The only reason the Raptors didn’t win this by a comfortable margin is because of Detroit’s dominance on the glass. When a team is shooting 58% at the end of three quarters, as the Raptors were, and only find themselves up two, something else is drastically wrong and in this case it was rebounding. Let’s not focus on that though, because after halftime when the Raptors were -10 on the offensive glass, they picked up with the help of their guards pitching in and played the Pistons even (mostly) for the rest of the game.

The story here is how cohesive the Raptors looked for close to the full 48 minutes. Granted, it was the Pistons who aren’t exactly great, but the level of team ball being played here is astonishing. The stat of 26 assists on 35 field goals paints the picture of ball sharing and movement. The 37 points off the bench, 16 from Anderson who was stellar in the fourth, tells you that there was zero dip in efficiency once the second unit was called upon.

Jose Calderon’s encore of superb passing displays continued, with Valanciunas, Davis and Johnson being in complete sync with the Spanish fly. The rookie is finding himself in very advantageous offensive positions after his usually solid forays into the paint, and on the other end, he’s not being left to dry as Ed Davis is providing formidable rotational defense. Other than the first half rebounding issues, which I’m surprised Casey didn’t use Gray to counter with at least for testing purposes, the Raptors frontline looked solid on all counts.

Davis has stepped up from just providing consistent rebounding to efficient scoring within the framework of the play. Those ad hoc long twos and threes launched by Bargnani are replaced with possessions where more people touch the ball in a traditionally spaced floor. Defensively, there is greater cover for guards penetrating and a better rebounding presence which allows for better outlets and initiation of the ensuing offensive plays.

The distributed offensive load has also benefited DeMar DeRozan, who isn’t taking it upon himself to barge his way to the paint on every possession in search for free throws. He’s taking his opportunities as they come to him, and was the leading scorer on the team without the Raptors running consistent isolation plays for him. His jumpers were opportunistic, especially the trailing threes, and his drives to the rim were timely and he took advantage of any accidental cross-switches very well (e.g., against Knight or Stuckey).

DeRozan’s backup, Ross, is also finding his groove of late. He’s starting to identify the difference between a good shot and a bad shot, so you’re not seeing any two-dribble contested threes, and instead he’s relying on Calderon to find him as needed. Shooting is a fickle matter, you look great one day and awful the next, the most I can say about Ross is that he’s figuring out where his shots should be coming from. I don’t notice anything different about his release or shooting mechanics, it’s simply a confidence and college/NBA three-point line adjustment thing for him. The question for him will always be how useful he will be when his shot isn’t dropping, and judging by his defense and off-the-ball movement, he’s on the right track.

I don’t really have much to say in terms of this game because, honestly, I thought the Raptors were the far superior team and if it weren’t for Monroe and his dominance inside, this would’ve been a blowout. The Pistons guards can`t seem to throw an entry pass into Monroe so they have to rely on their big-to-big passing for that to happen. It was quite sad for them and they wasted a career-game from him (35pts, 10reb). The only negatives were Kleiza, more specifically why he was playing in the fourth ahead of Pietrus. The Pistons were in a zone for an extended period, but that doesn’t warrant Kleiza, it probably calls for the better shooter which is Pietrus! The same is true for Ed Davis’ omission in the fourth, he was having a much stronger game than Johnson and deserved to play. I couldn’t muster up an explanation for this, I thought it was maybe because he played heavy minutes the night before in Cleveland but that’s not the case.

Regarding Jose, we’ve seen this before, haven’t we? With T.J Ford, with Jarrett Jack, and now with Kyle Lowry. Calderon given the starting duties due to injury only to impress mightily. In every instance in the past he hasn’t been able to keep this play up for an extended period and eventually regresses, thus starting the cycle again. When Lowry comes back, though, he should be getting his starting job back because the Raptors simply can`t be that fickle. And remember, we`ve already tested Calderon as a starter and it doesn`t work. Perhaps with this group it`s different, but there`s history here that can`t be ignored and the Raptors need to stick with the plan of Lowry being the starter. The flip side of the coin is that Lowry has lost the starting role previously in other places, so either which way you go, you`re taking a chance on something working out that hasn`t worked out before.

One thing is unarguable, and that’s the effort on the floor and the general morale on the team is high. It’s easy to point to Lowry and Bargnani’s absence and state the absence of hero ball is the cause of success and the enhanced confidence that follows. In reality, though, the schedule has something to do with it. The man who should be taking note here is Bargnani, as there is a drastic difference in how the team functions with Davis and Valanciunas on the court. The Davis/Valanciunas combo is much more of a Casey-lineup than a Bargnani/Valanciunas one. The Raptors need to recognize this and stop finding playing time for Bargnani as a starter, which only serves to create suboptimal lineups. There’s a poll on the front page which asks what you would do.

I shall bask in this glory while it lasts.

  • Truthkiller

    Condolences to my dear Arsenal Fan, the draw was awful.

  • sitnonDfence

    I really think Calderons biggest flaw is that hes been stuck playing with soft face up big men his entire career. Bosh and Bargs are essentially the same, face up, jump shooting big guys. Now that you have someone(s) rolling hard to the rim, he talents are being showcased.

    Calderon cant defend, Lowry cant distribute.
    The team is defending, Lowry still cant distribute.

    Your move BC.

    • truht be told

      Bosh and Bargs are not even close.

      In fact, now that Bosh is gone and Bargs is essentially taken that lead scorer role it should make you appreciate Bosh that much more considering how highly efficienct he was and how Andrea hasn’t approached duplicating those efforts or numbers.

      Andrea comes nowhere close to CB’s time in Toronto.

      • Theswirsky

        I don’t think he was claiming Bargnani was as good as Bosh.  Rather they are similar style players.  Which they are on many levels.  Bosh is just better at it (it being everything) than Bargnani is.

        • footie

           Yes sure … thanks the Lord Detroit is awful from the line of the FTs , never heard so much crap in my life, now  Bargnani thanks to this wins has become selfish ( he never been ) ect ect

          Bargnani stats against the bigs of Detroit in Detroit  13-20 5 reb 4 ast 1 bs 34 points …lost by one point and probably most of the idiots on this blog still blame him for everything when Val,Davis or Amir can do something similar you can all start to speak , this become just and a haters nest with little basket knowledge.

          • footie

             Ah! I forgot to say in that match he had only 4 shoots in the second half !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! selfish isn’t he ? STFU people I hope he leaves soon for his own good , yesterday the Raptors were awful just jumpers over jumpers wit Detroit missing fts …

            • unknown guest

              You gonna leave if Bargnani leaves? 

              Truth? It’s not his fault. He didn’t force anyone to pay him a large contract, nor did he force anyone to make him the franchise player/1st option scorer, etc. It’s not his fault. 

              So a lot of that anger is misplaced. 

              What I am guessing angers most is that he just seems uninterested in it all. 

              While elite-level franchise players group together in the off-season to push themselves to get better (LeBron/Durant “hell week”), AB always seems to come into the season out of shape and looking like… AB.

              • Matt52

                 Except last season.  But everything else is pretty much spot on.

                • footie

                   Last season started late …and he spent most of the time with the national team so he was ready to action, the only thing it’s truth he started to play well always from January …who knows now with this injury if he can repeat that.

                • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

                  That’s why AB looked good last season because most everyone else was out of shape to start the season- it was a mirage.

                  I can’t wait for AB aka Lazy Ass Mofo’er to get traded so his delusional fan boys can follow his soft no heart having ass out of the TDot to his new spot.

                • tweed8

                   So, if he always starts playing well in January are you saying it takes him that long to become conditioned?  If that’s not a sign that he has a poor work ethic what is? 

                  I ain’t a hater and his numbers are terrible man. They’re right there in our faces and it can’t be denied. Pointing out one game where he played well this year and then another where he only got 4 shots doesn’t mean anything, when his shooting percentage is in the dumps and his rebounding is he the dumps.
                  Maybe when he gets back he’ll start to give a shit and play better because the team is playing well, but if that’s the case that’s more of a sign to let him go, not keep him.

                  Whatever. People talk about haters but, the only way they can try to prove their point is by spreading more hate and somehow believe they are making some sort of brilliant case.

        • morganc

          Hmmm… ya, I don’t really think they are that similar. Bosh has a post-game. In his last year or so with Toronto, he got the ball face-up more on the elbow, but he never just stood on the three-point line and watched. Bosh is a prototypical modern power-forward, with BOTH a face-up game (which is way more aggressive and starts from the low elbow, not just inside the three-point line!), and a post-game. He also does this thing called rebounding (double digits for his career in Toronto, safely). Not really sure how they are similar other than they both can shoot jumpers (like 70% of 2-4s in the NBA).

          • footie

            maybe Bosh is better in rebounds for the rest he can do the same maybe even better, this year they asked him to stay on the 3 points line, last year he was playin’ in the post aswell … in and out were he can be more effective thanks to his 3 points range , but they went away from there , he can’t be his fault.

            • tweed8

              Is there an article or interview you can reference that stays the team asked him to hover at the three? Because that honestly makes no sense, especially when you have a rookie center he should be communicating with…

              • footie

                 c’mon man you should more clever than that …

  • 511

    Wasn’t sure why Kleiza was on the floor in the fourth either … but then, reading one or two of the comments in the previous post about Kleiza doing some bashing and banging out there, thinking back to what I saw, I nodded along in agreement. Casey might’ve known full-well exactly what he was doing right there. 

    Valanciunas excites the crap out of me. The Pistons front court is SUCH a load – like, holy smokes – seeing (to my eyes) how JV played that bit better this second game against them, it was clear to me (not for the first time) that he improves and grows, continuously. Still a boy playing a man’s game. But in two or three seasons from now, watch TF out! (He’s gonna be gooood.) 

  • Daniel

    Jose was our MVP last season in Casey’s system. There was no drop-off. There is nothing to drop-off from as Jose is not shooting the ball well and has more turnovers as ever however his poise and calm on the floor has contagious effects on this young team. He’s not going to lose his court vision and passing ability. He defended very well against the last 5 opposite PG’s. It is so sad, Arse, that after 7 years with Jose, you still don’t understand anything about his play and his role.
    With that being said, the organization practically designated Lowry as “PG of the future” in the summer after crapping for 3 seasons on Jose. They are in a very tough spot now when due to random injuries every move in the off-season has been proven a disaster (except Ross, who I like more and more). Jose may have the best years of basketball in front of him as he’s playing at a very high level with his brain and not his body (same as Nash and Kidd). If Lowry is inserted into the starting role and the team shits the bed again there will be hell to pay. I wish Andrea had not been injured with Lowry out so we could have a better gauge of the problems in the team. In my opinion, Lowry and Fields were the problems from the beginning and Andrea became a casualty of their poor play.
    How can Colangelo look himself in the mirror is beyond me.

    • truth be told

      And you would explain Andrea’s performance the previous years before that to be the cause of which player? Will Solomon or Roko Ukic perhaps?

      What happens if Lowry comes back and they continue to play poor teams and win? How will you attempt to explain that at that time?

      • Daniel

        Andrea has had ups and down throughout his career. He seemed to have turned a corner last season with Casey. He is a system player so Lowry’s inability to play into a system had a big impact on Andrea. His talent is undeniable and I don’t think he’s lazy or uninterested. In my opinion, when somebody will be able to channel that talent he will be a big contributor to a team, most probably as a 6th man off the bench.
        Playing Jonas alongside Andrea in defense has not done any favours to him. We should have played Gray or Amir at C so Andrea’s poor rebounding and help defnse would have been covered somewhat.
        I don’t have any hope for Lowry. Everything I’ve read about him in the off-season from basketball minds proved correct and he is exactly as advertised. He has no clue how to run an offense, no clue how to run a PnR, and his defense is good for the school yard however it doesn’t have any place in NBA. In his 7th season in the NBA and after being evaluated by 2 other organizations he was not a diamond in the trough. He was a below average PG with back-up attributes and an attitude to cap it all. It’s not really his fault, he is what he is. He is a particularly bad fit for a young team as a veteran team may have controlled him somewhat.
        Interestingly enough his streetball credentials fit well with a minority of the fanbase, the so-called “die-hard” fans which are nothing else than frustrated YMCA recreational players. The vast majority of the Raptors fanbase likes Jose for his attitude, his values and his professionalism. The coaches and players, teammates and opponents, love and respect him. He will be missed sorely when he’ll be gone.

        • 2damkule

          just curious, what ‘system’ are you referring to with respect to andrea & his ability to fit within it? 

          • cesco

            The ‘system’ equal team ball , making passes until someone has an open shoot . Going one on five a la Ford is street balling not playing professional ball .

            • cesco

              Oh ! and Andrea was asked to be the primary scoring option when CB4 left , that is why he was taking the most shots , a lot of them in the last few seconds of the clock . 

              • Dan

                 Bosh was asked to play that role too but he also had a desire to win and realized he could do effort things like rebounding on top of the scoring to help contribute. If you like 39% shooters who do nothing else then your in luck because Andrea as of today is still a Raptor!

            • Dan

               I would agree on that point if he didn’t back it up trying to say Andrea is any different. Go back and watch every game this year and you will see a lot of games with Andrea taking early threes as well.

            • sleepz

              So the ‘system’ is team ball?

              You talk a lot of ying yang

              • FAQ

                I prefer the term “teamwork ball”… because our beloved TRap sweat-hogs are working their butts off during this time of opportunity for NBA benchers.  Only in Toronto….

                • what the

                  but but what about Vince?

                • FAQ

                  Vince belongs back home in TO.  Come back Vince.. we forgive ya… we still luv ya… Bosh too.  Just imagine if Vince and Bosh were reunited as TRaps in the twilight of their careers… aaaah heaven in TO.

        • Theswirsky

          Andrea turned a corner?  For 13 games and then turned right back around and hid in the corner to play with his cabbage patch dolls for the next 18.  13 games vs 400+ for his career?  Thats a blip on the radar and statistically insignificant.

          His talent IS deniable.  We’ve seen it for 7 years now he isn’t the player people dream he could or should be.  Talent isn’t just about what could be, its about what is happening.  And he doesn’t have it. 

          • NyAlesund

             For your happiness I wish Bargs would be amnestied and leave the NBA to come back to Europe. I would hope if he played for coach Messina to Moscow with the CSKA. Two years there to win everything and come back here in another team, like Kirilenko.

            It is terrible how this guy has lost the better years in a team like this with the incompetent GM. At the time in 2006, when he was selected, everybody was convinced that he was going to be an All Star. Instead, we have someone that is looks like his stupid brother. I can’t stand this.

            • FAQ

              Are you suggesting that playing for the Moronto Raptors is the bacio dela morte for one’s NBA career??   Seems those who left the TRaps have done okay on other teams.

              • NyAlesund

                 No, I am saying that this team is managed really bad. And Colangelo is the main cause.

                Lowry aka TJ Ford is the last example how this team doesn’t work. Bargnani has to leave for his career and the Europe with the winning team is ideal for him to find himself. To be traded to Charlotte, to Kings, to Cavs is useless. Different teams same problems.

                • FAQ

                  So if Bargs is amnestied does he still collect his full salary even if he picks up with a team in Europe… or are his future earnings deducted from his TRap buyout?

                • NyAlesund

                   I think nothing change if a EU team picks AB. Same rules

        • voy

          guys, everyone knows we should have played gray, at the detriment of the team but for the benefit of andrea. or perhaps a 6’9 centre to get destroyed on a nightly basis so our 7fter can launch 3s. 

          • Dan

             Exactly and Andreas rebounding is terrible because the 6 foot Lowry doesn’t understand the role of a pg and keeps stealing them from him. Andrea is paid to score and do nothing else so Lowry And Demar should stop scoring more points more efficiently because that is not part of the system. According to some more educated in basketball then the rest of us. Andrea shooting 31% from three and %39 percent from the floor with a perr of 11 is part of the Raptors system. But per is not a respected stat by true basketball fans. Just us street ballers that love it. Yes memphis may have hired the guy who created that stat to work in their head office but clearly Memphis just loves street ball as much as all of us stupid Raptor fans.

        • ibleedpurple

          Honestly it stuns me that there are still supporters of Bargnani in Dinoland. He’s been a black hole for the Raptors for 6 years now. He doesn’t rotate on defense, he shoots early in the shot clock, he runs into the lane with his head down, he only occasionaly uses his size. I mean the list goes on and on.

          The only good thing Andrea has to offer is his occasional ability to go off and score alot of points. That in itself is not good enough to warrant support in my opinion. The team is so much better on defense without Andrea that even Jose begins to look like a decent defender. If the raptors end up being forced to keep Pasta Sauce he should come off the bench in a role similar to the one Linas Klieza plays. Nothing more. I also find it hilarious how Lowry and Bargnani are being bundled into one big problem. Lowry has tremendous upside and his defensive capacity alone makes him an intriguing player. Hopefully having this extended time to watch Jose run a system offense will help Lowry understand how to go about playing team basketball.   

          • Ghotte

            Lowry impacts the game on a number of levels – not just scoring so I agree with you. And, Lowry *has* to watch how Jose is executing – showing trust to his teammates. 

            This is how a bad team starts playing like a “decent” team. At the end of the day, to truly compete against elite level teams, the cream also has to rise to the top and execute. 

            Basically, Jose is running the team really, really well right now. Against crappy teams. So give him his props. When the team plays the upper tier there will be a need for the best players to properly contribute.

          • Dan

             Yes but you didn’t play organized basketball in the 70’s so you can’t truly appreciate what real basketball is. You have only been able to watch this streetball team disguised as an NBA team for the last 15 years. Yes lowry knows how to score dribble defend pass and rebound better then most guys on this team but that is a form of street ball. He needs to just stick to passing because that’s what a real system NBA pg does.That is why I hate Lebron James yes he is a great passer but sf’s and pfs are not supposed to pass and he continues to have assist rates a pg would have. I think any smarter then thou true basketball fan would agree he should be stripped of his mvp awards. Russel westbrook and Tony Parker too. Those streetballers have no place on the raptors. Because we like our players to be talentless enough that we have to run a system just to utilize what little skill they have. Any player with enough talent overall skill to not fit into a role should go join the and 1 circut!!!! I think we can all agree on this.

            • Matt52

               Hahaha, brilliant.

            • RaptorFan

              LOL

              Sarcasm at it’s best!

            • footie

               Bullshit at it’s best …when you have bad copy of those players you got a system like the Celtics and the Lakers and even the Bulls of Jackson , ok they have superstars so you go back to the Spurs and Memphis , in the end the best players of the Spurs it’s not Parker but Duncan and Ginobili , and they know how to play bastekball team .
              Le Bron won one championship he did not won 4 or 6 yet!

          • sleepz

            “I also find it hilarious how Lowry and Bargnani are being bundled into one big problem.”

            +1

            That’s how they do it. If you don’t like the conversation, change the topic.

        • Dan

           You can say the same thing for Andrea. 7 years defense that wouldn’t even contend in a school yard. You say he is a system player yet he doesn’t fit into the protect the paint system or defense first system Casey runs. You get mad that Lowry does not fit the old school pass first point guard yet you look past Andrea not being the old school rebounding and defending pf or center. I will give you that kyle has not fit in and has been playing to selfishly but how has Andrea done any different. How are his quick threes and lack of defense more tolerable. Why can’t the raptors look to find a wing who can initiate pick and roll and run the offense a bit more to play alongside Lowry the Same way you want to pair Andrea with Gray. Both are flawed players but Lowry has more overall talent and a smaler contract so why not make things work with him.

        • Dan

           How is Andrea doing nothing else but trying to outscore or trade basket for basket not a street baller style. Is that not what defines a streetballer most, a guy that doesn’t care about defending or rebounding just wants to run down to one end and score and then stand and wait until he gets that chance again. 

          • Abc

            This.

          • sleepz

            Basically, but with him it’s different because it’s about ‘spacing’.

          • RaptorFan

            I agree with Dan more than Daniel (often)….

            I don’t understand Daniel’s constant dismissing of Andrea’s flaws, while hating on Lowry.  They both have their flaws…..However, Bargnani doesn’t contribute anything else other than INEFFICIENCY – Lowry’s issue is that he tries TOO hard and doesn’t trust his teammates as much as he should. 

            I can understand why Lowry struggled (new team, new system, new teammates and INJURIES) – However, I’m MOSTLY dissappointed in Andrea because he’s been here for 7 years and does not need/have anymore EXCUSES. 

            To be honest, i wouldnt even care if we trade BOTH Lowry and Bargnani for draft picks/young players at this point!!!

            BUT if one has to go, I think its pretty obvious its Bargnani.  I’ve supported him (took many many lumps for years for sticking up for him) —- I’m done with him honestly.  He’s indifferent and rarely shows any heart.  I was WRONG, he’s no better than Charlie V (my brother was right) – I lost that bet.

          • footie

             Bargnani usaully manage to shut his opponent aswell he is much better now on his one one defense than before ( better than Bosh) , in the end the rest of the team should not always hope to be bail out from the helping defender…

            • Dc

              Saying bargnani is better in any way shape or form better than bosh in anything that involves the sport of basketball disqualifies your comment. 

              • footie

                ok he is a better one on one defender than Barg ….NO! he shoots three pointers ? no? …maybe Bosh is a better rebounder even if far to be in Miami the one in Toronto … and the best Bargnani is far more effective than Bosh in offense , the only problem he does not always shows up , but I think it’s up to the team because Barg is not a selfish player and he does not get crazy if you don’t give him the ball not like Bosh in Toronto anyway Bosh anyway got far more respect than him by the referee when he was in Toronto…in Toronto there is a narrow mind campaign against Barg only people without a personal point view cannot see that .
                anyway nobody who cares for Barg in Italy and in the basketball world wants Bargnani in Toronto anyway so don’t worry he will leave…maybe.

    • 2damkule

      is it ‘clock work’ or ‘clockwork?’

      • FAQ

        … try “team work”….!

    • voy

      dude, stop painting jose as a victim.  dude is making 10 mill a year.  I dont know of too any other teams lining up to drop that kind of cash on him. 

      how do you question the hardness of lebron and durant saying they wouldn’t be near the players they are today if they played in the 80s and at the same time be such a fan of jose?  I like jose. I like him a lot.  but I also recognise no one has ever played the game like lebron at 6’8 250 pds. and I also recognise durant can do more than just score, as per your comments, yesterday. 

    • Gregast

      I agree with Daniel. I’m thinking back on last off season and wondering what Dwane must have been thinking as Brian told the world that Kyle now had the keys to the Raptors. He must have “pounded a rock” somewhere that day!

    • Dan

       MVP of a 22 win team. Jose’s not a bad player. He is a very good shooter and passer. Once you start bringing in more talented players who can get their own shots, Jose’s points and assists will drop and his positives won’t out shine his negatives as much as they do now. You put Jose on the Heat and he won’t handle the ball nearly as much as he does now cause you would rather see the ball in the hands of Lebron, Wade and Bosh. Once you take away some of his scoring and assist numbers you really start to notice how bad he is on defense. On better teams with top wing guys Jose’s roll will be to bring the ball up and then pass it to the star player and be ready to shoot an occasional open shot. If you were to put Jose on the rockets or switch Harden with Derozan you would see Joses numbers and playing time drop. Harden can do a lot of what Calderon does and then with Calderon marginalized he becomes more of a defensive liability. That’s why Tony Douglass finishes most games. Harden duplicates what Lin does well so you take the ball out of his hands and you just have a poor defensive player. I’m all for keep Calderon if the talent level stays the same but if the Raps get better players Jose’s easy to replace. Even with Rubio out this year Jose seemed to be on the bench then end of most games because Spain has more talented wings and post up players.

      • Dan

         Yes they won the game last night. But how many times were they left taking threes because nobody on this team can get to the basket and that let Detroit make it close in the end. Jose right now is the most consistent player on a team full of inconsistent players. He is a good player but he is not as good as this team makes him look.

    • Ghotte

      So Lowry and Fields – the two new members who need time to be integrated into the offense and defense – are the problems? And, veterans who “should” know the system and be expected to contribute are given a pass by your analysis? 

      They are all trying to find their way within the system. When they do what they are supposed to do – and do it unselfishly – the team succeeds. When they are selfish and revert back to their normal tendencies they – as a team – fail. 

      If they are more talented than others on the team, the “fail spotlight” should be shone on them more brightly. This goes for Bargs, Calderon, Derozen, etc. 

  • voy

    calderon as a starter maybe “didn’t work” is perhaps a statement on the overall team rather than his individual performance or capabilities.

    however, at this stage in his career how great a fit is he with the raps?  at 10 million a year, not a great fit at all, going forward, in my opinion.  even at something like 7 million a year for 2 to 3 years may be a bit much.  I think the question is – is jose worth more to the raps’ future prospects as trade bait or as a vet resigning for 5ish million a year. 

    Raps aren’t going to be ready to contend for a top 5 playoff spot next year without the benefit of a high first round draft pick this year (which looks like it may be given away) and perhaps another piece brought back in exchange for andrea.  with this as your backdrop, how much do you want to spend on a 30 something year old point guard if he’s looking to make more than 8 mill a year?

    • Ghotte

      I could care less about the 10 million. We are not going to get any players who are better who want to play here. That 10 million is not hampering the team’s ability to bring in better talent. 

      Lowry imo has the ability to ratchet the collective talent level of the team up a notch. Just like Colangelo’s prior moves, he’s crossing his fingers all goes as planned (which it hasn’t with any regularity.)

  • Stevemhood

    A little too late now, but maybe they should have built around Calderon instead of the big men by bringing in the players that complement him.

  • brother

    I think they kept Johnson in there in the fourth to keep his ankle “loose” after the sprain.

    • 2damkule

      amir’s last few minutes of decent/quality play made up for what – to that point – had been one of his weakest games in some time.

      • 511

        which suggests that a theory I’ve toyed with that Amir plays better when he’s hurting could actually be so. 

  • Gregast

    Jose is a special dude. He has the respect of his teamates and his coaches because he asks daily what they want of him and then he tries to deliver. So if the coach asks him to come off the bench then he nods his head and does it. Even though he’s not as effective, he does it. So why isn’t he as effective? My take is that Jose perceives the starters role as meaning he has the primary responsibility for executing the coach’s game plan. He takes this responsibility very seriously. And often he delivers – see December 2012. As the back up, he is often sent in to present an alternative assault strategy to what the team has been using for that particular game. For example, Dwane’s plan for a Kyle Lowry led team (shoot first PG) will be different than that for a Jose Calderone led team (pass first PG).

    It’s not all psychological with Jose but it is important to remember that he perceives himself differently as a starter – so don’t be surprised if the results are different when he sees himself as an off the bench helper.

    • Ghotte

      Problem is – and I’m a backer of Calderon – that as a so-called “professional” he should be able to take on more of a scorer’s role on the second unit and thrive in that role. He often appears to be sulking in that role as evidenced by a lack of aggression in the past. 

      So whatever his individual outlook, from a game plan perspective he still needs to be aggressive for the team to succeed.

    • Dan

       The problem is the same as it has been for years now, lack of talent. Jose is a good point guard not great. He is above average on the offensive side but below on the defensive side. Could he be a starter on a playoff team yes. Will his stats be as good probably not. If his stats stay what they are now with him as a starter on this team will the make the playoffs probably not. He is an average player with an above average skill set which is his passing which makes him look better then he is on a team devoid of ball handlers who who cant get to their spots with a ball so they get there without out it and Jose is good at recognizing that once they are then then passing it to them. The amount of long twos and threes is proof Jose is not the great play maker people make him out to be. Passing and play making at least in my opinion are very different. 

  • Phat AlberG

    Hey personally I’m worried when these guys come back because I don’t think Casey has the balls to bench them.  But I’m not going to lie I hated the lineups Casey had out there before the injuries.  So I’m just concerned what is going happen when Lowry comes back.  Is he going with 2 point guard system because I like how Jose & Lucas run the team.  

    But honestly Andrea doesn’t fit this team anymore, so they have to move him.  I was big Andrea fan but the problem with him is not talent its the work ethic.  Like I understand Andrea loves to stretch the floor for the team.  But the problem is when he’s not shooting ball well he needs to crash the glass, he needs to be a team player and to be honest he’s not that focus in games as well.   And I listen to his interview when he got hurt it was apparent to me, he was felt it was bad luck that he got hurt for him. Because I think secretly he wants to play with Lakers, and he was going to get moved then he got hurt.  But it’s okay because I think the team is playing better because you have Val,Ed & Amir who are tireless workers on floor who love to play defence.  But I’m still not happy with Jose Calderon because I just don’t understand how you can play so good as a starter, but refuse to play with same passion of the bench.  That’s why I love John Lucas III all year he’s waiting for his minutes doesn’t pout and doesn’t get sad because he’s not playing.  He goes out there puts the Jersey and balls out with passion and grit.  So my question is to you what do you do??? Do you trade Jose to keep Lowry or do you trade Lowry and keep Jose and try sign to him extension to a extension if they can.  

  • unknown guest

    Calderon BS again. 
    Calderon given the keys to direct the offense with players that complement him = good. Calderon used as guy to dump ball to player-who-shall-not-be-named = bad. Calderon with 4 guys who can play some defense = good, notice how his defense improves as well? Did he get burned last night? The other night? Calderon with 3 guys who can play some defense and player-who-shall-not-be-named who doesn’t help/rotate/rebound = bad.Where is TJ now? Don’t even bring up the injuries because he became a non-starter pretty quickly in Indiana too. Is Mike James starting somewhere? Bayless?
    Not saying he’s the best player/mvp/etc. on the Raps, but he is far from the being the problem.

    • Dan

      Mike James was shipped out because he only looked for his own shot and Bosh was sick of him by the end of the season. Jose was in his rookie year then. Jose is way better then Mike James but Jose had nothing to do with his leaving. Jose is a decent player but last year Andrea was most of the games and they still finished with just 22 wins. If you want to use the past as proof of success you can’t ignore TJ’s first year in toronto where he started 71 games and played as the starter with starters minutes. That team won 47 games. As Jose Calderons roll expanded starting the next season the teams record started to drop as well.  Bayless had some pretty impressive stats when he was the starter also. You can’t just look at the stats only. You have to look at the team record and who else was on the team. It’s that logic that has Lakers fan so Baffled they are not number 1 in the NBA right now. Joses numbers on this team won’t be the exact same on all 29 other teams. If you took 5 25 pg scorers and put them on the same team your not going to automatically have a team scoring 125 per game. As the clippers have improved Blake Griffens stats have gone down. doesn’t mean he’s worse just means he has more talent and he not being forced to play above the player he is.

  • unknown guest

    From Pistonpowered:

    X-FactorJose Calderon masterfully ran the Raptors’ offense with 17 assists and just two turnovers. Now, he’s the only NBA player with three 17-assist games this season.Brandon Knight, PG36 MIN | 1-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 2 PTS | +3Knight didn’t hesitate to look for his shot early in possessions, but he just didn’t make many of them. His playmaking (six assists and two turnovers) was fine. His ability to stay in front of Jose Calderon was not. Calderon frequently beat Knight off the dribble to create passing lanes for his 17 assists.

    • Statement

      Just think about that – 17 FREAKING ASSISTS and ONLY 2 turnovers.  Of course, they weren’t “Rondo” or “Nash” assists, so somehow they count less, right?

      • unknown guest

        I like this “he’s the only NBA player with three 17-assist games this season” and it’s coming from a PISTONS blog/forum. smh
        I know he’ll never be a Gary Payton/Jason Kidd-like defender. He’s not going to be a Tony Parker/Rondo/elite scoring PG etc. He won’t be an all-star, etc. but I don’t get all the hate.
        Is it the money? Like Andrea, not his fault. Anyone here willing to walk away from that kind of cash? Not me. If he was getting paid $3-5 mill, would that make most of the hate go away?
        FYI, I’m not a Lowry hater, and I do hope the situation gets resolved. I’m hoping that this helps Lowry grow more as an all-around PG.

        • Destro

          true hoop had a nice breakdown of how liberal statisticians in Toronto are with giving him underserved assists tho…

          If you watch the breakdown of all 17 truthfully about 7-8 of them were not really assists,not to take away from his game but i have been saying THAT for years…He is given alot of home assists.

          Making a pass to a post player who catches dribbles twice shoots misses and follows his own miss is NOT an assist…  

          • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

            That is true he didn’t have 17 true assists (that lead directly to a bucket with no dribbles) but NBA team’s statisticians have been cooking stats for their home team in a liberal fashion since the League started.

            Jose still needs to go- trade high!!

          • Sig

             Are you for real? Is this what it has come to?

          • Statement

            Why only Calderon though?  Is it because they like him?  Why not Lowry as well?  Also, across the league, it is safe to assume that each starting PG gets a home assist boost.  So assuming a similiar boost for each PG, Calderon still comes out ahead, given his top 4 and 5 assist rate statistics.

          • unknown guest

            There is hockey reference there, lol. Jose getting hockey assists :)

  • Jamshid

    The logic presented for why Lowry should start does not make any sense !!! If anything, Calderon has been a better replacement for Lowry’s position than Davis has been for AB’s …
    Both AB and Lowry need to come off the bench till they prove that they will not have detrimental effects to the team’s chemistry. 

    • Dan

       Lowry in my opinion is the better player because he just is more skilled and a better all around player. Jose does fit this team better and makes more sense starting. If they want to go back to Lowry once is healed they need to look to get a wing player who can help run some of the offense. Lowry would have actually worked out great with a player like Harden who likes to be the lead handler and run the offense. On this team there are to many guys who can’t get to their spots on their own if they have the ball.

  • tiredrapsfan

    Arse keeps losing cred like Wenger.
    Calderon is the man for this team.
    Dump Barns and use Lowry as a Vinnie Johnson like scoring punch.
    Done deal.

    • Arsenalist

      Didn’t know I had cred to begin with.

      Forgive me for not drooling all over Calderon and instead viewing his play in context of his career patterns.

      • Jamshid

        Even in the context of his career and even when Jose struggled, he managed to get his team more involved and have a better record compare to what Lowry has achieved the pas few month. 

        • what the

          dude Dribbles has been with this team for over 7 years and Kyle only a couple of months relax

      • j bean

        You predicted another Jose start or backup controversy I think it was in training camp or preseason and it has played out exactly as predicted. Lowry becomes the great Satan because he is a threat to Jose starting and if the threat was eliminated this time Jose would become the allstar he was born to be. 

      • Dan

         To many people think he would duplicate these stats on every other team in the league. Despite other teams having  more talented and just as capable players. They see players like Collison and Augustine and don’t realize Jose is in that same field. Can put up great stats on a bad team but have their negative skills exposed once they are on a more talented team that does rely on their positive skills. Jose is probably better then aguastine but collison put up some pretty good stats when Chris paul went out he had the freedom Jose has now.

        • Daniel

          Dude, you embarass yourself. His skills will not dissapear wherever he’ll go. Stop trying so hard to be a “rational” hater.

      • Daniel

        That’s the amazing part. Jose has been very consistent throughout the years. His career patterns are very clear and indicate that his play has not changed.
        The inference that you and other Jose haters are making is that he has been the main cause or the second main cause of our record in the last 3 seasons. Was the Hornets record in 2010 indicative of CP3’s value? Was the Nets’ record in the previous 2 seasons indicative of Williams’ value? Was the Phoenix missing the play-offs the previous 3 seasons in a row indicative of Nash’s value? Basketball is a team sport so coaching, chemistry, skill level and skill complementarity matter a lot. Take the haters’ glasses off and you’ll see the reality more clear.

  • Theswirsky

    ” he hasn’t been able to keep this play up for an extended period and eventually regresses,”

    yeah because if he kept up this play he’d be a superstar.  Instead he regresses to a consistently reliable player who will give you a near double double on efficient shooting and passing night after night.  I wish more of this teams players could regress to that point.

    “we`ve already tested Calderon as a starter and it doesn`t work.”

    He works perfectly fine as a starter when bargnani isn’t around.  No one remember how well he played last year when Bargnani missed a better part of the year?  What about 06-08 when bargnani only saw 20 minutes a game? 

    It boggles my mind that people can even dream to argue Jose isn’t consistent or reliable.  He has been the model of consistency, reliability and efficiency throughout his career here.

    When this team stops dreaming about building around soft jump shooting bigs who don’t defend, when they start concentrating on scoring at the bucket rather than from 20+ft away, when they allow their PG to actually play PG (rather than running Jose as an offguard) we always discover just how good Jose is.  He’s not unreliable, its this management team thats been doing everything wrong that has been. 

     

    • unknown guest

      THIS
      “He works perfectly fine as a starter when bargnani isn’t around.  No one remember how well he played last year when Bargnani missed a better part of the year?  What about 06-08 when bargnani only saw 20 minutes a game? “

    • Ghotte

      Jose is consistent and reliable. Is a great leader. For a crappy team. Even as a prospective bench player for a playoff caliber team he would be invaluable. 

      But for those that are (currently) placing him on a pedestal, Jose is not the answer for a team looking to take the next step. He is an integral part but neither should he be the focal point.

      • unknown guest

        No, he’s not. I doubt even his more ardent supporters believe he will get anything close to the deal he had before. I think most just don’t want to see him traded for nothing if he can stay and help and a better price. If anything, his rapport with Amir (and growing one with Ed/JV) should help anchor the second unit.
        Let’s not forget how BC seems to get PG’s that either shoot their team out of a game or get injured (or both), so a steady hand is invaluable.

        • FAQ

          It was rumoured that BC was offering Nash a near-max contract to come to TO… but Nash said no.. because he preferred to stay close to all the LA poon.

          Do you think Jose is > or < injury-ridden decrepit Nash… and to keep him in TO BC must make the same offer to Jose..???

          • unknown guest

            Jose is > or injury-ridden Nash, but not better > healthy Nash, and I’m hoping BC (or whoever is here) doesn’t give him Nash-like $.

    • Dan

       But he only does that because this team lacks talent. If he we had the superstar on this team to carry them every night Joses roll and stats would dip and there are a bunch of point guards who could fill in easily and nobody would care. This team is not good so we all over value the little talent we do have. Is Jose really any more effective then chalmers if he goes to the heat. Yes he can shoot and run an offense better. But you have lebron and wade to do that so now you have a guy that can’t defend who isn’t scoring and passing he seems better suited coming off the bench where he can set up bench guys who struggle to score on their own. Darren Collison looked pretty good to when Chris paul was injured and free reign. Yet every play off team he has gone to since he ends up on the bench. A lot of nba player can put up stats if given a chance. Not all of them can translate those stats into winning. Scoring 18 a game is not great if you let the other guy score 20.

    • Statement

      The funny thing is that Calderon owns the single-season FT percentage record and was a 50/40/90 shooter two years in a row.

  • 4pt_play

    Calderon is in his contract year.  the highest paid on the team.  We’ve seen Calderon for many years.  There is a definate pattern here.  He wins the starting job, then he under performs again.  Even the greatest Calderon supporters would not want to resign the guy at what he is making now, this shows how confusing his role is.  Fans seem to change their mind on every player every few games.

    • FAQ

      Is it Jose “under-performing”, or is it the rest of the team under-performing … big difference?

      I would love to see how Jose performs with the Lakers or Mavs.. ya think??

  • Gregast

    It’s all about Bargnani. A seven foot monster in hibernation most of every basketball season. Let’s see how Steve Nash feels about having to play with that liablity.

    There was a reason why Colangelo moved heaven and earth to try to convince Nash to come back to Canada.

    Plan be is to move Bargnani to where Nash is now. But be careful, they just might come back to bite you in the butt.

    • FAQ

      Methinks you are ejaculating prematurely over your boy Davis.  He still doesn’t have a NBA body to be a ‘star’ player.  Maybe pumping iron and shooting some HGH will allow him to even challenge Dwight.  Btw, Davis looks like a Howard “before” picture…!!!

      • FAQ

        ^^^^oppps… wrong reply….

  • Destro

    Honestly its a pleasure watching Ed Davis play,i enjoy watching his progression from a relatively raw player into a real bonafied big man with star qualities…besides having a great work ethic and having good athleticismhe is so fundamentally sound in many aspects…Watching him now play more minutes you can really see the progression in his game offensively and how well coached he has been…He has alot of qualities that honestly you cant teach….the way he seals his man using his arms and sets himself up for good positioning to receive the ball down low is unteachable its just instinctive stuff…Hes really improved how to position himself on the block and use the angles properly going left…

    I dont think there should be any doubt hes a legit 20/10 player going forward if he plays minutes….Its a pleasure watching a big on this team with great big man skills and fundamentals…

    • cesco

       Can he play starter minutes ( over 30 ) or is he limited in that regard . 20/10 is all-star material .

      • Sig

        I agree. Ed’s offensive game is very raw. Even if he was to get starters minutes, his inability to perform anything other than a spin hook will seriously make it easy for other dudes to shut him down.

        Only thing you should and would expect out of Ed is some nice offensive putbacks and the occasional post move. But 20ppg is a reach…

      • what the

        who cares just get that pasta guy outta here and let Val,Ed and Amir play gangdem style

    • FAQ

      Methinks you are ejaculating prematurely over your boy Davis.  He still
      doesn’t have a NBA body to be a ‘star’ player.  Maybe pumping iron and
      shooting some HGH will allow him to even challenge Dwight.  Btw, Davis
      looks like a Howard “before” picture…!!! 

    • Gregast

      Destro, ED still needs to develop a basic move to his right hand that he can rely on in the post. I would be stunned if he doessn’t have a coach in the Raptors organization that is working on this as I write this. IMO his defense is NBA ready – now he needs a more sophisticated offense to be a starter.

    • Statement

      The 10 I can see, but the 20 would require 18-20 shots or more, given that he doesn’t get to the free throw line, can’t shoot the three and has not right-handed offence.

      The way Ed’s offense is coming now is perfect for him, which again is a function of having a good point guard set him up.

  • NyAlesund

    BC is incompetent. When the property will decide to get rid of him will be late.

    Lowry is useless for this team. A combo-idiot-player that never change his mind in way of playing basket. BC had invested a lot on him and he won’t let Casey to do the job. It means bench this crap and leave Calderon to do the job.

    Bargnani is a lost case. A potential All Star is now a joke. Wasted talent. 7 years and now we have someone hated from media to teammates. Amnesty him and leaves him to go. I hope in Europe to rebuild his career. The team could play without the big umbrella that cover all the crap we have here. So, the guys and the team can start to play freely. No Bargs no first pick…………………new era……..new chapter.

    • unknown guest

      I’m not giving up on Lowry yet. He’s still young(ish) and has valuable speed/athletism.

      • FAQ

        I think Kyle is 27 y.o. … so when will he blossom as a potent PG..??

    • Dc

      Bagnani potential all-star????? HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHHHAHHAHHAHAHhaHaHaHHaHhAHAHAHHAHAHAHhAHAHAHHAhAHaHAHhaHaHaHhahahhaha…………………………………………………..HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA

      just stop 

      • NyAlesund

         Yes potential All Star…………………….

    • what the

      is that the fearwell speach for AB13 ?

  • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

    FUCK YOU AB!!!!! (Ice Cube voice)

    • FAQ

      Now that’s a lot better… limiting your emotional outbursts to less than 140 characters …. more impact and less bandwidth waste… keep it up …LOL

  • FAQ

    SHEESH!!!!  You non-basketball playing types just don’t catch on, do you??!!!

    I’ve said this during the Jose-TJ era and now I’m correctly repeating it now with the Jose-KL situation.

    The rest of the players on the floor cannot adjust quickly to the change in “system” play with the change from pass-first to shoot-first PG play.  It’s sooooo obvious.

    So what do you start first… shoot-first or pass-first PG… Kyle or Jose???

    I’ve pointed out that in several of the recent wins Jose was scoring a lot in the first quarter to build up a lead or stay level to avoid playing out of a hole.  In several losses, the TRaps got blown out in the first quarter probably because they didn’t play like a jelled team… they were sub-optimal and CAsey even admitted he had problems trying to find a functioning line-up. Perhaps the answer has emerged in the abscence of Bargs, Kyle, Fields.

    Unless you’ve played b-ball at a decent level, you just can’t appreciate the turmoil created when the coach inserts a different style PG.  Of course, this raises the question is Lucas a good fit subbing for Jose???  Chew on that!!!!

  • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Toronto Raptors Team Basketball >>>> BC’s Andrea Raptors Basketball

  • Sprechen

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it but, while playing small ball down the stretch, Kleiza was a better fit at the four because of his toughness and Detroit’s advantage in the paint. Although Kleiza’s play overall has been inconsistent and warranted some disgruntlement, his toughness has not wavered. Peitrus has not shown he has that in his game and can pound down low with guys like Monroe and Drummond. I think it was the right move. Especially in light of that smack to the face Kleiza gave Drummond going for an easy douce. That made up for some errant shooting in my opinion as it really affected the tone late in the game.

    Also, I thought Amir was a better choice as lone big because he’s stronger than Ed, more experienced, and he plays the 5 regularly; not to mention his penchant for hustle (winning) plays and the fact that he’s a real heart and soul guy for the club. Look how they struggled when he got hurt; when he came back the team rallied behind his energy and toughness. No offence to Ed, but he’s only been living up to his potential in a string of recent games. When the game is on the line, you know what you’re going to get out of Amir.

    Can’t believe you went the whole post without mentioning Alan Anderson’s impact. He has been instrumental in every game of the 4 win streak. 

    I’m really pleased to see how Derozan has DeRizen *TM* has matured this year (that’s right, you heard it here first!). He’s becoming the player we all hoped he would.

    Bargnani prognosis is apt. I agree it’s time to shuffle the deck. At the very least he should come off the bench or this team will have a morale crisis due to the inherent double standards of the organization. Can’t say everyone has to play defence (except Bargs). Problem with a trade is that we won’t get much for him at present. I suppose I could tolerate one last chance if he comes off the bench and shows a commitment to the team. If Jose can be relegated to the bench and be a pro, then so can he.

  • gizzly73

    Bargnani is out of shape because he just doesn’t care that much. Massive guaranteed contract and he will leave town as soon as career is over. Read his body language.  He looks like he is allergic to a weight room compared to almost every power forward in the NBA. Look at Amir’s arms in comparison.

    Commitment to fitness is what got Nash his 2 MVP’s.