Short one today, been up late with the site issues (sorry about that).

I can’t recall there being a more meaningful win this season. The Raptors basically did to the Pacers what the Celtics did to them on Wednesday: come back from big deficit to start the fourth quarter. The Raptors have often been inc lose games but this time around, they had the panache to finish in style. Say what you will about Rudy Gay and what his acquisition means to the direction of the rebuild/franchise, the man has an unblockable shot when he either rises near the elbow or posts up and turns around. It’s his length and point-of-release that makes him an asset late in the fourth.

There were times, especially early in the game, where you felt he was playing at half-speed. When George was going at him without an equal response from Gay, you wondered where this game might be headed and whether we’d have to rely on DeRozan, the only guy along with Johnson who played a full 48. The Raptors took a while to get used to the refs who weren’t calling anything for the Raptors (31-22 fouls in favor of the Pacers), but when they did, the “offensive toughness” that Jack so often calls about was there in plain sight. DeRozan driving to the rim, Gay going right at the body of George, and even the inconsistent Ross driving hard to set up the magnificent Valanciunas, who continues to be make massive strides.

This would have been a loss without Bargnani, who was simply perfect as the super-sub that we all know he can be. I bet even he realizes that that’s where he’s most effective, and 14 efficient points do the talking for me. Does anyone even care that he only had 2 rebounds? No. When coming off the bench, the standards are lower and the evaluation criteria different. He’s measured more on his offensive spurts, which we all know he can deliver, not on his end-to-end game. Put him there and you might not even need to trade him. I’d even say that he won the “mind games” aspect with David West.

Related: Reaction: Raptors 100, Pacers 98 (OT)

Going up against Indiana you have the concern of getting out-rebounded, what with the Pacers being the best in the league at that and having a big front-line. These threats pose no fears when you have Amir Johnson in the form he’s been in. He was checking the much heavier Hibbert and doing so with good effect. The presence of laying that ball in at the buzzer just in time was paramount, and so was his help defense on driving guards. He’s the best at coming over to help a beaten guard due to his quickness advantage over Valanciunas and Gray, and better court-awareness than Bargnani. The Raptors relied on him big time to bother the Pacer bigs and when he fouled out in OT, this might’ve gone south, but Valanciunas stepped up and played big.

The negatives were Lowry’s petulance, Lucas’ irresponsible point-guard play, Ross’s overall game (although he did hit a big three in the fourth) and in a weird sort of positive/negative, Anderson took a terrible early shot and got benched by Casey. Ended up playing only four minutes.

The night belongs to DeMar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Rudy Gay. DeRozan got us off to a good start with his tough offensive play, Bargnani supplied the bench scoring (Raps bench won 37-16), Valanciunas was massive in that third quarter when things looked to be getting out of hand, Johnson was the consistent strain that brought his one to the wire, and Gay was the guy that took over when it counted – 17 points in the fourth and OT.

  • John

    Well written. You outlined everything I was thinking. The glaring need on this team is another PG. Lucas is so fucking dumb at times with the shots he throws up. I really hope that Colangelo isn’t giving any thought to trading Bargnani for Boozer. He showed again last night that he was engaged on both ends and is proving a valuable piece off the bench. Boozer is horrible defensively, has a terrible contract and an even worse attitude. No thank you

    • 511

      +1. Arse outlined everything you were thinking; you said almost exactly what I was thinking. With the possible exception of not being quite so down on Boozer … though I would very much hate to see that trade. Can’t imagine it happening. 

      Great win, Raps! Great win. 

    • mountio

      How is the glaring need of any team (least of all this one) their backup PG? We have WAAAAAY bigger fish to fry. Can you even name the back up PG of Miami, OKC, SA, etc.? The point is, they are irrelevant to the success of the best teams. Starting PG .. hell ya. Lowry needs to step up. 
      Lets focus on getting some good starters (Gay is a very good start) and worry about our backups later. JL3 is nothing special .. I totally agree there .. but hes more than adequate to play 10-12 mins, which is all he should be getting. Paying / trading for a better backup point guard would be one of the stupidist things we could do .. 

      • wes mantooth

        youre so wrong. i can name all of those back ups, because theyre all pretty good ,and play within the team philosophy. jl3 is a chucker that cant play D! his only chance is to take a charge besides that hes too small. back up pg is crucial especially with good or bad lowry. if its bad lowry there needs to be a threat on the bench .. i actually think lowry is as big a problem as any for this team. not feelin him. i think hes a baby with a chip on his shoulder. since hes taken the starter job back hes made some of the most bush league turnovers ivre ever seen from a starter. he cant adjust his game, or is not really putting in the effort to. if we had a ridnour to come in and take his minutes away he’d prob shape up

        • Bendit

          “shape up”…..he needs to get IN shape imo….lose some weight.

        • mountio

          You really want to argue to merits of Eric Maynor (2.8ppg, 2apg, 31% FG%) and Norris Cole (4.8ppg, 1.8APG, 24% 3fg%)? .. to steal a quote from BCgots2go, shiiiiiiiiiiit (clay davis voice). 

          If you think Lowry is the problem .. then thats fine .. fix our starting PG problem. But, the last thing we need to be doing is using any of our assets (players or cash) on a backup PG. 

          People in this city have been so used to a 2 PG rotation, but on the best teams, PGs play 35 mins+ per game, and back up PGs are an afterthought. In that context, JL3 is fine. Would I take an upgrade if he walked in the door? Ya, sure .. but its very far down on my list of priorities .. 

          • wes mantooth

            all those guys are playing behind stars, and are better then JL3. our team has a different make up. lowry is not a star. we need to go in the direction of the knicks. felton and kidd. or you can even look at the clippers with bledsoe and paul, curry and jack, hill and augustine.. its not only a starting pg league , for alot of these teams a small drop off is there strength. our huge drop off is our weakness. im not saying bargs for ridnour, but we dont have a pick this year so we need someone..somehow.  
            lawson and miller..

            • DumbassKicker

              We’re talking to someone that seems to think the priority is to get superstars at every starting position, then worry about the other 10 guys later. Great! Sign me up when he’s actually got a viable solution to HIS priorities.

          • DumbassKicker

            Then tell us what you’re priorities are, and how to achieve them.

            If they can’t be achieved quickly, then having at least one PG (Lowry is not cutting it right now) that can actually run an offense and make smart decisions is a priority. We’re not going to go out and suddenly get a superstar PG, but we at least NEED to get either: 1. A solid veteran backup who has been at least somewhat effective as a starter. 2. A young PG with some promise (eg. Corey Joseph?).

            To say Lucas is fine for 13 minutes, when he’s not at all fine (that’s a 1/4 of the fn game and the entire team stalls when he’s in!), but concede that it’s fine to talk of replacing the guy playing 3/4 of the game, thus bumping Lowry (taking him to 2nd string), then say it’s not a priority, makes no sense. You concede that the starter could use replacing (fk, that’s not a priority?????), yet say a more useless backup is fine for 1/.4 of the game???? Huh?

            • mountio

              whoa. youre confusing a very simple statement that shouldnt be that hard to comprehend. My point is you build a roster by getting good starters first. Once you have that (we dont), then you can start thinking about filling in the gaps at positions like back up PG. We are still at least a player or two away from having a solid starting lineup. 
              Some examples. Amir and AG are not an NBA calibre starting frontcourt. Not even close. If we are going to make some changes (ie trade bargnani or trade derozen / ross) – lets make damn sure we get someone back in the frontcourt that can help this team (either now or in the future) as a legit NBA starter. 
              Taking the approach of spending to get a backup / glue guy is exactly what got us into trouble with LF. Hes looking pretty good as our 5th best wing (RG, DD, TR, AA ahead of him) for a 7 mm cap hit, isnt he? 
              I happen to think that Lowry is a fine (or as good as we are going to get, especially given his contract) PG.  What i said was that if someone disagrees with that and thinks we should, for example, trade Lowry for another starting PG, thats at least logical (despite the fact I might not agree with it). 
              What is totally illogical and stupid would be working the trade market to try to get a Luke f-n Ridinour type to replace JL3, that isnt going to make one bit of difference on this team. On the other hand, if we traded AB for a PF and got a backup PG as a thow in (ie Robinson from CHi with Boozer) – thats fine .. but shouldnt be the priority of any trade whatsoever. 

              • DumbassKicker

                If you think Boozer (31, very expensive, worse defense than Bargs) and Robinson (would be discarded by his 5th team in 7 years, worse defense than Jose) are solutions to anything, then we’re talking about a different game, but we are already with the idea that JLIII is acceptable as #2 PG. Again though, since you feel there are bigger fish to fry right now, what are they and how are they solved while the rest of the team suffers through JLIII for a quarter of every game, or more when Lowry plays like a lost street baller, which is too often.

                • mountio

                  Ill use less words since you dont seem to read. Bigger priority is get better starting 4 and 5. Gray is uesless – JV might be the guy, but even a starting 4/5 of Amir/JV doesnt cut it on a good team in this league. If you didnt notice, we traded away ED, our first PF this year in the Gay trade. We need someone to replace / improve upon him. 

                • John

                  Why is it that when people don’t agree with your viewpoint, you turn into a total douche? No one ever suggested giving up a substantial piece for a pg. also your idea of trading bargs to Chicago makes us worse and kills our cap flexibility. I love how people like you will cut people up without offering a better alternative. Your suggestion makes us worse.

                • DumbassKicker

                   Though I may use a few more words, there’s a single word that I’ve asked you to respond to, twice, that you don’t seem to comprehend, or don’t understand it’s significance. : SOLUTIONS.

                  It’s of zero value to pound your chest about what “should be done” instead, unless there’s some viable SOLUTION to discuss. Anybody can pie-in-the-sky it about what “should be done”, but unless there’s possibilities of achieving them, then telling somebody that they’re misguided about priorities in suggesting something that is needed, and is achievable, is empty condescending bullshit, imo.

                • mountio

                  ok. Fact – we are shopping AB. Opinion – I would like a PF in return .. as opposed to a back up PG (especially since we traded ED for Gay). Who will it be? There are a plethora of options .. boozer, milsap seem to top the list. But my point simply this is the list we should be exploring, not a list of back up PGs

                • DumbassKicker

                  So media rumours qualify as “fact” to you, eh. Gotcha!

                  This “plethora” of options you speak of is what I expected, thus asked the question, which you at least finally acknowledged. You say Boozer and Millsap at the top of the list. Okay, now we have your “top of the list” to discuss.

                  Boozer: What do you think trading for Boozer would accomplish for the Raptors? He’s 31, which does not fit with the Raps’ youth movement, excessively overpaid for 2 more years, and is a worse defender than Bargs, in his 11th year, despite all these years playing for Sloan and Thibs. He’s only a slight improvement over 25 year old Amir offensively, and a big downgrade on defense. What’s the gain in taking Chicago’s financial problem off their hands?

                  Millsap: With no possibility to extend his current contract he’s a UFA in a few months, and will have a number of suitors seeking his services. There would be a very great chance that he’d not sign with the Raps, giving us nothing more than a 2 month rental. How the hell does that address the Raps’ need at PF?

                  As I thought, you have no viable solutions, yet put down the achievable suggestions of others of getting a better backup PG than JLIII, which even if it’s a D-League rental would be far better for the development of the young players over the next couple of months.

              • wes mantooth

                amir is not a legit starter?? jv isnt gonna be great?? rudy plays the 4. bargs is a 4. we have a good starting 5. we’re 2 and 2 playing against the leagues elite since the trade and every game has been close besides us blowing out the clippers. i’d say the biggest difference maker lastnite was our future big man jv! totally changed the game. the only drop off lastnite was at the point when jl3 came in. same for the boston game. 
                i think your wrong. back up point guard is important and i also think our starting 5 and our potential starting 5 is good. if we can get a ridnour hinrich type we’d be in great shape. 
                our last playoff birth had the 2 headed monster at the point i believe.

                • mountio

                  Please tell me you arent saying that Aaron Gray is a good starting 5. If you believe that, Im not sure its worth continuing this conversation. 

                  Yes, I do think JV could be good (in fact quite good). But right now, JV and Amir are both fringe starters (as is AB) is this league. We need at least one starting 4/5 who is higher calibre than those two. 

                • wes mantooth

                  no we dont. because both amir and jv are getting better and are our future starting 5. whats the point of getting someone that is just gonna halt there progress. gray isnt our starter jv is. its only his fourth game back. you are totally wrong about amir. hes absolutely legit. plays good D rebounds great. i think his offensive game keeps geting better. he does everything you want. there is nobody to get. boozer?? then why is chicago trying to get rid of him. they called the raps. 
                  youre ignoring what im saying! jl3 IS the glaring weakness in what we have now. the other guys are set, and will improve. if we’re playing for next year and maybe making the 8th spot thats what we need.

                • mountio

                  Im not saying Im thrilled with the concept of the boozer trade (I think Im marginally positive .. but the contract is obviously an issue). But there is 100% no doubt that Boozer is a better player than either of Amir or JV right now. And, if that trade happens, AJ goes to the bench. 

                • wes mantooth

                  then who!!? what are the options??
                  i actually think boozer is worse. for the reason that you dont have to run plays for amir and his contract is awful. also amirs D  and hustle is way better.
                  the only guy i can think of is milsap, but hes gonna be real expensive. 

            • SteveB

              For statistics lovers: In three games with the Pistons, newly acquired point guard Jose Calderon has averaged 13.3 points, 7.5 assists and 1.5 turnovers. 

          • NyAlesund

             Lowry is the problem. With him we don’t have a good ball movement that generate negative effects on the team.

            We need someone able to move the ball smoothly, I don’t want to say Calderon (even I would happy to see him again) but a Ridnour caliber type of player.

            We have plenty of talent to score, Gay, Derozan, Bargnani can score 20 points a game, so we need a pass first point guard, not a freaky combo. I am sure that Lowry will be waived the 14 of july to save 5 mln if he continue to play like now.

            • mountio

              im pretty sure he will not be waived .. but if you think we should trade him for an upgrade at starting PG .. then at least that is more logical than trading one of our assets for a back up GP like Luke

              • John

                No one ever suggested trading an asset. Unlike you who suggested trading an asset(bargs) for two players who make us worse and kill our cap.

              • NyAlesund

                 I don’t know the future but know I would pray to have Ridnour for Lowry. No asset involved but the simply trade between them.

                • mountio

                  good thing you arent the gm. That would be a horrible deal. a straight up scrub for a legit NBA player

                • NyAlesund

                   Who is the legit NBA player? Lowry?

                • DumbassKicker

                  Where’s this scrub/legit line for you? If you think anybody who has averaged 27 MPG, for 687 games, over 10 years in the NBA is a “scrub”, I’d like to know what your criteria of “legit” is. Apparently, according to NBA execs, there hasn’t been enough “legit” PGs coming out of college over 10 years to send him packing.

                  For comparison sake, Ridnour has been in the league 3 years longer than Lowry, averaging the same minutes over their respective careers, while playing almost 300 more games, while maintaining BETTER numbers in: FG%, 3P%, FT%, while averaging the same ASTs, STLs, and PTs.

                  So in essence, Ridnour has been more efficient, for longer, and in many more games (more durable too?), than Lowry, so what makes him a scrub and Lowry legit?

  • SteveB

    Indy Cornrows, an Indiana Pacers community: 
    “Hibbert wasn’t a big part of the offense, a fault of everyone when going up against Andrea Bargnani.”

    • j bean

      LOL. If it was only true.

  • Juanmo1985


    • Dex613

      +1 He is a completely different player coming off the bench!

    • BCBargnaniFieldsCaseyGots2Go!

      Wow from 13 games to 2 games…….keep on lowering the bar and AB will be a NBA All Star…AB aka Mr Just Box Out

      #TradeBargnaniHigh (but not for Boozer)

      • Mo

        Majority of fans can’t see the bigger picture, they get caught up in the day-to-day noise and consistent flip flopping based on game performance.  Despite all the hate, Raptor fans really want Bargnani to be good and will find any reason to jump on that bandwagon. Don’t believe me? Imagine what would happen to these forums if Bargnani went on a 10 game 20pt streak. 

        • Hound

          if he went on a 10 game 20 point streak, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Shouldn’t fans be happy about that?

          I have said, and will continue to say, that Bargs is no different than any other player. If you can move him and make the team better, do it. Just make sure you don’t get caught up in emotion and get rid of any serviceable player for some other teams problem.

          No fanboy, just common sense.

      • DumbassKicker

        Tell us more about the high bar you set for Wroten and how he’s ballin down in Memphis.

      • KJ-B

        The only rightful time to trade Primo is the NBA draft when teams press the reset button and are prone to see the glass 1/2 full–get picks/players etc… If he finishes the year strong that’s when his value would be highest…Forget the trade deadline, the roster’s good enough for now.  It sucks that Lowry eats a lil bit too much and that JL3 is clueless but all in all, I’d sit pat…Getting Gay was good enough.

        Trading Primo now would be foolish because the Raps would get fleeced a la Boozer trade suggestion!

    • What the

      be nice pooka

  • Sangaman

    Bargs was hitting all his shots and the reason he has never achieved his potential are stupid ball fucking hogs like Lowry and Lucas.   

    • RobertArchibald

      This site amazes me. The entire season has been littered with trade Bargs posts and the guy has 2 decent games and everyone is changing their tune. First of all, if he had started and put up 2 rebounds there would be outcry for a public hanging. Now we’re blaming the PGs for his inconsistent career? Are you forgetting that Jose was his PG for majority of his career?? Jose is the anti-ball hog. Bargs is an above average 3rd big. That is all. He is not saving this franchise nor will he be a detriment so long as he comes off the bench.

      • EmarErozan

        The NBA is all about matchups.  Having a big-man matchup nightmare come off the bench tests the 3rd and 4th bigs of other teams.  More importantly, it’s easier to hide Bargnani on defence in that role.  Big contract for a bench scorer, but a better fit in that role.

        This isn’t new – many, many people have been begging for this for years now.

        • NyAlesund

           Bench role? For me the bench role is when a player stay on the floor for 15/20 minutes at his best.

          Bargnani will be a “fake” bench player with 30 minutes instead 34/35 in recent past. So, he is not playing against the bench player all the time.

          Yesterday Hibbert grabbed only 3 rebs playing 37 minutes. Bargs played well defensively and for me this is the news. The rebs are important only when the team grabs them. I am sure Casey is happy to see the new Andrea’s style.

          We have a lot of this situations in the NBA with players that has big contracts like Ginobili or Jason Terry in Dallas……….

          • KJ-B

            Hmmm…ever heard of Manu Ginobili, James Harden in OKC, Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry on Dallas, JR Smith?..there’s a place in the L for gunners–after all, whoever scores the most points wins the game.

        • KJ-B

          Like totally dude…TOTALLY.  Begging, wishin’, whinin’, crying….take ur pic!

      • Kujo

        Not me.  I’m not going to overreact based on 2 games.

      • Hound

        He did a great job last night. Look at the tape and tell me where he should have got more rebounds, or his guy out fought him for a rebound. It didn’t happen. No coincidence Hibbert didn’t rebound well. Our team, including Bargs kept him off the boards.

        I have said it for 3 years. Trade Bargs if you can get a better player in return and improve your team. Don’t just trade him for the sake of trading him.

        I believe this 6th man role is perfect for him.

    • What the

      blame it on the rain minny vennelli

  • Fresh_Prints

    That is the Andrea that I like to see. Talking junk with Hibbert, smacking him in the face, and hitting shots. Off the bench is the perfect role for him.

  • j bean

    Like Gman said in his post for the last article, the Raps have just played 4 really good teams since the arrival of RG. Ask those teams what they think of the new look Raptors.
    This truly was the most meaningful win of the season because when it looked like another close loss was going to be the outcome something changed. Down 4 with 10 on the clock and they did something to the Pacers that the best teams do. Call it luck or the result of mental toughness or whatever they had a meeting of the minds that willed the victory from the jaws of defeat. You could be cynical and say the Pacers beat themselves but that is what happens when you play the best teams. You make stupid mistakes in crunch time. 
    It’s not going to happen tomorrow but step back and look at the positives for this team. This is a winning club in the making. 

  • wes mantooth

    there is something different about this version of bargnani, hes way more engaged. hes showing that he has something to prove. those 2 rebounds should be atleast 5. a couple times we kept the ball offensively cause he got his hands on it, and he was really battling on defense.
    its frustrating cause he shouldve always been playing like this, but i’ll take it, if it stays..also wasnt getting his usual touches on O and still kept his head in the game. shows alot about where his head might be at.
    lowry is a head case. if hes not playing injured then then i think hes being a bit of a suck about his role on the team.

  • Roarque

    Karma that David West was the goat. He’s had the Rap’s number for several games. Great camera angle showing Rudy instinctively tearing out to intercept West’s inbounds pass at the 10 sec mark of the 4th. Onlt fitting that Amir had the opportunity and the instincts to capitalize on the dish from Gay.

    This will be remembered as a pivot point in the franchise. The game when Rudy showed us why the big bucks flow into his jeans. The game when Andrea Bargnani first came off the bench to CLOSE the win. It should be a teaching point for Brian Colangelo as well. Il Mago doesn’t have to start a game to deserve to be a first pick. The sixth man is a key weapon in the NBA.

    Not going to waste a lot of my energy on the refs BUT it would be nice to listen to Rudy’s perspective on the way they treat the Raptors versus the way they treat the Grizzlies. He probably cannot give his true feelings without a major fine from the NBA but if anyone can afford to pay that fine it would be #22!

    I broke the widescreen last night throwing a glass after listening to JUST ONE MORE inane comment from Matt. I wait for the night that Jack throttles him on air. Please.

    • vino

      +1 on Matt comment. I turn  the volume down just to tune him off

  • Kujo

    This was a great win, best of the season given the hot streak the Pacers have been on at home.  That being said, it took an epic failure on David West’s part to force the game into overtime.  He also had a killer TO in OT.

    Loved JoVals play.  Let’s hope this means steady mins the rest of the season.

  • jacobdrichards4

    Am I the only one who thinks Jack would be a scary coach, you can hear his angry side coming out on air all the time lol

    • Hound

      You know what. I think these guys should hear a little anger from time to time. They don’t always need to be coddled. They have decent talent. They shouldn’t be 18-32. Compare Denver’s (32-18) starters and ours and tell me why we are 14 wins behind them.

      PG – Ty Lawson – Kyle Lowry
      SG – Iguodala – Demar DeRozan
      SF-  Galinari – Rudy Gay
      PF – Faried – Amir Johnson
      C – Koufas – JV, Gray, Bargs

      Main Event:  George Karl vs. Dwayne Casey.

      Ding ding ding, George KO’s Dwayne 30 seconds into the first round.

      No Rematch Required.

      • mountio

        you are bang on re casey – biggest mismatch on the board. However, they probably have us at every position other than SF and maybe C (although you missed McGee .. its probably a wash)

        However, casey and our lack of execution down the stretch (may have been different if gay here all year?) has cost us at least 5 games .. maybe more like 10. 

      • John

        This hasn’t been our team all year. We just got Gay so the comparison is kind of unfair. That’s the reason behind the 14 game difference.

        • Hound

          Fair enough. But RG isn’t worth 14 game difference. Point is, we are not that bad talent wise compared to other teams.

          • Sig

             Not  anymore you mean. There was a 2 year period where Bargnani and Demar were our best players… thank god that’s over.

          • John

            Perhaps that doesn’t explain the 14 game difference but I would argue the margin would be around 5-7 if this was our team from the beginning of the year.

            • Hound


  • vino

    1. “he won the “mind games” aspect with David West.” not sure what you refer to as “minds game” but David West is tough as nails. The dude is a part time boxer… this comment is just comical 
    nevertheless, the write up is cool – as always, thanks Arse!
    2. Matt Devlin is incompetent and its annoying! Recall the Celtics game when he got exposed more than TRoss on that defensive play? He simply embarrassed himself; Leo just added to the cause. Well, it repeats every game – Matt is just clueless at times!
    3. Big Val – what an awesome bright spot is Raptorland! This team will go as far as his development will take it! 

  • 511

    Loved this game. First quarter, was thinking ‘tic-tac-toe basketball’. From both teams. Like well-trained prize fighters, sizing each other up in the early rounds, Raps giving as good as they were getting. Almost. As well coached as the Pacers obviously were and are, it seemed clear that the Raps weren’t down the bit that they were because of a coaching difference. A slight talent difference? The first half, I was thinking ‘yes’. But cautiously, not emphatically. 

    As has been touched on, I also thought the difference in the game was the Raptors bench. Led by “the magnificent Valanciunas” (loved reading that.) And of course, Bargnani, who played every bit as good as we needed him to in a role that suits him so well. (Like a lot of us so knew it would.) He banged and wrestled and did nearly all those things – superbly – that a team simply has to do in the trenches to beat the Pacers, especially at home. 

    Speaking of which, in the winding down of regular time when the outcome that eventually happened was looking … not-so-likely, I was inventing new curses for NBA refs in general … and a few epic ones for that one ref with the guilty eyes. In the end, was ecstatic to be able to shelve them (the new curses) … for the time being. (Damn refs, though. Unbelievable sometimes. Stern should be on his knees apologizing after almost every game.) 

    Among the other things I didn’t like, was seeing with painful clarity how limited John Lucas’ court vision is. The head-holding going on (my house, my head) was near-apoplectic during a few of those moments, seeing JL3 NOT see the OBVIOUS pass to make … and carelessly taking an early-clock-AA-style-Jack-shot. In retrospect … maybe he wasn’t as bad as I had been telling the tv he was, but … I hope BC has his eyes open and ready to spot our next pg-find. Cuz … it wouldn’t hurt. 

    Also … while Rudy Gay was the man (The. Man.) with the steal and the other clutch plays that tore this victory from the sweaty hands of defeat … there were moments in the earlier stages of the game when I was saying loudly, “RUDY! Have you EVER seen a shot opportunity that you DIDN’T like?!?!??” 

    Of course … I calmed that shit down a bit later on. 

    Loved this game, did my heart good. Looking forward to the next one. 

    • John

      Rude wasnt taking bad suites, they jet werent falling

      • 511

        I dunno. There might’ve been a couple shots here or there that weren’t as necessary as all that, where options were actually viable. No complaints – certainly for the most part – but his shooting/scoring percentage could probably be upped a notch with the odd judicious pass, especially earlier in a game. 

      • cdub

        I think it was the length of George that gave him problems.  His shot selection was good I thought.

    • Roarque

      I hear you about Lucas and yet he is well respected in Chicago whose coach wishes that they had not let him walk in the off season. Quite a puzzle.

  • AG

    Follow me on Twitter @AaronGrayFan:twitter 


    DeCasper “showing up for a full 48”?  He had 7 in the 1st @ the 8min mark , 15 at the half, 22 in the game!  Sure he kept them afloat (in the early bucket exchange), but JV deserved much more credit for that than DeChucky. The same transpired in the 3rd. Then he did the usual Houdini routine in the 4th, and had a fine DeBrick down the stretch. I don’t even think it hit the rim.  Inconsequential, per usual.  Let’s not confuse playing time with production.

    JV looks good after a nice fat layoff vs a team that’s played 35 games in 48hours and even then wasn’t pretty, smooth or easy, it was like he was playing for his life.  I wanna see him like that on a back to back.   The interior problem is glaring, giving up an insane 45pip/g away from home, making KG and DWest go retro night on us.

    This was the ref apology game, no doubt. 

    • wes mantooth

      what are you talking about “the ref apology game”!!??? i didnt hear a whistle when psycho T went WWE  on JV right in front of the refs! 
      i will agree with you though about kg and dwest killing us. no excuse!

    • Rob

      “This was the ref apology game, no doubt.”

      So when are we going to see an “apology game” for your stupidity? If not from you then from someone on your behalf, besides your parents or psychologist. 

  • CJT

    You know what’s great about basketball.  The fans.  I just read some of the reports out of indy and all the comments were exactly the same as here.  Hibbard can’t play, he sucks, he can’t rebound.  The refs let Toronto win the game etc.  Just classic.

  • Maniacal

    There is a swagger forming now, almost imperceptible, but its there.
    There is a growing PRIDE in that jersey.

    The biggest thugs on the block tried to steal their lunch money last night, but OUR Raptors bullied the bully right back.

    • Sig

       That’s cool. But would you be saying any of this if we had lost the game? In other words, would you be saying any of this if Rudy hadn’t miraculously stole the inbounds pass? I think not…

      This isn’t a shot at anyone, but take a look at how most fans are “bi-polarizing”…

      • Maniacal

        You bring up a valid point. 

        But here’s the thing about competition. Because its played by humans there is a degree of variability in outcome, unpredictability if you will.

        So at the end of the day, all you can ask is that the team put itself in a position to win…and let the chips fall where they may.

        by coming back, from what was it, eight points down, and sending this game into overtime, the Raptors put themselves in a position to win. And win they did.

        First and foremost a team has to put themselves in position to win. This is usually the hardest part; and this team is beginning to do it more and more consistently.

  • Overthewall

    When times are good, please don’t forget what it was like before when times were bad.  Barganani still is not a great player, so please trade him while he is decent.  Maybe not for a huge contract like Boozer, but even then it would still be an upgrade.

    • Hound

      Boozer is not an upgrade. Don’t kid yourself. They will replace him with Taj Gibson, once they amnesty him this summer.

      BC can’t be stupid enough to make this trade.

  • thatpeterguy

    Bargnani as the sixth man is the obvious way to go here if we can’t trade him for a PF. People talk about the spacing he provides that Amir doesn’t but that talk is a bit pointless considering that PF’s are not typically jump shooters and you can win in this league just fine having three of your starters be perimeter players. The spacing he provides is a luxury and is negated by his lack of defense and rebounding which Amir provides in abundance. 

  • pran

    I was impressed with rudy gay and valanciunas. RG made the game winning shot in OT, not to mention he also intercepted david west’s pass, and passed it on to amir who made the game tying shot in regulation. He didn’t play great the entire game, and was outmatched by paul george at times (3 quarters), but did the veteran things that contributed to the win.  

    JV imposed a physical presence I didn’t think he was capable of, good game for the rook.         

    the entire team played their heart out, for what is the most impressive victory of the year.    

    Anyone else think david west looks like a big 260 pound baby, crying all the time, that dude is emotional…….

  • ckh26

     Barney has looked good coming off the bench as a legit scoring option on the second unit… but its only a two game sample. Will this be another hoped for version of “new barney” or will he settle back to “old barney” that has frustrated the faithful for the last 7 years.  So a business decision has to be made in the next couple of weeks. Is there a deal out there that allows us to sell high and get back a rotation PF (we will need another big if AB goes and Amir starts @ PF) AND we need a rotation PG out of this deal. Or does the organization swallow hard and keep AB and look to get a rotation PG in free agency as Lucas III does not appear to  fit  the bill.   Early list of UFA’s shows the following: Mo Williams, Jose Calderon, Jarrett Jack, Devin Harris, D.J.
    Augustin, Beno Udrih, Will Bynum, A.J. Price.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    Anyone going to complain to the league about Hansbrough? I don’t care that the Raptors won, that fact that NBA officials completely ignored that was fucking despicable. He could of injured someone.

    • Pacersfan

      it was a foul, but it looked to me like the big oaf valanciunas was never in balance anyways. Im sickof all these pussy raptors fans crying about a good old fashion foul, that teaches the kid a lesson. The raptors should relocate to an american city, b/c the nba is an american league.

      • EmarErozan

        Indianapolis should get a d-league team because Indy is a d-league town.

      • Statement

        Maximum troll effort.

      • Sig

        You’re adopted.

      • j bean

        Pacers are averaging 14,000 a game with lower bowl seats starting at $12.00.

  • c_bcm

    False. The bargs supporters just were not posting for fear of ridicule and name calling. All the band wagoners were just piling on. That’s called ascertainment bias.

    • What the

      where the hell is Cesco ?

  • Phat AlberG

    You guys on here are so stupid dissing Kyle Lowry since the trade were 2 & 2 and we played Clippers, Heat, Celtics & Pacers. In those match ups just look at opposing starting point guards, Kyle has held them to combine total of 32% shooting.  This means he is doing his job defensively.  Just look at Celtics since Rondo got hurt they’re on a 5 game winning street, reason why because the ball is moving and not sticking to 1 person hands.   Kyle Lowry is doing his Job and running the offence, and his attitude is rubbing off on this team.  So that’s why they got him and that’s why the traded Jose Calderon.

    • Maniacal

      Amen. Well said.

    • Hound

      Make no mistake Phat, they traded Calderon because he was an expiring contract and made 10million. If he had 3 years left at 5,6 and 7 mill they would never have traded for Lowry.

      That is how the NBA works.

  • raptorspoo

    RE: Amir

    Was it just me or did anyone else have one of those “what the f#@! are u doing taking that sho…. GOOD JOB!!!” moments? LOL

  • JHP

    BC managed teams win 40 percent of their games.  So the Raptors need to win 33 games to meet their average.  Can they go 15/17 remains to be seen.  Sad when winning 50 percent of their games seems out of reach.  So when you say extend BC remember it means more of the same.