Raptors 111, Jazz 106 (2OT) – Box

This was the kind of game that reminds you why you’re a fan to begin with. It’s really easy to root for a team that pulls up its collective socks and stares down adversity, and actually comes away with something tangible to show for it. A win in Utah, much deserved.

We all know this year is a little different than most. Expectations are low, wins are even bittersweet. But some games, you just want to see that W. This became one of those games. Why?

1. Second game of back-to-back, a dreaded proposition in recent history
2. Clawing back from a potential blowout and 18 point deficit in the first quarter
3. A normally stoic Andrea Bargnani visibly emotional after re-injuring his calf late in the game
4. Double overtime victory punctuated with gutsy defensive play

It’s time to state unequivocally that the culture on this team has changed. This looks equally great on Dwayne Casey as it looks bad on Jay Triano. He’s gotten Andrea Bargnani to help on defense and even take charges for crying out loud. The new found intensity and positive emotion could be attributable to Bargnani’s maturation, but it’s all happened too fast for that. Rick Carlisle’s influence is evident with Casey. He demands respect without going batshit like Jay Triano was prone to do, even Sam Mitchell before him.

There’s sometimes little a coach can do to influence the outcome of a game. Tonight was an exception. Against a team that lacked a clear three-point threat outside of Raja Bell, the Raptors threw some zone at them, with success. If DeRozan (who also took a charge at a crucial moment in the game) and Bargnani can provide even average defense, this team could even carve an identity as a defensive team. Amir Johnson is a quality defender and James Johnson is really looking like that Josh Smith/Andrei Kirilenko-lite that blocks and steals balls that he has no business being near.

Along with the gritty defense, the Raptors did need a bit of luck. A Calderon three at the end of the shot clock was huge. Devin Harris missing three freebies at the end of the game was even bigger. But look at it, this Utah team is already good. They were 8 – 2 at home this year, despite being a younger team. At the beginning of the game they played at a tempo that would make the old Phoenix Suns blush. It was effective but as soon as Devin Harris subbed out, the game settled into a slower, more natural rhythm. Which is of course, how this year’s Raptors squad likes it.

DeMar DeRozan displayed good decision-making today, by keeping things simple and playing smart defense. The one baseline drive he had near the end of the game was exactly the type of play that separates good players from journeymen. He’s beginning to understand his limitations playing in sometimes deliberate halfcourt sets that emphasize quick execution over improvisation.

This team is a lot better when Jose Calderon looks for his offense. When he turns that corner on the pick and rolls it in for a layup, it reminds me a lot of the young, hungry Calderon’s trademark play. Remember, it was this part of his game that won over the Raptor coaches. The jumper came around later and when he had a good balance of the two, he went on that run where he was one of the elite points in the league and the precursor to the legendary “Forderon” controversy.

The not-so-silver lining to all this is a highly motivated, beasting Andrea Bargnani may be out for a few more games again. For the games he has been playing, this Raptor outfit looks legit. The defense has been unbelievably good compared to last years, surpassing expectations, and there’s just enough offense to with Bargnani and an aggressive Calderon to keep the team going. The bench scoring of Barbosa can not be overlooked as well. This is all with DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis under performing this year, so there’s still room for growth.

All in all, a really fun game to watch. In a town where blue collar types like Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams, Wendel Clark and John McDonald become fan favorites, a win like this takes the cake.

  • Milesboyer

    I’m starting to think the greatest positives we’ll take away from this season will be Dwayne Casey’s coaching and not the development of the “young guns”.  It will be interesting to see how much turnover there will be in next year’s roster and whether all this teaching will only apply to a few players if there is indeed a big makeover. 

    • Nilanka15

      Definitely looking forward to the trade deadline.  I hope Barbosa continues to showcase himself, and a contender comes calling offering a late 1st round pick.

      • TwistAnklez

        Barbosa is one of our best scorers, will b better than any 1st rounder coming in, is one of the fastest players in the NBA, highly serviceable and comes with way more experience than any player in the draft.  Why would you want to trade that valuable piece away?  Do you think if we played against him that he WOULDN’T carve this entire team up?  He’d kill us!! Like all the other good players we’ve let go just for a “brand new pair of shoes”.  We need stability.  There’s way worse players on the roster to get rid of to make room on our roster.  ANY player in the draft is unproven, so I don’t see how ANY one can say trading LB for a 1st rounder is better than keeping him AND adding a 1st rounder.  We need to WIN now, not later. Can’t be trade happy, every year.  We need an identity.

        • Nilanka15

          Will Barbosa be better than any 1st rounder in 3-5 years when he’s in his 30s?

          Colangelo knows we’re not in “win now” mode.  And Barbosa’s an expiring contract anyway.  Whether he’s traded or not, it’s fair to assume he won’t be part of this team next year.

          The last thing we want to do is waste precious cap space on ageing veterans who won’t be on the team when we’re finally ready to compete for a title.  It’s the fastest way to go nowhere (see the previous 16 years).

        • KoolGRap

          Barbosa is a free agent and he won’t be re-signing here dude. If we don’t trade him, especialy for a pick or young player then we would be mis-managing as per usual. Its rediculous to suggest we need Barbosa, don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice player and contributing well but he has to be traded because he has good value and expiring 7 million dollar contract. Don’t be obtuse, we have a slim chance of making the playoffs and Derosan would benefit from the shots that barbosa is taking, as well as us being able to pair our potential Gilchrist pick with another late roounder like a PG or something, I say again Tayshaun Taylor anyone?

          • CaseyDaMan

            Not trading him is in no way equatable to “mis-managing”. FN agendas/ignorance some people have on here.

            A GM doesn’t operate in a vacuum and able to do whatever he wants without working with other GMs that aren’t stupid. This isn’t fantasy basketball. Taking trading partner payrolls, the CBA, and draft picks held, into consideration, what suggestions do you have that the other team would offer and BC would be irresponsible turning down?

            If BC can get a worthwhile offer from another team, he’ll pull that trigger. I have no doubt. It will take an offer that’s worth more than the valuable cap space that occurs when his contract expires though.

            • Nilanka15

              Another 1st round draft pick would be worth it, IMO.

              • CaseyDaMan

                I agree, but suggesting BC is a failure if he’s unable to swing that is ignorant of the things I pointed out. It takes two to tango and a dancer isn’t incompetent if there’s nobody willing to dance.

                • Nilanka15

                  Agreed.  The $7.6 million in cap space is pretty valuable too.

                • CaseyDaMan

                  And in many different ways, not just the FA market.

                  For example, there are huge payroll teams out there that my be facing much higher luxury tax next year. Let’s say one has a mediocre guy, serving them fine now, but they overpaid and are paying him $5M, about to cost them more than double that next year. The Raps can take that $5M on, in return for getting a promising young piece and/or #1 pick in the future. With the new Luxury tax rules, Cap flexibility is a very big asset.

                • sleepz

                  If you use it properly.

              • voy

                who said anything about trading him for just the cap space?!?

                First rounder and I’m considering it, especially if that pick has a chance to be between 15-20 (granted, 15 may be a bit of a stretch though).

            • KoolGRap

              I know this is from forever ago but dude I was obviously saying if there were a deal like a first round pick on the table, even a late one, that it would be mis-managing not to do it and to keep barbosa in some crazy effort to make the playoffs. Being in a vacuum and fantasy basketball have nothing to do with it you try-hard, stop over thinking and read what is on the screen. I know that BC didn’t operate in a vacuum but that has nothing to do with it. When you conjecture about potential trades you assume that more than one party is involved as it is necessary to the theoretical situation, so in the situation I was imagining someone would be offering a first round pick. Are you totally dumb?

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      As long as the Raptors draft Tony Wroten Jr http://www.whosay.com/uwmensbasketball/videos/121649 they will be striaght next season..

  • olapaloma

    Too many minutes for Andrea after his first injury. Very very bad decistion to let him play so many time. Unbelievable.

    • cesco

      Let us pray that at worst he will be fully recovered by the start of next season . I agree it was a very bad decision by Casey , but was there a warning by the medical staff ( about playing him heavy minutes ) that was relayed to the coach and the coach ignored it ? If not then the medical staff is at fault not Casey .

      • olapaloma

        You’r probably right. Mayby it was only bad luck..

    • WJF

      Andrea took more than enough time off before coming back. I am sure that the training staff gave him the “all clear” to play. Andrea wanted to be on the floor, and letting his coach know that he is good to go. Don’t lay blame here, things happen…

    • brother

      Agreed. Too many minutes, too early. And I think the news on Bargs is worse than A-Dub is guessing at, i.e. it is going to more than a couple of games.

      Last time it was what, 6 games? This time Bargs said post-game that it was worse. If you look it up online, bad calf sprains are estimated to take 3-4 or 6 weeks+ to heal! I can tell you that I had the first one of my life about 3 months ago and it took 3 weeks before it started to feel right and didn’t feel completely healed for 2 months. And that’s me – a rec league baller putting in one tenth the time and effort and subsequent stress on the tissue as Bargs is.

      BTW – I think the tv guys got it wrong. “Bargs looks so disappointed. He really wanted to be on the floor to win this one…” Maybe, but the real deal was this: he just saw his shot at all star status take a massive hit. If he played as well as he has been leading up to the break, he’d be on the all star squad. Now? Almost no chance and he knew it right then and right there.

      That’s a huge problem for him career-wise.

      • Bendit

        Dont understand the career problem here unless you believe this will be a recurring problem. He has another 3 years re his contract status so he is locked in with plenty of time to yet prove he is worthy of a bigger next deal.

        • brother

          I mean missing the allstar game this year will be bad for his career. When it comes to allstar appearances, you want as many as you can get.

          What happens if in the context of a better team next year his point average suffers and he doesn’t make the allstar game? That’s zero career allstar games. When handing out max contracts everybody involved loves to say “we just signed three time allstar XXX to a max contract” rather than “we just signed this guy to a max contract”.

          He is playing at an allstar level NOW and NOW he’s hurt and likely going to miss the invite. That stinks for his career.

          • Nilanka15

            You’re right about his career, but isn’t it better for the team that he isn’t eating up max salary?

          • Bendit

            Your reasoning is solely from an individual player pov…just not my thinking when it comes to a team sport and what is wrong with so many nba ballers. I’d rather he felt bad that he couldnt help the team. As well, where was this aspiration to be an allstar the past say 2-3 yrs. He’ll get his money without those allstar appearances if injury was the sole reason he couldnt make it to that trumped up show.

            • brother

              Like so many others, you make this fatal mistake: me reporting the news isn’t me endorsing it. I said “he’s thinking about his shrinking shot at all star status” – not “I support his selfish reasoning”. Do try to keep it together won’t you?

              • Bendit

                I must have missed it…what news were you reporting? Did you speak with Bargnani about his feelings. Look, you opined/crystal ball gazed (which most of us do) re him being pissed about missing the asg. I didnt agree with it and said why. You may still disagree and thats fine. There was no “news” which you reported…but I am still open to be corrected.

                • CJT

                  I like to think he was A) upset because he is a competitor whether it be last nights game or games future games he will miss being part of the action.  B) the prospect of rehabbing the injury for another extended period of time.  Also a calf strain is not a result of doing too much too soon according to Doug Smiths blog today. 

                • Pizzaman

                  Absolutely because he was playing great, having fun and really maturing into the teams leader and he knew it and liked it. He was pissied because he could not help, and pissed because he is going to have to rehab again and sit out, pissed because it hurt way more than last time so he’s worried it’s bad. I think the farthest thing on his mind was the all star game. He may have started to put that together but not last night. He said last week he had never heard that many fans referred to Euros as soft. This is a genuine, shy kid maturing into a man. He has alsways had confidence in his skills, but now he is being asked to lead and he’s relishing the opportunity.
                  Also someone said that his numbers will likely go down on a better team, and I don’t necessarily agree. If we get better wing players who are threats from outside and a center who can post up, score and pass the the other teams will not be able to focus on him as much and he will pretty much destroy most one on one coverage. He has played amazing this year being doubled and tripled so he would only be better with better players around him.

                • CJT

                  Exactly.  I am not worried about his future numbers at all.  If the team is winning and there is a more even scoring punch from all positions then I am all for that.

      • CaseyDaMan

        LMAO. yeah right. The all star game was what was on his mind, lol

        • brother

          Hi I’m naive. Nice to meet you.

          • CaseyDaMan

            Hi, I can only relate to greedy, self-serving NBAers and if it was me, my very first thought upon sustaining an injury isn’t about team and wanting to play with my team, but that I’ll miss a slight chance at an all-star game and give my agent ammo to get me more money in 5 years because the NBA just won’t know my value then because I missed an All-Star game due to injury.
            Nice to meet you.

            • brother

              Are you for real? Guys who care more about money and themselves than team: Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, Lebron James… Need I go on? Really? Every single NBA player (and you and me and everybody else) thinks of one thing first: me and my needs and my career and my money. Me. Me and me. And also team, because in a very distant and roundabout way it may impact, me.

              • CaseyDaMan

                Obviously your “real” world is a pretty dark and cynical one based on everybody fitting the same mold, but even those players you cite, wouldn’t be thinking what you suggest as the very first thought minutes after an injury. I know it’s hard to accept that your narrow minded views are simply dumb sometimes, so you have my sympathies.

              • sleepz

                I don’t think it’s fair to assume what drives another man.

                You can make assumptions but you don’t know their hearts.

              • CJT

                Didn’t Bosh, and LBJ take less money to play with the Heat.  Does that somehow fit in to your theory or no?

              • CJT

                Didn’t Bosh, and LBJ take less money to play with the Heat.  Does that somehow fit in to your theory or no?

              • CJT

                Didn’t Bosh, and LBJ take less money to play with the Heat.  Does that somehow fit in to your theory or no?

                • Marc

                  So nice he says it thrice

                • CJT

                  Sorry computer froze and panic set in.

                • why

                  there is no state income tax in Florida – they probably didn’t give up anything to sign with The HEat vs. say the Knicks.

                • CJT

                  My point being that the financial reward had little to nothing to do with the decision for them to sign in Miami.  The chance to team up and create a championship team was the motivator. 

  • rapswinrapswin

    Best regular season Raptor game in recent memory. Huge win for Casey and the rest of the team. A Gray as our starting center is the way to go and James Johnson is BAWSING right now. 

    • Nilanka15

      The block on Gordon’s dunk attempt was downright nasty.

      • Buschfire

        It was Nasty, but then again it is Gordan Hayward

      • Buschfire

        Yeah it was a nice block, but then again it is Gordon Hayward…If he dunked on JJ I would have been pissed…

    • olapaloma

      Huge win? One game for 6 weeks injury.

      • rapswinrapswin

        yes, worth it. A win like this has a big influence on team moral. we never won games like this with J Triano. Obviously you never played a competitive team sport at a high level and only look at a teams record. 

        Andrea has never played this hard in previous seasons, so I am not surprised his body isn’t used to his new mentality. That is fine, the physical side will work itself out as the season goes on. Team doctors and trainers can take care of that but it took Bargs consciously deciding to give two s%^#$ to get him turn the mental corner, no MRI or rehab could have done that. 

        • 2damkule

          i think his point was two-fold: is losing AB for an extended period of time ‘worth’ a single W (keeping in mind what this season’s about); and how does the team’s morale withstand yet another extended absence of their best player?  losses are bound to mount, doesn’t that have an impact?

          further…the raps certainly did win games like last night with JT at the helm.  let’s not all go revisionist-historian here, they pulled off a fair number of upsets during JT’s reign, all things considered.  you yourself stated that andrea has not played with this level of sustained effort & intensity before, yet you seem to be unable to draw a link to this notion & JT’s failings.

          • j bean

            The difference in the upset wins under Triano and last nights game was the way the Raps battled on the defensive end to get big stops. They were tough down low and forced a lot of low percentage shots from outside. That is something that just never used to happen. 

          • Aaron8007

            Your wrong JT never won games on the road on a west coast road trip.  Thats why this is toronto’s first time beating Phoenix and Utah on the road for almost 10 years.

          • Aaron

            Your wrong JT never won games on the road on a west coast road trip.  Thats why this is toronto’s first time beating Phoenix and Utah on the road for almost 10 years.

            • 2damkule

              you’re right, i was taking ‘never’ far too literally. 

              to clarify, the original point (by rapswinrapswin) didn’t specify games played on the W coast, merely ‘games like this’ – which i took to mean hard-fought games against a superior opponent.  i’ll certainly grant that the raps don’t have a good history playing W conf teams, esp. on their turf, but i was simply taking issue with the premise that games like last night had NEVER happened under JT, when they clearly had.  again, it didn’t happen much, but it did happen.  there’s enough hyperbole out there without twisting/recreating the past to suit a present-day POV.

              FWIW – they won in Dal & OKC last year.

              • Lorenzo

                Many folks dey never heard of me, so ima introduce myself by usin some hyperbolees’

              • Lorenzo

                Many folks dey never heard of me, so ima introduce myself by usin some hyperbolees’

          • onemanweave

            What they HAVEN’T done, under JT, Sam or as yet DC, is follow up a game like this one with another and another and another.
               What is so frustrating about this team is, they are capable of playing good, tough, competitive basketball. When they do, however, they feel it earns them a little one, two or seven-game holiday where they just mail it in.
               The NEXT game will tell a great deal. And the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that ….. pound the rock?

            • sleepz

              They won the division under Sam Mitchell

              • onemanweave

                They won a weak division with a team talented enough that AB was a sixth man and then lost in the first round.
                    Good team. Good coach. Not exactly models of consistency and effort.

      • rapswinrapswin

        yes, worth it. A win like this has a big influence on team moral. we never won games like this with J Triano. Obviously you never played a competitive team sport at a high level and only look at a teams record. 

        Andrea has never played this hard in previous seasons, so I am not surprised his body isn’t used to his new mentality. That is fine, the physical side will work itself out as the season goes on. Team doctors and trainers can take care of that but it took Bargs consciously deciding to give two s%^#$ to get him turn the mental corner, no MRI or rehab could have done that. 

  • Bendit

    Nice write ADub.

    The change in AB is astounding and it’s all between the ears. Either he has a new woman in his life cooing :Give it to me now: or Casey has learned Italian psych language. Either way its all good.

  • 2damkule

    double-post, removed.

    again…eff u disqus.

    • Bendit

      How does one edit/delete?

  • Copywryter

    Holy crap does Utah need a jump shooter. The last half of the fourth quarter featured poor offensive sets and shooting from us followed by Utah passing up jump shots like it was a game of hot potato. If Utah is looking to move Devin Harris he certainly did not raise his stock value with those airballs.

    Agree with A-Dub’s assessment of the energy levels. We had jump, especially ED. And coming on a back-to-back! Something tells me Kleiza is in for a few hard fouls next time these two teams meet. 

    Not a pretty basketball game but a pretty good one to watch — and even better to win. 

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    “It’s time to state unequivocally that the culture on this team has changed.”

    The culture has changed?

    I call BullChit- how much did BC pay you for that facetious balderdash of a sentence?lmfao

    The real & true culture change will happen when BC & his yes man front office consensus crew get the fuck out of the TDot along with AB & Jose- point blank, everything eles is just a pr spin in the wind to pacify the fan base with stories of culture change via talking media heads- media =’s medium =’s hypnotizing minds.

    AB’s attitude change hasn’t even lasted a full 82 games and some stuck on stupid fans are fawing over his effort after 5 seasons of half ass play- wow.smdh

    Not to mention that his body may not be up to a full NBA season as a 2 way player- anyone see a single defined muscle on AB’s body?

    Also, Jose is a near zero consistent offensive threat that can’t create shots for others just bounce, bounce, bounce, pass for late shot clock basket attempt & gets beat by quicker pgs on the regular.

    • Gman

      I love how you criticize the best players on the team.  It’s hilarious.  You should take this comedy act on the road.  You can call it “The Bipolar Basketball Buffoon…I would seriously buy a ticket.  Just to watch you rant and spit in to a mic and then fall down when the high from the 2 litre bottle of diet coke ran out.  Then we could have a midget drag you offstage by your heels. Now that’s good TV!!

      But seriously as a concerned citizen get back on your meds.  

      • Pizzaman

        Right on. What a loser post. This guy is a real joke. How can he put up with himself being so dam stupid?

    • Malefax

      tl; dr

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    “It’s time to state unequivocally that the culture on this team has changed.”
     
    The culture has changed?
     
    I call BullChit- how much did BC pay you for that facetious balderdash of a sentence?lmfao
     
    The real & true culture change will happen when BC & his yes man front office consensus crew get the fuck out of the TDot along with AB & Jose- point blank, everything eles is just a pr spin in the wind to pacify the fan base with stories of culture change via talking media heads- media =’s medium =’s hypnotizing minds.
     
    AB’s attitude change hasn’t even lasted a full 82 games and some stuck on stupid fans are fawing over his effort after 5 seasons of half ass play- wow.smdh
     
    Not to mention that his body may not be up to a full NBA season as a 2 way player- anyone see a single defined muscle on AB’s body?
     
    Also, Jose is a near zero consistent offensive threat that can’t create shots for others just bounce, bounce, bounce, pass for late shot clock basket attempt & gets beat by quicker pgs on the regular.

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

      Tell me: last year this team would have won the last two games in b2b on the road? No.

      I don’t want to talk about culture but is evidently that some goods things were happened in this team. We are lack in talent, some guys are struggling, AB is injured again but the guys fight. I know that we are going to lose many games but compared tha last season I see many improvements.

      I don’t really understand the issue about muscle on AB’s body. It is useless question. Do you never seen alot muscle on Dirk’s body? No, but he won the NBA title.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Tell yourself buddy.lol

        Save it for David, pal.smh

        http://archivio.crastulo.it/contents_images/40863/40863_23.jpg

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

          Nice picture. lol

          But you didn’t answer.

        • Rob

          Old ass picture. What is it with you and seeing “defined muscles” on bodies of NBA players, seems odd….not there’s anything wrong with that lol.

          There’s lots of players in the NBA that are ripped as hell but can’t play, and then you have guys like Dirk, Kevin Durant, Gasol. etc who also don’t have these “defined muscles” you speak of but are 100X better than some others that do. 

          Bargnani’s playing well, and you question his physique? Keep looking for dumb things to pick on there buddy, next thing you know you’ll be questioning his haircut, and how it’s not shaved/short like 90% of the league.

    • Severedheads

      You sir, are an idiot.

      AB’s played at an All-Star level this year, and the fact that Colangelo stuck to his development rather than listening to the whiners/haters in the fanbase is to his credit.

      The team itself is also showing a commitment to defense and is developing a real identity. But of course, you would think that the very time we can see this team identity develop is when we should clean the mgt house. Cuz, yeah, that will speed it up.

      As for Calderon, it’s your commentary about him that is completely full of crap. He’s among the best at creating offense without also creating turnovers, and even an idiot should be able to see the offense runs much more smoothly with him than without.

      But then you’ve pretty much cornered the hate market, even your moniker is ridiculous (hating on a coach who just arrived – seriously?)

    • STFUYOUPIG

      “Anyone see a single defined muscle on AB’s body”

      Not till you stop sucking his dick.

  • 511

    My old childhood buddy who lives elsewhere, Gamblin Dan, I’ll call him (he earns what he does by wagering on sports, mostly), follows the stats on the Raps (he knows I’m a rabid fanatic) and watches as he can and wagers on them one way or another occasionally … and gives me shite about this and that, you can imagine. But in one of the emails we exchanged this morning, he asked me who-the-hell this Lithuanian guy was that we drafted who’s not even playing here (?) … so I brought him up to speed a bit, telling him that he’s a nineteen year old, seven foot center who bangs, blocks and slams, all while being a surprisingly sweet shooter from the field who would’ve been drafted higher than fifth overall – maybe first even – if he wasn’t contracted for another year in Lithuania (where they really know their hoops btw – it’s the number one sport there by far, I’m sure you knew, and JV’s almost a national hero there with billboards and whatnot all over Lithuania) and I sent him a link and … he ‘got it’. 

    Along the way, looking for a link to choose for him to see for himself, I was reminded of just what’s waiting for us next year and beyond … and I have to say, it upped my spirits some about the future of the Raps. This guy, Jonas Valanciunas, along with the Bargnani that we’ve been seeing this year (get well Andrea, and take your time if need be) and whatever good draft pick we hopefully get this next time around … combined with what is unquestionably (to my mind) the first rate coaching that Dwane Casey has finally brought to us … and we could, maybe (even) SHOULD be a team to be reckoned with in the not-at-all-distant future. So … just thought I’d share my little buzz of optimism for what’s likely around the corner for our long-suffering Raptors. And us, their fans. If it all goes as it could … it could be good fun for a good while. 

    • Lorenzo

      Beautiful…

    • Pizzaman

      I see it the same way. Jonas and Bargnani will be a dominant center and PF combination

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

    Batum didin’t reach an agreement with Blazers. He’ d be perfect for us.

  • Akash_singh

    I think this game showed just how poorly the jazz deal with zone defense more than how good the raptors are.

    • Nilanka15

      I disagree.  The zone has looked pretty solid against every team we’ve used it against.

    • CaseyDaMan

      I don’t think many are suddenly saying the Raptors are good based on that game. I see that game simply saying that:
      – Coach Casey continues to show he knows defense
      – his players continue to show they’re buying into the focus on defense and the teachings they’re receiving
      – JJ is rounding into a very serviceable piece
      – Kleiza is not the bum some chanters have been claiming, and could also be a very serviceable piece going forward.
      – continuing evidence that AB is an integral part of this teams chances of success, even when his own shot isn’t falling.

  • willyoubemyconstant

    Here’s what I hope happens. Boston gets desperate and offers their first round pick to us for Barbosa. Boston misses the playoffs (yes a little unrealistic, but I did say hope, not think) and then we have 2 picks in the lottery.

    • CaseyDaMan

      Being way over the cap, I don’t believe Boston can make that offer.

  • 2damkule

    yeah, $ would have to match (per new CBA parameters) for boston to make that move, meaning the raps would have to take back some crap, or get another team involved.

    i also question whether bost. (or any team, really) would do a deal like this without insisting that the pick be lottery-protected.  what happened with the clips/cavs last year didn’t exactly go unnoticed, nor is what happened between LAC & NOH in the CP3 deal (the biggest chip after EJ was minny’s UNPROTECTED 1st rd pick).

    if the raps want to trade LB, and not take anything back but a pick/$/TPE, then it’d likely have to be to a team with a big enough TPE of their own to absorb LB’s contract, who could use him (i.e. a playoff-bound team shoring up their bench)…meaning that pick would be in the mid-20s at best.  still, better than nothing.  does LAL have a 1st rounder this year?  they still have odom’s TPE, right?  DAL?  DEN?

    • CaseyDaMan

      There was a recent discussion over in the forums about this exact topic and I don’t know if EVERY team was examined very closely, but it seems that the list of such possibilities is very short, and even then, it might take an injury to induce such a trade. I think it’s one of those never say never things, but the chances are a lot slimmer than some think when they say something like “we just have to do a trade and get a #1 pick”

      • Nilanka15

        What name do you use in the forums?  😉

        What are you thoughts on Bertrand Russell?

        • CaseyDaMan

          Ya well, sometimes a change is better than a fight. (I’m I really saying that? lol)

        • CAN’T YOU TELL

           

          P00KA !!

  • 2damkule

    DISQUS!!!!!!

  • dalmatino

    Any news on Bargnani’s injury?

    • http://twitter.com/romeolingao Romeo Lingaolingao

      I haven’t heard anything from Dr. Barbosa yet.

    • cesco

      Most likely to-morrow . I keep my fingers crossed that he only misses the games in February . In bocca al lupo Andrea .

  • Mark

    Raptors should go after Eric Gordon in the offseason.

    • Lorenzo

      YES. Just imagine a lineup of:

      PG: Calderon
      SG: Gordon
      SF: Kidd-Gilchrist / Barnes / Jones (If Drummond is taken…)
      PF: Bargnani
      C: Valanciunas

      Oh man… my mouth is watering…

      • RapsFan

        It will cost them 12 Million per season to get Gordon and maybe more but I will still do it. This way, you can ship out DD as well

        • Mark

          Yeah, he’s a young (23) and on the rise SG, but I think he’ll be an RFA and NO will probably match whatever we put out there because he’s their new franchise guy. Hopefully we can get him, even for 12m a season like you said. And yeah, does make DD expendable.

        • Lorenzo

          12 mil is an ideal amount for a very talented player such as Gordon, but I’m worried about him being injury-prone.

          I’d much rather keep Barbosa and Kleiza for next season and trade DeMar for a good backup PG or another pick. I feel that Barbosa could become a part of our future (if he wishes to stay) as a bench scorer, and Kleiza as a mentor to JV.

          • Nilanka15

            Totally agree.  Spending $12m on a player who misses half the season, is like paying $24m for 82 games.  Definitely not worth the money.

            • Mark

              How do you know he’ll miss half the season?

      • Mark

        Deadly, just deadly. Raps should do whatever it takes to get Gordon.

      • FAQ

        I wish we could have gotten Gallo at SF, but it looks like he’s signed up on a long term contract now.

  • FAQ

    Googled “calf sprain” and got this good write-up:

    http://www.physioroom.com/injuries/calf_and_shin/calf_strain_full.php

    Very last paragraph is very revealing, and AB’s calf muscle sprain may have been caused by not consuming enough carbohydrates 48 hours before the game … and I thought Bargs was a big consumer of Primo Pasta..!!!!