Timberwolves 86, Raptors 105 – Box

They say the currency of basketball is possessions and last night the Raptors had enough of them to shoot 26 more times than the Timberwolves (90 versus 64 FGA).  When you got that kind of cash, it’s hard to lose.  Staring at a potentially 0-5 start with trips to OKC and Dallas coming up, this was an important juncture of the early season and with the bonus of Rubio and Love being out, the Raptors had to get this one and did.  The backcourt of DeRozan and Lowry had 22 each and the team forced a ridiculous 24 turnovers.  The bench component of production was provided by Alan Anderson, who chipped in with 18 points including some timely contribution in the second and fourth quarters, which is when the bench led key surges.

The Raptors held even with the Timberwolves in the first, a quarter in which the Wolves were getting good shots whenever they managed to hoist one – Pekovic and Kirilenko were the key scorers, the former giving Jonas Valanciunas a punishment in the block courtesy of his strength.  For the Raptors, the theme of the first half was forcing turnovers, which they forced 7 of in the first and 9 in the second.  The guard play was phenomenal with Lowry and the wings trapping and pressuring Ridnour and Roy at every chance, and doing well to deflect passes on their pick ‘n rolls.  I counted at least three occasions where a guard’s raised arms were enough to save two points and spawn the break.

The defense did have its issues, as highlighted by the worst closeout ever by Landry Fields on Kirilenko and reflected by the Timberwolves shooting 56% in the half.  But when the defense is forcing the break and the guards are hitting their shots, all seems well.   The second quarter stretch which usually sees an offensively anemic lineup deployed gets me weary, and this time around it was Calderon, Ross, Anderson, Johnson, and Davis, a lineup that you would bet on to struggle to score.  Not so last night – Calderon and Johnson were in sync, and when those two are working together you milk the cow.  Anderson’s eight points in the second were critical and fueled the Raptors offensive engine to a 9 point halftime lead, no doubt helped by a 27-2 advantage in points off turnovers.  The Timberwolves suffered yet another injury blow as Juan Barea, who was having a pretty sweet game, was concussed and left the game.

DeRozan and Lowry combined to shoot 16-24 whereas Bargnani registered another poor shooting night (4-16).  It’s not worth dwelling on since the Raptors won but a comment is needed.  He’s not catching the ball in the post enough and is forced to operate from outside-in and when he does manage to get a step on someone the ensuing finish is wild at best.   The rebounding is obviously anemic (1 in 24 minutes last night)  so there’s no expectation there, but the Raptors will need his scoring at some point and he’s got to turn things around so that the team doesn’t have to rely on Lowry and DeRozan to have near-perfect offensive games to be competitive.  My suggestion to Bargnani would be to get in the post and do what he does reasonably well: turnaround and shoot over people after two post-up dribbles.  Maybe he’s feeling the pressure after watching Lowry and DeRozan take charge of the offense, although I don’t think he’s got that kind of personality.  More likely is that he’s not the #1 option on offense any more so there aren’t as many plays run specifically for him, which he’ll need to adjust to.  I would entertain the idea of beefing  up the bench scoring by having him come of it.

Terrence Ross had another Chris Jefferies like performance and just looks nervous out there, which isn’t good for a shooter.  Not too worried about him at this juncture even though he’s yet to make a FT or a three this season, and has one field goal.

The third saw a bit of a run from Minnesota where Derrick Williams and Pekovic got them back in the game.  Again, Jonas was a bit overwhelmed by Pekovic’s size but managed to contribute with a put-back here and there, and also followed up whenever he missed a shot.  It was a quiet night for the rookie with 4 points and 4 rebounds, and I suppose the best thing for him last night was a  lesson of how the physical centers in the league are likely to look upon him.  You might think that Aaron Gray would’ve been more suitable to defend Pekovic, and you’d be right.  However, I’m not ready to question Casey on this one – Valanciunas is the future and needs a baptism by fire, Gray is 6 fouls.

The mini-run that Minny made to cut the lead to a deuce late in the third came a time where the back-to-back was starting to show for the Raptors, so it was left for the Raptors to close out the quarter strong.  A Lowry jumper, followed by a steal, an offensive rebound and a Davis layup had the Raptors going in up 6 to the fourth.  A key 11-3 run to start the fourth, entirely administered by the bench and punctuated by 5 Anderson points including a three sealed the deal for the home side.

DeRozan chipped in 8 in the fourth quarter, and the brief earlier trouble posed by Kirilenko all seemed to have disappeared.  The knockout blow, much like the push in the second quarter, was delivered by the bench.  Only this time the lineup was tweaked with Fields, Calderon, Anderson, Johnson, and Davis.  Basically, Ross taken out in favor of Fields.  Even though Fields struggled again, this was the lineup he looked most comfortable in.  His offensive role  in such a lineup is immediately escalated from fifth option to second behind Calderon, and this is where he has the most freedom to show what he’s getting paid for.  He had a couple nice drives including a layup to start the fourth, and the lineup must’ve given Casey a few ideas.

There’s not much else to report on this one.  Much like the opening night loss shouldn’t have been taken to heart, neither should this win as with Love, Rubio and Barea out, the stars were somewhat aligned.  I’m quickly finding himself looking forward to seeing Kyle Lowry play (shot chart), as he is a player that we’ve been longing for for quite some time.  Three steals again last night and some very timely shots; his partnership with DeRozan looks especially smooth when both are being hounds on defense and the latter can knock down a jumper or two (shot chart).

Ed Davis is quietly having himself a productive season, as in he manages to be active and contribute in small but positive ways.   Johnson may be lucky enough to have a couple plays run for him with Calderon, but Davis is resigned to rummage for his points and he’s doing so without complaint.  He sees what happened with DeRozan and his contract, and Johnson before him, and must feel that this is a place where contracts are there to be had.  Johnson and Davis combined for 14 points and 12 rebounds which was more than enough to outplay their bench counterparts of Amundson and Cunningham.

Raptors win in what was a fun game to watch for me.  Lots of offense, forced turnovers, and seeing DeRozan and Lowry at their finest.

Kirilenko commented on the turnovers:

”It’s too many turnovers,” Kirilenko said. ”You can’t win the game when every guy loses three of four balls. We have to work on this. It wasn’t really forced turnovers, we just threw them away.”

To which I say bullshit since the Raptors deserve all the credit for forcing them.

  • Canadian Paul

    Instead of this rag-tag collection of SFs, we could have had Kirilenko, who was just begging to sign an NBA contract.

    • Matt52

       AK47 is certainly talented but lets see him get through an 82 game schedule.  The last time he came close was 2004.

      • Canadian Paul

        He goes down, you can have someone like Allan Andersen and McGuire step in for a while.

      • Copywryter

        You could say the same thing about Lowry. He’s only been semi-durable as well.

        • Matt52

          Fair enough.

          In AK’s previous 7 seasons he played 75% of games.  KL played 83% in the last 3 seasons with about half of the missed games due to a sinus infection that became bacterial. 

          The difference in percentage would be about 7 games.

    • John

      He signed for 2yrs $20M… He must be a pretty good begger…

  • Matt52

     “To which I say bullshit since the Raptors deserve all the credit for forcing them.”

    Here! Here!

    • j bean

      Nine steals!

    • Brandon

      It’s “hear, hear”.

      • Matt52

         *embarrassment*

        Thanks for helping me learn something new today.

  • Alucart999

    Possessions is not the same as field goal attempts, which is the stat you quoted in the first line of your summary. Possession differential looks a little different when you take into account trips to the line, which the T-Wolves had more of.

    Thanks for the summary!

    • Arsenalist

      Yup, you’re right.

  • Professor Plum

    I would also be fine with having AB come off the bench to be primary scorer on 2nd unit with Jose distributing the ball. Better match-ups for him. On the starting unit he looks woefully out of place and Demar may have surpassed him in offensive pecking order as he’s added other pieces to his game in the off-season while Andrea has not.

    Also agree that Davis see’s Toronto “is where the contract is already on it’s way”, so being productive will get you a nice pay day when the time comes.

    • Daniel

      Toronto Raptors, where your best players are coming off the bench. We’ll see what happens when Lowry’s hot shooting cools off and when DeRozan has decent defenders on him. Remember our record from last season when both Jose and Andrea were healthy and our team’s DRtg with the 2 on the floor. If the offence is designed to have Lowry as 1st option and DeRozan as 2nd option or the other way around then Casey has to be fired now before we’ll have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

      • unknown guest

        who, in your estimation, are the best players for the Raptors right now? Please name 3 and tell us why you think they are the best right now. As in now, today, the present. Any why would an offense with Lowry and DeRozan, right now as option 1 and 2 on THIS ballclub be a reason to fire Case?

        • Daniel

          For me, the best players are the ones who contribute the most to team wins. Based on WP48 formulas, they are Jose (2nd highest with Bosh and highest after Bosh) and Amir. I add Andrea to these two because he has the most developed offensive skillset among our roster even though he has not realized it (yet?). DeRozan is historically a very inefficient and limited player and Lowry is an unknown for us. Andrea should be number 1 option and DeRozan should be number 2 only because a wing player should be number 1 or 2.

      • j bean

        Teams like people evolve. AB and JC are no longer the best players on the team and just watching yesterday’s game should tell you that. Jose coming off the bench is contributing big time and could have sixth man title in his sights if he can rock the second unit and help produce wins. AB whether he starts or not needs less minutes till he regains his scoring touch. He became a fan favorite because he can score but when you live by the sword you die by the sword. 
        Teams like players evolve and there is always a young gun out to take your place if you’re not getting it done. That’s life in pro sports.

        • unknown guest

          that was said nicely and politely!

          • Roarque

            et moi aussi.

        • Daniel

          You are drawing conclusions based on 1 freaking game with a decimated team?

          • j bean

            Tell me the last game AB was the best player on the floor.
            If your wd40 formula is telling you Jose is the best player on the team I’d take it back for a refund.

          • j bean

            I suggest you watch the game instead of a statistical table.
            It’s more fun and more reliable.

          • Danielscott677

            Decimated team? Cmon . A nba team is a nba team and still a challange on any given night my friend. T wolves beat a nets team that took care of us. Just saying the win was deserved. If they lost that game raps fans would be calling for blood….just saying.

      • RaptorFan

        sorry i cliked like by accident…..i really have no idea what your talking about! LOL

        Who should be the 1st and 2nd options???

    • ad

      Who do you put in though? No good options.
      if you put in davis, they would have the skinniest
      starting frontcourt in the nba. Johnson is not
      starting quality. We’ve been through that.
      I think you have to leave in AB. Hes the most
      talented option whether his production
      reflects it or not.

      • j bean

        I would flip a coin if I had to start Amir or Ed. They have both had moments of excellence and neither one of them has embarrassed themselves with their play. They both look improved over last year. 

        • Destro

          They’re both playing well i would be ok with either but to keep starting AB is costing you games right now and makes the accountability thing look ridiculous….

        • Mike, Prague

           It really is a coin flip if you only look at the players alone. But if you look at the fact that Amir has a little something going on with Jose, I think it basically leaves Ed to start and then be subed for AB then JC would be subed in for Kyle and then AB for Amir. Another interesting thing would be AB as the backup center but that could through a lot of things off, but it definitely would be interesting.

          • j bean

            +1

        • Danielscott677

          Im really happy with both ed davis and amir’s improved play but i my opinion AJ has the edge over davis.

  • voy

    its funny cuz alot of us thought that t.ross’ presence may force derozan to work on and evolve his game for fear of eventually losing his starters role.  however, I think demar’s recent improvement has been a direct result of Kyle Lowry’s big balls. 

    Lowry plays much tougher, stronger and with more attitude than any of our point guards in recent memory.  I think this has started to rub off on DD.  To me, anyway, DD looks like he is becoming more physical a player – contesting for more boards, leaning his shoulder into his defender in trying to establish better position etc etc.  I wouldn’t be surprised if soon DD starts taking it to the hoop with more force not only for the purposes of creating a foul and hoping the refs bail him out but also for the purposes of stimulating the poster economy :)

    • Roarque

      Jack and Ford had attitudes but they were not backed up with sustained performance. Why did Houston let this guy go – for Lin? Wow!

      • unknown guest

        Kevin. McHale. The same guy that won with Boston during the Bird era, fired Casey as a coach, and who gave away KG to his Celtics buddy Danny Ainge in Boston.

        • tmk

           Well they did technically get James Harden out of it…so I think they’re happy for now.

          • unknown guest

            +100

          • guest

             that one draft wasn’t the make or break lets be real, they could got harden if lowry was still there

      • Danielscott677

        KL did’t get along with the coach from what i hear.

    • j bean

      Lowry was asked about the good chemistry and how DeMar and him seem to be clicking. He just said it’s because DD is so good. That attitude coming from the team leader has to be a boost of confidence for a guy shooting to be an all-star. 

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    I’m concerned about Bargnarni’s performance.  It seems as if he has gone from being a primary factor in the Raptors’offense to being all but shut out thanks to the ball domination of Kyle Lowry.

    • what the

      buddy !! AB13 took more shots than any other raptor player what the —- you talking bout…

      • RaptorFan

        +1

    • pran

      please do shut up,the touches bargnani gets he drives recklessly to the rim, which lead to easy points off turnovers, or settles for the long jumpshot. Lowry is much more efficient.

      • pran

        for the record I think his fitness has to improve, alot of the problems we are seeing with him would be solved if he was faster (and 20 lbs lighter)

        • Destro

          So were gonna start handing out excuses ? What about his flu ? Maybe his calf still soar from last year ? NO hes played like shit and thats all there is to it…I know some of you are waiting for that 13 game spurt…maybe it’ll happen mid season this year lol…

          • what the

            bud it never fails, I’m just waiting for brother Cesco  and Inspector Pooka to give their take on this one.

            • p00ka

              My take? I’m not at all pleased with what I see from AB, but I’m not a child that’s going to either crown anybody or throw them in the brig after 3 games with 3 new starters.

              As for your repeated inspector/cop/sheriff bit of childish trolling, which your small mind picked up from Fuxhand (or are you him?), why don’t you have the balls to address me directly toward what one of my posts actually says? The only thing you ever do is throw out your kiddy one liners that have no purpose but to prod/troll. C’mon, be a big boy and challenge me in an actual discussion, or have you been embarrassed when you’ve tried that?

    • sleepz

      It was bound to be said at some point.lol Litany of excuses as usual.

      Lowry’s taking his shots. Mind you Kyle was hitting them (8-10) while Bargnani is not (4-16).

      You could have reasonably predicted with Lowry coming in and Derozan looking for an extension, that AB ppg might go down. Problem with that is if his scoring average goes down he does very little else to merit keeping him on the court.

      Why do you think Casey said he “just wants him to box out his man”. With Lowry, JV and DeRozan looking for financial security he knew AB was going to end up averaging 3-4 boards a game at best, which would not and should not go unnoticed by the fanbase.

      Andrea needs to focus on being more efficient with the shots he does get. The same ol’ dry pumpfake is not enough anymore.

      In this league you have got to try and work on your game and bring something new to the table each year, otherwise teams will figure out just how to play you.

      • what the

        why should AB13 worry about working on his game  or bringing something new to the table each year – the dude has already been paid guy.  

      • Theswirsky

        is no one going to mention that Lowry is stealing Bargnani’s rebounds to??  Its got to be mentioned.

        • what the

          well i heard it on here that AB13 is letting them have it, so thats not stealing

  • pran

    derozan is not a defensive hound, he was guarding a gimp in roy, and eurotrash shved took him to school a couple times :/

    • Destro

      He created 3 turnovers that led to baskets…Give dude some credit he was working on that end…

      • Nilanka15

        He still needs to work on his man defense, but the activity in the passing lanes is definitely encouraging.

        • Destro

          HIs man defense was fine yesterday….yall nitpick too much…

          • Nilanka15

            When he was guarding a man with no knees (Roy), or the Russian Last Samurai (Shved), agreed, his defense was fine yesterday.

          • CJT

            This is the best he has looked since coming into the league.  I agree with you.  Give the guy some credit for stepping up his intensity and getting stuff done on both ends.

        • what the

          Nilanka would you buy me a can of root beer if KL and DD makes it to the AS game this season?

          • Nilanka15

            Gladly.

            • what the

              and your boy gary forbes too

              • Nilanka15

                Never heard of him.

  • Sheptor

    Lowry seems to refuse to give bargnani the ball on their pick and rolls or when bargs has post position on guys he can take down there a la Wallace in the nets game. It’s as if Lowry only sees him as a shooter and looks him off.

    What jack Armstrong said is also true. He appears to have s preset number of points he’s trying to reach instead of just taking it as it comes. What he needs to do is talk to Lowry and say hey when I’m coming off that screen I can pop or roll. TRY ME.

    Jv is obv. Not a focal point on off. But Lowry seems to look him off on rolls that seem like gimmies for jv as well. Guy is playing great tho so can’t complain. He and bargs will get some chemistry hopefully soon

    • Bendit

      Maybe he’s not very good on those plays in practice.

      • 2damkule

        who, JV?  the guy who built his rep on rolling hard?

    • CJT

      He doesn’t feed the pick and roll that well for anyone to be honest.  But I find it hard to complain too much because he has carried the team on his back for 3 games so far.  Maybe it is AB who will need to adjust his game to fit the new offense and not the other way around.

      • Destro

        Who is he supposed to feed on the pick and roll ? He has nobody to run it with..Val god love him doesnt realize you dont just sprint to the rim,you have to wait for the ball and bargnani well lets leave that alone…the one time he rolled to the basket Lowry fed him for a missed layup that turned into a stick back dunk….

        • CJT

          so the play was successful then?

    • EmarErozan

      Since when dies Bargnani roll after a pick?

  • 511

    Bargnani off-the-bench is an old idea come back around but it might make more sense than ever before. The way Lowry and DeRozan are dominating the ball, I could see – I’d love to see – Ed Davis starting at the four for a bit to see how that plays out. And Bargs would probably learn to enjoy running roughshod over some of those second units he’d see more of. Would probably be a serious shot in the arm for the team when all is said and done. 

    • Kelsie Mcpherson

      Davis at the 4? Wow.

      Don’t suggest this too loudly as when the topic was approached a few weeks ago it was made out to be a ludicrous idea because quite frankly who would score on the starting unit without Andrea?

      • 511

        lol.

      • Destro

        Ed Davis will average a double double if he was starting…Hes hungry this year you can see it….and he’d give you a helluva lot more defensively…

        • nottheendoftheworld

          I’m not so sure, Destro. Bargs’ one-on-one defense, yes even against DWest, is underrated. He blocked two of his shots, and forced him to rely on jumpers, which sadly he was hitting. West posted up against Johnson on a couple of easy buckets on switches, and scored on some second chances where Bargs forced a missed shot, and the Pacers got long rebounds leading to easy scores. 

          However, his help defense is abso non-existent. It makes me think he’s been told to stay home under all circumstances. 

          He also looks to be shrinking away from boards and letting the guards grab them.

          Either way, the starting line up should be allowed to gel and I’m sure Bargs will find his stroke … even making a defender guard him on the perimeter makes the game easier for Lowry and DD.

          OKC will be a test and the second unit will excel if it stays the same as it was last night … hell, the second unit was still on the floor with 4 mins. left to go … back to the old adage, it’s not who starts games, it’s who finishes them.

          • Destro

            Its not underrated in fact its overrated by his supporters because its terrible…David West was hitting those shots cuz he was too soft on him…He blocked shots helping weakside not man to man…And his man to man wasnt very good against Brooklyn either…Misconception yall have hes doing alot..all he really does is use his size and you give him credit for it…

            He doesnt do a whole lot of moving…you cant even call it good right now when hes not playing in crunch time of games….

            • DanD

              First half he did a pretty good job on DWest not just weak side but also 1on1. Second half not so much but part of the blame on Casey because he didn’t attempt to break DWest’s rhythm by ie. double teaming. Even a great defender when a player is on a roll you can’t stop it unless you manage to interrupt his rhythm.

              • Destro

                He couldnt disrupt his rhythym because hes not a good defender..When a guy is torching you like that its usually cuz ur not a good defender breh…

            • go_nads

               Disagree, but you’re not far off the mark. His man-defense is well above league average in terms of points-per-possession, but it doesn’t make up for and actually contributes to his league worst help-defense.

              • Destro

                No its not above average…

            • nottheendoftheworld

              I defy you to find an example of his helping weakside …. ever. His man-to-man D is really not bad ….

              Let’s pick this up after Tuesday’s game and re-assess.

      • 511

        Seriously, though … I’d love to see Ed Davis on the floor with the starters. The way he hoovers up rebounds and plays his man solid, between him and JV taking care of traffic and noise closer to the basket, I think it would work very well with Lowry and DeMar and whoever’s at the three (can’t say Fields is wrong or right there, as just yet). And Ed’s game looks to me like it might be ready to evolve in a real way. It’d be worth some games to see. 

        As well … Bargnani looks like he could use a nudge or two and somehow I can imagine him responding well to coming off the bench. 

        • Roarque

          Gotta say Fields looks best with AA even though they’re both SFs – “they think in sync”.

        • sleepz

          I’d like to see Ed get a chance as well.

          • Destro

            Ed deserves to be starting right now…If its about accountability him or Amir should be starting tmw…They are contributing in the mins they play on both ends and are working there asses off….Your 1-2 right now because ur starting PF doesnt care as long as his offense stinks…

            What kind of message does that send to Ed Davis,that no matter how well he plays even out playing the starting PF he still cant get any burn ?

            • p00ka

              “he still cant get any burn”

              AB was playing poorly, was sat on the bench, and ED got the same amount of burn. In fact all 4 bigs got the same amount of burn last night.

              As for who should be starting: though NBA teams need stars to perform well as individuals, it’s still a team game and effectiveness of starting units depends heavily upon the mix of talents on the floor. Despite AB’s poor performance to date, his presence alone draws attention, especially when outside, spreading the floor, pulling a big outside the paint, clearing space for Lowry and Demar to do their thing. If you replace AB with ED in the starting units, you end up with a clogged paint, because ED certainly isn’t drawing anybody out, and who on the starting unit is, besides Lowry?

              There’s no question AB has to get his game together, or sit, but that starting unit offense is built to take advantage of the attention AB gets, particularly on the outside. After 3 games, it’s way to early to throw that plan out and insert ED into a starting unit that would have only Lowry as an outside threat and result in next to zero spacing and a clogged paint.

              • Nilanka15

                Agreed.  As putrid as Bargnani’s been, I can’t say Ed’ no-offense game is a good alternative.  We simply don’t have any front court player capable of coming in and providing us with an offensive punch (outside Bargnani).

                But Destro does bring up a very valid point about accountability.  What lesson is Casey teaching any of the young players by continuing to give Bargnani undeserving minutes?

                • Destro

                  11 pts in 13 mins is providing offensive punch…

                • Nilanka15

                  Broken plays, put-backs, and the occasional elbow jumper.  Not sure if I’m comfortable relying on that every night.

                  Every starting unit needs an offensive threat in the front court.

                • p00ka

                  1. He didn’t continue giving him minutes last night. I believe AB didn’t see the floor for the last 15 minutes last night, making him accountable for his poor play.

                  2. There’s two ways you can look at the image playing AB gives the young guys. The other is that young guys know the coach isn’t going to deviate from his season plan and bench you because you have 3 bad games, but give you the opportunity to work through it. It’s debatable which is the lesser of two evils, but I’ll give Casey the benefit of the doubt after only 3 games.

                  Remember how so many, including you, were throwing DD under the bus after one game, saying how he’s still the same player he was last year, and will never earn that contract extension? How are the same people feeling now? It’s 3 effen games, and no time to either crown anybody or blow things up just yet. As the expression goes, an NBA season is not a sprint, but a marathon.

                  Isn’t it a great day for basketball!

                • Nilanka15

                  Players change.  People change.  Sometimes for the better, other times for the worse.  Sometimes it’s a change from 1 season to the next, 1 game to the next, or 1 quarter to the next.  I understand that.

                  But that doesn’t mean we can’t (or shouldn’t) comment on the present.

                • p00ka

                  Please don’t resort to that lame cop/sheriff cop-out that a couple of clowns on here have. What did I say that says you can’t/shouldn’t comment on the present? I gave my take on your comments (I believe that’s what the “Reply” button is for), and you’re welcome to rebut whatever I say, but I didn’t say a thing about what you can or can’t say.

                • Nilanka15

                  Someone’s a little sensitive…

                • p00ka

                  lol, yeah okay.

                  Sensitive? LMFAO.

                  Nice reply, when you’re stuck with nothing relevant to respond with, after it’s pointed out you were blowing smoke out of your butt about being allowed to “comment on the present”. Brilliant.

                • Nilanka15

                  You were implying that I shouldn’t be commenting on DeRozan’s lack of shooting ability because I was using last year’s stats to make that conclusion.

                  My post regarding players changing was in direct response to that implication.  Nothing more.

                • p00ka

                  In what universe did i say you “shouldn’t be commenting”? I gave you my opinion on what I felt was a rush to judgement, and your basis for it, that nothing had changed,,,,, after 1 game, but I never said you can’t/shouldn’t express your opinion, which is what you’re now saying, which is total gibberish.

                • Nilanka15

                  Misunderstanding.  That’s all.  No need for the condescension.

              • Destro

                Oh right dont want Bargs clogging up the paint cuz then he might actually grab a few boards…

                If bargnani isnt an outside threat hes useless,id rather have Ed on both ends of the floor…too many liabilities on both ends to this team if he isnt scoring…

                The exaggerated point of the spacing he provides doesnt over shadow the truth that he hurts this team alot in tangible ways…

                • RaptorFan

                  i agree as well

                  Bargs is only helping the team when he’s hitting his jumpers….. he needs to shoot closer to 50% as a big man…..32% with 2-3 boards a game is just useless….

                  Do you remember how good Hedo looked in Orlando the year they went to the finals??  what happened the next year? He looks like how Andrea looks now!!

                  i’m not saying AB is going to be like Hedo, but you gotta admit he’s a lot closer than ever before!  I just dont get why it takes him so long to get back into shape….. he had all training camp, pre-season and now we’re into the regular season….. he’s a liability and it must be addressed one way or another

                • NyAlesund

                   Please do not say anything. ED doesn’t have skills to be a starter in every NBA team. We can discuss about AB and his poor/horrible game but without him on the floor Lowry and DD do not have space in the paint area. p00ka is right.

              • cesco

                 +1000

      • 2damkule

        just because bargs only skill is (inefficient) scoring doesn’t mean that the team lacks the ability to score just because he’s not in the game.  what he provides in (inefficient) offense can be made up for with better defense, better rebounding, etc.  last night was a good example of how extra possessions can be the difference, even if the offense isn’t as good.  so many people get caught up in appearances, how it doesn’t ‘look good’ if bargs comes off the bench, or that the ‘better’ player always has to start or get heavy minutes. 

        • Destro

          Nah we need his ability to create spacing as well apparently…
          Hes useless right now that hes shooting 27% but apparently we NEED that cuz its helping Kyle Lowry dominate games…

          Yes that was actually posted in here…When AB is doing nothing apparently hes still creating for his teammates…

          • NEW ERA

            Well, he IS creating more offensive rebounds for his teammates.

          • RaptorFan

            Hahahaha…..sooo true

        • sleepz

          I don’t disagree.

          When I made the suggestion last week of possibly starting Amir or Ed at the 4, I was told that I was an idiot because who would score without Andrea in the line-up?

      • what the

        I can hear inspector pook coming

        • p00ka

          Sad when a little child has nothing better to do.

      • NEW ERA

        Because Andrea has just been an offensive BEAST lately!

    • Roarque

      Why not? Ed can out rebound AB and when the backcourt duo are running hot they really don’t need Andrea out there. He looks so out of place with Lowry and DDR. Stealing a hockey phrase, Raps have two good “lines” that can compete in the NBA so why not use AB with Amir and Jose?

      • unknown guest

        I like that 2-line team, sir.

  • voy

    dudes, dudes.  any talk of lowry dominating the ball or anything negative at all is an absolute non-starter, not open for debate, at least as long as he’s playing like he is now, anyway. 

    I dont think the guy has taken one deep jump shot out of the flow of the offense.  maybe once or twice he’s been perhaps a touch too aggressive in taking it to the bucket on a situation where he hasn’t had the numbers on his side, MAAAAAAYYBE.  But everyone is getting their looks, even JV. 

    KL is taking 13 shots a game, hitting on 58%, almost 4 steals a game, 7 rebs, 7 assists a game.  dominating the ball?!? maybe it looks like he’s dominating the ball because the dude is all over the floor.  He was been awesome. 

    • Kelsie Mcpherson

      +1

      The Lowry ‘ball hog talk’ is the next episode of E and E (Excuses and Enabling)

      • voy

        I know. crazy right?

        I dont particularily agree with sending bargs to the bench cuz I think the first unit needs a shooter to space the floor, other than their pg.  I know bargs is not hitting his jumper but you still need to guard him creating the space for demar to go to work.

        this being said, I think the 2nd unit needs a shooter other than jose, as well.  I dont know if we can expect Mr. Anderson to continue to perform at current levels.  And expecting Jose to get the offense consistently flowing with Amir, Davis, T.Ross and Anderson could be a little troublesome.  Hopefully T.Ross shakes his case of the nerves.  I think he needs a couple of layups or a few nice dunks and he’ll be ok.

        either way, the team needs another shooter.  I’m not sure if Amir and ED both make it till next year on the team. 

        • nottheendoftheworld

          Ross will become that shooter.

        • Destro

          Bargs isnt creating space for Demar….

          • DanD

            ^^ lmaoo as usual you’re a joke!!

        • Optifan

          We’re forgetting about one or our better shooters, a certain Mr. Kleiza.  I think when he’ back it’ll help the team to have him on the second unit.  He’s a more than capable shooter and a great second option after Jose. 

      • RaptorFan

        ++1  no more excuses for AB…. JUST BALL!! Your getting paid 10 mil a year….. DD gets it! 

    • Destro

      bargnani stans NEED excuses esp now…Lowry wont pass him the ball and him stealing his rebounds are added to the list….

      • CJT

        Hey dude, I don’t hear anyone making excuses for him.  I do hear people hoping that he finds his shot so that he can contribute a bit.  I think he will make a great 3rd option behind our guards.  The rebounding stuff has been done. 

        • Destro

          You’re not looking for the excuses thats why you dont see them…rebounding stuff is never done…until its DONE..get it ? 

          • CJT

            Is anyone on here saying he can rebound?  Nope.  Everyone but you has accepted that he isn’t any good at it and has moved on.  It is time to move on.  I know you won’t, but its tired.  He has been effective keeping his man off the boards.  and he does create space regardless of if you think so or not.  His defender doesn’t slag off on him leaving him open.  He is still being guarded on the perimeter.  Isn’t that creating space for others to operate?  I am not sticking up for him.  He has been bad, no doubt about it.

    • mountio

      Agree 100%. Having said that, the rest of the team needs to pick it up, cause he wont be able to shot 58% for the year and hes gonna go through a dry spell on those long shots. If he keeps getting to the hoop, that will counter balance.

      Bottom line though, no issues whatsoever with how hes been running the offense.

      • nottheendoftheworld

        Bargs will find his shot … no reason to think he won’t. Putting him on the second unit after 3 games is simply not going to happen, and shouldn’t anyway.

        • 2damkule

          it should have happened 6 years ago…

          • unknown guest

            I’ll believe when I see it.

          • cesco

            They had the twin towers 3 years ago ( JO and CB4) so Andrea was not a starter . The experiment failed , the coach got fired , JO got traded and CB4 quit . Andrea will not be effective coming in as a substitute and the experiment with Davis/Amir + Jonas will fail even worse than the famous twin towers . Casey will just be patient for a while to see how the team is performing with the current starters . It is too early to begin experiments .

            • Nilanka15

              Well, Bargnani as a starter hasn’t exactly been working wonders over the past 4 years either.

              We’ve essentially tried everything.

              • sleepz

                Other than the right thing.

            • KJ-B

              When was it exactly that Chris Bosh quit–getting doubled and tripled team every night???  And still postings a 20/10 career Raptor average..?

              Leaving as a UFA is not quitting–it’s a man right argued by collective bargaining…If anything it was Colangelo who let him down by letting go Mitchell and bringing in HeDon’t

        • Destro

          Lets hope he finds that 42 % stroke….

    • Matt52

       Nailed it.

      To infinity and beyond.

    • ibleedpurple

      Absolutely agreed. Instead of all the weird Lowry haterade going on raptors fans should be rejoicing that we finally have a point guard that plays all aspects of the game and plays them well. He is the primary reason the Raps staying close with Indiana and Brooklyn and we have guys on here claiming he’s hogging the ball.

      Andrea continues to do what he has always done during his career. He plays at an unnecessarily fast speed in which he loses control, shoots flat jumpers, makes ill advised plays and all in all plays like a zero IQ basketball player. The guy is now a veteran who should understand the intricacies of the game and utilize his unique skill set for the benefit of the team. I’m a die hard Raptors fans and all for giving people chances but we’ve given Andrea way too many. Either pay up or shut up. Still its too early in the season to fry the dude so lets see how he progresses.

      Loving what I’m seeing in terms of defensive intensity and DD’s ascension into high efficiency offense. 

      • Destro

        Whats funny about the Lowry things is the hypocrisy by the bargs brigade…So you mean to tell me you dont care who rebounds but you care who scores the points ?

        They are Bargnani fans that want to see him get his stats NOT Raptor fans in anyway…If your still defending bargs right now then ur not a raptor fan because clearly hes THE problem and a major let down and worst of all hes half assing it…Plain and simple… 

        • Solo Miranda

          “If your still defending bargs right now then ur not a raptor fan because
          clearly hes THE problem and a major let down and worst of all hes half
          assing it…Plain and simple…”

          What a simple minded moron you are! Just because we are Barg We are not a Raptor fan?! LOL. Dude, I’m a die-hard Raptor fan and I’m also a Barg fan. As a Barg fan, I criticized his play as of late and yes, he wasn’t helping the team when his offense is not rolling and not doing the other things at the other end. 

          • Lorenzo

            You cant talk ball with a retard like destro, hes just too biased and ignorant. Then does that classic two-step out of a question regarding his opposing opinion

      • Daniel

        I noticed this a lot: when a few posters are using critical thinking and logical reasoning in order to develop an argument there are people saying this is hate or rant or whatever. It is ironic to mention “Lowry haterade” when nobody demonstrably hates him and almost everybody is hysterical about him.
        How do you explain Andrea’s start this season compared with last season? Please elaborate an argument and not just “he eats too much pasta” and the like.

    • Daniel

      So you like the possessions in which Lowry dribbles, dribbles, dribbles, and pulls-up a 3 pointer with no set play? In any given circumstance this is a bad possession. People are enjoying it because they are, for the most part, going in, however they kill the chemistry and the pace of the game. Now everybody wants to be a shooter and nobody wants to play in the paint or roll to the basket. We are now basically playing one-on-one b-ball with Lowry and DeRozan. Our record is 1-2. If you think this kind of b-ball will lead to long-term success I don’t know what to tell you. These 2 players may get theirs and enjoy the spotlight however once the losses will pile up there will be hell to pay.

      • Nilanka15

        Gross exaggeration.  How many times have we seen one of those “dribbles, dribbles, dribbles, pullup 3s” from Lowry so far this season?  Maybe twice in 3 games?

    • CJT

      I agree with you for the most part, but KL definitely forced a few long 3s in that he missed in Brooklyn late in the game, trying to get them back in to it that were early in the shot clock and ill advised.  BUT I will definitely take a few of those everyone now and then if he is doing all the other stuff he has been doing.  He has been awesome.

      • Destro

        Hes shooting 50 % from 3

        error 404 point not found…

        • CJT

          point was he tried to throw up a few of those super long 3 pointers early in the shot clock with the game on the line in Brooklyn and missed.  Those shots were ill advised.  But as I said I am prepared to take a few bad decisions along with all the great stuff he is doing.  Do you get it now?  Seems pretty obvious.

  • Bargnani Who?

    Ladies and gentleman, Andrea Bargnani has negative basketball IQ and has absolute tunnel vision.  Does not even know what is going on with a play, and what the defence gives him.  It has been years, and he is still like this.  End of story.

    I would trade him in a heartbeat for a second round pick.  That’s how much he is worth to me.  In fact, if we even waive him, I would be so glad for this organization, because we will play for as a team (I only talked about offence here, not even touching on his defence).  But we know how dumb and stubborn Colangelo is. 

    • mountio

      Well, its a good thing for all of us that you arent running the team.

    • NyAlesund

       Bargnani doesn’t have negative IQ, but he doesn’t feel well with Lowry. Why? Because Lowry is a combo-guard that love to score and run. This is good for players like DD, ED, JV….not him.

      • 2damkule

        totally agree.  they really should focus more on getting players who will make bargs’ life easier.  that is what it’s all about, right?

        • NyAlesund

          The point is simply: you have KL, DD, JV, ED, AE, LF… that love to run. On the other hand you have AB, Gray, Calderon….that love a different basketball game.

          I am not saying that one is better than the other but Casey has to find a way to connect this two worlds. Untill then will have the problems.

          The solutions are simply (theorically): to find a chemistry between two souls or trade AB and Calderon.

          • unknown guest

            You’d be ok with AB and JC anchoring the offense in the 2nd unit?

            • NyAlesund

              Doesn’t matter what I like or not. The question is what coach Casey wants to do. It is clear there is a problem.

          • Daniel

            I can safely say that one is better than the other: the running game has never won anything in organized competitive basketball. 

            • Nilanka15

              The halfcourt game (led by Calderon and Bargnani) have never won anything in organized competitive basketball.

              • Daniel

                Calderon won the World and European championships, alongside World Junior and club championships. Spain plays methodical b-ball. USA plays half-court b-bal in international competitions as well. You know it but you like being a dick. Serve yourself.

                • Nilanka15

                  “Romney by a landslide”

                  There’s absolutely no reason why DeRozan, Lowry et al. can’t play halfcourt basketball.  Not sure why you think so.

              • NyAlesund

                The question is not the sistem (the running game is funny to watch but not good for win) but the roster. Do you really condemn Bargs and Calderon for what they have done in the past playing alongside Forbes, Butler, James Johnson……. and in generally with teammates with poor talent?

          • what the

            BINGO!!!

        • what the

          ’cause you know AB13 does the  complicated things

      • what the

        and soon it will be good for the fans getting their monies worth

    • RaptorFan

      I would be okay with Amnestying him!!!  AMNESTY HIM gosh darn it!!

  • Roarque

    So thinking out of the box – why talk about ‘starters’ and ‘the bench’. How about five sixth men? How about a second five as effective as the first five. It is a team sport!

    AB + Amir + Jose + AA and perhaps Landry Fields could prove to be an effective second five for twenty minutes/game.

  • Nilanka15

    We’re undefeated on the second night of back-to-backs!  When was the last time we were able to say so?

    • FAQ

      No Love.. no Rubio.. no Barea…. and maybe Raps will beat OKC without Durant, Westbrook and Martin…???

      • Nilanka15

        Wins are wins, my friend.  A team who lost to Charlotte twice last year can’t take any team too lightly.

      • CJT

        hopefully.  Who gives a shit.  Take the win and run.  Would you like an little post it note beside all the games they win with an injury on the other team?  No one was feeling sorry for us when we were hurt and short handed.  Shitty excuse for a loss. 

  • Canadian Paul

    Just so it’s clear to everyone. Bargnani leads the team in usage at 25%. So, no more bullshit about Bargnani not getting touches.

    • Daniel

      I noticed that too and it made me review some plays. Remember, both Andrea and Demar had the majority of their baskets assisted last season. This year our starting PG is more of a scoring combo then a facilitator so they have to create their own shots. Both are pretty bad in creating their own shots so we are seeing Andrea from 2-3 seasons ago, trying to do too much. He is still scoring from his sweet spots: top of the 3 point line after a PnP between the PG and the other big and rotating up-top, baseline jumper after a cross-screen on the side, flash at the elbow after a double screen from the wing and big. Demar is working hard for his baskets as I haven’t seen many back cuts assists or curls off-screen. It could be just an adjustment period or it could be a new pattern in offence. The ball is not moving as much and there is a lot more iso plays.

  • cesco

     Do the haters really think that a duo of Amir/Davis + JV is a starting duo that will help the team make the playoffs . Ha , ha , ha , that is a good one . Casey will be sent to the cucko nest if he tries that .

    • 2damkule

      i know, right?  much better to continue along the path that has led to glory for countless teams, building around a poor defending, abysmal rebounding, inefficient, volume scoring perimeter-oriented big.  

      • cesco

         The team is not Andrea’s any more . He will become a contributor , hopefully forming with JV a quality big duo where the two players complement each other . It is quite early in the season to start experimenting with a new starting line-up . Changes may be made , but it is extremely unlikely unless Andrea does not recover his overall play from last year .

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Lowry-Demar-Bargnani-Jonas-Secondary Bigs …. A 3 game assessment

    Lowry – we can’t expect him to continue this pace. He’ll either break down, or teams will start to focus more on him. I love his play, but he needs to get his Bigs more involved, because a higher level of scoring has to come from this part of the team. Davis-Bargnani-Amir are down in eff, and JV has taken a hit from his 1st game. Even Gray seems out-of-sync. We need these guys as well.
    .

    Demar – he just signed a contract that EVERYONE said was stupid. Anyone remember how Stephen A$$ Smith motivated Charlie V. All DD needed was to read this blog site, or RaptorsHQ (more so them) – enough said. If DD gives us this type of game consistently – say 20-25 games in – then I will join the Convinced.  
    .

    Bargnani – it’s no doubt his play was not acceptable last night. Casey sent his message – 24 minutes. That said, Raps need him Starting. His frustration probably stems from being the decoy, that allows Demar & Lowry better spacing. If you watched AB & JV create a wall, it allowed for some great opportunities. Still, AB – as Leo said – can’t force those shots. He needs to relax, and focus on his Defense and Rebounding.  One thing I do notice – he needs to get the ball while in the Paint, otherwise he’ll resolve himself to being a perimeter shooter. This is up to Kyle to manage successfully. Suffice to say, Raps need him to produce.
    .

    Jonas – He will be a great player … just needs some seasoning. Check back in January, and I think you’ll see a much different player. Tough group of opponents, and the trial by fire. I think fans – in lieu of Lowry – are forgetting what he’ll bring to this team. JV will be here in 2 years … one can only hope Kyle will be here as well.
    .

    Secondary Bigs – I’m really liking Amir’s efforts, and what he brings to this team. Then again, that wasn’t his problem. Staying healthy is how his season will be evalulated in the end. As for Davis, I’m hoping his improvement will translate into an Asset, that BC can morph (with the right package) into a solid SF. Then again, it’s 3 GAMES … so I think we need to cut Fields a little slack.
    .

    This fast paced action is great for Lowry & Amir, but those two can’t be expected to bring this effort every game. Raptors need to bring others into the fold, if we hope to make the play-offs, or have a successful season (however that is judged).

    .

     
     

    • RapthoseLeafs

       Oops …. “this fast paced action is great for Lowry & DEMAR ….

      .

    • Theswirsky

      yeah its Bargnani’s fault he doesn’t get the ball in the paint.  Considering he posted up all of twice last night and once resulted in him being 18ft away from the bucket after he got the ball, what we have is is another make believe excuse

      • p00ka

        Of greater probability, there’s no excuse at all intended there, making it your “make believe” interpretation. Any chance he might be referring to the offensive schemes provided by the coach, that have AB positioning himself outside the vast majority of the time, where it’s a little difficult to post up, or are you one of these clowns who thinks AB just decides to play out there, against his coach’s wishes?

      • p00ka

        NOTE: there’s plenty to criticize about AB’s poor play so far, but his positioning on the offensive end is a team plan, not AB’s whim.

        • Theswirsky

          perhaps you should read the statement again then p00kice

          “he needs to get the ball WHILE in the Paint”

          whoops. 

          he did get the ball WHILE in the paint.  He was there twice.

          Thanks for coming out with your pointless straw man arguments.

          • p00ka

            Does this little game of yours work in the real world? Implying something, then playing the other side of the slightly ambiguous statement, with your little play with words, then cry “straw man argument”?

            How many times has that shit worked on here, because you won’t stop trying to use it with me, and it’s getting pathetic.

            • Theswirsky

              hardly my fault you have a one sided agenda that requires you to use any and every logical fallacy possible.

              You don’t like being called out on it, don’t do it.

              bye bye p00kice… enjoy your sad little life

              • p00ka

                Can you believe this clown? Not the first time you’ve tried to paint me with your own fn style of “debate”. fn cowardly worm

  • Jamshid

    Lowry and Demar look amazing but AB’s production is troubling. 
    Is it that Lowry is not giving him the ball on the right spot ? 
    Is it that he is out of shape ?

    The big question is IF he does not come out of his funk, will he get demoted to the bench and playing more with Jose ?

    I know most fans are OK with his rebounding ( I still can not get over it why he can not get 5-7 rebounds a game) but he has to show something else to use beside just scoring !!!

    I can not think of any 10+ million dollar player in the league which ONLY does one thing !!! 

  • KJ-B

    I read like every comment–very entertaining + passionate by all…although I have openly criticized #7, I feel bad for the guy–he’s getting some really bad advice when he goes back to Europe every summer and not working on the BiG MaN skills needed to dominate at the NBA level…

    Hopefully, he rediscovers his pick n roll bromance with Jose on the “2nd Unit”…

  • Minks77

    half of Raptors fans won’t make it heart attack free to 40 the way they stress over every game like it’s a sign of the apocalypse