Obviously others chipped in and contributed…just that the headline was perfect and I didn’t want to change it: Calderon moved the ball around aside from a couple retarded passes, but the defense wasn’t there; Barbosa did DeRozan’s job and scored the ball; Kleiza did Amir’s and Davis’ job and grabbed rebounds off the bench; and James Johnson’s double-double was so natural it makes you want to choke him out on nights he puts up crap.

I have nothing positive to say about this game. It took 42 minutes from Bargnani, after missing six games, to win this one. 42 MINUTES! You have to assume he still isn’t 100% since that’s how the pro’s work. Amir and Ed played so terrible that Casey couldn’t spare more than 6 minutes at the power forward. Think about what that means for a minute; guys that were considered core members of the future could only give an injured man, who missed six straight games with injury, 6 minutes of relief against the one of the few teams in the league I wouldn’t trade the Raptors straight up for.

That last notion is a conversation I’ve been having with a lot of folks over the last few days: if you were to compare the Raptors to every other team in the league as currently constructed, you’d be hard-pressed not to like the other squad*. In this instance, the Suns have the best player of the two teams, Steve Nash, but he’s old and dreaming of finishing his career in New York. If he still had a year or two left on his contract, you could make the case that it would be better to rebuild around him…I really want to know what people think of this, put it in the comments.

As for Arse’s predictions:

Margin after first: -8 -> 10
Margin at halftime: -4 -> 4
Margin at end of third: -16 -> 8
Final score margin: -9 -> 3
Best Raptor: James Johnson -> Would have been if Bargnani wasn’t there
Worst Raptor: Ed Davis -> Yup, see Roll Call
Shots of Suns cheerleaders: 6 -> I counted 7 on LPBB
DeMar DeRozan three attempts: 4 -> 0, thank jah
Amir Johnson fouls: 5 -> 3, but didn’t play enough to get there
Barbosa final point tally: 18 -> 19
Rasual Butler moments of retardedness: 3 -> 2
Dwayne Casey yelling “go go go”: 2 -> No idea, I wont lie and say 6+
Jose Calderon assists: 8 -> 11

One thing I did like was the starting lineup, not that they played very long together, but Gray and Bargnani lining up together is more formidable than anything else we can muster. Next step is to insert Barbosa into the starting five, and make DeRozan the first wing off the bench; could be what he needs…in Utah tonight, pre-game up soon.

* Of the ten worst teams in the league, a case could be made that only Charlotte and Detroit are worse off than the Raptors

Photo Credit: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

  • SO

    I’m a big fan of the site but using the term “retarded” isn’t a good look in 2012 my man!

    • Nilanka15

      Aren’t we being a little sensitive?

      If we referred to Bayless’ inability to pass the ball as being “blind”, I don’t think Stevie Wonder would be too concerned.

      • cesco

        or DD having the cojones of a little girl .

        • 511

          I LOL’d. 

          • 511

            … and then I thought a bit later, what am I laughing at? It seems all too true to actually laugh about. 

      • Tbihis

        exactly. whatever happend to the expression “sticks and stones may break my bones but names with never hurt me?”
        IMO, using retarded, gay, fag in certain contexts are fine, but if you say it pertaining to a specific person’s personality or gender then thats just wrong.

        staying on topic, based on last night, Bargs is this team’s franchise player. Period.

        • Tbihis

          *will

        • SO

          Stay ignorant, my friends.

      • SO

        Analogy fail.

        Blind is an accepted term for someone who is visually impaired. “Retarded” is no longer an accepted term for someone who suffers from a cognitive disability.  

        This isn’t my own personal beliefs – this is the way it is. I’m not even personally offended. I was just trying to help because there are lots of people who would be.

        • Nilanka15

          The author wasn’t referring to anyone with cognitive disabilities. 

          Again, way too sensitive.

          • cb

            exactly.

            please stop your sanctimonious preaching. it’s retarded.

        • cb

          retarded just means backwards or delayed. nothing wrong with the word itself. you’re reading too much into it. PC lame-o.

      • human

        yeah man, it’s not like we make fun of Italians making reference to pasta or mafia, uh?

        • 2damkule

          EXACTLY!  the whole ‘Italians & Pasta’ thing is so stereotypical, it’s SICKENING!

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCDVfdeA2E0

          • human

            I appreciate your irony but you still remain biased…mmmm, tell us your ethnic background just for our information, would you?

            • 2damkule

              what, exactly, makes me biased?

              as for me…i fail to see why you’d need to know (unless, of course, you form your opinion of others based not on what they say/do, but on what you perceive them to be), but i’m just your typical ethnic-less (read: far past mixed euro lineage) white canadian idiot.

              FWIW – i linked the well-known primo pasta ad to point out that andrea doesn’t seem to have much of an issue playing up this particular stereotype.

              • Paoloyep

                Yep u got me I’m a RACIST, I only love  the human race. lol 

                As for the pasta no one’s denying its italic origin or use, but using  extreme stereotypes is just lazy and ignorant IMO…French are frog-eaters, Canadians lumberjacks, Spaniards toreros, etcetera.Kinda old-school mindset, n’est pas? 

                • Not Retarded

                  great Bball chat guys!

                  A couple of retards if you ask me. My bad I meant to say a couple of mentally handicapped fellows if you ask me

    • Sam Holako

      I seem to need to offend at least one person with every one of my posts; can’t promise it wont happen again in the future.

      • Tbihis

        hahaha dont worry about it Sam, people are just crazy sometimes. oops, i may have offended psychiatric patients with that comment.

      • SO

        I wasn’t offended – I know you didn’t mean any harm. I was honestly just giving you a heads up because it’s a term that has been faux pas for about 5 years. -shrugs-

        • Dat Raptor Daz

          What would this thread be without your vast knowledge of what is faux pas?  Tell us more!

          I came here to read about Bargs showing his Dirk 2.0 potential finally this season and instead you have given us your opinion on what s faux pas.

          Guess What SO everybody knows that using the words retard or retarded is impolite SO you can shut up now!

        • Raps Loyalist

          What would this thread be without your vast knowledge of what is faux pas?  Tell us more!

          I came here to read about Bargs showing his Dirk 2.0 potential finally this season and instead you have given us your opinion on what s faux pas.

          Guess What SO everybody knows that using the words retard or retarded is impolite SO you can shut up now!

          • CaseyDaMan

            Look, I was going to leave this alone, but with the “basketball IQ of Saskatchewan farmer” comment in the previous blog entry, and now the reaction SO is getting from his expression of distaste for this “retarded” comment from another mature (?) blogger, …..

            This is a public place, and no place for comments like that anymore than derogatory racist ones. Should nobody give their opinions about those either if a blogger used them? We can’t judge others’ sensitivities on here because we don’t know their history, but we can recognize flippant, ignorant  comments that can hurt, and serve no purpose to Raptors discussion through poor taste in lame attempts at comedy.

            I wish comments in these blogs could stick to the main subject of the blog too, but that never happens. Frequent visitors here have to put up with daily BC is a bum and must go chants, and other bullchit, that have nothing to do with the topic.

            Good for you SO. This place needs a little more sensitivity toward people who have done nothing to anybody and may come here.

             

        • Paradigm Shift

          ROTFLMAO

          I think it was a little longer than 5 years ago. You may have only become aware of the faux pas at that time because that’s when you graduated from elementary school.

          Note: No elementary school children were harmed during the production of this post.

      • Tinman

        The “retarded” wouldn’t of made it past a proof reader

      • Pizzaman

        I liked your post. It was well written and bang on. I also liked seeing that Arse was not that far off on some of his predictions.

    • Sheptor

      You’re right..now let’s all go back to our bubbles of insecurity, political correctness, and nit picky BS. The world can be scary and cruel, but you decide that.

  • Valit

    Kudos to coach Casey who threw all the development BS out the window and went for the W. Nothing better than a “developmental win”. I actually liked Jose’s defense in the last 5 min…and I loved the fact he was so upset with Butler. It was a signal that we still care if we win or not and it’s not enough just to coast along and get your pay cheque. AB played really well..the fact he is there just makes for everybody else easier to score ( in case they know how…). Other positives: LK positioning in order to rebound and a surprising consistency in JJ jumper ( I cringed every time he took one). Having said that, this condensed season makes very important not whom you play but when you play a certain team.LOTS of inconsistency across the NBA. It will be fun to see the pendulum reverse to the other extreme in case they lose big tonite.

    • cb

      fuck that! are you kidding? these are ALL must lose games.

      not for one second should development be retarded in favour of wins.

      sigh.

      i wish you would all root for the bucks or some other team. you’re killing me with your retarded approach to building a winning franchise.

      • Lorenzo

        I agree, we NEED to lose!

  • sleepz

    Good to see that they hung tough down the stretch when a lot of these type of games are won or lost.

    Andrea demolished The Suns in the 3rd quarter and was good to see him not be eased back onto the court. He needed to warm up but the Suns were unwise to help on lesser players and leave him open on the 3 point line in that 3rd quarter.

    Haven’t seen too enough about it but Barbosa kept them in this game in the 1st half. Without his contributions to prevent a big score disparity in the 1st half, Raps might not win this game. Keeping it closer than it should have been probably helped them mentally.

    Everytime J. Johnson makes me wish we never gave up a 1st rounder for him, he tends to have a game when I reconsider these thoughts. lol

    If I’m correct it’s the 1st time the Raps have beaten Mr. Nash. Kudos to them as they earned that win last night.

    Sidenote – If I see that Telus commercial one more time I’m gonig to lose it! lol I don’t need Telus to “makea my dreams come truuuuuue”.

    • Sam Holako

      One of the benefits of watching games on league pass broadband is not having to sit through commercials

      • sleepz

        I might have to invest in it if thats the case

      • cb

        still have to endure the horror show known and “Bang On Devlin”

        FACK!

    • cb

       um, no not good at all.

      losing is the only winning this season.

    • Pizzaman

      Barbosa was huge and has stepped up lately where DD should have been able to if he had the talent everyone was talking about.
      Bargs, Jose, Amir and barbosa have played well, and Kleiza has played very well for a guy who missed a year with a serious knee injury.
      JJ has been inconsistent but yet better than DD and all the rest.

  • sangaman

    BC.  Trade Davis and Derozan for whatever you can get…Gasol would be good fit.  But I doubt those two and even a first rounder would do it..

    • 2damkule

      fundamentally, you’re positing trading two young guys with POTENTIAL (one of whom has less than a full season of experience) at about the lowest point in their value curve (i.e. it is unlikely – though possible – that either ed or DD’s perceived value around the L will be any lower at any point going forward than it is right now)…and the tax you’d pay to have someone take them off the raps’ hands (and return anythingof value) is what is likely going to be a top-5 pick in a ‘loaded’ draft. 

      in this example, the return would be an aging PF/C on the downside of his career (who, i’m sure, would be THRILLED to be traded to a team with no conceivable hope of contending for the duration of his contract), and is slated to earn more than $19M/yr for 2 more seasons after this one on said contract.

      you know what you’d get for ed/DD (without including the pick) right now?  andray blatche.

      • FAQ

        DD & ED…. potential or peaked or POOPED OUT…???!!!!

      • sangaman

        Yes!!  Trade two bambi-eyed americans who dont want to play in Canada for a star center who is tired of hollywood and would fit in well with a euro-canuck team.

      • sangaman

        Yes!!  Trade two bambi-eyed americans who dont want to play in Canada for a star center who is tired of hollywood and would fit in well with a euro-canuck team.

      • alucart999

        How do you know he’s talking about Pau and not Marc?

      • alucart999

        How do you know he’s talking about Pau and not Marc? And if it’s Marc, would it still not make sense for the Raptors? Marc’s pretty damn good, and I’d be willing to trade anybody not named Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond for him – straight up, that is, and not with two other pieces that might at least fetch low first rounders.

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

    “James Johnson’s double-double was so natural it makes you want to choke him out on nights he puts up crap.” I completely agree with you on that one.  He has such great tools and abilities that he could probably replace Demar DeRoazon as the secondary offensive option.  I would go as far to say that he’s the poor man’s david west.

    • Malefax

      His game has absolutely nothing in common with David West.

      • 2damkule

        i disagree.  he’s west’s opposite.  that’s counts as a commonality, right?

    • 2damkule

      make it ‘dead man’s david west,’ and you’re onto something…

    • Nilanka15

      Poor man’s Ron Artest, is probably more like it.

      • Lorenzo

        Really? i think the Lakers would trade Artest for Johnson in a nanosecond

        • Nilanka15

          I was referring to Artest in his prime (2004-2008).  That’s probably what Johnson’s ceiling is.

      • alucart999

        Hm. More like a poor man’s Deng. JJ doesn’t have anywhere near the strength Artest does and his game is accordingly quite different.

        • Nilanka15

          I disagree.  JJ’s got plenty of strength.  He can guard power forwards.

  • Adriiian

    Hopefully we can get the W tonight. Keep the starting lineup the same, maybe even put Barbosa in as a starter, that might work. 
    Wake up DeRozan!!!

  • Milesboyer

    “if you were to compare the Raptors to every other team in the league as currently constructed, you’d be hard-pressed not to like the other squad.”  –  As currently constructed the Suns are a better team but to what end?  When Nash and Hill fade off into the sunset which is only a year or two away, they’re garbage.  Gortat is their next best player and he’s no superstar and the rest of the roster makes the Raptors look great.  I’d rather have the Raptors predicament than the Suns right now.

    • Copywryter

      I think I’d rather have the Suns’ speculative garbage than our current overvalued garbage. All other things being equal, and both teams beings equally removed from a playoff berth (and really, is that on the horizon for this team?) I’ll take the Suns’ Cheerleaders. 

      • alucart999

        Wrong. Raps definitely have more pieces than Suns do. Suns have to fill holes at virtually every position besides Center with no prospect of winning now. Raps at least have Valunciunas and Bargnani to fill the PF/C roles, with a few lottery picks that may pan out (Bayless, DeRozan, Davis).   Admittedly, I haven’t seen Markieff Morris play yet so he could definitely be a piece on par with Valunciunas/Bargnani – but even assuming he is a stud, that gives them Gortat/Lopez/Morris/Brown as your building blocks for the next gen, while the Raptors can boast of Valunciunas/Bargnani/Johnson J/Johnson A/Bayless/Davis/Weems. At least 2 of the Raptors 7 guys probably won’t make it, but I think Lopez and Morris probably have similar question marks at this point in their careers. Also, Lopez plays the same position that Gortat does, and neither have spent very much time playing PF, for whatever reason.
        Admittedly, the Suns have more/better roleplaying pieces that could be around when they finally have their young core in place (Childress/Dudley/Warrick/Frye), but they all play the same positions, SF/PF tweener guys.  

  • RapsM

    The Raptors  havent beaten the suns since 2004 til tonight. Did u know that? Cause i had to be reminded 5,000 times watching the game by the commentators.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6OFMKB3HYYD46FJXPYA45YFWH4 Rosemarie

    I would say that Washington, Phoenix, Charlotte, NOH, and Detroit are all worse off….plus I would say that so is San Antonio, Boston, and Houston.  I would take our team over theirs right now (SA and Boston maybe at the end of this season).

    what do those teams have?
    Washington has Wall, and a bunch of 10 year-olds.
    Phoenix has two aging stars and gortat (the rest of the team looks decent because of Nash)
    NOH…Gordan…who else??….Marco??? lol
    Charlotte….has nothing whatsoever
    Detroit….HAHAHAHA  a bunch of crappy players making a lot of money and Monroe

    SA only has another year, maybe, with Duncan, Ginobili is getting old really fast and Parker can’t win on his own

    Boston?  their average age is like 62.  done after this year.

    Houston…maybe Scola, and Lowry….neither are great but decent players…Kevin Martin is just a volume shooter and Lee just sucks

    we have Andrea (playing like a true all-star), Jose (this year has changed my mind about this dude…he’s playing very well), Amir (he’s been up and down this season, but I would like him a lot more coming off the bench as the third big) then we have potential in DD, JJ, LK, as well as Jonas and our 2012 pick coming in this summer…..

    I like what we have

    • 2damkule

      effn disqus…

    • 2damkule

      yeah, i see where you’re going, but i get the sense you’re looking at those other teams with something of a glass half-empty POV. most of the really shyte teams on the list do have young prospects that they should feel as good about (or better) than we do about our own prospects.

      to wit: charlotte has kemba & biyombo…not franchise guys, but good pieces with which to start a build.

      NOH does indeed have EJ, who’s on the cusp of stardom, some decent trade chips, expirings, and are looking at two lotto picks in this draft (their own & minny’s)…which could/should both be top-10.

      DET’s a mess, but they have knight (big upside), jerebko (ditto) & daye (iffy, but the talent’s there). they’ve cornered themselves with bad FA signings, but amnestying either CV or gordon (s/b CV) helps them clear the decks, and they could flip prince for assets. also looking at a high lotto pick.

      Wash. is an even bigger mess, but with a little creativity, they could turn things around fairly quickly; problem is, they’ve got two guys who are prime amnesty candidates (blatche & lewis)…neither are really ‘tradeable’ unless they take back contracts that are just as bad. they really shot themselves in the foot a few years back when they dealt their lotta pick for foye/miller. most of the rest of the roster are comprised of knuckleheads (young, javale), chuckers (crawford), and unprovens (vesely). wall’s having a horrible year, but he’s legit.

      Hou has some good pieces…parsons
      seems like a keeper, and i like hill; lowry’s pretty underrated. they’re in danger, though, of becoming a treadmill team…good enough to compete for a playoff spot, likely not good enough to make or if they do, advance…and not bad enough to bottom-out & get a high pick.

      i’d agree with BOS & SA, but history says that these are the kinds of franchises that tend to be able to re-tool vs. having to rebuild. just a matter of understanding when to do so (it’s probably now for both, as neither seem like legit playoff contenders – if they even make it…wouldn’t take much more than a long-term injury to one key guy to knock them out).

      overall, i’m not nearly as high on the potential of some of our young guys (ed, dd in particular), mainly because of what they’ve shown to date…though it’s early, and they can certainly turn it around (i actually expect both to, and rather significantly). for me, seeing bargs continue his overall development, JV coming over & whomever they select in the lottery this year are what gives me hope for the future.

      • CaseyDaMan

        Yeah, I could quibble with a few of those too, and would perhaps enjoy reasonable debate of a few of your points too, but I’m far more looking forward to that kind of debate by the time next year training camp roles around.

        The plan is to evaluate and act wisely between now and then, with knowing JV is coming as well as a high draft pick that could either be a game/team changer or a valuable trade asset to go along with lot’s of financial flexibility that some very good teams don’t have while facing possible huge luxury tax coming up.

        Time will tell if it comes to fruition, but the team is poised to make great strides over the next couple of years.

        • cesco

          I agree , only time will tell which teams are moving up and which teams are moving down ( and which teams remain losers ) .

    • Copywryter

      Great, so three teams are worse off than us? Four? That’s not a reason to celebrate or be optimistic about this team. 

      You grossly overestimate the level of talent on the Raptors. JJ and LK are discards. DD does not have the talent to be more than he’s already shown us. ED’s ceiling might be a little higher or he might scowl his way out of the league. Bargs has astonishing offensive talent but ultimately is a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony. 
      Outside of Barbosa (who routinely reminds me what NBA-calibre talent actually looks like) we have no bench. As much as I like them both, Amir and Jose are second unit players. 

      Jonas is a unknown quantity — and centers have a longer developmental curve, typically 5 years.  Who’s going to be on this team in 5 years?

      Outside of Toronto’s permanent reality-distortion field we are known as a terrible team with one good white guy on it.  

      On to your other points:
      • Boston’s ‘bunch of geezers’ routinely crush us. Hall of Fame players will do that to scrubs.
      • Scola is a beast who supplies a lot more than a stuffed stat line. Watch some Rockets games.• Gortat is 28 
      • San Antonio is a small market team that has won three championships in the last 13 years. THREE. Toronto has made it out of the first round ONCE. 

      Have some respect for the game.

      • 2damkule

        good points…only thing i’ll really quibble with is JV’s projected learning curve.  given his current skill set (which seems to translate quite well to today’s NBA), i’m thinking that while there will be a learning curve, he’ll be able to contribute fairly quickly.  maybe not immediately, but he could be an effective, positive player for them by midway thru next season.

        • Copywryter

          I hope you’re right and I’ve seen the videos suggesting it, but I’m dead tired of maybe’s and projects and hope-so’s. Sonny Weems is a starter in Europe. :)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/6OFMKB3HYYD46FJXPYA45YFWH4 Rosemarie

            “You grossly overestimate the level of talent on the Raptors.” 
            No I am not…that’s why I said POTENTIAL!

            “DD does not have the talent to be more than he’s already shown us.”

            maybe, maybe not…that’s your opinion.  However, you were probably saying the same thing about Andrea the past couple of years.

            “Bargs has astonishing offensive talent but ultimately is a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony.”

            I think he’s a younger version of Dirk, and I would take that any time…His defence is where we all wanted it to be and is now playing like a franchise player who can lead this team to wins…why are you putting his value down?

            “Amir and Jose are second unit players.”

            you’re right Amir will be on the second unit, next year when Jonas comes over…as for Jose, you’re wrong…he’s not in the top 5 in assists with a terrible offence by accident, and he has improved his defense. 
            “Gortat is 28.”

            that’s nice I never said anything about his age, but thanks for letting me know.
            “San Antonio is a small market team that has won three championships in the last 13 years. THREE. Toronto has made it out of the first round ONCE. ”

            San Antonio lucked out with Tim Duncan…They had one bad season (I think David Robinson was hurt that year) and got the #1 pick…all of a sudden they had a great team…please do some research before you try to give me examples of great teams….they were great but they were also very lucky to get Tim Duncan who will be a HALL OF FAMER”Have some respect for the game.”

            Me????  what the heck are you talking about???  what does that have to do with this discussion.

            And you talk about all the “scrubs” on this team, but you fail to point out the scrubs on the other teams…you don’t like the Raptors. Great, that’s your opinion!

            • CaseyDaMan

              Good work Rosemarie

    • Copywryter

      Deleted double post.

    • cb

      take our team, please. and don’t bring it back. k thanx.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6OFMKB3HYYD46FJXPYA45YFWH4 Rosemarie

    oh ya and potential in Ed Davis as well (not sure it’s much potential, but whatever)

  • FAQ

    Delusionary Raptor Dream Team:

    C — Valancuinas
    PF – Bargs
    SF – Gallo
    SG – Mayo
    PG – Jose

    Go ahead and laugh, ya tribal honking losers..!!!

    • cesco

        You are the only one who thinks Gallo could be a Raptor . He just signed a 4 years extension for 42 millions and he likes it in Denver .

    • Lorenzo

      We don’t need Gallo, we need Batum

  • cb

    just fucking brutal. this was really a must lose game.

    way to snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat. puke.

  • Hound

    Can we please just all agree it would be stupid to trade our 26 year old franchise player? We have seen the enemy and it is US, without Bargs

    • cesco

      I think the anti-Bargnani gang members are sleeping at the moment but they could awake at any moment also .

      • Tinman

        And you know –
        Thats a beef I got- give credit where its due