The “balls the size of hot air balloons” edition:

Barbosa: quiet night for the blur, but still a solid outing. Guess that would make it a swerve?

Bargnani: firing away from 3 again, fair from the field, but the big news of course was him pulling up lame and looking like he was actually upset at doing so. I truthfully feel I saw more passion from him in those 3 minutes of close ups than I had in the first 4 years of his Raptors life. He’s going to be out for weeks.

Bayless: I’m actually shocked he had 7 assists because he looked to me like he was, well, a twerp.  Another game in his career of trying to be more than he is and creating stuff that just isn’t there.

Butler: saw no time on the floor save for a few seconds…and it was glorious.  Let’s face it, seeing this guy caged up is virtually orgasmic.

Calderon: mediocre would be the word, but the one shot that stands out is that 3 pointer he took in overtime from what seemed like Kansas and he pulled nothing but net. An incredible shot that was shortly followed up with an idiotic attempt with 2 Jazz players draped over him like a bird cage cover.

Davis: tried the headband tonight and it seemed to spark him a little bit to start, but then came his usual miss from 6inches under the rim and that seemed to rattle the kid. His on-court persona seemed different tonight, though..and that’s a positive.

DeRozan: 17 and 8 produced on a night where he pulled some desire from his warmups and ended the night beaming as the victor. Have to think he is concerned with Bargs going down knowing he’ll be the focal point again.

Forbes: a minute of play as he continues to poke his sad mug out of the Casey doghouse.

Gray: 15 minutes in the starter role. Above average and a good hustle game again, but would love to see something more than a 4/4 from a guy that bangs bodies and runs the floor.

A. Johnson: huge in the overtime periods with a block and a great take on an offensive charge resulting in a huge turnover in our favour. Kept his own fouls down, was talking on defense and was a big spark plug in this win.

J. Johnson: two big blocks including one that was followed with about 17 minutes of head shaking that looked like the noggin version of Dikembe’s finger.  6 blocks, 5 rebounds, 40 minutes of play in a game that absolutely was one of his best of the season.

Kleiza: off the charts. He was mocking the crowd like he was a WWE wrestler and they started to give it back….and then he absolutely tore their hearts out and ate it raw. 4 of 9 from 3, 25 huge points and a smug look that would piss off a monk.

Driving the bus: Linas Kleiza

Under the bus: Ed Davis

Theme of the Game:

  • rapsjj2

    james johnson and kleiza was awesome big shots and big blocks what a game hope to keep it going

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    Grade II calf injury if he is lucky : 6/8 weeks.

    Grade III : 3 month to surgery

    • BKing

      It’s too bad he went down with an injury, hopefully he recovers fully. With AB out of the picture for at least a month there’s no one to stop us from the #1 draft pick. Now full speed ahead Raps, and enjoy the rest of the season.

      • Mantcore13

        Maybe BC told him to simulate this injury, cause he wants high draft pick?

        • SteveB

          How old are you!?

          • Rio

            His username is Mantcore13, so he must be 13.

  • rapsjj2

    james johnson and kleiza was awesome big shots and big blocks what a game hope to keep it going

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    Just forgot.

    David Stern thank you very much for this 66 games NBA season.

    Hope you keep your money smile. 

    • Copywryter

      How many careers will this insane season shorten or even end?

  • Thrillhouse

    I’m really heartbroken for Bargs. Wasn’t the best game percentage wise by any means for him, but he was solid in 2 way play. If he’s gone for an extended period of time…we really will be extinct.

    I’m really starting to become a fan of JJ. He’ll be a solid backup SF for us in the future.

    • sleepz

      His defence and trying to stay in front of Milsap late in the game is what impressed me the most.

      Milsap is underrated and finds ways to get his shot or draw fouls on most players and I thought Andrea gave it his all in trying to prevent easy jumpers but keep him from getting to the rim. It’s a shame he got injured again.

  • RapsFan

    Was it wise to play AB those heavy minutes, back to back when he just came back from injury ??

    • ghostface

      The injury could have happened in the first five minutes…

      • RapsFan

        While injury can happen at any minute, you can deny the direct relationship between injury and muscle fatigue. A player who jus

    • Nilanka15

      If the medical staff cleared him to play, you can’t blame Casey for playing him.

      • RapsFan

        We both know this is not the case and you look at around the league and no one pushes a player who just came back from Injury in a back to back night where he played 42 minutes the first night like that !!! 

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Great W!!

    Just when I started to think that the Raptors could make a playoff push AB goes down- again, bad karma in the TDot.

    It’s looking more & more like year 7 may be AB’s break out season- if he can last 82 games playing hard as a 2 way player every game.

    Will Casey plug Kleiza in at AB’s PF spot and roll on w/ Gray, Kleiza, JJ, DD, Jose?

    Stern’s 66 game regular season really restored competitive balance coming off of the NBA Owners imposed Lockout.smdh

    Not only that but with a 2 week training camp, multiple b2b/b2b2 games, 4 games in 5 days, 7 games in 9 days and so forth anyone with half a brain could have predicted the rash of injuries that we are seeing across the NBA landscape.

    How many can one attribute to Stern’s 66 game season- one can only guess since injuries are a part of the game but it doesn’t look good given all the owners media hype rhetoric.

    Kwame Brown got a new 7 million dollar contract (he got hurt as well), Stern blocked the 1st CP3 trade, role players are still getting millions upon millions- what was the lockout for again?

    A 50 game season would have been more practical especially with the All Star game still being played at around mid season.

    • gooniesNEVERdie

      AB is making you a believer… I need not see no more.. AB is officially legit.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Trade AB high…………….

        • Rob

          We should trade you to the Wizards.

          • Lorenzo

            A bit extreme..

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Trade AB high………….& Jose too……………

  • knickz

    great game by our boys. screw tank nation because i want to make the playoffs.

  • knickz

    big 3’s from jose who was trending world wide on twitter lol…saw on another raps site ppl were pissed at jose cause he didnt look for demar in the 4th or o.t….proves to me  guys just care about their fav players and not the team

  • knickz

    I remember guys like john wallace, tim thomas and julian wright  were highly touted players coming out of college and didn’t do jack in the nba…I like perry jones, quincey miller and terrence jones, but i’ll rather make a trade for another scorer who is nba ready because this team isnt far off

    • Nilanka15

      It’s hard to trade for impactful players if you don’t have many assets to offer.

  • Rob

    Raptors 0-6 without Bargnani, 6-7 with him. 

    With Bargnani=playoff push.

    Without Bargnani=lottery pick.

  • Rob

    Sucks that Bargs is gone though, it was awesome to see the guy come into his own and really develop into this great player.

    Hopefully it’s not too severe and he’s not gone for too long, but by all accounts it appears to be lingering and he’ll need a lot of time to recover. Shame.

  • Rob

    Doesn’t look good though– Eric Smith tweet: Bargnani says he’s going to get an MRI & he’ll be “out for a while” … Again saying the calf is “much worse” 

    Damn.

  • Adriiian

    What a game, absolutely loved it!
    JJ is starting to grow on me, and huge effort from Kleiza, with some crazy 3s. Bayless still can’t make a shot.
    Without Bargs were doomed, sucks that he’s out!

  • Fuckme

    Calf strains may be minor or very severe and are typically graded as follows:

    Grade 1 Calf Strain: The muscle is stretched causing some small micro tears in the muscle fibers. Full recovery takes approximately two weeks.Grade 2 Calf Strain : There is partial tearing of muscle fibers. Full recovery takes approximately 5-8 weeks.Grade 3 Calf Strain: This is the most severe calf strain
    with a complete tearing or rupture of muscle fibers in the lower leg.
    Full recovery can take 3-4 months and, in some instances, surgery may be
    needed.

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

    Great victory. Expecially in b2b against an opponent have had a plenty of time to prepare the game. I was upset to see AB out of the game with the same injury. He didn’t really play well, he comitted some defensive mistake down the strecth, when after a good d on Millsap he omitted to help on Harris. Big mistake, but after all he fought.

    Great game for all the guys and I was really pleased to see Klieiza score many decisive points. Calderon struggled alot against Harris but he made a key three point in OT. Good effort for JJ (unbelievable d) and DeRozan. Terrible ED and JB. Those guys have to rise their level.

    Injury
    I hope nothing serious but now my feelings are bad because the team was so good. Instead we have to accept the fact that without AB we are not competitive. The only AB’s present give the chance to the teammate to find more space (6-7 the record). Of course thanks Stern and the union. Instead losing time to show who has the big penis the season could be less insane. And now we have alot injuries around the league.

  • sangaman

    Best game Ive seen the raps play in a long time. Gutsy. Get well soon Bargs..I hope that he is not going the way of Yao Ming. A 7 footer constantly driving to the bucket is a recipe for disaster..Better for him to develop low post moves like Duncan for longevity.

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

      The real problem are too minutes on the floor after an injury. Unfortunately Casey sniffed the possibility to win and he left AB on the floor. The calendar is ridiculous and the injuries are coming. Of course your idea to put AB to develop low post moves is correct.

  • cesco

    I would like to think ( I have a good imagination ) that they were extra motivated after Andrea went down to  “win one for the gipper’ . Silly me .

    • 511

      Ya know, there may’ve been a little bit of that but the biggest thing I think, was the momentum of the team play that was going on (which Bargnani was of course, a key part of). Going forward, with DeMar possibly coming out of hibernation and Kleiza looking like he’s finding his mojo … and with the team understanding more and more how effective they can be defensively (there were terrific defensive moments last night), the good momentum from these last two games should carry forward for a while. They won’t win as many games without Bargs there obviously, but hopefully, it won’t be as excruciating to watch as what it was getting to be, up to a couple games ago. 

      • Lorenzo

        It just seems like it finally “clicked” yesterday

  • voy

    – interesting to compare the number of injuries that will  occur this year, in the league, vs previous years.

    – shame about Bargs; its obvious Casey wants to win which is why he’s riding Andrea 40+ minutes a game ( even on back-to-backs; generally not a good idea for 7’0 270 pounders); I guess one of the many drawbacks of being so thin talent-wise

    – if the kids are listening and working I think you gotta keep feeding them minutes, good or bad; give ED, JB, JJ, DD all 30 minutes; let them work out their problems on the court; they are not gonna get better sitting on the bench

    – keep feeding Leonardo starters minutes; if we can get a mid to late first rounder for him I say consider pulling the trigger.

    • Sheptor

      So you want JB, DD, JJ, AND ED to get 30 plus minutes..?? Oh AND BArbosa? Where does Calderon, Kleiza, and Amir fit in? With hopefully a healthy Bargnani in a month or so…just doesn’t add up.

      • voy

        give everyone on the team 30 minutes. haha. no, you are right. 

        i’d like to see ED get alot more minutes.  I dont think having him play 10minutes a game is doing anything for his development.  Maybe he is playing too tight.  Perhaps he’s afraid on his first screw up he is gonna be nailed to the bench. Let him know that you are gonna give him a ton of minutes; dont worry about making mistakes, just learn from them and bust your ass trying.

        Same with JJ.  I dont know what the plan is with kleiza but I dont want to see linas getting 75% of the sf minutes and with the rest being allocated to jj.  I’d rather see a more even split.

        Maybe not as many minutes for bayliss as in my original thesis, but give leonardo alot of burn if he continues to fill up the bucket (with the intention of seeing what we can get for him via trade). 

        • CaseyDaMan

          “bust your ass trying”

          That’s the first thing that coach Casey asks for and has made it quite clear that it’s the first thing that will grow or decrease minutes. If he’s not working, he’s not developing.

          “Same with JJ.  I dont know what the plan is with kleiza but I dont want
          to see linas getting 75% of the sf minutes and with the rest being
          allocated to jj.  I’d rather see a more even split.”

          HUH? You’re saying this after Kleiza got 32 minutes and JJ got 38. And the game before, JJ got 35 and Kleiza. Are you paying the least bit of attention, or just reciting a mantra?

          Everybody in the league knows exactly what LBs game is and what he can deliver. He doesn’t need more minutes simply to showcase him for a trade.

          • CaseyDaMan

            oops,
            * game before, JJ got 35 and Kleiza 20*

          • voy

            “reciting a mantra?”  when have I mentioned this before?  look, all I’m saying is I think it’s be a shame to give kleiza a substantial amount of minutes more than jj based on the fact that lk is more of a known commodity.  You are right, so far this has not been the case, but as I mentioned before I dont know what the plan is with kleiza.  Does coach see him as a 20 minute guy, or is the plan to increase his minutes as he gets himself more comfortable on the floor.

            My point is, if its one or the other, I’d rather see the minutes go to JJ and see what his upside is.  Wth LK, for the most part, you know what you are gonna get.  Yeah, yeserday and the day before JJ got a lot of minutes.  I want to see those minutes being given to him on a more consistent basis.

            Regarding Barbosa, sure he is a known commodity but that doesn’t mean no other GM is gonna wanna see him play this year before making a decision on him.  I’d like to see him get more than 23 minutes a game.  You know “why is the gm, on one of the most horrible teams in the league, trying to sell me on a player who can barely crack 20 minutes on his team”, I think is gonna be a valid concern for some gm’s.  Showing if/that Leonardo can be productive playing 30 minutes would be a huge plus, i think, in boosting his value.

            • CaseyDaMan

              No mantra, okay. Sorry I keep forgetting you like to spend a lot of time discussing hypothetical scenarios, even those that like this case, don’t even have any basis in what’s actually going on. I keep thinking people are talking about current reality.

              I repeat, nobody in the league doesn’t know what LB can deliver, whether it’s 20 minutes or 30 minutes they think they need. IF anything, the Raps should want to keep his minutes down toward the lower end of that scale to help avoid injury and keep his trade value.

              • voy

                haha. you’re right, dude.  I guess every veteran’s trade value remains at a constant level once they’ve been established in the league, regardless if they play 20 minutes or show a capability of playing more, or regardless if its their 5th season or 9th.  Better yet why dont we just bench him so he doesn’t get hurt and if a gm asks “why isn’t barbs playing” we’ll just tell him “well, you saw what he can do last year playing 20 minutes a game now just imagine him doing the same thing this year but with the capability of playing more.  Trust me on it”.

                Makes total sense, dude. Thanks.

                • CaseyDaMan

                  For you’re own sake, learn to stop digging a deeper (ass)hole

  • mountio

    Great game and gutty effort. Bottom line in the NBA a player or two can make a big difference to a team. In this case, having AB back (and to a lesser extent JB and LK) makes this team a LOT more competitive. Gives me hope that Val plus draft pick plus FA can legitimately put us on the right track.

    It sucks to see the injury .. but as Ive posted here before, sometimes injuries can be the best thing for a team rebuilding because our record will be much worse that it would have been. By essentially having two key injuries (Val (because hes overseas) and AB – thats probably a delta of 5 to 10 losses in the year .. could be the difference between a 6 to 10 pick and a top five.

    It sucks to see, becuase I much prefer watching a game like last night than watchin us get us dusted 7 straight without AB .. but with my long term hat on, I actually think this is a good thing. Ed NEEDS to get better (some better signs last night) .. hopefully throwing him to the wolves helps ..

    • Nilanka15

      The only concern is if this calf injury is a chronic one.  Going back to last season, this is now the 3rd injury on the same muscle.  If surgery is needed to correct this problem for good, I say get it done now.  If there’s any season where wins don’t matter, it’s this one.

      • nottheendoftheworld

        Agree 100% .. so tough to admit ’cause for the first time EVER, I saw AB come through the lane to help on defense, twice. The second time he actually drew a charge. I’ve watched every Raps game since ’95 in some way or another, and I’ve never seen Bargs help on defense from the weak side successfully. TWICE. Something bad was frankly bound to happen.

      • mountio

        Ya .. sort of goes without saying, but if this has a determental long term effect on his career, its obviously not a good thing for the raps. Im assuming this is several weeks and then finish out the year and rest up in the offseason. We will see ..

  • mountio

    Also, we won, so not to harp, but a few things.
    I know you cant play zone all the game .. but the +- must have been + 20 playing zone and -20 playing man. MORE zone please!
    Down the stretch .. AB is tired, can we please post him up rather than give it to him 20 feet from the hoop for a jumper? Only the one inbounds play got him the ball in close ..

    • Brian B

      against a team with shooters, zone is only effective in bursts- and against a team with multiple good passers, less so, because what beats a zone is ball movement. Decent teams adjust. So then you have to switch to man, or trapping, or change up the zone. with limited talent, and limited practice, and a few players who seem clueless, Casey deserves props for the mileage he Is getting out of the zone.

      • mountio

        I agree he deserves props on what hes getting out of the zone .. but we would get a bunch of stops with the zone and then the last 3 or 4 possessions of the game / OT / 2OT he goes man and the basically scored / got fouled every time. Reality is a) Utah doesnt shoot the 3 that well and b) they killed us man to man ..
        So .. I would have rode the zone more when it counted .. but dont get me wrong, I like the way Casey has switched up the line ups and from man to zone .. MUCH MUCH better than Jay who was a robot in this respect

    • 2damkule

      ‘Down the stretch .. AB is tired, can we please post him up rather than give it to him 20 feet from the hoop for a jumper? Only the one inbounds play got him the ball in close .. ‘

      i’m not sure i understand what you’re getting at?  if you’re suggesting that because he was tired, he wouldn’t have the lift necessary in his legs to get a good jumper off, then i’m not sure how posting him up would be any better, since doing so requires, IMO, much more physical energy (to establish position, maintain said position, work for a shot, etc.).  if he’s too tired to get a 20-footer off, then how is he going to be able to establish advantageous positioning in the post?

      • mountio

        Im suggesting that it doesnt make sense to feed him the ball on a high pick and pop 20 feet from the rim when he doesnt have the energy to do anything other than shoot.
        I realize the post up takes energy, but when you get the ball in low, a) your shot is less likely to come up short due to tired legs and b) you are more likely to get fouled.
        In terms of comparing energy, sure, just shooting takes less. But if you want to effective from 20 feet, you need to be able to drive, shoot, shot fake, etc. That full combination takes just as much energy as posting up.
        Anyways .. the energy is part of it .. the more important point is simply to get him the ball in the post more down the stretch (whether hes tired or not), because he can make things happen. We gave it to him like 7 or 8 straight times at the top of the key and the result wasnt very good .. got to mix it up.
         

  • Nilanka15

    Did anyone hear the subtle shot Jack Armstrong took at Toronto Fans (in the ACC’s lower bowl)?

    “They’ve got smart fans in Utah.  They’re not on their Blackberries eating sushi…they’re watching the game.”

    Lol, I loved it!

    • 2damkule

      irony alert…how many segments have jack & devlin wasted nannering on about their own blackberries, twitter, the internet, jack’s luddite-ness, etc?

      • Nilanka15

        In Jack’s defense, the discussion is usually about how Jack has never (until recently) owned a Blackberry.  You can tell he hates the “white collar” stuff.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Why not take shots at BC’s Raptors vision in action instead of the long suffering Raptors fans who spend their time & hard earned cash for tickets/mechandise that the announcers like to dumb down in relation to current Raptors basketball particulars.

      Just like Stefanski said- in Philly they (the fan base) wouldn’t go for BC’s patience pr media spin plan ie build not rebuild like in the TDot. He basically admitted that a majority of the Raptors fan base is stuck on stupid.

      You loved it….smdh….lol

      We need new game announcers as well…….change the Raptors basketball culture 100%!!

      • Nilanka15

        Stefanski was suggesting that Philly fans were too dumb/impatient to sit through a proper rebuild.

        The reason Philly is winning now is mainly because of their young core which were acquired through….yup, you guessed it….draft picks!  Just imagine where they’d be if they didn’t have Brand’s ginormous contract weighing them down.

  • Robertjclement

    It was nice to see the Raps get a huge road win back-to-back on the road. It was a gutsy effort to say the least and close to a months worth of wins in the company we are keeping.A great effort by Kleiza and the Amir Johnson we know and love showed up in the OT to help secure the W.Still the loss of Bargnani for what may be a considerable period of games puts a damper on all the happy feelings this game brought to the Raptor faithful. He has certainly given ample proof of what his mere prescence means to the Raptor offence.Hopefully he’s back at 100% sooner rather than later!

  • Robertjclement

    It was nice to see the Raps get a huge road win back-to-back on the road. It was a gutsy effort to say the least and close to a months worth of wins in the company we are keeping.A great effort by Kleiza and the Amir Johnson we know and love showed up in the OT to help secure the W.Still the loss of Bargnani for what may be a considerable period of games puts a damper on all the happy feelings this game brought to the Raptor faithful. He has certainly given ample proof of what his mere prescence means to the Raptor offence.Hopefully he’s back at 100% sooner rather than later!

  • Bigga

    I really hope that the Raptors bring back Sonny Weems. His game has gotten much better overseas and he would fit perfectly in this new defensive system. Besides, he’s a much better option then Butler.

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

      Yesterday he played against Cantù in EL (lost the game). And believe me he wasn’t really good.

      • Bigga

        16pts, 5.5rebs, shooting 50% from 2s and 40% from 3s. He is still a bit to turnover prone but I will take numbers even close to that. Besides with Sonny back it may just rise Demar’s game too to have his good friend back on the team.

        I would love to see him and JJ on the floor guarding those wings.

  • mobchester

    number one pick look safe now that bargani is out 

    • why

      might end up with the most ping pong balls however no guarantee that will result in the #1 pick – odds are against, even with the #1 position.