The Rapcast remains resurrectedy! This is officially re-launched, and we’ll run it weekly on Fridays.

This time around, Zarar (“Arsenalist”) and Garrett (“Aaron Gray”) joined me and we discussed the endgame from Charlotte, Andrea Bargnani’s struggles at both ends and on the glass, the team’s porous defense and more.

Topics and Items of Note

  • The Raptors blew it in Philly and Charlotte. Were the refs to blame, or should the Raps not even have been in that situation?
  • Are we rebuilding or trying to win games?
  • Andrea Bargnani – why is he struggling? Does it have to do with the team context?
  • Andrea Bargnani – where are the rebounds and the effort?
  • Andrea Bargnani – are he and Jonas not built to play together?
  • Drastic Lineup Suggestion – a Bargs-Davis-Valanciunas lineup?
  • Team Defense – was expected to be a strength, now a weakness, but why?
  • Stats – maybe too many. Maybe I was just trolling Zarar.
  • Dominic McGuire and John Lucas III – Yup, they’re getting airtime
  • Lowry’s play and personality so far – meeting expectations?
  • Synergy of DeRozan and Lowry
  • Predictions for tonight in Detroit
  • More!!


Grab the feed. You can also download the file (36:19, 14MB). Or just listen below:

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  • calmao

    Be realistic you need AB because there are not shooters in this team, what does not makes sense is having JC finishing games. At the end of a game you need guards that can give you some defence protecting penetration which he can’t do and guards that attack the rim so you have a chance to get FT.

    • Daniel

      In Charlotte Jose didn’t play the last 2 defensive possessions and we got scored against every time. Do you know what scapegoat means? You can take Jose completely out of the lineup and I guarantee our defence will be the same. The defensive problems of this team go well beyond Jose.

      • calmao

        That is true, but JC wasn’t providing anything. I’m just worried that Casey has decided the play the 2 point guards at the same time for long periods of time and we know how that worked out when Triano tried that 2 years ago.

        • Daniel

          In specifically that game the 2 PG line-up went on a 10-2 run on the 4th Q and brought us back into the game. We almost won it with that lineup. In my opinion it’s stupid to use Jose at the 2 and Lowry at the 1 knowing that Jose is a better passer and decision-maker than Lowry and Lowry is a better slasher from the 2. There are a few situations when the 2 PG lineup can work (in Charlotte the Bobcats used Walker and Sessions at the same time) however I don’t like it for the majority of times. Just run with Lowry and live with the consequences.

      • j bean

        You are to Calderon what Cesco is to Bargnani. Very amusing.

    • j bean

      Bargs isn’t needed for his scoring. Take a cup of water out of the ocean and what happens? His twenty shots (of which he misses 12-13) would go to Lowry, DeRozan, Ross…. 
      Agree about Jose. He is this team’s backup pg. He does that very well. To try and expand his role is foolish. It throws off Lowry and takes a better defender out of the picture.

      • calmao

        I’m actually not a big fan of AB but if you put ED instead for example, because ED is not a thread to score, those other 3 guys could get double-team easily making it more difficult for them to score.

        • Theswirsky

          if the opposing team decides to double team on the perimeter… all the more power to them.

          That leaves someone open, and if its Ed’s guy thats doing the doubling that means an open man in the paint.

          I’ll take that trade off every day of the week.

          Reality is, teams aren’t going to double team on the perimeter unless its a trap in the corner and rarely do the Raps send the ball down there.

          • Daniel

            Ed is not an offensive threat (or Amir without Jose) at the PF so the opposing teams will load the defence on Lowry and Demar and you have no offense in the 4th Q. Andrea is an offensive threat which allows the slashers to operate. Our SF and C are black holes in offense, especially in the 4th Q. The problem is that Andrea struggles so the opponents cheat and sag on him and play in box formation. There are basketball reasons for our record and our struggles and it would be great if this site would start having actual basketball conversations instead of getting all hanged up on certain players. 

        • j bean

          As the Theswirsky pointed out if they sent a big out to double that leaves our bigs 2 to 1 inside. They are gonna finish at a much higher rate than Barg’s 38 percent. 

      • Daniel

        That’s the first official excuse for Lowry: Jose throws him off, the same as Conley and Dragic did before in Memphis and Houston. Do you even understand what you are saying?

        • j bean

          Do you not see the irony of your post saying fans at this site are hung up on certain players and there should be more basketball conversations? Go back and read your posts and you’ll see they are almost exclusively about Calderon. He is the best pg, his defensive play has nothing to do with anything because they are just as bad without him. When it comes to Lowry your comments are all negative because it seems he is a threat to your wonderful Jose.

    • Dan

       Plus they insist on keeping Jose on the faster point guard and the much shorter but faster lowry on the bigger shooting guards. Andrea and Jose are the only two three point threats so that is why on this team he should work well with JOnas.

  • mountio

    Good podcast. A couple of thoughts
    – Interesting that in the whole talk of development vs winning you guys didnt even mention T Ross. This guys is our #8 pick in a loaded draft! Plus, his limited minutes have been fairly decent. We have to play this guy (especially ahead of D Mac! As you guys note, D Macs d hasnt even been good)
    – You guys didnt really conclude on this, but Im all in favour of trying different lineups (btw, good coaches do this whether you are winning, losing or otherwise, to exploit matchups and change the pace of the game). The same way that we can use JC/KL in stretches, we should do the opposite in stretches and go big with AB/ED/JV (or AJ in there). Not the whole game, but we should try in stretches. Either play zone on D, or man .. how bad can AB be agianst big 3s compared to what hes doing against 4s

  • Nilanka15

    Funny Jamario Moon comment.  He would definitely be one of the better SFs on this team right now.  Sad.

  • Psyk

    My (modest) take on last year’s AB’s 13 awesome games: he was in love with that beautiful volleyball player and life was great. Then this year she dumps him…and hop, he’s back to his old self…and probably missing his mum…

    • j bean

      There could be a lot of truth to that. A happier frame of mind is conducive to better performance.

  • voy

    we have been developing young (rebuild mode) players for 4 years?!?  thats  interesting.  what players from the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 roster were we developing that had the potential to be core players on a good team?

    you cant say we’ve been developing amir for the past few years, we’ve been developing ed for the past few years now its time to take the emphasis on off of the young player development.  you actually need decent young pieces for the “development” to count.  you cant say “we’ll we’ve spent 2 years developing weems, pops bensu and belinelli, now lets roll into battle”.

    I say the earliest you can say the rebuild started was from the 2010-2011 season.  you cant have a thesis that the emphasis on youth started the year before when we still had bosh on the team; you cant say the team was focusing on young talent development when they go out and sign reggie evans and hedo. 

    we have lowry and dd coming into their own, we have jv looking like a stud, we have t.ross looking not too bad at this early stage of the season.  now is not the time to say “screw the development of the young players”.  now that we have some young pieces that you can actually envision going forward with, now is the time to say “give these guys the time to improve their game and lets continue to stockpile young assets”. 

    I’m not saying give the team 5 more years.  I say use this year as a measuring stick to see what we have in the lowry, dd, jv core. see if ed can replicate what amir offers (and hopefully a little more).  explore what the market yields you for calderon and amir (worse case scenario you have calderon’s contract coming off the books) and use bargs as potentially the last bullet in your chamber to fill out another primary need.

    now is not the time to pretend we’ve been rebuilding for 5 years and to float the thesis that its time for a change.  instead of trying to contend with poorly pieced together vets, who were decent players on their own but didn’t work out together, like o’neal, marion, hedo, bosh, evans, we need to continue the young player rebuild by giving them time and continuing to fill in needs.  the last thing we need to to look for quick solutions in order to become a 7th or 8th seed this year.

    anyway, i didn’t intend for this to be a rant and I hope I dont sound like the unabomber but these are just my thoughts. other opinions welcome.

    • sleepz

      Great points.

      The problem is the GM is looking at this like he has spent time rebuilding (which he has not) and is now in the ‘accelerated’ part of the rebuild (what does that even mean?lol).

      The coach and GM have been on record saying that they have enough youth and are now trying to add pieces around that youth to move forward.

      I am in agreement with you. This rebuild has essentially just started.

      • Nilanka15

        An even bigger problem is a GM who deep down believes that his job security rests on the Raptors making the playoffs this year.  What’s best for the team isn’t what’s best for Colangelo.  A serious conflict of interests.

        • voy

          thats potentially a huge problem and not only with the raps but with any organization looking to rebuild.  i am keeping my fingers crossed that management/ownership are on the same page here. 

          as heartbreaking/frustrating as several losses have been this year we have to remember last year we had argueably zero pieces that we could consider a core part of a rebuilding team.  this year I think you can argue we have 3, or at least 2.5.  i see how the team plays with kl, jc, dd and jv on the floor at the same time and I think “you know, if we can replace jose’s spot with an athletic, legit 2 who can defend and create but also shoot it as well as jose, thats not too bad a 4some.  last year I would have thought that an impossibility.

        • sleepz

          I don’t think he needs to make the playoffs to save his job though.

          I never anticipated them making the playoffs this year and whenever they drop out of contention I’m certain the excuses will come out in full force.

          As long as the season isn’t disastrous (4th pick in the draft type of disastrous) I feel the higher ups will keep Collars around, which I am quite fearful of.

        • CJT

          I don’t think the GM feels like this at all.  I don’t believe he is that worried about his job at all.  He is highly employable and will not have any problem getting another one.  Despite what Toronto fans think of him.  I think the pressure to make the playoffs comes from the fans, not the management.  It is tough to sell a rebuilding team for many seasons in a row and regardless of how valid he believes the chances of making the playoffs really are, it should still be the goal of the franchise to try and make it shouldn’t it?

  • Dan

    The problem with putting ANdrea at the three is he struggles on offense against faster more mobile defenders. It will take away his ability to put it on the floor as much. Having the height advantage will make him settle for more long jumpers. If he were to post up more then it wouldn’t be a bad option. He seems to have given up on that part of his game this year. Even then he does not have a l lot of good shooters to kick it out to when he does draw a double team in the post. If you have Jose or Ross at the two then they should run more plays for Andrea in the post.

    • cdub

      the reason andrea was playing well last year as his game revolved around being in closer to the basket and getting to the line.  hes not doing that anymore.  there are so many things he could be doing, like a pull up jumper from the free throw line area.  he could probably get that shot many times a game if he wanted.  He just needs to read the defence…its either a 3, a pull up jumper, a pass, or a drive.  whatever the defence gives him.  he just gets it and makes up his mind it seems.  settling for long twos, delivering a late pass after he gets shut down, etc…  no one should take a long two unless they have to.   not derozan, not bargs, especially not amir.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Nope, the reason why AB came out guns ablaze last season was all the AB’s a PF not a Center off season hype from BC and his media talking heads as AB had to come out strong not wrong or he would have been written off last season.

        AB just doesn’t give a fuck about anything other than his 20 shots per game the guy scored 25 points (on 21 shots) last game but only grabbed 2 rebounds leaving Jonas to battle the Bobcats 2 bigs by himself for the most part when they paired up in the Raptors lineup together. Or any other Raptors big paired up with AB is left to battle the other teams 2 bigs as AB mostly floats on the perimeter avoiding contact at all costs.

        This is AB’s 7th season (comes into camp out of shape) and he’s on his second contract yet Val looks 100% better than AB effort wise when on the court while playing with much more heart despite his lack of NBA experience.

  • aaron

    The problem with our offense is our inability to pass the ball inside and to run plays that take advantage of our size mismatches.  I blame Casey and Andrea equally for there inability to run plays that take advantage of our size.  You need to run the proper play to get Andrea the ball on the block against thadeus young and kid gilchrist.    ALso why hasn’t ANdrea learned to keep his hands up in the key.  Every 7 footer should have his hand at least at chest or shoulder level when they’re by the key.  Andreas hands are down by his hips consistently when he’s in the key.  Both Andrea and JV have an inability to post up and drop step there right should and turn to the left.    I see a lot of small things that cost raps points and games.  I’ve been really dissappointed with Casey as a coach this year.  
            On defense Andrea is a good one on one defender but is clueless as help defender or rebounder.  ANdrea seems to just watch the ball alot and doesn’t adjust his defensive position when hes  free to roam.  Sometimes I would like to see Andrea just go get rebounds or  block a shot as a help side defender  ie..aggressively like chandler.  
          The same goes for Andrea sitting around the 3 point line when he’s matched up with smaller defenders.  He should be setting up in the post and it would be great if the raps even ran a pick for andrea to be open on the other block.  Casey coachs offense like the raps are the dallas mavericks of the year they won.  Raps can’t just sit around the 3 point line and swing the ball untill someones open and shoot a high percentage.  To me this has been a badly coached team this year.

  • BlakeMurphy

    Bargnani was listening!