Wow, what a difference Andrea makes! I made note in the game he went down that with how he had been playing, it wasn’t just the loss of his scoring punch the team would be missing, but obviously that’s the most integral difference between Barg’s Raps and the non-Bargs Raps. Last night he poured in 36 points on just 21 field goal attempts and was the only stand-out Raptor (save for maybe Silky Johnson) in a surprising 99-96 road win over the Phoenix Suns.

Tonight, the attention turns to Salt Lake and the surprisingly effective Utah Jazz outfit. While the Raptors certainly match up a lot better with him than without him, I’m not confident we’ll get Andrea’s very best, what with him having played 42 minutes in his first game action in nearly two weeks (Raptors record: 0-6 by the way). With this being the second night of a road back-to-back, I think Casey will be hesitant to cross the 35 minute barrier with him.

So, I suppose we hope for better things from the dumbfoundingly poor duo of Amir Johnson and Ed Davis. How bad these two have combined to play of late is unnerving, as they are supposed to be potential building pieces for this team moving forward. When two pieces of the future are relegated to a combined 15 minutes of play due to lack of effort or efficacy, in a season about growth and development no less, things aren’t looking up.

The Jazz are a team that appear to have done a near immediate rebuild after trading Deron Williams, and other than Denver are more or less the envy of any rebuilding team or star-less team. Other than their curious, Rasual Butler-like decision to give Raja Bell meaningful minutes over Alec Burks, they’ve ridden a strong young core and smart basketball to a 10-5 record.

But how do the Raptors match up? The tale of the tape looks grim…

Basically the Jazz have the advantage across the board, and we should expect an ugly affair. Utah will also be fresh, playing their first game since Saturday, at home, and with a deeper list of useful basketball players (e.g. not Rasual Butler, Anthony Carter, Jamal Magloire).

Keys to the game: Definitely needto come out fresh, as they won’t have the legs to play catch up. Andrea playing half as good as last night will be important, but they’ll really need contributions from Ed and Amir to keep up with the front-court power of Millsap, Jefferson, Favors, and Kanter. Obviously, as well, the Raps will need supplemental scoring from the wings to make up for their disadvantage in the paint, but too much of this hinges on a struggling DeMar DeRozan to be too positive.

The Line: Raps are 10.5 underdogs which seems about right, though the over/under seems a tad high at 188 (the two teams combine to average 182.4 points per game and play slow-ish paces).

The Prediction: Sorry everyone, but it’s Jazz 95, Raptors 81. And remember, I’m generally one of the more optimistic people around here (unless I happen to be doing postgame coverage, in which case this prediction would be 110-45 Jazz).

Enjoy the game if you get TSN2, 9pm tip-off.

  • BKing

    Haven’t played since last saturday, 
    – end of 1st quarter – 33-9

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Or the Jazz could come out a little rusty if so Raptors need to try and jump on them early instead of potentially having to play from behind.

  • Jason


  • Akash_singh

    take a look at jazz rookie alec burks, could be the steal of the draft at 10, playing much better than demar anyways….

    • Mark

      Yep, he scored 2 points tonight, definitely the steal of the draft.

    • Mark

      Yep, he scored 2 points tonight, definitely the steal of the draft.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Good W over Suns will that positive energy translate into another victory tonite in Utah?

    The Jazz, who have been off since Saturday, versus the Raptors, who are playing on a b2b, game could get ugly if the Raptors can’t keep the game close in the early going.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Gray, AB, Amir & Ed handles the real deep Jazz front court of Milsap, Jefferson, Favors & Kanter as they went up against a weak Suns frontcourt that started a rookie PF in Morris and played w/o RLopez (who got ejected early in the 1st Q).

    I see it as Jazz 105 Raptors 91.

    • Steve

      I see the Jazz winning as well by that margin.

  • olapalomaboy

    Cool down guys, the Raps are going to lose many games also with Andrea. But honestly, he is a BIG player. The only one playing for the Raps.

  • Sheptor

    I don’t see this one as a blowout. I’m taking a tie on my proline. Raptors are going to play a close game and could steal another one. Rest is not always a goods thing. Just ask the Green Bay Packers. I would be much more worried if they played on Monday and pounded Charlotte or some crap. They may overlook the raps and I think Amir is going to have a big game. Just my biased optimism but like I said I’m putting real money on a tie in this game. (5 pt game either way for those who don’t know)

    • WJF

      So you are predicting a big game for Amir, what is a big game for him now a days, 8 points and 9 boards, I would be happy as hell with that. 

      • Sheptor

        Yeah about that say 10 and 10

      • RapsFan

        Based in the 6 million that he makes, I say 10 and 10 or 12 and 8 . But right now, his problem is He can not stay on the floor and is back to the old Amir

  • Dekobe

    “That’s the hard way to come in as a coach,” said Celtics coach Doc
    Rivers. “If you take a new job and you want to make everyone happy, tell
    them, ‘We’re going to score — we’re going to score more points.’ And
    then everybody on the team loves you. When you say it the other way —
    the way Case has done it — there’s not a lot of fans of that.”

    maybe dekobe is butthurt?

  • Dekobe

    i always thought demar and the young gunz were madly overrated by their
    retarded fanboys……but what petrified me about demar was
    watching the hawks game when he couldn’t turn the corner on ivan fucking happened to this kid?zero explosiveness….smh,he couldn’t
    get past ivan johnson off the bounce on a mismatch….a sg with no first
    step,no handles,no jump shot,an unwillingness to go hard in traffic and
    attack the rim and wont play d………..please demar.this team needs
    you.if you arent scoring play d and get some steals,rebounds,assists and
    some blocks on your man.stop being so one dimensional and being madly
    inefficient and crap at that one dimension.

    imagine demar playing up to his capabilities and couple that with bargs beastin….wed be playoff bound.

  • The other Steve

    Remember “Young Onez”? I hope lots of people feel stupid now!

  • another Steve

    Remember “Young Onez”? I hope lots of people feel stupid now!

    • minks77

      With butler inbounding in OT:
      Jack: whatever you do, throw it toward the basket, not away from it”

      Rasuel throws it away to linas who had to be the fifth option on that play.

      Lk makes me wanna do an Andrea and pull my hair out. The ultimate “NONONO–YES!!” player

      • minks77

        From downturn Pickering, Jose with another HUGE 3!

  • Josetojorge

    raps win

    • cc

      wow…talking about prediction eh? Raps break another very long losing streak against a team and playing away from home too.  Perhaps this is the momentum shift for Raps.  Props to Kleiza for his bench performance.  

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Great W!!!

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Great W!!!

  • Buschfire

    hard fought win, hope bargs is alright.

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    Amir Johnson defense WOW. I m happy for him. Bargnani told Magloire that’s bad. Fu#!%

    He will be out 5/6 weeks. That’s life

    • cesco

      He is going to be examined to-morrow in Denver , no one knows yet the extent of the re-injury .

      • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

        I had a double injury on my calf like that. He needs to be lucky to be back within a month. As it is now it will be 6/8 weeks

        • SR

          Give you another 20 minutes and Bargs will be out 8-10 weeks….

  • tonious35

    WTF?  We broke another Raptor curse…first win in Utah since 2004 before Vince Carter was traded

  • tonious35

    Can we break the Raps curse of losing in Golden State and Denver by 20 pts avg?

  • Ion66

    I WAS JUST ENTERTAINED!!! (and I hope Bargs is OK)

  • CJT

    For those of you who have been calling for Bargnani to be traded or amnestied and didn’t think he was a key piece for this club moving forward, it is time for you to reevaluate your expectations.  

    • Buschfire

      I never called him to be amnestied, thats just stupid. Definitely wanted him traded, but we as fans had every right to want him gone the way he was playing. Its the way he is playing NOW which made us change our minds about him. He has given us a reason, and proven to us that he can be a top player in the NBA but damn sure did take a while…

      • Nilanka15


        There wouldn’t be any Bargnani “haters” if he played like this last year.