Raptors 90, Knicks 85 – Box

Great win in New York. The boys in red rode their third impressive start on the road to a win, this time holding on for a close victory. This against three potential playoff teams, although with the Knicks, the term “potential” may be generous at best.

We’ve seen 5 games now, and although he tailed off in the second half, what has gotten into Andrea Bargnani? It’s not just the efficiency, humming along at a TS of 59.2%, but the assertiveness of his play. Even his interview at the half was uncharacteristically passionate. “We’re nothing!” Did y’all hear him say that about their lead? Gotta love it.

Small sample size be damned, what’s the reason for some of these improvements? Don’t say it’s because he’s playing at his natural position, the 4, because he’s been playing a lot of that the last two seasons. Another possibility could be the coach, who has already made his mark on this team, is delivering the right message. Not to take away from the coach, because he’s been great so far, but the biggest reason might be the simplest one. The dude has trimmed down and is now a real problem for NBA defenses because of his length/quickness ratio that gives Leo Rautins wet dreams.

To give Leo some credit, his most accurate analysis in recent history came when he mentioned how a Knick comeback in the 3rd was washed away from the mere presence of Mike Bibby and Bill Walker in the last two minutes. He’s right, Mike Bibby just sucks. He can’t move and he doesn’t look like he can shoot these days either.

There is definitely a little more polish in the offense when Andrea sets up in his customary high-post area. One immediate difference post-Casey is that there is more motion around him. More cutters, and his assist numbers have reflected that he is finding these cutters. 2.8 assists, up from his career average of 1.2.

Bargnani got doubled very quickly a couple of times in the second half and once it converted into a nice high-low feed from Jose to Amir. However, the other couple of occasions, Jose had a wide open three which he missed. It’s not an easy shot, that clearly wide open three. Some people are built that way. Their minds wander and they over-think the shot. The point is that those double teams may become commonplace if Bargnani continues to beast offensively, and you want a guy lining up beside him that can hit that open three. I think right now the only other option is Rasual Butler.

Butler finally hit some threes. The team needs him to get going because he was starting to become completely useless otherwise. It’s how the NBA is now: threes can bring you back into a game and can finish off an opponent.

Not sure what DeMar is going to become, but it’s clear what he won’t be, and that is an elite slasher. It’s kind of disappointing, but he does not have the first step nor the handles to ever create that kind separation off the dribble. The kind of talent that allows great players in this league to close out games. You can bash all you want in the comment section, but the truth hurts sometimes. He is showing some range now, which will turn him into a quality shooter and open a little more of his game up. Question is, can this part of his game overcome his weaknesses?

The game was essentially won in the first half. A very predictable offense of Anthony driving and kicking out for threes was easily handled by a suddenly effective Raptors defense. Yes, New York doesn’t have the athletes outside of Anthony, but I think we all need to give the Raptors some credit for limiting them to 32 points at the half. The personnel hasn’t really changed all that much, but early returns show a drop from 105.4 pts to 96.8 pts per game allowed. Granted it looks like the Raptors have slowed the pace of the game down as well, but that’s a smart thing too isn’t it, to make the game a little more deliberate so that the opponent can’t get into a good rhythm?

The effort level on defense is clearly evident, the switches are tighter, players are singled out on breakdowns, it’s nice to see. If you look at Jose Calderon MINUS when Jay Triano was here, you have someone who is a game changer with his decision-making, excellent shot and Tim Tebow-like intangibles. This team has generally struggled when he’s been sitting on the bench, and it just seems that a competent coach can really maximize his talents. There, I’ve thrown sweet JT under the bus, and reversed the bus over his carcass. No more clipboards will be harmed again.

Fellow Republicans, we know this was a year where the only expectation was that we secure enough losses for a great draft position, but this team may once again disappoint you in that regard. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why. It may be a combination of Andrea Bargani’s resurgence, improved defensive schemes and a healthy dose of good Jose. Whatever it is, this team has had a legitimate chance to win in all three of it’s losses. All three of the losses were to pretty good teams, and I’m not one to play this card too often, but the refereeing has stunk of entitlement that we are all too familiar with. On a side note, if you want parity in this league David Stern, then maybe you ought to give the underdog teams a more fair shake with the reffing once in a while. Despite all this, this team is one game from being .500 and part of you starts wondering already if this team is better than advertised.

  • rc

    maybe bargs finally quit smoking

    • Aldomilan

      LMAO

  • Ryan

    Off-topic, but I cringed at “fellow republicans”. Have you seen their so-called “presidential candidates”? Brutal.

    Anyway: glad to see Bargnani put together a string of good games. Clearly, Casey knows what to do with his players. The question is just, will he enforce the consequences when effort levels go down and assignments are missed? I cautiously say yes.

    Another thing that concerns me slightly is his minute distribution. I get that we needed them out there, but Calderon was out there for 43 minutes and AB was in there for 38 after playing 41 the night before. Hopefully they won’t have to log so many minutes in the future. (It IS a rebuild year, after all – wins/losses don’t matter enough to justify burning out the players and risking injury.)

    • Dan

      I think when he said “fellow republicans” he’s referring to the visitors of Raptors “Republic” hence we are all Republicans. Raptor Republicans.

      • Ryan

        Sorry, I guess I was ambiguous lol. I knew that, I was just pointing out that it reminded me of the party – I had just read an article earlier. My mistake.

  • Ska

    Ok, tell us that you have this title prepared since last year!

  • DoMore Derozan

    hahaha.. I heard the Tim Tebow reference, and then you referred to yourselves as Republicans, I thought it was the Iowa Causus in here

  • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

    Colangelo believes the next draft is deep with several talented players. 

    The tanking scenario can be done in the last 15 to 20 matches and will be fine pick between 9th to 12th.

     Just bench Jose Calderon when march comes for any reason and you will lose all of them. 

    In the meanwhile just let me dream. (PO)

  • Brain Colangelo

    I dont agree re DeRozan’s first step but do agree re his handles. If he had the handles he would be an elite slasher – at this point he is not capable of changing directions…

    • Bearvon

      I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that EVERY time I see him try to do some sort of advanced dribbling move, he loses his handle and has to reel it back in.

      I just realized what a great drinking game this is gonna be.

    • Nilanka15

      He just doesn’t have the ability to create separation between himself and his defender.  Unless coming off curls, all his shots are with a defender in his face.  DeMar just tries to out-jump him.

      Other than improved 3-point shooting, DeMar is the exact same player as last year.  His handles need a lot of work.  I’m wondering if he even has the dexterity to ever become a good ball-handler.

      • sek99

        I’d say he’s worse than last year, which gives me hope. Last year he played with so much more confidence and was clearly the best player. It seems that since Casey’s been here, he’s lost confidence and assertiveness. Every time he drives, he has an opening but instead of slashing to the rim, he just pulls it out and passes. I feel like Casey has refocused the team on Andrea which, considering how well he’s been playing this season, I don’t mind. Ed Davis and DD however do seem to have a harder time adjusting to this system. I also think Casey puts a little too much focus on defense in that JJ, at least in the first few games, had way more touches than Demar. And JJ is our worst offensive player, maybe besides Magloire. I think Casey gives him touches because he’s our best wing defender, but he just doesn’t have that sort of talent. I’d like to see Casey just give DD the green light and lets see what he can do. He’s needs to get some of his confidence back that was there last year.

        • Hound

          Demar has the green light. He just doesn’t have the ability/desire to go hard this year. I think, like everyone else, he is amazed at AB’s play and thought with a new coach, things would revolve around him more. After reading Casey say that Bargs is the teams star, DD is probably trying to figure out what the fuck just happened.

        • KJ-B

          Couldn’t have said it better “Deebo” left his O.G. game in Compton/Drew League… What’s up with that?!? He’s trying to be too technical, whereas last year, he played out of flow and DID get too most spots he wanted to– he’s is REALLY missing Coach English!!!

          • KJ-B

            Great shooters, can pick the spot where the shot will be and set up there defender with there footwork to take the shot there in the most ideal, efficient fashion… Think Ray Allen, he practices every shot you can possibly think of in practice and offseason–when he gets in the game, he has a myriad of options to get to his ‘spot’…

            Good shooting starts with footwork–many ppl made fun of Vince for dancing at a rap concert when he was supposed to be injured BUT it’s that same dexterity and rhythm, that expressed itself in his ‘j’ and dribble drive game… Conclusion: DD is too stiff, and I recognize having Sonny here helped to have fun and RELAX!!!  He’s starting to stand in the corner again like when he was a Rook!  

            • KJ-B

              ((1st day back to work after holidays, and I can’t spell “their” vs “there” nor “to” vs “too” :))

  • Phat AlberG

    Because they are finally trusting him! That guys is elite player and a mismatch nightmare, no 4 OR 5 can guard him.  Look what he did to Chandler lol Thank you Casey for being a good coach!  

  • 2damkule

    so…interesting game, interesting start to the season.  gotta say, i’ve been impressed overall with the effort & intensity, as many have previously stated.  is it wrong/selfish for me to want them to compete hard every game, but come up just a liiiiittle short?  not that it’s something that we’ll have to worry about all that often, their lack of talent in general & lack of depth, in particular, will take care of things most nights.  it’s good for them to get a bit of a reward for their hard work.  not discounting the W at all, but it came against a team starting josh eff’n harrelson in place of stat, and without much of a backcourt, but hey, whatever.

    as an acknowledged bargs ‘hater,’ i’m more than willing to concede that he’s playing at a high level.  he’s much more assertive/decisive with the ball (for the most part – seeing signs of the oft-maligned ‘hold the ball for 5 seconds while i figure out what i want to do’ move), and his shooting has been stellar.  D & rebounding…well, still a work in progress, but at worst, he seems to have recognized the importance of effort. 

    in general, the shooting of this team is pretty disastrous (outside of bargs)…i get that they’ve been focusing on D in what limited practice time they have, but maybe 20 minutes of jumpers thrown in every now & then would help.  when they miss, they REALLY miss…i’ve seen more airballs (& balls that scrape front iron) in 5 games than we normally see in 20 from a pro bball team.  not sure what’s up with DD’s jumper, but to my eyes, it looks like extending his range has thrown off his mechanics.  he’s really ‘throwing’ the ball (using too much elbow/arm, not enough wrist) on his jumper, which is, IMO, leading to inconsistency, not just with shot-making, but with being close on the shot (i.e. he’ll swish a 20-footer, then brick – or air – the same shot 2 minutes later).  lots of improving to be done yet, but that’s the point of this season.

    • cesco

      Interesting about developing bad habits in your shots . The best golfers in the world need to hit the driving range with 2 buckets of balls AFTER they finish playing , with their coach in tow to tell them what they are doing wrong .

    • Nilanka15

      DeMar’s shot lacks arc too.  Unless it’s a perfect swish, the rims will soon need re-painting…

    • KJ-B

      yeah. he’s just not step into his shot… He’s kinda jumping and aiming right now–sad.  It’s tough that having coach Casey means losing Coach English–I see Ed and DeRozan suffering the most bc of that move, also James Johnson.  Casey knows ‘D’, but his ‘O’ is nothing special at this point in his career… again I compare this to Kevin O’Neil days–except for his temperament, which will make him a better coach in the long run (no, I’m not leaving out his “accomplishments with the Mavs, I’m just comparing stylistically)…

  • Japetas

    That’s completely different Raptors than they were last year, and I love it! Great job by D. Casey and all coach staff. I saw all 5 games and I’ve no doubt that we can reach the playoffs if guys keep playing like they did until now, Go Raptors!

  • DonCarlos

    Figure that shooting percentages throughout the league stand to drop this year because of the lack of training camp. I’ve seen some ugly shooting from the Raps but they’re far from the only team about whom that can be said. I’ve seen D12 airball a free throw by 2 feet, Enes Kanter airball a dunk, Chauncey Billups repeatedly put attempted corner threes off the side of the backboard, and a whole slew of misses “outside” of the rim from normally elite shooters. Unfortunately, some of this subpar shooting could account for the Raps improvements on D, but there have been fewer uncontested shots this year from what I can tell…

    • Nilanka15

      D12 is good for one airballed free throw once a game, lol.

    • Statement

      Good call,

      With only 2 preseason games and an extended lockout, some shooters are not very crisp.

      D12’s freethrow Airball wasn’t even close.  That’s good stuff.

  • Brian B

    It was nice to see Butler look like a legit NBAer, especially after his slow start. Even nicer to see the Raps hang in for the win. I still say that AB & ED are redundant, and if they want ED to develop, he needs minutes, so they should move AB, but I’m hoping my dire predictions about the season are wrong, and that they tank with grace style & gritty determination.

    Also agree that DD seems lost, plateaued. Handle though, is coachable – just probably not til the off season. He needs to make the step from great athlete to superior ball player. most of that is mental.

    • CalgaryRapsFan

      I would argue that there is much more redundancy with Ed/Amir than Ed/Bargnani.  Ed & Amir are bangers, whereas Bargnani is an elite scorer.  The only redundancy between Ed & Bargnani is their position; technically Amir is a PF as well.

      If I were GM, Barbosa, Bayless and Amir would all be used as trade bait at the deadline (or offseason before the draft) to try and acquire additional draft pick(s).  As much as I like Amir, I’d be happy giving his minutes to Ed and getting another draft pick.

    • rapsallsay

      I’m sorry but how do you tank with “grace and style” and with “gritty determination” at the same time?

  • O D

    Barney’s exerting effort, muy bien! Derozen’s gonna Fuck you up! 4th or bust!!!!!!!!!!!
    NFL is super gay with its ‘Best in Class Award” But if were not 4th Ill take a top 3 in the NFL award for losers.

  • Nilanka15

    Very solid game from Butler (it was desperately needed).  And encouraging to see J.Johnson cheering loudly for Butler’s success.

  • Aaron

    Derozan still only 21-22 years old.  He has alot of strength to gain.  He’s still a skinny young guy.  You won’t know what he is untill he hits about 24.  He’s a good piece as he plays within the confines of the offense and doesn’t force alot of crappy shots up.  If the raps can get an elite 3 then watch out the raps with JV are a playoff team.

    • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

      Elite 3 + JV I would say contender.

      • Brian B

        “Elite 3″- which players are you including? NO Raptor has proven themselves “elite” so far. Plus, if you are including AB + ED, how do you handle fact that they play the same position?

        More than JV, they need a ball handler/passer/initiator- lets hope they find one via trade or draft.

        • Nilanka15

          In his eyes, AB is good enough to count as 3 elite players.

          • mountio

            I think he was saying “an elite 3″ (ie a SF like Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, etc. ) as opposed any three players on our team.

            • Statement

              Agreed,

              What’s the scoop on Barnes.  Last year he was shitty in College, no?  How’s this year going?

        • CalgaryRapsFan

          I believe “Elite 3″ was referring to the drafting of an elite SF (the ‘3’ position) in the upcoming draft.  His point was that adding Valanciunas and a stud SF next season, to the young core of up-and-coming stars that the Raps already have (Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, Amir), would be a significant enough improvement on its own to warrent the label ‘contender’.

        • Malefax

          He means an elite small forward in the draft or free agency

        • ed davis

          There is nothing wrong with Ed backing up Bargs,one is a 5 year player and the other is in his second year we do need to have a bench, i just don’t think it would be wise to get rid of a home grown kid who have shown flashes it would be like Marcus Camby all over again BARGS nor Ed Davis are going where, ed can back up bargs so you all relax

          • Brian B

            Except Amir is also in the mix, and if AB plays 38 to 40 minutes, that does not leave ED enough minutes to develop- 10 to 15 minutes mostly in garbage time or against other teams’ scrubs hardly allows development. With holes at center and  and especially SF, plus issues at PG, if ED IS a quality prospect, then he & AB are redundant & one should be moved.

            • p00ka

              Sorry, but to say they’re redundant at this stage is one of the most ridiculous comments I’ve seen on here. AB is being played too much right now and a good coach, which we seem to finally have, knows that will have to change. In the meantime, the coach is establishing a culture where playing time has to be earned and part of ED’s development is doing the things the coach asks of him and earning that time. Based on his play so far, it shouldn’t be surprising that the coach doesn’t feel he’s earning that time.
              Wouldn’t you think that’s a big part of his development: earning the time, as the coach has clearly stated is one of his biggest goals for the team this year? Also it might help if he shows some development in his game, at either end, beyond 5 ft from the cup. When you have a body like Shaq or Dwiight, you can get away with that, but a guy ED’s size has to have more to be useful as more than a 10-15 minute guy in the NBA.
              The “earn the time” mentality is being established at this early stage. ED will get plenty of opportunity to show whether he has the potential to be a starting PF, a second stringer, or an end of bench big before this season is done. At which point, decisions will be made toward who’s worth moving forward with, as per the stated plan.

              • rapsallsay

                Well said…

            • CalgaryRapsFan

              IMO, Amir should be the one to be moved.

              Neither Ed/Amir will ever be the offensive weapon that Bargnani already is.  Ed has more potential than Amir, to be a solid two-way player for the Raptors long-term, at a fraction of the price (and his body hasn’t taken nearly the wear & tear as Amir’s has over the years).

              Barbosa & Bayless should be the first 2 players to go before the 2012 draft though!

              • rapsallsay

                Thats sounds good, but what do you want for Amir? What, in your opinion is his value??

                • CalgaryRapsFan

                  I have no idea what his value is, only BC knows that.

                  I certainly don’t want the Raps to give Amir away, but he would be the first of Amir/Ed/Bargnani that I would prefer to see dealt in the best possible deal.

                  I just don’t think it’s possible to give Bargnani, Valanciunas, Davis and Amir all enough minutes next year, which means one of them needs to go, either for an equal player who plays a position we need to fill or a draft pick that can be used to do the same.

            • rapsallsay

              If AB contin ues to play like this, or even drop off a little, it’ll be Ed…

          • rapsallsay

            I agree.. for now, he can definetly back up Andrea and provide meaningful minutes by defending, rebounding and having Andrea resting so he doesn’t  play 38-40 mins a night…

      • rapsallsay

        You think JV will have an immediate significant impact?

    • rapsallsay

      agreed….and maybe a deeper bench…

  • Nilanka15

    I’m torn on Bargnani.  I know I’ve been very critical of him in the
    past, so I’m writing this trying to be as objective as possible.  I
    really like how easily he’s scoring the ball, and doing so in a number
    of ways to exploit his matchups.  I also like the effort he’s putting in
    with his rebounding.  The totals don’t necessarily show it, but he’s
    been boxing out much better, and getting his hands on a lot of 50/50
    balls.  His hedging when defending the PNRs are noticeably better too.  Bargnani has been very clearly, our best overall player through 5 games.  Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this, is simply lying to himself.

    But on the other hand, he’s still extremely unaware of his surroundings when
    put in “help D” situations under the basket.  There are a few times per
    game where he’s the last man standing, and an easy layup is awarded with Bargnani barely reacting to the play.  So the underlying question all season will be, “Do Bargnani’s positives outweight his negatives”?  We obviously need more games before coming to any sort of conclusion, but I hope that’s something Colangelo looks to answer as the season progresses.  When we eventually become a playoff team, smart opposing coaches will certainly find a way to get Bargnani under the basket on the defensive end (regardless of who’s playing beside him)…and that scares me.

    I realize there are MANY more aspects of Raptor ball that needs critiquing, but Bargnani’s been here the longest (along with Calderon).  And unlike Calderon, he’s signed until 2015.  Those two aspects suggest Bargnani is arguably the most important piece of this Raptors roster right now, either as a piece of the future core, or a trade-able asset.  To me, Bargnani’s fate will be the most intriguing storyline this year.

    • cesco

      You are slowly replacing Tim W. ( in a more subtle way) as the ” Bargnani must go ” proponent  . You both can only think that the savior will be found in a very  high pick of next draft and trade your best assets to reach that goal . How many years do you intend to do that ?  . Take over Timmy teaching if you wish but you will become a pain in the a$$ like him .

      • Nilanka15

        “Pain in the ass” by providing thoughtful commentary that has the TEAM’s success at heart?

        If there’s one consistently annoying aspect of this site, it’s patriotic, nationalist, fanboys like yourself who put individual players ahead of the team.  You and your BFF (AB7.38pt.on.cb4) are truly pathetic.

        • cesco

          We are getting paid by Primo Pasta to support their main advertiser and keep him in TO . It is the big bucks speaking nothing to do with nationalism .

          • Glen Guntwald

            Cue Andrea’s subtle little smile at the end of the commercial. It’s no Hedo/Pizza Pizza collaboration but that look he gives is pure contentment.

            • ed davis

              i’m ok with Bargs as long as HE-DOES

              • rapsallsay

                Ball….

          • Nilanka15

            Oh please….you ain’t fooling nobody.

          • ed davis

            a good place to place that ad. is at that JT’s site where the guy remove all the comments i’ll bet he’ll never remove yours

        • dalmatino

          Nilanka, you are very subjective with statement of your ” thoughtful commentary “. Your comment is nothing more than pesimistic look on Bargnani’s play this young season. As a true pesimist, you look at the glas to be half empty, not half full.What you said for Bargnani can be said for every Raptor’s player – there is no player on the court who didn’t look as a disinterested watcher on occasional plays. But you only look Bargnani.Cool!
          Well, you are Nilanka, and we all know and understand it is not easy for you to even acknowledge improvements what Bargnani showed in this young season so talking and writing about mistakes – shows more about your character than Bargnani’s flaws or imperfections playing the game.

          • Nilanka15

            If you bothered to read my post, you would’ve noticed that I spoke just as much about Bargnani’s positives, as his negatives.  And I explained why I was focusing on Bargnani more than any other player.  But nice try.

            Man, fanboys are so freakin’ annoying…

            • dalmatino

              wrong, I am not a “fanboy”, but I am not a ” hater ” too. You just tried to wrap your negativity into some positive thoughts about Bargnani’s play.

              Man, haters are so freakin’ annoying…

              • Nilanka15

                So saying anything negative about Bargnani (when it’s true), makes me a hater. 

                And because I’m a hater, anything good I have to say about him is immediately dismissed simply because I’m a hater.  Haha, thanks for clarifying.

                Like I said, you fanboys are so freakin’ annoying (and shockingly sensitive, I might add).

                • CalgaryRapsFan

                  The same could be said about you and the other “haters”, if you really wanted to play that game.

                  I’ve always disliked this whole fanboy/hater crap.

                  I’ve supported Bargnani, but have always admitted his faults and pointed out the areas that required improvement (ie: defense, rebounding, effort/passion and offensive efficiency).  I’m impressed with the significant strides he’s made in only a month under Casey’s coaching leadership.  Still room for improvement, but that just speaks to the sheer amount of potential Bargnani still has left to exploit.  I hope Bargnani stays a Raptor and continues to improve his overall game.  There’s no reason he can’t average 25 points / 8 rebounds / 4 assists per game, for many years to come.

                  In the past, there was legitimate arguments as to why his PPG was negatively offset by his horrendous defense and rebounding, but I think those arguments are out the window this year.  Without him, I can’t imagine how abysmally bad the Raptors would be this season.

                • Nilanka15

                  There isn’t a single scenario where we would lose Bargnani and gain nothing in return (unless he was hit by a bus), so how can anyone conclude we’d be “abysmally bad” without him?

                • JoePanini

                  This season at least, stats show we’d be abysmally bad without him.

                • rapsallsay

                  Ok, so what is he worth? What would we recieve in return that would compensate for his departure? Be as specific as you like!

                • rapsallsay

                  That’s exactly right… Where would the points come from? Solomon Alabi?

                • dalmatino

                  So saying anything positive about Bargnani ( when is true ) makes me a ” fanboy “?

                  And because I am a ” fanboy ”  any critisizm toward the ” haters ” is dismissed simply because I am a ” fanboy “!

                  Ha Ha Ha, thanks for clarifying.

                  Like it was already said: ” you haters are so freakin’ annoying ( and shockingly unaware how stupid your critisizm looks like ) “.

                  Hopefully, this post can show you how idiotic your stand is: your opinion is rightfull but whoever tninks deferently, hit him/them with the ” compliment “.

                  Nilanka, please don’t try to cover your animosity toward Bargnani. You are what you are: simply a little mouse who, hidden behind the screen feels brave to spit on someone regardles if it is right or not. You are not a decent enough to admit when you make/made mistake(s) but you are ” brave ” enough to spit around your poison toward everyone who disagree with your opinion.
                  You are ridiculous, please grow up and you should stop being so sensitive to other people opinions.

                • Nilanka15

                  LOL, you’re a fanboy because your only contribution to this thread was to rush to Bargnani’s defense. I posted basketball-related comments, and the only thing you respond with is analysis on my apparently character flaws (thanks for contributing absolutely nothing to this basketball discussion).

                  All you fanboys do is peruse articles looking for the slightest indication of Bargnani critique, and respond by ignoring all things basketball, and resorting to nonsensical, irrelevant drivel. 

                  You’re looking for a fight, without any motivation to talk about the Raptors.  That’s what trolling fanboys do.  There is nothing about my original post that justifies the hissy fit you’re throwing. 

                  This is what makes you a fanboy (not your disagreeing opinion).

                  Feel free to respond if you will (your cutting and pasting skills are exceptional), but this is my last post on this thread.

                • dalmatino

                  P00ka explained this whole ” mess ” at proper manner. You, Nilanka doesn’t want to understand nor accept when you are not right. But it is your problem, not mine nor Raptors ( players or fans ).

                • p00ka_is_a_fish

                  Oh of course P00ka explained the whole mess, he’s a big Bargs fanboy!

                • sleepz

                  Quick question? Is anything ‘negative’ related to Bargnani, whether it be criticisms or if a fan were to feel he should be traded when his value is high for instance, considered being wrong or ‘making a mistake’?

                • CalgaryRapsFan

                  I think those thoughts are fair.  However, from reading the posts, I think people are upset with ‘haters’ who will push for Bargnani to be traded when he isn’t playing well because “he sucks” and will also push for him to be traded while playing well because “his trade value has peaked”.  It would be one thing for me, as a Bargnani supporter, to suggest that fact, but when a so called ‘hater’ does, it’s just the same old trolling to basically say “I hate Bargnani and want him traded”, just wrapped in a fancier package.  IMO, I would rather the ‘haters’ just be honest and upfront and have the balls to say what they really mean, instead of using insincere backhanded compliments to say the same thing they have always said and will always say about Bargnani.

                  It’s their opinion and they have every right to have and post it… just be honest and don’t sugar coat it.

                • James

                  Nicely Said. The “Haters” are now hiding behind trade him while his value is up excuse. Where is Tim W ??? Is he too embarrassed to show how face now after bashing AB for 5 years ??

            • p00ka

              With all due respect, you focused solely (not more) on Bargnani, and spoke of “a few” plays a game where you find criticism while following up with “do his positives outweigh his negatives”. Really? You feel that’s a legit question to pose considering his play so far this year? Dude, there isn’t a big minute player in the entire league that you couldn’t pick a few plays a game to say he didn’t do well, especially when playing the minutes he has in 3 games in 4 nights on the road. Shit, he’s mostly focused and playing better D than ever, his work on rebounding is better than ever, and his much varied offense has been at a superstar level. Yes, you spoke of positives, but as dalmatino said, it comes across as a cloak to justify this few plays a game nitpicking. If you don’t see just how far the positives outweigh the negatives in these games, to use your own words, your lying to yourself. What’s annoying is an adult (as you seem to be) resorting to this “fanboy” crap when someone rebuts a slanted, nitpicking  post about a guy giving his all and playing great for our team that hasn’t been exactly playing great around him.

              • Nilanka15

                All I was implying is that 5 games don’t outweigh the previous 5 years.

                Bargnani has been playing great ball so far this year, but I’m taking a wait-and-see approach because I’ve been fooled by Bargnani many, many, many times before.  That doesn’t mean he won’t change for the better, it just means I won’t be relieved until I know it’s a permanent transformation, rather than a blip on the radar.  I’m sure even James Johnson can hit 5 threes in a row once in a while, but it’ll take more than that before I label him a legitimate 3 point threat, know what I mean?

                Sure, call that nitpicking if it makes everyone feel better about it, but seriously, is Bargnani really the Pope?  Are we not allowed to critique him without getting jumped on?  Did I insult any one of my fellow Raptor fans with my original post?  Am I not entitled to my opinion?

                This is what fanboyism is all about, and why it’s a term I have no trouble using.  The mantra of a fanboy is “you pick on Bargnani, then I’ll pick you”.  Surely, you must see the lunacy with this train of thought, and how extremely unproductive it is.

                • p00ka

                  Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, as we all are. I haven’t been around this place long enough to know where this fanboy/hater thing started, but it’s fairly obvious that one breeds the other and it just goes on and on. It’s most certainly unproductive from both sides if the intent is to discuss our team, and perhaps grow a little from looking at both sides of the coin. The totally nonsensical stuff like the crap from ppl like that BC…Gots2Go character (there’s some on the other side too) doesn’t help in raising passions and distracting from more balanced views, but there’s nothing wrong with a little in-your-face challenge now and then, without the fanboy/hater BS. Just an opinion from an old fart who hasn’t learned to stay away from getting involved in that shit enough yet.

                • Statement

                  All I know is Bargs has morphed into an above-average player for 5 games. 

                  This is a HUGE improvement from the shit of the past 5 years. 

                  Lets hope he keeps this up and develops championship level offensive toughness.

                  So far, so good in this young season.

                • cesco

                  When Andrea was picked #1 , he was not a cocoon that could  morph someday into a beautiful butterfly . The opinion of many expert was that it would take about 5 years for him to reach his full potential . In fact he is not there yet but now the morphing (as you call it) has began .

        • Hound

          I have disagreed with Nik in the past, but thought his rap was well thought out and not bashing AB. However, once you agree that AB is our best player, and locked up to a sensible contract, there is really no reason to trade him. Who would you get? Let’s say you can trade him to Washington for their #1 pick, would you? What certainty does that give you to be a great team? Cleveland got 1 and 4 this year. Not sure they will be contenders soon. So stick with what you know and have, coach him up as a piece of the puzzle and build the team.

          • Nilanka15

            The only way Bargnani is traded is if management believes he’s currently playing above his abilities.  It would be a classic case of selling high.

            But I’m assuming such a decision hasn’t been made yet.

            As for Cleveland’s 1 and 4 picks, you’re right, probably not going to make much of a difference this year, but it was a historically weak draft (I highly doubt Thompson cracks the top 15 in any other year).

            But in the upcoming 2012 draft, the 1 and 4 picks could easily be franchise-altering selections.  There is enough talent there with Davis, Drummond, Lamb, Barnes, Jones, Miller, Kidd-Gilchrist, etc. that any one (or two) of these guys could noticeably improve a team overnight.

            • Hound

              Can we get a top 5 lotto pick for Bargs? If so, do you do that deal, if you are BC?

              • Nilanka15

                I dunno dude, it’s a tough call (I’m certainly glad I’m not Colangelo). I would hate to trade Bargnani if his current level play is maintained well into February. He could form a very solid front court with Jonas. But I think it’s too early to make that call. Need to see more games.

              • Mark

                Yes, every single time, especially in this draft.

    • mountio

      First .. you are right, there are MANY more aspects of Raptor ball that need critiquing .. but since you brought it up.
      There is no doubt, the way that he is playing now, that AB’s positives outweigh his negatives. By a country mile. While there may have been some doubt in the past (not in my mind .. but in the mind of others, such as yourself) – his defensive effort and rebounding are totally solid this year (not great, but solid). And, his scoring – particularly the way he was exploited mismatches and taken the ball both inside and outside – has been on a near-elite level.
      Would I trade him for the right guy? Of course, Id trade anyone for the right guy .. and lets be clear .. while AB looks good this year .. he still has his flaws, as you correctly point out.
      Would I trade him for the type of player people on this site have suggested over the years (a 10 and 8 banger like K Perkins (or worse)) .. no way

      • Nilanka15

        I agree that right now, his positives outweigh his negatives.  But 5 games is a small sample size, so it’ll be interesting to see if it holds up throughout the course of the season.

        As for the Perkins (for example) trade scenario, not a great trade for Toronto right now.  But in previous years, an argument certainly could’ve been made that a 10 and 8, shot-blocking banger would help the team more so than a volume scorer who doesn’t play defense.

        But with Valanciunas on the way, and Bargnani currently playing better than just another volume scorer, such a trade wouldn’t make sense for this team today.

      • ed davis

        I’ts all cool what you said but can he keep it up at that level over a  82 games season being the top dog all people want to see is Bargs do the things he has been doing these past 5 games night in night out being our top player he was a #1 pick

        • p00ka

          Nobody can do it night in night out over a full season. Nobody. Kobe, as great as he is, shoots 10/17 one day and 6/28 a few days later. D12, as much of a beast he usually is within his limited 5 ft from the basket offensive game, has 4/12 nights. Everybody has off nights and even off stretches of games.

    • Pizzaman

      Nilanka
      For what it’s worth I acknowledge your post here as what it says which is you realize Bargnani has been the best player on the Raptors the last five games and he has shown improvement so I give you credit for saying it like it is. I disagree with all those below who now take this opportunity to slam back at your  motives and pretty much say I told you so.
      For what it’s worth I have pretty much stayed off of RR for about 1 year because I got tired of the incessant bullshit from supposed fanboys and supposed haters all trying to prove their point, but mostly because of the dickheads who now troll this site with asinine racist, slanderous remarks all supposedly to justify who they like and why and having to prove others suck because it makes their guys that much better.( we all know those idiots)
      Meantime as a hard core Raptors fan I have a hard time staying off this site and reading the comments, and as an admitted Bargnani supporter I see why all the so called fanboys are upset because your comments above are pretty much fact, yet watching pretty much any basketball game at any time you will find NBA players including supposed superstars who let some plays go or act or look disinterested at times. None of these guys are perfect and most NBA players are far from great at everything all the time. That and Bargnani has played heavy minutes and he is bagged. For those who don’t realize those kind of minutes for a 250 lbs. 7 footer are harder on the body, and physically more draining than for someone of DeRozan’s stature.
      In addition it would appear Bargnani is always held to higher standards than everyone else on the team, and everyone else ever mentioned as someone to trade Bargnani for. ( some of the trades mentioned have been outright laughable) None of them are perfect either. All you have to do to realize this, is to watch the Raptors first five games. The only guys that have been consistently good are Bargs, Jose and Amir. DD has not impressed me at all and he lives by trying to go against three guys and when the fouls don’t come he kills us. Many have called for Bayless to start and I could not believe this as he’s earned nothing let alone starting in front of a 3000 assist PG as efficient as Jose. Bayless in my opinion is a scrub. Also I’ve seen postings that Bargnani stole Ed Davis job from one of the resident idiots! What a joke that is.
      I really love the Raptors, however it is pretty clear this team has a huge lack of talent which will be fixed in 2012 with the addition of Valanciunas who will be a star in the NBA with a little time, and a draft pick or two along with a decent signing or trade.
      Meantime we are stuck with this team of which Bargnani is clearly the best player, followed by Jose, and in my opinion Amir, and then DD, and Ed Davis. After that everyone else is a scrub.
      My biggest worry is that I so far see little improvement in DeRozan other than he’s made some outside shots, but his mechanics are such that he will swoosh one and miss the entire rim on another almost Bayless like. He still cannot dribble worth his life, and cannot or will not look to pass. Ed Davis has not shown much although I believe with time he will become a very good reserve, and I am very impressed with the job Amir has done, putting on some muscle, working hard and being a team player and he has played center admirably for his height. I would not trade any of the guys I just mentioned as they are the only keepers, and if anything Demar needs to improve big time to stick as a starting option next year and beyond. 
      Valanciunas and Bargnani will be one of the best big men combos in the NBA within a few years and the addition of a few others would make this a very nice team.

      • p00ka

        Very well presented, and right on!!! I wish I could retain such control sometimes, as I’m relatively new here and let myself get caught up in the bullshit too often.

        • Pizzaman

          Thanks and believe me it’s easy to get caught up in the bullshit, then get passionate and pissed and go a little far…I know from experience. It’s amazing how reading and typing on a blog can get you so worked up lol.
          It’s also a place where some can hide and spew BS constantly because they have the power of being invisible…kind of like when some wimp ass driving a car gets all tough behind the wheel because he can speed away but will not get out of the car and be nearly as tough.

      • Nilanka15

        I appreciate the post, and agree with almost everything you said.

        I was one of the folks who was calling for Bayless to start because 1) I’m not worried about piling on the losses this year, 2) I assumed he improved on his PG skills during the summer, and 3) I figured the jury was still out on what he can contribute to this team, and the only way to find out, was to play him.

        But after 5 games, it’s pretty clear, he’s the same player as last year, without even a glimpse of improvement in his ability to run an offense.  I’ve now come to the realization that Casey doesn’t see a backup PG in Bayless, but instead sees a bench scoring guard (much like Jason Terry in Dallas).

        I also admit that I hold Bargnani to higher standards than most other players because 1) he’s been in Toronto the longest (next to Calderon), 2) he has a long contract, 3) his PF/C is very important in terms of defending the rim, and 4) his supporters are definitely the loudest (lol).  I’m not going to examine Butler, Magloire, Carter, or Gray in the same way I examine Bargnani simply because it doesn’t make sense to do so.  Similarly, if guys like DeRozan, Davis, Amir, and J.Johnson are here in 3-5 years, then I’ll be just as critical about the wholes in their games (and you and I both know there are many).

        Having said all that, I wouldn’t consider anyone on this roster “untradeable”.  Any move that can be made to help this roster win a championship, should be seriously considered….even if it means moving Bargnani, DeRozan, Amir, Calderon, or any combination of all.  But that’s just my opinion, as is ALL of my posts.

        • Pizzaman

          NilankaYou’re right about Bayless, although I would also question BC keeping him around as a bench scoring guard because he’s just not that good at scoring either, and by the standards everyone holds ball players to, he makes pretty much everyone else on the floor worse when he’s on because he all but forgets about everyone else. He is a scrub in my opinion and should be moved or become a number 3 PG.I agree the others need some time to get better, but the problem is of the guys you mentioned only Amir IMO is actually better. DD still has tunnel vision and while his long distance makes are better they are cringe worthy, and his dribble really stinks. He would be a bigger threat if he drove and passed sometimes so he had defenders guessing but he’s too obvious and puts his head down. I believe Ed will get better but not sure of the lofty predictions. JJ either needs to learn how to shoot, and dribble or he’s a bench guy at best which I believe he will be when Kleiza returns anyway.
          I also agree that the Raptors have no one who is untradeable to improve. I do however believe that trading Bargnani right now for another good piece may not be the answer since right now when he sits the Raps show real trouble working an offence and most of the players cannot buy a basket. I like what I saw from Butler last night and I think that was the difference that provided the win. The games prior to last night it was basically Bargnani and Jose with a little DD, otherwise no one else could score even from close. We need someone else to hit open looks and if not we cannot win with just a couple of scorers.
          By the way just to be clear and straight here I was always a Bargnani fan because I liked his skillset for a 7 footer and believed he had the skills to be great, although I agree he did not always utilize his skills, got lazy at times, and disinterested on defense and in rebounding. The difference is I always believed with the right coach and a team of players with him he could be real good and I believe that is what’s happening right now. As some say in defense of DeRozan that he has not played much college ball, let’s not forget Bargnani never played college ball or any U.S. style basketball in high school or anywhere so he has also been learning the U.S. game at the same time as the NBA game without in my opinion the help of a real coach who would teach him to bring out his best. ( I know it sounds like excuses to some)
          It’s early I know but I believe we are seeing the best coach the Raptors have ever had in Casey. He not only knows what to demand of his players, but he knows how to teach them to give him what he wants.

          • Nilanka15

            For the sake of the Raptors, I sincerely hope Bargnani keeps up his current level of play. From there, it’ll be up to Colangelo to decide the best course of action moving forward 😉

            • cesco

              Go to sleep Nilanka because BC right now is sleeping REALLY GOOD ( thanks to Casey, Andrea and Jose ) .

              • Nilanka15

                I’m not going to ask why you’re familiar with Casey’s sleeping patterns…I might feel obligated to call the police.

              • Nilanka15

                *Correction*: BC’s sleeping patterns

      • voy

        “I dont you so”s are for guys who have never been right before or who are right so infrequently they have to make a big production of calling one right.

        I like Andrea.  Someone else doesn’t? Thats fine.  Someone else is floating some bizarre Itialian BC/Andrea conspiracy theory?  Thats fine also, and maybe a little sad, but I dont think those comments merit any type of direct response.

        • Pizzaman

          Fair enough!

    • rapsallsay

      If he continues to score like this, you simply can’t trade him. There is absolutely no one on this team who can put up the numbers he does offesensively.
      You may not be able to build around Bargs but WITH Bargs…

      • CalgaryRapsFan

        You hit the nail on the head, with your “You may not be able to build around Bargs but WITH Bargs…”

        Too often when people on RR have supported Bargnani, other people have argued that Bargnani isn’t a franchise player to be built around.  That argument has driven me crazy, as a  Bargnani supporter, since I’ve never once suggested or hinted that he is that type of player.  Nor is he paid like it!  I’ve always maintained that Bargnani would be an ideal #2 option to pair with a stud PG/wing who is the team’s dominant ball-handler, who can break down defenses to either create his own shot or create open looks for his teammates.

        I think some people just get hung up on the fact that Bargnani was a default #1 overall pick and therefore anything less than franchise-player level performance will have them going for their torches and pitchforks!

      • Nilanka15

        What makes you think we can’t get offensive production from a trade?  Or the draft?  Or free agency?

        The we-can’t-trade-Bargs-because-he-scores idealogy doesn’t make sense.

        I’m not saying we have to trade him.  I’m just saying it won’t be the end of the world if we do.  This team will eventually find a way to score points.

  • Balls of Steel

    I still believe that the key for this team is an SF that can defend and shoot the 3-rock. If Derozan doesn’t develop into an elite slasher per se, his game will definitely benefit with more threes. It is no secret that having a three point shooter in this team benefits everyone.

    • sleepz

      I agree. His name is Jeremy Lamb. Draft him and let him play the 2 or 3.

      • voy

        i loved what j.lamb showed last year as a freshman but if we are gonna land in the top 3 or 4 draft picks I dont know if I’d feel comfortable selecting him that high.  granted I’ve seen very little of his play this year. 

        I dont think I’d take Barnes, either, that high.  He seems a little robotic to me and not as fluid as I’d like my sf to be.  Kidd-Gilchrist is putting up pretty monster numbers but I dont know if he was the quintessential skills to be an nba 3. 

        After Davis and Drummond are gone from the board I may prefer to have a crack at Perry Jones fully recognizing he’s either gonna be a homerun or something significantly less.  Perry has the skills, althleticism, and body I want the other sf prospects to have but not specifically in a 6’11 package.

        its gonna be a really interesting draft.

        • CalgaryRapsFan

          That’s a really interesting point to consider; what if the Raps happen to get a top-3 pick, which are projected to be PFs?  Wonder what potential there would be to trade down a couple spots to still take the SF they want, while also picking up another asset (either a player or maybe a 2nd round pick)?  Definitely should be a very interesting offseason, leading to the 2012/2013 season!

          • ed davis

            draft package and trade

        • sleepz

          It will be interesting to see what will happen over the course of the NCAA year as we will see players develop and others fall off.

          It’s early and I completely agree with your assessments on Barnes, KG. Jones is an athletic monster but I worry about him being a real 3 in the NBA.

          Lamb imo is a winner and while he needs to improve his frame his shot is liquid and his handles are better than any swing on the Raps roster by far not to mention he’s a ball hawk. I might be putting my foot in my mouth when’s all said and done (wouldn’t be the first time) but he reminds me of a shorter Scottie Pippen.
           
          All that being said though, to quote you it’s gonna be a really interesting draft, no doubt about it!

        • Stikz

          I love Lamb, honestly i was hoping he would come out this year and that the Raps would draft him. That kid not only has athleticism out the wazoo and he’s not afraid to take the big shot. I would take him top 5 in a heartbeat. My only cause for any hesitation with him is he’s a little too laid back sometimes, but intensity can develop under good leadership.

          If the Raps end up with Anthony Davis and his unibrow, i’m going to cry. If you look at the projected top of the 2012 NBA draft, it’s heavy with unpolished bigs with poor offensive fundamentals. And everyone on the Harrison Barnes bandwagon needs to take a second look. He’s way overrated, and he’s not very quick at all. He can’t create his own shot and he’s also lacking on the defensive end. Please take Lamb and plug him in at the two.

  • c_bcm

    One of my favorite plays of that game was little AC getting in there for the defensive rebound at the end of the game. He was giving up about a foot. If he doesn’t get that rebound NY still has a chance to get another look. It shows the young guys that you gotta put it all on the line to get these wins. Honestly, that could be his best play as a Raptor so far.

    • tonious35

      AnthCarter is old as mold, but stays on the court and is present like mold physically and mentally.  If Bayless won’t learn sh!t from him, then get two 2nd round picks for Bayless.  

      • Statement

        To me, the jury is not out on Bayless.

        He is not a good enough PG to be a backup.  Maybe we could shop him.

        • Pizzaman

          I think the jury is in…he stinks so move him if you can

  • Golden_pup

    We shouldn’t get our hopes up about the Raps signing an elite free agent SF. Have you seen the list of FA? There’s not a lot out there.

    • Nilanka15

      That’s what the draft is for.  Kidd-Gilchrist would look great in our starting lineup.

      • Brian B

        Do you see him as a SF? He looked terrific versus Louisville, but seems like he might turn out to be the dreaded tweener at the pro level… anybody got a read on this?

        • Nilanka15

          Do you mean a tweener as in SG/SF?  Because right now, his game seems to be more of a SF/PF combo.

          • Brian B

            I meant tweener as in neither big enough to be an elite PF nor a solid enough outside shooter/perimeter defender to be a true SF- like Michael Beasley, fer instance. In MK-G’s case, it is more the shooting range than the defence that would cause me concern. And I don’t mean to compare him to Beasley – by all reports MK-G is a solid citizen, a player with excellent “motor” and dedication. “Combo” forwards, as you describe them, unless they are named Gerald Wallace*, tend to be bench players, and have short careers.

            * I know, I know… Melo & LeBron, but MK-G is no LeBron.

            • Nilanka15

              If MK-G’s range is the only concern, then I’m not too worried.  With enough practice, anyone can learn to shoot (see Vince, Bosh, and DeMar).  Especially if he’s already got a steady 15-17 footer, which suggests his mechanics are already pretty good.

      • TheR3dMenace

        I like MKG too. A lot, in fact. But I like Harrison Barnes as a better fit for the roster as currently constructed.  His stroke is so pure that he reminds of a young Ray Allen, only 3 inches taller.  His shooting skills with immediately translate to the NBA, and he is an elite athlete with natural leadership skills. If Barnes is gone by the time our pick comes, I would still be ecstatic with MKG.

        Do you think Colangelo has any plans of picking up a second 1st rounder for a couple of the raptors trade chips? I would like to see Kabongo play for the raps but I think he’ll be gone before the 20s, that is, if he enters the draft at all.

        • CalgaryRapsFan

          I also prefer Barnes, as a better fit with a Raptors team with a core of Valanciunas, Bargnani, Davis/Amir and DeRozan.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            PG Tony Wroten Jr- remember that name…….

            • sleepz

              Big time scorer, ball handler and can defend. The only worry I have about him is he going to make the transition into the NBA as the consummate 1 who runs the team?

              • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

                I have no worries about TWJr at all as he is very coachable plus a gym rat he will struggle like all rookies do but he is a special talent- if at Kentucky he would be hyped as potentially the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft- in my mind.

        • Nilanka15

          I’m just not sold on Barnes.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but he doesn’t seem like anything more than a shooter.  I find his defense, athleticism, and leadership qualities overrated.  I would go with Perry Jones or Kidd-Gilchrist over Barnes at SF.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Barnes =’s Marvin Williams for good or bad.

          • Statement

            Is that right?

            I knew he was crappy last year in college.  Same this year?

          • sleepz

            I think it’s his passive nature that worries everyone and he’s not an explosive athlete.

          • Bobby

            I agree, but I am somewhat wary of P. Jones. I like Kidd-Gilchrist over Barnes, but not so sure about Jones. He seems like a high risk high reward type of guy, of course a lot of prospects are, but in this draft it seems like he is more than anyone. A lot of reports question his motor + killer instinct. 

      • Bobby

        Agreed!

  • ed davis

    all true, but let face it if BARGS plays like he has been in the last 5 games he won’t be traded he’ll be a lifer

  • j bean

    DD has improved his range which is huge. 5 for 8 behind the arch. Last year he was around 1 for 8. He’s second in scoring and AB, AJ and LB all have more turnovers. Given his age he is still on his way up. 

    • Pizzaman

      I hope you’re right

  • Nilanka15

    “Despite all this, this team is one game from being .500 and part of you
    starts wondering already if this team is better than advertised”

    Don’t forget that we started last season 8-11 before finishing 14-55.

    • Nilanka15

      Sorry, finishing 14-49.

  • Nilanka15

    I know 5 games is a very small sample size, but it’s seems quite clear to me that Triano was simply in over his head over the past 2 seasons.  If Casey (a guy who barely has any NBA head coaching experience) can have such a drastic effect on this team, what does that tell us of Triano’s ineptitude with [more or less] the exact same roster?

    I can’t help but imagine what Casey could’ve done with our 2009-10 roster that fell just 1 game shy of the playoffs.

    • Truthkiller

      I think your forgetting that Triano was B-Co’s bitch. I’m sure everyone around the NBA knew of this and part of Casey’s deal coming to T.O was that he’d do his job which is coach and B-Co was to do his job be a Team President. 

    • sleepz

      Casey is developing a real team identity. Triano is an International coach (would be great for Team Canada again) but wasn’t an NBA head coach.

    • Hound

      I totally agree. I was a JT fan for a while, as I was proud that he was canadian and played for the national team etc. But I watched a game 1 row behind the players box in Sacramento and he was terrible. Had a deer in the headlights look, lost track of timeouts and didn’t control the team at all. Actually lost that game in the last few minutes due to bad coaching.

      I believe that if we had a better coach in 09/10, we may have even held onto Bosh. If Bargs was playing like he is now and the team was moving in the right direction, who knows what could of happened.

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    I like the observation of Bargnani’s improved court vision and increased assist totals.  I’ve long thought he had the potential to average 3-5 assists per game and I like the way Casey is utitilizing him at times as a quasi point-forward – especially after establishing his own shot and drawing double-teams.  He easily could have had another 3-4 assists last night, if players hadn’t missed a couple wide open shots.

  • James

    I was looking for improvements in 5 areas for DD which he needs in order to make the transition to a star in NBA.
    1) Improvement in his ball handling2) Improvement in his slashing ability ( goes hand in hand with one)3) Improvement in the range of his jump shot4) Improvement in his defensive ability5) Improvement in his body ( getting physically stronger)

    So far this season, I only see #3 being improved and nothing else !!! If this continues for the rest of this season and next ( since we are still rebuliding and he is still under the contract), then we should really think about upgrading at that position.

    Aside from DD, my MAIN concern is Ed DAVIS !!! I was expecting a lot more from him and so far he has been the most disappointing player on the Raptor Team.

    Amir is playing the way I always thought he will which is not worth the money he is getting paid. I thought it was ridiculous how he was though as the BEST Raptor Player last year and … 

    • CalgaryRapsFan

      I agree with you for the most part.  The one slight disagreement I have, is that I have seen some improvement from DD in #2 (slashing).  There have been several times where I’ve seen him cut down the lane or into the corner during a Bargnani/Calderon P&R, allowing Bargnani to get him the ball for an open jumper – they just haven’t been falling at a consistent level.  There has definitely been improvement over last season, just not consistently yet.  I’ve actually seen some flashses of developing chemistry with DD and Bargnani, which bodes well for the future of this team.

      I also agree big time with your concern over Ed’s development.  His inability to finish at the rim, while constantly missing easy little layups, is scary.  Like DD, he is young and full of potential, but I thought I’d see a little more fire from him at the very least to earn more playing time!

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Ed & DD get 5 years just like AB…..

      • James

        No, they won’t since BC has ONLY 2 more years to rebuild this team. I think everyone here likes to see this team compete for 2013-2014 season. If this team does not compete in that year ( after having Val here for one year) then I am sure BC will be a goner. 

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGotsGo!!!

          I could live with that outcome.lol

          • cesco

            You will change the front part of your name , the last part will remain the same .

    • ed davis

      easy with the ed davis there boddy

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Great W as it’s always better to win than to lose- fuck a Lottery ball as it will be what it will be until then play to win!

    Casey is riding Jose like a race horse hope his hammy holds up until JB gets right.

    BC still needs to move AB (& Jose) especially while he’s playing good as this team is going nowhere with him as the number one option.

    Some folks still are applauding AB’s baby steps (he’s trying, he’s hedging, he’s contesting for rebounds, etc) – he’s on his second contract & 6th NBA season people….smdh

    From what I have seen over 5 game sis that AB is still allowing easy lay ups, not rotating correctly, not getting back on defense/finding man & not boxing out consistenly on defense while his offense has been on point for the 1st 3 quarters he has faded in the 4th & crunch time.

    As well, Casey was the mastermind behind those Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp defensive SuperSonic 60 win teams of the 1990s thus give him the right type of players & his D system is good 2 go.

    5 games down 61 more to go……some team may look better than they really are in this discombobulated NBA season…..time will tell……Tony Wroten Jr…..

    • Statement

      If Jose goes down,

      This team will be a disaster.

      Casey is pulling a Mitchell and Riding Jose like he is a rented mule.

      • sleepz

        +1

        He has to ride him. With the defensive intensity ratcheted up the offence is suffering and Jose knows how to run a team properly.

        Put Bayless in there for any long stretch and we’re going back to the Kevin O’Neil days.

    • Lisa

      Move Jose and Bargs for what? You seem to feel you know what is good for this team, what supposed trade would be good for this team? So what he’s on 6th season, guys take more than he does and if they cant guess what no NBA or a 3rd string bench player for life. Also you suppose that he moves AB while he’s playing good so DD, Amir and Jose can run the team lmao…thats the biggest joke in life. Why would you move your number one option on offense an have the team tank with DD at the reigns. You are just a negative factor on this RR site, you have no good input whatsoever and just very negative. 

  • hateslosing

    I know a lot of people probably don’t want to here this and it’s early to start with predictions, but this team could potentially make the playoffs if they keep this up. right now the first 5 spots in the east are accounted for:
    1.Miami2.Chicago3.Atlanta4.Boston5.Orlando6.?7.?8.?Who get’s the rest? New York could be good with Amare, but they are pretty shallow as we saw yesterday. Indiana looks solid and Phili will probably be pretty good, but looking at the field I really don’t see many teams that I would say are better than the raps, especially with their new approach. We have a stretch of games against some bad teams coming up and I think that will be a big indication if this team can make it. 

    Personally I’d rather see playoffs than a high pick. Getting a winning mentality for this team is extremely important, and with Val coming over next season, it might be good to limit the number of rookies we have playing big minutes. 

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      NYK’s will have both Amare & Baron Davis they will be in the playoffs.

      Barring injuries Indiana looks very solid as does Milwaukee to make the playoffs.

      Philly could sneak in if they play as a team and stay healthy.

      NJ, Cha, Wash, Det & Clev are all teams that could suprise with a playoff run and/or berth in this shortened season but I find it highly unlikely that any of these teams will make the post season- as is.

      The East looks really weak on paper so I’ll never say never with the Raptors….

      • James

        1) Heat
        2)Chicago3) Boston4) Atlanta5) Orlando ( if Howard stays around)6) NY7) Indiana8) Bucks Or PhilyI think East is pretty set and there is no room for surprises. 

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          Injuries and/or trades………

        • p00ka

          Strange things can happen, even in a short season, but that certainly looks like a solid bet for the top 9 in the East, whatever the specific seeding.

  • awillistheman

    My feelings on Bargs have gone up and down over his time here. I was really down on him last year and just wanted him gone, but this year it sounds like he is turning it around and could be that player we thought he could be when we drafted him. In my opinion we have to get rid of one of Ed, Amir, or Bargs. This season will be what Brian and Dwane base that decision on. If all play well than I think  it will depend on the packages Brian can get for each. However, being the matchup nightmare that Bargs can be if he shows he can consistently play at a high level, And being that he has a reasonable contract through 2015, I think Brian will lean towards trading one of the other two.

    On top of the big situation, I think Brian is evaluating the value of other players. I think JJ has shown/is showing that he will make a great backup SF but should not be a starter. Bayless is at best a scoring gaurd off the bench.

    Looking at the 2012 free agents there are only a few “elite” players TO can go after. Deron Williams? Gerald Wallace? would either choose TO? If TO overachieves this year (and I hope they do) I can see us going after Gerald Wallace and drafting a point gaurd that Jose can mentor for a year. When Jose’s contract is up, maybe we resign him for a better price and he switches to back up the soph. Of course, if we could somehow get DWill then it is a no-brainer to get one of the highly regarded SFs in the 2012 draft. I just think the Wallace scenario is more likely. What do you all think?

    • Nilanka15

      I think Wallace is a big risk. He plays a very physical style of game, already has a history of concussions, and isn’t exactly young anymore. I think there are better options via trade and the draft than Wallace (e.g. Gallinari, George Hill, Eric Gordon, Mayo, Beasley, Love, Fields, Westbrook, Batum, etc.)

      • CalgaryRapsFan

        Watching the Knicks game and reading subsequent blogs from Knick fan perspectives, they seem to be looking for reliable depth at PF/C (especially with Amare’s injury history), reliable bench scoring and PG depth.  During the Knick game they were talking about how Fields has been struggling to find his fit with the team ever since ‘Melo was acquired.

        All that got me wondering if Amir or Bayless might be enough to pry Fields away from the Knicks. Perhaps Bayless and a future 2nd round pick?  I could see Fields fitting nicely into the SF spot for the Raps, regardless of whether or not they draft a SF in the 2012 draft.  If they do, then James Johnson becomes expendable as another tradeable asset.

        • Nilanka15

          Good call.  Fields seems like a perfect “Casey Guy”, can hit open shots, is a solid defender, has tons of basketball IQ, and doesn’t take usage away from Bargnani and DeRozan.

  • DeMar DeRozan

    Demar Actually is a good ball handler and is very crafty getting to the rim. Its only been 5 games. Throughout the season you’ll see him get more comfortable and start doing more things on both offense and defense.