Mad Dog Face.
Mad Dog Face.
Raptors 104, Bucks 95 – Box

Wrap
The Toronto Raptors continued their hot preseason on Monday, defeating the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 104-95, pushing their record to 5-1 in friendlies.

Of course, preseason results mean little, and the game was not without its warts. Turnovers, in particular, were a crucial problem for a sloppy Raptors outfit, enraging head coach Dwane Casey and causing him to more or less throw out the result in post-game comments. The 19 turnovers didn’t come exclusively by way of sloppy passes or miscommunication, as the Raptors also committed five offensive fouls and had an additional two loose ball fouls negate team rebounds.

Despite the somewhat uncoordinated showing in terms of ball control, the Raptors looked every bit an impressive offense otherwise. The team shot 45.5% including 45% on threes (9/20) and also got to the line 35 times (25/35). The fact that the team was able to overcome 19 miscues and still score 104 points is a testament to their shooting and aggression on the night. The 11 offensive rebounds also didn’t hurt, leading to 12 second chance points and adding to the Raptors’ 49-40 rebounding edge.

But the carelessness and some poor defense through three quarters almost let this game get away. Trailing by three heading into the final frame, the Raptors took over with a 30-18 fourth quarter advantage, taking the lead for good with eight minutes to go.

Jonas
I’m burying the lede a bit here, because the big story for us Raptor fans is probably the glimpse of the future that Jonas Valanciunas provided in the victory. While DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry led the way in the boxscore, with the latter in particular taking over in the fourth quarter, my eyes were consistently drawn to The Lethaluanian. This is probably in part due to the fact that this was only the second Jonas game I’ve been able to watch this preseason, or the fact that he spent a lot of time on camera – that tends to happen when you’re living at the free throw line. Valanciunas finished just one of three shooting but managed 10 points by hitting eight of 10 at the charity stripe. He also added eight rebounds, showing a nose for battling for balls he may not have started in the best position to grab, and a steal that was really him just scooping up a loose ball that tipped off of DaLOLmbert’s stone hands.

Perhaps most impressively, though, were the four blocked shots. Right off the bat he blocked DaLOLmbert, only to have Canadian Sam put in the second attempt. Jonas then travelled, but rather than get frustrated he pocketed it for motivation for a few plays later when he would stuff a Tobias Harris dunk attempt. With just seconds remaining in the first half, Valanciunas pinned an Ilyasvoa layup attempt, leading to a buzzer beating attempt for the team. Finally, early in the third Jonas blocked another Harris shot in close. While there are those concerned with him aggressively pursuing blocks, given the foul trouble we’re all assuming will come with a rookie big, Valanciunas showed great timing and instincts on each of these blocks. He also happened to only pick up a pair of fouls in 28 minutes of play, marking his lowest foul-per-minute rate of his young career. It’s a positive not just for his potential as a shot blocker, but also to reaffirm for him that he can attack opposing players without being timid, a notion that was also hammered home when he was trusted to play with five fouls late in the Knicks game last Friday.

For what it’s worth, I also noted a couple of times in my game notes when Jonas’ presence, especially as a dive man, caused a disruption for the defense. Three of his five trips to the line came as the dive man on pick-and-rolls (his basket came on a jump-hook, and his other two trips came on layup attempts), while he also freed Kyle Lowry up for a three with a hard screen at the elbow late in the fourth.

But enough about Jonas…for now. I’m sure I’ll be poetic about him all throughout the season, but if you didn’t get to see this game it’s worth going out of your way to get a look at the highlights, especially the shot-blocking excellence.

Lowry
As for the others, Lowry actually had a very quiet game until the fourth quarter, furthering the narrative on his personality type and role as the team’s potential closer. Lowry had 10 points, three rebounds and an assist in the fourth, giving him 15-5-6 in total for the night. While he committed six turnovers, two of them down the stretch, he was an absolute mad man when push came to shove. Lowry hit a three with 3:29 to go after Andrea Bargnani drove and kicked it out to him, following it up by dishing to Bargnani for three just one play later. He would add a three with a minute to go to extend the lead to five and then hit four free throws in the closing seconds to wrap the game up.

He really didn’t look aggressive early, opting to defer the offense to DeRozan and Bargnani for the most part, and perhaps this will be the design this season – DeMar and Andrea getting there’s early, while Lowry “settles” for controlling the ball in the fourth. Or it’s just a preseason anomaly.

DeRozan
DeRozan was aggressive once again tonight, getting to the line for 10 free throw attempts en route to 21 points on 7/16 shooting. While the shooting efficiency wasn’t great, five of his misses actually came in the paint. Not finishing there is obviously an issue, but it’s better he miss those high-average shots that might eventually be expected to fall rather than miss mid-range jumpers, of which he went 4/8 on.

Bargnani
Bargs didn’t exert himself too much in this one, chipping in with 17 points on some ugly 7/15 shooting without a single free throw attempt. He added three assists but had just four rebounds, basically saving his boxscore line with a couple of threes (3/6).

Amir Johnson’s Wet Jumper
Amir’s shot chart isn’t what you’ll want to see on the regular during the season, but for a game it was an interesting experiment in testing his range. Left open off of a few pick-and-pops and left unguarded a few other times, Amir hit three of six attempts from outside of 18 feet. Overall he had 10 points and four rebounds in just 18 minutes.

The Others
Quincy Acy got the 10th-man minutes in the first half while Ed Davis took on that role in the second half. Acy had three points and three rebounds in his nine minutes while Davis had two points, five rebounds and a dime in his 13 minutes. Acy showed some nice hustle with a put-back and another tap-out on an offensive board, but he also showed his downside with two turnovers (including a moving screen) and a loose ball foul. Davis showed nice range with a jumper and also extended a possession with an offensive board, taking far less off the table than Acy. The role of fourth big seems to be Davis’ to lose, with Acy in the D-League and Gray utilized against bulky pivots.

Landry Fields was quiet with four points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists in 27 minutes, focusing his energy on the defensive end and off the ball on offense. He’s a smart player and his contributions won’t always show up, as has been pounded into your head by now. His backup, Double-A, had 10 points but took 10 shots to get there, showing an awfully quick trigger for someone who should be aiming to play mistake-free ball right now.

Finally, Jose Calderon added six assists and only took three shots (aka what will come to be known as The Standard for him in his backup role), while John Lucas was John Lucas, scoring eight points on seven shots and adding four boards and three helpers. Calderon is secure in his role, and with Ross out sick Lucas showed he can play spot minutes at shooting guard effectively against smaller lineups. It’s important to note that this game wasn’t really a check-mark for the two-point guard offense as the Bucks hardly have what you would call a big guard in their rotation (Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, and Beno Udrih played the bulk of the minutes).

DNPs
Terrence Ross sat with the flu. Aaron Gray, Linas Kleiza, and Dominic McGuire were unexpectedly kept on the bench, possibly because Casey wants to split up the minutes between the sets of bench players in the last couple of games, but possibly also tipping his hand as to the eventual rotation. With John Lucas playing exclusively at shooting guard, it pushes Anderson’s minutes to the three, limiting the minutes available to Kleiza and McGuire. Of course, with Ross out and likely a rotation player, tonight’s minute distribution could have meant nothing at all. Who knows with preseason games?

Rest in Peace
Jerel McNeal and Chris Wright were waived after the game, trimming the roster to 16 with Jamaal Magloire likely being the final cut eventually. There was no word on if McNeal and Wright would be asked to try and head the D-League (hopefully the Bakersfield Jam), though it’s a likely option considering neither got the chance to impress another team during the preseason.

What’s Next
The final preseason game comes Friday in Memphis, and it’s just over a week from the opener on Halloween. I’ll double back tomorrow for some more generic preseason chatter.

Oops
I realize I haven’t said anything about the Bucks. Who cares, right? That’s not my attitude in the regular season, but I’m 1600-words deep about a preseason game (yikes, sorry). Dunleavy was great, Ellis is a chucker, Ilyasova is Turkish Josh Hartnett/Zombie Ashton Kutcher/Basketball Forrest Griffin and is more or less awesome. There.


  • BCsMaBoi

    Good observations – JV is definitely giving every indication he will be a valuable asset going forward. Lowry is a 100% gamer. This version of DD showing benefit of added muscle. Bargs is slowly coming around I think he’ll get there when shots are fired in earnest!

    • FAQ

      Casey most likely told Bargs NOT to step it up so that he could see what the rooks and newbies can do under game pressure.

       No use having Bargs potting threes and the rest of the team just running  back and forth.  Casey wants to see half court 24 second execution by the other players to see how they play in various rotations and to get the team to jell.  Crapping out in the first quarter of play is not an encouraging sign.

      No Jell-o ….. no Team-O ….!!!!!

  • BCsMaBoi

    Oh and Ellis will post some big numbers on his good nights. He can light it up!!

  • j bean

    It’s hard not to like what looks like a much improved version of the Raptors. 
    Especially liking KL when he smells a win in crunch time. 
    The level of competition is about to change after preseason so we’ll see then if the winning ways are for real.

  • AnthonyF

    Looked like a regular season game yesterday (as did the Knicks game).  Both teams played their starters, starters minutes.  Bucks calling timeouts ’til the end.  JV looks very good, as does the second unit.  Great pieces to play with.  Barg’s too starting to round into form and looks engaged on defense.  

    Of course when winning all is good…….

    • j bean

      Beating the Bucks, is nice but the schedule when games start to count is much tougher than the Wizards, Pistons and Bucks. The Knicks have the talent to put it in another gear that the Raptors never saw. 
      After the first 20 games of regular season if they have 8 wins that would be a big surprise.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

        LOL I laughed when you said the Knicks have the talent

        • j bean

          Not that I’m a fan but they have quite a few all-star appearances and that is generally an indication of talent.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

            Does that equate to winning?….Apparently not last year. A wrinkling Jason Kidd, Rasheed and Camby is not an indication of talent if thats what your talking about in all-star appearances

        • Destro

          Stoudemire,Anthony,JR Smith,Chandler,Shumpert,Felton,Novak…

          Yea theres no talent there..Only 3 all stars,a 6th man,top 5 defender in the league and top 3 shooter in the league…

          smh @ some of these posts maaan…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

            Stoudemire is overrated and can’t defend me if I played him. J.R Smith is just a shooter and does nothing else, does he actually play defense? I like Shumpert, but he is injured and definitely not a top 5 defender (totally exaggerated). Felton isn’t that great, he played terrible last year up in Portland and shot terrible %s. He only played great under D’Antoni’s system. And all Novak is, is a great shooter again. So basically the Knicks squad is Carmelo, filled in with overpaid, defenseless, shooters.

            • j bean

              Your first sentence that Amare couldn’t defend you gives rise to the question of your bball acumen and your credibility. If you’re that good tell us more about your bball career.

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                Sure I was about to play for Duke but then tore my ACL. Ended my career. Happy?

                • Jamshid

                  ^^LOL, me too 😉

                • j bean

                  Sorry to hear about your dream coming to an end but with due respect  playing high school ball and starring in the NBA are quite a ways apart. Maybe if you had played college ball well enough to be drafted and then made it to the NBA you would have more respect and appreciation for the players you now are so quick to dump on.

                • John G

                  Obviously in the STAT statement I was exaggerating (but he sucks at D). LOL your a loser for taking things so seriously.

                • Mark

                  Your a clown. You can be whoever you want on the Internet. I’m a billionaire space cowboy with a sick cross over and the stubhub ticket tree is in my backyard.

                  Did your ACL tear or did you wake up?

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

                  Who are you? Am I talking to you?

  • Nilanka15

    “Ilyasova is Turkish Josh Hartnett/Zombie Ashton Kutcher/Basketball Forrest Griffin”

    I’ve never read a more accurate player description in my life.  Well done.

    Honorable mention goes to Dwane Casey and Otis Nixon…

    • Danielscott677

      Otis nixon….haha so true.

  • Matt52

    Just to stir the pot:

    How many of those FT’s would Drummond have hit?  I’m going with 3.

    • mountio

      3 is probably high. But, he probably dunks a couple of the shots that JV got fouled on .. so it might be closer to moot. In any event, JV is great .. youll get no argument from me there.
      But, even though Im a T Ross supporter .. the question isnt JV vs Drummond, its T Ross vs Drummond .. which at least so far, seems a little suspect. I cant lie that a front court of JV and Drummond would be pretty nice right now – who cares about foul trouble – theyll both probably use 5 fouls per night, but thats cool .. ! 

      • kwarr01

        I think T Ross actually has more value that we are seeing and as much as it would have been nice to get Drummond, with JV and Bargs as the starters, I don’t think he was as necessary. Ross was brought in to push or replace DD. So far DD has shown he is getting there so it actually makes Ross another nice piece to develop as the eventually replacement for Fields or move DD to SF and Ross be SG. If DD doesn’t make strides this year, Ross could replace him. So I think Ross actually has a lot of value moving forward where as Drummond looks good now but who knows if his faults show later.

        • Milesboyer

          A team should always draft the best player available and I think it was and will be Drummond.  Talking about his faults is glossing over the fact that he is a rare athlete, big, fast, and agile, and from what I saw, a kid who can put the ball in the basket.  Oh well, good for Detroit and maybe Ross will actualize his potential as the next MoPete.

          • p00ka

            Neither you or anybody else has a legit opinion of how these two will turn out in 2-3 years, so “best available” is nothing but subjective opinion projected toward crystal balling, not b-balling..

            • Me

              Hit the nail on the head.

              • Matt52

                haha I have succeeded in stirring the pot. In all honesty at least drummond can get to the free throw line. Bargnani (my man crush) has eaten so much pasta this off season that he just isn’t fast enough. But I will support him and BC till the end. 

                White POWER!!!

                • FAQ

                  Bargs had better play “al dente” this season or else he’ll be traded… believe it.

                • EmarErozan

                  Hahahahahahahahaha

                • Matt52

                   Yeah, another great post that was not by me.  And real classy too.

            • Milesboyer

              I am 100% sure Drummond will turn out to be better than Ross.

              • CJT

                good for you.  

                • Lorenzo

                   Why so hostile?

                • CJT

                  Not hostile at all.  But come on.  Most people aren’t 100% sure what they are going to eat for breakfast.  So nothing is for certain.  And good for him for having a strong belief in AB.

        • Doug

          Ross has more value than we’re seeing? That’s good because he has shown no value.

    • Destro

      So FTs and FTs alone determine a players ceiling….

      Quote me Shaq’s career FT pct ?

      • Matt52

         58.2% which was mere tenths of a percent shy of doubling Drummond’s average last season.

        • Destro

          So ur counting his year at UConn against his NBA tenure now ?
          smh

          • Nilanka15

            Last time I checked, the NCAA free throw line is the same distance as the NBA 😛

            I’m pretty sure the hoop is the same height too 😛

          • p00ka

            27.3% FTs in his NBA tenure, which is worse.

          • Matt52

             Yes, I am. 

            I am counting 34 college games, 967 college minutes, and 26 of 88 free throws (29.5%) against his 6 preseasons NBA games, 105 pro preseason minutes, and 3 for 11 (27.3%).

            IF I understand correct you are counting Shaquille O’Neal’s HoF, 20 year, 4 championships, and 1207 game NBA career against Drummond’s 3-11 in 6 preseason games.  Wow…. syh @ me? lol

            Also, JV had 10 free throws on 3 shots in one game…. nuts.  That kid is active and productive without having to rely on others to get him the ball.

            • Mark

              Drummond also has made more buckets than JV has taken shots. Lets not start using FT’s as a measure of success. Both players look to have potential. Neither has done squat in A real game. Raptors are 5-1 and the Lakers are 0-6. Preseason hype is for fans who want cling to anything. I can’t wait for Ross to shot 1-8 in a game so you guys can get excited about how the shot he hit was all mesh though. Enough said.

              • Matt52

                hey are you trying to say BC made the wrong choice. fuck you, that is completely unacceptable.

                • Matt52

                  Yeah, not me.

              • Matt52

                 I was not talking about Ross.  Irrelevant. 

                I do agree with you on Drummond and JV.  As I said initially, I was just stirring the pot.  There have been numerous comments about how Drummond is a beast and JV is a white European (said in a negative context of course).

                • CJT

                  Seems like your message board stalker is back. 

                • Matt52

                   Possibly.  I find it amusing.  Clearly these types of tactics are resorted to when nothing of credibility is left to be said.

  • Skeptical

    It’s preseason and my viewing has been extremely limited… but J.V. could easily be my favorite Raptor this year. Good picks, nice movement afterwards, aggressive defense (love those blocked shots) and solid rebounding. I don’t have big expectations on the offensive end, but he works hard and looks able to get his when the opportunity is offered.

    Don’t know what his ceiling is, but should be fun to see him develop over the next year or two.

    • FAQ

      He’s motivated because he’s fantacizing over a 5 year $50+Million contract extension in the 1014-15 season … believe it.

      • Skeptical

        Hey, whatever it takes. I’m ok with 2 years of hard work chasing a contract. Not necessarily thrilled with the amount of money that the Raps will probably pay out… but that depends on what happens between now and then.

  • renato

    why is 7/15 ugly? if it was 7/14 it would be very good  on so many attempts. Is there something in between very good and ugly?

    • Puffer

      Was wondering the same thing myself. That’s a 47% shooting average. Pretty much where it should be for a power forward, and the bonus is that comes with AB’s 3pt attempts. 

      • BlakeMurphy

        Sorry, sentence wasn’t clear – it wasn’t the % that was ugly, it was just his shooting in general. Missed a couple of gimmies. It meant to read like “7/15 that could have easily been 10/15″ rather than “7/15 which is bad”

      • Danielscott677

        I agree any GM would do backflips to have a guard with 47% shooting averge for the season and gets to tge line 10 times. Not saying he is gonna do that every night right now but a good night.

        • minks77

          but bargs didn’t get to the line at all much less 10 times. Bargs has shown nothing alluding to him being the mythical hero of the first 13 games of last year so far in the preseason. The haters and I are sharpening our skewers and licking our chops… 

          • why

            Yes he needs to start getting to the line howevr I am not sure why any Raptor fan would ‘lick their chops’ at the prospect of skewering bargnani – it sounds like it is more important to you that his play suck to so you can say ‘I told you so’ than for him to play at a high level (which IMO needs to happen for this team to have a realistic shot at the play-offs which I would think is what most Raptors fans want)

            • Nilanka15

              It’s not for “I told you so” purposes, but more so for Colangelo to finally make a decision as to whether or not Bargnani is considered part of the core.

              • p00ka

                Reading the post you’re responding to, it seems the relevant point isn’t the “I told you so” speculation toward motive, but asking why would “fans” of the team be “sharpening our skewers and licking our chops… ”  at AB not  being a “mythical hero” in preseason, when him playing at even close to the level he was at last year would bode very well for the team’s success when the real games start. Licking chops for failure? Okay.

                Personally, I’ve been seeing his fitness, defense, offensive awareness, engagement at both ends, improving game by game, while he, like everyone else, is getting used to new teammates and offensive style. Just my opinion, but I see it being somewhat senseless to be getting excited one way or the other at this point (it’s fn preseason, look how Lakers are doing), but sharpening skewers and licking chops for failure? Okay.

              • CJT

                Doesn’t it seem like Colangelo has already made that decision? 

                • Nilanka15

                  Yes he has, but that decision has yet to work for him.

            • Solo Miranda

              Totally, agreed my friend

            • minks77

              Ach, I’m just playing. 

              I’m not a fan of his game, other than the start of last season, but I’m hoping for the best. If not however, I’m not supporting any player I think is detrimental to the team. As a fan I’m loyal to the TEAM not the PLAYERS.

              For this team to reach the playoffs we need more than just Bargnani to play up to his potential. We’ll really need everyone to exceed reasonable expectations.

          • p00ka

            Seeing as Daniel is talking about a “guard” and those 10 FTs, though it was obvious he was a little lost and was referring to DD?

            • Danielscott677

              I thought i did specify guard in there…but i guess im lost.

              • p00ka

                Yes you did, which was my point. The convo was about AB though. Sorry for the “lost” comment, if it offended you. It happens to all of us.

  • jorvay

    What impressed me more about JV than his very solid stat line was the number way you could see the Bucks offence give way to his presence time and time again. I couldn’t count the number of times a Milwaukee player made a move into the paint only to run back out with his tail between his legs after seeing JV staring him down.

    • Matt52

       There were a lot of jump shots as well.  I am going from my recollection of the game but it felt like for the most part Toronto did a very good job of keeping Milwaukee out of the key – especially in the 2nd half.

  • AnthonyF

    He started off 2 for 7 (I only turned on in the second quarter).  That means he ended 5 for 8 (last one was a block by Dalembert that could have been called a foul).  Quit focusing on rebounds as he did his job on D, contested and I did not see him beat going for a rebound…. 

    • minks77

      That’s because he wasn’t trying for any to have been beaten to. 

      I know some people are throwing up their hands and deciding to no longer mention his rebounding but that doesn’t mean it has ceased to be a weakness in his game or a problem for the squad as a whole.

      • LTDupside

        “weakness in his game”: yes
        “problem for the squad as a whole”: no

      • p00ka

        You do watch the games and see where the coach has him playing on both offense and defense, right? Just saying.

        That aside, all we’ve seen is preseason, but this new look team looks like it’s rounding into quite promising form, outscoring and out-rebounding their opponent even while they get used to new teammates and a new offense.

        The real games for this team start soon, at which point we’ll begin to see how much of a “problem for the squad” his rebounding is, but if we base it on preseason, where they’re 5-1 and out-rebounding opponents these last two games, it doesn’t seem like much of a problem at this point.

        • Destro

          It always matters when ur 7 foot C/PF doesnt rebound the ball…

          • p00ka

            Because rebounding as an individual is more important than winning as a team? Okay, I see.

            • Destro

              Yes individual players production is AS important…When we discuss his value to this team and as a potential trade asset what he does or doesnt do matters…
              We discuss and breakdown individual players do we simply discuss there win loss record on there team…smh

              • p00ka

                And you speak of a player’s value in terms of a stat, yet you diss ppl on here all the time about defining players by stats. Some day, you need to figure out just who you are, before pretending that what you think about others is relevant.

          • CJT

            haven’t we kind of exhausted this yet?  please.

        • minks77

          Yeah I do. I also see Lowry playing at the point and being the shortest guy on the court grabbing those boards.

          If AB’s weakness as a rebounder weren’t a problem for the entire squad we’d of never picked up guys like Reggie Evans.

        • minks77

          One other thing, if it’s because the 3 coaches he’s had over 6 seasons have had him playing too far away to get rebounds please explain how Ryan Anderson, who spots up for 3’s even more than AB grabs 2.2 boards more per game last year in less time? 

          Don’t get me started on even better stretch 4’s who take tons of long jumpers like Ilyasova, Josh Smith etc.

  • Malefax

    Great article, really interesting and detailed. Thanks, Blake!

  • Destro

    instant improvement = make Lowry and Lucas the PGs.make DD,Lowry and JoVa more of a focal point of the offense and not Andrea…keep Kleiza out of the rotation….

    Your seeing the potnetial of that right now…. 

    • Phat AlberG

      Lmao don’t build the offense around Andrea lmao omg that’s funny! 

      • DanD

        “Destro” nuff said LMAOO

  • Destro

    Also you know JoVa’s emergence on the scene and his effect even in limited mins has to sting the Bargnani brigade…I mean this rookie steps in and has more of an impact on this team taking 3 FG attempts with his overrall game….

    Yuo know it stings…a ROOKIE is showing us how a big man should play big…blocking shots protecting the rim…banging grabbing those boards in half the mins…its kinda refreshing to see…

    • j bean

      Jonas is refreshing and beside Andrea it’s like looking at a counterfeit and the real thing when comparing their games down low. The thing is, thank God Andrea has a different role this year and if he executes he’ll be a big part of what they are trying to do. That said I still prefer him on the second unit unless he can play the way we saw a glimpse of last year.

    • cesco

      Andrea will be here for the next half dozen years and you will be hating Andrea for the next half dozen years , what is new ? .

      • sleepz

        Lol, you get so upset when anything says anyone about Andrea.

        What will you do when the team further wants to cultivate JV’s vast potential? When they start to wonder if it’s wise (in his rookie year and at this stage of development) to pair him with another frontcourt player who he compliments more (a perimeter big who doesn’t rebound and plays average to below average defence) or a player that compliments him more (a player who is defensively sound, understands rotations, that can help him battle in the paint)?

        Right now I’ve heard all this talk about how JV compliments Andrea’s game when it should be the other way around. They should be pairing JV with the best player to compliment his game because he is the big you can hopefully consider to be a cornerstone or a ‘core piece’ and it be the truth.

        • Destro

          EXACTLY !
          JoVa is not complimenting HIM..hes outplaying him and showing hes more valuable and valuable to this teams success…YEEEEP !

          • Phat AlberG

            smh

        • p00ka

          Where do you get this mythical big to perfectly compliment JV at BOTH ends of the court?

          At the offensive end, how does a big that draws the other team’s 2nd big into a quickly crowded paint area compliment JV’s game more than a big that draws the 2nd big clear out of a now more open space for JV to operate, and others? They compliment each other beautifully at that end.

          At the defensive end, AB is far more engaged and energetic since last year and isn’t a bad defender in coach Casey’s schemes. It’s preseason, and we’ve yet to see just how well this TEAM will compliment each other at this end, but I’ve got faith that if he can hide Dirk’s weaker than AB defense, he can work with AB’s as a co0mpliment to JV. We’ll see.

          • sleepz

            Who said anything about mythical? Why does a 4 have to be outside of the paint to compliment JV’s game?

            Look around the league. Many teams don’t need a stretch 4 playing with their conventional 5. I don’t see M.Gasol’s game affected by playing with Randolph or Speights last year. I didn’t see Bynum being affected by Pau’s presence.
            Noah’s development was not affected by playing with Boozer, etc, etc.

            Your making it sound like Andrea is the only answer.lol

            And imho they don’t compliment each other all that much because as a 5 you would most likely want a 4 that helps you down low and on the glass.

            Even if your theory was correct and it makes sense for him to play with a stretch 4 (like Howard and Anderson last year) even in the example presented Anderson was a factor on the glass all year and is also paid like a journyeman 4 that stands on the perimeter and shoots when given the opportunity.

            As for AB being engaged defensively, its preseason so we’ll see how the season plays itself out, but if history has shown us anything at all, it’s to not expect too much on that end of the floor from Bargnani. As for the Dirk comparison defensively, if you think AB is a better defender i’m not sure how to respond to that thought other than I disagree with you.

            My entire point however was less about Andrea and more about JV being put in a position to succeed and develop properly as he is a significant part of the teams future. He would be better served imho in playing with another defensively sound player at the 4.

            • DanD

              “My entire point however was less about Andrea and more about JV being
              put in a position to succeed and develop properly as he is a significant
              part of the teams future. He would be better served imho in playing
              with another defensively sound player at the 4.” 

              After all that essay this is your conclusion. Weak and Vague. Heck, your topic doesn’t even correlates to your conclusion LOL keep posting!!

              “Look around the league. Many teams don’t need a stretch 4 playing with
              their conventional 5. I don’t see M.Gasol’s game affected by playing
              with Randolph or Speights last year. I didn’t see Bynum being affected
              by Pau’s presence.
              Noah’s development was not affected by playing with Boozer, etc, etc.”

              In terms of what? Affected by what? geez…you can’t even make a good argument. Based on the players you mentioned Randolph, Speights, Pau which are face up post up players(and can play back to the basket) provides a good spacing for all those players you mentioned respectively like Bynum Gasol etc. If you are talking about development that is up to the coaches. 

              “And imho they don’t compliment each other all that much because as a 5
              you would most likely want a 4 that helps you down low and on the glass.”

              Well…duh isn’t that what Andrea has been doing as of late. Good thing is Andrea doesn’t have to do it all the time. You make it sound that Andrea is only the sole reason when it should be a team rebounding.

              • sleepz

                And you present a good argument? lol

                Randolph is a face up post player??? Since when? You are trying to say these players provide spacing for a 5. Ok then, give me an example of a 4 that doesn’t provide spacing or would inhibit a centers spacing? I guarantee you your examples will be players like the type I have mentioned.

                Andrea has been doing what of late on the glass? 7 boards last night. Solid. And the games previous to that?  I wasn’t making this a team debate. I was referring to Jonas and his development. Of course a team should rebound as a whole but the argument I am hearing now is if a team rebounds well it shouldn’t matter if one of it’s “core pieces” (as per BC) and a member of the frontcourt doesn’t do it, as long as the team rebounds well.

                OK.

                Your response is light.

                • Solo Miranda

                  Dude he gave specifics you don’t and he got likes meaning ppl agree with him and you don’t have so…..

                  “Randolph is a face up post player??? Since when?” So you don’t think Randolph is not a face up player? Do you even know basketball? Heck, even watch it 

                  “Example of a 4 that doesn’t provide spacing or would inhibit a centers spacing? I guarantee you your examples will be players like the type I have mentioned.”

                  LOL?! You’re not serious about this right? Those players you mentioned are hybrid players they can post up and can face up so they complement each other. In fact, most if not all “4” position are face up players. How about you tell us which players that doesn’t provide otherwise? 

                  I suggest read some books, sites about basketball so you won’t be as dumb next time. Bandwagoner!!!

                • EmarErozan

                  Ever see Randolph play?

            • p00ka

              “Why does a 4 have to be outside of the paint to compliment JV’s game?”

              I didn’t say anything about what a 4 has to be to compliment his game. You did, using generalized terms that basically sounds like you’re describing his clone. I was pointing out that when speaking of complimenting each other, both ends of the floor are important, not just the defensive end you speak of.

              I refer to “mystical” because you say you wonder when Raps management will question their wisdom in pairing AB and JV, and whether they should pair him with a 4 that you feel compliments him better, so I wonder where you think they can get this better match, both ends of the floor combined. Surely you don’t mean someone on the team right now? So where do they get this guy that they’re going to be spending time on wondering if he’d be a better fit, instead of focusing on making the best use of what they have? Is he in the league right now? Who? How do we get him?

              “My entire point however was less about Andrea and more about JV being
              put in a position to succeed and develop properly as he is a significant
              part of the teams future. He would be better served imho in playing
              with another defensively sound player at the 4.”
              Who is this non-mystical 4 and how would he help JV’s development more?

              PS. I don’t know what salary, as in “paid like a journeyman 4….” has to do with what type of 4 is a better compliment on the floor.

              • sleepz

                Actually what you said was:

                At the offensive end, how does a big that draws the other team’s 2nd big into a quickly crowded paint area compliment JV’s game more than a big that draws the 2nd big clear out of a now more open space for JV to operate, and others? They compliment each other beautifully at that end.

                It sounds like you have an opinion of the type of 4 he should play with no? It sounds clearly like you believe Andrea has the type of game that “beautifully” compliments JV on the OFFENSIVE end of the floor.

                This is a defensive team and that is the identity the coach has been said he is trying to establish. I don’t think it has to be a situation in which the player perfecetly compliments JV on both ends of the floor. Even if that is the goal I do not believe Andrea does that right now. Do you feel that Andrea is a good compliment to JV on the other end of the floor? It’s a defensive team now. Defence typically is the foundation of great teams. There should be some importance and emphasis there no?

                Maybe that mythical player is not on the team. Maybe he is. I am not prepared to say Amir couldn’t provide that as I haven’t seen him paired with JV enough to even reasonably comment on it. Same with Ed.
                However you have decided that there is no one on the team that can be this mythical player. I don’t think there is enough evidence to declare that no other player can be a good compliment to him.
                My point with Anderson was that if you want a stretch 4 to play with him, get JV someone who will still help do the dirty work. Someone who can help make the defence of this team a night mare for opponents. My referring to Anderson and his salary is that he is paid according to his production on both ends of the court (reasonably imho) and I think his contract is fair to what he contributes on the floor.

                • p00ka

                  Dude, you said “They should be pairing JV with the best player to compliment his game”.

                  So, I expressed that in many ways, AB does compliment his game, and explained why I think that, but I asked you who you “think they should be pairing JV with”, as in what pairing, outside the fantasy world, do you think they “should be” considering instead of AB. Only then could anybody comment on your point and evaluate whether what you have in mind would be a better fit or not. Otherwise, it’s totally a mute point, based on some vision you have of a mythical player that’s unavailable for what they “should” do.

                  I could say they should consider plugging in Chris Paul as a better PG fit, but he’s not on the team, and isn’t available, making the point useless.

                  Bottom line, who and where is this PF that they “should be pairing” with JV?

                • sleepz

                  I suggested other players.

                  Read my posts.

                • p00ka

                  ED and Amir? Somehow they’re going to help JV develop better than playing with AB? lol Pray tell, how?

                • sleepz

                  He’ll get more touches and defensively get way more help protecting the rim and battling on the boards as well as having to help less.

                  Outside of ‘spacing’ how will Andrea help his development better than Amir or Davis?

                   

                • CJT

                  Casey has been very complimentary about AB’s defensive length and how much space and and JV take up in the paint.  So while I get that you are not a big fan, the coach seems to think that they are working pretty well together.

                • CJT

                  alsodon’t dismiss the fact thatAB has had severalblocks this preseason as well.  doesn
                  t thatcompliment JV’s rim protection?

                • p00ka

                  I’m not the one saying there’s a better option for JVs “development”. You are, and I’ve asked you multiple ways, to explain, and all you’ve got is help with defense, not development. Though that’s a joke to begin with as neither suggestion is a very good defender themselves. So, you don’t realize that your two options aren’t great defenders (ED? LOL) and you can’t explain how that would somehow accelerate JV’s “development. Read some books, learn about the game.

                • Destro

                  How does Bargnani compliment him or help develop him ? I know its easy to simply say but break it down for me lol

                • p00ka

                  I’m not the one suggesting that anyone will or will not help/deter JV’s development. You fn guys are a joke. Last year, it was ED’s development being held back by AB. This year, before the games even start, you’re whining about AB hindering JV’s development. LOL, fn clowns.

                • EmarErozan

                  Andrea and JV seem like a decent pairing for now. JV protects the paint, Andrea is a decent perimeter defender. JV can be an asset in the p&r game and Andrea has to be guarded on the perimeter.

                  The question is do they have enough talent to be starting bigs on a contending team – I say no. JV may get there, I don’t see how Andrea will. I’d love to be proven wrong.

                • Destro

                  lol @ perimeter defender

                  Your 4 shouldnt be defending the perimeter tho…

                • p00ka

                  Learn the game, instead of spouting shyt that you’ve read. NBA head coaches are following the game and it’s evolution, which is why the majority of them use 4s quite a bit in defending the perimeter, when they have one that can create issues for the offense.

        • Solo Miranda

          Your post is so bias. I’m a huge Barg supporter but I’m also going to be critical on his performance this season because I want him to succeed(Last season, was supposed to be his best season but injury took place) if you have seen these past preseason games you should know that Andrea as a perimeter big man. He was putting effort on D and he grabbed some rebounds as well(traffic ones) there are times though where he was late on rotations. I’m not worried about his offense it’s going to come eventually. 

          “Right now I’ve heard all this talk about how JV compliments Andrea’s game when it should be the other way around. ” I don’t get this post so you’re saying Andrea compliments JV? lol Imo I think they synergize with each other. History showed that it worked in Dallas with Nowitzki and Chandler(I’m talking about their playstyle).

          Q: Who is this guy you’re talking about that is defensively sound, understands rotations, that can help him battle in the paint? lol  

          p.s. As much as you guys hate Andrea we need him for us to become successful this season. A healthy Andrea Bargnani and with an improved talent roster. Making the playoffs is sure a possibility!!

          • sleepz

            In a nutshell, JV helps Andrea more than Andrea helping him. With JV around now, Andreas aversion to rebounding or helping in the pint is no longer an issue no? lol I also JV will turn out to be a better player than Andrea so why not worry about the important things and make sure JV’s development is priority #1. Playing with a subpar defender in the front court is not helping his development imho. Don’t compare this situation to Dallas because Andrea is not Dirk. It’s not even close.

            Who is that guy who helps JV in the paint and understands rotations? Amir Johnson perhaps. It might also depend on what they can get for Andrea (although we know Colangelo would never move him). Question:If I don’t have a player to throw out at you now does that make my point invalid?

            p.s. a popular refrain to the critique of Andrea Bargnani is hatred. I don’t hate him. I don’t know him. I watch the games and how he plays on the court and I’ve been watching him for the past 6 years so if I am not a fan of his game so be it. Common has a lyric that goes “if I don’t like it, I don’t like it, it don’t mean that I’m hating”.

            Remember that.

            • DanD

              sleepz point is Andrea is what  hinders the development of JV oh man this is funny!!!

              Dude he’s talking about their PLAYSTYLE not the players they are geez…

              If you don’t like Andrea like some of you. I’m not even a Barg fan but some people still believe on Andrea as a player fair enough right?

              Remember that

              • Destro

                HIs point is JV’s covers up the holes that Andrea leaves behind….Rim is protected,buckets are harder to come by then before the interior D is alot tougher and we outrebound teams because of JV that covers up the prior big men deficiencies that were pretty apparent around the basket….

                See whats going to happen now is we actually have people that want to rebound so NOW the “brigade” will be quick to tell you those 18 pt 2 reb games are irrelevant because the TEAM rebounds well….Of course he’s not hindering JV…when you play on the perimeter as a 4/5 you cannot possibly hinder ANYONE who plays in the block….

                • CJT

                  isn’t that the point of having teammates?  To help in areas of weakness and turn them in to strengths?  

                • Destro

                  You shouldnt need a rookie come in and show you how to do YOUR job for you…

                • CJT

                  I don’t think he is.  I think they are doing different jobs.  Nothing wrong with that. 

              • sleepz

                I don’t even understand what you are trying to say here.

      • unknown guest

        If he signs elsewhere, will you switch teams? Are you a fan of the player or of the team?

        • Solo Miranda

          Fallacy detected 

        • cesco

          Why don’t you and the rest of the haters switch teams . A REAL fan support the entire team as long as there is good chemistry and everyone fight for a common goal ( the playoffs ) .  

          • sleepz

            Why don’t bandwagon fans stop telling real fans who they think they are.

            • CJT

              Why would you call a guy who has supported the players on the team through good and bad a bandwagon fan?  And what exactly makes you more of a real fan than he is?  That seems a little condescending doesn’t it?

              • DanD

                Haha I think that’s what I said as well lol dude can’t even make a rebuttal

              • Destro

                He supports agendas that suit his fandom of specific players…thats why…

                • Lorenzo

                  Which you don’t do?

                • CJT

                  sound familiar much?  

              • Theswirsky

                Cesco?  Cesco admitted after the 10/11 season he was a Bargnani fan and not a Raptors fan.

                Didn’t know anything about Basketball until the Raptors drafted him.  Only watched the Raptors for Andrea and would switch teams if Andrea was traded.

                So Cesco telling someone what a ‘real fan’ should do or how they should act is a bit of a joke

                • cesco

                   I never , never , never said I will not be a Rap fan if Andrea leaves , rather I will be like a Latin lover with two women one hotter than the other .

                • p00ka

                  Hey, don’t let the truth get in Theswirsky’s way!

              • sleepz

                Did you read his comment above regarding what the haters should do?

                I guarantee you I’ve been following this team a lot longer than our good friend.

                Do you think telling those that don’t agree with some of the opinions held by others that they should go switch teams is a little extra?

                He brought up the REAL FAN comment, yet you choose to respond to me.

                Cool.

                • cesco

                  Can a man love two ( or more ) women ? .

                • unknown guest

                  Yes they can ;p

                • shevom

                  two some

                • CJT

                  Yes I read it.  And I agree that people have the right to support their team in the way they see fit.  But I am more of the belief (much like in college ball) that you should support your players, warts and all.  I get it, you guys think he is lazy, maybe he is, but he will also contribute to the success of the team in many ways and I think you would want him to play well and help the team go as far as they can.  I know you are a basketball fan, and pretty knowledgable, so I am not trying to insult you.  I just don’t understand the mindset that is being displayed on here by many.  

              • sleepz

                Follow the history of this dude and maybe you’ll have a better understanding.

                • CJT

                  I have only been on here for a few years, so I don’t know what happened before that.  

            • DanD

              sleepz, I think you are more likely a bandwagon fan to a degree since you don’t like Andrea and you want him to fail instead of supporting him who plays for the Raptors.

              Cesco has been a Barg fan but you can tell he is also a huge and a longtime Raptor fan.

              It’s only preseason and we are already seeing JV vs Andrea debate when we should be focusing on making the playoffs no?

              • Destro

                We dont dislike Andrea,we dislike the player he is and the lack of heart and grit he shows for a player of his position should have….

                If AB averaged 18/8 and played solid D and put his body on people and hustled…None of this ever gets said…

                Do you read online blogs of what other media and teams think of Andrea ? Clearly were not in the minority on this…

                Every blog or writer you will find who writes for the NBA makes the same reference about AB…”inefficient high volume shooter who is weak def and on the glass”

                “worst rebounding big in the league”

                its been written over and over for years….

                Clearly its not hate its a factual observation that we care to point out…   

                • DanD

                  I disagree with some of your points but it’s fair enough for you criticize him. We’ll see how he does this season  man. I really pray that it’s going to be an injury-free season for the Raps!!

                • sleepz

                  No, if you don’t bring out the pom-poms and support everything blindly you hate the person and are not a fan of the team.

                  It’s not even about his game now, it’s about me hating the dude? lol

                • CJT

                  He is considered a good defender in many areas, poor help defender and rebounder.

                • Destro

                  No he isnt…POint me to a single writer or anyone NOT raptor associated who quotes he is a good defender…

                • p00ka

                  Some of us don’t need writers to tell us how a player does.

              • Theswirsky

                “Cesco has been a Barg fan but you can tell he is also a huge and a longtime Raptor fan. ”

                hahahaha you can ‘tell that’ can you lol

                • DanD

                  Haha isn’t not? LOL

                • Herman

                  Cesco likes only two players on this team

              • sleepz

                Keep quiet.

                I’ve been following this team since inception. You know A. Robertson, C Rogers, W Andersen, Damon and company.

                Don’t tell me I want anyone to fail cuz you don’t know me. I have supported this team for many years. If you want to blindly support things you don’t feel are right, go ahead but you won’t get me to follow your lead.

              • unknown guest

                Just to clarify, what in your opinion is a “bandwagon” fan? I am beginning to think we might not have the same definition of the term. I am a basketball fan, and I support the Raps. I’ve also been terrible in giving away my money to MLSE (to the team in Blue who are locked out, and the team in Red ><), but it doesn't mean I always support the how the team is run.

          • Destro

            You dont support the team..you support agendas…Your a raptor fan with an agenda..I doubt you were a fan before the 2006 draft…

          • unknown guest

            I don’t “hate” AB, I’m not trolling or trying to illicit a response just for the sake of it. I won’t needlessly bore you about if I play ball, or how long I’ve watched the game, etc. It wasn’t an attack at you as a “fan” at all, mere speculation on if you followed the team because of AB, and if he wasn’t here any longer, if you’d still be a Raps fan. That’s basically it. As for me switching teams, not going to happen. I might buy the jersey(s), buy tickets, yell and scream at the TV during games/at a pub–but just because I am a “fan” doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they do. MLSE, eh?

            • cesco

               Honestly , I will keep watching the Raps if Andrea leaves . I want to see how JV , DD , TR develop . I will pull for the Raps to go to the championship during my lifetime ( I am a senior , so the window narrow ) . Will I follow Andrea new team , of course I will , but it will not be to the same extent as it is now .

              • unknown guest

                thanks for the honest response. I’m not sure if there is any current player I’d follow if they moved. Maybe Jose, just to see how he’d do depending on the system.

    • Solo Miranda

      I’m sleepy…zzzZZ 

    • CJT

      You’re ridiculous.  

  • http://twitter.com/lgsshedden L. Graham Smith

    one thing that stood out was Anderson’s defense on Dunleavy — shut him down and played 4th period minutes ahead of Fields because he was doing the job.
    Useful bench to spot guys situationally and tighten up while knowing you have Lowry as a go to guy so the offense doesn’t completely stall.

    • Danielscott677

      I thought dunleavy scored effectively.

  • Ecrapsfan

    I know there’s many who don’t like the guys, but how about a mention of Barg’s playmaking? He’s been a big part of setting up DeMar, who’s daring the d to double, and making them pay when they don’t. When it’s bargs posting uo, they double and he makes them pay with the pass. Bargs seems to have found it with Kyle, Now just to get the high low working with Jonas. I think making plays for others will be a bigger part of Bargnani’s game this year.

    • cesco

       +1 , your comment should be passed along to all the haters to help them understand the game of basketball .

    • j bean

      That would be huge. Overall ball movement is getting better with fewer low percentage shots being taken. Even with all the threes most of them are open looks. 

    • BlakeMurphy

      His drive and kick to Lowry for an open 3 late was a thing of beauty.

      • Destro

        The passing is nice but to be honest its something were doing only because our 4 likes to hang out on the perimeter..reason im gonna shit on this is because i dont want my 4 to be a playmaker 20 feet from the basket….

        • Phat AlberG

          Dude the reason why he hangs out there its’ because he’s spacing floor.  Like honestly do you know anything about basketball, you make these comments that make no sense at all.  

          • Destro

            He hangs out there because he wants to shoot 18 footers,your an idiot if you think he purposely does this to space the floor for the betterment of his team…Hes a perimeter jump shooting center whos doesnt like contact…

            7 years later and you still make lame excuses for it smh

            I shuold know better than to reply with someone with “Phat” in there SN

            • p00ka

              Rather than someone who calls themselves as a G.I. Joe cartoon character(Destro)? hahahaha, sometimes you truly are funny, even though not intended.

            • CJT

              AB has not issue with contact.  He invites contact on jump shots all the time.  As well he takes it to the hole effectively.  I don’t think you are representing his game realistically.  And no, he doesn’t rebound well.  

              • Destro

                lol @ invites contact on jumpers..thats a joke right ? ahahahahahaah

                bwahahahahahahaha

                • CJT

                  Pump fake.  In to the defender.  Happens all the time. 

                • Nilanka15

                  I think the “contact” in question is the physical beating the body takes when positioning for rebounds or taking it strong to the hoop. 

                  I’m not sure if getting defenders to bite on a pump fake falls under this category.

        • p00ka

          Ummm, he’s playing where his NBA coach wants him to play. Where you want him is meaningless to anybody but you.

          • Destro

            No hes playing where he wants to play and his coach makes the best of that or else he doesnt perform or offer anything and sulks…

            • p00ka

              Do you have any evidence of any of this? And are you seriously trying to say that AB dictates how and where he’s going to play, to coach Casey?

              geeeeez, age 9, or IQ 9, or 9 bad drugs?

              • Destro

                Evidence is last year he called out to rebound more and even quoted a figure per quarter PROOF he doesnt want him playing on the perimeter and to be more of a post player…

                How soft are you ? Your coach has to in the media get on you to rebound a certain number of times a quarter to try to motivate you to do certain things you SHOULD be doing without being told…..

                • p00ka

                  Are you really as dumb as you come across here? Seriously, you’re interpretation of some things is child like.

              • Destro

                I have further evidence of Bargnani dictating to coaches what hes going to do on the floor and not doing what hes asked or supposed to be doing…How do i know ? Cuz Sam Mitchell benched his ass when he didnt do it…

                • p00ka

                  Well, the topic was about Casey and NOW, but hey, what does that matter in your feeble mind, right? That aside, your “evidence” that AB dictates to coaches is that Sam sat him? Brilliant! Just what kind of drugs does it take to live in that imaginary world of yours? Just asking, so that the rest of the real world can know to stay away from it.

            • NyAlesund

               Do you know Bargnani? Do you read his mind?

        • CJT

          tough crap for you I guess.  BTW he was in the key when he kicked it out to KL. 

          • Destro

            Sometimes he gets lost and winds up in the paint….

        • Solo Miranda

           “i dont want my 4 to be a playmaker 20 feet from the basket….” this is like saying you don’t want Dirk Nowitzki to shoot lmaoo 

          • Nilanka15

            lol, that’s a pretty weak analogy.

      • pran

        josh smith can do the same, and he plays defense.

      • EmarErozan

        JV has also made some nifty passes from the post.

    • Destro

      Bargnani – PG
      DD – SG
      Fields – SF
      Lowry – PF
      JoVal – C 

      • FAQ

        Aaaah … the dream of every 7 footer … playing PG..!!!

    • unknown guest

      cautious optimism for most. Here is hoping he plays with positive consistency and with less injuries this season.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PLSEA7SEL5KM2YHY3JWZACTI6I keith warren

    Could pick apart each of these guys and could praise each of them too. My take is that it is nice to know that AB is not the #1,#2 and #3 offensive option anymore. I am so glad he is probably the 4th most important person on this team and he could really excel in that role. When you have budding stars in JV, DD and Lowry (is looking good), AB can just do his thing and will probably be more successful since opponents won’t focus on him. I didn’t see the game but from the highlights, I see a lot more space for the offense to work than in years past. Room for cutters and P&R to work.

    DD working the post move on the baseline has to happen more often now because he actually looks really good doing it! No more of this high post, mid-range shooter crap. Get him in position to work a turnaround jumper or blow by on his defender. With his sticks, he should be able to do that and make easier shots. Maybe he might be able to understand how to pass the ball from their too because he will see more options. Here is to hoping that this pre-seasons winning doesn’t become an enigma!

    • cesco

      ” his opponents won’t focus on him ” . The craziest , moronic , stupid and retarded comment made here since the start of the preseason .

      • 2damkule

        perhaps the intent of the comment was that opposition defences won’t be able to focus solely/primarily/mainly on bargs, since there are other viable offensive threats they’ll have to account for?  and even if it wasn’t…i’ve read plenty of crazier, moronicer, stupiderer, retardeder comments today.

        • Destro

          I think the suggestion is were a better team when we dont use Bargs as a clear #1 option when he isnt and cannot carry that load….Were better off using a 3-4 man offense to carry the load being runned thru the PG…

          • cesco

             The team is evolving and Andrea not being a prima donna   will do everything in his power to help the team become a playoffs team . Melo he ain’t . Detroit of several years ago  , here we come .

            • Destro

              He cant be a prima donna…Hes not accomplished anything in the NBA…

        • cesco

           Unfortunately for this guy who admit he did not see the game , (that is already a red flag as to his comment ) , he didn’t use the words ” solely/primarily/mainly ” or similar words to express his view . Are we supposed to give a guy the benefice of the doubt all the time ? .

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/PLSEA7SEL5KM2YHY3JWZACTI6I keith warren

            I didn’t watch the game because I was at work! Doesn’t mean I don’t watch any of the games nor does it mean I lack knowledge of the players. As for your concern about what words I used, read the second sentence! I assumed since I was pointing out that AB will no longer be the first “couple’ of options, that it would imply he will receive less focus by the opponent overall!

            I’ll make sure not to imply around you anymore! (Do I need to spell that out for you?)

      • Herman

        easy there Ces

    • AnthonyF

       You sure Fields isn’t #4 and Barg’s #5????  Love the haters.  Casey was interviewed in the game and stated he told AB to take it more seriously and he has vs. NYK and Milwaukee.  I expect he took it to heart, and we saw that the last two games.  Let’s see when he really starts attacking the basket.

    • mountio

      You are right that AB looks to have many more poeple to share the burden this year – but he is still the #1/#2 option on offense (with Lowry), as he shoud be.
      You are bang on with DD in the post. I think this could be a real sea-change for him .. his jumper has always been inconsistent, but if he can keep getting to the fouline like he has .. he might just have a legit NBA career ahead of him.
      I like JVs post moves so far – but hes definitely a complement at this point. Fields is a glue guy and will almost always be the 5th option on the floor, regardless of who is out there with him.

      • Destro

        lol @ might have a legit NBA career….if the Raps dont sign his NBA career will go on you know…

    • Destro

      Tbh i dont think teams game plan for him to begin with…..

  • Ion66

    I was listening to a Lowry interview in the background and thought I heard him refer to Valanciunas as “The big Yo”……Turns out it was “bigs like Jonas”…but I kind of liked “Big Jo (Yo)”

    • j bean

      The problem with being called big something in the NBA is when you’re standing beside a guy like Howard or Shak. 

      • j bean

        Can’t spell Shaq.

  • hotfuzz

    Wictory baby!

  • Danielscott677

    I really like JL and think he will push jose our of town evetually. BC is just waiting for something sweet enough to pull the trigger. I would like JL to play a tiny bit more in control and not take EVERY shot available to him but what he has done in limited minutes being a game changer is impressive to say the least. I just don’t see the logic in having 3 very capable pg’s when we really could use a wing player. I actually am a jose fan but he is our biggest trading chip to a championship contender with his expiring contract and great assist to turnover ratio. The only way jose makes it as a raptor by the allstar break is if BC can’t get any value for him. Then we have a great back up thats coming off the books next year….win win situation

    • 2damkule

      isn’t the issue that the value jose would return in trade wouldn’t be a substantial upgrade over what the raps already have at the wing?  IMO, they’d have to package jose with a young talented player in order to bring anything of value back.

      • Danielscott677

        Im sure we could package ed davis or someone for a good player if one comes available. There will be hungry teams one the season is deep and they are able to see what they need. And what playoff contender doesnt want a pg that is a effective passer, doesn’t turn the ball over and can stick the open jimmy. It would be silly to think BC won’t be on the phones. Brian doesn’t always make the most popular move but he stays busy

        • 2damkule

          a) young AND talented…
          b) agree that playoff contenders could use a PG like jose, but playoff teams (those with chip aspirations, anyway) also value defense.
          c) brian (sic) too often focuses on making trades/signings that are (or that he feels will be) ‘popular’ with the fanbase, vs. those rooted in building a solid foundation.

  • Paradigm Shift

    With 5-1 record at this point in the preseason, the Raptors look poised to advance to the regular season for, what, the 16th straight year?

    If they can maintain this pace, without dropping off too much, in the regular season, I think they could make the post season :-p

    • sleepz

      If they don’t make it to the regular season this year has to be considered a disapointment. lol

      • unknown guest

        Don’t worry! We’ll still win the Naismith Cup at least ;p

  • RapthoseLeafs

    My roll call – for what it’s worth:

    Lowry: Love his attitude. Didn’t like his turnovers – hopefully just a function of being early in the season. [B]

    Demar: Picked his moments to attack … GOOD …. picked moments when he shouldn’t have attacked … BAD. Needs to pass better, as well as pick up his defense. [B-]

    Fields: Runs the floor well. Good rebounding nite, but needs to score more. [C]

    Bargnani: Decent shooting (.567 efg%), but as Blake said … it should’ve been better. Only 4 rebounds, but all looked like contested rebounds. [B]

    Jonas: Loved his game. Great attitude. Great energy. Trying to temper my enthusiasm. [A]

    Davis: Not bad. Limited minutes. Highlight – 13.8 Rbs per 36.  [C+]

    Johnson: Loved his 18 minutes – 20 & 8 (per 36).

    Acy: 12 & 12 (per 36) … lol. Good energy guy, limited skills. [C]

    Jose: Really like the Jose-Lucas effect. Calderon needs to shoot more. Still lacks on the defensive side. [C-]

    Lucas: The Toronto Raptors version of Pinball. Still needs to be careful not to chuck too much, but overall – great energy.  [C+]

    Anderson: 10 shots is too much, but in this battle that seems preoccupied on “youth”, it’s encouraging that the 3 oldest guys (Jose-Anderson-Lucas) went a combined +40.  [C]

  • RapthoseLeafs

    oops ….
     
    Johnson …. [B-]

    .

    .
    .

  • nba_socrates

    Not a single game played in the season and people are already hyped up setting themselves up for disappointment. As for Jonas i don’t expect anything from him this season. I’ll give him another 3 years before he blossoms, and i’m not a fan of starting him and throwing him into the lions den soo quickly.

    • Nilanka15

      Jonas seems to be holding his own just fine as a starter.  What’s there to worry about?

      • AnthonyF

         JV has been toted as the true #2 pick the last two years.  In 2011, could have gone 2, but worries about staying 2+ years in Europe.  In 2012 he would have gone behind Anthony Davis, who is putting up big pre-season #’s.  So why not expect some good results by JV who is a year older and played in a tough league, the Euros ad the Olympics?

      • nba_socrates

        Preseason is different from the NBA, and he’s still a boy, hes not ready yet.

        • Nilanka15

          But you used the same “preseason” to conclude that Drummond is ready.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

            Don’t worry, he doesn’t understand what the word “hypocrite” means. He is on the slow side of things, take it easy on him

    • CJT

      I;m sure JV will slow down his production and development to ensure that you are happy with his timeline.  

  • Guyr

    ‘DeRozan remains the weakest link in Toronto’s starting five at the defensive end and he simply has to do a better job of staying with his man or his offensive contributions are going to be completely negated by what he gives up to opposing wings.’
    amen

    • FAQ

      Not likely because players like DD only play when they are holding the ball or will be receiving a pass… then his b-ball brainlet kicks into gear.. and he dribbles and spins and jumps and slams or throws the ball at the basket.

      Low b-ball IQ usually shows up playing defense … which is covered up with scoring stats. Now that DD can score, should BC give him another 3 years of defensive development… or is it a lost cause, as it usually is..!!!

  • NyAlesund

    “on some ugly 7/15 shooting…….” Are this numbers ugly? OMG.

  • NyAlesund

    Sometimes I don’t understand why we are discussing AB, even when he played a decent game.

    He said that he is not at 100% and also he is working to create a decent chemistry with Lowry.

    I am not expecting they are ready against the Pacers but in 10/15 games we could see tha real potential of this team. And honestly the addition of talent could be an advantage for AB (not only for him). Not always doubled, not always contested shot, like yesterday.

    Not forgetting his ability to delivery the ball. Great the assists for Lowry and DD for the dunk.

    • unknown guest

      Because without AB, it’d be boring. There hasn’t been a more polarizing player in the history of the Raps. You either like him as a player or don’t. Doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.

  • Statement

    What are the win projections for the raptors this year?

    Wages of Wins (no rookie age model which is stupid given that isn’t going to be reality) = roughly 44

    A smart dude at raptorshq using +/-, Wins Produced and Win Score = 39 or 41

    Bleacher report (crap, but whatever I’m putting it on here) = 43

    Raptorblog = 35-40

    Basketball Prospectus = 40

    Hollinger = 33, I think

    Average = 40 (using 40 for raptorshq and 38 for raptorblog)

    So 40-42 or 39-43

    What do you guys think, reasonable?  What are your projections?

    • cesco

      Assuming no major injuries to KL and AB , you have to go with 39-43 .

      • cesco

        Extrapolating the 13/31 record when Andrea played last season to 82 games , you get 34 wins . With the new acquisitions exceeding expectations ( + DD , Amir , possibly Davis improvements ) , at least 39 wins are in the bag .

        • FAQ

          So you’re ass-uming that the rest of the league has deteriorated since last season???

          Oh, who knows… maybe this bunch will surprise us… hope so..!!!

    • hotfuzz

      35-40 wins seems about right

    • Jamshid

      30-35 wins if we don’t have any major injuries to AB, Lowry and Jose …

    • Statement

      Thanks for the feedback everyone.

      So I guess the plan to get us into the 45-50 win range is to bank on improvements from Valanciunus and get a stud SF, right?

  • FAQ

    I’m surprised ….!!!!!

    Erudite tribal honking fans …..!!!!!

    • unknown guest

      honk! honk!

      • FAQ

        … is that you, p00 …. sure smells like it ….??!!!

        • unknown guest

          ? huh?

          • p00ka

            LOL, he’s one of a handful (then again, maybe all the same troll) of spooked guys on here, who it seems I’ve gotten into their little minds enough that they think I use multiple names, like them, and see me around every corner.

            • unknown guest

              Ah! thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t even trying to be insulting to FAQ.

              • p00ka

                Insult FAQ? haha, that would be impossible.

  • Mark

    He went 1of3 in a preseason game and trying to act like there were signs he might be the next Abdul Jabbar. You forgot to mention when he went to his 8 consecutive pump fakes. You could actually hear his brain farting. Get a grip with the homerism. And quit it with the DaLOLbert stuff. It’s childish and cheap.