A great effort… and a little overdue luck.

The Toronto Raptors once again got off to a roaring start, but unlike recent performances, were able to convert it into a victory. A fairly convincing win at that.

Sure the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling thus far this year, but when your biggest victory this year comes against the Indiana freaking Pacers, you take it and you run real fast.

With not one, but two officially recognized boo-boo`s that the NBA has apologized to the Raptors for, Toronto finally got a call go their way. Late in the second quarter, Dwight Howard got tangled up with Alan Anderson and the referee unspeakably tagged Howard with his second tech of the game. The game was pretty tight at this point, and the former Magic pivot had been coming on strong of late. This Laker team has not been very good at defense, even with Howard in the fold. You take him out, and this team suddenly looks like an aging squad that is a step slow on everything.

Calderon, Ed Davis and Landry Fields shot a combines 26 – 39 from the field. That kind of efficiency will win you some games. The problem with all three of these players is that they are generally high-percentage scorers, but they lack the ability to create shot attempts.

Jose continues his impressive run as a starter, despite having a couple of clunkers during this last 4-game losing streak. When he`s on, there aren`t many point guards in this league that can duplicate his combination of dead-eye shooting and excellent ball distribution. It`s when he`s looking for that shot aggressively, it really makes the game easy for him. Even with Kobe Bryant checking him at times, he was able to produce.

In terms of Jose`s longstanding reputation of padding his totals with `fake` assists, however unfair that moniker was, it undeniably has not been the case since one perimeter big (to be left unnamed) has been out of the lineup. With a more traditional lineup with front court players flashing to the rim, a lot of his assists are ending up as layups or dunks. Usually it`s Davis or Amir Johson, but Landry Fields was a favorite target, as he kept cutting down the right baseline.

He`s a smart basketball player, is Fields, and as he re-discovers his shooting stroke, he`s still finding a way to contribute. The rebounding has been excellent coming from the small forward position, and he bagged another 10 boards this game.

For Ed Davis, it`s all about hitting that little 10 ft jumper. It seems to give him confidence when that shot is working. He`s got this one move where he picks up his dribble, goes left and lays it up high off the glass. He was able to do this against the legit length of Pau Gasol. He continues to grow into the starters role, and it`s such a shame it took an injury for this revelation to occur, instead of Bryan Colangelo who is paid millions of dollars to evaluate talent.

The Reaction post after the game was effusive in its praise of Alan Anderson, which seemed to rub a few people the wrong way. Sure he shot 5 – 13 and his shooting percentages are down, but he also takes a lot of threes, and he can make a nice pass. Eight assists for Anderson on Sunday afternoon. DeMar hasn`t recorded that many assists in any game in his career. Quality shooting guards can shoot long distance, and the ones who may not be decent three point shooters can at least be a second playmaker on the floor after the point guard. So Anderson is perhaps not a great guard, but he`s more of a guard then DeMar is right now. He made a couple of big plays down the stretch, one of them being a nice assist for an Amir Johnson jumper.

Defensively, the Raptors bent but didnt break. Kobe Bryant missed too may shots for them to establish any offensive consistency. Kyle Lowry defended him fairly well when on the court, and it showed a little creativity from Casey thats been missing at times this year. He missed a lot of open looks, but with Pau Gasol in the post it looked like he was being a little selfish in his approach. He doesn`t trust this team right now, but in the end the Lakers still dropped 100+ points, especially after Bryant started hitting his customary 4th quarter comeback threes.

It took Jose Calderons return in the 4th to close the game. He ended the game like he started it, and thats a concept we can all rally behind these days.

  • mike, prague

    GG, Jose was awesome and so was Amir Davison and Fields. Really almost loaded my pants when Kobe started to tally in those 3 balls but Lowry had a good comeback on those.

    • Pesterm1

       Kobe sux… inflated stats, big time chucker, big time whiner. He thinks his shit doesnt stink and he is to good to make mistakes. Every turnover he commits he looks to the refs like ” wtf wheres my call”

      I cant respect that.

    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Good win.

      But Lakers, who are an old ass team, coming into this game were 2-7 (now 2-8) for the month of January and playing below .500 on the season as a whole.

      As well as this being a 10 am game westcoast time the Lakers woke up too late in this bad dream to win the game- they almost stole it from the Raptors at the end.

      I love how Matt got so excited at the end of the Tor/LAL broadcast then at the end right before they cut to commercial said- the Raptors are now 15-26…dead ass.

      Let’s see how they play against the Heat (with 5 days rest).


      • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

        SuperSonics getting another franchise and they are looking at Phil Jackson (to be in front office role) to be face of new SuperSonics.

        Inquiring concerning RC Buford (SA) or Larry Bird interest in running the new SuperSonics basketball operations.

        Rumors of Mr SuperSonic- Nate McMillian to coach team.

        Meanwhile the Raptors are stuck with BC, Gheradini, Stefanski, Kelly, Casey…….Bargnani……Jose……Kleiza…Fields….No 2013 draft pick…..

  • mike, prague

    BTW, Nashs’ Mohawk in that picture above is just Nas(h)ty!!!

  • j bean

    Looks like age (34) is catching up with Kobe. $27.million a year for 10-35. 
    Makes Andersons 5-13 look good.
    With Kobe it’s not just this one game either. The Lakers could really use Jackson to come in and sort the mess out but how ridiculous would another coaching change look. 

    • unknown guest

      Age and frustration > Kobe

      Glad we’re not Lakers Fans. Buss really effed up by making it personal vs Phil.This kinda really exposes how overblown D’Antoni is, and how good Phil is in managing players–I doubt the Gasol mess happens under his watch, and yeah I realized they had an “All-Star” cast back then too, but Payton/Malone were in the tail ends of their careers.

      • The Truth

        Who was coach when Shaq left LA again?

        • unknown guest

          Did they win any championships?

          • The Truth

            They lost the year that “mess” unfolded and didn’t win again until 2009, so no. Tell me again how such things never happen under Phil’s watch?

            • unknown guest

              I give you that, that was a f’d up “all-star” mess. But picking  D’Antoni > Phil?

              • The Truth

                Yeah I know…as it turns out I think even if they had taken their poison and kept Mike Brown they’d be looking better *now*.

  • Pesterm1

    I cant stand watching Kobe anymore. He is a whiny player and bitches just because he makes a mistake. Actually, the entire Lakers team whines way to much, Dantoni look like a real loser complaining about a “bad call” with a minute left after the lakers shit the bed all game. Lakers have been spoiled over the years and now are paying the price now that the  NBA has averaged out. The Lakers are very lazy team and it showed, the D was terrible.

    I keep hearing the argument that the Lakers need time to develop and the Heat weren’t good in the beginning either. After watching the Lakers its clear its not a chemistry issue its a  way to damn old issue. The kobe, nash, pau, howard have all lost their “elite” athleticism. None of them play a very physical game anymore. They are looking for longevity in the league at this point and not the here, now and winning at all costs mentality. Good luck LA…

  • Canadian Paul

    Here are our numbers since Bargnani’s injury (record 11-8):

    Defensive Efficiency: 106.9 (would rank 21st)
    Offensive Efficiency: 112.0 (would rank 2nd)

    Defence has slipped pretty badly. We were clocking at around 103.5 (9th) during the winning streak, but bad defence has cost us games against the Bucks, the Nets, the Bulls and the Sixers. Fortunately, we’re doing amazing on offence, which is why we’re even close in these games.

    • Milesboyer

      The irony of those stats are that Bargnani’s strength is his offense and yet we’re much better without him.  Just can’t see any scenario where he makes this team better.

    • RaptorFan

      Everyone should hit like on Canadian Paul’s post regarding the Efficiency since Bargnani’s injury……

      Thanks for showing the efficiency stats since BARGS was out of the lineup…..its pretty clear to me that we’re better without him in his “former” role as a starter…..BUT i bet some fanboy will find a way to explain the difference in offence and defence without him

      • DumbassKicker

        Manipulation of stats to support an agenda. Is bargs the only difference in circumstances of these different numbers? Did they play the same teams, with the same brutal schedule, with the same supporting cast? I suppose you feel that doesn’t make any difference. This is a stupid as saying Alan Anderson is our superstar and his return is the sole reason for the new winning ways, because it all started on the very day of his return.

      • cesco

        I would like someone explain why with the team playing soo much better after Andrea got injured the best they could do is beat a team ( Houston) who is sitting in 8th place out west ? . They kept many games close against good teams before and after he got injured so let us see what happens when he get back .

        • The Truth

           So your theory is that we win against shitty teams and keep it close against good teams regardless of whether he is available or not?

          Sounds like a good reason to ship him out and spend the money on someone who makes the team better to me!

          • cesco

            All the team can do at this point is to play him and see if the team improve even more , probably with him playing on the second unit . If they improve then it is unlikely they will ship him out , if they don’t improve then even his loyal fans like myself will see that a trade is the best thing for him . Whether the trade makes the team better is a big question mark depending what players are going out and coming in .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Maurice/551625103 Junior Maurice

    my boy actually called and told me the raptors are crushing the Lakers by 1 9points , I thought he was talking  shit (bluffing), so i went on nba.com to check the box score and i still was surprise but i guess a win is a win and we will take it anyway it comes

  • downtown

    This city deserves far worse basketball team than this. It was repulsive listening to all of the people rooting for Lakers… Toronto essentially played a road game on their own court. Upsetting…these people need to become uncomfortable in opposing team’s jerseys in our barn.

    • Nilanka15

      Bandwagon Lakers fan exist everywhere.  How do you think the Clippers felt over the past 40 years whenever they “hosted” the Lakers?

      • CJT

        At least that was in the same city, just a bit more understandable don’t ya think?

        • Nilanka15

          Yes, very understandable.  But would be equally annoying as a Clippers fan.

      • unknown guest

        Lakers/Celtics are still the most widely famous NBA franchises. Ever. Recognizable worldwide. Heck, the Bulls post-Jordan are forgotten, as will the Heat post Lebron. *shrug* it is what it is.
        As for the Clips, why they share an arena and haven’t moved somewhere else is beyon… oh wait, ownership.
        LOL, can’t wait til the Clips cheap out again and sell off CPaul and co.

    • unknown guest

      It’s still a hockey town. Until the Raps get more homegrown stars and some homegrown talent on the squad (who can still play and aren’t just token pieces), the games will always be filled with people who want to gawk at well known “stars”.

      • daxel

        More like until the Raptors establish a winning culture and actually start having a sustained track record of making the playoffs, year-in, year-out is when you’ll begin to sway all the fucking band-wagon hockey people in this town.

        • unknown guest

          To a point, yeah. Hence the Jays. But there is still a very clear, uh, cultural difference, specially when one travels outside the GTA. 
          I’m no longer shocked when I go to a sportsbar and they won’t put the Raps on the TV, even if it’s only old curling, ohl, ahl, games.

          Gotta remember, hockey is what it is because it’s still the only league where Canadians dominate/are Stars.

          Baseball is getting up there.

          And yeah, your point with making the playoffs, etc. hopefully spawns more young players to go play basketball and see our talent level rival the US (or even Spain, etc.)

    • Milesboyer

      You’ve got Nash fans and Laker fans and now it’s one team – no surprise there are a lot of people cheering for the Lakers.

    • RaptorFan

      Obviously you guys don’t watch a lot of Laker games….. The Lakers for many many years have been my 2nd favourite team (Obviously besides the Raptors).  I’ve watched them countless times over the years and can pretty much say that almost ANYWHERE they go – they have fans that come out to support them (in many cases more than their opponents).  EVERY WHERE they go they have a large group of fans that come out to support them.

      This is just a regular day in the life of a laker game.

      • unknown guest

        Kinda like Man Utd. I think, would be the equivalent.

    • Pesterm1

       all those people look like morons now.

      • FLUXLAND

        Oh no, no. The only one looking like a moron is you, clearly.

        You need one of those BCG2G stupid badges, and not for the day, for your entire life.  Throw in a dumbest kid on the planet award, as well.

    • Pesterm1

       I dont think they are REAL Lakers fans. More like Kobe and Nash fans. Once both those guys are gone I think the fake Lakers Junkies will vanish.

  • KJ-B

    I’m not sure the dig regarding Davis and Colangelo is necessary–there weren’t very many residents of the Republic hollering for Davis over Primo a lil while back.  It’s very understandable why Colangelo wanted -7 to succeed, however the player never wanted it.  
    Colangelo, can only be faulted for never helping said player get motivated to play or move on to somewhere he could succeed, like NYC…he seems to love it there!

    Per DeRozan: Anderson is just figuring out the game at 28 or something–and he’s very much a volume shooter.  #10 will get in the lab, figure out and come back stronger, it’s his rep!  I’d like to Anderson be the focal point of the other team’s defence and thrive–who you kidding, he’s a nice player but not THAT nice!

    • Milesboyer

      The problem with Derozan is that he just doesn’t have the skills to get that much better.  He’s slow off the dribble and has a weak handle – things that don’t improve with age.  I fear his contract will be seen as a huge mistake.  AA is >>>>better than Derozan, it gets proven night after night.  I wish it wasn’t the case but it is.

    • Scottbbaird

      DD works hard in the offseason, but as the season progresses, he always has these periods of regression. AA is consistent, DeMar needs to learn that part of the game. DD forgot about driving to the rim lately as well, it seems.

  • Tech

    Not to find fault with your words but finding fault in BC as a talent evaluator in the this article is a wee bit childish. After all he did pick Ed in the draft for a reason. And Ex had been very inconsistent last couple years, yes due to playing time and lock out and being hurt during his first training camp. I would put your fault finding more on DC, he is the one that kept AB on the starter role.

    • daxel

      I think at this point we all know that the decision to keep AB in the starting lineup likely wasn’t all on Casey.  I think the whole Sam Mitchell, “I wasn’t allowed to be tough on Bargnani” and I got fired thing pretty much cements this by now.

      • unknown guest


    • BCBargnaniJoseCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Ed fell to the Raptors due to pre draft injury concerns if healthy he was projected as a top 10- top 5 pick. BC didn’t out scout anyone….smh

      BC calls the rotations shots on playing time- don’t you know anything about Raptors basketball?

      Why do you think BC nevers hires an experienced head coach but one he can easily manipulate ie Triano & Casey (who said that his regime was a continutaion of Jay’s not a change from)- recognize game, buddy.smh

      Casey is just another BC ‘Yes Man’.

      BC farts. Casey says- excuse me.

  • JHP

    I’m not much of a BC fan.  Ever since he picked AB he’s been trying to get rid of his first round draft picks.  Even JV is being shielded from the NBA.  If/when he gets back half the season will be over and the Raptors will be in spoiler mode.  OKC will get a talented piece and we got a decent player with a bad ankle.  To that end the NBA even has rules to that effect and I believe we have to keep our 2014 draft pick.  And by the way every draft becomes a weak draft this time of year.

  • Zarars


    • Dude

       nice job man