Now, Calderon is the only viable three-point threat along the starters. Wings DeMar DeRozan and Landry Fields are not factors from deep, with the former a 29% shooter and the latter missing each of his three attempts from long range this year. And if either of the big men, Ed Davis or Amir Johnson, takes a three-pointer, a possession has gone terribly wrong.
As big of a fan of Jonas Valanciunas as I am, and his future, it’s clear that overall the Raptors are better served playing Amir Johnson and Ed Davis together for the bulk of the minutes. Val has shown solid upside as both a shot-blocker and defender, but obviously he’s got a lot of growth to do in those areas.
Anselmi told CBC that the Leafs and Raptors are “two teams that are in different points in their development cycle,” but he also mentioned that Colangelo is in the final year of his contract (only a team option remains for 2013-14), “so obviously we’re going to have to make a decision about the Raptors between now and the end of the year.”
“He’s not going to score 20 or 30 points a night but he’ll rebound, his passing the ball, defending multiple positions, he is our utility guy,” Casey said. “He has grown into that glue guy that we need, a team guy who plays at a high level, does all the right things. He can run the break for us. He has really, really improved, but the No. 1 thing I have seen improve since he came back from the surgery is his confidence. He is playing with a tremendous amount of confidence and I think that has helped other parts of his game.”
Obviously the team has got off to a rough start and is now heading in the right direction but we’re all being evaluated all the time,” he said. “Brian and his team are all in the midst of a building process and as long as we continue to see progress, you know that’s what you always want to see in a process.”
“We know we have some people down – we just have to pick up the slack,” said forward Amir Johnson, who has started the last two games at center in place of Gray. ” … This is not the time to take a break now. We gotta pick it up and dig ourselves out of the hole we dug.”
The Raptors have been a much better side in the last 2 or 3 weeks, and are coming off a double digit home win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. Toronto are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 against sides with straight up records under .400 and are 6-0 ATS when their last 6 opponents allowed more than 100 points in their previous game. They are also 9-4 ATS in their last 13 and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 at home. Toronto are looking to claw their way back into contention, and these are the games where they need to capitalize and find some form.
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