The Rapcast has been resurrected by yours truly! We’re hoping to re-launch this zombified version of the Rapcast and run it weekly on Fridays, depending on the Raptor schedule for the week.

This time around, Wally (“A Dub”) and Zarar (“Arsenalist”) joined me and we discussed the Kyle Lowry injury, Landry Fields’ surgery, Andrea Bargnani’s struggles, Dwane Casey’s big man rotation and more.

Topics and Items of Note

  • Kyle Lowry is out another 1-2 weeks – what’s the long-term impact? Should Jose still be on the block?
  • Landry Fields had ulnar  transposition surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks – does it matter? Does this explain his shooting woes?
  • Andrea Bargnani – why is he struggling? Should he come off the bench?
  • Dwane Casey’s Rotation – why the haphazard rotations? Does it matter?
  • Ideal Big Man Deployment – who are the best pairings? Who should start and play with whom?
  • When did J.J. Reddick become LEGIT?
  • Predictions for the weekend – @Boston Saturday and vs. Orlando Sunday.

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (42:21, 9.7MB). Or just listen below:


  • 511

    Enjoyed that, I’ll listen again. 

    “… if they both made 4 million dollars a year, would they start together?” Sensible perspective. If Casey could make those ‘who-plays-when-and-who-with’ calls without having to consider the show-biz angles, things’d probably be more interesting on the floor in a hurry. And like you say, no shame in being a good sixth man.

    And … yesterday’s topic I know but, what’s been nagging at me about Bargnani is this: Remember when, last year near the end of that road game where he had re-injured his leg, apparently worse than it had been injured the first time, how he was sitting on the bench for those last minutes of that game, furiously pissed with so much passion it was near spilling out his eyes and it was hard to not feel bad for him even if you disliked him for years? What’s been bugging me lately is, where is that guy right now? All that outraged fervour that was barely contained by the towel over his head as he sat there so profoundly upset at the circumstance of the injury, which the performances that he’d been putting on had made entirely credible for that moment … where is, even, HALF of that guy, now? 

    I wish Casey or Colangelo would ask him that. 

    • onemanweave

       At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, I believe it really doesn’t matter that much whether AB is penciled in to start or off the bench.  The main issue is that he can’t handle ‘starters minutes’.
         He needs much shorter stretches of time than your average ‘franchise player’.lol. Let him go all out knowing that he won’t be on the floor for long and maybe he won’t be standing around with that thousand-mile stare while the game whirls around and over him.
         Shorter minutes can work. Amir is a good basketball player and Davis is in the mix as well.
         Bargs may still be working through conditioning limitations from last years’ injuries and may be able to play longer stretches as the season progresses.  However, he’s always been good for one good out-burst, quarter, half and then pretty much nada.
         In horse racing, claimers have one move to answer a challenge and they’re done. Stakes horses have the physique and heart for two or three. Bargs is a claimer.
         If limiting his minutes doesn’t work, then he really DOES have character issues and BC will have to take him out behind the Air Canada Centre and put him down.

      • sleepz

        The horse racing analogy is a little off considering I’ve seen claimers turn into stakes horses with maturity, the right trainer or an equipment change (blinkers) but I get what you are saying.

      • 511

        Cold, man. I agree with some of it, the gist, anyway. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being more hopeful about what we might yet get from him. While it seems clear he didn’t start off in the shape we would’ve liked to have seen a month ago, he’s always – since we’ve known him – been a little unusual, maybe even temperamental. Not a good thing, but he is who he is. After seeing what he’s really capable of, last year during the now-infamous 13, the ever-hopeful Raptors-fan in me is still watching for what we glimpsed last year to re-surface … however it may. While a part of me (not big) might hope that he’s traded for something really good (and maybe more to put me out of my own misery about him), the bigger part of me still hopes that he finds a role with the team that fits him just right. If they’re toying with the idea of trading him, I’d REALLY hope that first, they try a section of games with him coming off the bench. If they can tap into that spark that we saw for that moment last year – and sixth man sounds about right to me; most winning teams have a good one – at this point, the wait would almost be worthwhile. I think, anyway. 

        • onemanweave

           I agree that it’s worth waiting to see if he can flourish in a role other than top scoring option for 35-plus minutes.
             He is capable of playing much better than he has this season and chances are, he will again.  What he’s proved over seven years, is that he can’t sustain all-out effort over long stretches of playing time.
             We’ve always pegged it as laziness. Maybe it’s something he just can’t physically do.  It’s like asking an Olympic sprinter, maybe a 100 metre finalist, to run the 800.  When he slows to a crawl on the second lap you could say he’s lazy or you could say he’s a sprinter, not a middle-distance man.
            Luckily, in the NBA, the 800 metres have to be covered, but you can pass the baton to another runner– Amir, Ed — for part of that distance.
              If he’d been drafted 15th instead of first over-all, I  think we’d have been a lot more accepting of his limitations.

  • Nilanka15

    Bargnani at the 3, eh?  I’ll believe it when I see it 😉

  • Nilanka15

    Off topic, but an interesting topic for discussion anyway:  Bill Polian (former NFL General Manager for the Bills, Panthers and Colts) was on Sportsnet 590 last night talking about evaluation criteria when scouting potential draft picks.  And one of the factors he mentioned is a player’s ability to scan the field, absorb/process all information in a split second, and react/make the right decision accordingly.  I loosely interpret this to mean intelligence (not “football IQ”, but general intelligence).  He said that he has seen hundreds of players over the years who have all the physical gifts in the world, combined with a strong/dedicated work ethic, who have failed on the field because of their inability to process information quickly.  He was mainly speaking of quarterbacks, but reiterated that it applies to all other positions as well.

    Long story short, I wonder how true this is in basketball.  Is general intelligence what truly separates good players from the all-time greats?  Should general IQ tests be used as part of the scouting process?  Do the Raptors currently have players that appear to be of high IQ (again, not “basketball IQ”, but general intelligence)?

    Thoughts?

    • CJT

      Interesting question.  I was helping coach a boys team for a few years and the head coach wanted to install the Princeton offense.  He described it as very hard and one that required high I.Q. to be able to read and react with all the nuances that it required.  He told the boys he thought they were smart enough to run it well etc.  Interesting that the Lakers were not able to run it.  What does that say about their general intelligence?

      • Nilanka15

        RE: The Lakers, were they “unable” to run the Princeton offense, or “unwilling”? 😉

        • KJ-B

          They just didn’t like Mike Brown–he’s an East Conference coach and LA is as West Coast as they come…

      • go_nads

        I wouldn’t chalk it up to their overall intelligence. The problem with the Princeton in LA is that the ball would flow through Metta Ron Artest’s hands, who at this point in his career and on that team would be best served standing in the corner being very wide open. At the time of Mike Brown’s firing, he nearly tripled his TOs per game from the year before.

      • BlakeMurphy

        Princeton might be a bad example in this case – historically, you run the Princeton when you’re a) a less talented team and b) you lack size, neither of which was true for the Lakers.

        As for “overall intelligence” in basketball I’d say hell yes it matters…look at the physical tools of a Javale McGee, who should by all accounts be a star center, or a Jerome Moiso back in the day. It’s not the be-all end-all, but it’s extremely important for players who have the ball in their hands a lot and are forced to make dozens of precise decisions in short real-time windows.

        • CJT

          It definitely makes you wonder.  Most of these kids are poor students in highschool getting through because of their talent, then attend one year of university where if you listen to people like Joakim Noah, they are not expected or interested in attending classes and then move right in to the NBA.  Where are they supposed to have learned anything?  Or developed their intellect? 

    • cdub

      I think that is a definate problem for Bargnani.  You can see him on the floor making up his mind in advance or not reading the defense quickly enough.  If AB could make quicker reads and take advantage of the double teams or guys waiting for him under the basket he would be a much more efficient.  He started doing this last year , taking better shots as well, and now this year he has regressed somehow.

      • Nilanka15

        Some of that comes with experience too….that is, being able to predict what might happen next based on what you’ve seen in the past.

        But I wonder if the difference in a person’s ability (which ultimately comes down to the chemical composition of one’s brain compared to others) to process information has a noticeable effect on the court.  I highly doubt there’s any way to measure this, but maybe there should be. 

        Any inventors/entrepreneurs in the crowd? 😉

        • j bean

          Neuroscience measures and studies the effects of brain chemicals by looking at patterns of neurons. Dopamine and serotonin improve alertness and physical performance and besides exercise they are released through mood and happiness. Instead of saying when I achieve [money, better health, better job etc] then I will be happy, become happy and your goals will become easier to attain.
          U of T has done ground breaking work on this subject and has released a paper on how mood effects the visual cortex processing information. There are also studies documenting how simple things such as being grateful and smiling can permanently change your level of happiness and improve your productivity. 

    • mountio

      The interesting thing about draft AB – was one of his biggest attributes was how he fared on this test (the name is escaping me [just found it – Caliper test]) – that supposedly suggests whether guys are clutch, whether have high IQ (cant remember if bball or just in general). I remember Chuck raving about it when AB hit a few big shots out of the gate. 
      I found the quote “The test showed that Bargnani is virtually oblivious to what others think of him. And his tremendous ability to block out such potentially negative pressures enables him to focus completely on the task at hand”
      I guess its not totally IQ related .. more ability to supposedly perform under pressure. However, I think Polian is talking about a similar thing, as Peyton Manning scored off the charts on this thing.

      Anyways .. not sure I have a point .. just food for thought.   

  • none

    This is really good. You should do this every week. Its the only podcast out there that talks about the raptors. No one else talks about the raptors.

    • nkmerc

      Agreed. This was perfect for the commute to work. Make it a regular Friday thing!

  • CC

    Trade Bargnani for Ryan Anderson. 

  • Pesterm1

    For anyone that doesn’t know what the ulnar nerve is. It’s the same nerve that you feel when you bang your elbow and say ” ouch, i just hit my funny bone” .

  • http://twitter.com/TheSportsOprah Tricia_Status

    With Alan and Landry hurt…do you see the Jose’s minutes dropping tremendously when Kyle returns?