The ’95-96 Bulls which won 72 games would’ve been proud of this effort. I’m not sure the Raptors could’ve played a more complete game, and if you don’t agree with that, then you certainly will concur that this was the most enjoyable television this season. The Raptors started off on a 10-0 run which was highlighted by scores in transition, interior passing, jumpers in the half-court and of course, defense that makes you shed a tear of happiness. The Blazers, playing on a back-to-back after a big win in New York, appeared half a step slow and never quite caught up.

Related: Quick Reaction: Blazers 79, Raptors 102

Twenty of the 24 points the Raptors scored in the first quarter came from either DeMar DeRozan or Ed Davis. The only additional analysis needed here is that facilitator of those points was Jose Calderon, who continued his mastery of passing off the high screens. If I’m the defense at this point I basically switch on Jose every time a screen is set for him because if you give him an inch of space to make a pass, he makes it on a dime. The other end of the pass, i.e., the guy who catches it, is so in tune with Calderon that what we’re seeing is clockwork. Here’s his assist breakdown: DeRozan 6, Davis 5 and Ross 2.

I should highlight that Ed Davis’ points aren’t coming from just pick ‘n roll dunks and put-backs, he’s got his re-engineered jumper functional from within 8 feet, and he made a few moves today where he glided in from the painted area for layups. The playing time, which is the most precious thing an NBA team can bestow on a player, is being made of excellent use by Davis who is playing to his strengths on every possession. I cannot point to a single questionable shot, nor can I doubt his effort throughout his 30 minutes.

Continuing with the theme, what constitutes a questionable shot for DeRozan is now changing.

That’s basically Rip Hamilton’s shot chart in his prime. Wesley Matthew’s either had severely underestimated DeRozan’s ability or just had no interest in this game because the space DeRozan was allowed, even after he had proven himself in the first quarter was obscene. If you get a chance to watch this game again, focus on DeRozan’s movement on the perimeter and notice just how keen he is to present himself as an option whenever the point guards are running things with the big men. I remember when Raptors fans used to hold their breath when he launched from anywhere outside 6 feet, now we’re looking forward to those. A sure sign of progress.

The Raptors were up by 7 at the end of the first which is about the time where Casey flirted with a smaller lineup which had Fields at the four. Matched up against slower guys like Joel Freeland and Luke Babbitt, he acquitted himself well by getting some dribble penetration while not being taken advantage of on defense, although not sure how much Freeland or Babbitt can punish anyone. Portland chose to match Casey instead of bringing on Aldridge which I felt was a mistake even though the guy he usually punishes, Bargnani, was out of the lineup. Aldridge ended up having a nice enough 14/10 line, but it wasn’t close to some of the performances he’s had in the past against us. Davis and Johnson playing well offensively and hurting him in the paint definitely had to affect his offense, and that’s something Bargnani just can’t seem to do with guys like Aldridge.

The Raptors were up by 16 at the half and Terrence Ross and Kyle Lowry’s vastly different contributions had much to do with it. Coming off the bench, Lowry calibrated his game to be more like what’s in style these days and that’s a pass-first point guard. He had nine assists and only two shot attempts in 22 minutes. That really does say it all. With Davis, Ross and DeRozan going, his offense wasn’t called upon, and I rest in the comfort of knowing that we have a player that has the firepower for when such is needed.

Lowry’s bench backcourt partner, Ross, had his three-point shooting game of the season: 6-9 3FG for 26 points, half of which game in the second quarter. His game is only improving as he gets acquainted with the longer NBA three-point line. You’ll notice that those ill-advised contested pull-ups that he was airballing earlier in the season aren’t even being taken, and that his shots are all being setup instead of being forced. Last night all but one of his shots was unassisted, and when you factor in how well the bigs are playing and how accurate the PG passing was, it directly translates to cleaner looks on the perimeter since the defense is sucked in worrying about happenings in the paint.

Portland never did make a game of this one and the Raptors cruise controlled their way to a win in the second half. This was the first game of a 6-game homestand with the Kings, Thunder, 76ers, Charlotte and Milwaukee to follow. There are no back-to-backs in this stretch and the only game that the Raptors won’t be favored to win is OKC (who lost last night at home to Brooklyn). It wouldn’t be unrealistic to suggest that the Raptors could be 16-21 at the end of this stretch, which would be a remarkable feat given the earlier struggles.

The elephant in the room is Andrea Bargnani and where he fits. I think the Raptors options here are pretty clear. His value on the market has to be pretty low and if the Raptors feel they aren’t getting anything of substance, they can simply slot him in a bench role where he could actually be useful as a C or a PF (those lines are blurry anyway and I don’t believe in the natural position BS). The Marc Stein report which suggested that Lowry would be part of a packaged deal doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not sure why the Raptors would trade Lowry when, technically speaking, he hasn’t done anything wrong and plays a position, which until this recent run, we’ve been weak at.

Related: Mitchell had restrictions coaching Bargnani

If the Raptors want to be a solid two-deep at every position, it makes sense for Lowry and his reasonable contract to stay. Here’s how I see things:

PG: Calderon, Lowry
SG: DeRozan, Ross
SF: Fields, Pietrus
PF: Davis, Johnson
C: Valanciunas, Bargnani

It’s not hard to see where improvements are needed, and point guard isn’t the position that screams for change.

  • cesco

    Another reason why BC is not ready to quit on Andrea is the fact that TRoss is slowly becoming that 3 points shooting elite winger ( who can also play defense ) that the team desperately needs and a trade for such a player may not be urgent anymore . Andrea ( as seen by his play last year ) is going to do what the coach ask him to do and as he returns , it will not be as the # 1 scoring option which he was asked to become after CB4 left . He will play more relaxed and may be start playing the best bball of his career .

    • cesco

       I should have said ” another reason why BC may not be ready to quit on Andrea “

      • Truthh

        No, you should have said “another reason why BC may not be ready to quit on Andrea is because he’s an incompetent dumbass lame duck GM who does not want to part with his loverboy. Only him and me (cesco) see something in this talentless scrub of a player, driven more by our Italian bias than anything else.”

    • Brain Colangelo

      Three points:

      1.  I don’t think Raptors fans want to see Andrea to play any more relaxed than we’ve become accustomed to over 7 years.

      2.  If Andrea is not a #1 or #2 option when he’s on the floor he can’t be on the floor for an NBA team.  He’s not a good enough spot up shooter to be a floor spacer (like Steve Novak), he doesn’t rebound and doesn’t play help defence.  His one strength is his varied offensive game (looking past his total suckage this season) and, unless he turns his glaring weaknesses into either strengths or at least non-weaknesses, he needs to be in a situation that caters to his game.

      3.  I think you may actually be Andrea Bargnani.

      • Truthkiller

        At least Steve Novak makes shots, Bargs is on  “to spread the floor” remember and is shooting below 40%. Brilliant idea by BC lets spread the floor with a mediocre shooter. 

        You are right, this guy should be gone… unless he’s willing to be that 20-22 minute instant offense jamal crawford type off the bench player but even then I’ll still have my doubts.

        • NyAlesund

           AB is the most talented guy of this team. Everyone assumes that he can’t play well for this team. I said this team, not the team we were seeing one month ago.

          Before complaining about him, can we let him to play with this team and prove he has an excellent resource for us? Because despite some bias opinions he is better than ED. Remember last year.

          Let him to play exactly as Lowry has done so far, changing his style. I understand the feeling about him but I want to see him playing again and after that evaluate the opportunity to trade him. But if he played consistenly on both side of the floor, is an addiction we need to clinch the po spot. He deserves the chance that everyone has had, and we are in position to leave him to go if the things don’t work properly.

          • cesco

            +1

            I just read what BC had to say about him and he will give Andrea every chance he can get to prove he can help this team and not be a detriment . Last two years , the team had a better record with Andrea playing than without him . If they are winning now who knows how much better they can be if Andrea come back like last year Andrea . If this does not happen then he should be traded .

            • Truthkiller

              The last 2 years really, I didn’t know 22-60 was a good record. 

            • truth be told

              You kept on championing how the Raps would lose without Andrea in the line-up last year (even though they lost with him in the line-up as well).

              Now they are winning without him and know the tune is how much better they will be with him. Why not continue to play without him or trade him for a player that can fit inot what you are currently doing?

              Time’s up on Andrea. Time to go. 

          • ghotte

            The problem with your points stem from: “Let him to play exactly as Lowry has done so far, changing his style.” 

            Does Bargnani even want to change his style? Based on his past – and not just on a 13 game sample from last year a lot of people keep bringing up – it appears unlikely. 

            This doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid contributor off the bench but the Jamal Crawford role might be the best fit for him.

            • CJT

              the same could have been said for KL.  He has never shown that he was capable of being the player he has been in the last 3 games and he seems to be doing pretty well.  The key is the accountability to the rest of the team and to the coach.  If AB can’t adapt F him and if he can good for us.  

          • RaptorFan

            I would argue that he’s not better than ED (as a PF) and the stats will back me up.  He should NOT be taking ED’s minutes…..

            Maybe in some special EURO world Andrea appears to be better, but in this world he’s the cancer of this team.

            We need him to REBOUND, play DEFENCE, play with HEART and DETERMINATION.  I dont understand why its soooooo hard for his fanboys to see. 

            This is what we need from Andrea!! – this is what we need to win!!  Why do you constantly make excuses for him?  What has he done to earn this type of respect???

            He was our #1 option for the last 3 years….. its time to move on.  He’s talented, but not the most on this team (how much double doubles does he have in his career – has has none this year with starters minutes)??

            He’s a bench player on a good team…..we’re finally looking like a good team, so its time to bench him until he proves his worth just like everyone else. 

            #Truth

            • NyAlesund

               “He’s a bench player on a good team”………are you kidding me???
              Are you suggesting that ED is better than him? Do you recognise talent?
              AB played against Montenegro and destroyed Pekovic with 31 points in his face, playing outstanding defence whilst the other teammates were unable to do nothing. In the last 4 years he didn’t play well in one game, against Germany. I don’t know why, but everytime he plays with the national team change his way to play. More active on both side of the floor and the media don’t understand why. Even his former coaches.

              I am sure that he will play really better in another team. And we will see this we will not be pleased.

              • pran

                here are some highlights of Ed  from yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-5XgVdDz4c  

                give ed a chance, instead of bringing up evidence from more than a year ago…

                • NyAlesund

                  I only said that ED is a good bench player that every team needs. He is not a legitimate starter in my opinion.

              • RaptorFan

                LMAO – Are you serious?? We’re talking about Euro Ball?? Do you realize there’s more talent in the NBA? Do you see how Kleiza plays like the European Kobe during the world championship and Olympics? What happens when he comes back to the NBA? He goes back to regular!

                I’m at the point where I don’t care if Andrea plays well on another team. I wish him all the best! BUT I’m guessing he will never play like Vince did after he left the RAPS…..

                You think Andrea is better than he is… Plain and simple.

                I watch Kobe, Lebron, Durant……Andrea is not even close to being top 40. Who cares if Andrea has a couple good games against the raps??? Who cares if he plays amazing in Europe? I live in Toronto man. Andrea is not our saviour. Gasol is a waayyy better player than Andrea and we don’t even want him. I respect all around players. Scoring is just one aspect of the game.

                At this point I would take ED Davis over Andrea (he’s a traditional PF who defends and rebounds). As you can see we have enough scoring on this team. PLUS Andrea vanishes in crunch time. DEFENCE matters the most right now for this team.

                I do hope Andrea finally buys in, but I’m not holding my breath.

                • NyAlesund

                   Explain me why your big fella sits on the bench in Amir’s favour down the stretch most of the time.

                  Yes, the EURO basket is not good. Sure. The next time I would say that the EUROS playing like Duke, Maryland, UCLA……Kansas……..

                • RaptorFan

                  Ed Davis is in his 3rd year and is earning Casey`s trust the right way. Explain to me why he`s starting instead of Amir….

                  Explain why we`ve won 8 out of 9 or 10 games with Ed starting…

                  Explain why the majority of fans and the media in Toronto want your hero (Andrea) traded…

                  Are we all wrong and you and 3 other fanboys right??

                  My friend – The truth isn`t hard to accept if you embrace it!

                • RaptorFan

                  http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2013/01/04/andrea_bargnani_toronto_raptors_liston/

                  further proof that you are biased…..the numbers back up what i’ve been saying

          • truth be told

            “AB is the most talented guy of this team.”

            Says who? lol

            The proof is in the pudding and he hasn’t proven anything in this league other than he is a volume shooter that can sometimes get hot. Thats it, nothing special.

            • KJ-B

              What I really want to know: Since when does the GM determine the playing time over the rotation choices, successful one at that, of the Head Coach…

              Ultimately, BryCo’s obsession with this guy will end both their careers way before their time!

            • NyAlesund

               Yes bro. Listen to Mitchell if you don’t believe me.

              • RaptorFan

                p.s.

                Andrea got Mitchell fired….. the team was 8 and 9 at the time Mitchell was let go.  All because the GM thought Mitchell was too “Hard” on mr. primo pasta.

                SMH

                If you listened to Mitchell you would hear that he said (i’m paraphrasing) “Andrea has the talent, but he doesn’t think Andrea really wants to be the best”

                NyAlesund,

                Andrea doesn’t deserve you right now.  He doesnt deserve any of us sticking up for him anymore.  He needs to prove it for himself.  He’s the one taking the shots and playing on the court.

                • p00ka

                  Not defending AB at all, but since Sam can’t seem to get a job in the NBA, ya think the fault, regarding getting canned, may be on himself? Isn’t it always the guys that can’t get another job that whine and point fingers?

                • RaptorFan

                  check this out p00ka….. further proof to what many of us has been saying.

                  http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2013/01/04/andrea_bargnani_toronto_raptors_liston/

                • p00ka

                  meh, get a life outside trying to prove your opinion of AB.

      • cesco

        The only thing Andrea and I have in common is that if you add up his bank account and mine , we are both millionaires . If he is traded , I doubt he will keep posting here like I will .

        • Roarque

          AB may respond well to this situation. Why not try him out in the roles DC has for him now that ED has claimed the starting PF job? The fact is AB CAN defend and CAN rebound. In the past he has not perceived these jobs to be his responsibility. Lost in translation perhaps?

          BTW, it was interesting to watch a good team like Portland have to deal with a hungry home team on a back to back. I have more sympathy for the Raptors and what they dealt with for the first twenty games this season. Remember that the Raps kept MOST games close in that stretch – Portland just showed up.

          • grizzly73

            AB can rebound? Look at his numbers! You play 30 minutes and you get 5 rebounds per just by standing there!

          • channel 511

            Scanned the hundred-plus comments here and wondered … what’ll everyone talk about if we DO trade Bargnani? Probably wouldn’t have another hundred-plus comment post until AB had a big game somewhere else and cesco showed up to rub it in everyone’s faces. Lol. 

      • NyAlesund

         So, you are describing him like the worst NBA player………….

        • RaptorFan

          If he wasnt Andrea Bargnani from Italy  – would you honestly care about this guy??  Check his stats….he’s inefficent, doesnt rebound, doesnt pass, doesnt help his team on defence.

          Be honest –  remove your biases and you wouldnt give a shit about a player of Andrea’s calibre.  Gallanari is a better player at this point.

          Gallanari averages more rebounds, more assists, shoots better (barely) and is a legit starter and 3 years younger!  I suggest you follow him if you need to follow an italian

          • p00ka

            I laugh every time I see someone give a shout out to Gallinari over AB. Their stats are so comparable, that you’d have a hard time finding a closer match for either in the entire league. Career averages:

            AB :   .438 FG%, .362 3P%, .824 FT%, 15.5 PTs, 4.9 RBs, 1.3 ASTs

            Gallo: .416 FG%, .365 3P%, .847 FT%, 14.2 PTs, 4.6 RBs, 1.8 ASTs

            So where do you see better shooting and more rebounds? I see less, and that surely makes up for .5 ASTs, but I suppose you’re going to use the sample of Gallo’s recent resurgence as “at this point” rather than the 5/7 years of their careers.

            Their are plenty of other players in the league to use as illustrating AB’s poor production, but Gallinari isn’t a good one, and anybody pining for Gallinari over AB isn’t in touch with reality.

            • RaptorFan

              because their basically the same right??  Gallinari is 3 years younger…… and has better numbers THIS year.  4.9 rebounds from someone who used to play Center???  Gallinari was never a Center. 

              Anywho – check this out – finally some stats to back up what we’ve been saying all along.

              http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2013/01/04/andrea_bargnani_toronto_raptors_liston/

              • p00ka

                lol, you must be jacking off in mommy’s panties over and over while posting that link over and over and over.

                In any case, you’re the one that used Gallinari as an example of what you feel is better than AB, without speaking of positions that they’ve played in. Now, if you want to get into differentiating based on this or that detail, would you care to examine the detailed differences that your linked analysis doesn’t account for? Stats, pfffffffft. When people don’t understand the game well enough, they use stats to support their opinions, which can be used to present damn near any opinion. Some day you may learn that lesson.

    • Jamshid

      You maybe correct and I agree that AB will play better if he play with Jose and if he is not the focal point of the offence. I also think that AB will play better if he comes off the bench. He was never a franchise player, he is not even a 2nd best player in the great team. 
      All that being said, if BC does not trade him, he will NOT get an extension. It is that simple. Fans are against AB and now media wants him out of the door as well.
      However, I still can not see BC being able to move AB’s contract at this time unless he packages it with guys like Lowry, Ross or Ed Davis.

      • cesco

         If believe the minimum BC was asked to accomplish this year is for the team to fight for a playoff spot ( they are getting there in spite of the disaster of the first 20 games ) and the continuous development of the young players ( they are all improving ) . So trading Andrea is not essential anymore . It would be different if the team kept losing when the schedule became easier . Deep down the fans are only interested to see the team play better with or without Andrea . The media are always in search of something sensational to say .

        • RaptorFan

          check out this article from Liston……How do you feel about your hero now??

          http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2013/01/04/andrea_bargnani_toronto_raptors_liston/

          • p00ka

            lol, obsessed little bugger. What is this the 5th time you’ve linked to this piece so far in these coments?. LOL, I’m betting many more to come. Psssssssssssst, there’s more to talk about than a guy who’s been out for 4 weeks, and likely out for another 4 weeks. If you don’t have anything else basketball related to focus on, read a book and expand the mind.

    • c_bcm

      I can’t help but agree with some of this. I like Arse’s suggestion of bringing him off the bench, A’la Mehmut Okur. There could still be a place for Bargs on this team if he embraces a role coming off of the bench. 

      Given how low his stock has fallen, its not the time to trade him.

    • truth be told

      He can’t do anything else besides pretending to be a #1 scoring option

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      The team is much better (we really need his spacing of the floor) without his spoiled lethargic ass taking 20 shots per game while doing little else but hover between the 3pt line and ft line 90% of the time he’s on the court- how many NBA starting PFs are 6th on their own team in rebounds per game?
       
      I can recall AB hitting the floor for a loose ball maybe 3 times during his 7 season Raptors career and two times he fell over other players fighting for the ball while he was trying to get out of their way……smh

      Andrea is a lockerroom cancer he divides the team- ask Mo Pete who had to whip AB’s ass as a rookie then saw his playing time dwindle and was soon gone from the TDot as is anyone who challenges AB is any way, shape or fashion (why does BC seemingly bring in 7-8 new players every season) ie Casey asked AB for 2 rebounds per Q last season- this season it’s  ‘just box out’.

      BC keeps on lowering the reality bar for AB until it’s so low he can’t help to do anything but jump over said expectation.

      BC isn’t (in my mind) going to trade AB this season (he will try to make AB fit or make those around him fit AB especially if Raptors keep on playing good) I remember the ‘enigma of enigma’ post season presser speech and thought AB’s time might be up back then-  I guarantee you AB will most likely come back and start once healthy (may come off bench 1st couple of games to work his way back) as the Raptors winning streak/ways may be a thing of the past by then- time will tell.

      But then again BC didn’t really want to draft TRoss and basically slammed him during an on air interview during a Raptors road game broadcast.

      Andrea Bargnani aka King Bargs aka The Pope aka Golden Child aka Spoiled Rotten Brat aka The Italian Lockerroom Cancer aka Pasta! aka Lazy Mofo’er aka Half Ass aka Poot Butt aka 13 Games aka Kid Caliper

      Rebounding and defense is for peasants- come here Ed, Amir, Val, Acy & Aaron (King Bargs voice) 

      What I do on offense is more complicated than rebounding or defense (Bargnani voice)

      We are the worst team in the NBA. I am the team’s best player. (Bargnani voice)

      BC (pr spin on AB’s words)- I didn’t say that (Bargnani voice). Reporter- it’s all recorded, buddy.lmfao

      ‘He’s (AB) our guy come hell or highwater’- DCasey

      BC farts. Casey says- excuse me….

      • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Also, no one is allowed to yell at nor challenge AB as that would be outright mean and might hurt the Big Pasta’s feelings..

        BC has sacrificed Raptors basketball all for AB post Sam & CB….wow.

        Media =’s Medium =’s Hypnotizing Minds

        • KJ-B

          Can’t blame BryCo–he’s in love!!!!

          Their cancerous relationship is about to be surgically removed–if Colangelo thinks MLSE is gonna mess up this positive press when the LEAFS are not playing by bowing to him and not letting Casey coach AND WIN, he really doesn’t know MLSE/Toronto…

          One thing I know about Leafs management is that it’s a racket–profits outrank winning…The Raps are ALL they got right now–I think this Fatal Attraction of BryCo is about to kill both their careers…sooner than later!

        • cesco

          You may have better luck if you change your name to “BCBargnaniJoseGots2Stay ” , then a miracle may happen .

      • grizzly73

        Your post is the most accurate on AB!

      • NyAlesund

         “We are the worst team in the NBA. I am the team’s best player. (Bargnani voice)”

        Do you understand the meaning of this sentences? He said the truth, because they really were playing as the worst team in the NBA with him the best player. Not a compliment for his teammates and expecially for himself.

  • Daniel

    I am mightily impressed by the confidence of our kids, DD, Ed and Ross. I think beside Jose, Anderson and Pietrus had a huge stabilizing influence especially on the defensive end. I have to say I’m also impressed by how Lowry does his best to blend in with the new team philosophy. This team is just a pleasure to watch. After 2 years, I finally bought tickets to Oklahoma game on Sunday. I still don’t like Colangelo however I love how we play and I want to show my appreciation. Also I hate Oklahoma’s style of play so it will be interesting to watch two opposite styles: team ball against individual ball. Of course, Oklahoma has very talented players so their style is efficient for them.

    • Roarque

      Consider yourself fortunate to be able to chose to go. From where I sit on Vancouver Island my choices for games to see include a five hour drive to Portland to watch a beating that started this current run. Not money or time well spent.

    • unknown guest

      Oklahoma is fun to watch. If/when Westbrook finally gets it, they will become (if not already) perennial finals challengers.

      • mountio

        they are already .. and will be for years to come. KD and RB just too good. Both top 5ish in the league. RB gets it just fine .. he has some negatives yes .. but he plays his ass off on D, hustles like crazy and is out of the gym explosive. That all makes up for his less than perfect decision making at times.. 

        • unknown guest

          “That all makes up for his less than perfect decision making at times.. ” 

          no sir it doesn’t. KD is the man on that team. When RB gets it through his skull, then, only then will they hoist up a trophy.
          You can replace RB with Jose Calderon and that team will challenge for a title.

          • mountio

            WRONG!!!!! 
            Dont get me wrong .. KD is the MAN .. 100% agree there. But through JC or other random PG is there and that team is materially worse. Still playoff team, ya .. but not championship calibre. RW (my bad .. I used RB before) is special and takes the team to the next level .. just the way he is. His game (along with Durants) will continue to evolve and improve and this team will be winning championships soon (if not this year). Throw in their future with KD, RW and SI locked in and Lamb, our pick this year etc etc and the franchise is so enviable is sickening .. 

            • unknown guest

              Then you and I will just have to agree to disagree.
               I DO agree that they will become the cream of the NBA crop, and can/will eclipse Miami one day.Speaking of Miami, they took that proverbial next step when Dwade took a back seat to LBJ.

              How is this, I am willing to bet that OKC will not win a championship and might very well trade RWB, IF he doesn’t play within the team.

              If JC jacked up as many shots as RWB he’d be a top 5 scorer. With ALL THE WEAPONS on that team, and your PG shoots MORE than the 2nd best player in the league? smfh

  • Ppellico

    C: Valanciunas, Bargnani

    this is one of the most ineffective defensive center line ups I have ever seen.
    you really consider that a defensible playoff 2 centers?
    Really?
    OMG!
    Strikes fear into the hearts of the opposition.

    • Sam Holako

      Arse didn’t say that; all he was doing was recommending a lineup that could potentially maximize this teams potential.

    • Roarque

      Pp

      Or Amir and Jonas?  Use your imagination.

      Jonas should be as impressive as TRoss and he will be by May. The Raps have recruited well as of late.

      • 2damkule

        PeePee’s imagination is limited to imagining that aaron gray is worthy of minutes in an NBA game.  his only ‘contribution’ to this site is bitching and moaning when anyone dares to slight gray.  in this case, arse didn’t include him in his proposed big depth chart.

        btw, PeePee…did you watch him last night?  i mean, holy sweet fuck.  i saw him make one singular positive play (a nice dish), but otherwise, he was a bag of hammers out there.

        • ghotte

          Also: How can anyone think a Bargs / JV center combo sucks? They might not be world beaters but there are worse combos out there. 

          Again, it’s about maximizing their play (and in the case of Bargnani, getting him to TRY to rebound, box out and share the ball – things he’s generally allergic to.)

      • unknown guest

        Sir, that is Mr. Ppellico. The answer he is looking for is Aaron Gray, then maybe Jonas at center. Thank you /

    • Konanas

      You can just change Bargnani with Amir and have this:
      PF: Davis, Bargnani
      C: Valanciunas, Amir

      That center depth chart is better than current Gray/Amir with whom Raptors are winning.

  • Canadian Paul

    How long before we see a DeRozan-Ross starting wing combo? They are so fun to watch.

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      TRoss has earned a starting spot unlike Val who was given a starting spot despite his defensive flaws….

      TRoss > Fields, Pietrus, AA, Kleiza

  • anonymous

    95-96 Bulls won 72 games, not 96-97. I only know this because the Raptors beat them in 95-96.

    • arsenalist

      Correct. Fixed.

      • KJ-B

        UHMM dude, where the heck is ALAN ANDERSON??? The dude that spark plugged the turn around–he’s like Casey’s anti-Bargnani poster boy!? 

        No way, he doesn’t stick barring injury–Petrius is on a slippery slope though that should leave sitting next to -7 + Kleiza…de ol’ breakout only in emergency type players…smh

  • Jamshid

    “If the Raptors want to be a solid two-deep at every position, it makes sense for Lowry and his reasonable contract to stay.”
    Maybe this is the problem. Looking at this line up and the money these guys are making ( Amir, DD, Fileds, Kleiza) and not having our 1st round pick and … how are we going to fix our problem in the SF position ?

    Maybe, BC think that by moving AB and Lowry, he can have the flexibility later to go after the SF and it is easier to find a back up PG and Centre than a starting SF. 

    • CJT

      Doesn’t really seen to be much of a problem with the style of play lately does it? 

      • Jamshid

        Yes it does. Fans are getting too excited here once again. We are better team and even when we were losing , I said here that we are better than our records. But to take the next step and become a team that matters or at least compete for 5-6th seed in the east, you need to fix your SF position !! You can not have a hole like that in such a spot. 

        • CJT

          I like what AA and Fields have given during the last 10 games.  They are playing very solid D and are forcing defences to guard them on O.  What more do you need from that spot?  This team thrives with guys that know their role and play to the strength of the team.  What happens when a SF comes in needing 20 touches a game?  We get the Kyle Lowry effect.  Guys stop playing for ball hogs.  Why do you think they are all having so much fun right now?  Because everyone is involved on both ends of the floor.  Everyone has a chance to score the ball.  That is fun ball.

          • Jamshid

            I like what I am getting from AA for 800 K a year as a back up. Fileds and his contract and his production are different story which I am not going to get into. 
            To win and matter, you need better production from your SF position. It can not be limited to defence and hustle unless you have super stars like Durant and Kobe and Melo who can score 30 point on any nights.
            Yes, we can keep guys like AA, Kleiza, Fields, M.P and … for our SF position and get some defence, little rebounds and win games here and there  but we can never compete with big guys unless we address that position with real, starting caliber NBA SF.

            • p00ka

              How do you define “real, starting caliber NBA SF”? Spurs won 3 championships in 5 years with Bruce Bowen as the starting SF.

              For interest’s sake, and to display something the stat freaks can relate to, Bowen’s career averages are 6.1 Pts, 2.8 RBs, 1.2 ASTs, 0.8 STLs, 0.4 BLKs, .409 FG%. Note: they haven’t sniffed the finals since Bowen retired.

              So what exactly is this elusive SF made of that you feel is needed to play with the big boys, and why does your analysis say Fields can’t be it?

              • Jamshid

                Bowen was a lock down defender. Defensive Player of the year !! That is a Starting Caliber NBA SF especially when you have a PG, SG and PF who can dominate games offensively.
                Again, lets not fell victim to numbers without looking at the whole picture and who are the other players in the team and …

                • p00ka

                  Doh, really? Exactly my point. A “real, starting caliber NBA SF” can come in many flavours, depending on the rest of the TEAM and the fit.

                  Now again, to quote myself on something you didn’t answer:
                  “So what exactly is this elusive SF made of that you feel is needed to
                  play with the big boys, and why does your analysis say Fields can’t be
                  it?”

                • Jamshid

                  I just explained to you. Read it again and you will get it. Not only I explained it to you but also Daniel did as well. Let me try again with respect to Fields:
                  Fileds is not a lock down defender. He is not an elite rebounder. He is not an elite scorer. He is not a great passer. He is great shooter. He is NOT a …. He is an average or below average SF in many areas that were described above. This is WHY the whole NBA and its analyst  laughed at Raptors for Handing him 6.25 million a year. To me, Fields is a guy who should get paied about 3.5-4 million a year and be the 9-10th guy off the bench. Now, if he is a starting Caliber SF in your opinion, then so be it :) 

                • CJT

                  disagree with you here.  He had 8 rebounds last night mostly outworking and out hustling PF’s.  I think is a great rebounder.  He is a good passer, and a good defender.

                • Jamshid

                  Then it is great. You got your starting SF of the future that is going to help your team to compete. But I want more than just handful of games to evaluate a guy like Fields. For instance, I look at the past 2 season to make a judgement on his game.

                • p00ka

                  You haven’t explained anything other than recite what you read on the internet.

              • Daniel

                Bruce Bowen, the same as a Rodman (with Detroit) or Cooper before them (and today’s Sefolosha to an extent) were lock-down defenders against the elite opposing wing. They represented a crucial complementary skillset in the presence of elite backcourt scorers (Parker and Manu for teh Spurs). We don’t have an elite scorer. We need an elite wing as a secondary playmaker with a 3-point shot and competent defense that will take us to the next level.

                • p00ka

                  “We don’t have an elite scorer”

                  You don’t think DD is quickly getting there?

                  “We need an elite wing as a secondary playmaker with a 3-point shot and competent defense that will take us to the next level.”

                  T Ross anyone?

                  And see above regarding my question that who says Fields can’t be that Bowen type defender who can be a very complimentary piece.

                  People just keep chanting the same shit and fail to look at the potential we already have, and beginning to show. Being a fan isn’t just whining about what you don’t have.

                • CJT

                  Not only this, but isn’t it clear that we are a better team when we spread the points around?  That is why I think we can do with a good player vs. a great player.  He will eat up the shot attempts for others.  I don’t think the raps offense has ever looked better than it has over teh last couple of games.  Scoring basically at will with good ball movement.  You just don’t need the guy who dominates if you can play this way.  It is time to start thinking differently about the traditional roles.

                • p00ka

                  ya, there’s no single formula for building a winning team, but the “experts” we find on here think they have it all figured out.

                • Daniel

                  As usual among fans, you are taking your wish as reality. It is too early to say DD and Ross will be elite wings. DD never had a PER over 15 and he’s been a poor defender whereas Ross is a rookie.

                • p00ka

                  No, I take no “wish” as reality. My involvement in this thread, and your joining in, began with the Jamshit whine “we can never compete with big guys unless we address that position with real, starting caliber NBA SF.”  My points are to attempt to illustrate my opinion that this is a somewhat ill-timed whine, considering the current play of DD, Ross, and Fields.

                  If one wishes to whine when the team is doing so well, perhaps you can help say what could have been done this past year that would have us with better options at SF than what our young group of wings are showing right now, and on what basis you support the concept that the Raps haven’t addressed the SF weakness, considering we were never talking about the team being contenders this year, but ALL were speaking of the need to build with youth. Why the fk be yapping about “oh, but they haven’t proven anything yet, and we need a starting caliber SF” at this point? Too many fkn dumbass, whiney little bitches around here, who could use taking a moment or two to enjoy the “reality” right now.

          • kuzzybear

            Not fun ball. REAL BB !!! The way the game was meant to be played. Defense, rebound , share the ball, attack the rim.

    • what the

      Wiggins is coming don’t worry.

      • 2damkule

        ah, to dream…

        what are the odds that canadians go first overall in the next two drafts?

    • voy

      the problem is if you trade kl, how long do you expect jose to play at this level, 1, 2 more years at best (and thats if you re-sign him to a reasonable contract)?  then you are stuck looking for another starting pg. 

      • Jamshid

        You have to look for another PG anyways even if you have Lowry because he will be FA in 2 years. Then you have to ask yourself, how much you want to pay him and … I know this is not an idealist situation but I just don’t see anyone wanting AB’s contract after what happened this season and the hate that he got from the media and the fans here.

        • CJT

          Do you believe that other teams’ Management gives a crap about what the “fans” of another franchise think about their players?  Rudy Gay has been consistently run out of town by their fans and we salivate for him.  Think about it.

          • p00ka

            Some here are delusional enough to think that anybody outside of regulars actually come here and pay attention to what’s going on here.

            Example of how delusional this is: Both Amir and DD have elected very recently to applaud the fans for their support through the tough season start. Does anyone think they pay the least attention to what goes on here? LMFAO

          • Jamshid

            So you don’t think that the other GMs read what media says about a certain player !! You don’t think that AB’s value is at its lowest point right now !!
            Turn on the NBA TV and look what everyone of those Basketball experts are saying about AB, his trade values and how they think because of the fans and the toxic environment in T.O. right now, BC is forced to trade AB.

            • CJT

              Media reporters are paid to stir up crap.  They opinions often reflect the mail that they get and the ones who don’t reflect those opinions are attacked by the “fans”.  I would hope that anyone in charge of running a team wouldn’t pay any interest to what is reported by the media.  I would also assume that they have more sophisticated ways of garnering information than that.  Just look at Eric Koreen or whatever his name is.  Do you think he has ever played a sport?  His job is to criticize those that have the talent he does not. 

              • p00ka

                bingo!

              • Daniel

                This paragraph should be posted as the epitaph to all the mainstream media. Well done,sir!

              • Jamshid

                This is your opinion and I respect that. However I am going to remind you of what you said here at the end of the season:
                You are telling me that Fields at 6.25 per year is a good contract and he is a starting Caliber SF in this league who Raptors can count on and be competitive with him in future? 
                I just want to be clear on it.

                • Roarque

                  LF is making 5 Million this year,

                • CJT

                  No, what I said is that with the style of play that we have employed, i.e. sharing the ball, assists, hard nose D, that maybe the idea of a superstar SF isn’t as important as it was before we started playing this way.  I didn’t say LF was the answer, only that he has shown that he can rebound, pass and play D.  I am excited to see where this style takes us and evaluate after we see what we can be.

  • Pbjake

    Id take AA over Pietrus in the rotation

  • Neaguda

    Finally someone agrees with taking AB off the bench. He’s useful as a quick spark plug and 10 pts/game. MUCH better than trading for nothing or wasting the amnesty. I doubt his feelings will be hurt since he lacks human emotion and BC will get something with that #1 pick. 

    • 2damkule

      ‘finally?’  for real?  like it hasn’t been advocated LOUDLY by many for years.  ah, but i guess those were ‘just bloggers,’ or stupid commenters.

    • what the

      is he gonna give back some of the money?

      • CJT

        Why?  If he is the so called “Franchise Player” that you guys have been calling him for the past few years, he is a steal at 11m.  Most Franchise players get much more.  

        • KJ-B

          In the new CBA this ‘so called “Franchise Player” ‘ has an unmovable contract, which is why Lowry’s name is being thrown around in that rumour.  DeRozan’s making 9 mil which is right for a 23 yr old on the rise but for a guy that’s been viewed as being disconnected + dysfunctional + a defensive liability, there is no GM stupid enough to trade for his “potential”…

          The only potential folks see with him now is a “potential” disaster at 11+ million…Amnesty might be the cruel wake up call he might need to work on his body, mind and soul–the game’s ALWAYS been there for -7 but the drive to be the best has not!

          • CJT

            I agree that he has not demonstrated the desire to get better and that is a big red flag.  But I don’t believe that any contract is untradable.  Look at Hedo, if BC could move him after the crap that he pulled here, anything is possible.  I am prepared to wait and see what he can bring to the bench role and if it is still shit, then they have to do what they have to do.

  • cb

    it’s quite obvious that bargnani has been a detriment to the team under three coaches now. addition by subtraction where he is concerned, as any of us that understand hoops have been saying for a couple years now.

    pietrus and gray shoudln’t be getting any burn at all unless it’s garbage time; peitrus is passable on defense but it’s painful watching him chuck. gray is garbage but to be honest i’d rather have him on teh roster than bargs. better for chemistry and he knows his role. bargs still doesn’t have a place in this system.

    disturbed a bit by casey’s rotations; and the defense that is being lauded here to me looked more like fortuitous breaks in the early going and then resignation by Portland as the game stretched on. plus, the shooting % the raps had going isn’t something to get too excited about as it was obviously an outlier performance. raps are still small; they had little offensive rebounding and if their jumpers (which they took a lot of) aren’t falling it could be ugly.

    but fun to see the team workign together better. again, quite obviously bargs has been a huge suck. 

  • Paul

    how have Pietrus over AA?? That’s not how my depth chart looks

  • mountio

    Not to nitpick .. but it drive me crazy how TR is considering the “2nd SG” (in your future lineup for example) .. when he should clearly be considered the 2nd wing, starting alongside DD where DD plays SF (imo right now, but sure as hell in the future). 
    Its the same closed minded thinking that makes casey always wait until DD comes out to sub T Ross in. Insanity. He finally put t ross in ahead of AA last night in the 2nd half when MP went out .. all TR had to do was go 4/5 from 3 or something like that in the first half to earn that “right”!!
    This guy is the real deal .. and the first step is to stop thinking about him as DD’s backup .. cause he wont be that for long (in fact, the too are perfect compliments  with T Ross’s range, DDs newfound ability to drive the lane (and they are dynamite in transition together). 
    ANyways .. theres my rant .. I am just sick of swearing while MP clangs another one or AA (2/9 last night .. the “silent chucker” on the team who ppl think is a good shooter, but shoots 35% for the year!) takes another bad shot when TR should be out there. 
    Its the best way to win now .. and its for sure the best way to win in the future

  • mike, prague

     I would definitely switch MP with AA. Wouldn’t you too?

    • mountio

      id switch MP with any of (in order) TR, LF, AA in a heartbeat. MP is not good and should be at the end of the bench 

      • Hound

        Although I don’t totally disagree. We are winning with this rotation and I wouldn’t mess with it right now. As LF get back in the swing of things, I can see him starting, but I like AA coming off the bench.

  • grizzly73

    AB is worth a mid to late first rounder from a playoff team looking for an extra scoring option. His contract will probably put a nix on that. If we get a big contract and inappropriate player in return, we are no better off.

    It won’t happen until the deadline when teams feel pressure to make a move. Until then we will have to play him ( hopefully from the bench) to assess where he is at, where he can best be used and to let other teams have a look.Looks like we may be stuck with his pouty expressionless self coming off the bench messing with team chemistry.Maybe AB will read the writing and try to fit in by sharing the ball; as far as rebounding – forget itWithout him we have a solid young group that wants to play as team and is actually worth watching.

    If AB comes back and we start losing, I’m switching to the golf channel.

    • FAQ

      If, upon his return, AB reverts to his old style of play or can’t adjust to the new fast  paced style of play, he will be benched… just as he is now with his injury.

      BC will not be able to override Casey’s new style of play by forcing him to play AB because Casey is producing wins and holds the hammer over BC.  Love it…!!!

      • 2damkule

        to ‘revert’ to his old style of play, wouldn’t he have had to exhibit some other style of play?

        are they really playing at a fast pace?  they’re playing better D, forcing more turnovers, forcing more bad shots (and – gasp! – rebounding the ball), which is causing more break opportunities, but i don’t see them really looking to increase the pace or shoot any earlier in the clock in half-court sets…nor do i see them abandoning defensive princicples to speed up the game/pace. 

  • ad

    SF continues to be a huge black hole. I must admit, im not a derozan fan and HATED the extension but he deserves credit for proving people like me wrong (so far). Davis has impressed me as well. I didnt think he was that skilled. However, those guys still need to able to make an impact when their shots arent falling which derozan has failed miserably at over the years. So im still somewhat skeptical. Hope it continues though. Its fun to watch.

    • FAQ

      The ultimate test for Demar will be in the 4th quarter when the team is losing and he takes control like Lebron and even vince, and leads the TRaps to a win.

      Actually what the recent wins show is that Teamwork Synergy is successful.  It’s like 0.9+0.9=2.0.  The TRaps are filled with 0.9 players, playing together and winning.  Pass-first PGs and lots of movement and effort on offense and defense produces entertaining and winning b-ball!!!

      I want to see how the TRaps handle top teams now….!

      • CJT

        OR, will the test be when we realize that we will win those games when we stop thinking about it in terms of one player taking over and continue to trust in the team concept.  We don’t have a LeBron or Kobe, so why pretend that we do.  

  • j bean

    This team is now playing like an improved version of last year’s team that played tough defense but was inconsistent at the other end. From last year Jose, Davis, DeRozan and Johnson are all playing better on a consistent basis. Add to that Lowry, TRoss and Fields, guys who can all play at both ends. Now you have a team that can cause problems with their style of play that is both hard to defend against and tough to score on. They have JV who is coming back in 3-4 weeks, AA who has earned playing time and Gray for comic relief. They also have the element of surprise going for them as on paper they have lots of weaknesses individually. They definitely are burning anyone who takes them lightly. 
    The old expression “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” applies to this lineup. 8 of 9 is impressive and has them believing in a team first philosophy that says we win and lose as a team. Period! I hope they don’t screw it up by bringing in someone who isn’t obviously and substantially better than the guy they are replacing.

    • Jamshid

      Do they have a franchise player ?
      Do they have an ALL STAR caliber player ?
      Do they have a player that can be an ALL-STAR in 2-3 years ?

      Do they have any player that can be 2nd best offensive weapon on a championship team ?

      Do they have a player who is lock down defender?

      Do they have any player who is a top 15 player on NBA right now ? How about top 20 ?

      Do they have a player who can make the DEFENSIVE ALL STAR Team 1 or 2 ?

      Right now, this team has bunch of role players ( some over paid ) Who still need a major STAR or STARS to become relevant in this league.

      • 2damkule

        well, the pessimistic answer is either ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ or ‘not yet’ to all of your questions.

        but looking optimisitically, i think there are definitely players who develop into the type of guys you’re looking for (allstar calibre types, lock-down defender types, top-15 – 20 types, etc).

        IMO, there are players who – in a perfect situation, and with proper developement – could be allstar CALIBRE players (not that they’d necessarily be named as such).

        i agree with your last point, but getting STARS has been a well-documented issue with this franchise…it’s either through the draft, or via trade, since FAs who are actual stars would only consider signing with TO if they were on the precipice of being a legit, championship contending team, were that FA to sign with them. 

        so, if you’re on the treadmill of mediocrity (where they appear to be headed back up to…YAY!), and are looking at so-so draft positioning over the next couple of years (when they even have a pick), to acquire a star via trade, you need to either give back great young players on good (read: rookie) contracts who haven’t yet blossomed into ‘stars’ (but who appear to be on that track, like JV), established solid vets on good deals who contribute (say, lowry), or good players with a high but expiring contract (jose).  but in reality, what are they getting back for any of those players, even if they were inclined to deal them?  mostly room…roster room, cap room…but they aren’t really any better off. 

        although i’ve advocated moving bargs to the bench vs trading him (or at least doing so until it’s determined that it doesn’t matter), if they can get a good pick &/or a good young player/prospect in return (if it fills a need, even better), then you do it (obviously, taking back a bad contract isn’t ideal.  the trade probably won’t look good, but the reality is, if bargs can’t help this team get better, then having him merely delays the development of others.  if he’s traded, it still gives the raps the amnesty to use on kleiza.

        • Jamshid

          I agree with every point that you made especially about the trades and FA signing.

        • 247365

          I agree with you what you said about moving Barg’s to the bench.    I know people want to get rid of him but honestly we have him for 3 years, I rather him rot on our bench then killing us later.  

        • sleepz

          Imho the Raps need to be gearing up for the 2014 draft.

          Make moves now and in the offseason with the purpose of trying to get as many picks for that draft as possible.

          If that means moving some of the pieces they currently have (I would be reluctant with JV but would do it if the deal was right) now, it should be done. This is why I am hoping for a new GM in the off-season (and no I don’t consider Stepanaski a new GM as he will continue the Colangelo era) to come in and build the team from the bottom up.

          They are headed to mediocrity on the current path. It might be first round or maybe even 2nd round maximum ceiling but it’s definitely not a contender or even a team that we can expect consistent goodness from (45-52 wins each year) and quite frankly I’ve seen enough of those kind of teams through Colangelo’s reign in TO.

          2014 has enough impact players (Wiggins is the prize but Parker and others can potentially change NBA franchises) to find a pillar you can truly start to build with.

          • Matt52

             If the Raps can’t get picks, then I’d also be willing to take on horrible contracts for the right to swap picks.  Hit up Charlotte (Thomas), Phoenix (Beasley), Sacramento (Salmons), and Detroit (Charlie V).

            • sleepz

              I agree with that philosophy as well. As long as they are accumulating more ping pong balls for 2014 draft, I am cool with it.

        • Matt52

           I am a huge fan of taking on horrible contracts with picks coming with for 2 reasons:

          1) your points on star talent coming to Toronto,
          2) those contracts will be expiring right when the super luxury tax is in full bloom. Hopefully those contracts can be flipped for stars on mediocre to poor teams.  **Fingers crossed**

          • Daniel

            Why don’t you tell MLSE to give you another assignment? You made a fool of yourself this summer and you keep making a fool of yourself whenever you write something. I see red whenever I see your name because I always hated pompous idiots like you who know nothing about a topic however they can’t stop issuing “truths” about it.

            • Matt52

              Now that Casey is back to coaching to his strengths, I actually feel pretty good about the Raptors.  Best of the worst and worst of the mediocre is certainly better than near worst of the worst, no?

              As for Bargnani and Colangelo, well, at some point potential and promises are not enough.  I’d rather admit to being wrong than continue voicing an opinion that has been proven to be clearly wrong.

              I hope the transference of your aggression on to an anonymous internet poster gives your relief from the pompous idiots like me in your daily life.

              • CJT

                Nice to see you crawling your way back off the ledge.  Always look forward to your insights.

  • FAQ

    Forget the scoring, that’s for the t.h.f.’s to salivate.  What was outstanding last night was the PG play by the Great Jose & Kyle.  Did Casey tell them “no shooting, only passing” … or else I’ll cut off your manhoods?!  It’s obvious the PG play was pre-planned… because Jose usually takes lots of shots in the first quarter, and Kyle just takes lots of shots!

    If Bargs wants to get traded by the February deadline, he will make a max Bosh-like effort on his return…. and if he wants to stay with the Raptors, he will have to bust his arse and join the new system.  If his shooting right arm elbow isn’t healing properly and he has lost his shooting touch, he’s stuck here and BC will have to amnesty him this summer.  Sad…

    • Daniel

      The PG play was not pre-determined in the game plan. The Blazers blitzed Jose in the first Quarter until they realized Jose passed the ball so we played 4-on-3 from 18 feet in. They also took away the middle of the floor so we started playing side PnR and big-to-big passing game. The Blazers’ game plan was to stop Jose which we counter-acted with ball movement and player movement especially at the elbow area. When the Blazers adjusted it was too late because Demar and Ed were already in a great rythm. We played smart ball by taking what the defense gave us. When Lowry got into the game the Blazers bait him into shooting threes by meeting him only at the 18 feet imaginary line. They packed the paint and the middle hoping we’ll start shooting long jumpers. To his credit, Lowry counter-acted by moving the ball on the wing where we had room to operate. It was a great chess game which we easily won because we played with a very high basketball IQ. Most importantly Lowry is not gambling as much on defense. Lillard got it going though during the Lowry’s first outing (he had 0 points during Jose’s start). It will take a while until Lowry will change his style of schoolyard defense.

      • FAQ

        Great observations… and I will try to catch a replay of the game on NBATV to appreciate your depth of analysis.  All I saw was Jose and Kyle playing as facilitators, particularly Kyle.  Perhaps I should look closer at the opposing team defenses.

      • mountio

        Good observations. I can understand the strategy with Jose off the bat – especially because our starting lineup has two indept offensive players (MP and AG) – so you are taking your chances that one of those guys screws up. In fact, there was a point where we were up 10 (maybe 24-14) and we should have EASILY been up 15-20 given how cold POR was and how much they were coughing up the ball. Jose was doing his job .. DD was doing his job and luckily for us, we didnt get burnt that much by AG/MP. 
        On KL – it was almost comical how much they were goading him into shooting .. and as you say, to his credit, he was very patient and got some great looks for the other guys. It was a very interesting game tactically from that perspective .. and I agree with you, we dominated them – kudos to JC, KL and I guess DC. 

    • 2damkule

      actually, i think it’s obvious that the lack of shot attempts by both developed organically…the raps played good D early, got some turnovers, built a lead, and the game took shape from there.  the only thing that’s ‘obvious’ is that there has been a greater emphasis placed on sharing the ball & looking for open teammates, as well as greater emphasis on moving without the ball.

      to suggest that a coach would put such a restriction on his PGs (both of whom are very good shooters) leads me to believe that you’re an idiot.

      • CJT

        I wonder if Casey counted on and them planned for FAQ being an idiot in his game plan.  

        • FAQ

          Idiot FAQ to hindsight rim-licker CJT… this is what I posted on the Gameday thread:

          “TRap game strategies:

          1. Don’t fall behind in the first half like the NYKs did and lost.

          2. Jam the paint on defense.  Stop Aldridge.

          3. Start Jose to jell the offense, and to score when he’s fresh.

          4. Then run run run with Kyle.

          Yesterday 05:41 PM  5 Likes”

          Sooooo, what did you predict for this game … or did you just wait so you could happily suck off everybody else??!!!!
           

          • CJT

            I notice you didn’t predict that the coach would instruct the PG’s to avoid looking for their shot.  And you’re right I don’t make predictions.  don’t care to.  I watch the games because I like watching the games not to try and prove that I can guess correctly.  But you have to do what you have to do. 

      • FAQ

        Okay, but idiot-to-idiot…. I was just posing a rhetorical question about Casey imposing a pass-first, pass-only directive because both Jose and Kyle take lots of shots early in the games which tends to ‘ice’ the others.

        As for your “developed  organically” theory… I think yer full of excrement.

  • Roarque

    Again some protocol directions:

    1.) Pretend your Mom is standing beside you in a social setting and you’re talking to an equal

    or

    2.) Pretend you talking with a 225lb dude who is solid muscle and whose nose has obviously been in several dust ups. The next words out of your mouth could change your relationship with your dentist.

    Just saying nobody enjoys a rude dude.

  • p00ka

    After yet another great win, the obsession with “Bargs must go” continues as a bigger topic than anything else. WTF? No wonder the kids chatter more about that than how the team is currently playing. Even the articles seem to need to validate AB opinions more than appreciate what’s going on. pffffffffffffft

    • RaptorFan

      good to see you back on here p00ka….. it appears your more than JUST a bargnani fanboy afterall…. sort’ve. 

      You still have to comment about Bargs getting the wrong end of our wrath huh?? (even during our great play without your hero – who you said we couldnt play without because “he spaces the floor”)

      You have no clue how SILLY both you and cesco and few others look right now!! LMAO

      Many of us have been saying it from the start of the season (Bargs must see less minutes if we want to win).  Now you can certainly see for yourself.  Stop denying it and appreciate the fact that this site does have some realistic and knowledgable bloggers.

      We appreciate that the team plays better without the worst help defender in NBA history.  We appreciate that the team plays better without one of the worst rebounding 7 footers in NBA history.  We appreciate that the team plays better when they dont have an inefficient, non-adapting stubborn 3 point specialist as a PF or C. 

      Why dont you appreciate whats REALLY going on and tell us how you feel about the CURRENT lineup that has us playing our best ball since the season began?  What is your explanation for this SUDDEN turnaround?  How can you explain this with your hero sitting on the bench with his expressionless, sad mug?

      • p00ka

        You fn clowns are hilarious. I’m no AB fanboy, just not obsessed with one player’s faults, and call people out for being obsessed with, and blaming everything on, one player.

        What’s really going on? I tell you what I love about what’s really going on. All the whiners that were also bitching about DD not being worth shit are being proven wrong. All the whiners that were also bitching about Jonas being a horrible pick are being proven wrong. All the whiners that were also bitching about Ross being a horrible pick are being proven wrong. All the whiners that were also bitching about ED being nothing but an end of bench scrub are being proven wrong. All the whiners that were also bitching about Fields being useless are being proven wrong.

        But my point is that what’s sick is that so many players on this team are stepping up and playing great TEAM bball right now, contrary to what all the whiners have been saying is possible with this team, but the focus is still on seeking their own legitimacy through saying “see, AB was the problem”. Shit, a great win last night, and all some whiney little bitches want to talk about is AB. How fn dumb is that? That’s what I’m talking about is going on, not responding to your twisted, and inaccurate, version of what I’ve represented here.

      • cesco

         If Andrea is the main reason why the team plays so well without him then explain why last two years ( yes I know , they were losing far to many games with or without him ) the team had a BETTER record when he played and don’t come up with the excuse that the schedule was easier when he played , that is not true .

        • RaptorFan

          honestly, i dont know why they would play sooo bad without the “enigma of enigmas.”  It could be that the players around him at the time were very young and were learning the game (ED and DD) – while others should’ve been in the D-League

          ED who missed camp and games due to Injury??
          Jose missed a ton of games, bayless missed a ton of games, Reggie missed a ton, the list goes on.

          Lets be honest

          Their defence is noticeably better THIS YEAR without Andrea. 

          Last year i believe they went into the top 15 defensively (with Andrea missing most of the season).  I honestly dont have the time to get into all the possibilities, BUT

          The proof is there if you remove your biases

          *Keep in mind this is coming from one of Andrea’s biggest supporters since he was drafted*  So please dont take these comments as just another Bargnani hater.  I gave him time to prove his worth and time ran out.  Now it’s ED’s turn to get a try.  My only loyalty is to the Raptors organization – not any one player.

      • CJT

        Easy Kyle Lowry started passing.  As for you guys being so knowledgable about all that is Raptors basketball.  Weren’t you faithful fans yelling about the end of the world and start the tank and playoffs my ass a few weeks ago.  Seems like many of you have changed your tunes as well.  We all make mistakes.  I think what he is trying to say is exactly what you are saying.  With all that is good in Raptor land, all the forums want to talk about is what is not.  Enjoy and embrace the winning for a change. 

        • RaptorFan

          some of us are not afraid to talk about the elephant in the room….. i’m guessing i forgot to add CJT to my Bargnani fanboy list…… you sir are now added. 

          So your saying it was all Lowry’s fault?????? He started passing and thats why we suddenly are winning without Andrea?? (except we won like 5 straight without Lowry). 

          Did you not witness #7 stinking up almost every fricken game (shooting 39% for a 7 footer)???  Did you see him go 2 for 19 against San Antonio in 36 mins of playing time (we end up losing by 5). 

          You Fanboys are delusional.  I still never hear you guys say one truthful thing about your hero.  This is why posters come at Andrea because if they dont, you pretend like he could do no wrong.

  • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

    According to a translation, Bargani told the newspaper: “Nothing has worked from the beginning of the season. We are pretty much the worst team in the NBA. This summer’s moves in the market were made to build a winning team, but we are not winning.    

     

    “We are below all of the expectations. No one is used to playing with anyone. We have won four games: it’s a tragic thing. Whatever way you look at it, it is a desperate situation. Since four years ago, we have kept losing. To improve, the only thing we can do is to win, and for now, we have not.”

    • DM

      Did he say he was the best player on this team? I was trying to find that quote

      • j bean

        No he never. The only place I saw that was here. 
        It’s easy to kick a guy when he’s down and out of frustration I’ve done my share of Bargs kickin [even on his quote] but lying about what he said is is too much.

  • RaptorFan

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/2013/01/04/andrea_bargnani_toronto_raptors_liston/

    I saw this article on another thread (Thanks to Matt52)

    Finally some evidence to back up what many of us have been saying!!!