A little home cooking and the Toronto Raptors are playing their best basketball of the season.

No, it’s not because Kyle Lowry is a ball hog who gambles on defense. Lowry is a very good point guard, and when he’s not playing he’s replaced by a player that’s almost as good. Different style, but comparably good. Now it seems convenient to say this after a game where Jose Calderon nets a triple-double, but his passing skills and shooting accuracy have been elite for some time now. He’s just been associated with a lot of losing and his perceived lack of aggressiveness makes him an easy target. Funny that he would be looked at completely differently if he was on a winning team. Then he would be a great floor general.

Is it as simple as Andrea Bargnani not being on the floor? It never is, but the way they Raptors shut out the Rockets for the first 4 minutes of the game, does anyone think that happens with Bargnani in there?
Didn’t Bryan Colangelo attribute the Raptors’ defensive struggles this year to having a rookie centre in the starting lineup? But suddenly they’ve reverted back to being decent defensively, with Valunciunas surprisingly present. Sure, small sample space, but I think you all know where I’m going with this.

About that start, it was 8-0, built on the back of Jose Calderon’s shooting and excellent help rotations by Ed Davis. Houston tried to establish pick-and-roll with Omer Asik to start the game. It worked, Asik would slither through and receive a pass on the roll, but wouldn’t you know it, Easy Ed Davis was there to prevent the basket. This happened a few times early on, and it really changed the tone of the game. Easy baskets were not to be had against these Raptors.

DeMar DeRozan and Calderon carried the Raptor offense in the early going, although there was an element of luck, as they repeatedly let the shot clock run down until they had to make desperation attempts. Fortunately they went in, but it looked like something had to change for the offense to consistently produce.

The bench came in for the Rockets and made a difference later in the quarter. It was a barrage of kick outs for 3-pointers, and they hit almost all of them. The interior defense of the Raptors had necessitated this change to go small and find more long-range shots, but it’s generally unsustainable as on its own. That’s what ended up happening as the Rockets struggled to find any consistency after that run late in the first quarter.

James Harden was really the only player that could make things happen. There’s other guys, but he’s the only one can create his shot, and everything else the Rockets did seemed like smoke and mirrors.

As Houston closed the gap with their up-tempo attack, it kind of played into the Raptors hands. With someone like Calderon running the point, they avoided turnovers but benefited from the numerous ones that Houston was giving up. People should not discount the importance of avoiding turnovers. It’s part of Jose’s value that is severely overlooked. It made a difference in this game.

The second unit of the Raptors seemed to recover from Houston’s run and the likes of Terrence Ross, Alan Anderson and John Lucas restored some of that Raptor lead with some well executed fast breaks. They went on a 12-0 run, and it was really just Harden who was keeping Houston competitive at this point with trip after trip to the free throw line.

The problem here was that Harden was getting by his defender with ease. One idea was to put a small quick guy like Lucas on him to force him to shoot over the top. Or someone like Ross who seems like he has the quickness and length to at least bother him.

Dwane Casey stuck to DeRozan/Anderson, and it’s really just Harden not choosing to completely abuse these matchups, that this strategy didn’t backfire on him.

The defense picked up again once the starting lineup went back in during the second. That meant Jose as well, as he completely suffocated Jeremy Lin at the point of attack. It wasn’t even close.

Telling you right now, when/if Jose gets traded to a good team, he will do exceptionally well and that team will be better because of him.

Sure, Ed Davis had 2 fouls, but he should have got more time in the first half. In the end it didn’t matter, because he would have a third quarter to remember. Regardless, it’s just so frustrating to see an NBA organization that should know basketball better than any of us, not realize what they have in this guy. Even today he played less than Bargnani would on his worst night. Bargnani unconditionally plays more than 30 minutes/game and Ed Davis unconditionally plays less than 30. Such is the state of talent evaluation in Raptorland.

So big runs by both sides, but unsurprisingly tied at the half.

The third quarter might have been the most fun I’ve had as a fan watching this team. Ed Davis was absolutely everywhere. First a solid and1 and then a nice cut to the basket for a dunk to start a quick 5 – 1 run., and then Amir Johnson was subbed in earlier than usual. The block party was in full swing.

If you’re a fan of On/Off Offensive/Defensive ratings, especially when isolating player combos, you will see a wealth of information pointing to one conclusion: When Ed Davis and Amir Johnson play the 4 and 5 together, they are elite defensively, and more than adequate offensively. Of course we rarely see them play meaningful minutes together because of the great Bargnani, but this third quarter only reinforced this data.

The strange thing is that we have this Alex Rucker dude who’s supposed to be doing next level advanced stats. The well-known advanced stats like PER, Win Shares, Wins Produced all cast Ed Davis and Amir Johnson is a very positive light. Andrea Bargnani is mediocre in PER and is not just bad in Win Shares/Produced but “all-time historically bad” bad.

While Jose is not always the most active player on the court, he is elite at finding active bigs who flash to the rim. With two bigs doing that consistently, Jose is smart enough to know a high-percentage play when he sees one. The best dish was a wrap-around pass to Ed Davis for another throw down. The whole look of the offense suited Calderon, and it looked so much more fluid and effective than watching a 7-footer shoot long twos all game.

As the final quarter began, it was interesting to see how Toronto would avoid the Houston bench going on that run like they did in the first half. Luckily Alan Anderson had something to say about that.

He had a little extra pep in his step, did Anderson. First he wowed the crowd with a slick move, then hitting a couple of big three’s late in the shot clock as James Harden simply watched. Not sure why Harden couldn’t at least crown Anderson, but that’s Houston’s problem.

85 – 76 after a big Anderson three.

Terrence Ross played crunch time minutes as Dwane Casey went small. Ross has a nice floater to make it 89 – 80. Ross’ biggest issue is Ross himself. He needs to see how good his drives look, yet continues to hoist mostly jumpers. Once he picks up his dribble he has elite speed and hops.

Although I wished Ed Davis would have been subbed in for these crucial minutes, the team played inspired defense. Ross sacrificed himself to take a shot from Chandler Parsons. He didn’t get the call, but you can already see the new-found change in culture rubbing off on the rookie.

A big charge taken by Amir at 5 min mark on a great rotation was also noteworthy. Then Jose sacrifices his body, taking a charge at the 4 min mark. All this sacrifice had me invested more emotional into this game than I have been in a while. Perhaps other felt this way too.

Houston resorted to three balls in the last 2 minutes, but the Raptors closed out so well on these attempts that a couple were near airballs. Their coaching/lack of execution was exposed during this stretch as they let Jose get fouled while in the penalty in one situation and then let Anderson drive baseline unimpeded for another and1 to put the Raptors up 102-96. That last play was the game.

So can the Raptors continue to excel without two of their top scorers? Maybe not without Lowry. Imagine him as he sucks in interior defenders with Ed Davis and Amir Johnson rolling to the rim. It could be like the year where TJ Ford and Jose Calderon gave the Raptors 48 minutes of quality play at the 1.

He should be getting back sooner than Bargnani, and then it should become clearer than it is even now why this team seems to be suddenly playing better, grittier basketball.

  • monocled_gentleman_scholar

    Was this article translated from a foreign language into English?

  • Daniel

    Wow, talking about denial. You start the article again justifying your man-love for a reject of 2 organizations. Houston preferred Lin to keeping Lowry and Jose destroyed Lin: what does it say about Lowry? We are 2-13 with Lowry and 4-6 without him. Lowry is the most toxic asset we’ve ever had and for the Raptors this says a lot.
    How can you say Jose is almost as good as Lowry? Are you sick? Are you watching the games? Jose is two times the PG Lowry is. His numbers are comparable to the elite PG’s and only the shitty roster around him placed him in a bad situation. Why is it so hard to recognize you were wrong and move on? 

    • CJT

      While I generally agree with your assessment, it becomes hard for anyone to take you seriously when you use such hyperbolic statements.  Lowry isn’t the most toxic asset we’ve ever had.  He is one of many players who don’t fit the rest of the roster.  He does have the skill to be a game changing type PG, the question is does he have the brain.  I completely agree that on a team that has better options Jose would be considered one of the best PG’s in the league, instead people blame him for the losing we have had, when the reality is he has been one of the only consistent bright spots for this franchise over the course of their history. 

    • Alb Perjet

      AS much as I am a Jose fan, and I really am….Kyle is a great PG… I don’t think Jose is twice as good as Kyle. Noticeably it is just two different styles of playing jose is pass first and kyle is a scorer and aggressor. Note that kyle is averaging 15.8 PPG 5.8APG and 5.6 REBPG to go along with 1.6 STLpg so your argument is not sound. I do see what you are saying tho. But you have to realise that this is just 10 games. I would love to see if Calderon starts a few games and lowry comes off the bench. One thing you have to notice also is the amount of time JOSE has with this team. It has given him the time to gel with the players. It is going to be interesting to see in about 10 more days how the minutes will be distributed. We have a good crop of PGs but I did notice that calderon and Bargs are for trade in a few articles it should be interesting.

      • Daniel

         I don’t give a damn about Lowry’s individdual numbers if they are accomplished to the detriment of the team. We are 2-13 with him on the court and we were on track to becoming the worst team in NBA had he not got injured. The style of play is not in direct corelation with the quality of play. There is nothing inherently wrong in a scoring PG providing certain other variables favour such a style (see Parker or Westbrook): high shooting efficiency, drive and dish ability, finishing in traffic, court balance and transition defence. Lowry doesn’t have any of the individual attributes mentioned above and the Raptors are suffering mightily. The number of games with the Raptors is really irrelevant compared with Lowry’s career span in which he showed exactly the same traits. After 3 seasons in NBA, a guard is what he is, with very few exceptions. There are no compensating features to Lowry’s offensive attributes when you consider that his defense is worse than his offense. 
        Casey has to take his share of the blame too for the way he designed the offense and the defense in the training camp. His offense was supposed to create room for Lowry and Derozan to operate down low thus parking Bargnani at the 3-point line. All 3 players are inefficient shooters and poor decision makers so the entire plan has proved to be a fiasco. It’s like he created a system based on statistics and not based on individual players’ attributes. Now he went back to last year’s plan which should not have been changed in the first place. The problem is Lowry doesn’t fit into this plan so something has to give.

        • FLUXLAND

           “It’s like he created a system based on statistics and not based on individual players’ attributes.”

          PAGING DOCTOR ALEX RUCKER, PAGING DR. RUCKER.

    • j bean

      Jose just had one of the best games of his career. He even made some nice passes into the post which he doesn’t get a chance to do when Bargnani is expecting the ball standing in three point land. If Jose played at that level consistently you could make a case for his inclusion into the top ten pg but he doesn’t. We have all seen the other Jose whose poor play contributes more to the loss column than the other side. Over his career he has proven to be a capable middle of the pack player but there has always been room for more out of his position. That is why Lowry was acquired. When he comes back healthy, if Jose is playing like last night and leading the team to victory Lowry will come of the bench and tip his hat to Jose, we all will. If Jose reverts back to his old self then they need someone else who can bring more to the team. Lowry hasn’t played enough for me to pass a final judgement on. Like Jose he has looked great at times and not so good at others. If I had to choose only one of them I would pick Kyle but we don’t have to pick. We have both of them on the team. The point was supposed to be one of the strengths of the team so I’m glad Jose can come through when Kyle goes down. 

    • guest#2

      Fans, at least those who post on forums, are a fickle bunch. And not just of this team but for teams in many other cities as well.

      Just as “Alb Perjet” stated, Lowry’s stats speak for itself.  He’s barely played a total of a quarter of games for the Raptors and there’s already so much rumbling against this guy?! Reserve judgement.

      There’s no denying that Jose is a good pg who has some defensive weaknesses. He’s played two great games (but one could argue against two average point guards in Derek Fisher and Lin). Overall, the consensus is that Jose is a pass-first, safe-with-the-ball PG who is efficient and seems to be even more efficient as a starter than a bench player.  

      But we’ve seen this story how many times before? TJ Ford, Jarret Jack, etc. People/media suddenly start to antagonize the other point guard and then before you know it, everyone’s calling for that person to be run out of the city.  

      It appears the issue now isn’t the point guard spot.  The issue is defensive tenacity and fluency/distribution on offense.  Jose has defensive weaknesses but he tends to play better in a system that has defensive-minded people around him (i.e. NOT Bargnani) that hustle-hard and rotate and regularly put their bodies on the line at positions that require such dedication (i.e. NOT Bargnani).  But judgement on offensive fluency needs to be reserved on Lowry until we see him play enough minutes with a team that doesn’t have Bargnani on the floor (since AB7 tends to be a black hole) – if he still gambles or plays hero-ball at that point then that’s a more reasonable time to judge him.

      Having said all that, we are still 6-19 and if trading AB + Lowry nets us more than trading AB + Jose then we should all be for that because the bottom line is that we are still a rebuilding team. 

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Houston didn’t even want Lowry back this season yet BC gave up a future Lottery pick for him..smh

      I don’t like Lowry nor Jose running the point for the Raptors….

      That being said, Jose stats don’t equal winning basketball- what’s his overall record as a starter in the TDot? I know it’s below .500 off the top.

      • PBJake

        What’s Lakers’ record with Howard starting? I know it’s below .500… trade him!!!

        • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

          2 totally different organizational scenarios & realities…buddy ro.lol

  • Valit

     Yesterday’s game was more than a Raps victory, it was a personal victory for Jose Calderon. He just did not beat easily Lin but he beat  a lot of naysayers from the main and alternative media as well as a lot of people who dont agree with his style of play. As a basketball player, he has weaknesses, but you cant deny his commitment to this organization and his ability to keep afloat a team that was sinking very fast. I thought his post-game comments were “personal arrows” towards a GM who probably is rubbing his hands as we speak, in order to sell the guy asap. As I said before, I have no problem in  dealing Jose if the rebuilding process is done properly and if there is a vision for the next couple of years. Having said that, and knowing that a rebuilding/building process is not very simple as it seems , I got two question for people smarter than me

    – Can we say for sure if  in the last 10 years, the Raptors tried to build around the right people? and who can guarantee us that these new” anointed ” ones are the right ones moving forward?
    – if we deal Jose, who do you think will be the player who will glue together the “new core”?

    • Gregast

      Good comments Valit.

      I saw Kyle Lowry on the bench with eyes like saucers watching his PG partner using Ed Davis and Amir Johnson in a way that was both effective and different than Kyle Lowry has used them himself. Let’s hope this is a learning point for our future PG.

      I submit that this will be Jose’s swan song as a Raptor. His success now has a lot to do with his passion and with his team mates willing team success through hard work and defensive discipline.

      It hurts me to say that Jose is worth more traded that as the back up here in Toronto. But if he goes to LA then he can bask in the limelight of an NBA playoff run with Kobe and Co. He deserves that chance. Maybe he’ll come back to work in the organization – depends on whether Brian Colangelo handles the trade with tact and dignity.

      Maybe we can trade him to OKC for our own first round draft pick?

      • Daniel

        If basketball was like that, TJ, Jack, and Bayless would have been better PG’s just by watching a true pass-first PG and incorporating some of that into their own arsenal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Lowry is not a rookie. He has defined his style over time and no amount of watching will change that. Every other organization and coach realized after evaluating him that his style is best suited coming off the bench however he sees himself as an alpha-male. It is a deadly combination for any roster. He is not Tony Parker or Russell Westbrook in skills or basketball IQ however he plays like he is a similar player.
        As usual, Colangelo botched this move too: he should have amnestied or traded Calderon the moment he got Lowry. Now any coach worthy of their names would have Lowry coming off the bench. The problem is two-fold: Lowry proved in the past it’s all about him and the price of getting him was very high. Colangelo knows Jose will not resign with Toronto so now he’s left again without any options. Again, he gambled (going after Nash and making a crazy offer sheet to Fields as a by-product of that strategy, then getting Lowry as the consolation prize) and he lost. This organization can’t take any more of these gambles however the ownership seem content with the business side of the sport.

  • Canadian Paul

    As I mentioned yesterday. Defensive Rating in the last 3 games (without Bargnani and Lowry): 97.9 (as compared to 109 before these 2 went down).

    It’s unsustainable, but even if they surrender 102 the rest of the way, it would put them at 8th best defence.

    • cesco

       You are comparing apples to oranges . In the first 7 games at home , excluding the scoring in overtime against Utah and the Spurs , they allowed 644 points ( 703-59 ) . That come to 92 points average per game . The defensive rating for those 7 games is what you should compare with the last 3 games ( poor teams play much better at home than on the road ) . Please calculate what the defensive rating was for those 7 games and let us know, smarty .

      • sleepz

        Cherry picking home games (what, teams don’t play on the road anymore in the NBA?) and excluding OT games (cuz they don’t count in the stats columns do they?) and this is your conclusion?

        The waters are getting very deep now aren’t they?

        • cesco

          Lol , ” cherry picking home games ” , that is exactly what CP just did . The last 3 games were not played away from home against teams like the Spurs were they ?  You and gots2go are both stuck on retarded . Sorry .

          • sleepz

            He selected the last 3 games genius without Lowry and Bargnani.

            You decided to take that a step further (which you often annoyingly do)and extrapolate what you wanted from it.

            They have won 2 games without your foster dad. It’s no big deal. I’m sure when he gets back the winning streak will continue and they will be sniffing the playoffs again. lol

            Andrea’s injured now anyway. Why are you here???

      • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

        You win the ‘I am stuck on stupid’ badge for today…congrats & enjoy.

  • Tarrantula

    for the most of the time, it felt like Lin plays on the Toronto team. At one point, he made a 3 point basket and the majority of the ACC erupted in the triumphant approval. I looked around and felt terrible for Jose. 

    • CJT

      It have always been that way at the ACC.  People would cheer the other teams stars for making big shots etc.  It is a bit odd.

      • The Truth

        Yeah…the same thing happens when LA/Miami/Celtics are in town. For LA in particular the game might as well be at the Staples Center.

    • tweed8

       That’s one of the things that just gets on my nerves about, Toronto.

    • SR

      They do the same thing at MSG – although there it’s just because the fans appreciate good basketball (they cheer for it when they see it – they’ll also boo the Knicks mercilessly when they play like crap).  MSG fans, however, are pretty basketball-savvy, while ACC fans tend to not be.  The players know that, and it is a little embarrassing, but what can you do?

      • CJT

        Maybe, but I am able to appreciate a great play from an opponant without cheering for him.  I have said many times to a friend, that was a great basket or nice defense or whatever, without giving the visiting team any juice out loud.

      • FAQ

        We are polite Canadians with a slight inferiority/identity complex/crisis.

        Q. What does a Canadian say if you step on his/her toe?

        A. “Sorry….. “

  • Roarque

    “I want to be the most professional player in the NBA,” Calderon said after Sunday’s win. “I don’t know if I’m going to be on the court or not but I want this team to win. This is my team and this is what I’ve been doing for eight years now and that’s what I do.
    ” I know my teammates know that and that’s the trust that’s behind me and it’s so really comfortable to play with these players.”

    The last public statement from the great Jose Calderone as he walked off the court in Toronto – destination? The NBA Playoffs with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    • Deno

      …and don’t let the door hit you on the bum on your way out.

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Get Jose out of the TDot while he’s playing well…….trade him already!!

    • FAQ

      … to the Lakers in a Spanish Fly trade …. Jose out… Pau in ….???

  • Dbobb28

    Kyle Lowry will not accept being the backup. This will be as toxic, if not more than when TJ Ford had an issue with it. Lowry had issues in Houston and he will not agree to be the backup when he comes back from injury here.

  • sukaTori

    words that say a lot

    “Jose is two times the PG Lowry is”
    “Jose is TWO times the PG Lowry is” 

    “Lowry is the most toxic asset we’ve ever had ” 
    “Lowry is the most toxic asset we’ve EVER had ”  ’til he learn there are teammate
    (TJ was one and a half times the PG Lowry is)

    “How can you say Jose is almost as good as Lowry?”  :-)

    “Lowry will not accept being the backup” why not ? long bench means spot also for KL

    “This will be as toxic” This is allready toxic (reason why has been traded)

    “You are comparing apples to oranges” by cesco 😉
    You are comparing chocolate to shit – cesco be heavy with this mess here

  • NyAlesund

    Lowry was kicked his ass out of Houston by McHale. He is not the pg we need. After 5 years of playing his basketball it is impossible to ask him something different.

    Of course he can be useful in certain situations but honestly, he is not able to play like Calderon. He is not his fault, simply he doesn’ t have certain qualities.

    In theory, he has to be the guy leading the second unit, unfortunately this was not contemplated when BC offered him the contract.

    Few games and we can appreciate the difference between Calderon and Lowry. So far the second fella didn’t do a good job.

    Bargnani? No problem according to Hoopsworld. He is on trade block sooner or later.

    • sleepz

      Making judgements on a few games? Nothing new around here. As for his 5 previous years did you ever take in his game or follow him much? Probably not.

      The Raptors have already made a significant investment in Lowry. I’d be surprised to see them turn full circle without him playing a full season to ‘assess’ what they have or don’t have.

      You have to love a city where after the first few games this guy was the best Raptor player ever to don a jersey (which was crazy hyperbole) and now he is a cancer and needs to go (which is crazy Jose-love reaction). lol

      If you are looking for a player to hate on it’s coming around the corner as Fields will be back soon and you will get a viable whipping boy.

      • NyAlesund

         Raptors made a significant investiment in Lowry. Who cares!!!

        You can invest of someone and change the idea if you realize that is not good. We can commit mistakes.

        I saw Lowry play last year in Houston with Dragic, one on my favorite pg. Well, the difference in style between those two guys was noticeable. After the Lowry’s injury, McHale put Dragic as starter even when Lowry came back. This is beacuse the Dragic’s style of play was more functional to the team. Dragic is not a gambler, he is not a comboguard and also he is more accurate shooter than Lowry.

        I am also convinced that Lowry is good as role player not as starter. His style is perfect to give a push, free to score expecially against the second unit. So, until Calderon is part of this team I don’t see him the starter. If BC decided to give him the keys of the team I believe he would commit a big mistake.

        • sleepz

          Who cares? The GM of this team (currently) cares as he’s invested time and resources in many players with less returns to show for it and does so every time without fail. BC already said he gave him the keys. Don’t knock me for quoting him.

          Lowry would have to be going off like Hedo to get moved or they are stripping it down. Anything is possible but I don’t see him going after giving up a first round pick (which is good currency in the NBA with a perennial lottery team).

          Sorry, but thats a reality. 

      • cesco

         Lol , you are “cherry picking ” Lowry first 3 games to justify how good he is what about “cherry picking” another stat like the 2-14 record with him as the anointed leader , what about Vince as the best Raptor ever to don a Rap jersey .

        • sleepz

          You are a funny guy.

          I never said he was the best player to rock anyone’s jersey but I do know he contributes more than some other high paid volume shooters on this squad.

          What will you have to talk about for the next 3-4 weeks?lol

           

    • Colinm

      Calderon has team skills and individual savvy that Lowry doesn’t have. On the other hand Lowry is quicker and can contain quick guards-providing he doesn’t gamble too much better that Jose. Which is more valuable? I think Calderon because what he brings is more consistent and dependable to the team. Can Jose be better on D -yes. Can Kyle distribute the ball better and be a more safety first point guard-I think he can. We need both players to perform well, under no circumstances can I see trading either-it would be detrimental to the team. I’m sure Kyle wants to do well and can and will adjust and change. We need to suspend judgment for a longer period of time. Bargs too -amnesty him or trade him with Fields-we keep every1 else . Colangelo goes Casey stays we focus on draft picks and or trading for picks  or other teams young picks.

    • FAQ

      Kyle obviously would prefer to innovate when playing offense and the ball in his hands… like making a heroic charge to the bucket and causing the t.h.f.’s to roar with approval and then rush out to buy his TRat uni.. to wear proudly to the next game…. sooooo obvious.

  • FAQ

    NBA basketball is just like politics….. The players are the politicians, fans are voters and BC is the prime minister with Casey as his minister of coaching.

    Seems like the fans want to vote against Bargs, Jose, Kyle, Casey, even BC… but they don’t have an opposition to replace those they hate. 

    t.h.f.’s are like children, crying out loud and no mommy to wipe away their tears…. they are like orphans..!!!!

  • kuzzybear

    As I said awhile back, as a coach / fan I can live with losing as long as the players playing follow the system, give effort at both ends , rebound. Giving minutes is the surest way to lose a group of individuals who will ask ” why should I bust my butt ? So-SO is going to play anyway. ” People want to trade Jose. I would always want him on my team. Yes he has a defensive weakness( quickness) but all his other attributes MORE than make up for this 1 fault. IT is a long season. 2 quality PG is a blessing and a neccessity. If Jose gets traded I hope it is to a strong playoff team then watch him shine (Cmon Bulls, make an offer). Anyone want JL III running the 2nd unit? Some posts are saying trade jose and get a backup PG – Great thinking – trade an A player for a medicore one..   Brilliant !!!!

    • FAQ

      Coaching kids in a mini-basketball league doesn’t make you an authority.  I notice you omitted “player” but included “fan”… which again makes your observations questionable. Nevertheless, keep on truckin’… you’ll fit in perfectly with the rest of the vocal t.h.f.’s here ….

  • LiseFYI

    Will you stop. Your love affair with Ed Davis is unbelievable. Look very closely where Ed Davis gets most of his baskets. He will always shoot a good percentage because his baskets are either dunks or second chance opportunities. Take most of those opportunities away and he will not have many shots regardless of his shooting percentage. He cannot create his own shots and if he is anywhere beyond 10 feet from the basket, forget about it. Not disparaging Ed in any way, but I am just telling it like it is. 

    All of a sudden we are starting the love affair with Calderon all over again. Amazing that just 2 weeks ago he was being spoken about in the most negative way in the same breath as Bargnani. They were both ready to be run out of town. Lowry was the golden boy and now Lowry is developing a nice bulls eye on his back. I said it before, Calderon controls the game better by getting everyone involved. That includes Bargnani who is now getting most of his shots from the perimeter because he knows thats where they will come from. With Jose in there, he would have gotten the ball a lot closer cutting to the basket, in the post and wouldn’t have to rely on poor percentage shots. 

    Why is it that Derozan who shoots 8 of 19 to score approx. 19 points never gets any negative criticism? Why is it that Ross can jack up poor shot after shot and its ok? This is a team game and the last time I saw Bargnani play it wasn’t one player against 5 opposing players. I am telling you right now, if Calderon was the starter, Bargnani would be playing a lot better. He has a long way to go but man, even when he doesn’t play he still gets hated on. As for his injury and charge Amir Johnson is good for at least 2 charges per game as is Derozan and Lowry and Ross. 

    Remember we were ready to ship Calderon out of town because he didn’t like coming off the bench and was playing poorly according to Leo and Armstrong. Certain players just play better under different circumstances. Now I want to see what happens if Calderon gets to sit again when Lowry comes back. I wonder how long before everyone turns on him again.

    We should all be happy that the raptors have actually won two in a row. Lets take it one game at a time. Look at the lakers and the trouble they are having. Things will eventually work out if the team plays like a team. Nothing destroys a team more than  the lack of team play.

    Just saying.

    • j bean

      Bargnani had his best game this year when Lowry started and we’ve all seen Jose and Andrea futilely try and put together a winning record. Don’t know what makes you think Bargnani can turn his game around. Probably just wishful thinking.

      • LiseFYI

        it may be wishful thinking on my part but he just seems lost when they are running a faster offence and Kyle likes to shoot first and pass second. Yes maybe Bargnani did have a good game with Kyle but don’t forget, he is looking to create his own shots far too much rather than have a good point guard pass him the ball. Jose distributes the ball better.

        Just looking for wins. Bargnani isn’t the only reason for a lousy season so far. Just the easiest target.

        Good comment though.

  • 511

    The quick turnarounds re attitudes on Jose Calderon are not hard to understand when one thinks back to how lazily Jose seemed to be playing up to about a week or two ago. It started to look like he just didn’t have it anymore. (Didn’t it?) To me, it was looking like he might’ve already been picturing himself in a Lakers jersey. Whatever. Now that he’s back (as it were) and we see that he obviously has NOT lost the ability to be a very good point guard, one who would be coveted by many a team, I’d actually be sorry (all over again) to see him go. Things change and it’d be silly to not recognize. If he was traded, I’d only hope that Colangelo picks someone’s pocket in exchange. It’d be a damn shame to let such an asset go for as little as what we’ve often been left with in such trades. As many would agree, Jose should be considered a highly valuable asset for a great many teams out there (Jose AND Bargs for Gasol, for example, would be a ridiculous overpay, imo).

    Regarding Kyle Lowry, I am hoping that he’s sitting on the sidelines, watching intently at how effective a smart point guard like Jose (when he’s doing what he does when he’s ‘on’) can be with this team and is mentally preparing himself to be keeping his own head in the game, throughout the entire game. It seems to me that Lowry can be very good for stretches at playing a more fully rounded pg game, getting teammates as involved as they should be and taking his own shots when he should be … but then somewhere along the line, forgets all that and tries to load the team onto his shoulders to do it all himself … or stops caring and begins to hog-‘n-hoist away, and it all breaks down. 

    I’m not ready to want to see Lowry traded. I think about Jerryd Bayless and how, by the last weeks of last season, he was looking better to me, enough so that I was hoping that maybe he wouldn’t be let go. Now … I don’t know how Bayless is doing so far this year (haven’t followed/don’t much care), but I won’t be surprised either way; if he has reverted to his usual less-than-desired average of who he always was … or, if he has taken the forward step that I was thinking he was getting ready to. The point though, is, Kyle Lowry is waaaayyyy better than Jerryd Bayless. I suspect he’s also smart, certainly intelligent enough to realize that further growth in ability and understanding of the game is still necessary if he’s going to be on – and possibly lead – a winning team. So … I still have hope that we haven’t, as yet, seen the best of Kyle Lowry. Kyle and Jose could still be a devastating one-two pg punch. 

    • 511

      add to the last sentence, ‘in either order’.