Nets 94, Raptors 88 – Box

Full credit goes to the Raptors for making a game of this.  On paper, this should not have been close given the absence of Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson, and Andrea Bargnani, combined with the return from the west coast.  On the other side, having come off an emotional loss against the Knicks the night before, the Nets were sluggish for the first 30 minutes of this game, before turning the screws on the Raptors through Joe Johnson and putting the game away.

Jonas Valanciunas and Ed Davis were the story for the Raptors, and formed a combo that many Raptors fans felt from the outset could be a viable solution to the problem of improved defense and lack of bench scoring, as it would involve Bargnani being moved to the second unit.  The two were a combined 11-13 in the first half, Valanciunas was making minced meat of the laterally and vertically challenged Reggie Evans, whereas Davis’ pure reach was getting him rebounds and clean looks against a mildly interested Andray Blatche.  Both players are excellent on the effort scale and once you have that, becoming productive is a matter of finding opportunities, which they did against a Nets frontline which is easy to ask questions of.

I`d be remiss if I didn`t mention that the Nets came out lethargic, and their only real threat in the first half was Gerald Wallace, a man used to torching the Raptors.  While Deron Williams was having a Bargnani-like shooting night and Joe Johnson was figuring out how to tie his shoelaces, it was Wallace who decided to attack and slither his way to the rim like the snake he is.  Fortunately for the Raptors, he missed most his FTs and the Nets were turning it over on every other possession.

The Raptors modest early lead of 11 could`ve been larger if Pietrus or Ross had managed to knock down some of their looks, but instead the Raptors lingered into halftime up by 8.  Most of this advantage was built up in the first quarter when they shot 57% and the Nets had 6 turnovers (10 in the half).  You had the feeling that this lead was rather precarious, not even because the Raptors were going to regress, but because the Nets were yet to wake up.

DeRozan struggled in the first half, prompting Devlin to comment that he wasn`t forcing his game and doing the other things like rebounding.  This wasn`t an issue in the half since the team had a lead, yet you knew that this couldn`t hold true for the duration of the game.  Sure enough, as the Nets started to move the ball around, reduced their turnovers, and worked through Joe Johnson, their offense flowed which, at this juncture, merited a response from the Raptors.  Not just a defensive one either, but that of the offensive kind led by their leader on the night.  DeRozan, perhaps overcome by the heavy minutes (44) and the punishment administered by Johnson, couldn`t quite respond the way the Raptors needed him to.

Jose Calderon thrived playing with the bigs, especially Davis, here’s his 15-assist distribution:

Davis 6
Valanciunas 3
Gray 1
DeRozan 2
Lucas 1
Pietrus 1
Ross 1

Solid game for Calderon against Deron Williams who was having a very off night, and didn’t come close to hurting Jose defensively in any sort of manner. I don`t want to anoint Calderon the starter, and neither should you to be honest, as we`ve made this mistake for years now. A good game does not make him a starter, it makes him a good player who can`t sustain this sort of impact/production as a starter. The jury’s out on whether Kyle Lowry can lead a team on a consistent basis as a starting PG, but the verdict on Calderon has long been made and the appeal denied. Let’s not even revisit this.

The Nets were 8/10 from threes during the third and the early stretch of the fourth, and that was the end of things.  By the time C.J Watson made his three at 8:18 of the fourth quarter, it was a 12 point lead and the game was out of reach.  It didn’t help that the Davis and Valanciunas, our most effective combo, only played 3:53 together in the fourth (which is all that Valanciunas played).  This hurts more because Reggie Evans, for all his rebounds, was on the floor and had shown he could not handle Valanciunas in the paint. I`m not saying the outcome of this game would`ve been different, but can we at least try to put our most effective lineups out there?

The Nets were +7 on the glass overall which can be attributed to a pesky Reggie Evans.  I thought the Raptors rebounded quite decently, even when the zone was deployed, and overall, maintained their shape on defense well.  Those Brooklyn threes in the second half weren’t due to laziness; it was just good ball movement on the part of the Nets and great shot-making by Johnson and Watson.  The crowd got a little antsy in that second half when a couple passes went wayward, and I’m willing to forgive that in the name of heavy minutes and a surging Brooklyn side.  I thought it was harsh, but maybe they were booing the season, not the performance on the night.

Well, here we are at 4-19 with the season over, 8 ½ games out of the last playoff spot with five teams in between.  There are no playoffs in sight, only another long stretch of meaningless games that we’ll have to suffer through.  Perhaps there will be a mid-season trade, as there usually is, not to improve the basketball team but to appease the fans in the short-term and plant some false seeds of hope.  That’s the norm around these parts and we’re dangerously close to repeating the trend.  I doubt even a trade like that would shake things up enough, well, maybe if they trade Bargnani it might signal an end to the vicious cycle.

I don’t think Bargnani should be made the scapegoat.  I see lots of articles by the mainstream media who are finally sharpening their knives at the man, now that he’s most vulnerable.  Where they were when this problem manifested itself years ago is a good question.  I, for one, am not even a big advocate of a Bargnani trade, never quite have been.  I’m all for him going to the bench and serving his role as a bench scorer (if he can be bothered to do so).  The real turning of the page isn’t going to happen by trading Bargnani, but by changing guard at the top.

In short, Raptors lose in a hard fought game.  Up next is Dallas, then Houston.  We might be at home, but the road is tough.

The Quick Reaction has more analysis…or something.

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  • Phil

    Have to agree with you there. I don’t think anyone should be advocating for Bryan Colangelo to trade Andrea Bargnani. New GM? Sure, if he wants to. Only way to move forward is to give the reins to someone else.

    • NyAlesund

       This is the point. For me BC is the problem.

      We can discuss about AB, JC…….but who has built this team?

      Josè is a valuable player able to run the offence smoothly. Everyone is involved and consequently the quality of the basket is better than usual. Of course the injuries and the lack of talent is killing us. But several NBA team don’t have a real star I mean real star) but despite all are able to win. If we see the Bulls without Rose, the Sixers, the Warriors…………..these are playing efficiently because they have players perfect with their sistems.

      Colangelo instead, put in roster players without sense, what does it mean take Lowry (real comboguard) when we had Calderon? If you decided to give the keys of the team in Lowry’s hands and also add a shooter like Lucas III, able to run the second unit, is stupid to keep Calderon because the player can’t really play well if they forced to work in two different sistems. In fact we didin’t see the team with an identity.

      What will happen the next game? The same story: the coach and the guys wavering between Calderon and Lowry’s sistem.

      So, the only thing for me is understand what kind of basket they want. If they want the Lowry’s style of basket JC and Bargs have to leave. Those two are not fit for that style. Or viceversa trade Lowry.

      • Valit

         very well put, sir. This system inconsistency and an imbalanced roster destroyed what Casey accomplished last year and  destroyed also the chemistry of the team. To make the matter worse for Colangelo,… it seems to me that that the so called “new core” ( JV, ED, DD) would prefer a pass first PG, rather than run up and down the court and being involved only in rebounds and screens.

        • NyAlesund

           I agree, but now Colangelo has to cover his ass and who is the best scapegoat on the entire universe? Bargnani of course. I am not defending him at all, but only a blind person can’t see what happening now.

          I do not understand his strategy. I do not see a direction, the only thing I see is confusion. Like was Isaiah Thomas in NY.

          • FAQ

            Deja vu all over again… because I remember saying the same thing about Jose vs TJ … switching PGs only confuses the rest of the team on the floor requiring adjustment time.  Why are people saying the same thing about Jose vs KL now… and didn’t want to believe me then??!!!

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Ladies & gentlemen your Toronto Bargnanis.

      Ladies & gentlemen your Andrea Raptors.

      Bargnani aka No Star isn’t any better than ex NBA All Star Detlef Schrempf was and I wouldn’t build a team around Detlef shows how much BC really knows about building a winning NBA basketball team in the TDot.

      Only way to move forward is to dig out these old BC Raptors roots (whole front office/coaching staff, Bargnani, Calderon) and plant new Raptors basketball roots (Pres, GM, scouts, trainers, coach, franchise player(s)).

      • ozrapsfan

        The only thing Schremp could shoot and rebound

      • Destro

        Schrempf >>>>>>> Trashnani

        Thats not even a comparison…Detlef was a 3 time all star who a good scorer and rebounder in his prime…

        Bargnani isnt half the player he was…

  • Daniel

    Arse, the reality is slapping you in the face and you still don’t want to admit it. Jose is making everybody he plays with better. He has been the least of our problems during Colangelo’s tenure. The problems have always been the inability to designate and build around a true franchise player and the inability to find competent wings. Jose’s production and efficiency are among the top among all the PG’s year in year out. I hate that we wasted him for 3 seasons. The entire league must be shaking their heads that we are playing Kyle freaking Lowry ahead of Calderon. Just wait until Jose gets traded and then you’ll realize his value.

    • unknown guest

      Defense aside, I agree. Jose is a good ball distributor, who can most often than not make the right decision, hit the timely shot, etc., but when he is put in with a line that amplifies his defensive deficiencies, then he’s going to look horrible.
      How many more times are we going to go out and get an offense first PG? I like KLlow, I do, but like Bayless, Mike James, and others before him, how many are starters?

      • FAQ

        KL only came to TO to get a near-max 4 year contract … believe it.

        • Danny De Vito & Co

          The Alpha male, clearly the best player in TO, finally a true leader, a first tier PG, give him the ball,pitbull….. bla bla bla.

          All the above from this shitty blogger who should chane his name as well, cos Arsene Wenger is the “King of Losers” LOL

  • Daniel

    One more thing: you tried to downgrade the fight we put in by saying the Nets were disinterested. You tried to find a reason for us playing well shorthanded against a superior team. The Nets were not disinterested: they lost 4 in a row and they desperately wanted to win. They were tired because they played the night before. We moved the ball offensively which makes the defense work harder. We played zone against a poor 3-point shooting team. We gave them all they could handle and in the end superior talent (JJ basically) won. You are using post-factum rationalization to explain away that we are better without Lowry and AB (who should play as a 6th man). You should really stop writing and bring writers who understand basketball and are objective in their assessments. The entire group of writes on this blog suffers of “groupthink” so there is not one different opinion among you. It’s quite a shame seeing the quality of some of the posters on this blog.

    • voy

      i love jose.  however, he is worth more to a team looking to make a playoff run than he is to the raptors now.  if you are franchise planning for the future you have to weigh the benefits of having jose in the future at 31-34 years of age making (I’m guessing) 7 mill a year vs trading him for a draft pick or young player and at the same time probably improving your draft position for this year as well.

      • voy

        this being said, if you no one is offering you anything but an aging vet and a 2nd rounder, I’d probably rather keep jose and have him come off the books next year or try and try sign him for 5 millionish (?) a year.

      • The Truth

         The thing is I can see the Raps acquiring Jose on a lower deal as a backup for the next 2-3 years more than I can see them managing to re-sign Lowry when the time comes.

        I don’t think you can necessarily build the future roster around the idea that either of them will be here as the starting PG.

        • voy

          yeah, i dont think anyone is going to rationally argue we should build the future roster with the idea that jose will the starting pg.

          lowry is an interesting case.  no matter how you feel about his prospects as a starting pg on a good team, I think its tough to argue that for 6 mill next year, he is not good value for his salary.

        • unknown guest

          Agree. Was hoping to get a younger PG that JC could have groomed to be the next distributor, etc. on this team.

      • Daniel

        Jose will not resign with us. You can book it. Would you resign for a shitty team to be the backup to a shitty PG? It’s a moot point nayway because I’m positive Colangelo has a few trades in the work involving Jose.

        • tweed8

           The real question is do you have any faith in BC’s ability to make trades. 😉

          • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

            BC gave away a top 3 protected lottery pick (now owned by OKC) for oft injured Lowry even though McHale didn’t want him back with the Rockets…….Houston should have given us the draft pick for taking him off of their hands.smh

            • tweed8

              OK. That was pretty damn funny.

        • unknown guest

          Before this season, I would have said that Jose would re-up here 100%. But after all the hate, he could possibly sign for a contending team.

  • GDWotS

    I was at the game last night and I really got the impression of 2 things:

    1. With another big (Amir) and the ability to NOT have Lucas on the floor would have definitely got us playing for last shot at worst if not an outright W.

    2. We do not execute any kind of offensive system that I can recognize if the opposing team shuts entry to our bigs down low. All teams seem to have to do is play denial on the post and the PNR and leave our perimeter pretty much open. We have no answer because oddly, we don’t seem to have set plays. This was painfully obvious in the 4th. Shut down our big’s ability to get the ball in position and let the shooters dribble until bad decisions are made. Late shot clock shots in the 4th are strangely as common as really early ones. Bad recipe.

    Also, the Ref’s jumping swat of a Hump free throw was the best defense I saw all night. Classic.

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Casey said his offense is ‘random’ and/or ‘flow’.

      Now I have been invovled with basketball since I was 5 years old and have heard of a Flex, Swing, Shuffle, UCLA, Motion, Triangle, Princeton, High/Low, etc but what the fuck is a ‘flow’ or ‘random’ offense?

      It’s like these mofo’ers (BC & company) are hypnotizing the minds of the Raptors fan base with pure unfiltered bullchit……….

      Media =’s Medium =’s Hypnotizing Minds

      I supported the Casey hire until he uttered that Bargnani was Dirk like in his 1st presser I knew then that he was another yes man to BC in the mold of Jay Triano coaching by directive not a tactical thinking coach coaching on in game instict.

      Come hell or highwater……….

      • GDWotS

        Flow offense is when you don’t execute a pick and roll, don’t cut to the basket, don’t drive and kick, don’t double screen to create bad switches/mismatches, don’t create an ISO, don’t pass out of the post, don’t hit the dive man and dribble the ball a lot. Then shoot the ball, off-balance, with 2 seconds left on the shot clock with a hand in your face.

        I forget something?

        • FAQ

          … aka, street-ball free-for-all …?!

    • Daniel

      The reason is that we don’t have consistent 3-point shooters. At best we have streaky ones. The Nets adjusted to our bigs killing them inviting us to beat them from the perimeter. It was a no-brainer. We were open on the perimeter in the 2nd half however we couldn’t buy a shot.

      • GDWotS

        Exactly. So if your shot isn’t falling from outside and your bigs can’t operate down low, the only other option is…….

        • Daniel

          Bring SG’s who can shoot, PG’s who can pass and SF’s who can shoot a little and attack the basket a little? I don’t know, like talented players?

          • GDWotS


            I’ll email MLSE and let them know you can start anytime. 😉

  • KJ-B

    Hmmm…that boy Terrence Ross, when he grows into a man’s body and the game slows down, is gonna be dangerous–those dunks oh my…..that’s out of this world athleticism…if he can learn to think the game, sky is the limit–keep shooting bOy! 

    • FAQ

      All the TRap bigs need to put on 20-25 more #’s of muscle next summer because they don’t seem to have heavy duty NBA bodies.  Pumping iron and shooting up HGH should do the trick … like Howard’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics …LOL

  • Destro

    ^^ I have been trying to figure this out since beginning of the season what is the offensive scheme were running…There isnt one in actuality.Its a disorganization dysfunctional offense….Theres no movement,little ball movement,no back cuts or double screens or back screens or anything….It just seems to be a rec league do what you want offense….dribble find an open man or jack up a shot….How many wasted shots or terrible late shot clock attempts do you see from this team verus other teams?

    Its actually quite alot,another mark on Casey is this offense is total mess no clear scheme in sight….

    I have said it over and over again i could this team easily losing 60+ games this season or more and you will see a ton of blowout losses due to this teams defense…Its terrible,alot of bad defenders who have no accumen for defense….We dont help or rotate,no team leaves so many wide open looks without closing out or even attempting too….Its no coincidence this team has lost 6-7 close games and blown a few of them with double digit leads in the 4th quarter…

    You’ll see that happen all year with teams lack of defense….1-12 road record peee ewww

    • GDWotS

      You know what I just thought of….the last time I saw a Raptors forward back cutting and going baseline off screens was…Landry Fields. His shot wasn’t falling (it looked like he was shot putting the ball at the basket) so he got some lay-up and dunks by well…cutting to the hoop after losing his man on a big or a switch.

      Now I’m not trying to say that Landry Fields is some sort of answer (or any answer to almost any question we can devise)….but it does beg the question…”Exactly why is no one else doing this? At all, ever?”

      No system.

      • Daniel

        We play motion offense from 10 feet up. For some reason we don’t use the baseline in almost any of our sets. Very few times Derozan cut baseline and dunked the lob pass received from Jose. It may be because the opposing defences usually crowd the paint due to our poor spacing and outside shooting. Also JV, Ed and Amir all like to play on the low-mid post so there is not much space baseline.

      • tweed8

         When’s the last time you saw, DD cut to the basket and Jose deliver the ball for the oop or layup? I think that was when, Triano was still around… I least that I can remember.

  • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

    What was the Jay Triano head coaching era for- a gimmick to appease a segment of the fan base ie 1st Canadian NBA head coach coaching Canada’s only NBA team?

    Casey said that his coaching regime was a continuation of what Jay laid down building upon that foundation then proved it by retaining 3 of Jay’s assistants and having the Raptors playing as one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.

    Bargnani went from Casey requesting 2 rebounds per Q last season to just box out this season……, and this is who Casey is riding with come hell or highwater by ostracizing the rest of the team with his lp sided coddling of AB yet AB can’t seem to stay healthy now Casey’s words are coming back to haunt him….he’s our guy come hell or highwater….

    BC- I’m cold, Casey- me too boss. BC- I’m hungry, Casey me too boss. BC- I’m tired, Casey- me too boss. BC- Bargnani is Dirk like, Casey- yes he is boss.

    The Raptors fan base deserves a real GM, a real coach, a real franchise player, not some BC sponsored think tank brain storming session on how to pr spin the latest Raptors balderdash onto the fan base- BC pissing on fan base and calling it fresh water, BC shitting on fan base and calling it Kobe steak.

    BC can take his magic beans, bad karma and fucked up collered shirts and get the fuck out of the TDot as he keeps on lowering the bar to make himself (Bargnani) seem successful ie signing DD ‘I have retained an asset’ (that no one else was bidding against), like a 13 game AB mirage.lmfao

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Btw Jay has since left the Raptors organization for a Portland assistant coaching gig so he wanted no parts of this franchise going forward even though he had a cushy front office job & salary as BC nut hugger #1.

    • NyAlesund

       AB is not the problem. He is not a star, ok. Everyone knows this, even him. So, the MAIN PROBLEM is Colangelo and his idiotic way to build the team.

      Casey? I do not understand if he can coach freely or not.

      Lowry-Calderon together. Bad idea.

  • Tee

    Honest question:

    What will getting rid of BC do Arse?
    Would you still keep these core players that he drafted?

    Would you draft differently or hire a new coach?

    Would you add seats in the acc so the raps would have more room to sell out on a wed night for a team 10 games below 500?

    I hear all these suggestions to fire bc but I honestly don’t know what he could have done differently this offseason.  Im not trying to be snarky, I just would like a more thorough explanation of people’s criticism than “get rid of BC”.

    • Nilanka15

      Getting rid of Colangelo is just one of many steps towards rebuilding this team from scratch.  It’s by no means a quick fix.  We’re looking at 3 drafts (at least).

      With Colangelo gone, we can focus on ridding ourselves of players who don’t necessarily fit Casey’s defence-first philosophy (i.e. Calderon, Bargnani, DeRozan, Kleiza, etc.), and finding guys that do, whether it’s via trade, free-agency, or draft.

      Whoever replaces Colangelo in the short-term should only be concerned about trading these players, getting as many picks/prospects as possible, and freeing up cap space…just like Wayne Embry did leading up to Colangelo’s hiring.  I would have no problem giving him the keys again.

      • Daniel

        Wayne Embry has been the “brain” behind Colangelo all throughout his tenure. Any time Colangelo refers to “basketball minds” he refers to Embry. In the last interview with Embry, he advised the masses to wait until January. In other words, he is a total idiot who think this team has talent and it just needs time to “jel”. That’s the problem with counsellors: a lot of power with no accountability.
        The players you mentioned to be get rid of played a pretty good defense last year with Casey. It is amazing how little people understand the reasons of our failure this season.

        • Nilanka15

          Last season was clearly an anomaly.  The only lesson learned is not to use last season as any accurate measuring stick whatsoever.  Calderon, Bargnani, DeRozan and Kleiza are NOT good defensive players, period.

          • KJ-B

            He’s better than yo Boy–> No Money Weems–you can’t tell me that DeRozan hasn’t made major strides, surely not stellar but nowhere near as ineffective, had 4 steals and a block last night…AND, in NJ he shut down Joe Johnson…making strides BUT you’ll never admit that you were dead WRONG on DeRozan…trade DeRozan at $9mil for 19 ppg  5 rpg 2+ apg + steals/blocks and good fg % = you outta ur Basketball MIND!!!!!!

            • Nilanka15

              Weems isn’t “my boy”.  I simply said that 2 years ago, there was little difference between the 2 players.  Since then, DeRozan hasn’t done much to prove me “wrong”.  He’s Desmond Mason with a higher usage rate.

              • Jamshid

                and much bigger contract 😉

              • Destro

                Hyperbole wins again…smh @ Desmond Mason…Demar is alot better than that scrub was….and he’ll always be much better than bum ass Sonny too…We can legit argue about defense because while its not great sometimes i think its better than what you portray alot of the time..but to say he hasnt done much to improve over the last 2 years is just flat out hating and lying…you decide which…

                • Nilanka15

                  I never said he didn’t improve.  I’m saying that even with his improvements, he’s no superstar-in-the-making. 

                  When you “improve” from crappy to average, you don’t deserve props. 

                  My ball-handling ability in high school was better than DeRozan’s now.  How can a professional shooting guard not even have a cross-over dribble?

                  DeRozan is what he is.  Can’t shoot, mediocre handles, is as weak a defender as anyone else on the Raptors, but is somehow seen is a future hero about to bring the Raptors out of their funk.  Not gonna happen.

                • Destro

                  NO it wasnt ur ball handling stinks and still does…NObody said superstar but YOU…that future hero stuff is you resorting to non sense because ur reply is mostly non sense,typical hyperbole crap…

                  17 PPG is crappy lol i’ll take it…hes improved ALOT this season scoring,driving,rebounding,shooting and yes even defending…no superstar no all star games,his handles are suspect..

                  hes shooting 45 % if you watch dont think his shot esp at certain areas on the floor has improved then you dont pay attention,simple as that…

                  ID like to see the 3 ball BUT im ok with the fact he knows what he cant do and what he can do well and he tries hard to get to THOSE spots to make those shots (including FT attempts)

                  Problem is while hes improved alot of other teammates havent and dont try too…. 

                • Destro

                  This type of reply is why i dont take you seriously on here…Your replies turn into nothing more than you answering questions and claims nobody made about said player….instead of keeping it tothe point you go off with drivel based stupidity about superstardom and future heroes…bla bla bla save that shit for the fanboys of the italian….Not every critique and analysis deserves that kind of corny and contrived response…

            • what the

              his boy is gary forbes. that is where the offence FLOWS.

              • Destro

                HA ! folk wont let this one go…

          • Daniel

            I hate to break it to you however nobody on our roster is a first, second or third NBA all-defense player. It’s not even funny to say that however we don’t have one above-average or even average individual defender. An NBA roster may have 2 or 3 really good defensive players at most. Every team plays within team defense concepts. Last year we did have a defensive identity and clear defensive concepts. This season they broke down for various reasons.   

    • The Truth

      It’s not about any one off season (though I will get to this particular one in a second) it’s about the sum of all parts. Ultimately he has been here for near on 7 years, there is not one player on this roster that he didn’t choose to sign or re-sign. Same with the coaching staff.

      Given that he brought all these parts together over the years and this was the unit he thought could compete for a playoff spot if the sum of what it can produce is a 4-19 start then he needs to be held accountable for that.

      As far as this one off season the big thing I would fault him on is going big on Nash, which to me was not a smart basketball move and even if you would argue it was then it was very much focused on “winning now” rather than continuing to build.

      • Tee

        So u want to get rid of him in order to have someone to place blame on?
        Maybe im over-simplying it but, ok.

         Would that be similar to getting rid of Glenwald?

        I liking these ideas people but i do think some specifics would help. Keep them coming

        • The Truth

           As I said, it’s the sum of all the parts he brought here that can be “blamed”.

          – If it’s the players that are to “blame”, Colangelo signed/drafted/traded to get them.
          – If it’s the coach that is to “blame”, Colangelo signed (and even extended!) him.

          I would love to talk about specifics, which is why when our GM says our current woes are a “focus” issue (whatever that means) but not a talent issue I know it’s time for him to go.

      • Roarque

        Agree about Setve Nash and I live on Vancouver Island.

        Seems to though the pundits suggested the Raptors might be 7-16 at this point when assessing the schedule. It was a tough one. I suggest injuries had some effect on the current situation. Lowry and Fields in particular. AA would not have mattered if Fields was ready to play.

        • The Truth

          I didn’t really expect them to be very close to .500 ball at this stage either, but I also didn’t expect them to be on only 4 wins still. The big concern is that while they kept most losses close and were arguably a little unlucky early they got blown out big a couple of times on this latest road trip. It’s very hard to turn around from that and start playing winning ball.

    • Daniel

      The fans’ job is not to “offer solutions”. We can only dissect and diagnose the facts in front of us. We are in no position to make any changes. It drives me nuts to hear “rational and even-minded” people bringing the lack of “solutions” as proof of “pessimism”, “realism” or whatever mumbo-jumbo they prefer.
      I’ll make it simple for you: Colangelo’s tenure in Toronto has been an abysmal failure from a basketball point of view compared with the expectations. He is being evaluated by his employer from a variety of indicators and the fans’ opinions are quite low on their list. The owner will make the decision about getting rid of Colangelo or not and we have no say in it. The only power we have is to vote with our wallets on liking or not liking the product on the floor. Toronto is the city of the Maple Leafs so the prognostic is very sombre regarding the fanbase’s leverage in effecting changes at management level.

      • voy

        the fanbase having an influence on franchise changes would be catastrophic.  we’d be getting rid of coaches every 4 game losing streak. we’d be jettisoning players for nothing in return after every poor game. we’d be drafting the ed o’bannons of every draft etc etc.

        i’m not sure, but are you saying “its not the fans responsibility to offer solutions” and at the same time saying “fans should have more of an influence on the franchise?

        • Daniel

          I’m saying fans don’t offer solutions, period. They do have the same influence as any other paying customer for any other business. If fans are not coming, the ownership will make changes. My observation was that in Toronto fans are coming even when their teams suck so their influence is even lower.

    • Arsenalist

      Getting rid of BC avoid signings like Kapono, Jack, Kleiza, Fields, Turkoglu…it’s not this off-season that’s resulted in the 4-19, it’s the amalgamation of incompetency over the last four years.  

  • et-man

    I thought the raptors put in a good effort. Especially Calderon, Davis and Jonas. Davis plays like a second centre and it will be interesting to see how he does against better opposition. The nets did seem lousy and they have been playing lousy losing 5 in a row. However, I am not going to take anything away from the effort the raptors put in. 

    My biggest issue is one of objectivity that can sway opinions one way or another. Derozan, Ross and Pietrus had lousy shooting nights and were not good on defence. Pieutrus was 2-8, Derozan 5-13, Ross 3-8 and Leo would have us believe that its okay for them to shoot their way out of a slump. We all know that if another player who is now injured shot like those three last night the knives would have been out. Just saying.

    Calderon and Davis will now be the focus. I have said it before, Calderon runs the team better than Lowry. He is a double double threat every time he plays. The best part of Calderon’s game is that he gets his teammates involved. No one is going to yell at Calderon for self centred play. What he lacks in defensive ability is made up by being the ultimate team player and bringing cohesion to the starting unit. Run and gun is not for the raptors. If all you want to see are dunks once in a while, then it will work for you, but I for one want to see wins not highlight reel dunks.

    With Bargnani out, we will finally see what Davis can bring to the table. I hope it’s wins.

    • Roarque

      Me too. Everyone wants a nice guy to finish first. Jose is a nice guy.

      One other point. Have you also noted that Lowry seems to have the respect of his team mates on the floor. That doesn’t make him a nice guy but it does make his a potential floor general.

  • Tee

    trade derozan?!really?…ok

    trade Bargnani?-hes injured, but yeah people have been saying that for a while.
    Dont worry about Kleiza & jose they’ll be gone soon anyway.

    So a 3-5 yr rebuild?, ok cool, I see. But you must admit that is a huge gamble.

    See this is what I crave people; a logical plan stated! give me MORE!

  • tweed8

    I am starting to think that the reason why BC has had Jose and Kyle on the floor at the same time is because Kyle would benefit from an additional wing player with assist making ability. Note: I am ignoring all the ugliness this has recreated and just looking at the dynamic. Kyle is fine but, I don’t know that he was the PG we needed at all.  I said this to friends over drinks a few weeks back. A PG with a bit more scoring threat and Jose’s assist numbers would be nice.  If we can trade Jose for a decent then great but, right now it looks like we are out of the playoffs for another two to three years at least… barring trade miracles…

    • Daniel

      Their names are Nash, Rondo, Paul, and Williams. They are the only PG’s with higher assists numbers than Jose in the last years and who have more points per game than him. That’s it. Good luck in getting any one of those. In the meantime we are getting rid of Jose in order to bring “the PG of the future”.

    • Roarque

      tweed8 – Note the success the Raptos had in LA moving the ball laterally by positioning Lowry at the sideline so that the first pass came to him there and forced him to use his ball movement skills to drive from there or pass from there. This strategy resulted in multiple shots by Mr Bargnani after the second or third Raptor pass in the offensive zone.

      So why not let Jose, an excellent ball handler and first passer bring the ball up the floor and let Lowry position himself on the strong side sideline. Jose could then initiate the offense with a pass to Lowry, with a pick and roll play through a big like ED or if left alone he could shoot a three from the middle of the floor.

      Lowry could assume the defense of the stronger of the two opponent guards leaving Jose to do his best to guard the opponents weakest guard. Classic compensation for each man’s strengths and weaknesses.

      DDR could learn to enjoy his new life as a small forward.

      • Daniel

        So basically you want Lowry to play SG in offense and either PG or SG in defense. A tandem of 2 PG’s is not always ineffectual at NBA level, as demonstrated by Felton-Kidd in New York or Jenkins-Ellis in Milwaukee. The problems with Lowry are that he’s not an SG in offense (he’s short, makes poor decisions, doesn’t finish in traffic) and he’s an awful defender regardless of the position.

        • Roarque

          Awful? I don’t mean to be picky but perhaps you could chose another adjective. How about adventurous to a fault? or Tends to over-anticipate defensively?

          Also, my 2 guard should be ablt to hit a respectable number of 3 balls and should be able to drive to the paint AND make good decisions ( pass or shoot) while doing so. I think Lowry can do both those things better than DDR.

          I might add that I’d rather have talented players than players who fit a formulaic description of a perfect body type for a position. Example is KG in OKC is “too thin” to play the 3 and too tall as well.

  • Roarque

    As is the norm, this writer does a nice job of describing the game and he provided very good insights of what happened between the baskets scored as well. However, I am aften left with the feeling of depression after spending time of this site and I need to get something off my chest.

    The NBA plays exciting basketball that can be the entertainment experience many of us want; visions of “making the playoffs” as the only goal night in and night out should be put into perspective. The NBA has evolved into a league where only a handful of teams can expect to win the annual award. Unfortunately the handful seems to be made up of the same teams year after year because the elite players have decided that they’re in charge of where the elite shall play. The odd exception is the team from nowhere allowed to pretend they have a shot only to be wiped out in the final pairings.

    My suggestion is that Toronto fans come to terms with this reality and to find a way to enjoy the athleticism and fighting spirit of our local heros for the 30-40 games they can win with the talent level ( ie the players ) who are forced to play here in the early part of their careers or who chose to play here in the latter part. These are not the elite players because Toronto is not the home of elite basketball.

    Toronto is the center of the hockey universe – a place where Raptor’s games are almost ignored by the local media when the hockey team is in town. Ask the football team – either variety – or the baseball teams how they feel about playing second or third string on the bench that is public awareness of their sport. An elite basketballer wants to play where his skills are adored and fawned over. He expects to be treated like the god he knows himself to be.

    I for one shall continue to enjoy games like the Raptors played against the Nets last night and accept that the outcome, the score, is no more important to me than the annual salary the players get to play their sport. It helps me to maintain a perspective that doesn’t require psychiatric assistance. 

    • j bean

      I guess if it works for you that’s great. 
      It’s when it becomes obvious someone with the team takes the same perspective and the score or winning isn’t their consuming passion that the games lose their entertainment value.   

      • Roarque

        j bean – Good point. Perhaps if I had some control over the outcome of the game then my attitude would change. I did play organized basketball in Thornhill many years ago and we won more than we lost so the effort needed to win is not lost on me.

        Today I am an armchair point guard and feel the wins and losses are beyond my control – and you’re right that I do hope the youngsters want to win with the Raptors, if only to ensure that when their time comes, free agency will allow them to chose the city where they do have a chance at success by your standards. CB4 being a good model for my theory.

        • FAQ

          Me too, Roarque… but it’s the t.h.f.’s (tribal honking fans) who must be satisfied so they can realize their ‘winning’ delusions… and to motivate them to buy Raptor NBA gear so they can wear their TRap hero jersey and pretend he is part of the team when he insults the opposition and cheer at the shots that drop and the steals ‘n stuffs.. while sitting in the ACC nose-bleed seats.  There are more t.h.f.’s than b-ball aficionados like you… and me … sitting in our Lazy Boy rocker and viewing games on our 50″ LED tv screens… ya think??!!!

          • Roarque

            Gotta love the lazy-boy chair – good for Four Quarters.

    • tweed8

      Sorry man, but that’s a lazy attitude and goes against the definition of sports in general.  Whether it takes one season or ten seasons a team -all it’s parts, not just players but, the management around it- should strive for the highest goal available too them.
      Years have gone by and fans have said the same thing, as long as these franchises are making money the MLSE doesn’t care about losing. If this is indeed the end truth -and I don’t mean a random person saying, “Sure it is.”- then that is the truly depressing part and in the “name of sports”, we should just not bother having these teams.

      I understand where you are coming from with the sense of depression when you read this site. You are reading commentary from a lot of frustrated -and some really angry fans- but, that doesn’t make them all bad fans or eliminate the possibility for good and entertaining discussion.  At the end of the day, like you said, take what you want from it.  

      I could go on but, I’ll stop there.  And please take note, now of this reply was set out to bash you.  I have no interest in that. 

  • Alb Perjet

    I am a huge fan of Lowry, but is it just me or does this team play well with a pass first PG. With that said Jose 4 Starter.

    • FAQ

      … and another TJ redux revelation ….!

    • Roarque

      They do and so would any other team.

      Last night the issue was the Nets read the scouting report on Jose and knew his first option was pass. Remember the run out Jose had with ED beside him and only Deron Milliams to beat? DW played jose for the pass and got ED to run him over in the paint – offensive charging. WHY? Jose had a clear path to the rim but chose to involve ED – YIKES!  Lowry would ALWAYS go for the shot and he has the teams’ respect for that attitude.

      Tough choice Lowry vs Jose – never was this hard with TJ ford or yadda yadda.

  • Jamshid

    “I don’t think Bargnani should be made the scapegoat. …”

    Love this last paragraph about AB. I almost agree with everything you said there. It is appalling to see the critics who kept their mouth shut , for what ever reason, attacking the guy when he is down and its weakest point like bunch of hyenas. The bench idea is great but I think we are passed that stage.
    The atmosphere surrounding the team now and the general feeling of the fan base, make this place a toxic environment for AB. The team needs to move on pass the bickering arguments of AB and also AB needs to move on … 
    This chapter is done and the best thing BC can do is to facilitate a trade. However, with AB’s injury and BC’s stubbornness with this issue, I can not see that happen. 
    I think BC is gone this summer and AB is amnestied. 

    • what the

      who to amnesty amir or AB

    • FAQ

      Bargs might want to be amnestied, pocket his $20+Million and go back home to play soft Euro-ball at which he can excel … ya think??!!!

      • Jamshid

        He will stay in NBA and he will be used proper in his next team and will have a longer career in this league that many people think …. ya think ??!!!

  • Go Raps

    These injuries are the best thing to happen to the raptors. There r no easy trades now and casey is forced to play the rookies so we see what we have for the next leader of the raptors.

    • FAQ

      How will BC salve the fan expectations after being told the TRaps are shooting for playoffs… gotta put bums in the seats and eyeballs on tv screens, otherwise the moolah vanishes…??!!!!

  • FAQ

    Can we all agree that this TRap team not only lacks athleticism, it also suffers from low IQ for which there is really no cure?

    As for not being able to execute offensive plays, they start with a play, but it quickly collapses and they are left to improvise.  Sad, really… watching it happen over and over again.  Oh, well… something is deeveloping….

    I predicted 9 straight losses before they got their next win, against Detroit, at the ACC next week, but before the injuries to Bargs and Kyle… hmmmmmmm

  • Bob

    fire BC!!!!!

  • Statement

    I have the solution,

    We should take Rudy Gay with the number 1 pick.

    • mountio

      yup .. you cracked the code

  • cdub

    This team was doomed to fail.  you got 2 starting guards that can’t shoot, a pf that does nothing BUT shoot,  a PG who takes bad shots and ball hogs, and an assortment of scrubs at SF unless Landry actually works out, bit too early to write him off.  if your going to start derozan, and everyone wants to dump Andrea, who is going to shoot?  its great that ed davis can score efficiently from the paint, i love it.  problem is he cant shoot and no one else can either….combine that with a coach who doesn’t know how to run an offense, and you get this I suppose.

  • leftovercrack

    With the luck this team has had, I bet they get the no 4 draft pick this year and have to send it to okc. It’s not a strong draft but I would have liked to get shaz as wing scorer

  • alcivarj

    If the goal is to develop Davis and Valanciunas then i’d rather have Calderon leading the team…also if you were to add Gasol to the mix by trading bargnani than you can package lowry for a legitimate small forward. The trick is not giving up lowry and bargs for Gasol and BC has been able to put together some difficult trades in his day…see (Hedo Turkoglu). Gasol and Calderon are monsters on the spanish national team and this would calm calderon down a bit after yet another fail attempt to replace him with a do it yourself ball hogg.

  • gradgrind101

    I would move Colangelo and Casey. I don’t like people losing their jobs but both are in over their heads.

    Colangelo for obvious reasons. I would not allow Colangelo to make any moves at all.

    Casey because he has yet to draw up a successful late game play when the game was on the line. The difference between a good coach and a mediocre one is the ability to recognize opportunities late in the game and draw a play. Casey failed in the beginning of the season and the raptors piled up losses and that has led to where the raptors are today. HE IS NOT A GOOD HEAD COACH…

    • Bob Sackamano

      Who would you replace him with Mr. Belvedere or Tony Micelli ?

      • Nilanka15

        LOL, diggin’ the Seinfeld reference.

      • gradgrind101

        There are a lot of people who can coach. It would be the job of the new GM to find someone…Best if it were a former player with some credibility who has battled in the trenches. Casey’s career path should have been to remain as assistant under Carlisle a little longer.

  • Gregast

    In order to have potential “stars” at all positions, you are forced to pay those five players big bucks – using up your cap space so that your bench players are paupers and play like it. Check out the Lakers. So don’t go hoping for “stars” at all five positions in the salary cap era. And if your “stars” go down with injuries then the paupers get to play and you better hope they can play over their heads for 48 minutes – good luck with that.

    BTW Dwane Casey is a winner and to lose him would be a massively huge mistake. He is a cornerstone man – pound the rock.