I caught my first Wolves game of the Rubio era yesterday; liked what I saw. They are a nice team, with some real solid pieces to build around: young point guard with all-star potential; elite power forward who does everything; and a young talented supporting cast. Even without their 2012 1st round pick, you could argue they are better positioned than the Raptors going forward; especially considering no one on the roster makes more than $6.5m (no bad contract imho).

I spoke with Benjamin Polk of A Wolf Among Wolves:

The Wolves seem like a nice, young, deep team in-spite of Khan’s best efforts; am I wrong?

You are not wrong. A few qualifiers on that though. First, although Kahn certainly has his fair share of bewildering moves (drafting Jonny Flynn chief among them), I don’t think he’s quite as terrible as he’s made out to be. When he replaced Kevin McHale, the team’s roster was a hot mess. Untangling it all would have driven the best of us to drink. Second, while people are feeling pretty good about them right now, they are still a wing scorer/defender and an actual (not Darko-holographic) big man away from being for real. If can can make that happen (without a ’12 first-round pick and without giving up anything serious) then you can color me impressed.

True or False: Rubio is the real deal.

That is true. Nobody passes like that by accident; the kid is seriously gifted. But: I’m still not convinced that his solid shooting isn’t an anomaly. If he regresses back down into the sub-40% range (where he was projected), he’ll be a lot easier to defend. Also, right now he has the second-worst turnover rate of any point guard in the top 30 (Mario Chalmers is worst). That’ll take some fixing.

Call the game.

Well, since both the Raptors and the Wolves are working on new identities under new coaches it’s still really hard for me to know who they are. Statistically, they’re pretty even so far–the Wolves have been a bit better defensively, while the Raps have been a bit better on O. But because I’m a blatant homer I’m gonna go with the Wolves, let’s say by five.

Match-ups

Point Guard
Both Ridnour and Rubio have been doing their damage from the perimeter this season. Yesterday against the Wizards, they took three shots inside of 9 feet between the two of them.  Now that we know how these guys score/operate, Calderon and Carter should be prepared, right? We may see some remnants of fatigue tonight with Calderon, and if the Raptors get into an early hole, don’t expect to see heavy minutes from him. Barbosa may even see some time at the point since Carter really can’t put in much more than 10 minutes himself. I’m just hoping Ridnour doesn’t have another career night against the Raptors; he always gets up to play us. Barea might see action tonight, but the guys been injured to start the season, so he wont be a huge factor given he wont be logging heavy minutes.
Edge: Even

Shooting Guard
DeMar hasn’t been helping himself at all the last couple games. I still stand by my assessment of him needing to get to the line more; three trips in the last two games is unacceptable. Both Ellington and Johnson are perimeter players who will make DeRozan pay if he gives them too much room to shoot. He needs to set the tone early, test the Wolves defense early, and be engaged from the onset, otherwise another 8pt 2reb performance is all we can hope for.
Edge: Even

Small Forward
By all rights, Beasley should be playing for the Raptors; why we passed on taking him back from Miami is beyond me. I’m asking because I’m interested to know what people think: would you rather have Beasley and Norris Cole or James Johnson and a trade exception that wont get used? Fortunately, Michael is injured and wont be dropping 31 on us tonight. Leaves a combination of Derrick Williams and Wesley Johnson for JJ, Butler and Forbes to deal with. Wont be quite as bad as it could have been, but with three games in three nights, we’re going to bear witness a lot of ugly.
Edge: Wolves

Power Forward
You’d be hard-pressed to name a better power forward than Kevin Love right now. Bargnani could actually do worse than look to him for some pointers on rebounding and putting himself in the right spots at the right time. Otherwise, I am really looking forward to this match-up. Love will have a hard time defending Bargnani off the bounce, but will give him more than a handful on the glass. Love should win the match-up and post somin’ nasty on the box score, but Bargnani will take back his. Whatever happens, I have a feeling that this game will be won on the wing.
Edge: Wolves

Center
Darko doesn’t play heavy minutes, and when he does, he doesnt leave much of a mark on the game. The guy will block a couple shots, grab a couple rebounds and score a couple from 3 feet; that’s it. The Wolves will go small ball whenever they can, making Magloire less useful than he already is. Amir should benefit against a smaller front court, but he still needs to show up and make things happen. This will be the least interesting match-up tonight.
Edge: Even

Injuries

Raptors
Linas Kleiza – Knee, Game-Time Decision

Timberwolves
MIchael Beasely – Foot; Out
Jose Juan Barea – Hamstring, Out
Malcolm Lee – Knee, Out

Keys to the Game

  1. Limit Kevin Love’s effectiveness on the boards: the Wolves are 2nd in the league in rebounds/game; have to box the guy out make him work for everything
  2. Control the pace: Raptors do much well when they slow the pace, and walk the ball up on offense. Getting into an up-and-down will do nothing but create space on the perimeter for the Wolves to shoot uncontested jumpers which they are good at hitting.
  3. Attack the paint: the Raptors went to the foul line 12 times against the Sixers; this is utterly unacceptable. You need to be able to get easy points on the board; have to take advantage of the athleticism our key-players have, and attack the defense off the bounce.
  4. No open looks: I’m not sure how much more of this I can take, but the Raptors do a great job of giving opposing teams clean looks at the rim from the perimeter. How many open shots did the Nets hit on Friday? …makes me crazy…

The Line

The gamblers have the Raptors as 3.5 point favourites with an over/under of 188. If the Raptors are to win a game over the next three, it will be tonight (we’ve never seen the Raptors play three games back-to-back-to-back, but it’s going to get very ugly come Wednesday). I hate to say it, but I’d bet against the line right now, and take the Wolves by 4. This is a team that walked into the Wizards house shorthanded, and beat them like they stole something.

  • voy

    yeah, really looking forward to watching the t.wolves play. they seem to have some nice pieces in their frontcourt and backcourt.  I’m betting they’ll get rid of beasley too, late this season or in the offseason if d.williams continues to progress, to fill another need.  Throw in there a potential contributor in next year’s draft and minny is looking alright.

    I’d take minny and the points tonight, too.

    • Nilanka15

      I read somewhere (maybe it was RaptorsHQ), that Adeleman has gone on record saying that he intends to one day go with a Beasley, Williams, Love front court if/when Williams learns to properly defend opposing PFs.

      I don’t know if Love at the 5 is a good idea.  This could’ve just been a motivation technique Adeleman is using to get his prized rookie up to speed.  But who knows…

      As for Beasley in Toronto, I was one of the few who was in favour of that “proposed” deal with Miami.  Sure, Beasley’s a headcase, but he’s still an asset on the trade market (at the very least).  Not sure what Colangelo was thinking not pulling the trigger there.  Unless of course, the deal was never actually on the table…

      • 2damkule

        yeah, still gotta wonder about that…remember, as billy simmons says, you can get away with one headcase/nutcase on your team.  not sure beasley would have helped much, but he is talented (at least compared to the current 3s on the raps’ roster).  i guess BC thought ‘nothing’ was the more appropriate route…

        as for the lineup of love, williams & beasley…it sounds like a disaster defensively, but would be a matchup nightmare for defenses.  per 82games:

        http://www.82games.com/1112/1112MIN2.HTM

        they’ve been used together, but not all that much, and the results are mixed.  my guess is that it’s a decent enough lineup if they want to ‘go small’ (or react to another team going small).

  • Nilanka15

    Am I correct in understanding that if the Raptors are 3.5 point favourites, the Wolves don’t need to win by 4 to cover the spread?  The Wolves can lose and still cover, as long as they’re within 3 points or less (or straight up win the game by any margin).

    • arsenalist

      He’s not suggesting that the Wolves need to win by 4 to cover.  He’s picking the Wolves to win by 4, and cover in the process.

      • Nilanka15

        Understood.

    • voy

      correct-a-mundo.  raps need to win by 4 points to cover the spread.  Minny just needs to lose by 3 points or less (or win the game) and they cover.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SJT6LQ6HZQWMPJMT22LTN24UUY Antonino Ferraro

    It will be a tough game. I am curious to see Rubio against his national teammate Calderon. If we confront the roster is clearly that the Wolves are better than us. We can win if we defend well, really well in the paint area and avoid to concede a lot transition point. In addition stop KL offensive rebounds and hope that the guys will score point expecially from DD an the bench. We can afford another performance with the duo Bargnani-Calderon score the 50% of total point.

    I am intrigued to see Love and Bargnani matchup

    • 2damkule

      i’m thinking they’ll be putting amir on love & let bargs deal with darko.

      • p00ka

        On one hand, that may make the most sense if the sole goal is winning a game, but this being a development year, Casey seems to be determined to have Bargnani focused on getting used to playing the PF at both ends, in anticipation of JV taking the reins at the 5 and having a starting front court of JV/AB. May as well have him develop the skills and knowledge of who he’ll be covering moving forward from this year. I certainly don’t have Casey’s expertise, nor can I be certain of what’s in his mind, but it’s what I would do.

        • 2damkule

          well, based on how they approached the sixers game (bargs on hawes, amir on brand), i’m thinking they’ll do this throughout the year (if not bargs’ career, much as they have to date); essentially, put him on the ‘weaker’ offensive player, as long as the mismatch isn’t extreme.

          of course, having bargs on love does make sense as well…his length could disrupt love’s jumper, and they may prefer to have amir/magloire in the paint battling darko for rebounds.  just means it’ll be up to bargs to keep love off the O glass…

        • sek99

          Bargnani will always be given the weaker offensive threat on defense, even when Val is here, because he will probably always be the weaker defender. . . doesn’t really have much to do with position. When Val comes, unless he’s a worse defender which would then mean our defense will again regress, he’ll be guarding the tougher guy every night because that will be his role.

          • p00ka

            Not true, just like your other statement that Bargnani didn’t cover 5s last year. This year, did AB cover West or Hibbert, Jamison or Varejao, Dirk or Haywood/Mahinmi?

        • WHAT THE

          thank GOD for that

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        If Casey is smart that’s what he’ll do as KLove will beat AB ass on the glass like he slapped his momma with his Primo Pasta stick.

        All this AB is a center talk from BC is 100% pure balderdash as the Raptors game announcer introduces AB as the Raptors starting center in pregame player introductions- listen for it tonite on tv if your not at the game.

        • p00ka

          Yup folks, don’t spend your time assessing the actual game, but get that focus on what the intro announcer says, and until you do, and agree that it’s meaningful, I’m going to keep pounding away about it day after day.

          • WHAT THE

            YUP you tell others not to respond to BCGATS2GO but you do come on pookie resist the mind con-troll

            • ARealRaptorsFan

              I noticed that as well it’s like the fellow is stalking BCGATS2GO while telling everyone else to ignore him.

              • p00ka

                yes, I’m a bit of a pit bull when someone phuks with me and laughs. I’ll likely change my stance, but with too much free time on my hands right now I’m torn between:
                1. Still pointing out the simply dumb remarks when he seems to be trying to be sensible. Read his shit long enough and there’s actually some attempts to offer sane opinions, whether I agree or not. Phuk with me and I’m a pit bull that goes for the throat at any chance.
                2. Warning others who think he’s actually being serious when he does his ludicrous mind game bullchit only to laugh at ppl when they nail him to the wall. That’s the shit that I’ll do whatever I can to get rid of, as long as I have all this time on my hands.

                • voy

                  there is no such thing as pitbull or tough guy on the internet.  its either dumbass or bigger dumbass.

                • p00ka

                  I don’t know about no such thing, but you might be right about me being a bigger dumbass.

                • p00ka_is_a_fish

                  Yup don’t forget you’re a fish too

                • p00ka

                  I won’t

        • terry

          So?

          You`re making a big deal out of nothing… like all of your posts…

          • [email protected]

            Terry, your a fish

        • CJT

          Hey Dickweed, once again you have no clue what you are talking about.  The P.A. announcer called Amir a 6 foot 9 CENTER and Bargnani a 7 foot FORWARD.  Have you ever been right about anything?  Jesus.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            All that means is that the PA announcer got the memo from BC as in all the previous home games AB has been announced as the Raptors starting center.

  • 2damkule

    ‘…a trade exception that wont get used?’

    i believe you mean ‘wasn’t used?’

    not sure why the raps are favoured in this game, perhaps vegas isn’t factoring-in each team’s last two games (~20pt W by wolves over horrible wiz, or raps even worse ~40pt L to a decent sixers team).  but jeebus, take minny in this one, bad matchups all over the place.

    oh, and WTF is up with KLove?  sure, he’s a perimeter-oriented PF, but look at all those rebounds!!  at least he’s pretty /meh/ defensively…

    • RapthoseLeafs

      [” ….. would you rather have Beasley and Norris Cole or James Johnson and a trade exception that wont get used? “]

      I thought so the first time I read that. Then I realized he meant “at the time of the trade” with a little foresight about Raptors NOT using the Exception.
      .

      That being said, was Beasley, our pick back, and Miami’s pick (Cole by Bulls), on the table (as such). Or would it have been Beasley & our pick?

      .

      • 2damkule

        no one really knows what was on the table, but considering that the heat essentially gave beasley away for nothing (i believe it was a 2nd rounder), he likely would have been made available in the bosh deal (with perhaps an additional part or protected pick thrown in by the raps).  so, bosh (& perhaps fodder) going to MIA for beasley, the raps 1st rounder back, MIA’s 1st rounder, and a smaller (to-be-*mostly*-unused) TPE?

        • p00ka

          BC is clearly not interested in bringing in head cases with drug problems and you guys have an issue with that?

          • 2damkule

            hahaha…no, i have no problem with it now, & i didn’t have much of a problem with it then.  but not because beasley’s a headcase or has drug ‘problems’ (the extent of which is likely not much different than many other players his age). my problem with beasley is that he’s pretty much the same player as bargnani…

    • sleepz

      Love mixes it up and his basketball IQ is off the charts. He’s an extremely gifted 4 (on the blocks and on the perimeter) and he’s slimmed down considerably since last year.

      He’s been a beast since UCLA and has gotten better in his time in the NBA.

      The only reason why I think his defence is considered servicable is dude is only about 6’8 but he is unquestionably a baller.

      Amir would be the better match-up on him tonight but if Andrea is the 4 he should guard his position no? 

      • 2damkule

        i love love, was being facetious (and poking bargs just a bit).

        players should defend the player it makes the most sense to defend against.  if bargs can’t hang with love on the perimeter (and i’m not saying he can’t…but, uh, love’s pretty good), and if he (bargs) is at a signifigant disadvantage in terms of keeping him off the glass, then it doesn’t make sense to put him on him just so he’s defending their own positions.  this is why the whole ‘move bargs to his ‘natural’ PF position is a bit of a strawman.  the raps’ defensive philosophy when it comes to bargs hasn’t really changed, what’s changed has his approach & effort on that end, at least over the first 12% of this season.
         
        fwiw, love measured 6’9.5″ with shoes in college, and is listed as 6’10” now (which may be leaning high, but is plausible).

        • sleepz

          Love can’t be 6’10. Very generous porportions at these draft camps. lol

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            If you want to know the players true physical measurements with & without shoes go to draftexpress.com

      • Ska

        I believe Casey will put AB on LOve

        • Truthkiller

          Kevin Love is everything I’d love to see Bargs grow into tonight, a quality shooter that can stretch the floor, tenacious rebounder averaging 15 rebounds ppg (bargs is averaging 6 rebounds). 

          All summer I heard the Bargs fanboys, Casey and Colangelo claim “Bargnani is/was playing out of position, he’s a 4 not a 5” tonight he gets a shot at quality PF.

          • WHAT THE

            is there any chance of Bargs tonite because i got to go to IGA to pick up a couple cases of you know what

    • Sam Holako

      Yes, I stand corrected; ‘wasn’t used’

      • 2damkule

        haha…i was just nit-picking.  and technically, it wasn’t completely unused, they did use a bit of it to make at least one (inconsequential) acquisition, if not two.

    • WHAT THE

      his team mates aren’t stealin them

  • p00ka

    Sam,,, yesterday you posted an extremely inaccurate statement of how AB got second in ROY voting. What’s up with that?

    • Nilanka15

      “Second in ROY voting” can be a misleading title when you think about it.  It gives the impression that Bargnani narrowly missed out on the ROY award.  But in reality, he only received 1 vote, which happened to be cast by the all-time greatest homer, Swirsky.  In reality, Bargnani shouldn’t have received any votes for ROY because in no way did he have a better season than Brandon Roy.  Swirsky was just being Swirsky.

      A more accurate title for Bargnani would be “First in ROY runner-up voting”, because Bargnani received the most runner-up votes….if that makes any sense.

      • 2damkule

        well, that’s not entirely accurate.  voting for ROY (as i think was detailed yesterday) is based on a 1-2-3 system, with points being awarded for 1st place votes (5), 2nd place (3) & 3rd (1).  highest point total wins.  swirsky did embarrass raptor fans by being the ultimate homer & giving his 1st place vote to bargnani (which isn’t a knock on bargs).

        • Nilanka15

          Right, I was just referring to the semantics of the title.  Bargnani’s vote totals tell us that he was the consensus 2nd best rookie in 2006-07.  But with the exception of Swirsky, nobody voted for him as the best rookie.

          • WHAT THE

            noooo body!

          • mountio

            This is one of the most non sensical arguments on this site. If he is 2nd in the voting (which he was .. by a margin over Rudy Gay) .. then this means he was the 2nd best rookie in his year. Whether or not he was “close to first” or not is pretty much irrelevant. Point is, he was the 2nd best rookie. And, further, Chuck could have voted for him as 10th (or I guess more accurately not voted for him at all) .. and he still would have been 2nd in the standings overall .. WAY ahead of Gay.
            Why is this concept so hard to understand? AB was the 2nd best rookie in his year. Period. “Second in ROY voting” is not misleading in any way shape, or form.

            People who dont like AB and harp on this as evidence simply continue to show their bias .. because this is 100% undeniable and not arguable. Not that it matters much at this stage .. but please get your facts straight.

            • Nilanka15

              Yes, he was 2nd in voting, there’s no denying that.

              And no, it wasn’t a close race, which is what this whole discussion is about.  Besides, it’s 6 years later.  None of this is relevant anymore.

        • RapthoseLeafs

          I miss the Swirsk
          .

      • p00ka

        2damkule basically made the point, but to reiterate, Sam implied, or flatly stated yeaterday that AB got second because of Swirsky’s dumb homer vote. He got second based on a league wide vote that accounts for a 1-2-3 system, and Swirsky’s vote was of no consequence.

    • deevad

      From everything I can find online, Brandon Roy totaled 638 points, AB 264 and Gay received 93. I’m also unsure of how something could be extremely inaccurate, as opposed to just being inaccurate.

      • Nilanka15

        To paraphrase a line from ‘The Big Bang Theory’, it’s inaccurate to say a tomato is a vegetable.  It’s extremely inaccurate to say a tomato is a suspension bridge.

        • deevad

          Despite my undying hatred of that show, point taken.

          • Nilanka15

            Just kidding around 😉

            But seriously, it’s a great show!

            • 2damkule

              haha!  yeah, seriously, it’s not.

              • Nilanka15

                Hater.

                • hotfuzz

                  That show sucks! Community all the way!

                • Nilanka15

                  lol, Community is a good show too.

                • voy

                  love community. if you guys haven’t already, check out Danny Glover’s rap songs.  I f’n love them.
                   
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_YIykqwSNY
                   
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIPzQC-Zink&feature=related

                • voy

                  donald glover, I meant.  Danny Glover doing rap would be weird, yo.

                • Hound

                  I love the Big Bang Theory. Wait a minute, agreeing with Nilanka? I may have to rethink watching the show.

                • Nilanka15

                  Don’t you think the main characters would be proponents of advanced metrics?  And if so, what do you think their collective opinion of Bargnani would be as a result?  😛

                • Hound

                  because they are devoid of any feeling, except when Leonards erection hits him in the face whilst drooling over Penny, they probably don’t feel the love for the big guy. but once they find out Bargs used to sleep in spock jammies, that all could change. 

                  Upon review, I love that show!!

                • Nilanka15

                  lol, well played.

                • terry

                  Ooh! thats a scrap!

      • p00ka

        Saying he got second based on one vote is about as far from accurate as one can possibly be, thus not even remotely close, thus extremely. Saying Love is Bargs’ height is inaccurate. Saying Nate Robinson is Bargs’ height is extremely inaccurate. An adjective to emphasize the degree of inaccuracy.

        • Sheptor

          “Extremely” is an adverb not an adjective. So who’s accurate now? Just kidding..but still.

          • p00ka

            lol, oops, english grammar brain fart aside, same point

    • Ska

      The ROY of AB class isn’t playing basket anymore.

  • ad

    Casey should lock bargnani into a room to watch video of Love’s rebounding non stop.

    • 2damkule

      nice thought, but love’s ability to read & react is instinctual.  it’d be like watching a National Geographic video on eagles & thinking that by doing so, you’ll learn how to fly.

      • p00ka

        LOL, good one.

    • WHAT THE

      PRIMO PASTA got his coach right there with him on the side line telling him 2 per 1/4 and he can’t even do that, do you think watching tapes is going to help the coach should be pushing him to get 8 rebounds every game seeing that the wins aren’t important this year plus the whole world heard about the 2 per 1/4 thing (internet)

      • p00ka

        And the whole world, except for a few lame asses on here, know that setting a goal isn’t a magic wand that gives overnight results meeting that goal. Perhaps you can get over your obsession with finding anything that you harp non to criticize the best player on the team, and tell us how many other players on this team have achieved the goals Casey set for them.

        • WHAT THE

          pookie do you really think that Casey gives a f#%^ about any other player on this team right now than his Jason Kid (JOSE) and you know his Dirk 2.0 just picture Casey at the job interview with BC yes and now all thats left is to add Chandler (JONAS V.) and then we become the new Dallas Mavs team playing Caseys play-off style half court basket ball with steve nash suns type/style of players, don’t you think if Casey makes PRIMO and Ocho looks good his job extension chances look pretty good so do the math it’s a pitty the guy doesn’t know what he’s in for  

          • p00ka

            Brilliant, well founded analysis, right in line with the childish name skewing.

            • ARealRaptorsFan

              You are most likely a nice very fellow in person but you are single handily ruining this blog posting with the constant argumentative negative nature of your posts.

              • p00ka

                Perhaps you’re even newer here than me. My negativism is directed toward a couple (mostly one) of negative only Raptor/Bargs comment ppl who are clearly intent on phuking with ppl for fun most of the time. Maybe I’m missing something, but perhaps you can show me where I’m “ruining” this blog with “negative arguments” other than trying to piss back at those that are doing it to me or others.
                if you’re referring to pointing out inaccuracies in some opinion forming, please tell me how that ruins a discussion forum. Hey, I’m open to being enlightened.

                • p00ka_is_a_fish

                  ARealRaptorsFan gotta learn to tune him out, he’s a fish

              • WHAT THE

                +100

    • Ska

      Actually Casey will put AB on LOVE.

      • p00ka

        I think that’s very likely too. It’ll be an interesting match-up. Obviously Love has the big advantage in rebounding, though rebounding is more of a team game than some realize. Nevertheless, AB has a huge job cut out for him in that regard. If Love is kept to less than his average of 15 rpg, it will be a success. On the other hand, it should be a mismatch on the Raps’ side if Love is defending AB. If AB puts it on the floor, Love can’t cover him. It’s possible Casey starts the game with AB chucking 3 after 3 again to draw Love out and help keep him off the glass, though Love does a lot of damage on the offensive board while shooting a lot of 3s himself. I haven’t seen enough of him to know how he manages that (a lot of long rebounds?), so I’m keen on watching him in this game. It may turn out to be a big first hand lesson for ABs rebounding while playing the stretch 4.

        • 2damkule

          as mentioned above, i’m skeptical whether they’ll put bargs on love…as much trouble as love will have defending him, bargs will have just as difficult a time (if no moreso) checking love, who is a significantly better perimeter shooter than anyone bargs has faced, as well as a significantly better rebounder than anyone bargs as faced.  i’m sure there will be possessions in which bargs defends love, and he may do a fine job, but i still think they’ll put him on darko & amir on bargs (to start), and only switch bargs to love when magloire checks in.  IMO, the best defender the raps have for love is JJ…but that throws all kinds of things out of whack.  DD can’t defend the wolves SFs, and you can’t have butler & JJ on the floor at the same time.  this would actually be a good game for the raps to go small, start JJ at the 4 (checking love), and using butler at the 3, with bargs on darko in the middle.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    TO PG = Minn PG

    TO SG > Minn SG

    TO SF = Minn SF

    TO PF  Minn C

    TO Bench = Minn Bench (if JJ Barea plays Minny gets edge)

    Minnesota is coming into this game off of a W at Washington yesterday while Raptors have had a day of rest since their mugging in Philly so Raptors should win this game especially since MBeasley & potentially spark plug pg JJ Barea are out for Minnesota- right.

    Rubio vs Calderon Spain’s past vs its future National Team pg- I see Rubio schooling Jose & dropping dimes like Huggy Bear all over the court in this game when he checks in for Cool Hand Luke Ridnour.

    As well I see KLove kickin’ AB’s ass all night long on the glass so much so that Amir may switch over onto him and AB may guard Darko to start the game if Casey is smart.

    DD should eat up Minnesota’s SGs I look for DD to have a solid game 20 points should be attainable tonite w/ 5-7 fts- key word for DD attack the rim don’t settle for Js.

    True Minnesota walked into DC and beat the Wizards but the Wizards, the Raptors next opponent, haven’t won a game all year.

    I will say this Beasley & Norris would look alot better than JJ in a Raptors uniform but BC, whose basketball wisdom should never be criticized or looked back onto with hindsight by fans & fanboys (girls), said that there would be no one avaiable at 28 in the 2011 NBA draft that would effect the Raptors roster also as I recall he insinuated that Miami never offered him Beasley in the CB transaction.

    I see Toronto winning a high scoring game (for them this season) 95-92 & KLove potentially grabbing 30 rebounds & most definitely grabbing 20 (maybe by halftime lol) while Rubio puts on a show with somw hilight passes making some TDot fans wonder if BC goes after the wrong Euros/International players.

    • CJT

      Knowledgable fans with basketball IQ – Minny

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Minny could very well get the W but I just feel that playing on a b2b the Raptors might have an advantage playing at home plus with a day of rest beforehand.

        As far as your self serving assumption- insinuation is like masturbation it only gets you of kiddo with…….no vaseline (Ice Cube voice)

        • CJT

          Its great to see that you know about as much about other things as you do about basketball.  Who uses vaseline to masturbate?  Enjoy your anal. 

    • http://twitter.com/japetas13 Ramūnas Padriezas

      If Barea plays, both of our Johnsons will get couple more blocks in their stats

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        If Barea plays he will have a positive impact in the game for Minny.

    • Ska

      Calderon will school Rubio. Raptor may loose, but Caldy will drive Rubio crazy

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        I think it might be the other way around- Raps win but Rubio schools Jose- time will tell.

  • 2damkule

    i wonder if minny is trending into portland territory (of a few years ago) with their roster.  lots of young guys with potential & upside, hard to find enough minutes to satisfy everyone, overloaded at certain positions & under-represented at others, good enough to win games, but not at the rate of a contender.  will they turn some of these assets into pieces that will help them turn the corner sooner rather than later?

    • Mediumcore

      That’s what continually being in the lottery does for you. Eventually you are stacked with young talent on rookie scale contracts and under the cap. Hopefully you hit the jackpot on a star calibre player (Rubio) and then you can move some of those players you have too many of at the same position to complete your team.

      Derozan, Ed, Val, 2012 draft…I’d say the Raptors are on their way. Hopefully BC doesn’t jump the gun and spend the big bucks before we find our star player.

  • Adriiian

    Let’s go RAPS! Can’t wait to see the TWolves play, hopefully we can get this one, DD has to bounce back!

  • draftedraptor

    Kevin Love is averaging 5.2 Offensive rebounds/game and is top of the league. Amir is on 2.9 ORPG. Ed Davis is on 1.5 and JJ on 0.9 ORPG. Bargnani is on 0.6 ORPG and is ranked 161 in the league. He is below several other wolves players like Williams, Beasley, Tolliver, Darko Milicic who are all averaging roughly 1 ORPG. We lost several second chance points last game. Don’t think this game will be any different. On one side you have an industrious and gifted player like Kevin Love. On the other we have a 7-foot SG in a center’s skin.

    • p00ka

      I love you guys that pick and choose stats from 7 games to depict a player’s value. Anybody can paint what ever picture they want doing that.

      Dirk;      19 PPG, .476 FG%, .200 3P%, 5.2 RBs
      Bargs: 22.8 PPG, .523 FG%, .370 3p%, 6.4 RBs

      Based on your type of expert analysis should we say that Bargs is a much better player than Dirk?

      • draftedraptor

        Ha. Do you really think Bargnani’s career stats are any better? If anything the last 7 games show Bargnani in a good light. You can look up their career stats on ORPG. They present the same picture. To put things in perpective – 5 ORPG is roughly 10 points gained over loss of turn to score.  game winner every time.

        • p00ka

          You seem to have missed the point. You’re conclusion is that based on poor offensive rebounding, AB is a “7-foot SG in a center’s skin”. ABs career avg is .9, Dirk’s is 1.2. Not much different. Would you conclude that Dirk is a 7 ft SG in a center’s body who based on this year’s games is a much worse overall player than AB? That’s where your method of logic would have us go, and it’s wrong on both accounts.
          Different players have different strengths. One can say a banana is yellow, and an orange is orange, and it’s certainly true. That doesn’t mean a banana is a fruit, and an orange isn’t.

          • WHAT THE

            buddy the real DIRK is on the defending champions team and all teams playing against them are bringing there “A” game so it’s going to be rough for him and his team i think for a while also never winning another championship but having his # hanging in the rafters at the end of his playing days

            • p00ka

              True. Irrelevant to the discussion, but thanks anyway.

          • 2damkule

            actually, yes, i’d say that dirk IS a 7-ft SG.

          • p00ka_is_a_fish

            Let me help you highlight something here:

            Andrea Bargnani (7″0 tall, 27 years old, 6th NBA Season) –
            22.8 ppg, 6.4 rebounds

            Dirk Nowitzki (7″0 tall, 25 years old, 6th NBA Season) –
            21.8 ppg, 8.7 rebounds *alot closer to 9.

            Your logic to compare a hall of famer in the downside of his career to Andrea Bargnani is highly amusing, in all seriousness though your analysis is a joke. Just GTFO. 

            • cesco

              Did Dirk had CB4 to take away his spot and a coach like  Smitch in  first 5 years in the NBA ? I don’t think so .

              • 2damkule

                how would you know?  i’m pretty sure you’ve stated that you started watching basketball during andrea’s rookie year…or am i confusing you with someone else?

            • p00ka

              Obviously the point of the conversation goes over you’re tiny head, but carry on with your insightful highlights for the lemmings that like your post.

              • p00ka_is_a_fish

                Typical fish response by a Bargnani fanboy

      • Nilanka15

        To me, it didn’t look like draftedraptor was making any claims about players’ overall value, but was specifically speaking of offensive rebounding.  If that’s the case, then everything he said was true.

        • p00ka

          I can skew truths (stats) too. I did. It’s true, but what does it prove? He didn’t just talk offensive rebounding. He used his offensive rebounding stats to concluded that AB is a “7-foot SG in a center’s skin”. Is that part of what you say is “everything he said was true”? 

          • draftedraptor

            I already asked you to prove me wrong about Bargnani’s career stats on offensive rebounds. It has always been pathetic for a 7foot Center. And gimme some credit. I did say Bargnani has the skill set of a SG.

            Big men (who do their job) win you games in NBA.

            • p00ka

              I have zero argument about the fact of poor offensive rebounding. My point is to it’s relevance in concluding that AB is a 7 ft SG. At the risk of the central scrutinizer calling me out on negative arguments, see above and tell me if you would come to the same conclusion that Dirk is a 7ft SG in a centers body. If that’s what you’re saying, it’s you’re opinion and I have an opinion, with a pretty strong case, that such a type of player can also win you basketball games, even a championship, but it takes more than one piece.

              • p00ka_is_a_fish

                Stop riding his jock, fanboy. At $9Million, he better be willing to carry the team on both sides of the court and so far he’s shown the unwillingness to be good defensively.

  • tonious35

    I’ll be at this game, before I fly back to Edmonton…Winning or losing, but hopefully winning, I want to the see the Rubio circus.

    • WHAT THE

      tell PRIMO 2A1/4 he’ll know what you mean