The “sometimes it just feels so good” edition:

Barbosa: really enjoyed his first half. Perfect? No, but efficient and the biggest spoke in a bench that played like a well oiled machine tonight.

Bargnani: rust, it was nice knowing you for as long as you hung around. Good game for the Big Guy tonight taking smart shots and rebounding the ball with wild abandon.

Bayless: he looked Irving in the face and mocked his mother without even opening his mouth. No other explanation for the fact that Bayless looked like the Future tonight as opposed to Irving looking like he would be battling Alabi for court time if he was a Raptor.

Davis: if ever there was a stencil you could use to draw up how stats don’t show hustle, this game would be it. Continuing his passionate play of late, Edward spread himself across the court like he was rising up like a lion ready to reclaim his jungle. Great game from the young one.

DeRozan: and on the flip side is one DeMar DeSlug. He played the whole game like he had a cannonball attached to his ankle and a choke chain being controlled by Byron Scott. It is incredible to me that DeMar seems incapable of stringing together strong games lately, especially given the opponents.

Forbes: already seeing his minutes dwindle (11 tonight), the prodigal son seems to be falling back to earth quicker than a water balloon shaped like the stars of Mike & Molly.

Gray: 7 rebounds in 19 minutes, but not enough offensive help to fill a thimble. Like Ed, his hustle tonight was off the charts, but he has to help us with some putbacks and showing himself better down low.

A. Johnson: close to a double double with 10 and 9, it’s as if he is teasing us. I get the sinking feeling he pulls his warmups off and decides then and there how he is going to play. He’s not good enough to do that, mind you, but he sure gives off that impression at times. Either way, it doesn’t matter if we see more good than bad….and tonight we definitely did.

J. Johnson: Still don’t get the constant feet kissing done by media and bloggers on this guy. Sure, if he was the 7th guy off the bench I’d be happy with 6 points, 4 rebounds and average defence….but he’s a starter. If the wind is right, I’d get better production out of my scarecrow that’s tied up to a wound up elastic band.

Kleiza: well, you can’t act like a petulant child nor can you almost decapitate someone and expect to be lauded for it. Okay, actually, you can. Still love his passion and his apparent ignorance of every NBA rule.

Driving the bus: Jerryd Bayless

Under the bus: DeMar DeRozan

Theme of the Game:

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  • nba_socrates

    A few days ago i was talking about Baylesstricity and people laughed me off. Where are you now haters

    • Raps4Ever

      lol, “Baylesstricity” after one game. You go girl!!!

    • Ben

      We’ll be back next game against the Nets, when “Baylesstricity” goes 3-14 with 7 points and 3 assists.

  • Lorenzo

    Real fun game tonight, and i was loving the duo of Davis and Gray, felt like both of them played well and with full motivation. As if their paycheck shouldn’t be enough motivation every game…

    There’s something about the Q that just feels so competitive and interesting to me. Can’t quite put my finger on it but I’m guessing it’s the sound effects and PA announcer that entertain the crowd differently than other teams do. I like it. Herbie just isn’t cutting it any more.

  • Raps4Ever

    Geez, the effort to be funny clouds reason again.

    That Gray critique? Seriously? How many put backs did your boy Ed get? I do know that 2 of Ed’s 3 baskets were very nice assists from Gray, and 3 of his 7 boards were offensive boards, but I guess you think Grays’ offensive “thimble” is supposed to be much bigger than Ed’s. Shit man, Gray played a good game doing exactly what’s asked of him. pffffffffffft

    Forbes. The guy played a very solid, efficient 11 minutes of backup PG and that BS is all ya got for the guy? 2 of 3, 3 RBs, 1 AST, 2 STLs, 0 TOs, and all ya got is lame humour? pffffffft

    JJ. wtf is your problem? If your going to spout his low stats, perhaps also point out he was only on the floor for 19 minutes, while his PG played like he almost didn’t exist. 3/5, 4 RBs, 2 ASTs, 2 BLKs in 19 minutes and you’re dissing the guy? For what? Not grabbing Bayless and LB by the necks and demand they share the ball more? Dude, they fn won, held Cavs to 38% shooting, and he gave efficient minutes doing his part. wtf is wrong with you? pffffffffffffffffft

    • Bill

       Maybe you missed all the past roll calls where he defends Gray with a mancrush.  Go ahead and search them, they’re right there.

      Love or hate the roll call, it ISN’T a post game report and it WILL be humourously biased… neither you nor your successors will ever stop it! Keep on rolling!

      • Nilanka15

        lol, agreed.  It’s funny when folks confuse the Roll Call with the New York Times.

        • Statement

          I find the Roll Call very difficult to masterbate to.

    • Raptorboy

       Well said. I thought Forbes played a good game…not sure why he was pulled so early? At least the ball was distributed while he was on the floor. I don’t like Bayless’ game. Maybe…hopefully coach Casey was playing him to showcase his for a potential trade. The future Altraps?? Gimme a break…..

    • Pizzaman

      I’ve come to expect Roll call to be mostly light hearted comedy, mixed with undertones of real player assessment. That said I agree totally. Gray played solid and did what is expected of him, Forbes impressed me with decent ball handling ability, ability to take his man off the dribble, and he PASSED the ball, and I am becoming a big fan of JJ especially if he understands his limitations on offence and plays within them.
      Derozan played like crap, but he has had some decent games of late, and Bayless while he made a decent percentage of his shots is still a ball hog, and a crappy passer who gets caught up in his own personal PG rivalry far too much for my liking.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    [”  Kleiza: well, you can’t act like a petulant child nor
    can you almost decapitate someone and expect to be lauded for it. Okay,
    actually, you can. ” ]

    Raptors need a Kleiza. Or someone just like Kleiza. He has a value not seen in stats. Where toughness is a gained notoriety, that liberates certain players. In this case, Linus has tossed aside his blanket.

  • IkeKrizzule

    This is the tease of Bayless, he has the talent to be a good player in the league.  The tease is tonight his shot was on, and he still shot 6 of 13 because his shot selection is terrible.  

    Another night when his jumper is off this could just as easily been a 2 of 13.  He freezes the ball on offense, generating little movement and often leaving them with a winding down shot clock and a possession that did nothing.

    The tease is he does play pretty good defense, when he takes good shots off good offensive movement he makes a high percentage.  The problem is I don’t think he’ll ever get it enough to change.  A night like tonight where he has success playing the way he does leads his inflated ego to believe there’s nothing wrong with the way he plays.

    • TheR3dMenace

      I think this is the popular sentiment, and I think Bayless knows this is his last chance audition to prove he can grow as a player and overcome his deficiencies. I’m happy to let it play out, what do we have to lose?

    • Nilanka15

      I agree.  Bayless’ shot selection isn’t just bad, it’s downright atrocious.  Combine this with the fact that he plays PG, and the bad shots are magnified exponentially.  Sure, he statline looks solid, but I don’t like my PGs playing so recklessly.

      Also, Bayless seems to get caught up in the “I’m better than you” contest against hyped up opposing PGs.  Bayless wanted to prove that he can win a matchup vs. the number 1 overall pick.  Had this been a game vs. Luke Ridnour (for example), I highly doubt Bayless would’ve been as motivated.

  • 2damkule

    i’ve preached patience with respect to bayless, but…as the sample size increases, there are/seem to be fundamental flaws in his game that go beyond the usual lack of court vision/awareness & (apparent) ball-hoggery that’s become rather evident.  such as his penchant or inability to simply probe the defense, to get his man to back off him using simple ball-handling, or to look to put the defense in bad positions by, you know, moving around with the ball.  on far too many possessions, he seems content to turn his back to 3/4 of the court (to protect the ball), and set up shop 40-feet from the hoop.  i’m not sure what good a PnR that far out does…and if he needs the pick to simply get enough space to see the floor, then yikes.  it seems that he’s either dribbling in place with his back turned to half his teammates, or he’s driving for an often-times out-of-control layup/floater.  he does seem to have slowed himself down a bit, and is letting whatever passes for ‘plays’ in DC’s system develop…but there are things that worry me about his ability to be a consistent minutes PG in this L.

  • Matt52

    100% agreed on:

    1) James Johnson is a solid bench player – not starter.

    2) Kleiza comments – love it.

  • cesco

    I just want a healthy Jose and a healthy Andrea to finish the season , play at a .500 clip and wait out the summer for JV and the pick ( 10-15th ) . Next year we make mince meat out of teams like the Cavaliers , book it .

  • Ppellico

    OK…so ALL the talk of “doing the dirty work” or luchbox player or all those other pieces of shit that comes from coaches and bloggers like yourself are really just that, wise words of shit? Like giving 110%?!
    All you really want is the score, the stats.
    All you really want are the pretty boys.
    So players are right to be selfish and get their numbers, or if they don’t…then they get the blank eye from creeps like write here.

    Last post Gray was bashed again for his play of ONLY 3 minutes. The writer compared the dissapointment to his getting a battery for Christmas from his mother.

    Tonight the excuse is its all about humor.

    You are the joke.
    You don’t deserve a player like Gray who works like he does.

    Trade him.
    Let him catch on with another team in need of such a solid, steady team player.

  • East Coast

    Klieza’s good in my books.  I like a guy who can inspire a Time out  and just get berated from his coach, for stopping in the back court to tie his shoe, while his man is free to double the ball handler who can’t pass him the ball to relive the pressure because he’s still in the back court, then come back and jack a three, nothing but net, the next instant the leather touched his hand.  Ballz.

    I thought everyone played well.   DeMar didn’t have it going, but played within the flow.  I think what DeMAr needs to do is become a better defender, rebounder and passer, so that he can be producitve even when not going well on offense. 

    Really, it was Barbosa having it going, that led to the low #’s by James and Barbosa, who both lost out minutes and shots to LB.  Which is exactly what should happen when I guy has it going like that, so I’m not mad at all. 

    I also thought Ed, and Gray played well, as did Forbes. 

    Bargs looked like he’s getting back to his old self.  Good to see.

    • 2damkule

      i think what DD needs to do is wake the fuck up & realize that his window is closing.  he’ll never get a better opportunity to show what he can be than he is RIGHT NOW.

      the spot in which one is drafted & the ability to throw down some pretty dunks during AS wknd only takes one so far (it really shouldn’t take anyone anywhere, but this is TO & the raps, so…).  having an off-night every so often is perfectly normal.  floating through games like you’re totally disinterested, while being defended by (and defending) anthony fucking parker?  give me a break.  i’d say they should look to trade him, if not for the joke of a package that they’d get back.

      • Destro

        Bargnani had 5 seasons of “window”,why are we ready to cast judgement on DeRozan based on 2 seasons of work (rookie season dont count)…
        He has shown he can be a 20 PPG player,he showed that with bargs out…He has to DEMAND the ball with bargs in the lineup,i dont like how he is willing to allow himself to be taken out the game…My main ciriticism with him is if he wants to be a star,he has to DEMAND the ball and stop deferring…and he needs to rebound alot better,that 2-3 boards a game is bargnani like and disgusting… 

  • Nilanka15

    I gotta give props to Bargnani.  I was impressed with his game last night.  A very smooth operator.  He didn’t force any shots.  He looked very comfortable out there on the floor.

    The offense should’ve ran through him far more times than it did.  Bargnani should basically be force-fed the ball on  every offensive possession.  He does a lot of good things from the high post, and his pull-up jumper is becoming automatic.  But too many times did he look like just 1 of 5 options on the floor, when he should be THE option on the floor.

    • 511

      I agree with you. Riding the Bargnani roller-coaster these last years, it’s kind of amazing to me that he can, only now as we know, look (suddenly) to be as complete-a-player as what he now seems to be. I keep wondering what it is that’s really made the difference? Is it playing the 4 instead of the 5 …?… when local b-ball writers were pretty much dismissive (up to this year) of that notion being even possibly relevant? (Had me convinced.) Is it as simple as just having a coach that makes it clear exactly where he should be and what his job out there is, defensively, especially? Is it the experience in the league that he now has under his belt? It’s easy to just say ‘all of the above’ but … I really wonder which of those might be closest to ‘true’? 

      Regardless, I’m glad he’s finally arrived. 

      • 511

        And sort of conversely, when I think about it, why does Carmelo Anthony look so NOT good with the Knicks, compared to how he usually looked when he was with the Nuggets? If Anthony’s career had consisted of what we’ve seen from him this year, he probably wouldn’t be thought of as the one of the elite players in the league, as many (but fewer?) think of him, now. So … maybe it is the coach/system, is the point. 

      • 2damkule

        or is it because we’re so relieved to see some improvement that the overall level of his play is being overrated, or that the fact he’s still a piss-poor rebounder & help defender is being marginalized because, well, hey, he’s a 4 now, he doesn’t HAVE to do those things?

        oh wait, i’m just hating.  he’s had a few games, he should be back to game speed, and in some ways, he is…but there were still a number of examples last night where he was in position to provide help on D, and he just kinda/sorta stood there, unwilling to leave his man to help.  

        • Theswirsky

          so much truth to this. 

          No doubt Bargnani has improved his play.  Actually putting in an effort resulting in a more efficient offense (going to the net rather than settling for jumpers) better rebound (up about 20% – from 5 and change to 6 and change) and better D

          But he’s being pegged in Raps land as the turnaround story of the NBA and an all-star simply because he went from a liability to slightly more than a net neutral player.  That is perhaps a big jump but its not center peice of a team worthy.  His rebounding is still bad and his help defense is at best inconsistent. 

          We have guys like Josh Smith destroying the league, has been for years, and he’s still not an all-star, still not a franchise player, still a 2nd to 3rd guy….. and yet Bargnani……

          • sleepz

            Josh Smith is one of the most underrated players in the league and on the right team could make a huge difference(I have the Lakers in mind).

            His passing ability for a big is severley undervalued and his defensive instincts are superb.

          • 511

            and you, you’re just not happy unless you’ve got a good hate going on. It’s hoops. Don’t stress so much and enjoy the show. 

            • 511

              annnnd … that might’ve been not what I really meant to say. I actually enjoy your arguments. (swirsk). 

              • Theswirsky

                I understand.  Its hoops its for entertainment… but its not so entertaining when you the team heading towards a repeat of the last 7+ years and the organization either to arrogant or lost in net income or just plain lost to learn from their previous mistakes.

                • George

                  Then stop watching, you’ll live longer.

            • Destro

              This team has been to the playoffs 5 times in 17 years…dont talk to me about happy and enjoying the show…I’ll enjoy the show when they stop stealing my money year after year for a bum product…

          • Destro

            Good point….He’s becoming a good player,he’s finally doing what he should have been doing 3 years ago but fact remains he’s padding hollow stats on a losing team,has not hit GW’s and still is lost soul defensively…im not going to overrate his shit because he actually manned up over 15 games….He needs to do this for multiple seasons and win games and start locking guys up on the other end before i ever annoint him a “magician”

          • Raps4Ever

            lol, nothing against Josh, but do you mean the Josh Smith that has been “destroying” coaches’ hair for years, chucking  up 3s, and who hasn’t won but a couple of playoff series while having 2 all stars supporting his greatness?

        • 511

          C’mon. You can select a moment here and there for almost any player in any game and slag away til your heart’s content. If Bargs was pure perfection in every game, never mind his third game back after being out for over a month, it’d be a different story. But this is a guy who most of us – me included – had pretty much given up on. But there he was last night, and even at 7/8 speed (if), it’s easy to see he knows what he’s doing and he does it well … and suggesting ‘lazy’ (if you are) is just silly; as he’s shown this year, he’s obviously not. So … I’ll take what he’s giving us and I won’t complain too much when he makes the odd miscue. ‘Cause even those will lessen as he – and the team – gets more up to speed. 

          • 2damkule

            i agree, each & every player has defensive lapses.  i’m not really suggesting he’s lazy, just that he lacks an innate understanding of certain aspects of the game that are somewhat important. 

            for example, i have no problem with him sticking to his guy a fraction too long & being late in contesting a layup…what i have a problem with is his apparent unwillingness to leave his man to provide any help at all, and allow a clear path to the hoop, especially when he’s watching the play develop and must know what is about to happen…and still doesn’t react & leave his man.

            what i fear is that, as a fanbase, our expectations were so low that showing signs of competency on that end of the floor was greeted with euphoria.  that was great…but settling for that marginal improvement (either by him or us) doesn’t do anyone any favours.

    • Pizzaman

      Well said….they need a passing PG like Jose back to understand that good things happen when the ball is fed to Bargnani in the high or low post. Bayless looks him off far too much for selfish reasons, and other times I just don’t think he believes he can make the pass because he takes way too long to try and telegraphs everything. He needs to be taken by the ear and told what he needs to do, or ride the pine. Last night’s game will only lead to him believing he is a star and trying to do it every game. 

    • 511

      And … funny how as weeks went by without Bargs, some fell back into commenting about him (leaning towards disparagingly) like the those 13 games were a dream of some sort. Not that I can blame them all that much. I started to wonder myself if we really did see what we thought we saw. Lol. 

    • Destro

      Those jumpshots arent falling in the playoffs,if he ever plays in a playoff game again….

  • cdub

    Bayless is not a good PG.  Yeah sure he scored points last night…at the expense of others.  I just love watching him crawl over the half court line then sit there holding the ball until the shot clock is almost expired….then throw up a shot.
    Hes unable to get the ball to where it needs to be.  He can’t handle pressure.  In defense of Derozan which is rare for me he really doesn’t have any oppurtunity to do anything with bayless at the point.   In contrast I really like the quickness Forbes gets down the court and starts the offense.  No doddling over half court, no holding the ball until the shot clock is altready sub 10 seconds.  Bayless is a bench player and a combo guard at best.

  • Statement

    Though I’m not sure, I don’t think Bargs’ return is a good thing for Demar.

    On the one hand, at the beginning of the year, they were a high-level scoring tandem.

    On the other hand, Demar’s (little) value lies on the offensive end and he needs touches to produce any return. I don’t see him getting the same touches with Bargs back, but again I don’t know.

    More fundamentally, Demar (IMHO) doesn’t have the skills to operate in a half-court offense efficiently.  However, the majority of the offense is going to be half-court based if Bargs is the primary option.

    I thought Bargs played a good game offensively yesterday and was pretty active on the boards, but there were times where the perimeter defense was beaten (which happens in the league) and Bargs just stood there glued to his man and allowed the guy to waltz in for an uncontested score.  Ultra frustrating.

    Oh well, I’ve learned to take the good with the bad with Bargs.

  • Statement

    Also, I was very interested to see the Rap’s ASPM stats on Liston’s blog from a few days ago.  I was surprised to see what a positive defensive impact Ed Davis has on the game (even more so than Amir). 

    With some more offensive seasoning, perhaps Amir becomes expendable (though Amir is a better overall player now currently).

  • 2damkule

    careful, you don’t want to be spewing such vicious venom at bargs, lest ye be branded a HATER!

    • RapthoseLeafs

       Apparently there are openings, but recruitment is in stealth mode.

  • p00ka

    LOL, most days RR clearly stands for Raptors Repugnance.

    Even with a win and good performances by a number of players, the dominant reactions are yeah but, but, but, allow me to illuminate the masses for the 1,000th time, with my in depth knowledge of team and player weaknesses, or demonstrate my mastery of hindsight to justify my misery.

    Day after fn day, a current phrase/thought thrown in to make it “new”, but mostly regurgitating the same ol’ misery masquerading as bball “expertise”

    • Bill

      And this is why I miss khandor…  At least his thoughts were original.  And hey, wasn’t he right about Kris Humphries all those years ago?

      • 2damkule

        khandor has some good insights, and he stuck to his guns (still does), but his deal is that he picks a topic, then argues two sides of it, or fabricates arguments that cannot be proven/dis-proven (to his advantage), so he’s never ‘wrong.’  take hump…his point was always that he was being used ‘incorrectly’ by the raps.  perhaps he was right, and he’s now being used correctly by the nets.  result is dazzling results for him personally…team-wise, the jury may be out.  from what i’ve seen (and it’ll likely be evident tonight), he’s basically the same player, but he’s simply a greater part of the puzzle, and is being given more minutes/opportunities, things that simply didn’t exist backing up bosh.  

        the other side re. hump was that he argued that the trade that brought him to TO was a bad move by BC (this was more within his arguments against BC as a GM).  

        i wonder how khan how he feels about babbit now?

        • Bill

          Ahhh I remember the Babbitt one as well.  It’s not his fault, it’s because Nate McMillan doesn’t have the required basketball acumen, at this level, in the NBA :)

          Oh and Rodney Carney.