Bobcats 98, Raptors 91 – Box

You want me to take this game seriously? We had our announcers singing over the PA in a one-point game in the fourth quarter. Obviously, they’re taking a lighter, non-serious, approach to this season, so there’s little reason why anyone else should see things in a different light. This is on the heels of the ACC cheering wildly for Jeremy Lin after he beat the home team at the buzzer. I don’t know what’s going on at 40 Bay St., but something is seriously wrong, and I’m not even referring to the product on the court.

I signed up for rebuilding, I didn’t sign up for having the Charlotte Bobcats, losers of 16-straight games, coming into our house and beating us on our home floor to give MJ a birthday present. That is not cool – rebuilding or not. There are too many things amiss to point them out one-by-one, so let’s trudge through the game until we reach the main talking point here – matchups.

DeRozan pulled up for a cool, casual, mid-range jumper in the early first quarter and knocked it down. It was one of those shots that exudes confidence, reflects the relaxed nature of the player, and gives the viewer the distinct feeling that the offense for the player is there on the night. 13 points to be exact in the first quarter, mostly jumpers. Of course, if DeRozan’s bane isn’t poor finishing near the rim, it’s his defense and Reggie Williams outdid him with 14 in the same amount of time.

Offense rarely sets a tone in the game because you can never sustain it for the full 48, defense is longer-lasting and it’s Bismack Biyombo’s 7 blocks (the party started in the first, went all the way to the fourth) that one remembers the most from the first half. That’s a season/career high for him, and they weren’t just regular blocks, they were ones that started fastbreaks. For the Raptors, Calderon added to DeRozan’s offense by turning past Kemba Walker and D.J Augustin on high screens, while Charlotte had Corey Maggette (Xhibit or Method Man?) doing Corey Maggette stuff, i.e., using his physical strength to bull his way to the rim, and when he’s feeling just a dash of laziness, unleashing wayward jumpers with full aplomb.

The energy was decent in the first quarter for both teams and the Raptors finished it up one. The second was where I witnessed one of the worst individual spells of basketball ever played. Jerryd Bayless was brought in to counter DJ Augustin’s quickness, and the man was torn to shreds on every single defensive possession. On offense, he took two wild shots and missed both, one of them an airball floater. It took all of five minutes for Casey to decide enough was enough and Anthony Carter was inserted to quell the onslaught. Bayless never saw the floor again.

Kemba Walker and DJ Augustin dictated the tempo and style of this game for the remainder of the night, with Casey refusing to once again be creative in defending a quick point. I would’ve at least tried putting James Johnson (great overall game – 14pts, 8reb, 2stl) on one of those two to keep them on the perimeter and force them into a jumper, especially Kemba Walker. I love Kemba, but he had no business penetrating the way he did without ever having to prove his jumper first.

The Augustin and Maggette-led attack had the Raptors down two at the break, and it was enough for Devlin to use the phrase “vintage Maggette”. The Raptors had their moments in the second, a great steal by Calderon leading to a DeRozan dunk being the apex of the frame, but Charlotte’s penetration at the point always meant clean shots from the perimeter, and when their big men could manage to hang on to the ball with their wooden hands, chances underneath.

Amir Johnson and Ed Davis held their ground against Biyombo’s size, and Diaw’s low-post game, so they’re certainly not to be blamed for anything tonight. The rebounding battle was even and the Raptors were +6 in point in the paint, so make no mistake, this game was lost on the perimeter.

The Raptors took the lead again in the third by capitalizing on Charlotte turnovers, and had the crowd on their feet. Charlotte looked a little rattled and had the Raptors gone on a bit of a run, the Bobcats would’ve folded. Instead, some great point guard play by DJ Augustin, checked now by Calderon, kept the Bobcats offense chugging along. The Bobcats closed the quarter on a Kemba Walker drive which slashed the lead to one. A crucial bucket which gave the Bobcats a lift heading into the final quarter. If they had doubts until now, surely now they felt they had a chance to win.

After DeRozan got called for an offensive foul which knocked the wind out of him early in the third, his offense sputtered a bit. By the fourth rolled around, it was Barbosa who once again took the onus of scoring upon himself and fared well, often producing in situations where you’d bet against him: little ball movement, left on his own to produce, but produces. Unfortunately, it’s the other end of the floor where the game was lost. Walker and Augustin caused havoc against Calderon and Barbosa while Casey looked on. The two plays that had a massive impact of the result were Walker’s two crucial steals in transition against Barbosa, which would’ve easily resulted in four points. Overall, the poor FT and three-point shooting didn’t help matters and could be the technical causes of the loss, but it should never come to that against the Bobcats. At home.

The absence of Kleiza and Bargnani cannot be used an excuse as well, not on the heels of the performances against the Lakers, Spurs, and even the Knicks. This was a simple case of a team which, despite the mounting losses, has been performing well of late playing “down” to the level of their competition. If you can believe that. I’m honestly surprised that we saw the effort we did last night because that’s not what Casey’s tenure has been all about.

This was one ugly loss that a fan simply can’t accept. Under any circumstance.

We’re giving away tickets on Facebook. Here’s my title motivation.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Valit

    Thank you for the article…exact my feelings. The selling idea of  a bright future while performing in the mud for another 2-3 years is definitely not what I thought it will be after so many years in NBA.

    • Theswirsky

      so what would you prefer?  Something akin to the previous 7 years? 

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      That’s BC’s game sell the future (which no one can predict) while standing in shit.

      BC is still pissing on fans and calling it rainwater, shitting on fans calling it Kobe steak.

      BC’s fan appreciation night says it all- the karma around this club is bad due to BC- he’s got to go and bring in new minds, energy, vision to lead from the front office to the broadcast team.

      BC just keeps on throwing shit against the wall via pr spins and seeing what sticks….

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    You hit the nail on the head with this.  I keep telling people how I’m disgusted with this team, and people keep turning around and “shucks, at least it’s more ping pong balls!”. Sure, it’s more ping pong balls but damnit I’ve been following this team for 18 years and losing sucks.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      As well this isn’t BC’s 1st year in the TDot it’s his 6th year so to be in this position is all his- President & GM, doing- from Division Champs unto Conference chumps where the bottom feeders of the NBA (Wash, Char) feed on us.

      BC’s change- promote Jay to front office nut hugger, keep 3 assistants (Nori, Hughes, Roth- no Alex English) from Jay’s staff, bring in Stefanski to be another BC CONsensus yes man- more slight of hand to fool the fans.

    • Joseph

      You’ve been following them for 18 years when they’ve only existed for 16? lmao

      • FLUXLAND

        “The Toronto Raptors were established on 30 September 1993…”

        I know, math is hard, right?

        • FAQ

          Here’s some math: the Ratpors are currently the 4th worst team in the NBA…. and fighting to get first pick in the draft, but I doubt it will happen.  Maybe 3rd or 2nd worst, but not at the bottom … or maybe ..???!!!!!

          • FLUXLAND

            I suck at math, Joseph proved it.

            How about, 5th pick gamble + unknown ping pong balls/trades =  hamster wheel ^ infinty.

        • Joseph

          why’d they celebrate their 15th anniversary last year then dumbass?

        • Joseph

          They played their first game in 1995, they were just founded in 1993. SO clearly you don’t know shit when it comes to the Raptors. 

  • Brain Colangelo

    3 words: ping pong balls

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Is this bingo or the NBA?

      The Lottery was suppose to stop teams from intentionally tanking for the #1 pick but now some fans have been conditioned to accept losing with the hope of ping pong balls?

      I thought the NBA was about Ws & Ls?

      • Brain Colangelo

        Not with a team like ours.

  • Brian B

    Almost from the opening tip the announcers were talking about everything BUT the game in front of them. By mid first quarter, I decided that if they weren’t saying anything useful, I might as well hit “mute”. Every half hour of real time or so, I’d unmute, only to hear more about Frank Sinatra, how Jack Armstrong likes to drink, or the half time show. Who cares. And the Raptors mostly played like they didn’t care either. What happened to accountability?

    A few more ping pong balls aren’t worth these insults to our intelligence- it is a deeper draft than recent years, but there is no instant superstar No. 1 pick – even Anothony Davis is raw raw raw (see Grantland : http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/11616/the-pros-and-cons-of-kentuckys-anthony-davis). Besides, PF in the one position the raps are overstocked at. just as good drafting at 4, 5 or 6 as at 1 (though 2 or 3 would be nice if you want to be sure to get Harrison Barnes. still, this illustrates my point – miss Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should be on the board, who some say is  a better pick anyhow).

    • Theswirsky

      If BC drafts for position rather than the best talent available, he has failed this organization (again).

      And that peice from Grantland confuses me… they criticize Davis for not boxing out on the defensive glass, then give an example where he does actually box out but positions himself poorly when doing so, and then finishes it complimenting his efforts to box out.

    • Nilanka15

      If the Raps get lucky enough to draft Davis, that opens up a plethora of trade possibilities that they wouldn’t have with the 4-8th picks. The higher we draft, the better it is under any circumstances.

      • mountio

        Totally agree. To suggest that drafting 4,5,6 is just as good as drafting first is ignorant to the highest degree. Whether its trade possibilities or talent, there is a BIG difference drafting at the top.
        If the point is that maybe in THIS draft, 4,5,6 is better than 4,5,6 might be in an average draft .. I will grant that point. But, Id still rather have a top pick by a long shot.
        Ya, this game was hard to watch .. and NBN at halftime was probably the most entertaining part of the evening .. but another close game, another loss .. Im pretty happy.

  • 511

    ya. More ping pong balls. It gets extra creepy tho, when you start wondering if some of the players themselves might have that on their minds. yikes. 

  • JHP

    Most of the players on this team are playing their way out of the NBA.  Once their contracts are up who in their right mind would hire them.  There are no stars on a 9/23 team.  Just like last year’s team that lost 60 games, so the rebuilding has to start with some sort of purge.  Now Jose has been a good soldier and should be dealt to a contender, AB has been hurt but the rest should either retire or get traded to teams like the Bobcats.  Oh wait a minute they even beat the Raptor’s.  Maybe they can join Sonny in Europe. And the fans have a right to boo!

    • CJT

      Of course you have the right to boo.  Life sometimes gives you opportunities to make a choice and you are taking the easy one.  It is hard to support a team that has struggled for many years, so keep taking the easy way, and why not cheer for the opposition while your at it.

      • JHP

        I’m just saying many of these players will not be here next year.  And yes I do follow the 4/5 teams with worse records.  I hope they win, so the Raptors get a better chance at a high draft pick.  I’d like them to win games but to be honest that happens so seldom (less at home) that I’m predesposed to them losing.  Once you’ve tanked for 3/4 years I’m sure it’s pretty hard to strive to win.  So changing the faces may be easier then changing the culture.

    • What the

        again “everybody should retire or get traded” execept for the guy who we spent almost 7 fricking long long years waiting on. look I understand a lot of you are Primofobic and not wanting to go through another 7 long long long years with Demar(Goldeh Child) our RAW #9 pick… the other night  D  had 8 and 7 with some steals and you guys still complain, I think its all that f**king Primo dude fault if he hadn’t taken almost a centry and three coaching change fans wouldn’t be so Primofobic towards the other players (7 years of built up anger)

  • Milesboyer

    Losing to the worst team in the league never feels great but the reality is the Raptors just aren’t that good, weren’t expected to be good and, this is not an excuse but a fact that three of their top five scorers were out (I’m counting Bayless as out because he’s not healthy). I was at the game and it was entertaining….like watching a very high quality men’s league game – two bad NBA teams duking it out….what could be better.

  • rc

    hey i was wondering…if we’re building our team around bargnani…and he’s entering his prime…aren’t we supposed to be done rebuilding by now?  You rebuild so that all your pieces will peak at the same time…but if bargnani is now entering his prime, then isn’t our time (sadly enough) now?

  • Tim

    Pekovich from Wolfs !!! Where did this guy come from ??
    I thought BC and his Italian assistant were suppose to be European experts and we are missing on all these amazing talents ??

    What the Heck is going on here ?

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      BC is building (around AB) an International type of team in the TDot yet other teams International players are seemingly better than ours.

      I just hope that no International players make a big media hype splash as the 2012 draft approaches that BC would be willing to draft over the potential US eligible draft talent.

      • Lin

        It’s a waste of money and time rebuilding team around Barnani because he is prone to injury and every season he will be like that.  We need a new premier player.

        • cesco

          That is what COULD happen if they get a high pick but it will take at least 2-3 years of development , same as with JV .

          • What the

            I’LL wait! please let this be the case i’ve waited almost 7 long long long years for PRIMO PASTA i’m ready for some RAGU

    • cesco

       Pekovic has Love and Rubio , two all-stars types playing with him . If Andrea was to play with two all-stars, the Raps would be challenging for the conference final , no doubt about that . Next year with JV and hopefully a high pick ( American no doubt ) will be the beginning of a new era for the Raps like it is now for Minny . Pekovic was an all-star player in Europe btw . He was picked 31st by Minny in 2008 when the Raps had Andrea and Ru-Paul and I believe JO had also been acquired by then .

      • What the

        Bosh was an allstar speedy and JO were pretty good player i didn’t see this pasta eating fluker doing any thng back then

        • cesco

          The combination of Rubio/Love is much , much more potent than Ru-Paul/JO twin towers . Andrea needed to have his coach fired and JO traded to get going .

  • Ion66

    Sometimes when I hear the calls for draft picks, and lots of them, I think that some of the motivation comes from the times we are in at the moment. There is this “driving change/youth” ideal out there. Current technology has given rise to the concept of the 20 year old having more value than “the older/obsolete generation”. To some, a roster stacked with inexperienced youth, full of potential and energy, falls into that “driving change” mentality. The idea of veteran leadership goes against this, and the concept that new thinking and new ideas are whats going to be the future. Someone closer to 30 in hoops is like someone in their 50’s in the regular world. Too old, too slow and no new ideas. Make room for the plugged in, global thinking game changers. I’d like to see a good mix of players, but for a change, I’d like that veteran presence be a player or players that the rookies can and want to emulate, rather than just get advice from in the locker room.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Btw it’s official the CB TPE has announced his retirement from the NBA………….