The “ebb and flow” edition:

Barbosa: nothing makes me sit up and take notice more than when Leandro sees a seam and just attacks it.  In the 1.25 seconds it seems to take him to go from the 3pt line to the hoop, he can take you from being pretty down about this team to revved up.

Bayless: knees up, young fella. Not often you see a ball player get t’d up for kneeing, but in a season full of spin outs, the Raptors will take what they can get to garner some attention.

Calderon: lucky 7’s with 7 points, 7 assists and what seemed to be like 7 different ways of looking like he was stuck in mud while driving a Vespa and having no idea of how to get out.

Carter: the return of the mack to the third PG role tonight. Sexy and memorable? Only to those of you that would also apply, say, Kevin James to those same words.

Davis: overall he still strikes me as the type of guy you work with that leaves the office, goes home, plays WoW, order pizza, plays more WoW, surfs Craigslist posting pictures of himself (but it isn’t really him), stays up all night updating his Plenty of Fish profile, then goes to work the next day high fiving his buddies telling them how he downed almost a keg at the bar last night. He gets a pass after tonight, though.  Didn’t go wild with shot attempts and pulled down 15 boards on a night that, at the half, he had 10 and was already threatening to be the star player we envisioned.

DeRozan: throw it down big fella!!!  Not only did we witness the glory of a DeRozan hammer, but we also witnessed it without Devlin’s atrocious “no props needed” at 100 decibels. DeMar teetered tonight. You could tell he was trying to muster up his inside/outside game, but it never quite got into motion. The fact that it was bubbling under, though, showed be knew what he was supposed to be doing, so I’m looking for a return to glory tomorrow night.

Gray: not an MVP worthy display tonight. Heck, not even a orange-soda-and-a-bag-of-chips display. He looked like a cat with poor eyesight trying to find the bouncy ball in a field of wheat.

A. Johnson: one of those silent yet still affective games from Ameeeer tonight. Nights like this always make me want to refer to his game as Where’s Waldo like, in the sense that he blends in then, all of a sudden, SNAP…there he is!!

J. Johnson: evidently a trip to the barber wasn’t in the cards over the allstar break as he broke out his ode to Olympic-style Vince Carter tonight in the dome department. Seemed to suit him well as he went 16/8 with 3 steals and further evidence that he has settled into his game. No denying that the extra practice time has helped him, but with the regular paced shortened schedule coming up, will he be able to keep it up?

Kleiza: well, the silent assassin was more like full on squirts tonight. Nothing was working for him and he was a poster boy for any ball player coming off a few nights off due to injury running into an all star break: something akin to a Playstation controller on the blink.

Magloire: my least favourite east ender had me ready to eat crow early….then the smile returned to my face after a horrific 3 play sequence which went something like 3 in the key, 3 second defensive violation, then committing a shooting foul at the end of a shot clock violation. It was like a live action flipbook of Jamaal’s Raptor career.

Driving the bus: James Johnson

Under the bus: Linas Kleiza

Theme of the Game:

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  • Truthkiller

    The more I see the Raptors play, the more I realize Jerryd Bayless can’t be a starter in this league.

    • Milesboyer

      I’m not even sure he’s qualified to be a backup PG.

      • Pizzaman

        He really stinks!

        • j bean

          The only positive thing I can think of is he has only one way to go as that performance was the bottom of the barrel. 

    • Nilanka15

      In Bayless’ defence, he seems to be recovering from his ankle injury still (in terms of getting accustomed to game speed).

      Having said that, I want no part of him on this team next season.

  • GMoney

    I find it hard to imagine that the best PG in the NBDL wouldn’t be an upgrade over Anthony Carter.  I understand he was brought in for ‘veteran leadership’, however Jose Calderon having played 7 seasons and winning a gold medal surely can mentor younger players.   Why not give some hungry younger talent a chance?

    • Nilanka15

      You mean, a guy like Will Soloman?

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      ACarter said in an interview on RaptorsTV that he was here to mentor both Bayless & Calderon.

      I was like wtf as Jose is a 30 year old NBA veteran pg thus he should be mentoring 2 younger pgs and AC shouldn’t be on the roster especially since he’s a goner after this season.

      I would love to have a young pg to go with  and push JBayless for minutes like Bobby Brown, Ish Smith, Isaiah Thomas on the roster.

      Or someone like Will Conroy.

  • Coachbob

    Bayless should have been under the bus,  run over by the bus and if there were any signs of life run over repeatedly until all his vital signs were gone.

    He was TERRIBLE!!!

    • CJT

      How often do you see a PG in the NBA, dribble it off of his leg, his foot and throw it out of bounds twice after loosing his handle in about 5 minutes of action?  I couldn’t believe it.  It was like he had a combination of Gary Payton and Superman guarding him, despite there being nobody within 5 feet. 

  • voy

    was only half watching the game.  wasn’t really sure why DD and JC sat out the entire 4rth.  some media are calling it a benching, others just saying casey went with the guys who made the run to get them in the game.  either way,  dd acted like a bitch and vented through twitter. 

    • What the

      bulls*^t  someone got into his twitter account

    • Nilanka15

      What did he allegedly say?  His last tweet was on Feb 27th.

      • voy

        I think it was “straight bullshit” or “straight up bullshit”. 

  • voy

    oh, and lastly, regarding dd’s dunk: I wish he’d attack the rim with even half as much gusto when there is a defender within a 5 ft radius of the basket

  • Brian B

    Only saw parts of the game, but what I saw, the Rap  players looked to me like they were jogging in quicksand (still hungover?). Anybody else share that impression? 

    • What the

      is that what it was i thought my computer was running slow

  • sleepz

    Derozan and Davis played with purpose last night. Don’t know why DeRozan didn’t play in the 4th but he should try and bottle up that aggression.Every point guard in a Raps uniform was molested by Lowry.

    Key coaching move of the game: Casey taking out Bayless early in the 4th. It gave them a chance to stay close.

    Bonehead coaching move of the night: Leaving in Carter to the last minute of the game. It’s not like Carter slowed down the Lowry train. There was a bevy of molestations given out to any Raptor player who attempted to guard him. They needed some buckets towards the end of the game and couldn’t get them as the offence got stagnant. Not sure why Calderon didn’t re-enter the game until the last minute.

    • DC

      Ill tell you why. PING PONG BALLS. That’s why they kept derrick martin. oops I mean anthony carter in the game till the final seconds. Do you really think any right minded coach would have kept anthony carter and an off Linas Kleiza in all 4th quarter for any other reason. 

      • sleepz

        I don’t know if that’s the answer. Perhaps it is and I’m just trying to be overly objective. At first I thought Casey was trying to one-up McHale with the “diverse rotations” as K.M. is getting a rep for the quick yank as a coach if he doesn’t like what he see’s (driving fantasy owners nuts!lol).

        At the end of the day however Casey has shown he will sit guys no matter what the name on their jersey is but I have reservations calling it a tank job. It didn’t feel like that to me.

      • Valit

         I tend to agree with this. Either way, it was a brilliant move. If they win, coach is a genius, if they lose..who cares ( well, except some of us). They promised us at the beginning of the year that they will stay close in games and they will lose nicely. Tanking nation should be happy.

        • DC

          See the problem with this tanking nation thing is that it destroys team morale. Tanking one season leads to probably a bad record the next season. Well see who wants to sign with us or even re up then. Who wants to play for a team that’s always losing?

          • j bean

            There is an understanding that this year is not about wins. One out of four is about right. Considering Bargs is out [the longer the better] they have kept it close against good teams. Who would you worry about not wanting to re up?  

          • Valit

             I’m here with you 100% …that’s why I opposed the notion of tanking right from the beginning

      • Raps4Ever

        For god’s sake, he kept a line-up in that brought them back from a 13 pt deficit to within 2 and had several chances in the dieing minutes to tie or win the game. Tanking? As for Carter, he was part of the comeback because he disrupted Lowry better than anyone else all game. What game were you guys watching?

        • sleepz

          No one disrupted Lowry last night. AC got abused like the rest of them

          • Nilanka15

            Doug Smith is reporting that DeRozan was benched for repeatedly “lollygagging” on the offensive end without the ball, instead of cutting with a purpose, and using his teammates screens to get open.  His benching was for disciplinary purposes.

            • sleepz

              That might be a fair assesment. Was Calderon benched for lack of defence?

              • Nilanka15

                Calderon was benched because we’re tanking, lol.

  • jwss

    Did Magloire use to mug you for your lunch money when you were a kid? Your passionate hate is pretty obvious (and getting predictable and boring).  I think Jamaal knows his present role and plays it well.  Came in when Scola and Dalembert were having their way, banged them around a bit, made his point (to them and to his Raptor teammates) and then went back to cheer-leading on the bench.

    • Raps4Ever

       No shit! The Raps were getting their lunch handed to them, and he came in and turned the game around, sparking the rest of the team to man up as well.

  • minks77

    DeRozan was benched because he was stuck in second gear all night. Had some nice plays but like Case said at halftime “Know who you are and who you’re playing with” DeMar was deferring and not coming off screens hard on O and not fighting through on D. He was ball watching all night at both ends and needs to demand the ball and stop taking the easy route on D. 

    Also, despite the box score I felt like JJ was killing the raps on offence all night by stopping the ball constantly and not getting it to the point quickly or at all in transition and was generally a black hole, especially early on. Nice box score stats but this was a night I was longing for a real 3.

    Thought this was Special Ed’s best game of the year, played hard and under control. Didn’t force anything and only had one bad mistake (lost track of time at the end of the 1st half). But he was beast in the boards and played like he realized he’s a much more talented dude than Sammy D after he got taken to school on his first play.

    • Theswirsky

      there were a few times JJ waved Jose off and brought the ball up himself…. which I thought was retarded. 

      But I don’t agree he was a black hole. 50%, on 12 shots in 34 minutes with 3 assists.  Not sure thats even remotely black hole territory.

      I’d also say he was, again, the best defensive player on the floor.

      • minks77

        Just because he hit for 50% doesn’t mean he wasn’t a black hole. He kept getting the ball and it was JJ time. Some of the misses were unforgivable too, like the brick he forced up on the 3 on 2 fast break. He had Demar wide open beside him, Jose to the other side and a big trailing the play yet he goes straight into the D? C’mon. Especially in the first quarter every time the ball was swung to JJ he just held it looking for his own and killed the momentum. A good offence has to keep the rock in motion and JJ wasn’t moving it much. Yes he had a whopping 3 dimes but also had 2 TO and a team worst -12 (I know that’s cherry picking roll with me here). Sometimes JJ just tries to do too much when he’s a role player who is NOT the best option on offence.

        His D was OK, awful on Lowry, but I’ll hang that on DC. Ed was the best defender all game IMO.

        • Theswirsky

          seriously the guy took 12 shots in 34 minutes. 

        • Nilanka15

          Yeah, I can’t say I agree that JJ’s a “black hole”.  I thought his offense (with the exception of an ugly wide open 3-point brick) was controlled, and within the team’s flow.  I thought he deserved to be driving the bus.

          Although he’s 24 and in his 3rd year, we have to remember that this is basically JJ’s first “real” season as a heavy-minute player.  We’ve seen dramatic improvements since opening night, and there’s no reason to think his improvements won’t continue.  If his steep learning curve remains, we may not need to draft someone like Kidd-Gilchrist.

          • DC

            I said it once ill say it again JJ is probably one of our top 3 talented players on this team even more then derozan. This is really his 1st year starting and he’s doing a pretty good job imo and is starting to get more consistent. He reminds me of a gerald wallace type of player who didn’t get any time with the kings and didn’t become good until he got minutes with the bobcats. JJ is gonna be a 16 ppg 6-7rpg 2-3assits and 2 steals 2 blocks a game player. And about last night now way was jj a black hole last night he was probably our best player. 

            • Nilanka15

              DeRozan is a better “natural” scorer than JJ, but JJ is definitely the more overall skilled player (when you factor in defensive positioning, shot blocking, ball-handling, court vision, rebounding, quickness, etc.).

              • DC

                Lol so basically in every other facet of the game then scoring jj is better at. 

                • Nilanka15

                  Yup, DeRozan is as one-dimensional as a player can be

                • minks77

                  Gottadisagree. Got him on my fantasy team and he’s starting to give me a couple of dimes, a steal,low TOs a 3 and  someFTs on good nights. 

                  Gerald Henderson…now THERE’s a one dimensional tool. I have him on my squad too. Maybe theres a reason I’m stuck at #10 of 12, lol

  • minks77

    Hey, I’m a big JJ fan and saw potential in him as a raptor killer his rookie year when he tore us up in one game. 

    Maybe “black hole” is a bit much but of those 12 shots, 5 of them came in the 1stq and 3 of them were bricks. Again, ok stat line but it didn’t pass the eye test. To be fair not a guy in a raps jersey was passing any kind of test in the first q but I felt like it was bad, try-to-do-too-much-all-by-myself JJ in the first.

    • 511

      I have to agree. More than once last night, it looked to me like JJ was doing his best to not see DeMar or anyone else in better position (but I did start to wonder if he was not seeing DeMar, particularly). Had he finished with points on those tries, I would’ve forgotten it. But we came away with nothing on at least two of those occasions, and maybe more than two. 

  • Nilanka15

    mink77, regarding DeRozan, IMO there’s a big difference between a player’s fantasy value, and real life value.

    In real life, DeRozan is a scorer, and nothing else.  Sure, he’ll give you the odd steal, a few rebounds, and a couple of assists, but he’s still a complete non-factor to the Raptors if he isn’t scoring.

    • minks77

      yeah, I was just being an arse. Shits n giggles y’know? DeMar really needs to expand his game, but hey, we waited on Andrea for 5 years before he showed anything other than a pedestrian perimeter scoring game so I’m sure DD has some time.