Raptors poised to get Andrea Bargnani back | National Post

“[Tuesday] was probably the hardest practice he’s had since he’s been back, because we’ve had so many day-in-between-[games] practices where there is not a lot of banging, hitting and body on body,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “[Tuesday] was kind of the first day we had that. He went through that well, made it through it. He got some tough rebounds, which was good to see. We’ll wait and see how his body responds [Wednesday].”

Holes in the Bucket – A Look at Raptors’ Areas of Weakness, and Potential Impact of Rudy Gay | Raptors HQ

While I don’t think there’s anything universally wrong with having players take long shots, there’s something wrong with having most (if not all) of your top players doing it. 73% of Raptors shots are jump shots, whereas their opponents only settle for a jumper 64% of the time. The eFG% numbers actually show that Toronto shoots their jumpers more effectively than their opponents, but because they take so many, they end up being less effective overall.

Bargnani’s almost back. Does anyone care? | Toronto Sun

Whether it’s his stoic nature, or his standoffish tendencies, his unwillingness to rebound or indifference to defence, fans in Toronto have never warmed to Bargnani. But as one grizzled veteran of NBA boardrooms mentioned recently whichever way this thing unfolds, as Bargnani is poised to make his return, the franchise should come out ahead. Say what you want about his defence, his rebounding or even his demeanour, but even his harshest critics will find it difficult to argue that the man can score

Celtics winning without Rondo; Raptors up next | Toronto Sun

“They still have a veteran team,” Casey said. “They still have a championship pedigree with Garnett, Pierce, and those guys. They know how to win. They know how to play. What you have now is more ball movement and stretching teams out. You are so used to Rondo having the ball and now it’s zinging around quarterbacking through Garnett, quarterbacking through Pierce so it’s kind of a mystery where that ball is going. The whole league is going to have to get used to this.”

MACK’S NOTEBOOK: GAY, BARGNANI CENTRE STAGE | SportsNet

The arrival of Gay has had a positive impact on DeMar DeRozan in his first two games with the Raptors. The seven-year veteran is also helping Ross learn the nuances of the game. “Since he’s been here he’s been giving me tips and pointers of how I should do certain things come off screens, attack people and just seeing him actually do it is helping me a lot,” Ross said. When he’s not learning from Gay or DeRozan, Ross has been keeping a low profile. He said he has to as he adjusts to the pace and schedule of the NBA.

A New Poll And The Results Of Our Last Two | Raptors Rapture

In our last poll, published just after the Rudy Gay trade was finalized, I asked about your emotional reaction to the deal. The largest number of votes went to “Good”, followed by “Great”. However, finishing a healthy third was “Enraged,” which is not an anti-Rudy comment, but one indicating the depth of feeling towards the loss of Jose Calderon and Ed Davis. “Indifferent”, which is the anti-Rudy vote, ran a respectable fourth and last. I’m with the “Enraged” crowd, as I think we’ll be mourning the departure of Jose and Ed for a long time.

Rudy Gay Finally The Replacement For Vince Carter In Toronto? | Dino Nation Blog

Like Carter, it appears that the Raptors offence is going to be built around Rudy Gay who is the one player on this Raptor roster that you can feel confident can create his own shot. In past years it has been an offence that has been designed for Andrea Bargnani and at times DeMar DeRozan. Gay seems to be comfortable in embracing the franchise player label that has been thrust upon him since the trade. Andera Bargnanii and to a lesser extend DeMar DeRozan have had their chances to claim that role for their own. Now it seems that time has passed and this is Gay’s team to make his own around him.

Raptors look to win against the Rondo-less Celtics | Raptors Watch

The league has already taken notice of the Raptors. Dwane Casey believes the acquisition of Rudy Gay has instilled confidence in DeMar DeRozan to excel as a player. DeMar put up 27 points against Miami’s stifling defense. ”It takes the heat off of him because now teams can’t double team or send a man-and-a-half to him to put pressure on him when he has the ball,” said Casey.

Is The Big Man Era Over In The NBA? | The Picket Fence

…andnd that’s why Jonas Valanciunas is the Raptors’ most important player, and not Rudy Gay, or Kyle Lowry, or DeMar DeRozan. Gay is a dynamic wing player, the best scorer the team has had in a long time, and an immediate fan favourite, but how far the Raptors go will be dependant on the development of Valanciunas. Unfortunately for Raptor fans, Valanciunas’ development seems to be taking a back seat to Bryan Colangelo’s need for immediate success. It’s highly doubtful he’ll trade Valanciunas for a veteran who can help the team right now, but since his return from injury, he’s played an average of 8 minutes a game and, so far, has an undefined role.

It May Be Too Late For Rudy Gay To Take Toronto Raptors To NBA Playoffs | Rant Sports

Gay will be what he can for the Raptors, he’s already proven it with two strong games including a team-high 29 points against the Miami Heat with 11-of-23 shooting. In that particular game, Gay played all but seven minutes and did just about everything with four. rebounds, two assists and three steals. But Gay is making Raptor fans smile when he says he needs to adjust to find out where his teammates want to be at various times, then perhaps he’ll settle down, meaning he could produce even more numbers. Just give him some time.

Alan Anderson: Bargain Or Bust? | Fansided

Missed field goals up the wazoo. Anderson is shooting just 37 percent from the field. How bad is that? Among small forwards that average 25+ minutes per game, Anderson is dead last in shooting — 29th out of 29. Yes, he’s only averaging 25.5 minutes, but even among SFs that average 20+ minutes, he’s 40th out of 43. This, coupled with the fact that he takes 15.4 shots per 36 minutes (good for second on the Raptors if you discount Andrea Bargnani) amounts to one ugly conclusion: Alan Anderson is missing a ton of shots.

Boston at Toronto | CBSSports

“I’ll tell you the truth, I didn’t even know we won four in a row. I just know that we have been moving the basketball, playing as hard as (we can),” said Kevin Garnett, whose team had dropped six straight before this run. “The normalcy of not having him here is starting to set in, so guys kind of know that they are going to play and being prepared for that. “We’re going to take it one game at a time and continue to … consolidate that responsibility through everybody.”

TORONTO RAPTORS VS. BOSTON CELTICS | Sports Chat Place

As great as the Celtics have been playing without Rondo I think the books are still setting lines for the Raptors as if they never traded for Gay, or at least setting lines for the Raptors anticipating that it will take a while for this side to gel with Gay’s inclusion. From what I’ve seen so far Gay has settled right in to this lineup. He shot the ball 23 times in 42 minutes (for 29 points) in the Raptors’ loss to the Heat on Sunday night so make no mistake about it, this team is more than comfortable with him in the side. I think the Raptors will end this 3 game home stand with a win over the C’s and they cover the number.

Toronto not ideal place to fix road woes | Boston Herald

…even the Raptors have taken a jump since adding Rudy Gay last week. Though still a lot stronger on the perimeter than inside, Toronto has emerged as one of the league’s most fluid offensive teams. “Toronto is faster, a lot more confident, they’re playing with the element of getting the ball up and down the floor at an unbelievable pace,” Garnett said. “(Gay) has brought a spark to the city. That’s something that has stood out when I’ve watched him.”

Raptors’ interior defense a cause for concern | Canada.com

Amir Johnson is usually solid defensively, but his numbers have declined since last season. He allowed 0.81 points per possession during the 2011/12 season. This season he is allowing 0.91 points per possession. The Gay trade has also temporarily left Johnson as the Raptors only big that is capable of logging major minutes. Often times he is playing out of position and battling centers that are much bigger than him. While he is able to take advantage of them on the offensive end, he gets hurt defensively.

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  • 511

    Bouncing ’round the net, came across a Bill Simmons column from December that I hadn’t read about Kobe, but also about Bill Russell and how he went at the game, how he built up a ‘rage’ for every game he played, ahead of time. Worth the read if you haven’t. 

    Any coach who’d read this would make it required reading for his players, I’m sure. Good stuff. 

    Can be googled if the link doesn’t show. 

    The Kobe Question 

  • targetzone

    I’m actually quite excited to see what Andrea can contribute off of the bench.  Our bench scoring has been trash lately, and Andrea might be the boost they need.

  • tweed8

    Got to say, we may still not be a brilliant team, but suddenly -with Gay’s addition- people are talking about us more… And with a little less negativity.

    PS. Screw, Charles Barkley!

  • tweed8

    I am also wondering; Does any other team in the league have as many websites dedicated to it?  It’s crazy how much amateur Raptors’ news sites are out there compared to some teams.

  • NyAlesund

    Finally Bargs………………the most loved man in Toronto……………..

    • Nilanka15

      The least anticipated return in Toronto sports history….[yawn]

      • Destro

        Interested to see the crowd reaction  to him tonight….and also the reaction to him maybe missing a few shots…I read that one article,writer said it can do nothing but help the team but if he is the same old ball stopping no rebounding moist towelette i dont see how that helps or is good for this teams chemistry…

        • why

          Hopefully Casey will pull him if the effort is not there. Not worried about him missing shots if they are good shots – more worried about bad shots. that said don’t want to see 0-5 from 3 even if they are all open – no 3’s after a missed three  until he has made some 2’s and/or free throws 

        • Nilanka15

          I sincerely hope Casey has Bargnani on a short leash, but history tells me it’ll be the exact opposite. 

          Bargnani will have every opportunity to get his starting gig back, whether he deserves it or not.  “Come hell or high water”.

  • Destro

    Funny how Amir Johnson’s contract looks good right now….I remmeber 2 years ago everybody moaning about it now its actually a quite a good deal for the Raptors….aint that some shit.

    • why

      They didn’t have much choice but to resign him (I believe he resigned the day Bosh left).

      that said I’m with you – you have to love how hard Amir plays and how hard he has worked to improve his game – if only Bargnani had this work ethic.

      Amir is a way better player than say, JYD, was. 

      • Destro

        Yes i think the discontent with bargnani is how hes never tried to improve or add anything to his game like Amir has….AJ came into the league strictly a hustle guy looseballs to the point where now he starts,you can run plays for him and use him as a roller on screens and he actually has developed a patented move in the post (spinning ,running hook)

        Where as i look at AB and hes not added anything,hes still trying to get by on perimeter shots and facing up people,never added a post game to his repertoire and mindframe to get in the post when it benefits him for easy scores….

        Thats where the lazy stigma comes from a guy who wants to be an all star but wont make the adjustments to get there…

        • why

          The sad and frustrating thing is that most of the things he gets criticzed for he has shown he can do if he chooses to apply himself … most of the time he chooses not to.

    • kingkev

      I couldn’t agree more @Destro…Amir’s contract is a fukn discount right now….

    • Guest

      I wonder where Jamshid is. he has conveniently disappeared since Amir’s recent play.

      • Nilanka15

        He also boldly laughed at “the herd” for suggesting that Gay could be acquired for Calderon and Davis.

        Whadda ya know, he couldn’t have been any more wrong.

  • 511

    Man, Bargnani. Here we go again. Maybe. Game time decision or so it’s being said. (Again.) Hope he dresses and plays a few minutes here and there even if it’s just to shake it out a bit, burn off the nerves, maybe see what he’s got. He’s bound to have some nerves, Caliper-cool-or-no. Seeing him in his street clothes every game, to me, he has a liiitttle of that deer-in-the-headlights look going … and, if so, I can hardly blame him. He’s a reader after all, so it’s not unlikely that he knows EXACTLY what the general consensus has been around here (T.O.) about him, of late. If I try to put myself in his shoes to see if I can imagine ‘what it’d be like’ … I really can’t. But if he ever had incentive to get seriously engaged – in his damn CAREER – now’d be the time. I’m curious as hell as to what’s gonna happen. Could be an interesting chapter. Whatever happens, go Raps.