It's Boogie time.

It's Boogie time.

Ugh, my heart can’t take it.

In my short few months writing for Raptors Republic, I feel like I’ve written this recap before. More than once. Fall to an early deficit, on the road in a winnable game, furiously come back after making an essential tactical move that should have been made a quarter earlier, and then fall short at the end. That appears to be this team’s M.O., and though glass-half-full people may look at it as a positive that the team is in every game, it’s been enough of a pattern now that it can’t just be chalked up to tough luck anymore. You don’t flip a coin eight times and get tails every time. It just doesn’t happen.

Anyways, enough of my ranting and let’s get to tonight’s game. I’ve spoken about each individual player in my Quick Reaction piece so I won’t do too much of that here, except to elaborate on a few points.

This was a matchup between two struggling teams that was certainly circled on both of team’s calendars as one they had to have. Both teams showed it on the offensive side of the ball in the first quarter, getting any shot they wanted – for Toronto, this meant a nice mix of Bargnani jumpers, DeRozan drives, and Pietrus 3s, and for Sacramento, this meant getting the ball inside. Over and over and over again. The teams ended the first quarter tied 29-29, and I don’t want to dwell too much on it, because I feel like the next three quarters is where this game really played out.

One quick note while I’m still on the first because I’m not sure where else to put it – this was the only time Bargnani had any effect whatsoever on this game. He started his offensive night with a beautiful pump fake which Jason Thompson bought hook, line, and sinker, took one dribble inside and swished a mid-range jumper, and you had a feeling that this might be one of his hot nights. However, for the rest of the game he was completely invisible, getting benched for long stretches and for good reason. I wish I’d counted the number of times the Raptors lost a possession due to him getting the ball and immediately jacking up a shot with 20+ seconds on the shot clock, but we’re talking at least five by my highly unofficial guess, and when your team loses by 7, that’s significant, and game changing. I don’t expect Andrea to change his game, and there’s no doubt that it’s been effective at times, but I really don’t feel like a bit more patience with the ball is too much to ask, especially when he’s clearly cold from outside (0 for 6 from three and just 3 for 12 overall). Here’s his shot chart, which basically tells the story (bear in mind that one of those “makes” on there are free throws):

Both sides brought their benches in to start the second, and the first half of the quarter saw the teams keep pace with one another in much the same way as the first. The most notable thing at the start of the quarter may have been the play (and general demeanor) of ex-Rap James Johnson, who was running around like a house on fire – blocking DeMar, leading some plays on the fast break, talking crap to the Raptor bench, and wearing one of the oddest glasses/headband combos I’ve ever seen on an NBA court. You could tell he was looking to make a statement – this was definitely an “F-you” game for him – but he was really only effective in those early minutes in the second quarter. That said, I’m sure he’s proud as hell of those few minutes.

Starters came back in with the game tied at 41 and Sacramento continued to do what they do best – bring the ball inside over and over again. This strategy shouldn’t have been a surprise to the Toronto brass – hell, even Leo had it in his “keys to the game” – but the team appeared utterly unequipped to defend it to start the game, instead playing their brand of aggressive help defence that led to multiple 2 on 1s in the post. I left the second quarter wondering if there was anything the Raptors could do strategically to change the flow of the game, figuring that whatever Casey had thought of must have been what he started with and that it maybe it was just a personnel issue (turns out, I was wrong – and giving Casey way too much credit – but we’ll get to that).

In stark contrast to the Kings’ offense, the Raptor starters all contracted Bargnani-itis late in the second – forcing up long jump shots time and time again and throwing lazy, lethargic passes. Put those two things in a pot, mix it up, and what do you get – that’s right kids, fast breaks! Turnovers and long rebounds contributed to a ton of fast breaks for the Kings, which led to even more mismatches and points in the paint, and which provided the eight point difference at the end of the half – one team was getting whatever it wanted on offence, while the other team was not only settling on that end, but actively contributing to the other team’s strength. Really frustrating way to close out the half, and as the Raptors went to the locker room, you couldn’t help feeling that a bit more thinking would have had the scoreline flipped.

The one Raptor starter who did seem to thrive throughout the entire game on offense was Mickael Pietrus, who played a magnificent offensive game tonight. He may have forced up a few shots late (as did every Raptor, to be fair), but the variation of his offensive game was fantastic – hitting open threes when they came to him, posting up Aaron Brooks every chance he got (DeMar, take notes, bud), and throwing down a thunderous dunk to start the fourth to point the exclamation point on what was a statement game for him. Don’t expect this every night, but what a breath of fresh air to get a game like that from our starting small forward after the turd sandwich we’d been forced to watch all season at the position.

One other personnel note from the first half – I don’t know if the Denver altitude took it out of Jonas, or if it was simply a case of Cousins being too big and strong for him, or a bit of both, but he looked lethargic tonight. He certainly wasn’t helped by all the Sacramento fast-breaks in the second, but watching him plod back behind the pack, or half-heartedly try and jump over his check for rebounds after losing position, was difficult to watch. Not the best game for him, but the whole thing’s a learning curve, he’ll get better and more consistent, yadda yadda yadda. Bottom line is that it’s (obviously) not a red flag for the future, but he didn’t give the team much tonight, which was amplified by the fact that Sacramento was going wild inside in the first half.

We saw much of the same to start the third – after a pretty drive from DeMar coming out of the break gave hope that the proper adjustments may have been made in the locker room, the Raptor starters began firing up bricks from outside once more while the Kings continued to take it to the hoop with impunity. Finally, with the team down 11, Casey made the switch to a zone, which I was admittedly skeptical of – in the games I’ve seen this season, it’s only exacerbated the Raptors’ issues with slow switches on help defence. However, it was the perfect kryptonite for the offensively-limited Kings, who were forced to choose between taking long shots or driving the ball into multiple Raptor defenders and take their chances with the referees (who were awful tonight, by the way – inconsistent throughout, making mistakes on who can and can’t shoot a technical free throw, and can DeMar get a freaking call?!?!?).

The strategy paid off on the defensive side, and with the Kings being limited there, the pre-ordained third quarter Raptor comeback was completed thanks to a healthy dose of Pietrus heroics with an entreé of Kyle Lowry, who put on his superman cape and decided it would be up to him to lead the Raptors back into the game. Normally, I hate when he does this, and he made some mistakes tonight – throwing tough passes to nobody in particular, as well as one sequence where he dribbled the shot clock down to 1 before bailing himself out with a circus floater – but in this game it was warranted due to the offensive ineffectiveness of the other Raptor scorers. To be honest, I don’t think this was by design – even if other players were effective offensively, I’d imagine he’d do the same thing – but tonight, it was the right call, and driving the ball into the Kings time after time led to multiple scores and trips to the free throw line, where he was a perfect 12 for 12 on the night. On the back of the tightened up D and a more varied offense, the Raptors ended the 3rd down 2 and, it seemed, in control of the game.

The fourth quarter was one of those rock-em, sock-em 12 minutes of basketball that you’d expect from two teams desperate for a win – Pietrus kicked things off with his incredible dunk in traffic, and was quickly answered by a Jimmer Fredette 3. How Fredette, who is about as pure of a shooter as you can get in the NBA, was left alone on the point by Jose Calderon is an absolutely mystery to me, but it kind of went with the way Jose played tonight: he seems like he’s in a bit of a haze lately, throwing lazy passes that are being picked off and just being generally lethargic out there. I haven’t heard anything in regards to injuries, but he certainly doesn’t look 100%.

The teams went back and fourth in the waning minutes, Toronto’s scoring load being carried by Lowry, who continued his “hero-ball” efforts (again, warranted – every time he passed the ball away down the stretch it resulted in a bricked long shot), and Sacramento by Cousins, who went into beast-mode and unleashed an array of impressive post moves and circus shots on the stunned Raptor D. Finally with the game tied and a minute to go, Tyreke Evans (Tyreke Evans?) put the game away for the Kings with two backbreaking threes that essentially sealed things. I don’t like to use the word “fluke” when it comes to sports very often – I feel like most things that happen within the flow of a game are indicative of a bigger issue – but these two shots were a fluke, and I can’t help but feel bad for the Raptor defenders, who made the correct play (letting a 25% career three point shooter take the crunch-time shots) and were burnt by fate. Bargnani finally made me yell at my TV for the first time as an RR writer by jacking up another ridiculous early-shot clock 3, the teams played the free-throw dance, ballgame.

All in all, another disappointing result in a season that’s fast becoming full of them. Watching this game, you certainly felt like the Raptors had the talent to win this game by double digits, but they were done away by poor coaching strategy, offensive decision making, and defensive inconsistency (as well as a healthy dose of Boogie Cousins). However, unlike Monday’s game in Denver, the effort was consistently there for four quarters – tonight’s result was about execution.

That said, I’m getting tired of writing about the negatives, so let’s end on a positive note – Pietrus was excellent, Davis was very good, and Lowry played his game about as effectively as he could have tonight. That, and there’s only 3 more games before this nightmare road trip is over.

  • Alb Perjet

    I only saw the 4th quarter and the only player making an effort to win this game was Lowry. I agree he is a chucker at times but who else could he trust with the ball? Bargs (last possession  was a great pass to the other team), Derozan who couldn’t get a call or make a shot? The good thing is we finally have a PG. 

    • FAQ

      Some people see Lowry as a tunnel-visioned, street-ballin’, ball-hogging narcissist who only came to the Raptors to get a near-maxxed contracts after next season… either from the desperate BC-led Raps or some other US-based team.

      Is this your idea of a good “PG”..??!!!!

      • Nilanka

        Lowry didn’t choose to join the Raptors. He was traded.

        • bboca

          Don’t feed the animals.

  • Nilanka15

    Bargnani has shot 30% (or less) 7 freakin’ times so far this season.  I wish this was an exaggeration….

    • sleepz

      Doesn’t matter as he is in there for ‘spacing’.

      Thats the deal nowadays. Shooters like Andrea are necessary to space the floor, no matter if they have been clonking shots previously.

      Doug Smith today suggested in his column that Lowry got off in the 4th because of Andrea being able to space the floor for him. Casey originally suggested as much in his press conference.

      I guess the stretch 4 is pivotal in this league to win in today’s game. I wonder how teams managed with a traditional 4-5 in the past? It’s obviously been an effective strategy employed by the Raps.

      Where is Colangelo? Haven’t seen him on TV or heard him on the radio recently.

      • Destro

        Its funny aint it….Only in this city i tell ya would he get praise for doing nothing,further proof Doug Smith is the worst basketball writer alive…His bit on Ed Davis last night was comedy no other way to put it….I would spit in Smiths face if i ever saw him around town….

        Anyway i find it very funny the Lakers hinting they want Ryan Anderson over Bargnani & Calderon….

        Let the fanboys chew on that piece of reality…

        • what the

          I haven’t heard a thing from Cesco.

          • Destro

            He’ll be in hiding for a bit…

            lol @ the Laker beat writers shitting on Bargnani’s rep…

            Everybody around the league knows hes ass but our own coach…

            • what the

              I was hoping to hear from pooka but it like all these guys are in hiding, I don’t know whats going on.

        • KJ-B

  … unBELIEVABLE NEWS: RAPS are #1 Destination for Gasol…with Calderon + Kleiza “thrown in”… Could Christmas come early???

      • Destro

        Even if you just watched the game….you’d know that sentiment is BS

        Bargnani has wide open 3s all night he was clanking…Lowry went to the Ft 11 times when he was assaulted by 2 or 3 Kings in the paint…

        The company line being spewed that its because of spacing is a complete fabricated lie,now if its done to try to keep his chin up and keep playing alrigt or keep his declining value up around the league i got it…but if you simply go around the league and READ what other media and writers and mgmt are saying…absolutely nobody is going to buy that non sense… is flat out saying Kupchak turned down Bargs/Calderon for Gasol because they want Anderson are not interested in a big who plays no D or doesnt rebound…

        So if your Casey and Smith and whoever else why continue to be intellectually dishonest when nobody amongst your peers is buying it ?

        If Casey actually truly believes what hes saying this team really is in bigger trouble than just a few players because thats just utter incompetent evaluation of whats going on….BArgnani is a problem
        but Casey might be the far bigger problem…


      • The Truth

         Probably don’t expect him to show up until either a) he lands a trade or b) around the all star break when he figures enough time has passed for people forget his talk in pre-season.

      • Dan

         That stretch 4 does wonders. It’s amazing that teams like the Thunder and spurs don’t use them more. Maybe then they could enjoy the success the Raptors are having. Who wants a big guy shooting 50% around the basket when he can shoot 30% from three.
        Basketball related shows and radio programs tend to like their guest have knowledge of basketball. If they do a special on Italian suits or the key to being a good car salesman i’m sure he will be back on again.

        • DonCarlos

           I see the point you’re trying to make, and I agree with you, but your example is a bit off. Matt Bonner and Kevin Durant (when OKC plays small ball) are pretty effective stretch 4s.

          • Nilanka

            Durant is a 3.

          • Nilanka15

            Sorry, I accidentally glossed over your small ball disclaimer.  You are correct.

      • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Spacing is the new key word for Casey in relation to inserting Bargnani’s presence onto the court late in games even when his game is off and other players at his position are playing better.

        I was watching the Hou vs LAL game the other day and Kelvin Sampson went with his youngster GSmith (PF) in crunch time because he was hot (7-8) and Hou came back on LA and won in part because of this move by Sampson- playing his hot hand over his starter.

        I was thinking that Casey would never do that as evident by his come hell or highwater words about AB (a guy who will never be a NBA All Star) being his guy no matter what the outcome. 

        BC is a snake ass mofo’er full of pr spins in the wind, pies full of lies……..4-15 is the truth.

        Peja Stojakovic anyone?

        • sleepz

          I saw that game as well.

          Even during the first half it was the younger bench guys who played well and Sampson rode them in the 2nd half and they got the win.

          I’m disapointed in Casey. I knew he fell into line and said the things BC wanted to hear from his coach but have not liked his rigid rotations and minutes. You have to be able to adapt game to game, in-game, and sometimes that means sitting “your guy” if he’s not getting the job done

  • Nilanka15

    Even if the Lakers pull the trigger on a Gasol/Bargnani trade, is there enough season left to make a difference?  Raps need to go 36-27 (.571) to finish with 40 wins.  Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

    • Destro

      The line that gets me is “when the schedule turns”

      The team has lost already to Charlotte,Detroit and Sacramento…
      If you cant beat any of those teams the schedule really doesnt matter lol…

      Those are the same teams they wont be able to beat in February…

      Sad reality is the Raptors are the worst team in the league right now…

      • Nilanka15

        To quote the great BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!, “just another PR spin in the wind”. 

        There is no easy part of the schedule when every other team is circling “Toronto” on their calendars.

        • The Truth

           John Wall is counting down the days.

      • Dan

        Maybe he misread the schedule and thinks they play Washington 40 times instead of 4.

        • Destro

          I dont think we’d come up on the positive side of 40 games against the Wizards WITHOUT Wall….

    • Destro

      Lets be real that is impossible with this group….Too many deficiencies defensively and rebounding to hope for any winning streaks you will need to pull ya self up from 11 games down….This teams defense will not allow this team to put 5-6 wins together….

      • FAQ

        Any NBA team that loses to the Raptors has serious coaching/injury problems,  particularly for home games.  Raptors are a disintegrating, desperate team and this shows as their players play as individuals …. so obvious.

        If they are incapable of playing as a jelled team, they will end up in last place in the entire league… believe it.

    • Copywryter

      Is there enough in Gasol’s knees even if the trade did happen? 

      • Nilanka15

        I’m sure Gasol’s geriatric/arthritic knees are more reliable than Bargnani’s heart.

        • voy

          yeah, but gasol does nothing to help this team get closer to a championship or even the playoffs, maybe. 

          i am glad the bargs and calderon for gaso tradedidn’tgo down.  I cant believe bc would even contemplate this transaction.

          • Nilanka15

            I agree.  It’s a band-aid solution at best.  It helps Colangelo fool the masses into thinking this team is ready to “compete” this year, but does nothing to help us in the future.

            Then again, based on common sense, the market for Bargnani would seem to be a shallow one.  Continuing this path of losing while Bargnani logs heavy minutes for 3 more years isn’t very appealing either.  And not sure how many teams would be willing to give up young prospects for a 1-dimensional, defensive liability.

            • Hound

              No, Thanks to LA for turning this down. The last person we need is Gasol, with his knees, his age and his contract. Wait till the trade deadline, trade Bargs for a late 1st round pick to a contender who thinks they could use him to make a run. Otherwise/ and in the mean time, staple his ass to the bench, unless he can get engaged. He should not have hit the floor last night, until at least the 3 minute mark and only if we were behind by 7 or more. He needs to work on his shot. I believe strongly in proper spacing, but that will not work if you can’t hit your shot.

              On another note, as good as Lowry played, that is not the kind of ball i like to watch. I hated Iverson, and I don’t think I will warm to Lowry either. I am a fan of ball movement, player movement and spacing to run an offense. Not streetball.

              • CJT

                Not to mention the terrible defense he played all night including the back to back 3’s he gave up with the game tied to seal the loss.  That was hard to watch.  Didn’t even try to close out or contest either shot.  I hope this changes with Lowry, I thought he was supposed to be a tough defender.

            • voy

              i’d rather just let calderon walk or try and resign him on the cheap next year rather than have him included in a package for gasol. 

              same him bargs.  if all you can get back for him is gasol i’d rather keep him for now.

              this gasol for jose, bargs and kleiza deal is a horrible deal for the raps, in my opinion.  i dont see any way bc can pull the trigger on this.  bc has got to give up on this dream of the playoffs this year. if this is your goal you are going to max out at the 7th or 8th seed, then take 2 steps back again as gasol gets older.

              • what the

                thats fan boy talk

                • voy

                  no. thats talk from someone who can place the team first ahead of their personal dislike for a player. 

          • Dan

             Long term it’s not great but I think he could help more than Andrea right now. He has a good post game that can draw double teams and he has a better feel for the game then most of the guys on this team. If he’s posting up he has the ability to hit cutters and open shooters. Demar and Andrea both kind of just decide what they are going to do and try to do it. Neither are good play makers. Plus gasol rebounds better and would be a better mentor for Jonas. His contract is terrible but his IQ is better then anyone on the team currently. He is going to take higher percentage shots and not run down and jack up threes. Despite the contract he is still a better player and will be next year too.

            • Nilanka15

              Great point about the doubles.  We haven’t had a player who warrants an automatic double (whenever he touches the ball) since Bosh left.  The offense will flow that much smoother with Gasol in the post.

              • what the

                ‘ the offense will flow’ it seems like heard that said about another player the Raptors had last year, what was his name again?

                • Steve

                  Mittlanka will not remember, he has a case of Romnesia. :)

      • Destro

        Think about this…Gasol is 32 has been on the decline for 2 seasons is making 19 mil next season and has 2 knees on fire and they still wont trade him for Bargnani and Calderon…What does that tell you ?

        • what the

          Now that should be the rap of the day.

        • KJ-B

          At the day’s end where there’s smoke there’s fire!  At least they’re looking at getting rid of -7… To hold on to him would be like Rex Ryan holding onto Mark Sanchez who has lost his confidence…

          Both high draft pick players whose0 only chance of having a career is to get traded–I honestly think if BryCo loves -7 as much as he’s shown, he should let him go so he can grow–or he’ll be a $ 20 mil + paper weight hanging around MLSE’s neck for another couple years, if they don’t have the ballz to amnesty…

      • what the

        Who cares just as long as AB13 is gone from this team.

        • FAQ

          Currently, he’s the best we can hope for … believe it.

  • Nilanka15

    I’m not a fan of drawing conclusions from one game, but I just wanted to point out that our starters were a combined -10 on average (-51 total) compared to +9 (+46 total) for Sacramento’s starters.

    Each of our starters were in the negative, while each of Sacramento’s were in the positive. 

    Just ugly.

    • p00ka

      Amazing how it always seems to work that way, hey. A positive on one side is a negative on the other. I think we need some advanced analytics to figure out why.

      • Nilanka15

        If by “always” you mean “rarely” (in reference to all 5 starters being outscored by all 5 opposing starters in a close loss), then I completely agree.

  • Daniel

    Toronto doesn’t deserve an NBA team. I completely understand and agree with the talented players who’ve wanted out of Toronto. The media and the fanbase have no clue about basketball. I’m reading newspapers, blogs, whatever I can and I’m in complete disbelief as to how wrong people can be. Toronto is a streetball city with a streetball mentality. Any other fanbase would run Lowry out of town. He’s not a basketball player, period. Insterad of covering his area in our zone he followed the ball on the other side leaving Evans wide open for two 3’s that iced the game. Hero ball doesn’t work unless you are a true superstar. We are 2-11 with him and people don’t see the causation. We had production from SF spot and we still lost. He’s killing this team.
    Of course, the main cuplrits are Colangelo and Casey for allowing this to happen. Our offensive schemes now require everybody to be on the perimeter so Lowry and DD have room to operate one-on-five. The opposing teams are happy to oblige and one can see the loss as the game plan develops. In defense we are playing one-on-one with no accountability and no responsibility. Everybody does whatever he likes, starting with Lowry and down through the roster. System players like Jose, Andrea, and Amir are suffering the consequences. It must be an absolute torture for them to watch this brand of basketball. I know it is torture for me to watch so I’m going to get the League Pass and watch real basketball teams.

    • voy

      how is a 7 fter who doesn’t play help defence, doesn’t rebound and hang out at the 3 point line a “system player”.

      “our offensive schemes now require everybody to be on the perimeter so that lowry and dd have room to operate 1 on 5”?!?!?!?!? do you even know what you are saying?

      its the media’s fault. its the fans’ fault. toronto doesn’t deserve a basketball team. only daniel deserves a basketball team because he understands what the rest of us cant see. 

      get over yourself, pal.  you have an opinion. one that is easy to dismiss, at that.  thats all.

      do you even know what “streetball” is?  I think you are confusing streetball with driving the lane.

      • Theswirsky

        What I love about Daniel’s post is all the Bargnani boys over the years can read and understand what the rational fanbase has been dealing with when they opened their mouths.

        • voy

          I like bargs. i hope he succeeds.  however this year he has not played well.  I dont know how this can be argued.  that doesn’t mean he cant play better going forward but that does mean as the team acquires potential longterm, young, serviceable pieces the holes in his game need to be patched up if he is going to be a net contributor. 

          if we get another 1 or 2 young players with promise, its hard to imagine becoming good team with a 4/5 who doesn’t shoot a good percentage, rebound or play help defence. as a 7fter you cant expect the other guys to fill those needs.  fair or not, there are some things that only a big can be expected to do for your team… hanging out at the 3 point line is not one of them.

          its ok to be a fan of bargs and admit he is not playing well.  my point is there is no reason to go off on any player for any 1, 2, 3, 4 game stretch. but if you are going to embrace the hysterics how do you hammer lowry and leave bargs unscathed???

          bargs is not playing well.  its not the end of the world, people. his fans (which I am one of) dont need to overcompensate by blaming others.

          • Theswirsky

            “how do you hammer lowry and leave bargs unscathed???”

            you can’t.  Atleast not rationally.

          • what the

            1,2,3,4 games buddy it’s been like 7 years where have you been?

        • Dan

           I just don’t like that he states we don’t understand basketball and yet offers no solutions to anything. The problem with the team is lack of talent and players that don’t fit the system. Jose has been running this team the last three years and they have been terrible. Lowry is the most talented player on the team. Yes it would be nice if he didn’t gamble as often but he is clearly the best basketball player on this team. Sorry Daniel like one dimensional players because they have to stick to a system to hide their flaws and limit them to do doing the one thing they can do. Sorry lowry that you can shoot drive rebound steal and are a well rounded basketball player. Lebron your supposed to be a forward and yet you average a lot of assists. get out of the nba you dirty street baller. The players you like have to stick with a system because it’s the only way they stay on the court. You think Amir wouldn’t jack up another 10 long twos per game if he wasn’t going to get yanked.

        • JC

          the Raptors have more problems and are bigger than any single player you retard. How is that for thinking rationally?

          • what the

            well lets deal with this here problem first {6 year problem}

      • Daniel

        Before the season started I said we’ll have 23-28 wins, we’ll rank 11-14 in the East, and our defense will be much worse than last year. Dude, it’s OK to think for yourself and to have your opinions. The facts will prove them correct or not.
        It was not even difficult to make those predictions. When organizations give up on you like a rotten apple (Lowry and Fields) it’s easy to predict failure. When the GM praises the defensive effort last season however he asks for “more offense” instead of building on a defensive culture, it’s easy to predict failure. When the coach is a pawn of the management with no experience as a head coach and doesn’t have the guts to protect his own values (defense, grit, accountability), it’s easy to predict failure. When the mainstream and alternative media are willing mouthpieces of the management with no hint of critical thinking, it’s easy to predict failure. When the problems are obvious during the season and the media and the fans draw the wrong conclusions just to protect their “analyses” from the off-season, it’s easy to predict failure.
        I understand basketball and streetball very well. One needs exposure to both in order to understand them and that’s the problem in Toronto: there is not enough exposure to organized competitive basketball.

        • RaptorFan

          with this post you somewhat redeem yourself

          I apologize for calling you a MORON earlier

          However, i still think (unlike die hard fans) you’re reluctant to place the blame where it truly belongs….. if you do understand whats going on, you should join the movement

          #FireBC, #FireDwaneCasey, #TradeBargnani, #TradeCalderon, #FreeEdDavis, #PlayJV, #PlayTRoss

          Enough Said

          • Daniel

            I “redeem” myself? From upsetting a bunch of 15 year old kids who can express an opinion in anonimity and can’t spare one second to make an ass of themselves? You think a bunch of tweets fix an organization worth billions of dollars?

        • voy

          sure its okay to think for yourself.  however when you are adding 1+1 and getting 3 you are wrong.  you can think that all you want but that doesn’t make you a visionary or smarter than anyone else.

          when you pound the table for defence and grit yet completely disregard lowry while sympathize with bargs you are wrong. and not only just wrong but wrong on a biblical proportion.

          what part of calderon or andrea’s game says to you “grit” and “defence”.  you are good at spouting off things that may sound right but when pressed you never give any details.  just like the “ton” of games lowry lost us single-handedly.  I’m still waiting for those examples.  or how a 7fter chucking 3s and not rebounding is a “system player”

          • Daniel

            Your meaning is incomprehensible for me. I haven’t “sympathized” with Bargs or referred to Calderon or Bargnani’s game as the definition of grit and defense. I do pound on Lowry because he is the only significant difference between last season and this season (Fields has been out and out of the 2 rooks Ross hasn’t played much). Fact: with Lowry on the court we lost 11 out of 13 games played- that’s not a ton of games for you? Don’t worry, there will be more coming. Andrea last season mixed it up inside and outside and this season is parked on the perimeter – I don’t know how much you understand b-ball however these things don’t happen by accident, they are the result of offensive strategies and schemes.
            I can get into the nitty-gritty of our offensive and defensive schemes. In offense we play a simplified version of motion offense using screens to free up Derozan in mid-post area and Andrea at the top of 3-point line. The vast majority of our schemes involve one-pass set. Lowry is breaking up a lot of plays because he doesn’t do 1-2 or 1-4 passes well. Also he’s unable to run the PnR which forces us into bad spacing so the opposing paint is always crowded. We have no secondary plays,no complex motion sets involving a sequence of 3-4 passes, no ball-movers capable of making plays.
            The defense is a shamble. The hedging is too high, the help comes too low in the post. There is no trust on the floor and everybody is on an island.
            I am confused because Casey knows what’s going on however he doesn’t do anything to rectify it. Offensively, we can’t have 3 scorers in the first unit so one of Lowry, Derozan or Andrea has to come in as the 6th man. The offense needs some flow and fluidity so we need secondary playmakers. Defensively we need to do the proper ball-deny-help-recover sequencing at all times. We need discipline during defensive possessions and a lot of communication.
            There is a problem when I can sit on the couch and in a few minutes I can dismantle our offensive and defensive sets and point out who’s doing what and why. There are no significant adjustments during games. The players, for the most part, have low b-ball IQ so it’s easy to predict their moves. In addition, when mediocre players get into hero ball, the ballgame is over because there is nothing easier to stop for an opposing defense.  
            Do you even understand how asshole you sound when you “agree” that it’s OK for people to think for themselves? What is your thinkink on the root causes of our problems? And spare me the usual “so and so sucks”, etc.  

            • voy

              its amazing how often you contradict yourself.  you haven’t sympathized with bargs?!?!

              remember this: “System players like Jose, Andrea, and Amir are suffering the consequences. It must be an absolute torture for them to watch this brand of basketball”.

              you even contradict yourself within the same message. you say lowry is the only significant difference between last season and this season yet two sentences later you say andrea last year was played an inside/outside game and this year he is parked on the perimeter. you dont think thats a significant difference?!?!?

              just because there is a new guy on the team doesn’t mean you can attribute all the changes between last year’s team and this year’s team to that one player.  for someone who seems to pride himself on his (lack of) critical thinking skills its amazing (but not surprising) you think this. 

              so just for the record, you are finishing off your previously half finished thought by saying its all lowry’s fault we lost 11 games with him on the floor.  these are your examples of the “ton of games we lost because of him”. is that what you are saying?

              “the vast majority of our sets invlove the one pass set”?!?!?!  yeah, that old one pass set…. 

              WAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  dude, stop trying so hard to convince us you are some sort of basketball genius.  just admit you are a leaf fan and think grabovski is going to take toronto to the cup.

              you are not gregg popovich. you can sit on the couch all you want but you are not properly analysing anything.  especially not if you think bargs parking himself on the perimeter 90% of the time is by the coaches design.  I guess a 7fter hanging out at the 3 point line must be part of the world reknown “one-pass set” offensive scheme where you have the biggest guy on your team stand as far away from the basket as possible.

              dude, stop trying so hard.  just by looking at what you think is happening and how you are explaining it leaves little doubt you dont have a lot of basketball experience.  I am not making a value judgement.  I am not saying you are a bad person but you dont know ball.  sorry.

              • RaptorFan

                Thank you Voy!  Finally someone else says it…..Daniel does not know what he’s talking about…. anyone reading his posts can tell this!…..even Bargnani fanboys are saying “dude shut up!….your bringing too much attention to us right now! :(” LMAO

                Daniel – You said the Raptors dont deserve a basketball team…… So why are you even on a Raptor’s Fan Forum??? 

                Your solution to our issues this year is to get rid of Lowry?? GTFO

                How bout we get rid of the one dimensional players first!

                • NyAlesund

                   Lowry is not the right guy. When you see him in a tunnel vision mode we are in trouble, and this happened more than one times.

                  Do you really see some fluidity in offense? Do you really see Lowry defend well? Who was responsible of some open shots in crunch time? When I see him gambling many times, like DD bad things happen.

                  Do not understimate the Lowry’s impact on the team, because he is the guy that have the ball most of the time. And see 4 player watching him doing the hero is not paying dividends.

                  I always said that him is perfect to guide the second unit with his intensity, his ability to change the pace. But as starter he has to change his way of playing and involve the guys correctly . I can’t see Bargs standing behind the arc for nothing than the stupid shots.

                  Untill we have him as Raptors player we have to use him correctly not relegating him like the 7ft John Lucas III. This is a nonsense.

                  For me the solution would be trade Calderon for a pg better than him can play as starter.

                  I  am not really care about Lowry’s expectation, the only important thing for me is to see a pg with real playmaking able to run the offence smoothly. With Lowry this is not possible. Now we are the worst team in the NBA.

          • Dan

             Exactly. He talks big but never backs it up and talks as if this team was a championship contender before Lowry was here when Jose and Andrea were leading them. He spouts off about streetball players yet if the Raps could have Kobe or lebron or Rose or Westbrook he would jump on it. Coaches want them to run plays but they also want them to take what the defense gives them. Dwayne preached that all last year. he doesn’t like to run to many plays because it makes you harder to guard. That system won the Mavs a championship. The reason it fails here is lack of talent. Jose, Amir, demar these guys need plays to get open.

        • Dan

           You contradict yourself. You say you want defensive players brought in yet you praise Calderon, Demar and Andrea. You state nobody is exposed to organized competitive basketball yet we are all on a site that caters to NBA basketball which we all watch. How are the Raptors not organized competitive basketball. Do they not get their games Reffed like the other 29 teams. Do they not have a coach running plays. Are these players not drafted form the top schools and programs around the world. You state you love system guys that bash the signing of Fields. I thought you understood basketball better then everyone else. He is more of a system guy then anyone else on this team.

          Bryan sucks as a gm and he has spent to long plugging holes rather then getting well rounded players. That is why this team sucks because most players on this team can only do one or two things and and struggle when they have to do anything else. Sorry a well rounded basketball player like Lowry is not good enough for you and you would like a more traditional 7 foot non rebounding and non defending three point shooter, who just like Lowry will come down and Jack up a three. When the pg shoots a three he is a street baller but when your center does it he is an organized system basketball player. 

        • Beagle17

           Get this garbage outta here! Get me Colangelo on the phone!

      • NyAlesund

         I remember the last year when the team, very poor in talent, played with certain consistency. Better numbers offensively and defensively. Off course AB played a limited number of games due to injury, but everyone of us saw the improvements.

        This year with a better roster every stats are going down.

        The last game was painful. Lowry tried to win the game alone (not trust to anybody), Pietrus was good and at the same time DD and AB were fading down the stretch. To see a 7 ft standing far behind the arc like John Lucas does is inadmissible. I do not see nothing logic. Why AB did this for the second time is crazy, 0-13 from the arc without doing nothing different. Nor try a driving to the rim or a mid-range shot. Nor post plays set for him. Nothing.

        Defensively the same old story: Lawson free to shot, Evans too. How many times have we concede this open shots?

        I do not know what is the best thing to do, but it is clear that this team is not going to the same directions. Is not only AB’s issue but Calderon and Johnson too. Why?

      • Dan

        Last week it was called organized ball now he is calling it system ball. Every team has a system. Pau gasol is a more traditional 4 yet doesn’t fit his teams system so based on that he must bee a street baller.

    • RaptorFan

      I respectfully disagree with your whole opinion……our system players were the worst players on the court

      “Our system players” are the SOFTEST players in the ENTIRE NBA

      I think you should get out of town with BC, DC, AB and JC

      We dont want you on here!  You have no clue what your talking about! 

      Lowry was our best player last night (11 assists, 34 points, 5 rebounds)

      Andrea Bargnani has 2 rebounds and 8 points (shooting 3 for 14) and entered the 4th Q with the ratpors leading by 2

      OH — AB also shot 0-6 from 3’s

      If you can’t see what the issue is here —— good riddance!  MORON!

      • RaptorFan

        my bad —- AB had 3 rebounds!!!  what a joke!  Our PG (5.7 rpg) averages more rebounds than our PF (4.4 rpg)

        I defended Bargnani for 6 years BUT…..Get this guy out of here ALREADY!! 

        The longer we keep him the more he’s looking like a BUST

        • Truthkiller

          Hey at least AB played “Great 1-on-1 post D”…. oh wait 48 points & 13 reb for opposing frontcourt… never mind

          • Destro

            Those stats always fly in the face of the apologists…Team gets consistently killed in the paint and on the glass then he cant be a good post defender…(which he isnt)

        • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

          AB is 6th on Raptors in rpg- name me another starting NBA PF that is 6th in rpg on their team?

           A to the B to the C gots 2 go!

          • Destro

            Simplicity of it flies over peoples heads but HIS job is to rebound….JOb description of your front court PF and C is rebound….Its a glaring weakness of this team for years and no coincidence coinsides with the fact he doesnt do it…Shoulda have made him a trade candidate years ago…

            It comes down to simplicity you need certain positions to do certain need your 7 footers to rebound…

            He dont want too then GET EM outta here and get a 7 footer in here who will do it…


      • Copywryter

        Don’t respectfully disagree and then call someone a moron.

        Daniel makes good points…although not the bit about the city not deserving a team. That’s just trolling. 

        Lowry is a fantastic basketball talent, but he has a tendency to cheat and take risks on both sides of the ball. This hurts a team that does not have quick or high IQ help defenders.

        • RaptorFan

          Sorry about that…. If you read up you would see that I actually apologized for calling him a moron

          Daniel wrote –

          “Toronto doesn’t deserve an NBA team. I completely understand and agree with the talented players who’ve wanted out of Toronto. The media and the fanbase have no clue about basketball. I’m reading newspapers, blogs, whatever I can and I’m in complete disbelief as to how wrong people can be. Toronto is a streetball city with a streetball mentality. Any other fanbase would run Lowry out of town. He’s not a basketball player, period.”

          I actually live in TORONTO — obviously i let a trolling internet blogger from who knows where piss me off a bit…..

          Trust me my anger wore off as soon as i hit the post as…. button :)

          He does make some good points…..Every ONCE in a while

    • Valit

      Daniel..before some people will crucify you and running you out of town…maybe as a small consolation.. I think you have some very valid points. I dont want to get into arguments and different ideas with people around this blog but …Everybody is entitled to to his/her opinion. You agree with some, you disagree with others. Bottom line is that this year we have an abysmal record so far and I am afraid  the wrong heads will roll soon. I hope I’m wrong…
      PS. I’m already out of town

    • Dan

      Since your basketball Knowledge is greater then all the fans and media what changes would you make. What players would you try to bring in and what players would you get rid of. Please explain what you think the difference between streetball and system basketball is to all of us. Last week you were calling it organized basketball. 

    • Destro

      Toronto doesnt deserve this shitty ass NBA team that they have….Why couldnt we have taken over the Grizzlies from Vancouver and shipped this corny franchise to Memphis instead….

  • Statement

    I personally agree with Daniel somewhat.  The offense flows better with Jose in the game because he is better at running an offense. 

    The problem is that Bargs and Amir can not get their own shots (hence the term “system players, I think) and Kyle does not help them with this. They need plays run for them which Jose can do.  Jose can make other players look better by giving them the ball where they need it for easy scores (that’s why I think there was such a massive push for Nash).  Despite all the flak he takes, Jose is a premier assist man (who averages 8 assists/game with such shit offensive talent surrouding him beside an excellent facilitator?)

    However, if Bargs is designated as the high-usage offensive player, and the schemes are built to give him shots, I would rather have an all new offensive system all together as he is simply not worth it offensively (not to mention defensively and rebounding).

    In this scenario, you analyze the situation and understand that there is a trade-off to be made – Kyle and his ball-hogging, high usage self vs. Bargs and his high-usage ball hogging self.  IMHO, you roll with Kyle as he is simply the better player.

    It’s no surprise that Bargs suffers with Kyle.  However, the other high-usage player – Derozan, does not appear to suffer as much playing with Kyle as Bargnani does.

    Bargnani simply doesn’t fit – period.  I’m just sad that it has taken 6+ years for the casual fan base and our GM to come-to-terms with this.


    • Dan

       I think you need to watch more closely how Jose plays. Then go study true passing point Guards Like Rondo, Nash, Paul and Williams. Jose plays nothing like them. Those players all go all over the floor drawing defenders and throwing defenses off. Jose stays at the top and waits for players to get open on their own and the pick and rolls he runs are just as much for his own benefit because he is to slow to get around his man. Go look at Amirs numbers on every team he played for alwyas around 5 or 6 points and 15 minutes a game. They year he scored 9 was because he played 10 more minutes. Nash and Rondo make players better Jose is just good at passing to open players or holding the ball long enough that guys have no option but to shoot once they get it.

      • Statement

        I disagree,

        For the past two full years Jose has been 4th or 5th in assist percentage (even besting Chris Paul in one year).

        It doesn’t matter how the assist looks, it just matters that it is an assist.  Calderon’s assists count the same as Rondo’s, Nash’s etc.

        I think the implication is that he is putting his teammates in position to score as I don’t think the players magically become better shooters just because Calderon passed them the ball.  This is certainly the case with Amir Johnson, who excels in the pick-and-roll with Calderon.

        To my eyes, the offense runs a lot smoother with Calderon out there than Lowry.

    • Destro

      Jose doesnt run an offense…When hes on the floor hes a part of an offense but he doesnt run a damn thing…

      Those jump bass turnovers,those late game pick and rolls with the wrong people prohibit this argument from being taken serious…..Even 2-3 seasons ago i made this point abuot him,he cant run an offense because his game is too limited…

  • KJ-B

    I looked at the clock it read 7:04 of the 4th Q, Leo had just said something like, “I can understand why Bargnani has only played 20 minutes the way Ed / Amir are playing.”  As soon as the words dropped out of his mouth, as if Casey were listening on the sideline, he waved in -7…the rest was history–I literally said to myself and have said on here b4 whenever he enters the game for Davis in the 4th = L…

    The 4th quarter is the only part of the NBA game that is like the Playoffs.  The Playoff are all about D-E-FENCE!!!  

    Sorry to say but by the definition of Insanity, Duane Casey is ABSOLUTELY NUTs!!!

    He has been outcoached and has single-handedly by his “assistant coach” decision-making ability co$t the Raps at least 5-6 wins…and consequently if he’s not fired–PLAYOFFS… Unlike the herd on here, I believe the Raps have a Playoff this year–after seeing the talent in the L…especially with Pietrus aka “Peaches” and Fields coming back!  

    Hopefully -7 sealed his fate–wouldn’t trade Calderon though because I don’t trust Lowry as far as I could throw him (sprints, diet–lose a couple more lbs and you’ll get there :)

    • Dan

       That’s the problem with Calderon. He can’t take 4th quarter pressure when teams start locking in on D. If they manage to get some more Talent I think Lowry will start to look for others a bit more. Jonas and Fields are both the type of players that will work well with Lowry. Nobody seems to trust Jonas yet and Fields has been injured. Jonas and Landry both set picks and make cuts without the ball amir too. Demar and Andrea just stand there and do nothing until they get it. Demar is getting better this year and off the ball movement. It’s why his rebounding and fg % are up.

      • CJT

        Lowry looks off JV everytime on the screen and roll.  as well as in the post.  So while I agree that we need upgraded talent, I don’t believe it will have an effect on the way Lowry plays, he is what he is.

    • CJT

      FYI it was Lowry’s man that iced the game with uncontested back to back 3’s with the score tied.  I don’t disagree about subbing in AB, but there are other problems that are being ignored as well.

  • j bean

    There appears to be no interest in Andrea or Jose around the league. So much for selling high. Isn’t there someone out there who is overpaid, over the hill or often injured that might cause their GM to hold his nose and deal for our guys? This is one of those times when change for the sake of change is the best move.

    • voy

      i dont know about that. it could be true but I would be surprised.  just because andrea and jose may be on the block that doesn’t mean you necessarily pull the trigger asap.  I think jose’s trade value may increase the closer we get to the trade deadline.  plus, his expiring contract is attractive.

      • j bean

        Maybe you can come up with a plausible deal but from what I see the more they play the lower their value.

        • The Truth

           I actually thing Jose’s is likely to be pretty high, combination of his being an expiring contract and the fact that he played quite well when he needed to while Kyle was out. It’s shifting Bargnani that is a hard sell, who wants a PF shooting at a career low percentage that doesn’t rebound that they have to pay for 2 more years?

          • Destro

            YOu know what i dont think its very high at all even with hias expiring contract….

            I think teams know hes just a backup whos limited offensively and is trash defensively….I realized other teams knew this 2 yrs ago when the Bobcats rescinded the deal for Chandler…

    • sleepz

      That cannot be true.

      Colangelo has said on numerous occasions that he gets offers for Andrea all of the time.

  • tiredrapsfan

    Lowry as a the piece that makes this team better, if he comes off the bench as a scoring PG/SG similar to the Microwave back in the Piston glory days.
    Other than DD and JV (and Ross to some extent) have my vote to stay but the rest, could care less about, as there play shows they could care less about winning.

  • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

    TRoss needs to get serious playing time not veterans that BC signs off of the waiver wire and the like as the Raps are 4-15 and going nowhere fast might as well get TRoss some solid minutes to show what he can do.

    I mean DD started as a rookie and TRoss is a much better player as a rookie than DD was and the team back then (thinking playoffs) was better than this team is now (thinking Lottery- oh wait our pick is gone to OKC sans top 3). 

    • CJT

      are you suggesting starting Ross over DD?  Both play the 2 and DD isn’t able to defend 3’s.

  • Jamshid

    ESPN 710 this afternoon is talking about 5 likely destination for Gasol if he is ever traded !!! 

    • Jamshid

      Nice article on Wolfs and Raptors for Gasol :
      I think Wolf has a better chance.

      • Jamshid

        Based on ESPN 710 , Lakers will not make a deal till Nash is back and they play for a month or … . So it seems like we have AB for next 2 month. 
        Five  destination:1) Raptors : AB + Jose Questions that the writer had: Is lakers interested ? AB is not efficient.2) Denver : Miller + Galinary  … Pau + Hill and Morris

        They did not cover the 3,4 and 5th option. The article will be on ESPN tomorrow. 

  • 511

    I don’t know what’s going on in Bargnani’s murky brain these days but I’d wager anything at all it isn’t focused on how to make the Raptors a winning team. That crap he offered up last night suggested to me – loud and clear – that he was already dreaming of sunshine and glamor in Los Angeles, California. If that Gasol rumour truly is dead and buried, well … fine, I suppose. I didn’t much care for the idea of a big trade for an aging Pau but today, I would’ve taken it nonetheless. If Bargnani WAS having California Dreams and that caused him to irresponsibly fling up lazy 3 point shots early in the shot clock like he was repeatedly doing last night, and if that performance cooled movers and shakers in LA, well … F him. Good and proper, as far as I’m concerned. 

    But as of now, there’s no question in my mind that Bryan Colangelo has got to get busy shining up his salesman shoes nice and spiffy to get out there to pound the pavement to see what can be wangled for this guy, once and for all. 

    While I’m at it, Jose Calderon, who looked to me like he might be sharing Bargnani’s L.A. fantasy the last couple or so games, should be packaged along with him … and to keep them both company and maybe open up the trade possibilities somewhat … include Amir Johnson to make it a happy threesome. 

    I’ve been open about liking Amir of late but I realized while thinking about it yesterday, that Amir is done here. He’s gotten too comfy-cozy … and anyone who’s cashing quarter million dollar cheques like clockwork, every two weeks all year ’round, should NEVER look too comfy-cozy unless he’s dominating at whatever his specialty happens to be. And Amir only brings it (as has been said around here) once a week or so. 

    So … Bargs, Jose and Amir. This team needs a seismic shakeup in the worst way. Those three gone would rattle a few windows. It’s time, Bryan. Call Alex Anthopoulos if you need to, to get a few pointers, but … however you get it done, it’s time. 

    • Phat AlberG

      Earl Clark, Gasol, and Sacre

      • 511

        I’d do it. 

  • Roarque

    I know Dwane Casey talked about the eight man rotation he wanted to have for his 2012/23 Raptor team. Well, after nearly 20 games I think it’s time to reveal this rotation:

     Lowry  DeRosen  Valanciunis  Davis  Fields  Lucas  Ross  Johnson.

    Dwane needs to ride these horses into 2013/14 when they’ll become his Memphis Grizzlies OR he’ll be an assistant coach in San Antonio again.

    The bench will be Anderson Pietrus Gray Calderone Bargnani Acy

    Time to lose Kleiza

    Time to trade Bargnani and Calderone for a draft pick in 2013 plus a big man ( 4 or 5 ) with a retiring contract (Gasol?)

  • MoCo

    I don’t live in Toronto anymore… can someone tell me when / if the
    media take Casey to task for his substitutions? Specifically, “why would
    you take ED out and put in AB, when ED helped changed the game from a
    10 point deficit to a lead, and AB wasn’t doing shit?” Taking ED out and putting AB in directly led to this loss. SOMEONE PLEASE ASK THE COACH!

    • what the

      Casey said that he’ll ROLL with AB13

      • MoCo

        Appreciate the reply. I posted this same query to the other thread re last night’s game, to double my chances of getting a response. It was mentioned as well that last night, Casey specifically said that AB would provide better spacing for Kyle to have more room to operate and get to the paint, since he was on a roll… which makes sense in theory. Again though, the game is played in reality, and the reality of the situation appears to suggest that riding AB down the stretch is not helping the team win. Wake up Casey.

  • BlakeMurphy

    What do you know Garrett? You look like Aaron Gray.

  • Aaron

    I agree with a lot of what Daniel said. Obviously disagree with the fact that he thinks toronto doesn’t deserve a team.  I would say the exact opposite. Toronto and Ontario have turned out to be a basketball hot bed.  In 2 year Bennett and Wiggins will be in the NBA and people will be talking about Toronto as a hot bed of basketball.  Plus Toronto has supported a loser franchise for the last 10 years. 
            There is no team this year.  The raps are playing like individuals who only care about there own stats on defense and offense.  Casey has done a bad job of getting his players to buy into any type of system.  Its almost maddening to watch the non stop individual selfishness of this team.  NO extra pass,  no going in for rebounds,  a lot of standing around the perimeter, inability to rotate  more then one rotation.   They seem like a team who doesn’t know how to win period.  
            Andrea has been terrible this year.  I put a lot of blame on Caseys use of the 7 footer.  If you look at Dirk and Hawes (philly) they have similar games to Andrea but they’re more mid range shooter then straight 3-point gunners.  Andrea shouldn’t be sitting out at the 3 point line all game.  He should be 4 feet in front of the 3 point line on the baseline or at the top of the key.  THis way he can pump fake and take one dribble and be able to do a reverse layup or even a regular dunk.   Dirk and Hawes almost always make there money from this position and as they feel more confident as the game goes on they step back to the three point line.  
           I’m happy because we need a number 1 pick and we should be looking to tank!!  This is the year for TANK NATION