Raptors 87, Knicks 106 – Box

The Raptors lose in New York and the most disappointing aspect of it wasn’t the lack of defense or intensity, better known as defensive intensity, but that we didn’t get to see Jeremy Lin and Jerryd Bayless go at each other for 36 minutes. Instead, Jose Calderon got the start and Bayless was left to play HORSE with Mike Bibby. That’s no fun, and is probably the reason Bayless had to leave the game with a back problem.

The first was played evenly, the second is when the Knicks’ tempo was too high for Raptors and resulted in a 9 point halftime lead, the third is where the Knicks should have blown us out, and the fourth is when they finally did. Surprised?

Right off the bat you noticed that we were playing in New York. Once that reality settled in it was time to watch the game and that’s what I did. I saw that the Raptors had serious issues covering the pick ‘n roll with Jeremy Lin. Jose Calderon’s knees must’ve pissed off Lin in some other life, because his hesitation moves and constant probing of the Raptors paint area at the expense of Calderon was overwhelming. To make matters even worse, Stoudemire was going at Bargnani, leaving Gray to provide help and no Raptor seemed to know how to pick up Chandler in this sequence. On the other end, with no Mike D’Antoni around and defense now legal to play in New York, the Knicks were pressing hard to disrupt the Raptors offense, which on this night was taking a step-back jumper.

Quick comment on DeMar DeRozan’s 7-13 FG for 17 points – Piss off. Seriously man, they were all inconsequential points scored in a manner and timing that made no difference. It would’ve meant something if that scoring came in a time of need, like late in the second when we needed to get the momentum back, or early in the fourth where the Raptors needed to sound a signal of intent. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but it just felt like he chooses to score when the defense doesn’t care if he scores. Does that make sense? I don’t know, probably not. Bottom line is that he hasn’t made the strides he was supposed to make this season and I’m tired of trying to explain why that hasn’t happened, last night he was up against Landry Fields and took 13 shots in 37 minutes. This is in New York, a game every player circles on their calendar as a chance to announce themselves.

So at the end of the first the Knicks are shooting 63% and are up only three. Cool, the highlight of the quarter is the Bargnani dunk which faked ‘Melo out, and Kleiza’s three at the buzzer which pulled a lot of the hard-earned Knick momentum back. The second started off harmlessly enough with Ed Davis, the biggest guy on the floor due to small lineups, running the floor, rebounding, and even scoring. The Raptors tied it two minutes in after Bayless punched in a jumper, lending me a thought that the perfect counter to Lin would be somebody who can keep up with him for quickness. Casey didn’t think so. After Bayless’ made jumper, two horrible early shots by Bayless and Kleiza resulted in two breaks, which was packed into a 7-0 run, a lead the Knicks never relinquished.

The other theme of the game was offensive rebounds, the Knicks were up 28-16 overall at halftime, and 11-2 on the offensive glass (it finished 16-4). The PnR defense was bad throughout, and the rotations were messed up due to their 3/4 players starting two-man action, often times you saw a guard rotating underneath to check a big which meant poor rebounding position. Casey didn’t quite adjust to this, he probably should’ve put in Rasual Butler to help….haha…I’m just joking.

Oh yes, I was going to end the first half thoughts by saying that if it weren’t for a couple fouls that were called on the Knicks which led to FTs and quelled the game’s tempo, this would’ve been over at halftime instead of being just an 11 point deficit.

In his halftime interview Casey said that the Raptors needed to go inside and that they were settling for too many outside looks. The vehicle for that proved to be Bargnani, who was rather quiet until now other than that first quarter dunk. The Raptors got Bargnani the touches he needed and it got him into a rhythm of sorts, a rhythm that had him go 5-15 FG for 15 points and 2 rebounds in 33 minutes. Wait a minute! That’s not a rhythm at all, that’s the equivalent of wanking on dial-up with the video buffering every four seconds.

It didn’t matter how the Raptors were scoring anymore, this became an issue of whether they had it in them to get some stops, and the play that answered that question in the negative came from DeMar DeRozan. He let Landry Fields blow by him at the wing on a simple dribble, leaving Aaron Gray to pick up the foul for an And1. Two technical ensued for Gray, one for arguing the call and the other for arguing it some more. It was a play indicative of the Raptors’ defensive technique on the night, where the coach and players just didn’t have it. The Knicks’ +16 rebounding advantage and 50 points in the paint is a testament to just how out of whack the Raptors’ positioning was. Of course, Jeremy Lin had his say with 9 points and 2 assists in the third, and was the main reason the Knicks had a 16 point lead at one point before it was eroded to 11 courtesy of a DeRozan three point play and some Bayless FTs. A late Raptors mini-run providing a ray of sunshine.

Jose Calderon started off the fourth with a couple scores, before the Knicks deployed Imam Shumpert on him. This time around the matchup wasn’t under the microscope like it was in Toronto, mainly because Calderon had been a beast upto that point in the game in Toronto, whereas today he was being outplayed by Lin. The Raptors never did manage to make that little run that all NBA teams seem to make in the fourth, Bargnani missed an open three, DeRozan a wing jumper, all shots that if they had gone in, would’ve given the Knicks a little pause and the visitors some lift. Once it was clear that the run wasn’t coming, the goal now became to keep the lead around 11ish to make the final scoreline respectable, but that wasn’t to be as the Stoudemire played the full fourth and kept the scoreboard ticking with 8 in the quarter. The final margin was 19 points and the blowout status of this game was confirmed when one Solomon Alabi’s name was announced.

I’d like to give Ed Davis some credit for approaching the game as if it were a competitive affair in which one tried their best to come out the victor. For much of the season he’s made me wonder whether he’s in fact just a zombie who randomly flails his arms whenever he senses heat, or is in fact a lottery pick out of North Carolina. Last night he had a 9/9 performance going up against a pretty talented, albeit defensively maligned, Knicks frontline, which at the very least confirms that he’s capable of showing up to the arena. In fairness, he’s had a few good games of late and it looks like he’s “turned the corner”, I’m still not sure if what’s around the corner is more inconsistency, or as Jack said, if it’s Davis finding the motivation to get stronger and make something of himself. The good news is that he’s only 22 and things will get better, but that’s probably what someone told Brian Scalabrine as well.

Raptors lose. No worries, though, we got Jonas coming and lots of cap room to get the right players in.

  • Brezec for Prezec

    Lol willy wonka…”oh, do tell…why suuuuurrre you have a shot at Deron Williams…”

    • Rudie63

       Lol… although I’m thinking we could probably make a pitch for Aaron Brooks.

  • 2damkule

    not going to waste energy commenting about the game, as arse has done enough of that for everyone.  except to say…’VL’!  coming back strong.

    re. cap space – to me, it’s less about being able to sign FAs (since, as indicated, it’s not exactly gone well in the past), and more about being able to take on salary in a trade without having to give back anything of consequence.  the barbosa trade, while it didn’t net a TPE (like i originally thought, and had seen reported), does bring them significantly under the cap prior to Jul 1st.  in essence, it gives them much more flexibility to make deals around the draft; if they’d held onto barbosa & let him expire, that money wouldn’t have come off until after the draft.  so while they didn’t get an actual TPE, the cap space created gives them similar opportunities to make moves.  the FA market is really thin, even more so when you eliminate those guys who would never realistically sign with TO.  if they’re going to be adding players to the roster (besides JV & their pick(s)), it will more than likely have to be via trade.

    • Brian B

       What do you think they have to trade that would bring players who not only would help, but have more salary? That sort of deal is normally a deadline salary  dump by a wannabe contender that gives up & wants to avoid tax, not an off season move. I hear Boris Diaw is available.

    • cesco

      ‘VL’ is coming back strong … or maybe he decided that winning a few extra games with him playing the King Borg role is not worth it ( draft positioning ) or may be he is still hurting or out of shape or just waiting for JV . His shooting percentage is poor right now which probably affect his whole game .

      • yonas

        Cesco my comforter thanks.

  • NyAlesund

    We have to wait this summer. After that we can evaluate the Colangelo’s job.

  • Brian B

    “The Raptors never did manage to make that little run that all NBA teams seem to make in the fourth,”

    That’s because these raptors are not a real NBA team. I can no longer stand to watch.

    • guest1

      In the last few games we have seen the raptors consistently make a run in the 4th and be competitive but thank god Jose is back because he can get Bargs the ball where he wants it and now Bargs can make his shots.  Hasn’t that been the argument for having Jose come back and start?  Too bad it did not happen. Bayless brings a competitive drive that no one else out there on the Raptors seems to have.

    • CJT

      See ya.

  • Milesboyer

    This team rarely gets blown out so there’s no need to overreact on this one.  Yeah they looked like a D-league team last night but they’re usually competitive in their losses and we all expected them to lose a LOT of games this year. With regards to Bargnani – he sure is taking a while to get back into form.  All-stars (which some have suggested he is/would have been) exert their will on a far more consistent basis then he has.  If this were next year, I would be worried and disappointed, this year, another day closer to the lottery.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Rarely gets blown out?

      I think that you need to go back and check the game results before trying to sell that balderdash up in here…smdh


      We lose to Charlotte twice (after each Bobcat victory the very next game they were blown out by 20 plus points), Washington twice (gave Washington its 1st win), Detriot runs us out of the gym after 2 practice days before the game….

      Losing (consistently) by 1 point or 20 points is still losing it’s like the lesser of 2 evils which in the end is still evil.

      AB’s taking awhile to get back into form?

      Or just playing like he did the previous 5 years?

      If he’s not ready to go then sit down it has been 7 games what is the magic number 10 games before he is ready to play at a high level on a consistent basis?

      So year 7 will be his break out year when he plays 20 games with alot of energy, effort to start the season?lmfao


      • Destro

        Hilarious comments about back to old form…..So 13 games VS 5 seasons equals OLD and NEW….smh !

  • Ppellico

    Is this the game we are now expected to watch?
    Is this the WWW, the Pro Wrestling game/fan we are becoming?
    I know its all entertainment, but can we at least try to be adults????

    On their way out of Memphis last Friday, an alarm went off as their plane taxied down the runway, prompting the pilot to scrub the flight. The team only arrived hours before tipoff the next day in Charlotte.
    They flew back to Toronto that Saturday night. A light failure on a Pearson runway forced the players to deplane in the main terminal right into the middle of a bunch of screaming school kids returning from March break
    They got in to New York Monday morning. Their hotel launched a three-hour test of its fire alarm during afternoon siesta.
    So as they rolled into Madison Square Garden late Tuesday afternoon, it made sense that they did so accompanied by a battery of firefighters. Another false alarm.

  • Mike P

    Painful to watch. Reminded me of many games last year under Triano. Andrea shooting bricks, team can’t rebound, etc. Mike Breen felt that Andrea was very good, Walt said “that he sometimes looks like a number one overall pick, but he is not consistent enough to build around.” They ended off the game saying “that Toronto has good energy just not enough talent to compete on a day to day basis.” Basically, the raptors need better players to fit with their coaching scheme to be successful. which we all know.

    NYK is hot, they are playing defense, Amare with a block? Talking shit after? where has that been? Lets see what happens friday.

  • 511

    I don’t like the casual vibe that some on the floor – one or two, esp – are giving off these recent days. Hard for me to reconcile last night’s version of this team with the team that came out of the gate and that emerged while Bargnani was out. Whatever’s going on here, I can’t wait for it to be over. I’m not enjoying this rotten season. Bring on the Bulls. 

    • Nilanka15

      Tonight’s gonna be ugly, with or without Rose.  I’d be very impressed if we reach the 80 point mark.

  • Nilanka15

    Can we please have more recaps involving pictures?

  • Nilanka15

    One of the subtle reasons why it’s fun to watch games at MSG is the old school arena organ playing music, instead of some douchey DJ spinning Ne-Yo instrumentals.

    • voy

      see JC getting chummy with Spike Lee? That was terrific.  I wonder if spike lee is gonna cast jc as the spanish jesus shuttlesworth. 

      • Nilanka15

        I also noticed Spike’s mini-me seated beside him.  Scary.

    • Lorenzo

       I especially hate the Raptors sound effects. And the PA announcer…

      • Destro

        I was making this comment with my man while watching,they are playing instrumentals from rap songs they played 6 seasons ago….The IN game music co-ordinator should be fired…Its the same “Lil Jon,Whistle song” instrumentals every damn quarter….Im almost convinced they got a chimp up there just pushing buttons….

  • Nilanka15

    It doesn’t seem like Mike Woodson is getting enough credit for the dramatic turnaround in New York.  The graphic showing Atlanta’s year-by-year improvement was impressive.

    It just goes to show how important defense is.  It doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you can’t stop anyone.

    • KaioKev

      True-say! Look at the D’Antoni years in Phoenix. They were so good. But they could win for the simple fact that they couldn’t stop anyone. Unless D’Antoni is willing to address and take is defense seriously, he’ll have a tough time finding a head coaching job in the NBA…….maybe an assistant coaching job preparing the offense…..

      • KaioKev

        But they couldn’t win**

        • 2damkule

          as mentioned to nilanka, you might want to check the defensive stats for this year before proclaiming that d’antoni can’t coach D.  it may not be his top priority, but to claim he’s incapable of doing it is the argument of a simpleton.

          • KaioKev

            I didn’t say can’t coach D. I said take D seriously.

    • 2damkule

      sigh…the numbers simply don’t support that NY was a poor defensive team this year AT ALL.  what’s plain is that a couple key guys quit (melo/stat) on d’antoni, and that they’re simply putting in an effort now, on both ends.  is it ‘real,’ or is this simply the honeymoon phase?  who knows, but it’s far too simplistic to state that woodson’s having some dramatic effect on the team, and that he’s the reason they’re winning.  the players are trying, that’s why they’re winning…and yeah, if a coach loses his team & they stop trying, then that’s partly on him.  but it’s also on the guys making 8 figures to grow up a touch, be professional, and, y’know, try.

      • Nilanka15

        I’m using the eye test.  The Knicks seemed to be much more intense on the defensive end last night vs. the previous 2 contests.

        And when was the last time we saw any Pringles-coached team apply full-court pressure?

        • 2damkule

          ah, i see.  very reliable, the eye test.

          • Nilanka15

            That was convincing.

            I changed my mind.  Woodson stinks 😛

            • 2damkule

              well, there are certainly enough pundits/prognosticators/experts in the NBA circle who are surprised that woodson got another shot at a HC gig that i’m more inclined to think that he does kinda/sorta suck.  let’s revisit this in a couple months.  unless you want to ignore the eye test that was the atlanta hawks…

              • Nilanka15

                The Hawks are an interesting case study.  Was their year-by-year improvement a result of Woodson’s influence, natural growth of young players, or both?

                Regardless, I’m not saying Woodson is Phil Jackson…just that maybe he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

                But you’re right.  4 games isn’t enough to draw any conclusions.

                • yonas

                  you need 13

                • sleepz

                  I thought Woodson did a good job in Atlanta.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      I was promoting MWoodson as the top Raptors coaching candidate up in here this off season as what he did in Atlanta was a very solid job.

      But BC’s gotta have a puppet coach (Casey- AB is Dirk like)- AB’s defense, rebounding, effort has been half ass since his return 7 games ago but is he benched or coddled?

  • RaptorFan

    Arsenalist gives the best re-caps …love the pics with commentary!

  • brother

    Willy Wonka and Arse know what I know: what good is cap space if you can’t use it?

    Who are we chasing? It seems like any of those top 10 teams in the league in wins, dollars and or stature, can sign anybody they want anytime they want. Chicago wants Rose, Boozer, Korver? Done. The Lakers want four allstar players? No problemo. The Heat want to sign a former allstar as the eighth man off their bench? Good with me. Celtics, Spurs, Nuggets, Clips now. Whatever they want, whenever they want.

    But the raps constantly struggle to find guys to sign. Look at what just happened with Wilson Chandler. Do I think he was worth the 8 million a year or whatever he got? NO WAY. But a perennially good team did and they signed him. WTF do the raps have to do here? Saying we’ve got cap space is good. Good for nothing.

    • Nilanka15

      Regarding Chandler, Denver was the only team he could’ve signed with this year. 

      • brother

        Wasn’t he restricted? meaning the raps could sign him to an offer sheet and then Denver could choose to match? I thought they were in talks with his agent? No?

        • Nilanka15

          That was the case until the March 1st deadline came and passed while Chandler was still in China (or something along those lines).  From that point on, Chandler’s only options were to re-sign with the Nuggets, or sit out the rest of the year and become a free agent this summer.

    • 2damkule

      it’s not good for nothing.  it allows them to make lop-sided trades (i.e. taking in significantly more $$ than they have to give back) prior to Jul. 1st…meaning they can acquire a player that another team has grown weary of, doesn’t have minutes for, or feel is overpaid, for nothing more than picks/prospects.  so, you target a few players that fit a need, that are obtainable, that play for teams in flux or that have extenuating circumstances that make keeping that player undesireable (i.e. wanting to free up their own cap space to make a run at a FA)…and you go after them.  if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but doing the barbosa trade (vs. letting him expire) gives them more flexibility to make moves in advance of the new fiscal year (i.e. at the draft, when teams get desparate), makes them worse for the rest of this year (hopefully resulting in a higher pick), and gives them even more time to assess what they currently have by giving LB’s minutes/touches/shots to guys they’re going to need to make decisions on in the very near future.

      • Theswirsky

        I agree… but that assumes  BC is also going to do that.  Given BC’s history he is more likely to try and sign a free agent out right (and over pay) than he is to use his space to take on a contract + asset

  • DC

    Yea we got cap space!! So fun now we can sign another hedo turkoglu type bust or a 40 year old steve nash! Yippee. This team needs 5 starters  not just 2. We have a team full of bench guys we could really fill out a bench. Positions 7-13 are pretty good. 

    • 2damkule

      so, you’re preference would be what, exactly?  no cap space?  less?

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Cap space, TPEs- how much do they average a game?

      BC is just a pr spin waiting to happen after giving away Bosa to Indiana even though he didn’t want to be traded away from Toronto he’s promoting an illusion.