Wizards 89, Raptors 106 – Box

Blowout favor returned to the Wizards. Case closed. Let’s see what Colangelo had to say during his interview at halftime:

Jonas was paid a trip which included a dinner date where the Raptors gauged how his physical and basketball progression was coming along in Europe. Kudos to the Raptors for being proactive on this front, and keeping good relations with the European club, who at this point are solely responsible for his development. The Raptors will send someone later in the month to do a proper examination of Valanciunas to ensure that he’s being prepped properly for life in the NBA. Colangelo referred to him as the future at the five, so there you go Jamaal, sorry to break it to you.

Colangelo was asked to comment on two free-agents – Wilson Chandler and Andrei Kirilenko. Usually these kinds of question result in a very generic compliment that you can’t read much into. However, he had extra praise for Kirilenko, whose defense and activity-level he cited as being very desirable. When asked what positions he’s looking to shore up this summer, the point guard and the small forward were on top of the list. You can do the math and see that Colangelo is going to be interested in someone like Kirilenko – a defense-first player for a defense-first coach in a position that is currently wide open? It adds up.

The looming trade deadline and Leandro Barbosa’s Raptor-status was queried, and Colangelo revealed that as recent as yesterday did he receive calls inquiring about Barbosa. He qualified the comment by saying that he’s not going to make a deal that doesn’t fit in the “plan”, i.e., will not tack on needless salary thus sacrificing cap flexibility. To my ears, it sounded like he wasn’t going to trade him for anything but a pick or a piece that’s going to be part of the future, like, as in the core. In my opinion, a first rounder is good return for Barbosa.

As for the draft, he explicitly suggested that the Raptors would select a player in the draft. This might be surprising to some given the youth on the team, but hey, it’s not like anyone on this roster is close to being untouchable, so it’s not fathomable to think that Colangelo can replace an under-performing “core piece” with someone he drafts with the fifth pick.

There’s also no timeline on Bargnani’s injury, the only thing said was that it’s worse than before and they’re taking a symptomatic approach to things. I don’t know what that means, except that he’s out for at least two weeks.

That folks was really the interesting part of the evening.

The basketball game itself was a 3 on the unwatchable scale of 1 to 10. The Wizards might not be a fundamental team but they’re certainly “fun” to watch when they’re ruining 2-on-1 breaks with absolutely “mental” plays, which was the flavor of the night for them. Both teams struggle to score in the half court, and both tried to make this an up-tempo game in hopes of gaining easy access to points. The Raptors came out winners in the end and in the process broke the 100-point barrier for the first time at home all season. A free slice for everyone and an 8-16 record, life is pretty close to perfect.

The chubbier version of Jason Segel got the start at center (kidding, I love the guy, his nick should be Baby Gray), and was soon backed up by the pride of Canada, Jamaal Magloire. The two combined to bother JaValee McGee just enough for the latter not give a f**k for most of the night. Job done. While DeMar DeRozan continued to blaze his path to scrub-status by changing his mind from shot-to-pass under no pressure, it was Amir Johnson who finally said enough is enough and decided that tonight was going to be the night he’s going to get his first double-double since January 16th. His play was simple, pick ‘n roll with the emphasis on the roll. That got him a huge dunk and a couple scores, add to some cases of being at the right spot at the right time, and you got yourself a 5-5 half with Matt Devlin introducing you as “@IAmAmirJohnson” in the interview.

The other Johnson didn’t fare half-bad either, and he again surprised me with a block the had no business getting. You’re probably heard the phrase Jack of all trades, King of none? I’d say James Johnson is the 8 of clubs of all trades. He’s got it all, it just happens to fall short in every area. The good news is he’s only 24 and maybe with Casey in his ear for another season, and some growth as a player, he can turn into J.R Smith lite for us. Something like that.

The Raptors shot 40% in the first quarter to the Wizards’ 30%, and had 8 offensive rebounds (one of them a sweet Jose tip-in) which had them tied at 22 after the first. The second is when Amir Johnson did his thing, and Leandro Barbosa started trudging his way to his customary 19 points to put the Raptors up 10 at the break. The Raptors converted a lot of semi-transition baskets to scores following poor Washington shot selection and generally stupid shit, I mean, do you really need to fake a layup before attempting a layup when nobody’s around you? As Jack Armstrong said, the Wizards play for Sportscenter, except that Sportscenter ain’t watching. The Raptors had 38 point in the paint at the half, and were +12 on the boards. This was an area you’d think the Wizards would excel, except that Rashard Lewis was as interested in this game as I am in this infomercial about wallpaper I’m watching right now. He did post-up DeRozan a couple times forcing Casey to call on Kleiza; I was a little intrigued as to why Washington doesn’t use his size/quickness a little more. I guess they don’t really put the effort into winning games like they did in the past, you know, shortened season and all.

The Wizards did pull back to a single point with an 8-0 run in the third, courtesy of John Wall. After all, the Raptors offense is liable to go into a drought against any defense, in any arena, on any given night, and so it momentarily did in the third. That’s when Casey pulled out his Ace of Spades in Linas Kleiza (who reminds me of the direwolf from Game of Thrones). The Raptors immediately ran a set play that worked – a nice cut from top by Kleiza found by DeRozan. Soon after, he caught the ball with perfect momentum and positioning at the three-point line on the break and nailed a three. That was part of a key 20-10 run to end the quarter, and go up 11 into the fourth. That shot by Kleiza is the one that made him an NBA player: a spot-up three. After shooting 37.6, 33.9, and 32.6 percent from downtown in Denver, he’s nose-dived to 29% this season. It’s like the one thing he did well has been replaced by three things he does poorly.

The game was sealed early in the fourth when JaValee McGee was spotted hailing a cab to the airport. After a Wizards turnover, Barbosa and Kleiza finished a nice 2-on-1 on the break to give the Raptors a 15 point lead, their largest of the night, thus prompting the ACC crowd to check their iPhones for the location to the nearest Pizza Pizza (participating stores only).

Raptors win, Raptors win. I guess in a losing season all you see is the negatives, and I could go on here about how DeRozan’s scaring the living shit out of me right now, but I won’t. All I’ll say is that the Drew League seems to have ruined him. I hope it’s temporary and he’s in some sort of a “funk” which he’ll snap out of, I don’t know. If Bargnani can do it, everyone has hope, but I can’t take much more of him getting outplayed by Nick Young anymore.

What else…hmm…Casey started Bayless at the shooting guard again after dropping the ball versus the Hawks. Good for him, he’s clocking 29mpg the last four games which is great, let’s see what you got. Last night he had 3 points and 2 assists in 28 minutes while going 1-6. Not good, I can see why Colangelo said that a future PG is on his list of acquisitions this summer. It’s obvious that Bayless isn’t the man, and seriously though, it was only wishful thinking and hope that had me even entertain him being part of the bigger future.

OK then, up next we’re in Miami. I’ll take the Raptors by 5 – DeRozan drops 34 and Ed Davis goes for 16 rebounds.

I have nowhere else in this post to fit this, so here goes: Jan Veseley looked awful.

  • Reinh

    Calderon leads the NBA in assists total. A combination of productivity and – durability

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Durability after 24 games?lmfao

      Good thing Jose knows how to dribble the fuck out of the ball then pass it late in the shot clock because his offensive consistency is more wayward than his jumper or driving/penetrating abilities.

      • CaseyDaMan

        Funny how a picture can change when observing someone for long enough. First I thought just an idiot. Then when seeing little snippets of what can occasionally pass as intelligence, I thought a baiter getting his jollies trolling. Well, perhaps that will always part of it, but I think mostly a pathetic fool grasping at whatever little bit of truth, over even half truth, to shout and whine in order to get attention. Pitiful, dude.

  • Buschfire

    They were talking in the game about how Ed Davis is going through a rough patch in his life…do you think thats why his impact in the 1st 3rd of the season hasn’t been where it is “supposed” to be?

    Great game by Amir Johnson last night. Calderon was dishing them out last night. I was again disappointed with DeMar last night.. he really needs to work on his ball handling skills and his dribbling. He needs to learn to create for himself, is it so hard?

    • mountio

      I think you are referring to Amir and the personal problems, not Ed? Or is it him too?

      • Buschfire

        I didn’t realize Amir had issues….I’m pretty sure i heard correctly Matt Devlin was talking about how Ed Davis was going through somthing personal, but didn’t want to talk about it much…

  • voy

    I dunno.  I would want my sf to be younger, more fluid and with better handles than ak47 at this stage in his career.  I would also like to see JJ get more minutes to see if his game develops over the course of the season rather than have him sit on the bench and go back to getting 10 minutes a game. 

    LB for a mid to late first rounder though?  I’m down with that though.

    • mountio

      Im with you on AK47. Hes had flashes of brilliance throughout his career .. but many flashes of totally disappearing. Hes also arguably more of a 4 (or at least a 3/4 split) .. Im looking for an athletic 3 who can shoot and has great handles .. and I dont think AK fits the bill. Would much rather roll the dice with a Harrison Barnes type and get a PG through trade / FA (as the league is actually fairly PG deep right now)..

      • Brian B

        not a lot of FA want to head north. Free Agency is after the draft- if the Raps don’t get a rotation ready SF in the draft, AK looks better suddenly. His defense would balance DD, and even the new improved AB.

    • Nilanka15

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Colangelo intentionally spoke more about Kirilenko to divert some attention away from his main target, Wilson Chandler.

      • CaseyDaMan

         You’ve got a very good point. Part of being a GM is like sitting down at a poker game with 29 opponents. You show some false tells and never show your hand until you have to.

        • Nilanka15

          Right.  Leading up to the draft, Colangelo barely spoke a word about Valanciunas.  It might’ve been because he assumed Valanciunas would be off the board by the 5th pick, but still, the poker game is constantly being played.

  • jlongs

    it was interesting to see how many times lb ignored bayless asking for the ball. to his credit though, barbosa did at least do something positive with the ball. can’t say the same for bayless. but i only noticed it now and am wondering if it has often been like this. there was even one play, on a fast break, where the two of them were ahead and it seemed jerryd was open, but instead of passing, lb took it straight to the hole and scored. afterwards, you could see bayless throw his hands up in a “wtf man i was open” kind of way.

    • mountio

      I loved it. Hopefully Bayless gets the “Youre a black hole .. and not that great a scorer so why the fuck would I pass to you” vibe from LB .. whos basically saying .. Ill take my chances wandering around with the ball and finding a shot somewhere vs passing to you and having you jack it up (cause I know you aint passing it) ..
      It happened a little earlier in the year .. but this game is became TOTALLY obvious. Loved it. Hope JB takes the hint

      • What the

        our two black holes

      • guest

        LB has years and years of practice at not giving up the ball. He looked Nash off. If you have missed it you have not been watching! No young guys will develop if they play along side him because they won’t get touches.  That is why he will get traded before the deadline.

  • 511

    Read headline and (almost) laughed. Then realized the ‘feeding’ was more about the pizza than the win that I nodded my head in agreement to. Yes, I’m a ridiculous die-hard. Honk. 

  • OttyWoods

    J.R Smith light? im hoping you meant Josh Smith

    • Malefax

      Exactly. JJ is never going to be a lite version of a conscience free shooter with insane range. An athletic, blocking freak who takes to many long twos: yes, i’d say it’s possible.

    • Guy

      They. Could. Not. Be. More. Different.

  • Kevin Oppella

    Nice to see the Raps get a rare win against a weak opponent. 33% wining percentage “AWWWW YEEEAAAH!”

  • B-rocula

    Totally unrelated subject … But I’ve seen a few jazz games with Al Jefferson playing , and really wish BC would have tried to get him with our TPE instead of nothing ( cap space is nice also but really) dude looks like a beast and plays hard would have been way way better then resigning Amir to big money. As for AK47 I think it’s a bad idea isnt our problem that our wings cant score worth a shit? Why throw a old player in our roster as a starter when he won’t be apart of the future and is not a scorer? … Maybe 5 years ago

    • CaseyDaMan

       How do you know what BC tried or did not try to do with the TPE

      • Matt52

        Not to mention Utah gave up 2 first round draft picks to complete the deal and had an All-Star PG at the time in Deron Williams.  He then showed up for his first year overweight and out of shape.  

      • B-rocula

        Well considering the T wolves gave him away for literally absolutely nothing at all to clear up cap space. I think it’s safe to assume that if he did try he probally could have got him….. Any other questions?

        • CaseyDaMan

          Well, you didn’t answer the first question, so what’s the point of asking you any more? But since you offered, let’s see if you can answer 1 out of 2.
          Do you think the TPE was worth more than 2 1st round picks + Koufos (who they turned him into a 2nd round pick + $5.5 M cash saving), which you say is “literally nothing at all”?
          With facts in front of your face, now educate us how “it’s safe to assume that if he did try he probally could have got him”.

          • B-rocula

            My bad I didn’t realize there was 2 first rounders in the deal u win this round lol Blahh go raps

  • Ppellico

    I follow the raps this year because my man Aaron Gray is on
    the team.


    BUT be very clear…IF Gary
    is on the team…I root for that team. NOT that he be traded…that the entire
    program be successful and his being added to the team was a reason for that.


    So I might come across as sort of one sided for Gray, and
    perhaps most times I am…but I still wish all teammates success and the team.

    I even wish Amir to be a top player and even the started.

    I think Gray is a good 15 to 20 minute center…unless
    needed other wise.


    But I do expect  some
    reality checking here.

    I was really upset with Amir these past weeks and am not
    willing to just anoint him the starter and back to the start level or even the
    prospect he has been spoken of.

    He needs to  do this
    EVERY night.

    He needs to still explain why he dropped off…and then
    suddenly like magic is back against the Wizards.

    Not the Miami or Atlanta or New York
    teams…it was Washington.

    So I will  hold off
    the parade until it happens as expected.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Didn’t BC say that AK has been healthy for the 1st time in a while then contradicted himself by saying that AK had a (face?) injury and missed some game time in Europe this season.smh

    I don’t trust a thing BC says as he is running a con job with his rebuild & build propaganda not to mention his ‘Plan’ which he hasn’t gone into detail on only generalizations that tend to play with the fan base’s imagination.

    Also, Casey previously has said that Val is currently a 4 that we hope will grow into a NBA 5 but then BC says yesterday that Val is their 5 of the future- hasn’t BC been wrong about his future center before in Bargnani?

    History is repeating itself folks- time will tell!!

    In 5 years at the season ending presser will BC (if he’s still here) say that Val is a natural PF not a C and that Bargnani is on the verge of his breakout year- just be patient?

    Raptors have their 6th man extraordinaire for the next 3-4 years if they re-sign Bosa (if Bosa wants to stay in the TDot) I wouldn’t trade him unless Bosa wants to leave as all BC does now is say the team is young in order to excuse his mismanagement of Raptors assets over the years what will he say if potentially 3 1st round picks (at least 2) are added to the roster next season?

    Miami is going to slaughter the Raptors (double digit loss) on Sunday- Norris Cole anyone?

  • JHP

    Double digit yes, by more then 20 probably not.