Vince Carter: the gift that keeps on giving, if gifts were turds.

Vince Carter: the "gift" that keeps on giving.

Mavericks 109, Raptors 104 – Box

Alright, I’ve made plenty of excuses for the Raptors already this season, but this was a game that we really had to have, and one that we should have, as well. Before we get to the game recap, a couple of quick notes – first, I covered last game for Daily Dime and you can read my mini-recap here, if you’re so inclined (I won’t post it in full on the Republic because this is going to be a long enough recap as it is).

Secondly, I’m sure most have you have heard the news that our favourite son is open to the idea of a return to Toronto. I don’t like this idea, for many reasons, but for now, let’s go with this – if you’re going to bring in a veteran to help develop/mould the young talent, don’t bring in a shoot-first guard who has already burned the organization with immature tactics in the past. Yeah, sounds like a fantastic role model. The idea of him coming back is fascinating though, from a soap opera standpoint – how long would he have to play on the team before the fans at the ACC stopped booing him every time he touched the ball? Twenty games? A year? Two? In any case, though, let’s get to the game.

Game Recap

Now, I realize that this was the second half of a back-to-back, but the Raptors came out on the floor tonight looking like the freaking Washington Generals. The first quarter was abysmal, yet again – that makes 66 points allowed in the last two first quarters for the Raptors, which seems to suggest the notion that rumours of this pre-season problem’s demise were greatly exaggerated. It makes for a very frustrating game to watch, as well, because the Raptors actually outscored the Mavs in every quarter following but still lost by 5 – that’s a poor start directly causing a loss, and a problem that Coach Casey will have to work feverishly to remedy. We can’t have slow starts cost us games, especially games like this against depleted opponents.

The other story of the first half was the Raptors’ abysmal rebounding efforts – team totals at halftime were an incredible 31-13 Mavs, made even more inexplicable by the fact that Dallas’ three best freaking forwards (depending on how you feel about Chris Kaman) weren’t even dressed. As we’ve alluded to a few times at the Republic, rebounds are largely an effort stat, and effort was something that the Raptors were lacking early in spades – at one point, Dallas rookie Bernard James went up 1 on 3 on a Mavs miss, caught his own rebound twice, and finally finished the hoop. That’s inexcusable, and shows how much this team needs Kyle Lowry to set the tone. I can’t help but feeling he would have provided the difference tonight, had he been able to dress – not even with his stat line, but from his effort and attitude on the defensive end. With him out, the team needs a sparkplug to get them going and they didn’t find it tonight until it was too late.

One subplot that continued through the game was the Mavericks’ ability to seemingly get inside the Raptor defence at will. The team switched to a zone defence late in the first quarter to try and slow the Mavs, but this almost seemed counterproductive to me: it seems like every game we’ve been saying the Raptors are a bit slow on switches, and playing a zone, which is heavily reliant on switches and intuiting which man to cover at any given time, played right into Dallas’ hands. It also highlighted what seemed to be almost an allergic reaction to boxing out, especially from Bargnani (who did pick up the effort substantially in the second half). The team went into the break down by 11 but it sure felt like a whole lot more, given the way the Mavericks seemed to score every time they touched the ball early and their dominance of the Raptors bigs in the second.

I realize that this write-up is starting to sound overly negative, but the Raptors did show some signs of life in the second half. With Lowry out, the team deferred to Bargs and DeRozan on offense (as they should), and both guys got going in the third quarter, which allowed the Raptors to slowly chip away at Dallas’ lead. One note on the offense, though: it was very strange to see Alan Anderson hoisting up shots like the ball was on fire. He finished with 9 field goal attempts (6 three-point attempts) and if he’s the number one scoring option off the bench then we’re going to be in trouble going forward – I really hope that Casey can put a good scare into him because one 18-point performance does not make you into a scoring threat. Strange, this is the second game in a row I’ve covered that I’ve really missed Linas Kleiza.

The team finally put a few strong defensive possessions in a row together in the third as well, forcing a shot clock violation and then running the Mavs down to 3 seconds before Anderson got called for a ticky-tack foul. Unfortunately, though, shots weren’t falling at the right time and the team couldn’t seem to bring the spread closer than 10 until the fourth. I hate harping on the referees but they were key to the Mavericks holding their lead late – it sure seemed like Dallas players were getting bailed out with fouls whenever a possession went awry. To some extent, I blame Toronto for this – you put yourself in a position to foul when guys are blowing by you at will – but it still seemed a little off. Dallas only finished with 4 more free throws than the Raps but those numbers were much more skewed towards the Mavs late in the game – Toronto held a 10-3 FT advantage after the first.

The fourth quarter began with the Mavs going on a 10-3 run that ultimately sealed the Raptors fate, punctuated by two dagger threes from our ol’ buddy VC. Every time you went to close the book on them for the night, though, they fought back – this team doesn’t have quit in it, and it’s nice to see our best quarter of a back-to-back be the last one. After juggling line-ups through most of the game (even getting Acy some blow!), Casey finally settled on a crunch time line-up of DeMar, Andrea, Anderson, Calderon, and Amir, which were our four most effective offensive players during the night and Anderson (and I can’t even argue that selection as Fields had an abysmal game). The team did turn up the heat when it mattered – Andrea had 6 boards in the second half and a noticeable change in effort – and did look better than the Mavs down the stretch, but the hole the team left itself in the first was too much to overcome.

All in all, another inconsistent effort from the Raps, and a frustrating loss against a depleted team. The Raps are a very young bunch, and I do expect games like this to start swinging our way later in the season – but you still can’t help but feel like this is one that got away.

The Starters

  • DeMar and Andrea both had excellent games offensively (and statistically). A 25 and 9 night for Andrea looks mighty pretty from a rebounding standpoint (and almost exactly what Blake said he needed in his pre-game piece), but he got repeatedly burnt on defence and his lack of effort in the first (only 3 rebounds in the half, one of which bounced straight to him) was a huge part of our rebounding woes. It’s games like this that really frustrate Raptors fans – clearly, the talent is there, but a consistent effort throughout seems to be a spotty proposition at best. Hopefully he’ll use his strong second half as a springboard into the next few games, as it was his best half of the season.
  • As I said above, DeMar had a pretty stat line as well – 24 points, with 7 rebounds (5 in the second half – see the common thread here?). He seems to be making better decisions with the ball on offense on a consistent basis: still too many threes for my liking, but 10 free throw attempts on the night is a great stat for him. As Arse said in his quick reaction, though, he was repeatedly burnt on defence by Mayo (understandable) and Carter (not understandable), who posted DeMar up twice for scores and emphatically blocked him in the fourth for good measure. Normally, we’d just chalk that up to DeMar’s game but the team’s general defensive struggles on defence amplified it tonight. All in all though, a good game from him, and the kind of game he needs to keep giving to let Raps fans exhale about that extension.
  • Jonas got in foul trouble early and was only limited to ten minutes on the night. I didn’t think too much about the proposition until Arse suggested it, but I do kind of wish Casey would just let him play through his issues somewhat – he’s not going to learn the NBA game glued to the bench, and the team could have used him for a couple more minutes tonight at least, given the way the bigs were being throttled on D. He had some trouble adjusting to the zone, which I’ll give him a pass on (it is only his 5th NBA game) but, in a nutshell, he needs to tone down his activity a bit – he’s actually a bit too enthusiastic going for boards, blocks and steals and it’s hurting him in the foul department (and limiting his effectiveness). Again, young guy, it’ll get better, growing pains, etc.
  • Landry Fields laid an egg tonight. These two point games are starting to become the norm rather than the exception, and his lack of scoring especially becomes an issue on a night like tonight, where OJ Mayo and Jae Crowder (and Vince, to an extent) seemed to be having their way with him on defence. I’m not asking him to become a scoring threat, but 2.5 points per game is awful, and sooner or later it’s going to become a big issue. I don’t know if a move to the bench is the solution but it seems like something has to be done.
  • In his return to the starting lineup, Jose actually played perhaps the best defensive game of any of the starters, which is surprising considering a) it’s Jose, b) he had the worst match-up, and c) the team as a whole played poorly defensively. But, he did a reasonable job stopping the far quicker Darren Collison from going off and submitted his typical 11-6 line (I think they’ve named that scoreline after Jose in Toronto). Decent game from him.

The Bench

  • Ed Davis: 5 minutes? Five FREAKING MINUTES? I hope people find this as inexplicable as I do, given the team’s rebounding woes on the night and the fact that ED has had a very solid start to the season. Statistically, he’s our best rebounder and it was shocking to me that he didn’t get more time on the court tonight. Maybe he was hurt?
  • Amir Johnson: The beneficiary of Ed’s inexplicable benching, Amir played an exceptional offensive game, finishing with 18 points on 6 of 7 shooting. Having Jose in the lineup immediately makes Amir a more effective offensive player – he benefits more directly from Jose than any one player on the Raps benefits from another. Don’t take that the wrong way, though – the guy hustles his butt off and plays decent defence, though he was not immune to the rebounding anemia that plagued the Raptors in the first half (11 total – ZERO before halftime).
  • Alan Anderson: I spoke about him briefly above and I won’t rehash it here. Too. Many. Threes.
  • Aaron Gray: I was actually waiting for Gray to come in in the second quarter, and he did what he does – provided a body and seemed to slow the Mavs enough for the Raptors to hang around until halftime. He did provide another classic Gray highlight, though: winging an outlet pass from the low block that probably hit the peanut vendor in the fifteenth row. Never a dull moment!
  • Lucas: Yikes, is all I can say. Fiteen minutes, zero points and a lot of running around. He did come one rebound short of leading the Raptors in boards after the first half, though, which would have been an early contender for stat of the year.
  • Ross: Got a bit of run in the first half but didn’t contribute anything other than a nice floater in the lane.
  • McGuire: Solid game from McGuire, who was brought onto this team to play situational defence and did a good job of that in the second half tonight, which was crucial with the other Raptor wings getting either blown by or posted up.
  • Acy: Congrats to Acy, who got his first regular season game time tonight. Best Acy moment – him waiting to come across the lane for a help block like a kid on Christmas morning. He couldn’t hide his excitment. Worst Acy moment: airballing his first shot in the NBA. That’s alright, these things take time.

A few days off for the Raps now – next game is on November 10th against the 76ers at the ACC. Here’s hoping we see Lowry back by then.

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  • Woytkoha

    Re:Ed Davis

    I watched him get manhandled on the boards on one possession and was like WTF Ed.  The camera showed Casey and you could see him immediately call for Andrea.  I guess that pissed Casey off more than it did me and he never got another shot.

    • Destro

      Yes but when Lazynani watches rebounds into enemy hands there is no same accountability…double standard i think so…

    • Nilanka15

      Yup, Davis was getting abused on the defensive glass by Dallas players nobody has heard of.  The benching was totally for disciplinary reasons.

      But like Destro mentioned, a definite double standard.  Bargnani deserved just as much of a benching.

      • onemanweave

        Is it possible that Bargnani’s ‘effort’ problems boil down to lack of conditioning?  You can’t exert when you’re gassed and he looks to be that quite often.
           Have seen more than a few games when AB goes off in the first half and disappears in the second. It’s possibly not lack of heart, but lack of lungs.  It’s all on him, but to coin a sickenly-over-used phrase — he is what he is.  AB didn’t need more bulk he needs more cardio-vascular. Until then, he’s better suited for short stretches, not a great fate for an over-all first pick but a much better option that a stand-around full-timer.
           Don’t think AB is going to train for the marathon, so make him a sprinter. It’s pretty apparent that the man’s lack of conditioning won’t let him go all-out for a full game and that he loses his ‘legs’ when shooting, for stretches of most games.

        • Theswirsky

          wouldn’t lack of conditioning boil down to an effort problem?

          • onemanweave

             Agreed. Most likely because of lack of or wrong kind of off season conditioning. Could be cardio-vascular problems — whatever it is, he can’t go all out for front-liners minutes.
               Last night he coasted first half. Saving wind for second half push?
               You can deal him or bring him off the bench in shorter stints.  Right now, it probably not a Bargnani bull market. Second unit needs scoring. He probably fits better with Jose.  Try him with the second unit.
               Start Amir in his place — effort, some defence, some rebounding, some scoring.  Replace Fields with Anderson — AA would need shorter shooting leash but he can set up others — Fields needs to get his act together, maybe less pressure would help.

          • p00ka

            Or his “basketball” conditioning problem could be as a result of rehabbing that calf to do everything possible to avoid it happening again. I certainly don’t know that to be the case, but it seems quit feasible.

            I hope I’m not looking through too rosy coloured glasses, but he does seem to be a little more energized as each game passes. He’s still been stinking the joint up, but the energy and engagement seem to be building. If that’s true, he’d better shift into the next gear in a real hurry.

    • Roarque

      No doubt there is a double standard and that’s because AB can shoot the lights out when motivated. I only wish we could find the fricking motivation switch at will. He is a mystery wrapped in a quandry.

      • Destro

        Show me when he has ever shot the lights out ? Shootings low 40s and lows 30 on 3 balls isnt shooting lights out ? Even last night he shot only 45% hes never been an efficient shooter….
        Hes not a mystery at all..We’ve seen him for 7 seasons now,none of it is a just isnt as great as you want to believe it is….When you start to realize hes overrated then you’ll be better off….

        • Me

          I have always though of him as Troy Murphy or Ryan Anderson, with poorer shooting and MUCH poorer rebounding prowess.

          Can you imagine another team calling Troy Murphy their franchise player, they would be the laughing stock of the league.

          No wonder we get no respect, what a joke.

          • Nilanka15

            Yeah but he’s a “matchup nightmare” 😐

      • pran

        someone who can shoot the lights out when motivated, and little of anything else= bench player.

        • unknown guest

          You mean like Kapono? Or a Dell Curry? Vinnie the microwave Johnson? Eddie House?

      • The Truth

        Even with last night’s performance is efficiency for the season is atrocious. Even last night he clanged his way to 25 points of 20 shots.

      • vino

        the only mystery is when he’s gonna be shipped out…

  • arrrrrr

    “crunch time line-up of DeMar, Andrea, Anderson, Calderon, and Amir”
    DMC was out there over Anderson for most of the 4th. Messing up big time on offense (travel bringing up the ball, 5-second violation stand out), and let OJ run around and do whatever he wanted on the court for the first 5/6 minutes he was out there. Did tighten it up on D over the last few minutes, though.

  • Theswirsky

    “Dallas only finished with 4 more free throws than the Raps but those numbers were much more skewed towards the Mavs late in the game ”

    They weren’t.  Toronto took the same amount of FTs as Dallas in both the 3rd and 4th quarters.  It was the 2nd quarter where Dallas shot 15 vs Toronto’s 5 FTs.



  • Copywryter

    Glad I didn’t turn it off after that first putrid quarter. 

    Amir was the sparkplug that turned the game around for us. 

    I’m ok with AA being the first scoring option off the bench. Those threes were good looks and just did not go down. Kleiza would take even more and they’d be poorer shots situationally.

    You could really see how little vertical is left in Vince’s legs on a few put-back opportunities. Getting old sucks. 

    No mention of the headscratching decision by Casey not to foul when we were down by 5 with 60-something seconds left.  Not the first time I’ve seen his late-game decisions (or lack thereof) questioned.

    While we did play harder after the first quarter, Dallas took their collective foot off the gas as well…same thing we saw OKC do.

    • cesco

      I think you fell asleep in the second half . The teams continuously traded baskets , had Dallas took their foot of the gas , Toronto would have caught up with them and win this game , because Andrea and DD were pouring it in ( and Dallas had to respond ) .

      • Destro

        Raptors were never going to win that game….They couldnt make ANY stops in the second half…

        • cesco

           Agree but Copywriter said they ( Dallas) took the foot off the pedal .

      • Copywryter

        Ever played a pretty lousy team in a rec sport/league? You know you can beat them, so you gash them for a big lead and relax a bit. Then they claw back and you decide you need to put them away again.

        That’s what I saw last night. Dallas surged out, relaxed, then turned it on in the fourth to ride that 15-point-lead to the end. I mean, did the game ever feel winnable for the Raps? 

  • Daniel

    It is madness to keep Fields and Jonas in the starting unit. Heck, Fields shouldn’t be on an NBA roster but hey, the advanced stats guy said he’ll be OK. How messed up is an organization where even statistics are used for political purposes?
    It’s also sad to waste Jose here. In retrospect, he should have been traded the same off-season as when Bosh left. He deserved better than becoming the lightning road for the streetballers’ section of the Raptors’ fanbase. The ball moved with a purpose, Demar had 7 assists and Andrea 3. The bigs had significant contribution and we played some ressemblance of an NBA offense. I have no idea why the author said we missed Lowry when we had the same start in Oklahoma. I hope Lowry will play the entire season without any injuries so we’ll be able to evaluate the difference between a passing-first PG and a scoring PG.

    • cesco

      The key to the season will be how Andrea will play a MAJOR role in an offense dictated by Lowry . We will not make the playoffs if Andrea under perform offensively , he should be a 22 PPG offensive weapon ( plus 6-7 rebounds and 2-3 assists ).

      • Destro

        That is not the key to the season..that is the key to your viewing enjoyment…

        • sleepz


      • pran

        hey cesco, how many shots do you think is reasonable for him to get 22 points?

        • Destro

          Dont bother some dudes are fans regardless…if ur unbiased you know what he is..some fans want to believe something else…

          No other team in the league would coddle him like here,no other coach would allow him to get away with his work ethic and no winning team in the league would feature him as one of there front line players….

          • pran

            I don’t want to jump to conclusions but I suspect cesco only supports bargnani b/c everyone else at the klan rally told him too…..

            • pran

              wow I meant to*, landry fields like mistake there…

          • C.d.G.

            Hey bro,
            are you talking about “work ethic”? And “bias”?
            What do you know about that?
            Where do they collect people like you, guys?

          • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

            Get out from your room and do something for yourself, fatty

      • The Truth

         20 shots for 25 points last night. At one point I think he was 18 points from 18 shots. What a weapon!

        • Destro

          Thats them mismatches he creates *side eye*

    • j bean

      Don’t know why you can’t get your head around the fact Jose is the Raptors backup pg and according to him it is where he wants to be. He says he never asked for a trade contrary to what was reported so why do you think it’s a waste for him to be playing for the team he is happy to play for? He has an important role to play here and the Raptors are fortunate to have an experienced vet like Jose who is as steady as can be. If you think he is better than Lowry good for you. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion no matter how ridiculous.

  • voy

    Ha. Vince.  Like the super hot chick who left us to bang half the male highschool population then decides those guys are losers and wants to come back to you when she’s all used up. 

    No thanks, Marianne.  Woops.  I mean Vince.

    • pran


  • Roarque

    There were three “difference makers” who arrived in town this season. JV, Fields and Lowry. So far, two of the three have been a delight ( to my eyes anyway ) and Fields is obviously missing some secret ingredient – a NY-based girlfriend? – Broadway? -hockey tickets? Whatever, find out and get them sent over SOON. He can’t possibly be this lost and still have played in the NBA elsewhere.

    I’m writing all this to avoid commenting on the Mavs game that I turned off at half time to watch Modern Family – really. Please save me frrom myself! Mend an ankle Kyle, mend an ankle.

  • Jamshid

    Fileds + Kleiza =  6 + 4  = 10 million a year
    Still no SF in the team 🙂 BC you are a the man …

  • Statement

    This team sucks,


    Really, with Lowry out the only difference is Valanciunas (Fields blows).  So basically it’s the same team with the exception of a rookie.

    Looked at it from that light, I don’t know how we could be expecting the team to be competitive.

    • Nilanka15

      Yeah, but we’re changing the culture 😐

      Pound Da Rock!

      • Statement

        I hate to say it, but FAQ may be right.  This team needs to gel.  They need to integrate Fields better (he simply isn’t THIS bad….he’s just not) and Lowry needs to find a way to integrate Bargs more (my preference is that they bench his shitty ass, but that’s not happening).

        Bargs needs to play better than he has been, period.  He has been awful, with the exception of last nights’ game.

        Even Lebron James had a below-average rookie season, so we can’t expect much from Valanciunas…at least this year.

        I was fooled by the moves in the offseason into thinking that this team was improved, but no more.  I’ll only buy it when I see actual improvement in terms of wins. 

        In my mind, this team sucks ass until they show me that they don’t.

        Its the same internal policy I have for the Jays now. 

        • Jamshid

          “They need to integrate Fields better (he simply isn’t THIS bad….he’s just not) and Lowry needs to find a way to integrate Bargs more (my preference is that they bench his shitty ass, but that’s not happening).”

          This is what I have been saying as well. Fields is not this bad !! He is not as good as a player that is should get pay 6 million but he is also not this bad. he is simply over paid just like Amir is, DD is, Jose is and Kleiza is …

          With changing PG from a pass first to shot first, we should have expect that AB and other’s offensive game to slow down at the beginning. This is normal !!! This team needs time and the herd who were 100% behind BC just 3 weeks ago, need to come down …

          • what the

            do you have proof that Lilly is not this bad please show me i want to see it. Holee guy, Lilly suck when she was in NY and she is sucking here, start another player or bring GARY FORBES

            • Jamshid

               Proof. yes !!! Look at his numbers in past 2 years. Look at some of his games and they are all proof that he can give you 6-8 pt , 5-6 rebound and 3 to 4 assist a game in the RIGHT SYSTEM.

              • what the

                Well i’m doing the NILANKA EYE TEST and Lilly has failed

            • Nilanka15

              What about your boy, Alexis Ajinca?

              • what the

                Alexis she is out of my life

                • what the

                  and i also want lilly of the fields gone also

          • sleepz

            Does everyone remember the position Fields played in NY?

            He was a 2. He is now playing the 3. No excuses, because to me he’s a role player at best but once again, square peg meet round hole.

            Colangelo signed a 2 guard (Fields) drafted a 2 guard (Ross) and then re-upped his current 2 guard (Derozan). Great roster construction.

            PF position? Moved a ‘center’ to the 4 (Andrea, although we all know he plays like a weak 2), already having had 2 other 4’s on the roster (Amir and Ed) and went out and drafted another 4 this year (Acy). Colangelo at his finest.

            I’ve stopped looking at the players and wondering how come we don’t win. He says he has been following a plan in managing this team which I know is a straight up lie.
            This is a Colangelo stew that had no recipe to being with. Just throw in whatever is around the kitchen, simmer to a boil and hope you don’t get sick after eating it.

            • Destro

              Thats the shit thats comical to me the Ross-DD thing…SO Ross was the safety net in case DD sucked and we had to move him or replace him YET you give him a premature contract and ur coach doesnt play Ross to even know what he can do let alone replace em….

              Two things about this org that are flat out lies is demanding accountability and there being a commitment to rebuilding with a plan in mind….

              Think back 5 yrs to all the roster moves made,there was no plan at all…still isnt…

              Small part of me hopes this team fails miserably this love to see the spin and hopefully repercussions of that…

              • Nilanka15

                RE: the Ross pick, I honestly think that Colangelo/Stefanski et. al were confident that one of Lillard or Barnes would drop to them.

                Once they got screwed on both fronts, I think the Ross selection had nothing to do with DeRozan.  They just saw Ross as the best player available and ran with it hoping the pieces would somehow fit 😐

            • what the

              yea i don’t like lilly in in my stew

        • Nilanka15

          “In my mind, this team sucks ass until they show me that they don’t.
          Its the same internal policy I have for the Jays now.”

          Totally agree.

          • Rocky

            Well said. 

            No rationalization or explanation required for this team, simply evidence of change.  

            I would be pleased if, absent change, would be accountability, repercussions, or action – you know the precursor to change. 

            To date I have seen neither so I second the astute: 

            “In my mind, this team sucks ass until they show me that they don’t”

          • what the

            listen to wolf b. nilanka

          • KJ-B

            In all honesty, folk need to relax–the sched is set up for the Raps to suck! Injuries don’t help and Casey+BryCo+MLSE tryna brainwash #7 that he’s Nowitzki is not helping matters…

            Been saying for years on here that #7 is best suited as a gunner 6th man coming off  the bench on a playoff team–don’t think he’d ever accept that role here bcuz he was “former #1 pick” which forever it seems has messed him up in the head….he actually believes he can play “Rebound Ball” whenever he wants to…

            Start Ed. Trade #7. Play Ross.  Bench Fields–not necessarily in that order but this sorely needs to happen!

        • FAQ

          +2 …. and I suggest that all the b-ball gurus here and all the angry t.h.f.’s should not use wins/losses as a measure of how this struggling Raptor team is “developing”.  It’s a team under construction/destruction.

          Ignore wins/losses… just concentrate your thinking and remarks on how this rather unremarkable bunch of ballers are functioning.

          Don’t favour one player and heap hate on another player… because what you see is what you got… and if you can’t live with it just shtfu and go back to your masturbation schedule… and you’ll be a lot happier and less aggravated.

          What I noticed in this game was the slightly improved team play with Jose was the PG.  So they lost.. they’re gonna lose a lot more games this season. Listen to Casey because he’s got a better insight into what’s happening.

          So… to analysts, judge in a proper context and perspective… to t.h.f.’s, just stop with your adolescent whining/crying/cursing because your tantrums are tiring.  Be like me.

          • FLUXLAND

            “Don’t favour one player and heap hate on another player..”

            You are trying to be rational in a sea of biased fanboys, claiming racism at every turn, that have to justify their jersey purchase in the comments.

            And I know you and I have never seen eye to eye on Jose, but a slight improvement is just for your viewing pleasure, because I haven’t seen a legit player come here to join his vast skill set and take us to new heights. So, sure.. more aesthetically pleasing (to you), but still headed in the same direction – East basement.

            There’s a little thf in all of us, right FAQ? ; )  I mean, not like you followed your “don’t favour one player over another” with an endorsement for Jose, right? Right?  : )  

            • FAQ

              Aw, shucks, FLUX … I’m working so hard to earn your respect and you go and flux it all up..!!!

              I’m not ‘in love’ with Jose, but he’s the best we got for running plays and bringing Bargs, ED, AJ into the mix.  Lowery + DD is just not enough.

              Bargs can’t play his style of game with a ball-hogging, street-baller like Lowery simply because Kyle can’t properly run an offensive scheme that makes others look good because he gets basket tunnel vision.

              KL looks for his shot and that ices the rest of the team, particularly Bargs who needs consistent feeding at the arc.

              Remember what Mo Peterson said about the Raptors?  “We got no offense, we just stand around and watch Vince.”  Same goes for Lowery… aka TJ+

              It’s like deja vu all over again. Agree? AGREE??

              • FLUXLAND

                I agree to understand that approach and I respect your opinion, you know thisss man. But, again, we are just picking/discussing different deja vus… “we have seen this (Jose) movie before” and it’s no office box smash hit. 

                And KL or Jose, they are still working with the same players, while they each bring an equal “negative” to the table.  For my tribal honking dollar, I wanna see a guy lay it all out (and hopefully inspire others), not play half tennis ball machine half pylon.  Your “boy” Jose  : )  is getting posted up by midgets and maintaining his A/TO ratio. 

                As Kobe would say, and based on his play/numbers, KL gets “to eat first”, everyone else needs to fall in line. An alpha male hierarchy needs to be/has been established. I don’t see who can challenge him in this regard.

                A “ball hog” that leads the team in rebounding during a game? So, he just cares more or stealing rebounds from others? And I’m quite sure if these guys were not building brick houses when he’s dishing the ball, you would see a little less tunnel vision and icing.
                (I do agree with you though, he’s balling out of town). This is not like JR Smith deciding to go Jordan mode in that Denver playoff game.

                What offensive scheme? Casey is on record saying it’s a complete freeforall freestyle session. The scheme is yell GO GO GO. 

                In the end, they collectively need to STFU and play D and rebound; everything else is just moot points and irrelevancy, right now.  All I keep hearing is how we need our wings to step up, while we are getting abused like a Mexican tour mule in the paint and on the glass.  Quiet frankly, I could care less if ED or AJ or anyone else are getting theirs. Earn it on the D end and see your PG reward you. Don’t let him out-rebound your ass and then cry about not getting touches. That’s primadonna talk, when you’re a wannabe. And I believe Jose can’t command/demand from/inspire/lead a team like that, because he doesn’t deliver on D. With him being the general, everyone gets a pass on that end. Not to say he’s the main problem, nor is a collective low ball IQ; it’s lack of chemistry and playing for each other.. but if you constantly gotta make up for a pylon, it doesn’t bode well for said chemistry.   

                The biggest issue I’m having is the Jonas BS. This kid was going to, per BC, “make all the difference on the defensive end” because he was offensively “raw”. All the talk was of his defense, rebounding and shot blocking, so one would desire to see lines like 4 9; 6 12; 5 14; 2 8, meanwhile this guy is taking jumpers like a 5 year vet. Wasn’t he brought in to balance the Bargs deficiencies? 

                Everyone is showcasing, no one is sacrificing.
                Where’s the defensive minded team? Where’s the culture change? Deja vu, indeed.

                As Chuck said “You’re going nowhere when your bigs are jump-shooters!”.

                As Riles said “No rebounds, no rings”

                • cesco

                   So a guy who lost his job with his two previous employers has now become the alpha male with his third employer . The team has to start winning ( with him escaping injuries ) and be in the playoffs picture before he can be considered the alpha male .

                • Lorenzo

                   Holy wall of text..

                • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

                  …of Crap (Capital C)

                • FAQ

                  wooow… I feeel your pain FLUX and with that momentous tome you could rename yourself “EXLAXLAND” because  you have mightily purged yerself ..!!!

                  Notwithstanding that, I’m sure you will agree with me that (a) Casey should gently suggest to Kyle, on his return, that he not go in for steals under the basket and not try to rebound recklessly, and, (b) the Raptor bigs are “jumpless”…!!!!

                  I can’t put into so many words what ails the Rats, but suffice it to say that a PG should not be leading the rebounding charge and risking body and soul in futility. 

                • FLUXLAND

                  Meh, I wasn’t even warmed up.  You could write Collier’s sets on any given issue with this team.

                  I can’t fault a guy for giving it his all. And if we agree he’s balling out of town, Casey has “little” say in what he’s doing on the floor. Only input. They’ve already had one “debate” during a stoppage.
                  Either way, he has to get the rest the follow, otherwise it’s CB4 exit strategy all over again. You don’t get a guy in, give him the keys and pull his rains…like you said, gently. 

                  Re: play – I’m not sure that was an ankle thing. He was laying down for a stretch of time after, bent at the hip, yelped, and immediately went down again. In Halifax it was an adductor muscle problem, hopefully it’s not the same thing here.

                  Ailment is in the against the grain philosophy..that translates into what we agree should not be happening.

                • FAQ

                  My, my, FLUX.. you are a cunning linguist … and deep anal yst..!!!

                  When KL was playing PG, I watched him closely.  When he passed the ball off he just stood there at the arc watching and waiting to get the ball back into his hands.  KL is a ball-hog and only functions with the ball in his hands. 

                  Of course this is heresy to his adoring t.h.f.’s… he is their raison-d’etre for ‘loving’ the Raptors and ‘hating’ Bargs who functions well when Jose is the PG.

                  Maybe Casey should platoon the team.. Kyle’s 5 and Jose’s 5 … just brainstorming..!

                • RaptorFan

                  Maybe if our “bigs” would get some rebounds……our PG (who actually cares about winning) wouldnt risk injury to get said rebound

                  It all starts with our pathetic rebounding starting C/PF….. A lot of people don’t understand the disadvantage our team faces with sub par rebounding and brutal help defence….no amount of points (especially a spoon fed 18-20 ppg) could get us out of this hole…..I hear it from time and time again that Bargs would be a killer 6th man if BC/DC had the balls to admit that he is not and will never be Dirk lite…

                  If you put someone/anyone like Serge Ibaka or even Joakim Noah on this team (minus Bargs) we would have a playoff team because we would have someone guarding the paint and wouldnt need to put up as many points as we do now…. its common sense….. i hope BC gets fired so we can finally move on from this experiment… 

                  Tim Chisholm wrote it best…. 6 years and BC hasnt been able to bring in a starting calibre SF after Mo Pete or even after Garbajosa….

                  Fred Jones, Rasual Butler, Hedo Turkey, Landry Fields, Jamario Moon, Alan Anderson, Julian Wright, Antoine Wright, Jason Kapono….. its pretty sad….

                  Why didnt he throw Fields’ $$$ at O.J. Mayo (Mayo accepted wayyy less for 1 year in Dallas) —  i thought that was a no brainer…..i dont even like the Ross pick…..hopefully i’m proven wrong!

                  Flux has me in a venting mode! lol

                • FAQ

                  I said this many years ago about Bargs.. he’s a ‘jumpless’ 7 footer because that’s how his game evolved in Europe.

                  He came to the NBA as a 3 point shooter and driver to the basket. The driving was stopped but he could still loft his 3 pointers without jumping much.  He just softly rises up and flips his 3 point shot with no opposition. His knees are not jumping knees and never will be because of his weight.

                  He is what he is and cannot change into a rebounding beast. So stop hating the guy; because he’s done what succeeding coaches have asked of him over the years.  Barg haters are b-ball nerds who obviously have never seriously played competitive b-ball.. they just shuffle along in their Air-Jordans and complain.

                • RaptorFan

                  or we can stop acting like he’s our franchise player and treat him like any other asset…..

                  Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you i defended BARGS for over 6 years….(I gave him 6 years to turn into the player we were told he could be)

                  This is not a hate on bargs….this is someone who’s fed up of LOSING with BARGS as our main piece!!…..let’s be honest….as a PF he doesnt bring the hustle and heart required to win games….he needs others to make up for his deficiencies and it hurts the TEAM

                  I’m ready to move on from BC and BARGS

                • Nilanka15

                  Great stuff (although I disagree with the Jonas part).

                • Destro

                  Like i been said about Jonas hes at best a decent big man who’ll defend and rebound IMO he isnt an all star…ppl here got carried away with his immediate impact… 

          • Nilanka15

            “Be like me” <—- I read that in a Heath Ledger/Joker voice.

            • FAQ

              You made me what I am … hide under your bed tonight..^^!^^

        • sleepz

          Hopefully this is the year BC finally gets called out on his team assembling and his “vision and plans” for this franchise.

          No more talk of asset retention and accelerated rebuilds. You’ve been here for 7 years now and no one wants anything other than RESULTS. He still has the media spitting out his typical rhetoric but I’m sensing the fans are catching on quick to collars hollow chatter.

          Stop talking, stop trying to sell us on the teams young core of players. If the team is as good as you say it is or has the potential to be, then it will be proven in the W/L column

          • Destro

            Been said this since last season at some point your “core” has to start winning or else its nothing but young crap…

            and you cant keep trading pieces for interchangeable young core pieces and demand more time…its been 5 years since the playoffs…Ed and Demars 3rd and 4th season…win time is now…or else.

            • Copywryter

              Remember when the marketing pitch was ‘youngest team in the league!’? People latched on to that like so many suckling pigs. 

              This team is not going to win. What’s worse is that any modest winning might be construed as genuine progress. To “damn with faint success” if I can butcher the phrase. 

              • Destro

                The unsettling this about this core is it looks exactly the same as it did the last 3 seasons…were still soft defensively,they still do not play for 48 mins,still do not close teams out in the 4th and still dont show the heart to come back and win games….At some point you have to see changes in the core and i dont….IM not saying were OKC in anyway but they went from 20-25 to 50 wins in year 3….

            • what the

              …or eles AB13 will ask for a trade

            • FAQ

              No Jell-O.. No Win-O … plain-O & simple-O..!!!

      • FLUXLAND


    • Destro

      So do you think Fields is better then James Johnson ?

      • Jamshid

         Yes, he is better than JJ.

        • Destro

          No he isnt…

          • Jamshid

             Looking at his numbers the past few games this season, you can not say he is much better than Fields:

            That being said the price tag is very important here. If JJ would have cost us 2 million this year, then by all means, JJ is a worth more than Fields.

            Fileds is over paid no matter how you look at it and even if he reaches his potentials.

            • Destro

              Yes i can…hes alot better and makes alot less…

      • Statement

        I don’t know, I liked James Johnson. I thought he could handle the ball well and was a good rebounder and a pretty good defender.

        The one skill that Landry is supposed to have over James in my mind is 3 pt shooting.  If he can’t do that, I would call it a wash (remember, Johnson can’t shoot either).

        I know I like James Johnson for the 2 million or so he would have commanded versus the over-paid Fields.

        • Nilanka15

          Also, Johnson seemed to suffer from Humphries-itis, taking quite a few ill-advised shots on a regular basis.

          On the other hand, every shot Fields has taken have been good ones.  He’s just looked drunk doing it.

          • Destro

            Fields cant make an uncontested lay up….

            • Copywryter

              His hands seemed to do a good job of contesting their own layup.

          • Statement

            Fields shot definintely looks funky.  His shot doesn’t look like it would generate a high 3-pt%.

          • unknown guest

            Is it sad that I wonder what it’d be like if we had Hump at the 4 instead of AB?

            • Nilanka15

              lol, a valid inquisition.

            • Destro

              We’d be a helluva lot tougher on both ends of the floor….Hump would not be allowing lay up lines at our basket…

        • FAQ

          I have this feeeeling that Fields really doesn’t want to be a Raptor.  He’s demoralized by the mess here and he’s subconsciously shutting down.  He jumped for BC’s money and now he’s not happy.  He’s immature and now it’s up to him how he performs.  Casey seems to be patient while fans are not because they want/need instant gratification.

          • Jamshid

            Well too bad for Fields. He would not get this money any where else in the NBA and also he would not get the chance to be a starting SF anywhere else in NBA.
            As far as I am concerned, he can sit and rot on the bench as long as his unhappy ass wants. Not even a single resource should be wasted to make this guy happy at this moment. He has 18+ million reason to be happy and love this organization.

            • FAQ

              What a heartless person you are… have you no empathy for floundering Fields no longer living in exciting NYC… just muddling in Moronto now?  No glamourous NY-style showbiz babes here… just a bunch of Jamaican mommas… what’s a bro’ to do..??!!!

              • FAQ

                Just go to Google Images and see “Elaine Alden” … who was Field’s GF in NYC…!!!

                It’s obvious he’s lost her company living in TO.. and the poor boy is demoralized and despondent … WOULDN’T YOU BE TOO LOSING THAT SQUEEZE… ??!!!!

      • Statement

        I think the issue was that he was a bit of an asshole though, no?

        Also, we can’t change the past so to dwell on it would just piss us off.

        • Statement

          We can, of course, learn from the past, unless you are B.C.

    • Daniel

      But the media and the “diehard fans” gave BC a consensual B grade for this off-season!

  • what the

     JJ come back
    any kind of fool could see
    that we were wrong
    and we just can’t win without you

    • Nilanka15

      Don’t forget about your boy, Mengke Bateer.

    • FAQ

      JJ… Weems… Vince….???

      Didja see Vince embracing DD at the end of the game, and obviously was giving DD some encouraging advice??

      Hey… if DD is worth $10 Mill, surely veteran Vince should be worth at least $5 Mill (from his current $3 Mill).


  • Ol’ Dirty Raptor

    Disagree a bit on the McGuire piece.  Defensively he was ok, but it didn’t seem to stop Dallas from scoring.  He killed the momentum on the comeback with a dumbass travelling call, and then turning it over again the next possession with the 5-second inbound.  Reminds me of James Johnson’s bonehead plays.

  • Red

    James Johnson is playing on Sacramento for just under
    3mil. When i watch the games, i dont even notice Fields. I ask myself
    where is fields , is he playing. He`s like a ghost out there. Not impressed  so far.


    Well done, Garrett.

  • Canadian Paul

    Number of games over/under 20 before Colangelo is fired? I’m going with 22 (+2), right after we lose to Portland.

    • FAQ

      If the MLSE fire BC, the franchise goes to Las Vegas… believe it.

      Stern will make it so …..!!!!!

    • Jamshid

      There is no point on firing BC now. There are long term contracts that will severely handicap the future GM. Our picks over past few years have not pan out and we can only hope they do. we have no assets to trade or …
      If we fire BC now, we have to blow it up and go through another 5 year Rebuild plan !! 

      • Nilanka15

        Agreed.  Any new GM who comes in now will have no choice but to keep the current “core” together and ride it out (thanks to Colangelo’s loose checkbook), or trade them for 50 cents on the dollar. 

        Either way, the fans lose.

  • Erin O’Brien

    I don’t understand this blog anymore, have a proper discussion! Don’t resort to childish names for players. State their name, present your argument and get on with it. For heavens sake. Just because you don’t like one player doesn’t mean everybody else doesn’t have to like them because you say so. Some of you always try to shoot down someone’s opinion because it’s not your own. It’s a free country, free speech, get over yourself! 

    • FAQ

      This free and open forum is more confrontational and combative. The other RR forum is for pedantic pundits who prefer pussy palaver. 

      This nasty forum is an outlet for tribal honking fans (t.h.f.’s) who couldn’t survive emotionally on the proper forum because of their perpetual pain… and the veterans who still hate each other.

      Me? I’m too lazy to bother logging in and posting myshit in line.  This is the original RR forum format.

    • Nilanka15

      Doug Smith has a blog with your name on it.

    • Destro

      STFU !


    So, after going all p00ka police on us, you end with “It’s a free country, free speech..”

    Oh, the hypocrisy.

    Riiiight. How bout, you get over YOURself?

    • what the

      was that the pook ? i guess he’s undercover

      • Nilanka15

        What about your boy, Jerome Moiso?

  • OvertheWall

    you heard it from me first.  I would trade Bargnani for Vince Carter.  That’s right, that’s how much I think of Andrea. 

  • FAQ

    Hypothetical Question:

    Who was better… Hedo in his prime with the Magic.. or Bargs with the Raptors before his injury last season?

    Perhaps Bargs should be compared to Hedo and not Dirk… ya think?