Why is he in his warmup gear? Good question.
Why is he in his warmup gear? Good question.

Sixers 106, Raptors 98 – Box

Well, that was stupid. Not the game, me thinking they could actually win it.

The Raptors blew one down the stretch in Philadelphia last night, collapsing defensively in the final six minutes and allowing the Sixers to shoot their way back into things thanks to blown assignments, poor rotations, and some curious substitutions.

The Raptors led by four with six minutes to go, but from that point forward Philly shot nine-for-14 (64%), hit a trio of threes, and outrebounded the Raptors seven to three. It’s a small chunk of the game, but it was also the most important chunk, and the Raptors blew it. A lineup of Jrue Holiday, Nick Young, Jason Richardson, Thad Young and Dorell Wright is fine, but nobody’s idea of a juggernaut, and they looked like what everyone is expecting the D’Antoni Suns to look like in scoring 22 points in six minutes.

The Raptors didn’t answer with terrible offense, but it wasn’t strong either, as the team shot 44% in the fourth and went just three of nine at the line. The nine free throws were actually a low total given that the Raptors were in the bonus with over eight minutes remaining and decided not to attack from that point forward.

And the disappointment wasn’t just in the score the final few minutes, either. Kyle Lowry, returning to the team after an extended absence and coming off the bench, shot one-for-five in the final six minutes. It tarnished what was the 13-7-7 line we’ve come to expect, but more important were two instances where we got a potential glimpse of what may have worn out Lowry’s welcome in his previous stops. First, he looked disinterested at the line in missing a pair of late free throws. Second, he didn’t get a call and failed to run back on defense, leading to an easy Thad Young bucket. Add that to the fact that on the three J-Rich hit to extend the lead to six with 80 seconds left, Lowry curiously left Richardson to “help” in the paint despite there really being no need. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lowry and couldn’t be happier that he’s back, but it was a bad couple of minutes for him.

It was also a bad couple of minutes for Dwane Casey, as he curiously sat down rookie Jonas Valanciunas for the final 13:47 of the game despite the fact that he had been one of their best players with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jonas had the team’s best plus-minus at +7 (an admittedly fickle stat in a one-game sample), dove to the rim hard as the dive man, worked his tail off on the boards, and acquitted himself well enough on defense that there wasn’t a need to hide him. The Raptors were up 10 points when he left the game for the last time. From that point on it was 41-22 Sixers. Just saying.

Granted, the Sixers went small and didn’t have a “center” for Jonas to guard. Spencer Hawes’ Mullet played just 1:47 from then on, Kwame Brown didn’t play and Lavoy Allen played 5:37. But what’s to say that the Sixers are the ones who get to dictate the size match-up? Instead of going small with McGuire and Kleiza to match up, why not leave Valanciunas in and force the Sixers to play one of their less offensively gifted players or risk Jonas shredding them on pick and rolls? It certainly didn’t help that Amir Johnson, the alleged “small ball center” on the team, simply hacked while in the game, failing to grab a rebound in his final 12 minutes of play and fouling out with two minutes left.

It’s especially frustrating because to that point the Raptors had been pretty good, especially on the offensive end against the league’s second best unit in terms of defensive efficiency. The Raptors shot 45% overall and got to the line 29 times, rarely turned the ball over, and pounded the Sixers on the glass. It had all the makings of a team-oriented win, including a streak of 13 straight assisted field goals to start the game, a feat the franchise hadn’t accomplished since the opening game of the 2011-12 season.

Again, too, Lowry looked good until the last few minutes, and Jose Calderon had his usual game, setting up teammates, spacing the floor and playing the matador for Jrue Holiday (as expected).

DeMar DeRozan also played well enough offensively, scoring 24 points on 18 shots. He was mauled on two takes in the second half that resulted in no-calls, so his eight free throw attempts could have looked better, too. His shot chart bordered on what we have been asking for, with only two of his attempts coming from outside of 15 feet. His finishing in the paint wasn’t great (three-for-eight) but again, two of those were pretty egregious fouls. It’s a continuation of the positive early-season trend we’ve been witnessing. Defensively, he handled Evan Turner well early but struggled with Nick Young and J-Rich later on (though it was tough to tell at times whether he, Lowry, and McGuire were matched up with specific players or it was changing pretty frequently).

Andrea Bargnani was bad. It didn’t look that way early, but his aggression waned and he ended up with 22 points on 21 attempts, a terribly inefficient rate that even a good-for-him seven rebounds could make up for (Skeets if you’re reading, he now has 184 points on 180 attempts, the 19th worst rate of Points/FGA for any player with 75 FGA, 12th worst for anyone with 100 FGA and fourth worst for anyone with 150 FGA). It really was the case tonight that Casey would have been better off sitting Bargnani down the stretch since he no longer seemed interested in attacking or actively defending. Interestingly, Bargnani’s plus-minus in 24 minutes when paired with Jonas tonight was +7 but -15 in 15 minutes without him. For the season, the team has been better with just one on the floor rather than both, but Bargnani has been a much stronger offensive player when Jonas plays with him.

And, I think that’s about it…the defense was straight up terrible late, Bargnani shouldn’t have been on the floor, Jonas needed more time, and Casey let the Sixers dictate the match-ups in the fourth despite the fact that the Raptors had been successful with their game plan to that point.

They’ll try to bounce back against Charlotte tonight, but the key players may be worn down from playing heavy minutes last night. Could be tough sledding – looks like a potential win, but no doubt the Bobcats are thinking the same.


  • Minks77

    I can’t understand the benching of JV, he has enough quickness to be a mobile big against a smaller unit. He’s not a big plodding center… just don’t get it.

  • JHP

    What the last 4 years has taught this group of players is how to lose.  Somehow they need to learn how to win.  If the new faces on the team have the same attitude then things are not going to change.  So JV may be better served in a different organization. I believe it’s way too late for AB and Jose.

    • Methayusking

      And it starts with the coach. For some reason, DC cant pass  on his winning  experience to this group. I think its still a bit early to say fire DC, since he is still learning with this young group as well. The problem is there’s only a short time to learn. Lowry’s contract is going to be up soon and i doubt if he’s going to be enthusiastic to re-sign, when games like this become a norm.

  • NyAlesund

    We were in bonus after 4 minutes of the 4 quarter and suddenly we saw the driving penetration show. The Sixers were small and us instead to serve the big men and force the Sixers’ defence to collapse and take advantage of this, expecially with in and out situation we forced the driving penetration. 3/9 from three point line, Lowry was bad down the stretch with some stupid decision making, DeRozan after a great game forced too and suddenly the our defence collapse under three point shots.

    I can’t believe the way we lost the game.

    Frankly read about AB’s efficiency is pointless expecially after this game. If we talk about inefficiency, well we have to see the last 5 minutes.

    “….Bargnani down the stretch since he no longer seemed interested in attacking or actively defending.” Sure……….

    Are you serious. I don’t remember a lot of plays for him, but many one man show from the guards. But obviously it was his fault.

    • Konanas

      “We were in bonus after 4 minutes of the 4 quarter and suddenly we saw the driving penetration show” – That’s a really good observation.

    • KJ-B

      Score:  Raps 87-80 Sixers… #7 for the line for two uncontested free throws — he clangs them both. Have seen this before vs Jazz, when DeRozan passed to him for open j up and clanged an open gimme– Sixers go on run, seize momentum, DeRozan hits a trey, gets frozen out by Lowry/Calderon.  Raps fold.  Lowry and Casey don’t know why they lost. Hmmm?

      Too familiar–if you expect a different result after doing the same thing over and over–is it any wonder why the Raps play insane in the bad meaning of the word, in close game after close game???

      Sure, the Raps definitely need new players, I wonder though, if they realize they were sitting on the bench?!

      • KJ-B

        “open j up 5″

  • Minks77

    The fact Raps were in the bonus and went to a small, jump shooting lineup with JV on the bench is what baffles me the most. Raps, from Casey on down, had a collective brain fart and stopped playing smart basketball.

  • cesco

    “Andrea Bargnani was bad” . Since this is your opinion of him not just this game but overall ( with your repetitive D- rating ) how do you explain that for the season so far he has the best +/- on the team for the 5 players that played the most ( DD , AB , JC , JV and AJ ) . AJ is tied with him at -16 but played fewer minutes . Based on this stat , if he is bad how bad is DD with a +/- of -40 having played only slightly more minutes ? . This stat is simply saying that with Andrea on the floor the team plays better and the 5 players combinations confirm that as combinations with him in it occupy the first 3 spots . I am asking you a simple question , how bad is he in view of these REAL stats ? .

    • Canadian Paul

      +/- is useless 1) if it’s not regularized; and 2) when it’s a small sample size. People pick the stats that suit them to make a point. I understand your love of Bargnani, really, I do, but do you think that shooting 0.466 TS% (the lowest of his CAREER) is efficient?Add to it that we’re 8.3 ppg better defensively when he’s sitting, and you have one recipe for a 3-8 record. Not saying that it’s all his fault, but given that he’s the main guy (taking the most shots) and playing the second-most minutes, most of this falls on his shoulders.

      We’re not asking for super-Bargnani (of the 13-game fame), just the career average Bargnani.

      • cesco

        Since they are 8.3 ppg better defensively without him , how much worse are they OFFENSIVELY without him  ? You view is far more biased than mine as the +/- stats ( 1 player +/- and the 2-5 players combinations ) indicates how a team is doing overall with a specific player on the floor . In view of all that , the question will be asked again and again , how “bad” is he for the team ? . Forget that he is the ‘franchise’ player because he , as well as DD and KL are not franchise players . In the next couple of years JV may be the franchise player .

        • Statement

          Troll.

      • cesco

         You are an idiot Canadian Paul . I just checked 82games.com ( last updated yesterday )  , when he is ‘on court’ the team is -1.1 , when he is ‘off court’ the team is -9.1 . Answer that , better still , ask your buddy Murphy to answer that .

        • Statement

          Troll.

        • Destro

          Your still applauding a MINUS number…

    • BlakeMurphy

      I don’t dislike Bargnani. I even have a Bargs jersey. I wish he was better is all, and I get frustrated when I see the same kind of game from him over and over when it wouldn’t be that difficult for him to do/be more. I haven’t dug into the +/- or on/off court stuff in terms of season #s but maybe I’ll do so for an article soon.

      • vino

        “I even have a Bargs jersey.”
        R u serious?! You actually paid money for it?? Don’t pull off bs like “it was a present”…. no disrespect to you. Nothing personal.

        • BlakeMurphy

          It actually WAS a swap. A non-basketball fan friend won a signed Bargs at a silent auction and didn’t want it, so I dealt a Larry Fitzgerald jersey for it.

          • sleepz

            U gave up Fitz jersey for Andrea?!?

            Disapointed in you Mr. Murphy. 

            • BlakeMurphy

              Signed Bargs, to be fair.

      • cesco

        I understand you point of view ( wanting him to do more for the team ) . I get upset because of the HATERS taking over this site , blaming Andrea for being the biggest problem with this team . He is not the biggest problem , the stats with him on/off court and the +/- stats REFLECT that . They are REAL stats , if they cannot be relied on then no stat can be relied on and personal opinions can be relied on even less . But again we all wish he could do more . Let us see how the season progress .

        • 2damkule

          how ’bout TS%? EFG%?  rebound rate (offensive & defensive)?  are they ‘real’ stats?  i mean, let’s forget for a second all about rebounding (because, let’s face it, andrea forgot about that last year when no one held him to casey’s ‘2/qtr’ garbage).  if a player’s ONLY discernible value to his team is his ability to put the ball in the hoop, then he HAS to do it in a highly efficient manner, otherwise all those OTHER things that he DOESN’T/CAN’T/REFUSES TO do become magnified.  if he was still a pathetic defender & rebounder, but was scoring at even an average clip FROM AN EFFICIENCY STANDPOINT, then i highly doubt the vitriol would be as intense.

          but he is, and he isn’t, and it is, so STFU & deal with it, or move on to the nuggets message boards, where you can make excuses for why galinari can’t shoot anymore either.

          • cesco

             Excuse me for point out the fact that the team is better ( net points ) with him on the floor than when he is off the floor . He is well below his career average in shooting % , no doubt about that . Isn’t one stat as important as the other , team stat vs personal stat , you tell me .

      • NyAlesund

         It’s lame answer. I wonder how to use his jersey……….

  • NyAlesund

    Collins vs Casey

    When do we start to blame Casey? For me D-

    Yesterday, Collins read the game and reacted consequently, Casey not. This was his fault. And unfortunately his way to manage the rotations are suspect.

    I hope someone talks to him and says that is possible to play the 4 quarter with a rookie, expecially when he’s playing well.

    • Dan

       Casey has been brutal this year. He talks about players earning minutes. Jonas earned them but Amir got them. There is no way you can preach defense wins games and then play Jose and Lowry together. Jose is to slow to guard anyone and Lowry no matter how tough he is is going to struggle to defend 6 foot 6 players and up. Richardson and Young and Wright are all jump shooters who want to shoot. Lowry will only be effective against guys who want to put it on the floor. You would have had a better chance with Lowry on Holiday and either Ross or one of the other wings on the floor with him.

      • NyAlesund

         I agree

  • Ecrapsfan

    Those saying Bargs was bad for fading noticed Casey hardly giving him any rest in the 2nd half right? 

    • cesco

       That is something that Casey has to realize , especially after last year injuries .  The stats show that the team perform better with him on the floor (see 82games.com) but it is not good if the calf give up again as this may become a chronic injury . The management and the players want to make the playoffs this year but at what cost ? .

      • truth be told

        the calf again becoming a chronic injury?lol

        maybe they should take this lame creature out behind the shed and put him out of his misery then no?

        love seeing you squirm to defend a hopeless cause. 

        • arsenalist

          Oh no you didn’t just quote Bargnani’s +/- numbers as a reason to keep him on the floor? I have my issues with that stat, as should any free-thinking basketball fan, but Bargnani has been brutal in that department over the years.  To take a single season out (where he wasn’t even a positive, just less negative) and cite it as a reason for PT is quite…questionable.

          • what the

            TRUTH BE TOLD is tell lies

      • pran

        can’t we all just get a long? You say bargnani should be benched to reduce the risk of injury through fatigue. I say it’s b/c he’s hot garbage, tomato tomato , we both want the same thing…..

      • j bean

        Pointing at stats to bolster your argument that Andrea Bargnani is a positive, indispensable part of the team means nothing to someone who watches the games, knows the sport and knows AB.
        He has disappointed most Raptor’s fans  by not becoming the player we hoped he would become. To continuously suggest he is better than the alternatives doesn’t excuse the fact he was supposed to be the franchise player and has instead turned into Andrea Bargnani. 

  • Ppellico

    I can understand you not playing a Gray IF the opposition goes small.
    Isn’t that why you got a Jonas? A skilled fleet o foot center?
    OK…so you never use Gray and instead now have a hot 3 point shooting Amir! and use him instead of the new center.

    So exactly how is this new look/team working out for ya all? You cheer girlishly at Amir’s outside shots to the point he hears you and moves it to a three.
    He continually emotionally leaves buildings…and still you eat up his bullshit.

    Sorry, Gray…that you have to sit and watch this hellish game from so close. We could teally use some real smart defender at times…but, look…the NEW SPEED Game is here.

  • NikolaTesla1

    How can one take this site seriously?

    Only one person needed to be sat in the 4th and that player was Jose. He was the one who compromised the D, no one else. Did the author not notice that his teammates (sometimes 3 at a time) all had to come and provide help D.

    Pretty evident that there is a witch hunt out for Andrea from the Toronto press. I hope he gets traded as well but for totally different reasons.

    • Destro

      A 7 footer who shoots 36 % and doesnt rebound or play good defense and has a shitty work ethic….ur right shits all good here.

      • NikolaTesla1

        Way to stick to the point genius. 

        Did you become this incredible thick individual overnight or has this been a life journey for you?

        • lloyd

          Can you work on free energy or something…

      • NyAlesund

         You know his work ethic…………really?
        Yesterday he shot 47%!!!! and grab 7 rebs……………….only one mistake was the unconventional 0-2 on ft. Unfortunately, Derozan and Lowry miss them as well.

    • BlakeMurphy

      You do realize I’m not “Toronto press” right? I don’t have press passes, media access, anything like that.

      • NikolaTesla1

        I know that, it was more a general observation but your shout out to Skeets kind of exposed you a little.

  • 2damkule

    oh blake, you should know by now that the raptors don’t force their opponents to match up with them, they like to have the style of play dictated by said opponent.  that way, they’re sure to be at at least a marginal disadvantage regardless of who’s on the floor.  it’s been this way forever, and it will never change.

    i mean, sure, why have JoVal on the floor if he doesn’t have a big to guard.  why, the mere idea that him being on the court, diving on PnRs & FORCING the 6ers to play one of hawes or brown or whatever shit sandwich they have for post defenders to stop him is absolute LUNACY!  and besides, when you’re up late in a game, and need to protect a lead & secure possessions (i.e. rebound the ball), the only obvious choice is to not put your (arguably) best low-post defender & rebounder on the floor.  i mean, he is, after all, a rookie, and we all know that it takes at LEAST 5 years before bigs can be trusted to do things like defend & rebound.  or is that 7 years?

    • Rapapapap

       make it 10 years

    • Destro

      Thats the funniest thing about it…you want to go small to match them YET he stil chose to have AB on the floor.If your gonna still have a big on the floor late game wouldnt you rather go with JV for defensive purposes and rebounding purposes…

      Its mind boggling how dumb Casey is sometimes….

    • unknown guest

      raptors don’t force their opponents to match up with them
      Sad but true. Sam Mitchell did that every single time. Maybe it’s a defensive-coach weakness?

  • 511

    Gotta say, I’m agreeing more these days with some of what commenter-in-the-previous-post, Daniel has to say (words I thought unlikely, my apologies, Daniel), that Lowry, while a very good street-baller, may not actually be that near-elite NBA point guard that I was starting to imagine he was. Too often when he’s out there, it’s just all about him. And this team will never amount, that I can see, to whatever mediocre heights it might aspire to if they don’t focus on getting better — like, all the f’ing time — at TEAM play. Starting to get why McHale let Lowry go as easy as he did. Way less impressed than I once (recently) was. 

    • 2damkule

      you don’t think it’s a touch early to be making these declarations?  IMO, daniel has an issue with lowry, and he’s going to stick to his comfort zone (i.e. bashing lowry) regardless of how reality unfolds (just like the bargs haters & fanboys do). 

      buuuuut…if it’s NOT too early to judge players, then how ’bout the wonders ‘ole k-mchale is working down in houston?  how ’bout that jeremy lin??  i mean, since we’re being all irrational, doesn’t it make sense to blame mchale for lin’s struggles…and if that’s the case, then maybe mchale was the instigator for whatever ‘issues’ existed between him & lowry?  not that there’s a rational reason to make that argument, but there’s usually very little that’s rational about any of daniel’s comments about lowry.

      • 511

        I don’t think of McHale as any sort of hoops genius (and I thought the Lin signing was kind of ridiculous) but that doesn’t mean that what he seems to have thought about Lowry was totally out to lunch. Watching this early stretch of the season unfold, I was comfortable with how good a player Lowry obviously is … and I liked that it was apparent that he’d single-handedly win us the odd game. But if there’s another side to that coin, it’s that the same dynamic that’ll win some games might also LOSE some games, as well. So no ‘declaration'; my opinion on him is sort of fluid, I’m still learning who he is. And I’ll hope to see him play less single-mindedly than what I’ve seen in total, so far. While watching last night, I kept thinking Lowry must absolutely dominate in the school yard. But I don’t know (like I really don’t know) if that’ll cut it in the NBA, beyond being the best player on a mediocre team. 

        • what the

          give me kyle every  day 24- 7 win or lose

      • Daniel

        Why would I bash Lowry? He is a Raptors player and I am a Raptors fan. Period. I’m not a “fan” of any player. I like certain players because they embody my balues in basketball (Jose, Amir, AP, Garbo before them). I defend Jose as a counter-party to the irrational hate against him when he is everything a basketball PG should be: unselfish, making other players better, professional, team-first, extremely efficient offensive player, engaged and good ambassador for the city and the organization. I don’t like the “New Age” PG’s who believe they are the offense instead of the facilitators of the offense. Most of all, I’m applying critical thinking to any discernible facts around me. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. I hope I’m learning from my mistakes and I have an open mind for everything. I found this website in the beginning to be more “rational” than the other fan sites however lately it’s becoming a bashfest without any rational thinking. The authors are not helping when they use “man-love” terms to describe a b-ball player. They pander to the readers which keeps away the majority of knowleadgeable fans and attracts, as FAQ likes to say, “the tribal honking” fans.

        • 2damkule

          fair enough.  but the fact is, the game has changed, and the PG position is now less traditional than when we grew up watching stockton…many of the features of jose’s game that you enjoy, i simply find irritating.  while i appreciate that he ‘facilitates’ the offense for others (which is often just code for ‘cannot create for himself’), and is pass-first in nature, i don’t feel (and have never felt) that he is actually good at CREATING good scoring opportunities for his teammates.  his inability to create space & force the D to react/help without requiring a screen, his passivity (i.e. dribbling the ball with his back to the basket, killing 5-8 seconds of the shot clock, 40-feet from the hoop), and his overall poor D (despite his best efforts…unlike some of his poor defending teammates, you certainly can’t fault jose’s effort) make him a frustrating player. 

          look, his stats will always support him, so any critique comes off as petty &/or misguided.  i felt his 18 assist game (vs UT) was one of his worst games (with his 3ple 2ble game close), and was a pretty good example of home-court bias from the stat-keeper, IMO, but you can’t actually say that, because, hey, STATS!!  for some reason (/rolls eyes), raptor fans have become used to looking at the box score & the traditional stats to determine whether someone has been impactful.

          • Daniel

            You are looking at Jose as if he’s the only player on the court. For me, he does his job and the other players have to do their job. The problem is not his number of assists, which is what I expect from my PG, the problem is the contribution of the other players to the team’s win. The game hasn’t changed as much and a team with Stockton and Malone would do pretty good today. Don’t forget that facilitators like Fisher, Kidd, Rondo, and Chalmers (I know, he’s more like “get out of LeBron’s way type of facilitator)won championships recently. Steve Nash, CP3, and Deron Williams haven’t won champiosnhips yet even if they are great complete offensive PG’s. Still the wings and the bigs win championships unless the PG is Magic (who technically was a facilitator however he had such a huge overall impact on the game).
            You are confusing me when you say that Jose style irritates you and you find him frustrating and, in the same time, you state that you grew up with Stockton: did you like him or not? Jose is indeed in the same mold as Stockton so I’m not clear if you don’t like facilitators PG’s in general or only Jose.
            Jose is gone anyway. We told him he is a “trade candidate” at the beginning of the season and the management treated him like shit by permanently telling the media in the last 3 years that they are looking for “PG of the future”.  I hope we’ll get something valuable for him however I’m afraid that Colangelo will botch this one too. He has been a master of diverting blame to coaches and some players (Bosh, Hedo, Jose) and the media and a part of the fanbase bought it hollow. It is unbelievable that such a guy can get away with murder from a b-ball point of view and he still has a job.

          • Dan

              You are dead on right about him not actually creating.

            Even in the era of Stockton you had Magic and Isaiah Thomas. Both of whom won championships. Stockton has zero. This new type of point guard isn’t anything new. Stockton also had the pleasure of playing with a great PF and the two of the mastered the pick and roll. Jose is much softer then Stockton. Just watch in the 4th last night. 50 50 ball between Jose and Young Jose sees young running towards it and gets out of the way and lets him have it. Same with any fast break and Jose is the only one back. Will never give a hard foul and make him earn  it at the line. Always jumps out of the way toavoid a foul.

        • what the

          don’t forget to add that Dribbles is the heart and soul of this out fit ,AB13 is franchise and Val is the future

          • Pimbletts

            Fernandez and Benanilli would look good with AB13,Dribbles and Val in the starting lineup now that’s a playoff team right there make it so BC.

        • Dan

           Jose is a decent point guard. But in the new faster NBA he is becoming less relevant. With more and more score first point guards he has become that much more of a liability. I think people to often look at his assists and think he is a good pg. Jose would be more effective with a team like the heat or the lakers where you have a top player who handles the ball. On this team players need the point guard to create easier shots for them and Jose does not excel at that. When I think pass first point guard I think Nash and Kidd and Rondo. Guys who control the pace and get anywhere on the floor any time draw defenders and make the right play. Jose has a very limited game. Most of assists come of pick and roll which he is just as reliant on as the other player. Or he just stands at the top pf the key and waits for people to get open themselves and the he passes to them. He is great at that. That will not get you far. You can be aggressive with the dribble and not be a shoot first guard. Jose just doesn’t get it. Please name me the traditional pgs you are thinking of that you compare Jose too. The only one I picture you saying is John Stockton.

  • NyAlesund

    Casey tried to excuse himself during the post game inteview. He said that the defeat was due to  the lack performance on boxing out, 50/50 balls situations and rebs. Before he said that the Sixers had played all the time the pnr.

    I wonder how he didn’t recognise the need to put out of the game Calderon that got burned everytime.  I really like Jose, but there are certain situations in which he is the weak ring. Like yesterday.

    • what the

      “WEAK LINK” just so you know the entity you’re talking about is the heart and soul of the toronto raptors,  notice how he has taken back his starting spot and putting up tripple double every game while KYLE IS COMING OFF THE BENCH it’s like the TJ Ford thing all over again then you have the franchise player AB13 playing like DIRK til even  his backsliders are returning but Cesco will know how to deal with them .

      • 2damkule

        is that…sarcasm?

        • Dan

           I really hope it’s sarcasm. I hope he realizes Lowry has been injured and he is not John Lucas. I hope he also realizes most Nba point guards playing 40 minutes a night handling the ball for 20 seconds of a 24 second shot clock is going to by default put up decent stats.

      • truth be told

        He is indeed playing like Dirk. Injured Dirk.

      • Destro

        Wake me when he gets to this 13 game apex…

        • what the

          no you’re not a AB13 BACKSLIDER … Cesco knows all the backsliders

      • c_bcm

        Can we all just stop bringing up the Ford/Calderon thing. Holy S&*%! Enough already. It embarrassing. Get over it.

        • what the

          WATCH THE MOVIE! what ? don’t you like reruns, Dribble in a contract year and BC brings in TJ you know the rest of the movie.
          Dribbles puting up double double and even tripple double soon you’ll hear ” we should leave Dribbles in the starting lineup and kyle the 6 man” please mr.BC sign Fernandez and Benanilli and put them in starting line up i need that cyanide pill to completly cut away from the raptors and cheer for the VAN./MEM. GRIZZ

          • Dan

             Keep in mind the best Record they had in all those seasons was with TJ starting. I will take a TJ assist over a Jose assist any day if I were a player. TJ assist means I can just stand there and he will draw defenders that will leave me to be wide open. A jose assist means I have to work my ass off to get my self open or set a pick for him first so he can get around his guy and then he can dump it off to me where I have no choice but to shoot unless I want a shot clock violation. And then I can go down to the other end of the court and leave my man to try to help Jose since he can’t guard anybody. Then his man can pass it off to whoever im covring they can hit the shot and i’m the bad defender and Jose is actually a passable defender.

            • Destro

              Very astute!

            • unknown guest

              Who, in your estimation, are the best point guards of all time?

      • Tweed8

        Jose has only every had one triple double in his career and Kyle has been injured hence the reason he came off the bench last night. And the only reason Jose is playing this hard is because his starting position is threatened so maybe we need more players who feel threatened? I think it’s a little early to say Kyle will remain on the bench. If Kyle’s IQ is what people claim it is, he spent last few games watching Jose’s interaction with certain team mates. Heart and soul is fine but, I don’t always see Jose being that guy; we also need need grit.

        Andrea isn’t Dirk and never will be and until he fixes that shooting percentage, there’s no point resting a team at his feet.  

        I love the Raps; we need a lot work but, I’ll keep supporting.

        • Dan

           Klye only came of the bench because he was injured and he was supposed to have a cap on his minutes.

  • Statement

    Bargnani Sucks.

  • Truthkiller

    Contract-wise is this the last year for Colangelo & Casey?

  • Gregast

    Doug Collins played the refs well last night and that helped them to control DDR  without worrying about his free throwing the Raps to victory. And there must be a formula being texted around the league that says small ball in the 4th beats the Raps every time because this isn’t the first time it has been used effectively to close out our heroes.

    The Toronto coaching staff is not getting the needed respect of the NBA referees. They seem to have tuned Dwane out. Wonder why? I don’t get it – he seems to be well-respected. Also they seem to have been told to pay off the whistle in the paint. So be it. Dwane and his coaches need to adjust to this new mentality because it has to work at both ends of the floor. All we want is objectivity.

    As for last night, Kyle should have been on a shorter lease being that everyone knew he was going to run out of gas in the 4th. When he did, he made mistakes and the rest of the team stood back and watched him screw up. I mean – he is the leader, right?

    • 2damkule

      late game-planning by opponents re. going small seems to be rooted in the understanding that the raps will invariably match them (vs. forcing them to match what the raps do), AND that despite going ‘small,’ the raps will continue to play bargs, which makes things easier.

      i’d be interested to see the raps either refuse to match what an opponent is doing (i.e. going big when they go small, and abuse them on the glass & in the post until they change), and/or use a more effective rebounder & defender (val??) if they do ‘go small’ but want to have at least one big on the floor.

    • what the

      BC should  not have complained about the reffs payback is a 

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    The Raptors played a good game against a rather good team and lost.  this game should be looked upon as a stepping stone to a better future.

    • lloyd

      I am down with the future.   I think teaching often comes at the expense of good coaching. 

      Maybe Casey is using 4th quarter minutes as a carrot for Val, could be entirely possible that it is that ploy that has him looking a lot better lately.

      That said, I probably would have played him last night as desert to hard work.

      (sometimes you need to go a few steps back, to properly teach… take Andrea for instance, he never had to earn his minutes, look at him now… his motivation is uncertain quanta)

  • 511

    On the plus side of things, Jonas Valanciunas is looking more beastly-goddam-good, almost every game he plays. I’m REALLY liking what he’s showing. I don’t understand the limited minutes thing, no, but little doubt he is going to be a much talked about player in this league for some time to come. This guy’s more than just a little bit special, imo. 

  • Mauro Rossi

    Kyle has been bad. Blame the refs for it, or just being back but in reality he was the one shooting 5/14 and 3/8 FT.

    I can understand why Casey keep playing Kyle and Caldy together but I hope this experiment will end soon. As soon as we can have a 3 that can hit the “3” and stick to his man.

    Blame Casey for sticking  Val on the bench and for the fact that if we go big vs small, the ball doesn’t go in the paint earlier and more often.

    Don’t blame Dre and DD has both had an average game.

  • Overthewall

    The title of this post is misleading.  It is assuming that the Raptors have defence to begin with.

    • sleepz

      I think this is their biggest issue.

      Sacrificing defence for more offence is not a good for this squad.

      • sleepz

        not a good move

      • j bean

        Coaches like players should maybe know their limitations and accentuate their strengths. Casey proved he knows how to coach defense. 
        So when you are leading in the last 5 minutes of play and the other team is going on a run [33 points in 4th] you put out your toughest guys and slow it down, no? AB and JC have their positives but closing out close games with a win, not very often. 
          

        • sleepz

          Agreed.

          Don’t play defensive liabilities in late game scenario’s…….. but the guys you’ve named are trotted out there everytyime consequences be damned.

          Why is this continuing?

          The media needs to stop being soft and challenge Colangelo.

          • Destro

            If you have DeRozan,Val,Kyle on the floor you have enough offense…

            • sleepz

              I agree but those in the organization (I truly hope it’s not Casey but BC’s meddling) feel like that is not enough and that they need the “match-up nightmare” out there.lol

  • cdub

    I can’t believe how many people throw bargs under the bus on the site after every loss.   I’m not endorsing him at all, but he was clearly not the reason they lost last  night, not even close. Ive seen a lot worse lines than 10-21with 7 boards… he would have got some shots in the 4th if the raptors could run their offense under pressure.  but when you play calderon who can’t break his man down off the dribble or penetrate you get a bunch of defenders in your face and crappy half court sets.  then on the other end you have lowry and calderon trying to guard young and holiday, unable to guard the dribble penetration or 3 pt shot at all.  You have Amir “Statue” Johnson in the game, who I guess is totally allowed to show up once every 3 or 4 games because he only makes 6mil a season instead of 10.  and your in the bonus with over 8 minutes left in the qrt and go 3-9 from the line….We lost because casey can’t manage the game with what he has and can’t make any adjustments when things go south….3 4th quarter leads not blown and we would be 6-5 right now instead of 8-3…