be a winning team.

      I am still one who thins the NBA game is won inside….especially come playoff time.
      Refs swallow whistles and the game becomes brutal.
      So fix this and fix it now!!!!

      • WAATWATT

        first of all, shut the F***k up. Secondly, we have jonas coming over next year. thirdly, were not in rush to win the f***g league title so calm your balls

        • Ppellico

          are you a tean?
          are you 21?

          First…nobody comng over has proven a damn thing in the NBA.
          The history of the NBA is chock full of “potential” stars that end up footnotes in history.

          try to act as a grown up even if you cannot vote.

  • Truthkiller

    I get that Casey is emphasizing that Bargnani is a PF, but in games like this where the opposing team has a starting 5 who happens to be 7″ feet tall 260 pound monster we can’t have Amir or Ed to guard him, it’s asking too much from them.

    • sangaman

      exactly..why was bargs covering west on the perimeter he should have been on hibbert..

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      AB’s bitchassness has been coddled by BC from day 1.

      Bargnani is stiffling the Raptors team development with his PF fetish….smdh

      Casey is just another BC puppet coach.

      • sangaman

        Bargs can and should be a PF but he shouldnt be on the perimeter on defense covering guys like west…I cant fathom why Triano and now Casey are doing this…It makes no sense…Time and tme again bargs jumps out to cover a guard..leaves his man who gets the ball wide open.. for a shot or a dish for a three. This is not f**in rocket science

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          But it would be ‘demeaning’ to Bargnani to ask him to play like a big man should play…..he’s slow on his post pick screen coverages which leads to open shots if the ball reversal is executed and the defense is slow to rotate in relation thereof. 

          If he wants to be considered a PF then he has to deal with the other particulars that come with it.

          Funny how CB4 is playing alot of 5 with the Heat this season while the bigger AB is running from it like the plague…..smh

          • Thefuturelooksbright

            smack my head 

            that’s what I said 

            smacked so often 

            half-near dead 

            my light is on 

            but kinda dim 

            I change my name 

            on any whim 

            it matters not 

            just what they do 

            I’ll bash and bluster 

            your name too 

            if bc says 

            “it’s good” it’s bad 

            if bargs does well

            that makes me mad 

            cuz he’s the one 

            who eats my brain 

            I can’t see straight 

            I can’t think sane 

            I smack my damn head 

            once again 

            they’re sending me

            around the bend 

            why don’t they see it 

            clear as me 

            why can’t they see 

            I hold the key 

            cuz everybody 

            gotstogo!!!

            if only I could 

            run the show 

            then all would see 

            that I’m the one 

            that knows just how 

            to get it done 

            oh wait, my mom 

            is coming down 

            and here I’m wearing 

            her best gown 

            I better go 

            it’s getting dark 

            the triple 

            exclamation mark

            will have to be 

            my sign-off here

            but I’ll be back

            to make it clear 

            that bc/bargs/and 

            new coach dwane 

            just have to go 

            by now it’s plain 

            at least to me 

            it is you know 

            my name is 

            blank-blank-gots-to-go!!! 

            • cesco

              He is not living at home , he is insane and a resident of the cuckoo nest .

            • Adriiian

              LOL, i started laughing hard

            • Signal

              This has to be Rap of the Day. It’s legendary!

      • Bigbalboski79

        thats a total douche comment, sir.  i seriously doubt casey is anyones bitch.  with basically the same roster as last year, we just held two teams to 40% shooting.  part of the reason this team and some of its players are so bad is the lack of coaching and accountablility.

  • knucknbuc

    I was thinking about this trade earlier and wanted to ask your guys opinion on it, even though this is the rebuilding year. I was thinking Bargnani for B Jennings. Of course whatever else it would take to make the trade work. It would give us our pg we need and Bargs would be able to have an offense taylored around him with bogut to play tough D rebound and score a little. Were gonna want to sign Derozen long term. Why not get his best friend in B Jennings to play in the backcourt for many years with him. I think that would be a hell of a trade for us to make. 

    PS. watched the game yesterday and I realized that I think fans should re vote on most hated player in the NBA. I think instead of Hump it should be Tyler Hansborough. He’s a little BEOTCH out on the court and always acts like someone did something to him wanting refs to give him calls. He plays bball like an injured bird.  I hate him and wish I could just punch him in the face. 

    • mountio

      re: Hansbrough .. couldnt agree more. What a bitch. Constantly causing shit and still gets calls from the refs when hes clearly the instigator .. infuriating.

      re: Jennings .. I like the idea .. but Jennings isnt the guy. Too much of a chucker (not quite Jerryd “l must shoot with 20 or more seconds on the shot clock” Bayless) .. but of that ilk and a low percentage shooter to boot. Talented, yes .. but I dont think hes what we need.

      • voy

        re: hansbrough
        if he ever stops juicing his anger may subside.  but I fear the small dick/nuts is with him forever.

        re: the trade
        I dont think Bargs, or any team is looking to have the offense centred around him.  And I dont think DD has shown enough where we trade for guys just to keep him happy (not yet anyway).  We cant have Leonardo, Bayless and Jennings all on the same team.

    • points

      RUDY GAY

  • mike

    Coaching advice for James Johnson: “James, may I call you Jim..you are out there to play tough perimeter d, especially on their best player (Granger)..So stop fucking roaming and giving up those back breaking shots”

    • Bigbalboski79

      mike, seriously, did you read JJ’s line in the box score?  he had 6 steals and three blocked shots.  do yourself a favor and never post again here.  u r embarassing yourself.

      • Mike

        He did have great defense stat line, but he also got lost on D a few times..if he stayed at home on a few of those plays then it would be a different outcome…fanboys umping to protect a player after two games lol

  • rapsallsay

    Leave James Johnson alone… Probably the best defender on the team right now.If the Raps play like this consistantly, they’ll be fine…

    And for the people who say it’ll be a long season or the Raps suck… Do you not know this is a rebuilding year? Do you know what phase we’re in in the process? We’re not supposed to be contending this year. Like, did you honesly have championship aspirations? Relax… A draft pick or two, a trade or two and a Key allstar signing or wo, and we’ll be there…
     And that’s not a dream… we have the assets, financial flexibility, and the position in the standings to do so….

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      BC said it was a building year not a rebuilding year……lol

      • KC

        BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!! = Complete douchebag.

  • Raptorsss

    Val + stud SF = beast team next year…

    • points

      …and a point guard

    • KJ-B

      aka Harrison Barnes, I could only hope!!! 

  • cesco

    After 2 games , the Raps are FIRST in assists/game (28) and third in differential of assists versus opposition (+7.5) .  They are 8th in points allowed . Definitely they are on the right track .

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Let’s see what it looks like after 10 games then every 5 after………2 games sheeeesh……

    • Ppellico

      a better stat…barely won aganst Cleveland and they LOST to Indiana…not New York. Not Miami. Not Orlando.
      So those stats are really worthless.

      • p00ka

        If you think the key stats this year are Ws and Ls, you’re living in a different universe than anybody else following the Raps. The stated stats are an indication that the widely known goals this year aren’t just smoke and mirrors, but some hard work and focus are paying off.

        • CalgaryRapsFan

          I would be willing to bet that the #1 stat most Raps’ fans are concerned with this season is… how high in the 2012 draft lottery do we get to pick???

          I said it in the offseason and still believe it, that a successful season for the Raptors this year is:
          1) change the team’s culture, specifically on defense
          2) lots or playing time and solid development for all the young guys (Bargnani, Davis, Amir, DeRozan, Valanciunas in Europe)
          3) improved chemistry on the court among the young core
          4) top-5 draft pick to address the SF/PG position long-term
          5) as a bonus, trade Barbosa and possibly Bayless by the deadline, to hopefully get another late-1st round draft pick, to address the other of the SF/PG position long-term

          So far, I would say the Raps are on track for a “successful” 2012 season!

      • cesco

        But you said above that you see the same one on one basketball and not team ball . What is worthless , the stats or you opinion ? .

        • points

          i like you cesco

  • j bean

    The #1 stated goal for the Raptors this season is to change the defensive mindset and move up in the defensive standings. It doesn’t matter what your role is offensively, at the other end of the court is where this team is going to define who is going to be part  of things when wins and losses really matter. 
    That is what I’ve been led to believe and hopefully will be the priority for the season.    

  • DiehardAlabiFan

    We have a big man to play the 5 in Solomon Alabi! 

  • Phat AlberG

    Hey you guys can rip Bargnani all you want, but thank god we have a coach who understands mismatches on the floor.  I was very happy to to see more iso’s sets for Barg’s, and also he has competing level has gone up so far on both ends.  Last night game came down to one person Calderon.  I’m not dissing Jose but man last night I was so disappointed.  Look he is doing some good things on the floor like running team and getting guys to right spots.  But for this team to be successful he needs to knock down those shots of pick roll.  Because he was getting all type of looks and he wasn’t finishing and that’s why Amir couldn’t go off because Calderon wasn’t making his jumpers.  But I am happy they way the competed last night, and I don’t care about the who there playing.  If it’s Miami Heat or Washington Generals as long as they compete I will support.

    • KJ-B

      Don’t feel bad–Jose’s past his due date… He’s afraid to push too hard because of his hammys–only a matter of time I suppose til he’s on the sidelines in probably his last NBA season.

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    Bayless has to go, he is horrible.  I’d rather keep Calderon and then re-sign him in 2 years to a cheap veteran contract, to have him as the backup/mentor PG.

    For all the hate against Bargnani, he is averaging more assists per-36 mins (4.06) than Bayless (4.00), through the first two games of the season.  A PG who can’t distribute the ball and involve his teammates is FAR MORE DETRIMENTAL to a team than a C who is a below average (and improving) rebounder!  What what

    • Bigbalboski79

      amen.  for all the talk of not having a true centre or a SF with three ran ge and some D, our lack of a true NBA PG is what is likely to cost us more games this year.  jose is a second unit guy.  is not quick enough, not good enough D and cannot score at will. all traits you need at this level.  no matter how much valenciunas is hyped, i stil wonder if we shoulda picked brandon knight.  time will tell.

  • rapsallsay

    @6fd863bfe5c154f3e62f21a982f113c3:disqus 

    My bad, I meant building year… Thanks… lol… As for the question of a lottey team or playoff team, how dumb would it be to tank. 1 player from the draft isn’t going to take us to the playoffs. Having this years team go to the playoffs shows MASSIVE internal improvement. At that point we wouldnt need to rely on a “savoir” from the draft. I’m a polite guy, but to give up on our players like that is stupid… I’m sorry to say…

    • CalgaryRapsFan

      Your comment makes it seem as though current player improvement and getting a top draft pick are mutually exclusive.  How does simply making the playoffs to become first round fodder for the Heat automatically ential massive improvement?  It doesn’t.

      I want the young core group of players (Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, Amir) to improve as badly as you do, but I just want it to be done in a way that ALSO allows another top-5 draft pick (aka stud SF/PG) to be added to the improved roster next season, along with a seasoned Valanciunas.

      I think in this case it IS possible to ‘have your cake and eat it too’!  For the long-term, a Raptors team consisting of improved Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, Amir, Valaniunas and a stud SF/PG (and perhaps both, if the Raps can deal Barbosa & Bayless for a late 1st-round pick), suddenly looks pretty impressive on paper.  That’s a core of 6/7 good young players who will all be under 27 for the 2013 season!

    • Dan

      One player from the draft CAN make a big difference. This is the NBA people, and you need superstars to win a championship. Signing them is almost impossible – the way to get Lebrons/dwights/blakes is to draft them. This upcoming class is loaded and it’s ignorant to say there are no superstars. 

    • draftedraptor

       I have to agree with rapsallsay. We must aim to win all our games – the internal development of youngsters like DeMar and Ed Davis and other players like Amir,Bargs and Bayless is more important for the team. It is a deep draft this year and we may still come out with a top pick. We are not going to get a franchise player from draft with our scouting system so we will have to depend on BC to pull off a major coup.  

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

    Raptors attempted 26 “long 2s” vs Indiana’s 18. Both teams shot ~27%.  Raptors only took 15 shot from 3-15 feet (shooting 53%).  Big difference in the ball game.  Work it for a three or get it in closer.

    DeMar, Jerryd, and Leandro were the biggest “Long 2 villains”, shooting a combined 3 for 12.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Tell AB to post the fuck up on the boxes then & stop floating!!!

  • drizz

    Primo pasta and sauce.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go

      id sure like to get that bargs sauce all over me before he’s traded that is!

      • Akash_singh

        that’s pretty low, no need to steal the dudes username like that.

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go

          id like to get real low and suck all the sauce out of bargs noodle.

    • KC

      *stare into camera* *nod softly with a faint smile*

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Wow, someone is stealing my moniker- I must have struck a nerve with an AB, BC fan boy or 2…lmfao

    I’m so heavy on your mind all the time….lol

    • points

      raptors up-rising…this is what the fanboys have lower themselves to dirty poly 
      – atics

    • p00ka

      lmao, cluck with people every day with your dumb cheap shots and sooner or later someone uses a dumb cheap shot to cluck with you. Whoever the dude is, I hope he keeps it up until you go away, or grow some grey matter

      • carbon_copy_p00ka

        p00ka your a fish

  • rapsallsay

    Because CalgaryRapsFan, it shows that The current team actually has potential to compete. Then, when you add a few more pieces you can truly asess where we stand from a pretender to a contender.  You say you want the young core to develop and still own a top 5 pick….??? How?? Suck bad enough to get one, or have the team make the playoffs and still own a respectable pick. I would take the latter and then propose the trade you suggested. How can you argue with that?? THAT’S getting your cake and eating it too… it’s a win-win…. I really like your idea of getting some late first round
    picks for the names you’ve mentioned…Although I believe still has a future here… Just maybe not to start….

    And now Dan….I believe that 1 player can make a difference, but is it THIS particular draft?Yes, this may be the deepest draft in years but how may are considered allstar calibre players? Like there are a few great names…. But allstar, franchise changing names? (Like the ones you’ve mentioned above?) If so, then what’s the point of trying to compete and improve this year. Let’s just “tank” and lose on purpose to get the #1 pick. By the way, I still don’t know how one can “tank” in proffesional sports. (And I mean that litterally and morally). WHat, lose intentionally?

    And Finally, DraftedRaptor….

    Thank you!!!…… That is all….lol…….

  • rapsallsay

    Because CalgaryRapsFan, it shows that The current team actually has potential to compete. Then, when you add a few more pieces you can truly asess where we stand from a pretender to a contender.  You say you want the young core to develop and still own a top 5 pick….??? How?? Suck bad enough to get one, or have the team make the playoffs and still own a respectable pick. I would take the latter and then propose the trade you suggested. How can you argue with that?? THAT’S getting your cake and eating it too… it’s a win-win….
     
    And now Dan….I believe that 1 player can make a difference, but is it THIS particular draft?Yes, this may be the deepest draft in years but how may are considered allstar calibre players? Like there are a few great names…. But allstar, franchise changing names? (Like the ones you’ve mentioned above?) If so, then what’s the point of trying to compete and improve this year. Let’s just “tank” and lose on purpose to get the #1 pick. By the way, I still don’t know how one can “tank” in proffesional sports. (And I mean that litterally and morally). WHat, lose intentionally?