This game was over by the end of the first quarter. As much as the Raptors seemed flat to start the game, the Pistons showed glimpses of the team they could be in the near future. Brandon Knight played a good aggressive game, Greg Monroe continues to establish himself as one of the premier young bigs in the league. Add Rodney Stuckey and an energetic Jonas Jerebko to lead the bench you have a youthful team that has potential that must be exciting fans in Detroit.

Noone reasonable is going to blame Andrea Bargnani as a reason for this effort, but having him in the starting lineup coming in cold after that much time off was a questionable decision. Offensively, the team looked out of sync with such a major offensive cog back in the fold. Play seemed pre-meditated and tentative, and the result was a very slow start that ended up being a 14 point quarter.

So “stuck” 20, as Jack Armstrong likes to say, the Raps lost even more momentum when Jose Calderon went down with what looks like a sprained ankle. As valuable as Jose is to this team, if he is indeed out for a significant period of time, there is a silver lining here. It will be a chance to evaluate Jerryd Bayless and Gary Forbes as potential point guards for this team.

If either of Bayless and Forbes can surprise and play consistent basketball, then the team may be able to concentrate on improving the most glaring holes on the team. That being, the 2 and the 3 positions. If they fail, then that probably means the team is well on it’s way to a top-5 selection in the draft.

We kind of know what Bayless brings as a starter: Good, occasionally great scoring with mediocre ball distribution. If he can become more consistent with the offense but more importantly find some court vision, or at least better than Jarret Jack, then he might be someone to include in the future plans for this team. Forbes, however, is an unknown entity who has been riding the pine all year. When he has been called upon, he’s shown adequate guard skills, if not impressive stretches. But that too, has occurred in low-leverage situations like garbage time in tonight’s game. Whatever the excuse Casey had to bench him in the past, it’s time to see what he can do as one of the first guards off the bench.

There haven’t been too many lopsided defeats so far this year, so expect a spirited effort in tomorrow’s game. The team was really starting to roll until this mishap, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can continue playing like they did in a convincing victory over a pretty good team in Houston.

  • Sam Holako

    I felt the win for the Pistons had more to do with how Lawrence Frank has them playing, than with the level of talent on the team; maybe I’m just hating…

    • onemanweave

        Only watched bits of last night’s game. They looked like last year’s team.  Don’t have time for that. Hustle is, indeed, a skill.

  • JHP

    Well it’s kind of ironic how Jose and AB are never on the court at the same time.  Oh well BC knows what he is doing …  I think it would take real skill to lose 50 games in a 66 game season. 

    • Brian B

       /BC knows what he is doing? On what evidence do you base that?

      • Jose

        Excellent point Brian B. Could not agree more.

  • Brian B

    Someone just watching the energy level would never have guessed that Raps had two days off and Detroit back to back. No excuse for the lack of energy and focus – the sloppy passes and not hustling back on defence, the hoisting up ill advised shots early in the clock.

    Respectfully disagree re AB starting – to me, what this illustrated was how much more effective Amir is off the bench.

    Also feel you give Bayles too much credit when you describe his play making as mediocre- maybe “haphazard” or “dangerous”? And amazed that you keep hoping he will miraculously become a different player.

    Forbes is not an unknown quantity, he’s a stiff.

    If Calderon out long, better strap roller skates on AC. Or bring Johnny Davis out of retirement? Anything less is tanking to the ugly degree.

  • Bargnani

    Forbes is not a point guard , he’s not even good at dribbling,so there is nothing to evaluate with regards to him. He was only put in that position because we have no one else.

  • cdub

    Casey said they started Bargnani because they didn’t want to sit him on the bench after pregame warmups, hes already stretched out and ready to go.  He said this right in the pregame so….

    The raptors just came out totally flat.  Jose missed badly in the first, they got behind quick and the entire team looked lathargic like they were going through the motions.  That was something you would have seen last year but not this year.  There’s really no excuse for what happened I’m sure Casey had some choice words throughout and after that one.  I’m still not a big fan of the Grey-Bargnani combo either.

    Also there is nothing to see really with Bayless or Forbes.  Career bench players at best.  I don’t know why anyone wants Bayless starting.  He is really a 2 but is undersized and keeps saying he is a PG but he isn’t.   Not a starting one anyway.

  • Buschfire

    I agree with the silver lining with Calerdon out. It gives a chance for Bayless to prove himself if not then we can cut him. I don’t understand how these other commentators can come to the conclusion that Bayless is done progressing and that he’s a bench player for life. Some players mature later in their careers. I’m not against what you’re saying by no means nor am I for them but i don’t think we can come to such solid conclusions about players. Trust me I’m not a big fan of bayless shoot first mentality and not seeing his team mates  but theres still a chance he can turn around…. hopefully Calerdon is out all summer so he can’t play for Spain. So when he gets back he’ll be fresh and ready to go next season if he’s still a Raptor.

  • Destro

    LOL @  Colangelo knows what he’s doing….hilarious!IF theres anything you can gage from the last 4 seasons,its that BC has no idea what he’s doing and is basically winging this thing year to year….look at all the roster turnover…He brought in Stefanski to help his confused ass out…