Trail Blazers 94, Raptors 84 – Box

Coming off a 23 shellacking at the hands of the Celtics, Portland had me scared. A franchise seemingly plagued by bad luck, the Blazers had shrugged off the ongoing Greg Oden fiasco and the loss of Brandon Roy to retirement as if they were minor inconveniences and were playing inspired basketball. In spite of my doubts, however, those wizards over at TSN2 pulled me right back in with a hope filled opening clip to the broadcast, and I found myself believing that things would be different tonight. The Raptors got off to a quick four point lead with James Johnson looking like a man possessed, before the Blazers woke up and put the Raptors in their place. What followed was one of the most uninspired 24 minutes of basketball I have ever seen the Toronto Raptors play.

Lacking a player who can create his own shot off the dribble, or even a go-to offensive weapon, Portland was all too happy to allow the Raptors to take contested jump shots for the rest of the quarter and for the majority of their first quarter possessions, and Toronto obliged (Derozan in particular). While the Raptors were busy throwing up contested bricks, the Blazers set the tone for the rest of the game by running an efficient half-court offense. Amir looked overmatched by Aldridge’s physical prowess and overall superior talent, and the Raptors defensive schemes were unable to make up for it. The easy scapegoat for the game would be Amir, since he played one of his worst games in recent memory, but it is clear he is injured and in need of some rest. The only bright spot for the Raptors in the 1st was their 10 fast break points, which would be quite promising if they had been able to muster more than 4 points from their half-court offense. The quarter ended with a potentially injured Aldridge and the Raps down by 13; a scary number considering the Blazers played fairly mediocre basketball.

The second quarter gave the Raptors the opportunity to sink to even lower depths. After quickly recovering from his strained lower back, Aldridge returned and continued to dominate the Raptors by either converting easy buckets or distributing the ball to wide open teammates when the Raptors collapsed on him. With the lead bloated to 21 points, a chorus of boos rain down from the fans after yet another ugly jump shot (part of a 1-10 stretch) by king Rasual. Perhaps motivated by embarrassment, the Raptors managed to cut the lead to 15 by the end of the second.

If you were lucky enough not to see the game, you might be led to believe that this wasn’t a disgusting first half display by the Raptors, but I can assure you, the numbers lie.
After what was almost certainly an expletive filled halftime speech by Coach Casey, the Raptors had a little life in them and made a game of it. The Raptors squad that came out bore no resemblance to the one that put up such a meager effort in the first half. They utilized their zone defense to momentarily stagnate the Blazers offense, and DeMar seemed to remember that he’s supposed to be second best player in the organization and went back to his strengths. Finally abandoning contested jump shots, the Raptors actually attempted to go inside and get easy buckets. They cut the lead to single digits and were within a few solid possessions of competing for a victory before this magical stretch of effort and efficient play, that lasted about eight minutes, came to an end. The Blazers broke down the zone and the Raptors returned to lazily taking jump shots. Even after scoring 14 points in the quarter with strong moves to the bucket, DeMar drifted back into the bad habits he’s picked up this season that have made him an ineffective player.

The fourth quarter went like clockwork. The Blazers were never legitimately threatened by the Raptors, maintaining a comfortable double digit cushion, and the Raptors allowed them to coast to an easy victory without putting up a fuss. Aldridge finished with 33 and 23, a monster line that he made look easy. A ten point loss to a good Western Conference team is probably won’t raise eyebrows anytime soon, but I think it should. As with all Raptor fans, I’ve gotten accustomed to the lackluster efforts, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a better performance than the one they gave tonight, especially coming off the Celtics game and especially at home.

This game was painful enough to watch on T.V., I can’t even imagine what kind of torture it must have been to be in the building and actually pay to watch that kind of a performance. We all know that the Raptors have a deficiency in talent against almost any opponent they come up against (especially with Andrea out of the lineup), but that kind of excuse wore out long ago.
I’ve always been a big DeMar Derozan and Ed Davis fan, but seeing them (along with the entire Raptors squad) get completely outhustled and outclassed by James Johnson, a guy who couldn’t even crack the rotation in Chicago makes you wonder what kind of value these players really have. That isn’t a slight on Johnson either; he is simply a player who is exceeding expectations when given the opportunity, while the young cornerstones of our franchise have wilted this season when given the spotlight. There are real questions about the direction of this franchise, and a good draft pick and a young stud in Europe aren’t cure-alls. I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but these past two games have left me with a really bad taste in my mouth.
Rebuilding or not, if things remain this bleak, something has to change.

Ed’s Note: David Helm continues his RR tryouts.

  • Brian Gerstein

    I agree Tom, things are looking bleak, even looking past Jonas and a likely high draft pick onboard.  Colangelo will likely have a revamped roster for next year, because of the major drop-offs we are seeing from personnel, like DeMar and Ed this year, that was not anticipated.  This is a try-out year for those guys under Casey, and if they can’t cut the mustard, then Bryan will not hesitate to move them.

    • Brian B

      “will not hesitate to move them”

      and your evidence to support this? After he stood pat & filled out the roster this year with stiffs?

      BC needs to go.

      • Raps4Ever

        “BC needs to go”,,,,, or what? You’ll keep whining? Ohhhhh, Raps owners are going to act upon that!!

        What do you suggest he should have done instead of signing those stiffs? He could have signed better players, but who among them would have signed for only one year? He didn’t have the cap space to sign someone worthwhile going forward, so got these guys on cheap one year deals, setting himself up to have that space, plus add $12M more cap space (Barbosa, Bayless, Alabi) and make significant noise this coming summer after the new coach gets a solid look at what he’s got. You think that’s bad moves? Really?

        • Brian B

          He needs to go or the Raps stand to go the path of the Maple Leafs… non stop “rebuilding”. As long as the fans show up, the owners seem not to care.

          it’s not JUST about this year- Weems, Bellinelli, JWright, Banks… it goes on and on. And this year- other teams have done better on one year deals – because players want to go there. And that lack of cap space? That’s BC’s fault too. Who signed or traded for the cap clogging players?

          There are  better GMs who have done it the right way- Presti and  Demps being current examples.

          If there was a decent cable package available in Canada that featured decent teams, I’d drop the Raps in a heartbeat. Until then, I can only hope that a miracle happens.

          • voy

            the leafs, until recently, always avoided the rebuild, by signing guys on the downside of their career (like Gary Roberts, Joe Nieundyk etc etc).  Thats whats made them suck for so long.  Signing these guys as an attempt for a playoff run that was destined to fail. 

            The Raps can bring in guys like the equivalent of Gary Roberts, to improve the team immediately, but thats not the answer.

          • Truthkiller

            This is exactly why I despise the Leafs, it literally blows my brain cells how a team like that sells-out every single night for years now. They haven’t made the playoffs in years, always goes for the quick fixes instead of building through the draft. 

            In alot of ways both GM’s are the same, but going back to the Raptors Colangelo is very overrated. I don’t know how he was brought back by MLSE. 

      • cb

        bc needed to go two seasons ago.

        there’s no excuse for the digusting spot this franchise is in right now.

        BC is the architect. he took a well situated team with a good draft pick and cap space and has basically driven the team into the ground.

        for those that doubt just how ineffective this daddy’s boy is, all you need to do is rewatch the ‘behind the draft’ special that was shot during BC’s first draft where he kept trying to get other GMs on the phone but couldn’t. He looked like a doofus then, and nothing has changed.

        FIRE BC.

    • cesco

      There is a similarity between managing a professional team and managing your investment portfolio . You have two options : be patient if you think that is the best you can do and trust the future or try again and again , forever . I believe BC will be patient .

    • Raptor4Ever

      I fully agree with you Brian G. We all knew that this team is not going to be a competitive one this season. This is a try-out year under new system and new coach. That being said, I was electing a lot more from Ed and DD based on THEIR performance from last year. I was not expecting them to give me 20-10 nights but I was expecting them to be BETTER than what they were last year.

      Same goes for Bayless and James Johnson and Alabi !! unfortunately, so far no one from that group has stepped up and things are looking worst than I expected.

  • Valit

    can somebody explain to me how this franchise got here with such a talent level? 6-7 years ago we had our peaks and valleys but right now it’s all downhill. I’m taking any good reasons to be optimistic for next year.

    • Brian B

      See above…BC needs to go. Ironically, his most criticized move- drafting AB- might be his best. Otherwise:
      ~tried to pretend AB was a center
      ~got nothing for Bosh
      ~ failed to use trade exemption
      ~overpaid Hedo, thus no salary room for other pieces, then once error exposed, the best he can get is LB ( not a diss of LB but note: Phoenix got VC + Gortat +Pietrus+ a draft pick+cash AND got to dump two other redundant/unhappy players)
      ~traded for injured, over the hill JO
      ~traded JO for over the hill rental Shawn Marion and the immortal Marcus Banks- AND tossed in Moon and a draft pick..THAT sure helped the future
      ~signed mismatched or over the hill role players, often at premium salaries (see: Kleiza, L)
      ~continuously signs/drafts athletic players with low basketball IQ
      ~fills bench with flotsam & jetsam, making “accountability” a joke- if there was accountability, DD would be benched every second game- but who ya gonna play? Forbes?
      ~Alabi

      and I’m sure that’s not even the Top Ten.

      • Raps4Ever

        “I’m sure that’s not even the Top Ten”…… whiney little brat chants

        • Brian B

          *sigh*

          ad hominem attacks are a handy refuge for those who have no logical rebuttal.

          I may disagree with points made in posts, but I at least try to show respect for the views of others.

          Heck, I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect – I though NJ would be a playoff team this season (mind you, that was before Lopez went down- I was excited to see a season of Dwill/Lopez interaction).

        • what the

          you seem a little angry and your guy didn’t even play lol

          • Raps4Ever

            what the f… is with the lame little baiting? Where have I indicated anything about anyone being “my guy”? Do you have anything of value to offer to discussion, because it seems all you come here with is ripping into others and baiting.

            • voy

              ignore the bait. whats the use of trying to get into an intelligent discussion with him.  its like trying to explain electricity to an ant.  no offense to any ants out there but there is not going to be a moment of enlightment.  If someone decides they want to elevate the content of their posts, then thats awesome.  If not, so what?  Whats it to us?

              I’m enjoying all the well-thought out opinions out there, even if they differ from my own.  Good stuff. 

            • what the

              yes i love that guy that is out with a fake injury and i hope he comes back soon so we can win some more games he was playing so good before,the raptors cannot win without him every thing that coach Casey has ask him to do he has done it he is our best player and also Calderon are the only two NBA players we have in this team and maybe Amir these are our core pieces going forward and next year we add a stud in JV and a top 5 draft pick and for sure we will make the playoff led by the leader of this team who is playing like an allstar and just needed the right coach
              CaseyDman 

              • cesco

                If you think it is easy to keep building or rebuilding , check what happened to Cleveland and Orlando after they drafted superstars to BUILD a championship team with . One of them is starting all over , the other one soon will be . What about NY or Boston with a poor record . Probably we will be better than all those teams in the near future ,

        • sleepz

          He has right to question BC’s GM abilities

      • Guest

        ~ signed Calderons extension

        ~ the JO trade includes Roy Hibbert

        ~ drafted DD over Brandon Jennings

        • what the

          have one guy playing pf on offence and centre on defence or is it centre on offence and pf on defence like their trying to hide something well they bottled his 10 games and put him on the shelf with a FAKE injury and let the scrubs play against the power house teams and we all know for sure(smile) that had he been there raptors would have WON all those games (lets go raptors)

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          BC drafted DD over Jennings (MIL), Lawson (DEN), Teague (ATL), Holiday (PHI) & Collison (IND)- all current starting NBA pgs on playoff contending teams that give Jose fits to try and guard-contain.

          Then BC gifted DD his starting SG position as a rookie while letting veteran SG AParker go in free agency, DD didn’t earn anything talk about culture shock when BC is now trying to hold players accountable- we don’t believe you, you need more people..

          BC has fucked up the Raptors- CB TPE, do you know me?

          • Jock

            RE: the 2009 draft, hindsight is always, always, 20/20.

      • Theswirsky

        Its funny, BC is finally (after years) starting to do things the ‘right way’ but does his history as the Raps GM instill any confidence he can finish it?

        I’ve seen it argued that his strongest attribute was his ability to draft… yet here we are with his 2 most recent lottery picks struggling. Alabi, although a 2nd rounder, in the D-league.  Bargnani taking 6 years before he starts to try.  People around the league are high on Val, which is no doubt a positive, but he’s yet to even set foot on an NBA court.

        He’s historically been active on the trade market but he probably drops 2 doozies for every 1 successful deal.  And even then those trades are usually necessary to make up for previous mistakes.

        His FA signings since year 1 have been bunk at best.

        While there are some positives to take out of what was expected to be a pathetic year (Casey changing the culture, Bargnani finally losing his liability status, high draft pick), can BC parlay all that (long term) into something resembling success?  Can BC identify players best suited to a slow pace defense first team, something he has historically never sought?

        I hope so, but I’ll say I have my doubts. 

        • Raps4Ever

          Though I don’t think some of his past moves were as bad at the time as it’s easy to say with the hindsight, I understand doubt. Personally, I prefer a wait and see how it pans out because despite few pieces to be excited about at the very moment, he seems to be going about this current plan VERY well. Why not appreciate the reality of the current plan to move forward, instead of harping on history?

          I don’t understand a lot of people on here refusing to let it go. So much of what I’m reading on here makes me want to hire Dr. Phil to pay a visit. I don’t know you, so nothing personal. Just from what I’m observing in general here.

          • Theswirsky

            Deals not being as ‘bad at the time’ doesn’t make up for them becoming bad in the end.  In the end what matters is results.  Its not like there was one or two bad choices made over the last 6 years… rather there have been numerous serious mistakes made.  Negatively franchise altering decisions.

            Why not appreciate the reality of the current plan?  I do. As I said things are finally being done the right way.  But I highly question the guy’s ability who is overseeing the current plan.  Any random chump off the street can put a franchise in a position to lose games.  What takes skill is turning that losing franchise, over time, into a winner, a contender and true threat. 

            We’ve watched franchise after franchise pass this team by as this organization, and fans, have crossed its fingers and hoped for the best.  And now we should give the guy credit for rebuilding a team he never intended to, but rather was forced into because of his own failed choices and planning? 

            Don’t forget Rob Babcock started a rebuild to….

        • what the

          that was funny the one guy took 6 years before he starts to TRY good lord no wonder they had to bottle it for a while let him out again when we play those power house team CAVS and WIZ…

          • Lorenzo

            Are you related in any way to that Gotstogo clown?

        • CB4.6allstars.AB.zilch

          Solid post. Valid questions imho.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Nice post.

        BC is a liar- point blank, he has taken the Raptors from Division Champs (Atlantic was weakest Division in the NBA that year) to conference chumps via his player transactions as Raptors President & GM.

        Fired Sam at 8-9.

        Jay goes 25-40 the rest of the season and gets rewarded with a 2 year contract with a team option on a 3rd year.

        BC goes either all offense or all defense no balance in his Raptors basketball vision which is an ever changing media spin.

        Insinuates blame on CB’s free agent decision for the current state of the Franchise while questioning CB’s character, integrity and talent level in the media unto this very day yet was going to give him a max deal to stay in the TDot.

        As well, BC said in the media that he would go into the luxury tax to get CB some real players to play with- this was after CB gave BC 2 weeks notice on his leaving Toronto.

        BC said Riley didn’t offer up Beasely in CB talks- can you believe a liar?

        You can’t change the basketball culture with the Raptors until you dig out the roots of the old bush (BC’s regime) and plant new seeds (new regime) as if you just trim the hedges (promote Jay, hire Casey who retained 3 of Jay’s assistants in Roth, Hughes & Nori- no Alex English?) as all it does it give a new appearance on the very same old bush- a pr spin in the wind.

        BC needs to go and new minds need to be brought in to lead Raptors basketball into the future.

        • voy

          BC took his shots bringing in Hedo, Marion, O’Neal in an effort to make the team a contender (personally, I didn’t like those moves considering the guys we already had on the roster but whatever…).  It didn’t work.  Once Bosh left, the choice he had to make was do I build a team whose ceiling is a 6th seed or do I go rebuild with draft picks and a bunch of cheap vets I can get rid of after a year or two.  I have no problem with the choice he made.

          He fired Sam at 8-9.  True.  Expectations where much greater though, right, in that year?  I liked Sam.

          Triano was a disaster.  I’m just glad they got rid of him when they did.

          With regard to going all defense or all offense.  This year is not a matter of going all O or all D.  Looking at the roster this year, I’m sure Casey made the decision that there was no way this team can compete on a talent level if they try and speed up the game and increase possessions.  The best way to try and stay competative when you dont have the horses is to try and slow the game down and take away opposition layups.  It makes for ugly ball sometimes but thats the smart choice, in my opinion.  Whats the use of trying to play faster and in the open court more?  Having DD score 6 more points a game is not gonna help anyone out if we end up losing by 30.  I still cant believe the improvement we’ve made regarding giving up points in the paint.

          Baylor vs Mizzou on now.

          • sleepz

            Dissapointing performance by Baylor. Looking forward to seeing UConn (Lamb) vs Tenn at 4pm

            • voy

              yeah, I’m gonna try and watch that one too. 

              Last two games Baylor hasn’t been able to stop anyone from getting to their bucket.  I dont understand why they dont try and run the offense through Perry Jones more, or at the very least give him more looks.   I’ve watched them play only 6 or 7 games and its almost like they seem to ignore Jones.  Maybe I’m missing something.

      • wes mantooth

        you forgot trading roy hibbert! and that we couldve gotten gerald wallace for tj ford oh yeah and kappono

      • wes mantooth

        lets not forget he traded hibbert and could have gotten gerald wallace for tj ford. oh yeah and kappono.

  • Raps4Ever

    This place is heavily populated with whiney and/or angry little brats who want their own way,,, NOW!!

    Though it’s certainly painful to watch some of these games, anybody who thought this season was going to be any different was either fooling themselves or simply dumb. The organization clearly decided to set the team on a different course that matches what most have been screaming about: no more quick fixes to chase low playoff seeds, but take the time to build a solid foundation through the draft and wise FA signings.

    It takes time folks. The OKC or Memphis models didn’t happen overnight. They went through some awful painful times too. You either accept that this is the first year of this rebuild and it’s going to be painful many nights, or go find something else to occupy your time.

    In case you don’t realize it, Raptors management set this year up as setting the table for bigger decisions to be made on the upcoming draft and the subsequent summer free agent run. The new coaching staff will have had a 66 game season, painful as it will be, to evaluate the development of the current young pieces over that time, to have a clearer picture of who to draft, and who to go after with the huge amount of cap space they’ll have in the summer. Changing course after 15 games would be stupid.

    Accept that or move on, because it isn’t going to get any better this year as far as team success in terms of wins goes. At this point there are many teams that are much better, period. They’re going to get slaughtered some nights and look simply inept others, but getting all whiney or angry about it serves no purpose to anybody, especially yourself.

    Find some way to exercise a little patience for a change, or find another team to cheer for until this bandwagon is worth jumping on again.

    • Brian B

      “take the time to build a solid foundation through the draft and wise FA signings.”

      and when will that start? Because BC hasn’t been doing so well lately.

      BC has had five years & we are far worse than when he got here. IMHO that’s more than enough time.

      The table might be set, but if it’s the same lousy chef, the food won’t get any better.

      • voy

        thats already started.  what do you think building a solid foundation looks like? Your choice is to try and sign a bunch of half decent vets to get you the 6th playoff spot and a first round exit, or continue with the rebuild.  You cant say “I wanna rebuild” and at the same time expect the team to go 41-41.

        This is what a rebuild looks like.  Ask Minnesota.  Ask the Clippers.  Ask the Thunder.

        • what the

          i thought it was building not a rebuilding i guess we are back to rebuilding

        • Brian B

          And didn’t they all change GMs before it “took”? Not that the Clippers ever really rebuilt – they went from sad sacks to contenders quickly after changing GMs.

          Can’t recall if it was Sam Presti who drafted KD, but his blowing up the roster in the Ray Allen deal is the sort of bold move that sets up a quick rebuild.

          I understand the poor record. What I can’t find is optimism that BC can change it. It’s not like we have exciting young stars in waiting like KD or Love or Griffin, or Rubio or Westbrook. And we don’t have solid supporting role players like Collison setting the tone in the dressing room.

          • sleepz

            +1

            Thats why I feel no one on this roster, whether it’s DeRozan, Bargnani, Calderon, etc should be untouchable.

          • mountio

            Ill give you we dont have players like KD and Westbrook – thats a legit title contending team in OKC. But to suggest our players are far behind Minny .. I have to disagree. Minny was a laughing stock last year .. they are an up and comer this year. Love and Rubio are ok .. but I wouldnt write home about either.
            With AB, Val, pick and any half decent free agent (and a hope that at least one of DD or Ed gets remotely back on track) .. I think we are in pretty good shape.
            To boot, a few injures combined with the fact that Val stayed in Europe this year are just what the doctor ordered. Injuries have been key to turnarounds in the NBA. Think Robinson/Duncan. Think Blake (so the clips sucked again after the year he was drafted).
            Its painful to watch. Its a good thing the beers were flowing Friday or I would have left the ACC after the third, dont get me wrong.
            BUT – big picture .. I still like where we are at. AB has proved hes a piece (even if you trade him, you should get solid value back) and back to back top five picks are HUGE in the NBA.
            Lots of “will BC fuck this up” posts .. but to be honest, I dont think its that hard. Just keep losing games (the injuries and Val in Europe (and scrubes like Butler getting time!)) help this automatically.
            Next year, we will be in good shape…

            • Theswirsky

              But Minny had the talent there.  It was just a matter of waiting for them.  Toronto is, about, where Minny was 3-4 years ago.  Lacking talent, incomplete players and a GM thats probably gonna need 3 picks just to get one position right.

              This isn’t about being patient and accepting losses.  I think almost everyone knew alot of losses were in the cards.  Its a matter of asking, is the guy pulling the strings behind the curtain going to be able to keep the Marionette from falling (again)?

              • mountio

                Minny had the talent there? Im not sure about that. This team won 17 and 15 games the last two seasons. They SUCKED.
                Love was a nice find (although hes not talented enough to actually lead a good team, imo .. but hes a great third (mabe 2nd depending on the team) banana) .. otherwise, this team has had shit all. Id hardly say that their talent last year or the year before was far superior to where our’s is (especially when you include Val and a top 5 pick).
                Its fair to question whether BC will a) draft the right guy and b) make the right signing … both of those things need to happen to make this work .. I grant you that.
                But situation wise, we simply arent that bad. We need a few breaks, sure .. but Im totally ok with where we are right now situation wise.

                • Theswirsky

                  Kevin Love is better than anything the Raps have right now.  Better than anything the Raps have had since Vince Carter. Rubio will probably be to but in fairness I’m not going to get to far ahead of myself just yet.   I can say without any hesitation I’d trade any player or combination of players on this team right now for either of those guys (if the situation was right ofcourse).

                  Yes that team wasn’t good.  Nobody is questioning that.  But the talent was there.  OKC wasn’t good for Durants first 2 years either, but the talent was there.  The Clippers weren’t good last year but the talent was there. Portland wasn’t good with Roy/Aldridge in their first year but the talent was there.  They had their first steps underway, it was just a matter of experience and additional peices (which Minny still needs). 

                  The Raps aren’t there though.  They don’t have that talent.  They haven’t taken a first step.  In fairness the only way that changes is if Val is that player.  Thats not something I’m ready to cross my fingers over though.  I’m fulling expecting something resembling Gortat (which is still very good just off hand) rather than something resembling a Dwight Howard or Hakeem etc.

                  Thats why this team can be comparable to Minn. from 3-4 years ago.  They need to obtain that talent.

                  Aswell as Bargnani has played so far this year, its not him.  For as high of a celing as Demar has, the chance of him reaching it is incredibly slim.  Right now both those guys should be on the market.  Anything that this teams has that can net a pick and therefore an opportunity to get a superstar should be on the market.

                  When this team obtains that star thats when they have taken the first step to actually rebuilding into a contending team, rather than a first round knock out Bosh-like-led masquerade.

                • mountio

                  You have a lot of confidence in Rubio .. interesting.
                  I generally speaking like the guy too .. but lets not forget he was struggling for minutes in the euroleague last year .. Im not ready to say Id trade anything on our team for him quite yet
                  As I said before, Love is a nice piece (and I agree better than anything the Raps have now) .. but he isnt leading a great team anywhere .. hes a complementary player .. and in my own opinion, whoever signs him to a big contract this summer is going to regret it ala David Lee in GS (unless, of course that team is already a great team and he is being brought in as the 3rd or fourth option).
                  All in all ..I hear where you are coming from .. but I think you are overvalusing Minny’s talent and not valuing TO’s enough (I know you and I differ on AB .. so no need to even bring that up)
                  Not much else to say, I guess, other than to reiterate .. two players (JV + pick) can make a heck of a lot of difference in the NBA ..

          • voy

            The clippers definately rebuilt.  Eric Gordon (Chris Paul now, I guess) and Deandre Jordan were drafted in 2008.  Throw in there Blake G and and thats a definate rebuild.  Their turnaround was quick but thats because they landed he #1 pick with Blake and I think Eric Gordon went 7th.

            Minny’s GM is the same guy who drafted Rubio and Flynn in the same draft.  Everyone was slamming him for that.  However, you get a bit lucky and Love turns out way better than projected (after he is given to you by Memphis).  You get another lottery ball at the 2 spot and you are looking like a genius.

            You are right.  BC could have faciliated the rebuild by trading Bosh, but he didn’t.  BC made a decision.  I may not have agreed with it but I can understand his argument.  Anyway, now with Bosh gone BC recognizes he has to go full rebuild mode and I agree with that.  If there is another guy, we can get, who has a significantly better chance of drafting better than BC then I’m all for getting that guy.  The problem is, I have no idea who that guy can be.  Do you?

    • voy

      Totally agree.  “Something has to change”.  It will.  In the offseason with the draft (and I guess when Andrea comes back to a smaller extent).

      Why something has to change right now is beyond me.  Its not like you are gonna trade Rasual for anything more than a falafel.  The worse thing you can do now is blowup the blowup.  Continue with the blowup this year.  We get JV next year + a high draft pick (the draft pick can be a crapshoot but there are 2 guys in this years draft that would be #1 picks any other year, although I’m not entirely sold drummond is gonna live up to the hype but he’s an improvement).

      You wanna blame BC for not drafting lamarcus? Fine.  But its not like Lamarcus was a no-brainer over Andrea. You wanna blame BC for taking his shot and bringing in Hedo, O’Neil, Marion?  Fine.  Blame him for that too.  Funny though, I dont recall too many complaints when those additions where announced.

      I dont know what some expected this year to look like when he started signing guys like Rasual, Forbes and Grey.  And as relatively ugly as that was gonna be, subtract Bayliss and Andrea from the equation and you’re basically looking at Khloe Kardashian ugly. 

      Look at Minnesota.  They were Khloe Kardashian ugly.  Now they are becoming reasonaly bangable.  How’d they do it?  Through the draft.

      • Pizzaman

        “Its not like you are gonna trade Rasual for anything more than a falafel.”
        That’s  so much better than just saying Butler is a piece of crap! Made me chuckle.
        Your post makes tons of sense.

  • JHP

    Only 50 more games to go.  I guess management really does not care about the fan experience.  Of course now they can disappear for a week and hope the fans forget they exist.  If I did live in the Toronto area, I’m not sure I’d even buy tickets.  They are on TV and the cost is a lot less then a ticket.  I think fans that buy tickets and go to the game have a right to boo.  It’s when they stop buying tickets that the franchise has to be worried about.

  • Mikey_charles

    Completely agree, DeRozen should be entering his prime and instead he’s flatlining, and Ed Davis should be showing progress somewhere (anywhere), but he’s regressing. Jonas + draft pick + (hopefully) a decent FA signing next summer could help, but our young core doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. When you look at the other complete garbage teams in the league, each one has at least one or two legitimately promising young players, aside from Andrea’s strong play, where is the bright spot for the future?

    • Statement

      Derozan should be entering his prime?

      It’s his 3rd year in the league dude. 

      The research indicates that players peak at around 25.  Derozan is 22.  Lebron didn’t reach his peak performance until his 6th year in the league. 

      All that said, I don’t think he was a terribly good player to begin with (when he was chosen I wasn’t optimistic and thought Gerald Green*, but I recognize that I’m no expert and was willing to give him some time) and will likely be no better than average.  But young players do improve and it’s possible that he becomes a star. If so, I don’t mind eating my words.

      *In fact, if you look at his WS/48, it very much mirrors Gerald Green’s, so that is an ominious sign.

  • 511

    When I first noticed a smattering of ‘boos’ after yet another missed jumper, it seemed for a moment on the next offensive turn that nobody really wanted to take the next shot — and I admit I laughed — until Rasual manned up behind the 3 pt line and nailed one. ‘Maybe he does have something hanging in his sack’, I thought. And it occurred to me that one of the problems this team might be dealing with – among other things – is a simple fear-of-failure, which might not be all that unnatural at this point, all things considered. It might explain some why DeMar is playing so tentative or half-speed or whatever the hell it is. ‘Cause this isn’t the DeRozan that was here last year at this time. Same with Ed. It’s like they’re re-learning the game right in front of us and they’re just not sure if they’re doing quite the right thing. I’m suggesting this from a positive perspective because, maybe, any day now, they’re all going to realize how valuable it can be to just get right-pissed-off about wtf is going on out there every night and start forgetting about all the things they’re SUPPOSED to be doing and just play the game aggressively without worrying about mistakes … and hopefully, by this time, they more naturally start doing those things that they’ve been working on without thinking about it so much. Getting an attitude of ‘enough of this bullshit – let’s play basketball’ can be a game changer for almost any team that’s been playing scared … and these guys are more than ready for it, imo.  

  • brother

    Davis and Derozan have been HUGELY disappointing. Unbelievable really. It goes to show you, anything you see in summer league (the various Drew-league and allstar type games) really, really, really doesn’t matter.

    To me, it looked like Derozan’s one-on-one game had improved; it looked as though his mid-range game was excellent; it looked as though his long range game was money. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    It is weird because in those summer league games he looked almost better than guys like Harden and some of the other offensive minded points in the league. Wow. NBA defense makes him curl up like a baby sloth.

    In my rec league, I feel like Derozan must feel right now. “I used to be able to take this guy off the bounce. I used to be able to hit this easy jumper. I used to be able to take this layup to the bank.” Not anymore my friends. Not anymore.

    • Raps4Ever

      You might be seeing something very different right now if there had actually been a Summer League, which are actually used for young player development. What he was involved in this past summer was nothing but showboating street ball, which he’s good at, but that doesn’t cut it against NBA teams actually playing defense.

      • Pizzaman

        That’s his game…street ball

    • Pizzaman

      Problem is DD never really used to be able to do any of the things you used to do. He has never really been able to take his guy off the bounce because his thrid bounce is usually off his right foot. He has never been able to hit the jumper other than the 10 footers, and he has always been able to slam the ball and get layups provided there was no defense and it was in transition, otherwise he runs into people trying to get the call, or trying not to turn it over again. The single biggest thig we need next year is a real SG. We need someone that has all the skills a SG is supposed to have. Sure we also need a PG behind or in front of JOSE, and a more reliable SF but our biggest hole versus real competition is at SG. He has started since day one, something even Kobe was not afforded yet he is still the same summer league player we drafted.

      • brother

        “He has never really been able to take his guy off the bounce…” That’s hard to refute Pizzaman. I am forced to agree. What I would say is that he “seemed” to do a better job of it in the summer games and “seemed” to be improving.

        Also – he used to be able to take it to the bucket once in a while. As the stats tell us, this year he’s getting to the rim and to the line at a much reduced rate. My point is, it seems like between the end of last season and the start of this one, NBA defenders got better at keeping him away from what little comfort zone he ever had. Maybe they watched the summer league type games and found something to key off.

        Last year, I got the sense that defenders were just a bit wary of Derozan’s finishing ability and ability to get to the line; they seemed to respect his first step just a little bit. But this year, I do NOT get that sense. They don’t even feel the need to foul him in order to prevent him from finishing. They just stand their ground and let him flail around.

        If you’re saying “experiment failed, no progress noted, time for a new two guard.” I say, “Agreed.”

        • Pizzaman

          that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m not necessarily saying DD will not improve somewhat but people should take their expectations of him to a realistic level. He is at best a bench SG and personally I would trade him to anyone who believes different. His game is a game that works in the summer league because he’s a street baller and a dunker in transition. He does not have the skills to be good or great in the halfcourt game and if we ever make it to the playoffs that’s the game so yes we will need a SG next to Val, Bargs and Jose

    • Lorenzo

      It’s funny, it seems like DD is the first player to have a “3rd-year slump” in recent memory with the same team

  • AndyRautins

    the blame really does lie with BC, he surrounds Bosh with veterans but leaves them with a rookie head coach, he builds a roster to play up tempo then hires a defensive guru, none of it makes any sense

  • JHP

    It appears to me the team just does not know how to entertain.  At the start of the season they got together and are told it’s a rebuilding year and the 3/4 short term rentals are part of the deal.  Lose lots of games, get a high draft pick and things will be better.  What happened is they tuned out the second part of the conversation where they needed to improve their game and show the fans some hope for the future.  Once DD/Davis heard rebuilding year their young minds shut down and the why bother switch was turned on.  Even at my advanced age I would take the millions, travel, night life and go with the flow.  The only problem they are going to have is finding another team to go to.  But sadly it seems many former Raptor’s have gone on to long and productive NBA careers.  I’m wondering if BC can leave JV in Europe another year, draft another young international player that is under contract some where else and really delay the rebuild.  I figure another month or two of this and the coach will be begging Jay to switch jobs.

    • voy

      oh, Lordy, no.  Nothing we will watch this year should ever make us want Jay back.  Have you forgotten  the 15-0 runs teams use to make on us while jay was hoarding his timeouts like they were free lapdance coupons.  Or the plays coming out of the tv timeouts that amounted to a contested 25ft jump shot.  Or the 45 points teams use to score on us by dribblling from the top of the 3 point line all the way to our rim…uncontested…with the red carpet laid out.

      Even if Casey decides to recruit Leo as our starting SF, he’ll still be a million times better than Jay.

  • cesco

    If anyone think that the house should be torn down again , look at NY and Boston with their STAR players . NY 6-9 , Boston 5-9 . We have one near all-star player ( missed last 5 games ) and quite a few youngsters + two high picks coming in next year . Please be PATIENT .

    • Theswirsky

      I think its far fetched to believe Toronto can build the same way big, attractive, legacy markets can.

      The Raps need to build through the draft, by making shrewd trades and efficient FA signings. 

      Expecting to replicate a completely different market place would simply be a waste of time.  OKC should be the model… but it will take a long time to get there.  Every non draft pick asset this team currently has should be on the table for more draft picks.

      • Buschfire

        The OKC model is exactly what we have to go for. but how often does a KD type of player come around in the draft. man we need a better scouting team. KD, Westbrook, Harden….I’m getting a half chubb just thinking about it. Can we steal the scouts from the spurs and from OKC?

        • cesco

          I thought that KD was the second draft choice after Oden , you do not need much scouting for those types of players . Luck is what is needed (ping-pong balls falling and an excellent draft year) .

          • Statement

            Good God,

            That’s the 2nd post I’ve read from you and the 2nd I agree on.

            Craziness.

        • Statement

          Steal the scouts? WTF?

          Durant – 2nd overall pick in 2007 Draft
          Westbrook – 4th overall pick in 2008 Draft
          Harden – 3rd overall pick in 2009 Draft.

          Raptors

          Derozan – 9th overall pick
          Davis – 13th overall pick
          Val – 5th overall pick

          What we need is more high draft picks…that is what we are built to be getting this offseason. 

          Average OKC wins over the 3 year draft period mentioned above: 25

          • mountio

            bang on. thank you

    • Statement

      Cesco,

      I read one of your posts for the 1st time in a while and I can’t believe this but I AGREE with you.

      Whoa, good stuff.

  • Aaron8007

    Patience is key.  Demar and Ed both missed out on the need for summer league and nba coaching over the summer.  Demar is a gym rat but isn’t smart enough to figure out how to be a good NBA player on his own.  Ed is just not strong enough yet to play inside against the real post players.  Ed does have a knack for rebounding the uniqueness of being left handed.  Both ED and Demar are two years away from being players.  It takes time to develop unless your a super star like kobe, lebron, dwade and blake.

    • Matt

      I don’t think you are fully understanding why some people are concerned. No one thinks development takes time. No one expect these guys to come out and be PLAYERS and … But we expect to see them get better, EVEN LITTLE, when comparing them with what they were last year !!! 

      Development of players take 4-5 years but you have to have a steady flow of improvement, every year. Both DD and ED are worst player this season.

      • Raps4Ever

        “Concern” is totally understandable. I doubt there’s anybody who doesn’t see the flaws in even basic skills of DD, and what seems no progression in EDs game. I don’t think either are any worse than last year though. They’re just playing under new systems and new demands and appear worse.

        Is it frustrating? No doubt, but I’m not ready to hang them yet. What makes this year so different as far as “steady flow” of improvement is that normally both would have had the coaching staff working with them over the summer and have spent time playing summer league (not street ball) in the process. Neither of which was possible. Coaches couldn’t even talk to them.

        Add to that the extra 3 month layoff without this coaching and guided training, and the very short training camp, and near zero practice time during this insane season, and there’s nothing normal about what creates steady flow. I expect there will be improvement over the season, but find it understandable that it’s going to be slow.

        Patience is a virtue, and this season is all about patience, as painful as it is sometimes.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        So far Ed & DD have underperformed but this is still January if they finish the season strong all of this will be a thing of the past- remember they only had a 2 week training camp with a new head coach’s system plus Ed had no training camp last season.

        No summer league play.

        A NBA lockout.

        Condensed schedule.

        Development doesn’t take 4-5 years after 3 years you know what you have got with a majority of NBA players.

        I have no doubt that barring injuries DD & Ed will play better as the season goes on.

  • Matt

    where is PHDSteve ?? What is going on with Podcasts this year ?

  • Fiya

    Look at who Ed, DeMar, Amir, Andrea, and Calderon have to play with… we signed these 1 year scrubs for a reason…to fill out the roster, to instill some values in the youngnz possibly otherwise not much else. ( i never thought I would put Andrea and Calderon and include them in the non scrub category, but so far this year they are prooving me wrong)

    I know Ed and DeMar are disappointing this year trust me I know. I was looking forward to them expanding their games. Perhaps if next year pans out like it should, they will have more confidence and interest in getting better, possibly some more drive and passion too. 

    Right now through Ed Davis’s body language is saying he doesn’t even want to be here. DeMar is like well we’re gonna suck anyways so I might as well keep throwing up jumpers to practice my shot so that next year when we have a ‘better’ roster he will have more assets to his game, coz right now all he has is his weak ass spin move. Honestly though I thought this kid was supposed to be explosive, I’ve seen a few too many layups this season.

    The only way we are going to get better is what BC is doing now. I know we suck balls but to build through the draft is the only way to go. once we have a decent base then we can look to the FA market to attract players here by having some good pieces we put together. It will take time, so we have to be patient…

  • Dazed&Confused

    Bring back Arajuo. I’d watch that guy any Friday night. 

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    What the freak is ‘FLOW OFFENSE’?

    Don’t define it as ‘Playoff Offense’ because that’s a pure bullchit definition especailly since the Raptors won’t be in the playoffs anytime soon- as is.

  • Statement

    One thing I don’t get is how is Demar supposed to be the 2nd best player?

    He was the number 9 pick in the draft, not exactly top 3.

    When he came into the nba he had somewhat of a midrange game and was okay at drawing fouls and defensive rebounding.  That’s it.  He had a TON to work on.  Defense, offensive rebounding, handles and shooting were all not NBA caliber for Demar, initially.

    IMHO, it was clear that Derozan was very raw coming out of college (reminded me of Gerald Green)  

    This offseason, he was ushered in as the “face” of the franchise or at least one of the faces because the media, casual fans and even BC himself had turned on Bargnani (we all remember BC’s post-season presser).

    I don’t get how it is such a mystery that he isn’t performing well.  He doesn’t have the skills as yet, simple as that.

    In his 1st year, his Win Score / 48 was 0.066 (average is .100), in his second year his Win Score / 48 was 0.056.  This year it is much worse than that.

    Right now, the expectations of Demar are too high. IMHO, he has a lot of work to do to turn himself into even and AVERAGE NBA quality shooting guard.

    This season is what it is, tankville.

    • Pizzaman

      well said great post!

    • Theswirsky

      I think your statement simply go to show just how desperate TO fans are for a real star to lead this team.

      First its Bosh, then Bargnani and now Demar.  All have faltered in expectations of fans… and really not unexpectently.  Why?  Because none of them were ever as good as fans wanted/needed/hoped for them to be in the first place.  Its unfortunate some didn’t see it coming earlier, but hey its fans.  They don’t get paid to pick the best/smartest/most productive or most useful players.  Their allowed to be fickle as its their money.  As much as any of us argue or debate who’s good and who’s not, we aren’t the decision makers.

      But the guy taking the fans money, the guy who is selling patience and hope while using players who have similar characteristics to WNBAers as the building blocks, well maybe we should expect a little more from him. 

  • WillFerell

    everyone can keep complaining, its completely fine, you guys are venting. In a few years no ones going to remember this and our team will be much better while we see other teams going our route.