Orlando Magic 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Toronto Raptors
Ed Davis, PF 32 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | 0

Beast mode early in the game when he was Calderon’s main target. The up-tempo game that the Raptors shifted into didn’t suit him too well, and he ended up missing a lot of looks near the rim which he usually makes. Solid effort again, though, as he set the interior tone early with his hard play. He`s probably the Raptors best passing big, I call for more plays where he gets to make some decisions. Bold, I know.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

Busted finger on his right hand, left the game early never to return. Grabbed a hard-fought offensive rebound to start the game.

Jose Calderon, PG 34 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 13 PTS | +1

Didn`t ever look for his offense and yet managed to have a highly efficient game with the usual assist total. The defensive play left a lot to be desired, but it says a lot about his current form when you call his performance tonight one of his slower nights.

Mickael Pietrus, SG 19 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +2

Torched by Afflalo at will. That play at the top of the key where Afflalo drove by him in slow motion might be his worst moment as a Raptor.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 40 MIN | 5-17 FG | 7-7 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +8

One of this older style games where his FTs were more key than his field goals, especially in a couple stretches in the fourth. His jumper wasn`t clicking but the guard scoring was nicely complemented by Ross and Anderson, reducing the impact of DeRozan`s inefficient performance.

Amir Johnson, PF 35 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +11

The Raptors-do on the back of his head must`ve weighed him down in the first half. He came on stronger in the second half and hit one of those dare-you-to-shoot jumpers that the defense loves to give him. Until he got that last offensive rebound off of DeRozan’s miss with 42 seconds left, I was quite disappointed in his rebounding position and technique. Goetz-product (my alma mater, baby!), Nicholson, struggled tonight and Amir`s length had something to do with it.

Linas Kleiza, SF 13 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +1

Casey went small after Valanciunas went out which got him some playing time. He mistook that as a green light to shoot every time he touched it. He was miserable, of course.

John Lucas, PG 14 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS | +2

Poor man-defense from a guy I don`t expect much defense from, so I don`t know where that leaves him in my eyes. I judge him mostly on his offense and how he manages to run the team, and on that account he was OK in the sense that the ball never got stuck.

Alan Anderson, SG 26 MIN | 2-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -4

He’s like our Tony Allen in a way, gritty dude who likes to take the baseline, accepts contact even though he can’t quite finish against it. He’s got tremendous confidence in himself and you get the sense that despite being a D-Leaguer and all, the team gets a lift from his play. Didn’t do much except get hit going to the rim for a few FTs.

Terrence Ross, SG 23 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4

The reveal continues. The hop in the step, the spunky attitude, and a jump shot that’s finally putting him on the cusp of being the three-point shooter the Raptors haven’t had since Mo Pete. The defensive knack is now becoming consistent, with two big steals in the fourth highlighting that front. The catch-and-shoot is coming into view too, that three he hit early off the catch was pure beauty and the put-back dunk was Vincish.

  • KJ-B

    TERRENCE ROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
    @TDotFlight31!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WOOOOOW!!!!!!!!!!

    • Atothe

      Tdotflight31 really really smh stop this nonsense

  • Northgrantballer

    DAT WINDMILL

    • KJ-B

      Yuh dun kno!!!!

  • knickz

    gritty win

  • tom

    Ross the BOSS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dan M

    Stupid, Stupid Casey!
    Almost lost the game because of him!  2nd quarter, 8 point Magic run, no timeout called!
    4th quarter, 7 point Magic run with 2 minutes left, NO TIME OUT!!! You idiot!! Save your timeouts for the end when it’s too late!! Pathetic excuse for a coach… I’m so pissed, imagine had we lost this game!

    Here’s an idea.  You should rate Casey after each game too.  He definately gets an F from me tonight!

    • Bennyscott9

      lets not get to angry Dan

    • hateslosing

       Casey wants the team to play through adversity and he saves his time outs to set up end of game scenarios and if we get trapped. It’s not a bad way to use them.

    • Dbobb28

      I do agree with Dan when it comes to Casey and the lack of timeouts called. Especially the fourth quarter run. You could see that the offense was not in sync and we needed to settle down and he didn’t call it until we got another turnover and then gave up a bucket. He has got to use his TO’s better. The lead went from 11 to 4 real quick. 
        Also, I have such a hate on for Kleiza, it’s crazy. Every time he touches the ball I know he is gonna shoot another brick and that lazy ass defence, holy shit! Man is he useless. 
        It’s nice to get those ugly wins too for a change. Five in a row feels great. It’s a nice reward for the fans still putting great numbers in the seats at the ACC, even when we were 4-19.
        Tough game on the 26th at San Antonio, followed by 2 winnable games at New Orleans and Orlando, then 2 more winnable games at home against Portland and Sacramento. It would be great to grab those winnable games.

  • J14

    on Ross follow up dunk.. one of the magic player on the bench made it more epic lol
    he stood up in awe then one of his team mates tap him & he hurriedly sit down lol hahah

  • what the

    TR—–((((The Rookie)))
    TR—–((((Toronto Raptors)))
    TR—–((((Terrence Ross))))

    • Lorenzo

       what the—-((((Fag))))

    • guest

      TR—–((((The Retard aka what the)))

  • Holycraptors.com

    Ross is the first Raptor to make me jump out of my seat since Maceo Baston. But for a different reason.

    • Sig

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X_Ot0k4XJc

  • Overthewall

    Can we please not have Bargnani come back to this lineup, like EVER?  Thanks Bryan.

    • what the

      Barny who?

    • NyAlesund

       ……….and Lowry too?

      • what the

        na dude just Barney

  • gizzly73

    Great win considering some subpar performances from some of the Raps. Defense is the key as we are held the OM below 100 which is excellent. Maybe BC is right, we have the talent and now the focus is there because the Big Italian is not there to be the non rebounding black hole that bogs our offense and defense.

    It would be great if Lowry and AB came back at different times so we can better evaluate their affect on the team.

    • FAQ

      Fields is back and benched with Acy and Gray… that must be discouraging when the coach has no trust in you.

      Lowry comes back first and Bargs later.  The question is does Casey upset the chemistry and synergy, particularly subbing Lucas for Jose?  I can see confusion if Kyle subs for Jose because the difference in PG play is too confusing for the others on the floor to adapt readily.

      Bargs most certainly doesn’t fit in with the way the TRaps are playing now.  BC must be working his butt off now to trade Bargs.. but is he damaged goods??

      BC will force Casey to play Bargs and showcase his talents and readiness.  Gonna be interesting.

      • KJ-B

        Uhmm, they can actually move him back to Center, which is the position he’s actually had most of his success, best fg% reb #s etc…with JVal out–was curious though as to the severity of the sprain…

        If you’ve played long enough you’ve seen someone pop a finger back into place, tape it up and keep playing…I came back from a fractured finger rather quickly in a week-Rondo mashed up his elbow + kept playing vs the Heat.  Right now Dez Bryant is playing with a broken finger–it happens in hoops particularly all the time…

        BUT when I heard “broken hand” I was hoping it wasn’t more severe and wouldn’t need surgery…we’ll see, look at Kyrie–he came back sooner and Jonas is a tough Lithuanian dude!

    • what the

      1 of the 2 need not come back he’s done playing for the Raps we have been evaluating mr.13 for almost 8 years now and what I see from the raptors franchise player Barney is a Haffa with a three a friggin queen who doesn’t want to get her nails broken and you’ve got wood suckers like Lorenzo missing their hero Bernice

    • KJ-B

      I was actually impressed with Alan Anderson tonight.  He played his position as 6th man VERY well.  He got an early assist on that alley to DeRozan when DeMar hadonly 2 pts to kinda keep him involved and willingly was subbed in/out of the game in the 4th Q with no sulking + was the 1st guy to praise Ross after his high wire act.  

      Alan Anderson is like the posterboy for this turnaround in Toronto–love what he’s doing, it’s infectious and that bench is what winning IS ALL about!

  • RepsUp

    START T-ROSS AND MOVE DEROZAN TO THE 3 and let davis start when bargnani is healthy

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=58020690 Sang Kevin Nguyen

     This great run has turned us into the Knicks somewhat – loving the wins and chemistry, but once Bargnani comes back (Amare for them), then what?

    Because he’s an offensive black hole and the rotation and movement we’ve been seeing? You can kiss that good bye.

  • Sig

    Fun Fact for Mr. Arsenalist, Anderson also played terrible defense on Afflalo.

  • tmk

    Loving the way they’re playing, though we’ve gotten lucky/fortunate in not completely blowing leads at the end of games. T-Ross has the athleticism I thought Derozan had, he ACTUALLY has sick in-game dunks. 

    I know when Lowry and Bargs come back they will be given back their starting spots because, well, there’s the whole you can’t lose your starting spot when injured type of thinking, but also because I don’t think Casey can bench them for different reasons. Mainly because Lowry will probably sulk and Bargs…well he probably wouldn’t give a crap, but BC wouldn’t allow it (for now…). However, when they come back and if we go back to the terrible basketball we were playing, not just losing, I understand that will happen, but back to the terrible defense, no ball movement type of style, and both, or at least one, isn’t benched then it’ll be a joke…to the say the least.

    • Truthkiller

      I love the team basketball game they’re playing but there was a point in the game where the offense stagnated and the team went on taking long contested jumpers they could’ve used someone like lowry to get a basket at the rim.

      • Deadallus

        Someone else saw that.  I have been noticing that for about of 3-4 minutes almost every game, they go through this stretch where all the do is bomb threes.  That’s usually when I start yelling at my TV.

      • tmk

        Agreed. I still think Lowry can fit into this style we are playing and he can be that answer we need when we’re going through slumps. My comment was mostly targeted at Bargs, but at the same time if Lowry keeps gambling for steals and taking “hero” 3-pointers when they are unneeded then benching him would be a good message.

        • Hound

          They should definitely bring Lowry in off the bench until Bargs gets back. They can say they are easing him back in. Then they should start Bargs, Amir, Pietrus,Demar and Lowry. They should then start subbing the second unit in really early at the 5-7 minute mark of the first, Calderon, ED, Anderson, Ross and Val if he is back by then. From there they should play whoever is hottest.

          This way Lowry can’t sulk that he is not the starter, Calderon plays with mostly the same group and Bargs can play 14 -18 minutes depending on performance.

          FACT: We can’t trade Lowry, because BC would have egg on his face

          FACT: We can’t trade Bargs, because nobody will take him, and there is no way they will amnesty him. The best we can do is play him limited minutes except for the very odd game where he is engaged, scoring and motivated. (1 out of 8 games)

    • FAQ

      … but isn’t Fields benched …???

      • tmk

        That’s very true, good point. Maybe with the winning streak and this being BC’s last year, he’s decided to sit back and shut up so as long as they keep winning. Although I do think Bargs is “harder” to bench then Fields, it can signal the acceptance for BC to let Casey do his job.

    • NyAlesund

       You are supposing a lot of things without a proof. I mean, now these two fellas are watching the effort their teammates are doing. So, the funny thing is that both two are in the spotlight and everything they are going to do will be evaluated. If their effort will cause painful lost and poor D, everybody can see this, even BC.

      For these reason I look forward to seeing them on the floor.

      • what the

        no guy only one should see the floor and the other should be shown the door.

        • NyAlesund

          Remember 2-16 with Lowry………….

          • what the

            I remember over 6 years going on 7 dude

            • NyAlesund

               Lowry 7 years and he is the same crap player.

          • j bean

            Look at Calderone’s performance for those games. He played big minutes and played crappy in most of those games. Him and Bargs together at crunch time blowing leads and missing open looks not to mention their weak defence. The losses with Lowry starting weren’t all on him.

            • Jkwasia

              people forget it was the dribbles and pasta boy high screen and row that was getting abused late in games against the raps in most of there losses 

  • FAQ

    REJOICE…. Tribal Honking Fans…. statistical brainiacs too …!!!!!!

    • Dc

      Sorry your boy King bargs sucks ass and were on a 5 game win streak without him in the lineup. I can’t even remember the last time we had a 5 game streak with him in the lineup? Im sure that makes you pretty upset around this time. 

      • FAQ

        You were licking Bargs dik last season before he was injured and now yer dumping on him.  You are a real fickle fool …!

        • Dc

          Umm no hasn’t been me. Must’ve been another fictional Dc because I haven’t ever liked king bargs. Ive always said he sucked ass. Which he always did. I dare you to go back last year and find one thread were I slobbed king bargs like you. Go head and try and find it,because i can assure you it doesn’t exist. Try again FAG…. oops i mean Faq

  • vino

    Every TRoss bucket tonight had a wow factor! And solid D!

    • j bean

      JJ Redick was singing the praises of T Ross after the game. A tough cover and good defender.

  • Deadallus

    Maybe it should be an incomplete grade for Big Val.  How does 1 hard fought rebound in 4 minutes get you a B rating?  Take some of Amir’s inflated A+ dropping him to a B and bump Lucas to a B.  His defense may have been suspect but as a backup he ran the point quite well tonight. 

  • Scottbbaird

    Kleiza shoots too much, but 9pts and 3 boards in 13 mins is better than I expect from him.

    • what the

      your buddy Barny does it so.

  • HitItHardFromTheBack

    Sho nuff my nig TRoss done need more minutes and that dunk contest best believe that….

  • Canadian Paul

    Here are the numbers for the past 6 games (record: 5-1)
    team ORTG: 112.9 (average opponent DRTG: 105.6)
    team DRTG: 104.3 (average opponent ORTG: 103.8)

    They’re killing it offensively. And although their DRTG looks nice, it’s higher than what their opponents usually score. However, it should be noted that it’s a small sample size, so the 116.5 surrendered to the Pistons skews things a bit.

  • 511
  • boshrawr

    Terrence Ross, that’s my shooting god right there! Top 5 in game dunker in the league right now? Who else you know doing windmills beside Blake and LeBron. I cosign someones earlier statement in saying that he’s closer to Vince than demar. just nuts man! Give this kid some more run.

  • boshrawr

    so the raptors have a 5 game win streak which is second in the NBA Behind the clipprrs if I’m not mistaken. who would have thought after the dismal losing streak we just came out of that we are four games out of a playoFf spot. my thing is why trade Calderon now? I know his value is high but how good a deal are you really gonna get for him? People can forget about the gasol trade because why have bargnani when you can have ilyasova. I think BC keeps him till the end of the season.

  • tweed8

    Was at the game, one of the better nights for the energy coming off the crowd in a long while considering our record! 

    4th quarter response from the crowd near the end!
    Davis dunks – Crowd Rahhh!
    Davis blocks – RRahhhhhh!
    Ross put back – RRAAHHHHH!
    Ross steal into windmill – RRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Standing Ovation!

    Great Christmas present!

  • cesco

    all you fags cheer for ross because he can dunk. bargnani may not do the flashy things but he plays gritty winning basketball like larry bird. I am so done with the raptors!

    • p00ka

      +1

      • what the

        WA U LEAVING TO ?

      • p00ka

        Not cool to be using someone’s tag, but cool isn’t part of an battered child’s mentality

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      Wow you just discounted yourself from any conversation because you compared the softest basketball player in the planet in Bargnani to Larry fucking Bird.

      • p00ka

        they have very similar games

        • Canadian Paul

          They’re both white and they both wear shorts to play basketball. Any other similarities?

        • p00ka

          Not cool to be using someone’s tag, but cool isn’t part of an battered child’s mentality

      • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Bargnani aka ‘The Italian Locker Room Cancer’ is more like Brad Sellers than Larry Bird….plus AB isn’t a winner but a beginner…smh

        Andrea has really showed alot of emotion on the bench during this winning streak- not, he looks like he could care less or he’s shocked that the team is better w/o its so called ‘best player’.

        Everyone should be aware by now that AB called the Raptors the worst team in the NBA (the reporter has it all recorder no BC pr spin to the contrary), said he is the team’s best player (although he only plays one side of the court from the 3pt line to ft line area 90% of the time) as well as that BC has made off season moves to win this season but those moves aren’t working out (a slap at his NBA daddy BC?).

        AWright, JJack and others have spoken out on AB’s half ass ways and the enviorment that let’s him get away with no accountability and were subsequently traded away or waived.

        Fuck you AB!!
        You’re the Raptor fans love 2 hate (Ice Cube voice)

        • FAQ

          What’s yer point…??!!!

          • what the

            THE FAQER GATS TO GO

        • NyAlesund

           He said “we are playing like the worst team in the NBA”!!!!!!!!

          ……….and fuck you……………(Bargnani voice…)…..lol

      • p00ka

        Are you all really that stupid? You’re responding to a troll using cesco’s name, just like he used mine. Use your fn brains!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          Do I come here everyday knowing you people. I expect stupid shit typically said of these discussion boards.

          • p00ka

            fucking dumbass

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

              Well if people are trolling as you, then most likely the things that you say are pretty stupid.

            • p00ka

              There really should be some moderation of this kind of stuff. Allowing it makes the site cheap.

              Now troll “p00ka”, go jack off in your mommy’s dirty panties and keep your Xmas traditions alive.

    • KaioKev

      If your not kidding then maybe the world should have ended yesterday.

      • FAQ

        … and 4 more days without TRap ball …. so the t.h.f.’s just revert to their normal masturbation schedule…!!

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

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

      Larry Bird’s left nut >>>> Bargnani’s entire NBA career

    • what the

      hee hee hee

    • what the

      why u sad Ces? It’s a team game, the team is winning and your hero is out i know,but it’s ok to cheer for the TEAM forget about AB13 Cesco and go on with your life ok, do you need anything a hug or anything someone to talk to we are here for you ok CESCO.

    • tomorrow

      gritty winning basketball… gritty… winning… not sure if troll or retard

    • thatpeterguy

      Wow, I was sure you were trolling. Maybe you had a stroke when you were typing but did you notice you used the word “gritty” and Bargnani in the same sentence and then followed that up by comparing him to Larry Bird. The biggest Bargnani fan in the world would have to admit he is anything but gritty if they were at all being realistic. 

    • chrisbem1

      Look at the Raps record with Bargnani in the lineup- not winning basketball.  Larry Bird’s career averages:  10 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG.  Bargnani may have had a game like that once, but I can’t remember it.  What you are saying can’t possibly make sense to you, unless you actually ARE Bargnani.  In which case, yes, I hope you are done with the Raptors.

    • PleaseTradeBarney

      Wow, someone still believe in Barney.  Like Larry Bird – are you out of your mind!

  • Jamshid

    Jose has been great in the past few games. Sam Mitchell was pointing to Jose’s exceptional play in NBA TV and he was saying that he always believed in Jose’s game. As I said before, Lowry’s absence has more to do with this team’s success than AB’s absence.
    Offence is smoother thanks to Jose sharing the ball and getting the ball to the people at the right time. Because our young players are more involved in offence, they are more eager to play a better defence and this is why we see this team play even better defence.

    AB is done in Toronto and I think it is best for him and BC to move him ASAP. But I am willing to bet, AB would have played great along Calderon and under Casey if Lowry was not here.

    Jose may not be top tier PG in this league but neither is Lowry. Benching Jose for Lowry when he is back will be a huge mistake.

    By the way, what is going on with Fields ?

    • what the

      So are you leaving with P00KA and CESCO ?

      • p00ka

        You posed as both of us saying dumbass shit. What a pathetic little azzhole you are.

    • FAQ

      TRaps were “playing” disjointed b-ball with Lowry, Fields and Bargs.  Now they are not only playing, they are “working” their butts off on defense and the results are there.

      Maybe sending Kyle and Fields down to the D-league might motivate them to work… and as for Bargs, he has to be “utilized” for what he is… a spot up shooter.

      Maybe the injury to his shooting arm right elbow will affect his arm action.. gonna be interesting.

  • Aaron

    Wow raptor fans get some balance in your life!  Now were the world champions. This team has had a bunch of home games (where they play much better then on the road),  most of the teams they’ve played have been weak or missing a top player (orlando Glenn Davis) and they were due for some good games,  and finally there getting production from there small forward position which was non existent for the first 20games. Have they played much better as a team?Absolutely!  
          To me this is a dream scenario to bring Andrea of the bench as a 6th man.  Worst case scenario is he’s Kleiza best case scenario he plays like Lamar Odom did for the lakers years back.  This would give Andrea good match ups and allow him to be a gunner for short periods of time.        Now Lowry is a different scenario.  We should have just kept Bayless as to  me there was no issue with the point guard last year.  We could have paid Bayless 4 million a year and he would have been a real solid back up point guard.  We would have kept our first round pick.  The lowry move is typical of most of BC’s problems.  Lateral movements that cost you key draft picks and don’t improve the team.  
         THank god Casey decided to coach more like last year then this crazy idea that the raps are an offensive jugernaut.

    • FAQ

      Yup… BC really shit between the bedsheets with Lowry … and Fields too.  MLSE should dock his salary for his gigantic gaffes…!!!!

  • Roarque

    TRoss shows us the future of the Raptors and some razzle dazzle is great as long as it comes with dedication on Defense.
    I am on the side that thinks Kyle Lowry is worth the cost of a first round draft pick in the near future – especially with KL’s contract $$.

    There are enough talented kids on the team now with Ross, Davis, DeRosen, Lowry and (yes) Landry Fields who will surprise now that he has a steady grip on the ball in his shooting hand. Remember he was considered an unselfish “glue guy” who got shafted by the Knicks when Carmello showed last year.

    Combine them with the experience of Anderson, Amir and Bargnani who can vie for the 6th Man Award honours or if they don’t want to play in Toronto, the Raps can trade them for an All Star as long as they include Jose in the trade.

    It would pain me to lose Amigo but he needs to go where they can use him NOW to win an NBA Chapionship.  Hey, maybe OKC will give the Raps their own 1st Rounder back for Jose.

  • KJ-B

    Entertained by all the Ross talk + I did say he was my fave Rap in the 20 questions this summer on that survey on here by Doc Naismith BUT hey, every1’s forgotten JVal already???
     The time off might actually be good for him and the game will probably slow down for him + it has the plus of giving “show minutes” for a certain former #1 pick that’ll be coming back–unless of course JV is tougher than we know and only misses a game or 2…

  • RapthoseLeafs

    .

    5 IN A ROW !!!!!

    .

    A Pessimist might say it was easy competition.
    An Optimist would think …. hey? What about play-offs?
     

    A Toronto fan – while enjoying the high – would be mentally preparing themselves for a plummet.

    A Realist would see the potential, but also recognize that Boston is 1
    of 3 teams to jump over. And while 8th place is only 5 games away, that 5
    games means 5 EXTRA wins beyond teams that are probably playing below
    their optimum. Teams that usually get it together.
    .

    I have to say I’m impressed with Jose in the past 5 games. He’s had some great numbers
    5 GAME AVG (vs previous 23 games).
    15 ppg (9.6)
    9.8 Ast (7.0)
    5.0 Rbs (2.0)
    1.2 Stl (.6)
    Only 1.8 TO for a 5.4 Ast/T ratio (2.0 T/0 — 3.5 Ast/T)

    While these have been great numbers, it’s what JC does as a QB that brings more value. He plays a slower pace, more conducive to this team then what Lowry has brought to the table. Possessions are down – which explains some of the reduced scoring by Opponents (the others being a more engaged Defense, and quality of Opponent). Calderon engages the younger talent – in a mentoring sort of way.

    .

    What worries me with this team, is what happens when Lowry and Bargs come back. Now I understand why Mr. Lightening Rod attracts the greatest charge for defining this turn-around, but that to me is letting one’s hate for the guy over-ride a fundamental theme with Toronto success – both recent, and through parts of last season (the successful games).

    Jose is running the ship. In fact, Jose has run the ship for 9 games – 7 of those being wins.

    Andrea can go to the Bench, if Ed picks up his game. Right now – if Bargs was available – I can see Casey starting AB. In 10 games … thing could change though.
    For what it’s worth, Ed is a great Rebounder, but he has trouble with real Bigs. His numbers haven’t really jumped, relative to his increased playing time. Yet Raptor scoring numbers have “accelerated” when one adjusts for pace.

    As to rebounds, in the last 5 games, Toronto has “improved” their Rebounding Differential by 1 (sans Andrea), to a net -2.6 differential.

    Then there is Opponent Pts in the Paint. That has gone up in the last 5 games. In the Orlando game (for which Ed was handed a B rating), the Magic had 46 points in the paint. I know this sounds like Barney homerism, but these are the stats.
    .

    SO WHY THE WINNING STREAK?

    IMO, Raptors won this Orlando game because of 4 reasons (mostly):
    1) Jose ran the team
    2) The Bench was that Bench we had all expected – pre-injuries.
    3) Magic were not very magical. They shot like crap
    4) Home game

    .

    As to this 5 GAME winning streak, I see 5 reasons:
    1) Jose ran the team (as well as “promoted” better ball movement)
    2) Demar
    3) The Bench (Anderson, Amir, Ross, etc.)
    4) Beatable teams
    5) 4 home games

    .

    On another note, that Ross dunk brought back Vince memories, and why I became a “fanatical” fan. Good times. :-)

    .

    • cesco

      +1

    • Canadian Paul

      My lord. Now, you’re counting rebounds to justify starting Bargnani?

      The Raps give up 111.0 points with Bargnani on the court. With Ed Davis? 106.8 ppg.

      Oh, and your rebound count? The Raptors improved their defensive rebounding % from 73.0% when Bargnani was still playing to 73.3% in the last 6 games (this despite getting hammered by Detroit).

      • Jamshid

        “The Raps give up 111.0 points with Bargnani on the court. With Ed Davis? 106.8 ppg.”
        Are you just ignoring Lowry on defence ? Are you ignoring how the guys are more involved in defence because they are more involved in offence thanks to Jose ?

        You can not just point to AB’s absence and say that defence is better since he is not around and totally ignore Lowry.

        I really hope AB gets a chance to play with Jose while Lowry is out.
        BC messed up again with Fields and Lowry this season. One cost us a first round draft pick and the other 18 million over next 3 years.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        [” …. Now, you’re counting rebounds to justify starting Bargnani?”]

        Not exactly. My point is, this “change” in Raptor fortunes is not – as so many have shouted out – due to Andrea being out, but more because Lowry is out.

        IMO, it’s the hate towards AB that is distorting the true picture going on here. This team is better suited to Jose’s style, then Kyle Lowry’s. How Casey deals with this new PG controversy (upon Lowry’s return), will determine future success for the team.

        .

        Jose slows the pace, and promotes better ball movement. Assist Differential (vs Opponents avg) goes from -2.65 per game during the first 23 games, to +7.0 during those 5 games. That slower pace also allows for Raptor defense to set up better.

        As to Davis, he has played decent. And I believe he can play a vital role on this team. But I don’t believe he’s strong enough for real Bigs, and as such, is not Starter material AT THIS POINT. Casey sort of acknowledges this, by who he plays in the 4th Quarter, or more so – Crunch time.

        .

        • RapthoseLeafs

          One further point to this Assist Differential. 

          In any Raptor win – with Lowry at the helm – Raptors have not had more assists then their Opponents …. albeit, the stats are limited. Toronto only has 2 wins with Kyle at the helm.

          Jose is 7-6 as a Starter. Lowry is 2-13.

          Despite this 5 game winning stretch being against beatable teams, the statement above pretty much says it all.

          .

        • Canadian Paul

          It’s a good theory, except that last year, the Raptors were 3.3 ppg better defensively per 100 possessions when Bargnani was sitting. And that includes those famous “13-game Bargnani”.

          The question we have to ask is whether the team can survive offensively without Bargnani, and not defensively. Because, we all know that they are definitely better without him on the defensive end.

          And so far, the offense has clicked at 112.9 per 100 possessions in the past 6 games (second behind OKC), and that’s against teams who normally combine to give up only 105.6 ppg per 100 possessions.

          Will Lowry create issues? Maybe, we’ll see and then decide.

          But, what we do know is that Bargnani will definitely create issues if he starts in place of Ed Davis again.