Raptors 101, Rockets 117 – Box

That was ugly for many reasons, not the least of which is that zero defense was played. I don’t quite know where to begin. Whether you talk about perimeter, interior, help, or any other of flavor of defense, the Raptors did not care to play it. I don’t know if it`s people just not being on the same page (like the bigs) or Casey being tuned out, but it`s clear that the message that the foundation of this team is supposed to be defense isn’t getting through.

If you cared to watch the full game, you will have seen countless instances of cases where pairs of defenders were completely out of sync of what each other was supposed to do. Valanciunas and Bargnani may as well have been on different planets whenever somebody strolled down the lane; whichever one of our PG/Bigs were defending the pick ‘n roll, a slip or bounce pass which sliced open the defense was too easy to make (see Patterson/Lin or Asik/Lin). My mind short circuits when I see the transition defense. Half the time the Raptors don`t get back, and the times they do they never seem to force the other team to reset. You know, when a team realizes that even though they have numbers, the defense is well-positioned enough that it forces them to enter the half-court set instead of hoisting up a bad shot. A Houston player was never more than a side-step away from evading whatever defense was in transition. Poor, very.

The warning signs were here early and the loudest one was the Raptors’ willingness to play a full-court game, which is exactly Houston’s strength and is an area where the Raptors can’t hope to endure. You knew that even if the Raptors somehow miraculously managed to stick in this one, the ease at which Houston got their points was going to be the ultimate difference. Bottom line is we can’t out-gun teams, and any chance to do so is replicating the follies of Jay Triano’s time.

The collective stench raised by the team’s defense performance drowns out any individual performances and reduces their merit to the point where talking about it is meaningless. Terrence Ross’s showing, and defense of James Harden, was impressive, mainly because this turned into a game which suits him – open court, free-flowing, less accountability as it’s already a blowout, and a chance to throw down some nice dunks. Job done, but what does it mean really? Andrea Bargnani was on fire, doing no different than what he does every night, which is hoisting up shots. Last night they went in and he looked good.

The same can’t be said about DeRozan, who got lured into taking early jumpers, with nary a rebounder underneath the rim. It sounds simple and it’s relevant: he’s got to be a drive-first player because he’s not a good enough mid-range jump shooter to be anything else. Maybe in time he can develop his pull-up game enough to warrant a blind eye being turned when he pulls up in transition for an 18-footer, however, that time isn`t now. On the road against a tough opponent, you expect a leader of the team (and he is that, given his contract and the status crowned to him by the organization) to establish the tone of the game, yet he played right into Houston`s hands.

The Raptors only made 12 trips to the line last night, and unlike in other games this season, it was for lack of trying. The three guys responsible for doing so (DeRozan, Bargnani, and Lowry) went there a combined 6 times. This isn’t so much important in terms of offensive production (the Raptors did shoot 48%), it`s more to do with setting the tone for the game.

If you were counting on Kyle Lowry to have any sort of incentive to make Houston regret trading him, fool you were. Jeremy Lin, who has been struggling, was made to look like the Lin of those 10 games in New York as he put up 16/10 and kept Lowry on his toes with the usual herky-jery moves. Lowry, in turn, mustered up a 3-10 and 3 turnovers, and looked anything like a player who could provide for, let alone inspire, his teammates on this night. It’s difficult to accept that the Raptors still haven’t managed to nurture or sign a guy who can be a leader on the court.

Down by some in the first, by more in the second and by hell of a lot more in the third, meant the game was out of hand, thus rendering the fourth as premium garbage time, complete with the token run made by the team receiving the pounding. In a Rapcast earlier, I suggested that Casey needed to be commended for getting this group to play hard, not so last night. The fear here is that the 3-12 record combined with anticipated losing of some upcoming games will completely sap the remaining enthusiasm about this season. If you were thinking that the schedule will somehow turn in our favor and we’ll get all these games back, let me tell you that’s never ever happened in Raptors history. We never win the games we’re supposed to win, and we’ll invariably drop games like Washington at home.

A note about the strength of schedule, you might’ve been fed some information that the Raptors have it really rough, but according to basketball reference, we’ve had the 7th easiest schedule in the league. Yes, there might have been a lot of road games, but there also have been games against Indiana, Philadelphia, Utah, Orlando, and Detroit.

I suppose I could talk about the three spot a little and how Dominic McGuire and Linas Kleiza are serving to be one of the worst rotations we’ve ever had. I’m not going to do that, though, because you already know that. You already know that the signing of Kleiza was a mistake, and you already know that the only reason he’s on the team is to baby-sit Valanciunas. I suppose that’s being of some benefit to the organization.

A Casey comment:

I don’t know what the reasons were that we didn’t come out ready to play…we can’t allow our type of defense to regress where we get into a tit-for-tat type of game…we didn’t bring the defensive focus…I was disappointed in our focus to start the game and to start the third quarter.

Sure, Houston came out blazing to start the 1st and 3rd, but let’s not kid ourselves that that was the reason we lost. Casey’s larger point of the team coming out flat, both in their focus and defensive effort, is the issue here and that’s probably the more scary problem. The body language out there was not great last night, either. Whenever somebody scored there were accusatory looks being exchanged and indications of frustrations boiling over. In all likelihood, the playoffs are already out of reach, but it’s still early enough to make this a season where some progress can be marked. To achieve that, though, the team persona has to improve.

The main constraint on the Raptors improving are that there aren’t any players coming in any time soon. We’ve committed to Bargnani and DeRozan, and to a lesser extent Kleiza, Johnson, and Lowry. There’s likely no first-round draft pick this year, and the draft isn’t exactly great to begin with. Our trade assets have never been high, with Calderon probably the tastiest of the picks. And I’m not even sure Colangelo will be allowed to make any more moves if the team goes south. After all, how many changes does an NBA GM get? That too in one organization.

It’s bleak times as usual if you’re a Raptors fan. Our best near-term hope is that:

  1. The overall defense finds its way to improve from being bottom-third in the league.
  2. Two of DeRozan, Bargnani and Lowry produce on an efficient clip on a nightly basis.
  3. Our bench production (whatever happened that depth?) is such that we can sustain those second/third quarter periods without digging a hole.
  4. Casey figures out his rotation, sub-patterns to the point where we have the best possible unit for that night on the court when it matters.

The Quick Reaction has player ratings.

  • Canadian Paul

    Gentlemen, we’re going to be 4-18 by the time we finish playing Portland. Get ready for some house-cleaning.

  • Truthkiller

    Can’t believe we all got suckered into thinking this was a playoff team, again!!

    • CJT

      Grow up.  Take responsibility for your own thoughts and beliefs.  You were not suckered by anyone you suckered yourself in to believing whatever it is that you believed. 

    • Nilanka15

      My preseason win prediction was 38.  I’m revising that to 5.

      • Holycraptors.com

        I predicted them to finish 38th in the league too! I’m not revising that. Unless Washington gets hot.

      • WHAT THE

        there goes Mitt again flip flopping

        • Nilanka15

          New evidence (in the form of a 3-12 record), my friend. 

          The world isn’t flat anymore.  Wake up.

          • Steve

            No you are flipflopping again Mittlanka :). What are your new views now on your boy Scott Machado aka the elite PG that you wanted the Raptors to draft badly? Saying they will regret it if it does not happen. Did he see the bench is this game or?? :) :)

            • Nilanka15

              Hahaha!  Ooooohhh, I’m so burned.  How ashamed I must be.  How could I ever show my face here again.  I bow down to you, Steve.  I’m totally eating crow right now….

              Clearly Tomislav Zubcic was a better choice with our 56th pick than a young PG with promise (at a time when we didn’t have Lowry or Lucas).

              • Steve

                I did not say Zubcic was a better choice, but what I do remember is you clamoring for the Raptors to go after Machado :) Even said Houston got a steal :) Are you thinking All-Star game for Machado this year Mittlanka or more flipflopping?? :)

                • Nilanka15

                  Allstar game?  We’re resorting to bold-faced lies now?  Ok, cool.

                  Hey remember that time you said Rick Brunson was the best PG in Raptor history, and that him and Eric Montross would be the inside-out combo of the future?  Care to stand behind that comment?

                • Steve

                  I never stand behind comments that I have never made. Flipfloplanka :)

                • Nilanka15


                • Nilanka15

                  I never said Machado is a future allstar.

                • Steve

                  On the contrary Mittlanka, I believe at the very least you implied it :) It is just one of a host of predictions that you have backtracked on :):) At least man up and admit it Mitt Romnilanka.

                • Nilanka15


                  I “implied” did I?  You can read my mind now?  That’s much more impressive than my apparent scouting prowess.

                  Steve Freud (Miss Cleo), psychic extraordinaire!  Tell me, oh wise one, what do the tarrot cards say today?

                  When all else fails, rely on made up arguments.  It’s the Steve way!  :)

                • Dan

                   I was actually hoping they would take Machado also. Or Will Barton. I think Quincy was drafted because he happens to look a bit like Reggie evans and Bryan knew most of the fans really liked him. He’s not great a finding late round talent so maybe he could trick us into liking a pick based on nostalgia. 

                • Nilanka15

                  Even in hindsight, taking a shot on a young, talented, pass-first PG (a position of need at the time) would’ve made much more sense than either Acy or especially Zubcic.

                  BackpeddlerSteve is desperately trying to zing me, and failing miserably.

                • Steve

                  If he was young and talented then why did he go undrafted and glued to the bench? Please tell me this Scoutlanka :)

                • Nilanka15


                  Because no young/talented player has ever struggled early in their careers before, right?  RIGHT?

                  You keep serving them up, and I keep knocking them out of the park.  Keep ’em coming, Mitch Williams.

    • http://twitter.com/DJAG88 Big D

      That’s your own fault. They had a chance at making it a very slim one at that but this was a 35 win team at it’s best, that was my opinion going in. Looks like it might be lower than Hollingers prediction of 33 wins

    • Jamshid

      Not All !!! The heard believed what they read on the forum and BC interviews and … Some of us spoke up but then were labaled as haters and accused of not being a “REAL Fans”.

      • cesco

         I think that most fans who were thinking about possible playoffs were looking at the POTENTIAL improvements at several positions . Potential improvements and real improvements are two different animals as we are witnessing .

        • Dan

           Even the guys on hoopsworld (not just Stephen Brotherson) Were calling the Raptors a Dark horse to make the Playoffs. JV has been good and I think they should run more plays for him. I just don’t think Kyle is the right fit with this team. He is good and I want him to stick around. What the raps need is a guy who plays like Lin. How many times did he get in the paint draw multiple defenders and drop it of for an easy dunk or wide open three. Raps need that because nobody on this team can create their own shot. Andrea can a bit but they run such a stagnant offense and it’s why they settle for so many jump shots. Jose can hit cutters and open shooters but he cant get anywhere he wants and get guys open like lin and harden did last night. Lowry looks like he has that potential but settles for jumpshots too. They need a playmaker and or a post scorer so they can start drawing double teams. The way they play now makes it to easy on the defense.


       We all?  Check yourself.

  • Canadian Paul

    What people don’t realize is that the Raptors’ good defense last
    year was built off of the absence of Bargnani. With Bargnani on court
    they were 3.3 ppg worse, i.e. had he continued to play, they would have
    ranked 26th or 27th and not 14th.
    Consequently, people have the illusion that they’re not replicating last year’s defense.

    • Mo

      Not just Bargnani, the stats were skewed by Casey favoring defensive guys and slowing down the pace (remember Kevin O’Neal anyone?). JJ, Uzoh, Anderson are now replaced by better offensive players. The main problem with the Raptors is that the core players (AB,Derozan,Calderon) are one dimensional and really no two-way players on the roster. I can only imagine how bad defensively they would be if BC had acquired Steve Nash. 

      • http://twitter.com/DJAG88 Big D

        The core is more so Lowry, DeRozan, Valanciunas in my eyes. Calderon and Andrea are dead to me. The sooner they’re gone the more I might invest my time with this team. 

        • pran

          why you lying you still watched the last game 😉

        • Dan

           Derozan and Andrea are very similar. Both Guys who don’t do much other then scoring. Andrea although more streaky this year then ever is the more natural and talented scorer of the two. He is a better shooter and for his position a good ball handler. He can also post up and defends alright in the post. Demar is mainly effective going to the basket and any team this year that has forced him to catch the ball a little further out he struggles and becomes very turnover prone.

      • Dan

        They would be terrible on D with Nash. He would make them more effective on offense and would suit the style of pushing it like Casey wants. Jose is afraid of the paint and hovers outside the three point line only. Lowry seems to be adapting to that too now. They need a playmaker point guard. (Jose is a passer not a playmaker)

    • RapthoseLeafs

      [What people don’t realize is that the Raptors’ good defense last
      year was built off of the absence of Bargnani.”]

      Gotta disagree with you CP.

      2011-12 – Bargnani was 1st on the team with “simple rating” as defined by 82games.com


      2012-13  – Andrea is 4th in “simple rating”, however Raptors are not worse when AB is on the court.

      When he’s on the court, Toronto is -1.2
      When he’s OFF the court, Toronto is -8.2


      I’d be the first one to acknowledge that Andrea got off to a bad start, and that he has his shortcomings, but to say we’re better off with AB off the court (then on) … that is simply NOT TRUE.

      This gives credence to why Casey runs him too long. 36.3 mpg (over the last 10 games) is simply too much. 30 – 32 mpg would be more reasonable.

      Team defense is not the same as last year. Why?

      Number of reasons would include:
      1) New players (JV, Lowry, Ross, Acy, Fields, McGuire, Lucas – 7 players (3 Starters)

      2) Casey may have moved his focus towards Offense, simply because it sucked last year. And in turn didn’t emphasize Defense enough.

      3) Steals sound great (we’re a plus against opponents … 7.3 – 6.5), but they also mean committing instead of playing safe (and better defensively)

      4) Rookies/Younger players have a more central role then before (especially compared to last year). It takes time for them to learn, and time for veterans to adjust to new players/team-mates.

      5) Being mentally prepared – at least for the 1st game of Back-to-Backs. With the exception of this Houston game (and not counting San Antonio – they had only 88 points within 4 quarters), Raps have ONLY allowed 100+ points in the 1st game of Back-to-Backs. Why? Idk.


      • RapthoseLeafs


        2012-13 … Raps are -1.6 (not -1.2) with AB on court, -8.2 off court, for a score of +6.6 (for Andrea).


        And that’s with his scoring down from last year, or the previous year, the year before that … yada yada yada. He is tracking better (San Antonio excepted) in the scoring department.


  • Jesse

    Some thoughts from a long time reader…first time poster.

    a) IF we’re defense focused then why don’t we bring Andrea off the bench as 6th man… where his me first offense makes sense as a spark plug and his weak defense doesn’t confuse our strategic focus.
    b) Start the best defensive 5… get stops and turnovers and push the ball in transition.  Right now it’s basically switching Amir/Ed for Andrea.
    c) The allure of Andrea has to be appealing… trade him…please… we all know that he has a huge ceiling but we also know that he may likely never even hit it.

    • Dan

       Demar is a worse defender then Andrea. And a worse shooter for spacing the floor. Let Demar be 6th man of the year and let Ross and develop faster. You can keep the minutes the same just let Ross start the first 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Aaa

    Why do we keep saying that we have depth? The only people I am comfortable with on the bench is Calderon, Ross (Who is unproven, will go through growing pains and I am really only listing because I am interested) and Ed Davis. Not only that, but we have a gaping hole in the SF (both starting positions and bench). If you don’t like traditional labelling, let’s just say our wing rotation is not deep then. I don’t really believe in Kleiza or Fields being consistent off the bench and our team is essentially a clusterfuck of mid-tier talent.

  • Nilanka15

    Not sure how much more of this mess Colangelo can stomach without itching to make a desperate move simply to shake up the locker room.  He’s a lame duck GM right now knowing his walking papers are about to be stamped.

    Remember when we were 3-7, and the “mature” fans were telling us to “relax…there’s still 72 games to play”?  Well, 5 consecutive losses later, this team doesn’t look like they would benefit from an MLB-inspired 162-game schedule.  We’re getting worse instead of better, while still making the same mistakes we saw in game 1.

    Casey must be running out of believable “we’re still improving” excuses.  This team is lost right now, and praying the return of Landry solves our problems, is asking for trouble.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raps beat Memphis tonight.  That’s how schizophrenic this team has been during the Colangelo era. 

    No identity. 
    No consistency. 
    No relevancy.
    No solution.

  • aaron

    The raps have two monster weaknesses.   The small forward spot might be the worst small forward position in the history of the nba.  Half the games have been donuts and they don’t get great defense or rebounding out of that position.  Someone please look up what our production has been so far this year from that spot?
         Secondly our team defense might be the worst I’ve ever seen.   Andrea is lost,  Lowry is constantly out of position because he cheats,  demar rarely rotates and is a terrible one on one defender,  Mc guire isn’t smart enough to be a good team defender,  JV over hustles and is too weak.  Casey needs to start getting into the heads of his players on defense.
         MOst of the issues with the roster are due to BC’s impatients.  Too often BC gets fed up with players (besides bargs) and does lateral movements that make the team worse.  Couple examples he lets humprhies walk and replaces him with AMir Johnson (lateral movement down),  last year we had johnson at small forward this year we have LF and Mcguire another lateral movement.  Lowry was a little upgrade over Bayless but last year we got the same production out of cald.  and bayless  as were getting out of lowry and cald..    But we gave up a first round pick to have the same production as we had last year.  
         IN conclusion we have the same problems as the leafs are GM never lets the team get enough talent before they start over tinkering.

    • Dan

       James Johnson is not lateral. That is a step back. He was a good defender. Even when he gambled he had the ability to recover to make those big blocks that get the team fired up. I get he troubles with the coach but he was more talented then what they have now. I still feel he was traded to eliminate the chance of him stealing the starting spot from fields and making Bryan look like he screwed up again.

      • Dan

        I do like Fields and hope it was this elbow thing that was effecting his shot. He is like JOnas and knows how to play without the ball and put him self ins good scoring positions. When I say James Johnson is better I’m talking Landry last year. If he reverts to his rookie season stats like Bryan is hoping for then Landry is the better player.

      • Colinm

         I agree with u about james-plus he was starting to become a legitimate scoring option plus good rebounder-we have not replaced him adequately
        as for poorer defense this year i blame it on new players-injuries a big part not having anderson available is huge to the rotations
        but I want to say that just because a guy is a great athlete doesn’t mean he’s a good fit or a “good” defender I’m calling out Lowry as great athlete but bad overall defender whose “chemistry” has hurt us by gambles, by his late being back downcourt either going for rebounds or by falling on his butt when he drives, and by his  gambling and late reactions on defence— in my opinion this makes him as much of a defensive liability as Jose

  • RaptorFan

    Embarrasing game defensively…..some quick thoughts:

    1) Does anyone remember James Johnson??? Can we get him back for Mcguire and maybe a scrub???

    I have a feeling that our drop in defence has something to do with him not being on our team

    2) Our starting lineup is clearly not working

    We should start Lowry, Ross, Derozan, Ed Davis and JV

    The future is now! Bargnani can be our 6th man talent and everyone else can get traded as far as I’m concerned.

    3) The season is running away from these guys (it always seems to every year)

    BC needs to do something like trade Amir, Calderon, Kleiza, or even Bargnani…..let’s get the old regime out and start fresh

    4) I’m impressed with JV, ROSS, Demar and ED this year.

    As bad as we look this year, the future still somehow looks bright. They need to be surrounded with some veterans and players who can actually play ball.


    • NyAlesund

       You are impressed with DeMarr………..Jesus………38 mln for someone that is not able to defend.

      • Dan

         Or dribble and shoot very  well.

  • Marsh

    I honestly think we need to have Bargs be our sixth man, not trade him, then have Ed Davis start. If he can play like he has been with larger minutes and a bigger role, we could be much better

  • voy

    yeah, there are way too many holes all over the place to have objectively thought we were playoff bound this year.  this being said, there were more holes last year.  thats not supposed to take away the sting from getting your ass kicked last night but it is a fact. 
    last night was brutal, but i still make the argument you have 2 or 3 pieces (jv kl, dd) you can roll forward with.  that doesn’t mean they are untouchable or that doesn’t mean they will be the best players on your team when management fills enough holes/acquire enough pieces to get better. but that does mean regardless of last night’s loss we are in a better position to compete in the future, now, than we were last year, in my opinion.
    way too many alarmist out there.  way too many guys who seem to think there is one magic move management can make today to make this team championship bound today.  I’m not excusing any mistakes bc or casey may have made but I am saying some perspective is required.  you need to have a long term plan.  just because you get your ass kicked one game and lose a whole bunch of heartbreakers doesn’t mean you blow up the youth movement.

    the alarmists remind me of the same guys who made all the “lebron has no 4th quarter” jokes.  they’re looking at an absolute moooonster of a player surrounded by pieces of shit on the floor, in cleveland, and they’d slag him for winning 60 games a year but not bringing home the championship.  some perspective people, please.  understand what we had last year and the year before, recognise the pieces we have this year and ask yourself “despite the record this year, are we in a better position now or last year?”

    this is not an argument for casey or bc.  this is an argument to continue with the youth movement.

    • tweed8

       I would also keep TRoss and Ed D.

      • voy

        yeah. I’m not automatically saying get rid of everyone else, I’m just saying when you are franchise planning on how you are going to build your team you can, right now, pencil in jv as your centre, kl as your pg, and then depending on how much you like him dd, as your 3/2.

        I like T.Ross quite a bit. However, I think its way too early to definately say he is the 2 guard of the future.  Let the kid show what he has for a season or two before we annoint him as our man at the 2 spot.

        I like ed as well.  we gotta give him more that 15 minutes a game this year.  we gotta see what he can do if give 30 minutes a game.  I think he should be the first big off the bench.

    • Slander Us

       I agree with you – but this raises an issue with the coaching right now: they’re not doing enough to develop the young guys. This season is lost – everyone knows it. If the current management/coaching is to inspire any confidence in the fans, it would be by focusing on developing the young players. Bargs needs to ride the bench for a while (if for no other reason than to FINALLY send a message to him). Calderon needs to ride the press box pine – I’m not sure how it’s possible, but his defense has only gotten worse this year.

      Further, if this is a rebuild, the BC needs to say so – I give him no leeway here because he was the guy calling them playoff worthy. He sets expectations high every year – if they’re riding a youth movement, then the message from management needs to reflect that, the coaching needs to reflect that.

      I agree with you 100% about perspective – but I think the fans’ perspective was shaped by the likes of BC saying playoffs were attainable. They are not – it’s ok to say so. If management is clear that this is a rebuild, there will be a lot more patience.

    • Dan

      I think you overrate Demar. He has twice this year been shut down by a rookie from Charlotte and Detroit. The spurs played him well too. He had 29 points but took 28 shots to get it. He is worse than Andrea on D and yes he can get to the line and sometimes he doesn’t get calls he should, but he also gets bailed out by refs for shots he should have passed up. Because he cant dribble he forces a lot of bad shots. He had three turnovers in a row last night. The smart teams force him to catch closer to the three point line because he struggles when he has to dribble for then a foot or two. Andrea’s bad games are more due to laziness so for that I would agree Demar is better because he seems to want to be great. Andrea weather you like him or hate is the most talent Offensive player this team has. He’s not bad defending in the post. 

      • Dan

         Please look at Nick youngs stats for the two years he was getting starters minutes for the wizards
        He played 30 minutes compared to Demars 37 and put up similar stats and the wizards still sucked and i’m sure at the time you never thought of Nick young as future star. Demar is just and averahe player putting up decent stats because he is getting heavy minutes. Andrea is not really any different. They are the Nick Yound and andray Blatch of the Raptors but without the locker room drama. Neither are complete players who make others better or their jobs easier. Points don’t tell the whole story.
        You have to look at shots minutes fg % and turnovers too


    Start Lowry, Ross, Derozan, Davis, Valanciunas and let them grow together

    • Colinm

       I agree nothing left to lose at this point. Now we want effort and development on the floor. Go with those guys as starters -if 1 of them messes up-replace with some1 hungry  who wants to compete

  • sleepz

    I think that the Raps cannot continue to go with the frontcourt of AB-JV. The “twin towers” are not a good frontcourt tandem and don’t communicate very well defensively together.

    I won’t comment on AB but JV doesn’t have the strength or experience yet to make a huge difference as a rook. He’s playing well but you can see there are times when he makes mistakes on the defensive end (which is to be expected) and other times when he is just not strong enough to man the paint alone.

    You also can’t come out playing buddy ball on the road. Houston got into a rhythm and Raps never forced them out of it.

    They tried to play a scoring game with the fastest paced team in the league. lol.

    Makes no sense.  

  • j bean

    Isn’t it around this point that there is a players only meeting to address the issues? 
    They get it out in the open, clear the air, recapture the optimism that was present in pre-season, put smiles on their faces and get on a winning roll. Who on this team would start the process? Bargnani,  Calderon, Lowry or someone else? 

    • WHAT THE

      news flash: AB13 has called a players only meeting to address the  issues.

  • onemanweave

        Don’t think we need to have AB coming off the bench in the traditional 6th man pattern. You can start him and if he gives you an opening quarter like last night, there’s no one else on the roster than can duplicate it.
       If he starts like he did two games ago, get him out of there quick. In either case, plan on reduced minutes in the second half. Bargnani has a history of big first halves and nothings or the occcasional nothing and a big second half.
        When you get a good  quarter from him, realize that’s probably what you’re going to get and adjust. Ross looking a bit like a scorer, may give you an option when AB is on the bench breathing through his mouth.
       Reduce his minutes as the game goes on. Let him know, there’s no such thing as ‘pacing’ himself and oh yes, when he’s been having a good game and you bring him back for abbreviated minutes — GIVE HIM THE FREAKIN’ BALL.

    • j bean

      Vely intelestink 
      Too outside the box for. Casey?

  • MoCo

    Totally agree with the posters suggesting a starting line-up of Lowry, DD, TRoss, Davis, JV. All young and hungry guys, and we can let them grow together. When Fields comes back, he can split time with Ross, depending on match-ups / if Fields actually remembers how to play effective basketball post-surgery.
    Bargnani becomes sixth man / hopefully gets traded for a useful sixth man that plays defense. People hoping for Gasol or Gay or even Milsap in exchange for AB and Calderon are huffing gasoline, straight up.
    Oh and fire Colangelo. Like now.

  • p00ka

    ” according to basketball reference, we’ve had the 7th easiest schedule in the league. Yes, there might have been a lot of road games, but…..”

    I don’t know what criteria they use, but it would seem # of back to backs crammed together doesn’t mean much to them. As far as I can see, the Raps are the only team in the league to TWICE have 4 games in 5 nights. Only 6 other teams have faced that once. If that wasn’t enough, they’re now on a 3 games in 4 night run. In such a short time, this early in the season, that’s an insane schedule worthy of last year’s compressed schedule insanity, but that’s 7th easiest???? yeah, okay.

    • Nilanka15

      We’ve had 5 back-to-backs so far, and have won the second game 3 times already. 

      Logically speaking, what you’re saying makes sense, but the results say that the Raptors have actually fared well (i.e. batting .600) when they should be fatigued.

      • p00ka

        I’m questioning “basketball references” claim that they’ve had the 7th easiest schedule, which would appear to ignore the factors I presented, a schedule the likes of which no other team in the league has faced. That tells me how relevant their “statistical” analysis is, and perhaps it’s reasoning should be questioned before it’s used to support a point here.

        In reference to your point, it sure is an odd anomaly, but that doesn’t take away the cumulative effects of such a compressed schedule. I’m not saying it’s the only reason for this abysmal record, but it’s a very real factor that flies in the face of “7th easiest”.

  • Lickmyballsufuckwit

    i pray we win tonight so the retards scream trade bargs loud enough that colangelo does it.