In the 2008-09 season, the Warriors won 29 games to the Raptors’ 33. Toronto won nine of its last 13 games under Jay Triano, meaning they picked ninth overall and the Warriors picked seventh. That, as it turns out, was the difference between Stephen Curry and DeMar DeRozan…The Raptors also picked behind the Warriors last June, a product of winning their last game of the year and then losing a coin flip with the Warriors. The Warriors ended up picking highly touted small forward Harrison Barnes…
The game marked the return of Andrew Bogut to the Warriors lineup after missing 38 games recovering from April surgery for a microfracture in his left ankle. Bogut played four games this season before deciding in November that his ankle wasn’t healthy enough. The 28-year-old Australian finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes of action.
Frankly, the Raptors defense was embarrassing. They were fortunate enough not to get torched in the first half, as Curry & Thompson weren’t hitting their shots, despite being left open early and often. In the second half, things were different. The Splash Brothers finally did what they’re known for; make wide open threes, and began torching the Raptors. Golden State scored 62 points in the second half, bringing their tally up to 114 for the game, more than the Raptors have scored all year (in regulation).
Well at the 9:00 mark, the Raptors were only down three, and Casey should have thought about bringing Calderon back in then. At the 8:00 mark, the hole had grown to seven with Lucas running a stagnant offence and Calderon should have definitely been back in the game. Instead, Casey waited until the 6:07 mark to make the change, and by that time, the deficit had grown to nine. It wasn’t an insurmountable hole by any stretch, but it still shouldn’t have taken half the fourth quarter – with the Raptors shooting 1-of-10 to open the final frame – to get Jose back in.
The Warriors can now send the ball down low for an easy bucket when the offense bogs down, and the Lee-Curry pick-and-roll gets even more spacing when defenders are forced to roll towards Bogut. They won’t be able to just leave the center hanging around like they did so often to Biedrins and Ezeli.
“We’re a worn down team right now with the flu, injuries and all that stuff coming through,” said Casey, whose team has lost seven of nine. “Again there are no excuses. This is the NBA, nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. It’s going to be that way the rest of the way so we got to strap it up, lace it up and be ready to go to work.”
Lately, though, defence once again seems like an afterthought. The Golden State Warriors had their way with the Raptors on Monday night in that regard as they set up shop in the Raptors paint and didn’t leave until they had scored 62 points from that area, a season high, or low as the case may be for the locals. The easy access to the basket from there played a big part in the 53.5% shooting night the Warriors enjoyed on their way to a 114-102 win.
While it wasn’t DeRozan’s best night offensively (shooting 7-for-18 from the floor for 21 points), his ever-improving skills as a playmaker were on full display against the Warriors. Tallying a career-high nine assists in 36 minutes on the floor, DeRozan found his teammates open time and time again. He also took care of the ball, turning it over just once. “It’s me understanding that teams are going to play me differently,” he said. “If there are two guys on me, then someone is going to be open. Understanding night in and night out that teams are going to try and get the ball out of my hands, I just need to make the right decisions.”
This is a jam packed show with interviews with Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson and Canada’s own Tristan Thompson. Really do I need anymore to get you to listen to this podcast? I would hope not but we do have myself and Josh as well with are thoughts on the week that was for the Toronto Raptors and looking ahead to the future with players expected to return to the line-up eventually.
While it looks like the Raptors will be headed to the lottery again, the Warriors are having a good deal of success this year, and are on pace to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The combination of front-court power and passing from Lee and Bogut, coupled with elite guard scoring in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, looks like a very promising formula that could see them making a splash this spring.
The possibility that a fresh start and a seriously increased role could revitalize Gay is tempting, but based on what we’ve seen so far this season, I fear that the Raptors would be trading a young controllable talent with potential for an overpaid talent who’s already reached his prime, all without the team getting much better. I suppose it could be just the kind of gamble that this franchise and fanbase desperately need to make, but it’s more likely the kind of short-sighted move that sets them back in their ongoing rebuild yet again. Here’s hoping I’m wrong about that and that if I am right, that these reported talks end up going nowhere.
Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien told local reporters that the team could be done dealing after the Cleveland trade. However, according to ESPN, that stance has not stopped the Raptors from making calls in an effort to acquire the 26-year-old Gay.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to field calls from teams interested in Rudy Gay and are engaged in active trade discussions with the Toronto Raptors, sources with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com. Although the framework of a workable trade has not yet been established, sources told ESPN.com that Toronto — known to be perhaps Gay’s most determined suitor — has continued to make a hard push for the swingman.
For a player averaging just 9.7 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game this season, Davis has seen his production go up as of lately as he’s reached double digits in scoring in 14 of his last 15 games. Davis is in the middle of his third season with Toronto and for a team that lacks in star players to begin with, Davis is in the perfect position to make a name for himself when it comes to standing out from the rest of his teammates.\
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