There are nights that can serve as a “coming of age” story for a team.  They’re usually unexpected road victories in situations of adversity where a level of grit, not known to exist, is not only displayed but showcased.  The Raptors already had one of these nights less than a week ago in Indiana, and last night in New York they did one better by beating the second seed in the East and elevating the physical play and defense to not only match but surpass New York’s.

Casey flanked Valanciunas with Landry Fields and Rudy Gay as starters to counter New York’s smallish lineup which technically has three point-guards in it (Kidd, Felton, Shumpert), Anthony at the four and Chandler in the middle.  The intention was to negate New York’s quickness advantage, thus bypassing the Raptors’ own potential advantage from having Johnson in there.   With both teams having capable perimeter defenders on the wings (Lowry, Gay, Fields, Shumpert, Felton, Kidd), jump-shots were settled for and missed by both teams early and throughout.

Related: Reaction – Raptors 92, Knicks 88

Everyone got their turn at defending Carmlelo Anthony as the Raptors were very aware of him turning the corner, and switched 2/3/4 or sent help from the inside.  Anthony’s response was not great as his first priority seemed to be to score rather than set up his teammates.   DeRozan and Fields played the right angles on Anthony and those soul-crushing scores that he’s known to get by going to his right were rarely to be witnessed.  Gay and Anthony are both athletically gifted but often lethargic defenders, and it was somewhat surprising to see them work hard at guarding each other.  Helped by the unkind New York rims, they went 4-21 and 5-24, respectively.  Volume shooting at its finest, and you have to give them credit for not stopping.

Related: Quotes – Johnson, Anderson, and Gay on Guarding ‘Melo

The Raptors offense was laboring and Kyle Lowry, basically going one-on-one in late-clock situations, scored seven in the first to keep the Raptors in it down 18-14.  The benches for both teams cleared out in the second quarter of this low-scoring but tight game, and John Lucas had a déjà vu from the Denver game, where the Raptors endured a miserable stretch in the second under his watch.  The culmination of this was a 15-2 New York run which gave them an 11-point lead; the featured attraction of the run was Raymond Felton going past Lucas much in the same manner Lawson did two nights previous.

While everyone was contemplating why the offense had gone to the gutter, intoning that this being the final game before the All Star game might have set a bit of malaise, Alan Anderson (26 pts, 10-16 FG, 3 ast) decided that this was his time to shine.  Actually, Anderson always decides that it’s his time to shine, but it’s only when his shot is dropping that he looks like the greatest bargain ever.  Two back-to-back threes right after that painful second quarter stretch bumped his total for the quarter to 10, and lo-and-behold, the Anthony/Gay matchup had been overshadowed by the Anderson/J.R Smith matchup and the D-Leaguer that could was winning it.  Raptors down five at the half, and considering just how terrible the overall offense was, this wasn’t a bad scoreline at all.

As is the norm now, Bargnani was tested in the second and showed as much passion as a guy on the last day of his job.   With Valanciunas being overpowered by Chandler, and Johnson occupied with Stoudemire, Casey called on Bargnani for some key production and got nothing in return.  Terrence Ross also saw some time in the second and picked up a foul, missed a jumper, missed another jumper, and picked up another foul.  Bad game, no impact, and the most disappointing aspect is that his defense, one-on-one, help, or just passing-lane awareness, is void.

The Raptors were -17 on the glass, and -12 on the offensive end.  As mentioned, the Raptors bigs were being tested and pushed around in the box, not to mention Bargnani getting zero rebounds in 12 minutes.  I don’t know whether it’s luck, good recovery defense, or something else, but somehow the Raptors were not made to pay the price for this differential.  To compensate for the rebounding, Landry Fields pitched in with 10 rebounds, mostly of the real kind (not ones that fall into his lap) and DeRozan had some key ones as well.   Of important note is that Amir Johnson had four blocks, one of them a key one against Anthony on the baseline in the fourth.

The trading of jump shots between Anthony and Gay continued in the third.  Credit goes to Casey and the Raptors for staying with the Knick wings on the perimeter, whether it be through a 2-something zone, great footwork in one-on-one situations, or negating Felton and Anthony’s paths to the rim.  On the other end, a 5-0 start courtesy of Fields and Lowry gave the side a big boost.  Looking up at the scoreboard and seeing New York’s 11-point lead gone, Anthony struggling, and the defense holding up had to have been a strong reminder that this game was there to be had.   Despite the closer struggling, you knew that if the Raptors kept it close they had a chance.  And that’s a belief that is becoming almost tangible.

The bench, which had almost ruined the night in the second, showed up big time again late in the third.  The Raptors went on an entirely unexpected 13-5 run to end the quarter, as Anderson hit three threes in the frame, and Lucas came on to hit one as well.  Unlike in the second, Lucas was able to keep Felton on the perimeter this time.  The Raptors shot 56% in the third, while the Knicks were at 19%.  You might say that it was due to some very poor shot-selection by the Knicks, but I’ve seen enough of them this year to say that those J.R Smith jumpers are the norm.

This was a physical game with constant complaining to the refs and in total, six technical were called – 3 on each team.  Unfortunately, Lowry picked up two of them in the third and even though he was walking away while complaining to the ref on the second one, the body language was just too demonstrative for it to be passed upon.  Harsh? Probably.  Self-inflicted?  Absolutely.  Raptors turn the table in the third to flip a five point deficit into a five point lead.  At this point you’re thinking that Rudy will come around and get this one for us.

I was shocked to see Bargnani in there to start the fourth as the only true big man with Chandler and then Stoudemire in the game.   The Knicks went on a 9-4 run to get the crowd back in it and showed greater intent than seen at any point.  The 4 in that 9-4 run is absolutely critical and that’s thanks to DeMar DeRozan (20 pts, 5-11 FG, 10-10 FT) who, after settling for a bad jumper against Kidd, went at him for two scores.  If not for that respite, this would’ve been a disastrous and potentially unrecoverable run.  Bargnani was horrid on the pick’ n roll defense, in transition, and in the set, and was yanked by Casey never to be seen again.  The commentators, especially Leo Rautins, was openly ripping him on the same plays he was making excuses for him or staying silent just a year ago.  Times are changing.

The rest of the game belonged to DeRozan, Anderson and Lucas and, in that order.  While Rudy Gay’s failed isolation plays were getting offset by Carmelo’s failed isolation plays, the difference maker was Anderson going up against Smith in late-clock situations (4 points), Lucas doing the same (6 points), and DeRozan driving to the rim to get fouled (8 points, 4-4 FTs).  It was the Raptors depth and the Knicks’ continued reliance on Anthony to produce that saw the Raptors come away with a win.

A key point in this game happened after Anthony had hit a three to bring the Knicks within 3 with 3 minutes left, and the Raptors out-of-timeout play resulted in a bad pass by DeRozan and a steal by Anthony.  DeRozan and Amir Johnson covered back to contest and prevented the house from exploding, because if the Knicks score on that break, the Raptors are under massive pressure.  Instead, the Raptors get a generous foul call and Lucas hits a sweet baseline jumper to pump it to six with 54 ticks left and that was really it.

The Raptors hit the All-Star break winners of four straight.  They have a tendency to win meaningless games to lose draft positioning late in the season, but this winning streak is too early for that.  These are actual grind-it-out wins that mean something for the other team and the Raptors are competing and coming through.    They played a faster pace game against the Nuggets, an extremely physical one against the Pacers, and overcame a struggling Rudy Gay on the road in New York.  They’re showing diversity in style of play and character in finishing the games.

A quick check of the standings has the Raptors six back of Milwaukee for the final seed.  Not that it means much in the overall direction of this franchise, but a playoff spot go some ways in announcing to the NBA that the Raptors are still part of the league.   And honestly, as a fan who has endured Colangelo’s shenanigans for the last four years, I just want to go to a home playoff game.

  • Kevin

    Great write-up Arse!

  • Zied

    Excellent summary of the game. Keep up the good work.

  • BlAke

    Whoa, this was a really well written recap. I kinda got sad when it was over haha.

  • keith warren

    This run seems different than previous runs from earlier this year and previous years. Those runs were the team playing at its best and doing some great things and getting some wins. In each of those streaks you could probably see 1 or 2 players who had great games, most likely Bargnani having one of his great shooting nights or Jose going off for a triple double, and the rest of the team playing well enough to beat the opponent.

    This streak is nothing like that. They are playing mediocre at best and still struggling to put together a complete game with all the players. One game its Rudy hitting a game winner, the other its a low cost journeyman going off. but not one game has it been a complete effort by everyone. In these games you can point to at least 2 players who have an awful night, tonight was Bargnani and Gay, yet……….they are getting wins.

    In the NBA, any team can win if the whole team plays well. Even the bobcats have their moments. But only good teams can win playing ugly. Despite the ugliness of these past couple of wins, and I’m sure you all will agree the play is pretty ugly despite the late game heroics, they are pulling it off.

    • Daniel

      It’s called Pythagora formula: in short, we are reverting to the mean in terms of wins-losses by a small margin. It just so happens that it occurs after the trade which usually gives teams a jolt. After the trade, Raptors are 5-3, Grizzlies are 4-3 and the Pistons are 4-4. The sample size is minuscule plus the games before and after All-Stars are funky so no grand conclusions can be made. The Raptors wins against Indiana, Denver and the Knicks were really weird however in the great scheme of things they make sense. Post All-Star period will have a much bigger and relevant sample for conclusions. I predict the Raptors and the Pistons will have a losing record whereas the Grizzlies will have a winning one.
      Individually, Gay had a PER of 14 in Memphis and now he’s at 17.7. Jose had a PER of 19.4 in Toronto and now he has a PER of 23.6 in Detroit. Davis had a PER of 18.1 in Toronto and now he’s barely playing. Prince had a PER of 12.8 in Detroit and he has a PER of 12.3 in Memphis. My long-term hypothesis for the trade is that Jose will prove to be the best player, Prince will be important to the Grizzlies’ play-off runs regardless of his regular season PER whereas Gay will prove to be a disaster for Toronto.

      • WhiteVegas

        Pythagora formula? What the hell are you talking about? There is no such thing. There is the Pythagoras Theorem, which enables you to add two vectors and find the magnitude of the resulting vector. It has absolutely nothing to do with reverting to the mean. Stop talking out your ass you clown.

      • voy

        hilarious. yeah, reverting to the mean independant of who is on the team.  it doesn’t matter who is on the team cuz the team will always revert to its mean.  wow.  i cant even believe you floated this “theory”.  we can have jordan but by some secret overarching mathematical priciple the team’s record will always revert to its mean.  and who may i ask is establishing the baseline for this “mean” if its not the players’ performace.  is it the basketball gods that are just arbitrarily ruling that the raptors will forever have a winning % of .400, the miami heat will always have a record of .750% etc etc

        its hilarious when you have guys with zero critical thinking ability trying so hard to convince everyone they know what they are talking about.

        secondly, and just as mind numbingly ridiculous, when was the last time the raps “mean” was at a .625 clip (5-3).

        get off your high horse and join the great unwashed like the rest of us, my friend.

        • The Truth

           ‘when was the last time the raps “mean” was at a .625 clip (5-3).’

          Late December.

          • voy

            maybe i should have clarified. by “mean” I meant the baseline calculated from an larger sample of games, not a little streak put together over 2 weeks.  the 5-3 i made reference to is the current streak daniel mentioned was the raptors mean they were reverting to.

            either way, this notion that a team has an autonomous “mean” that dictates its loger term winning percetage regardless of who is on the team is laughable. 

      • Jerry

        Go follow the Pistons already and stop stinking up the site with ur Jose Calderon lovefest you pathetic fanboy clown!

      • Gman

        5-2 They’ve won five and lost only two since he’s been here.

        If you’re going to cite a mathematical formula erroneously, at least get the numbers correct.

  • Nilanka15

    “They have a tendency to win meaningless games to lose draft positioning
    late in the season, but this winning streak is too early for that.”

    Playoffs or not, every win this year lessens the value of the pick we’re sending to OKC. 

    • 2damkule

      yup…it’s about the only thing that makes sitting ross & JV palatable.  normally, you’d want to give them as much burn as possible to advance their progress as quickly, and eschew Ws, because the benefit is two-fold (i.e. quicker development for them, and losses help with the quality of pick). 

      this year, there’s no direct/tangible benefit to not winning (yes, slowing ross & JV’s development isn’t good)…so, win as much as you can, create a ‘winning’ atmosphere around the team (whatver that means/is worth), and best case, they play well, climb the standings & barely miss the playoffs, thereby surrendering a ‘meh’ lotto pick in a weak draft (a pick that will just as likely be traded by OKC as used on a player for themselves – they have enough young guys who are better prospects than a guy they’d pick 12th-ish in this year’s draft anyway in lamb & jones) , meaning the raps get their pick for 2014 (which is supposed to be much better, from both a top-end & depth perspective).

      • DumbassKicker

        ” create a ‘winning’ atmosphere around the team (whatever that means/is worth)”

        Have you ever played any sport at a decent level? Anybody who has would understand what it means. At the very least, it’s NOT telling your young players, that you’re currently developing, that they’re not good enough and you’re an organization whose “vision” is to lose as many games as you can for the next few years, relying upon lottery luck to land the next KD or LBJ, so players, do like us and don’t try and win for the next couple of years, or 3, or 4, or…. whatever it takes to get lucky in a lottery and get the next superstar, at which point we want you to play to win,,,,,,,,,,, if you’re still playing by then.

        Everybody loves to cite OKC, but:

        1. seem to forget just how much luck it took them. First, if the NBA doesn’t change eligibility rules the year before, KD would have been available to the Raps when Bargs was chosen #1. That’s nothing but pure fn luck (pure bad luck for the Raps, but yeah, let’s have a plan relying upon our luck), compounded further by losing the lottery (yes losing) and Portland taking Oden. Then the next year, they get dropped to 4th pick, from 2nd best chance, but Miami’s dumb enough to select Beasley 2nd, and the T-Wolves select Mayo for Memphis, allowing OKC to get Westbrook. All part of the plan, aye. Then the year after that, they have the 4th best shot at the lottery (11.9%), would seem to have got dropped further when Memphis gets the 2nd pick with the 6th best shot, but OKC gets lucky again and gets the 3rd pick, landing Harden.

        2. How’s the “tank until we strike lightening in a bottle plan” working for:
        Sacramento (they have worst record the year Griffin (#1) and Harden (#3) are chosen, but lottery “luck” drops them to 4th pick, where they get Tyreke,
        NOH (they got themselves C.Paul, and now in another rebuild after winning nothing),
        Portland (if they lose the lottery to Seattle, maybe they get KD in place of Oden, damn that lottery luck),
        Cleveland (they got themselves LeBron, now in another rebuild, having won nothing but get to the finals once)

        Do you see any of these teams winning a championship any time soon? Do you see Cleveland, for example, telling Irving to play down to lose, and creating a losing atmosphere, until they can strike lightning again, which may never come?

        Maybe we should follow the Bulls plan and win the lottery from the 9th spot, with a 1.7% chance. Oh wait, we had the 9th spot the following year when we got DD. Damn, we should have planned to get that 9th spot the year it won the lottery. Just have to figure out how Chicago planned it, because lottery luck doesn’t seem to be working for us.

        Rather long winded way of getting to: What’s you’re recommended plan? Create a “losing” atmosphere until we get “lucky” for a few years?

        • Raptorialis

           Fun rant, valid points, but you misread the original comment.  No one was saying the Raptors should tank. “winning atmosphere (for whatever that is worth)” wasn’t a sarcastic statement (suggesting it is worthless) — at least not as I read it.  It was more “hard to measure what that is worth.”

          • DumbassKicker

            I wish you were right about misreading, but if I’ve seen that “winning atmosphere/culture” questioned on here once, I’ve seen it 100 times, and in every case it’s been sarcasm based on supporting the ill-advised (IMO) opinion that the “proper way to rebuild” is to tank until the superstar is found, thus the direction of my rant.

  • grL

      They played a faster pace game against the Nuggets, an extremely
    physical one against the Pacers, and overcame a struggling Rudy Gay on
    the road in New York.  They’re showing diversity in style of play and
    character in finishing the games.


    • Destro

      3 wins is 3 wins but they were terrible in 2 of those games…

      • 2damkule

        agree, but i think that’s the general jist of the article & comment…that they’ve won playing ‘bad’ ball, which isn’t something you could really say about them previously, especially when the opponent was anything better than mediocre.  generally, things had to go ‘right’ for them to be in a game vs. a better team (i.e. they needed solid contributions – often better than ‘solid’ – from most of their key players, and they needed their opponent to generally play below their standard).

        • Destro

          My opinion of the article is the recent streak is way too small a sample size to draw any conclusions on…They could lose 5 of the next 6 games and not play well then that theory is out the window…

          • Milesboyer

            That’s what this forum is all about: drawing conclusions. It’s the perfect sample size because it’s the only sample size we have with Rudy Gay on the team. Yeah it could change tomorrow but you can take any stance you want based on things that haven’t happened yet.

            • Destro

              Some stances are more foolish than others…

            • Daniel

              How old are the posters on this board? What we have it’s not a sample when the size is so small. What we have so far is a series of incidents or events. A sample has to be representative of the phenomena to be studied. We had some games home, some games away, some games with teams from the East and some games with teams from the West, and a multitude of other independent variables. The only trends I’ve seen so far that may or may not become representative related to the trade are: lower number of assists and higher number of turnovers post trade than before the trade, lower shooting percentages on the starting unit, higher number of wins against teams above 500. There are others too however I don’t have time to dwell more into numbers. How do these trends corelate to each other and how will they evolve in the future is anyone’s guess. I actually should say everybody has their own hypotheses against which the conclusions will have to be inferred.

              • Gman

                These are the idiot conclusions of a fixated mind. There are innumerable metrics at play here. We’ve won five out of seven. There’s one. Four of those five teams are above 500. We had only beaten I think it was 2 other teams over the course of the season who were above five hundred.
                Not only were these teams above five hundred, they were also considered among the elite teams of this league. The two teams we lost to, Boston and Miami are in their current iterations, perennial play off favorites. Prior to this we hadn’t beaten a single elite team.

                There are many more metrics available in this sample size that support that we are a better team now as we’re currently constituted, but I’ll leave it at that and simply state that what I’ve written here is far more statistically persuasive then the single metric you’ve been flouting on these boards for the last week.

  • iceR24

    Great followup article of a pretty good game.  Casey, don’t even put Bargnani on the floor, please.

    • What the

      but but what about come hell or high water and he’s our guy and we gonna roll with Andrea …When did Casey give up on Dirk 2.0

  • Destro

    Sorry but this team was very lucky to win last night…Knicks really lost it more than we won it,truth…

    • 2damkule

      again…that’s the point.  both teams played like crap, aside from a player or two on each side, but the raps won.  i’m not sure how that makes the raps ‘lucky.’  was the knicks’ poor shooting only the result of poor shooting, or was it ‘poor’ because the raps played some good D?

      isn’t any game that comes down to the wire decided at least in part by ‘luck?’  a bounce here, a call there…so much can turn the tide. 

      • Nilanka15

         The Raps suck when they lose, and they’re lucky when they win.  That’s just the way it is…apparently….

        • Destro

          The way they have been losing games has definitely sucked…

      • vino

        very true on most nights; however, I’m with Destro on this one – I had the same feeling last night; the Knicks lost this one! I have never seen so many misses at the rim (Chandler, Anthony, Stoudamire) and FT!

        not a hater by any means and the raps palyed some good D, but nevertheless…

        • FLUXLAND

          Some good D against Chandler, Anthony, Stoudamire who are collectively 400 years old.

          • 2damkule

            you mean tyson chandler, commonly thought of as one of the top bigs in the game, who, while certainly not an elite offensive player, is a solid finisher around the hoop (and a guy the lakers would trade howard or gasol for in a half-second)?  and carmelo anthony, one of the best pure scorers in the L having an MVP-ish type season?  and amare stoudamire, roundly being lauded or his ability to transition seamlessly to the bench for the benefit of the team, and who’s impact has been – while not spectacular as compared to years past – certainly positive?

            isn’t there some panic-struck circle jerk you should be attending with your laker buds?

            • FLUXLAND

              I’m not sure where in my post you read me diminishing their skills but you carry on with your spectacular interpretations in p00ka style. It still doesn’t change the fact these are old men… so why exactly should we be surprised some of the young cats got away with certain things?  If anything they should have smashed them, if they had the skills (not relying-on semi-athleticism)/talent to do so.   And as I mentioned before, the only reason they won is because Ty and Melo needed a break, while the bench gave up that 11 point run. Ballgame. Point blank. F all to do with some fake ass 4th q stance, where Melo took it inside and missed gimmies, or Felton coughed it up. I know JR had you shitting your diaper while you were praying for the Raps to hang on for dear life.  But today we’re gonna spin it with demoralizing Raptor defense, right? Of course we are.  

              DD over J-Kidd, baby!  Parade time!  Please, spare me. They were gifted a win because the Knicks, like many, if not all, teams in the L see the Raptors games as nuisances in their schedules, not because they showed up and got beat. But hey, enjoy the fughazi win in typical THF fashion; surprised you didn’t find a way to bang on Bargs with your typical “he’s 7 feet tall and a no1 pick, anything but 10 plus rebounds per game is an abomination to basketball” without any regard for his actual skill set.

              Panic-stuck over the Lakers?  2dam, you know me better than this, no?  It was a write off when they signed Nash, now I gotta watch Kobe defend both guard spots and kill himself while the big crybaby won’t rebound because he wants touches.  And I told you before I would blame Buss Jr. aka Dolan West – let’s hire D’Antoni and spit on Jax. Like the Raptors – no surprises, at all.   
              Happy V-Day, enjoy some real ball tonight.

              • morons

                old men? the 3 of them have an average age of 29.3 years old you retarded fuck, they’re all in their primes. or are they just old to you because you’re 12? dipshit

                • 2damkule

                  no no, you’ve got it all wrong.

                  in this particular area of the comment section, these knick players are old, because hey, how else would the horrible raptors have been able  to compete with them.

                  in another area of the comment section, one reason the raps were able to make a game of it was when these same old players were on the bench.

                  in another area of the comment section, another reason the raps were in the game was because the knicks were missing two of their most up & coming youngsters, rasheed wallace & marcus camby.

                  you just have to know how to follow the circular logic….

                • DumbassKicker

                  LOL, right on!!! And the clown/moron has the nerve to call most fans here bipolar. He does get lost in his babbling, ranging from whiney to pompous, but watch how he re-directs the conversation away from his stupidity when it’s questioned.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Sheriff P00ka, out again with his questioning.

                  First of all, I have never called anyone on here bi-polar. I’ll wait for you to quote me, if you can. So, don’t lie.

                  Second, I don’t know if you ever participated in a debate or understand how they work but there isn’t a question session between the two parties.

                  You only resort to questioning, because you run out of valid arguments or rebuttals to the points being made.  Weak.  

                • FLUXLAND

                  Again, nice p00ka like interpretations.  I don’t get why you’re being this dense, unless you’ve reached a new level of fan status. Disappointing, to say the least.

                  Let’s try this using your words and “logic”:

                  “they’ve won playing ‘bad’ ball, both teams played like crap, aside from a player or two on each side,
                  but the raps won.” 

                  “i’m not sure how that makes the raps ‘lucky.'”

                  This would be a valid argument if you are under the impression both teams have  the same level of talent and the game was statistically identical. It’s not the same level, they got crushed in the most critical stat category and you want to claim they didn’t get lucky.  This has to be the ultimate THF homer stance. 

                  a. the point was if the raps are as talented/skillful BUT younger, they should have crushed the knicks. They did not, they hung around while the 0ld men had a shooting night off, and still managed to outrebound the shit out of a younger team.

                  b. the knicks bench played shitty D when the two, although old, main players where on the bench. That run sealed the game. FACT.  In other words, the up and coming Raps can barely keep up with old dudes that are having an off shooting night (nothing do with the Raptors fake ass D), but yeah they didn’t get lucky, according to you.

                  c. They didn’t even have a full lineup, and the Raps barely escape with a w, even when the 4th q onslaught with Melo banging inside and missing easy Melo buckets, but again, you don’t see how this was more lucky than a win. You want to drink the coming of age defense bit after an ugly game. Riiight.

                  Nice rebuttal, really.  I guess all you have to know is how to ignore the blatantly obvious points being made, and ignore the statistical facts or lineups on the floor or how/when buckets were made, and then attempt to twist everything by looking at it from a Raptors ultimate homer glasses, not a basketball fan.  Keep drinking the Kool Aid, 2dam….sad to see you join the THF masses.

        • Hound

          Absolutely agree. That was a knicks loss, not a Raptor win. However, lots of bright spots:

          1) Tough D
          2) Win without Rudy (he was as bad as it gets)
          3) AA and JL3 came to play
          4) Landry had good minutes
          5) Dwayne coached a better game

          This game proved to me why we need to keep Bargs. He absolutely stuck, was nailed to the bench and we win. Just like AA was the game he stunk, i believe he only got 9 minutes. The more talented people you have on your bench that you can through out there and see what they have the better. Believe me LF has his place on this team, AA has a place on this team, JL3 has a place and so does Bargs. If we keep him (we will get nothing for him if we trade him), I guaranty he will help us win at least 2 games between now and the end of the year. That could be the difference between making the playoffs or not. His contract is bad, but trading him will only bring back a contract that may be worse.

      • Destro

        Raps are lucky that the Knicks didnt execute down the stretch and missed a ton of layups and foul shots and they are lucky despite getting whooped on the boards and given up 20 offensive rebounds,you dont deserve to win based on those numbers alone….

        • FLUXLAND

          Too many “dishonest fans” as you or BCG2G would say.

          • Destro

            Its cool a win is a win..i get the point made i just think 6 games is not enough to make it….

        • Dobsully

          Why can’t one say the same for the Raptors.
          The Raptors played a bad game also.
          You people never credit defense.
          Tough physical defense does affect players shooting %.
          Even the best shooters.  Several studies have been done
          at the NBA league.  Contested shots is a lower % shot 
          and physical defense wares down an offensive player.
          Maybe that’s why Melo shot poorly.

          • Destro

            Raptors defense didnt really effect those missed layups in the 4th,they just inexplicably missed about 8-10 wide open layups on the rim WIDE OPEN..had nothin to do with defense…Soemtimes you just have to watch the game and not rely on a stat sheet…

            • 2damkule

              so, you’re saying they missed 8-10 uncontested layups?  is that seriously what you’re suggesting?

        • 2damkule

          so, if the knicks had won, would it have been a ‘lucky’ win for them, based on how poorly they played (overall)?

          • FLUXLAND

            Poorly they played?  What game where you watching, 2dam? 

            Are you looking at those rebounding numbers?!!  They missed a TON of easy shots. Do you think the Knicks locker room is considering a team meeting for losing to the Raps in what was clearly a weird and ugly game?

            It would have been an ugly win during a game they barely showed up for with no Sheed or Camby in the line up and a former teammate on Melo.

            Gay goes 4-25,000 while mostly guarded by Raymond F Felton, wooohooo!!! I repeat Raymond F Felton!  GOOOOO RAPS! HONK HONK.

            Here’s a little depiction of 98% of Raptors fans:

  • rapsreality

    Solid win for the Raps. I don’t actually believe that they won, considering how poorly they played for most of the game. Somebody mentioned (I think it was PhD Steve) that the Raptors don’t run any offensive sets. Well, I agree they don’t. Everything was in isolation last night, and the “team ball” that had turned our season around is no longer (Kyle Lowry can’t execute a pick and roll). I love unselfish play, so it annoys me to see crazy chucking going on, but a win is a win. What concerns me though is whether this is the offensive philosophy moving forward- give it to Demar and Rudy and clear space, because if it is, I think we might see limited success. And if it is, then I suggest sticking with it, because I’m tired of seeing this team change its style of play. Too much indecisiveness, and that is never a recipe for success.

    Oh and one more thing, you can’t win in this league without a legitimate post presence, and the Raptors seemingly never throw it inside or look for their big men.

    • Hound

      This is definitely something to worry about. It doesn’t matter if you are playing in the park, at the ymca, high school, college or NBA. Offense is created by player movement, ball movement and proper spacing. We have seen less of all three since Gay arrived. Hopefully, once everyone plays together more we will start to see better offense. I agree that a lot of it comes down to the ballhandlers, but it doesn’t excuse the off wings for not cutting to the basket, ala Fields, or moving to set a screen after passing the ball. Even Bargs camped out past the 3 point line actually benefits the offense as it creates space, but if the wings don’t want to take advantage of a big being pulled away from the interior D, there isn’t much advantage to spreading the floor. You can hate bargs all you want, but just look at how Novak spreads the floor for the knicks, to see that proper spacing is an important part of basketball.

  • Nilanka15

    lol, what’s the with DeRozan dunk poll on the main page?  The only answers are three different ways of saying ‘yes’ 😐

    • cesco

      I thought the VC dunk over the French guy at the Olympics was the greatest ever , this was nothing to be exited about .

      • Destro

        If you didnt jump up on that Mozgov dunk you might want to check your pulse….

        • cesco

           It was an o’k dunk but his balls barely reached Mozgov chest , Nate could do as well or better .

          • Destro

            Tears on my pillow pain in my heart over youuuuuuuu

            (Cesco staring at bargnani’s picture hung on his wall)

        • FLUXLAND

          D-man, c’mon!  His career highlight is now dunking on a non top 20 shot blocker in the L.  Sure it made you jump up, but then you quickly sat down when your realized it was Timnoone Mozeverheardof and your pulse was the same rate as before he dunked.

          It did look like a patented LBJ dunk though. Either way… meeeh.

          • 2damkule

            totally agree…no one should be impressed by anyone who dunks on mozgov.

            unless it’s blake griffin.  twice.  or anyone else who isn’t a raptor.  then, it’s the fucking shit..

            • FLUXLAND

              No one should be impressed by a guy finally dunking on a nobody after 4 years in the L.  Nobody but starved Raptors fans, that take flashes of basketball competence and claim them as HOF moments.

              Nice comparison, Blake Griffin, eh?  The guy dunks on everyone in sight, but now DeBunk is on his level.

              I’m guessing you are now injecting the KoolAid.

    • Alvin Trilliams

      It would make more sense if you had a sense of humour

  • CoachingCounts

    We would appreciate it if Il Mago could conjer up a “great” game every third outing to show prospective teams that IF they acquire him and WITH their superior management skills, Bargnani will become the answer to a maiden’s prayer.

    Right now he’s just using up oxygen in the general vicinity of the Raptor’s bench. 

    • 2damkule

      do you truly believe that there is anything that bargs could do on the court between now & the trade deadline that would alter any GM’s perspective of who/what he is? 

      aside from marching out to centre court, dropping his shorts, and taking a steaming dump on the logo, that is.  which, some would argue, is what he metaphorically did last night.  but i digress.

      IMO, bargs is likely here until the summer.  as much as BC wants (raptor fans to think he wants) to trade him;  he knows that even if he does, unless he gets a ‘good’ haul in return (open, obviously, to interpretation), he’ll be criticized. 

      unfortunately, placating the fanbase seems to be his primary motivating factor (after making sure he gets extended, that is). 

  • Alvin Trilliams

    This game summary is SPOT on and very well-written. Made me want to read a book

  • Pamplaskuce

    Bargs had a couple of stops on Stoudemire in the fourth that should not go unnoticed.

    • Destro

      I only saw the two uncontested dunks he stood there and admired….

      • DumbassKicker

        To be fair, he was left out to dry by the defense of his teammates on both. On the first one, he didn’t have a hope, as when he slid over to help, he was left with 3 guys to cover by himself, and had no hope of contesting it. If he sticks to Chandler, the ball carrier had a clear path to a dunk anyway. On the second, he got caught trying to help teammates poor D again. The only thing he could have done on that one was foul, which he should have, but then every player on the team had at least one of those “should have” moments.

        • Destro

          No to be fair he should have moved his feet and tried to make a play on the ball like a 7 footer should be doing at the rim…The second dunk he was standing right beside Chandler no excuse for just bird watching right there….

          Thats the reason why his ass got yanked immediately after…

        • cesco

          Very good analysis and I agree he should have fouled Chandler , he didn’t and that is why he sat for the rest of the game . 

      • cdub

        He played some good man defense, hit his only shot, and had a block that didn’t mean anything because they scored anyway.  Other than that he played like garbage.  I’m wondering if he is allergic to rebounds as it almost appears hes trying to get out of the way of them at times.  Totally disengaged on both ends of the floor.  However his first two games back he was ok off the bench.  The difference now is that Casey actually sat Andrea for playing like crap, something that should have been happening years ago and he would have been a better player for it.  So if a trade comes up that makes sense we do it, if not he comes off the bench and has to play both ends or gets yanked.  With Gay on the team now we have anough guys that can play in place of Andrea.

        • Hound

          He can’t be traded without us taking back a terrible contract that we can’t amnesty in the summer. Everyone needs to wake up. We are stuck with him until the summer at least. We need to get the most out of him, hope he can contribute, if not, send him to the end of the bench. He can then be amnestied in the summer. He played 2 decent games when he came back and then played poorly the last 2. I will cut him some slack for being sick. I do want to see more next week though.

      • Hound

        actually, they were both on  “2 on 1’s” due to the inabilty of others to get back on D. But agreed, he should of tried harder to at least foul Chandler. He was the guy who at least made it back to the rim on defensive transition.

        He was billed as the savior, and now he is the whipping boy. Reality is, he is neither. He is a rotation guy in the NBA with a skill set that is quite a bit different than most people his size. He is an enigma as he can play extremely well or extremely poor and therefore he is very inconsistent.

        My prediction is he will be amnestied in the summer, will sign with a team next year for 5 – 6 mil, show up to camp in shape, come off the bench and help a playoff team. He will never be more than a 20 minute guy and 6th to 8th in the rotation.

    • BCBargnaniFieldsCaseyGots2Go!

      AB was giving up dunks like he was being punk’d….

  • IC

    This was a really bizarre game: Melo and Gay both extremely cold, shooting % fluctuating like a roller coaster for both teams, Anderson having a monster game, and technical fouls all around. It was a great win for the Raptors and credit must go to the bench players (Lucas and Anderson, but also Fields) who have basically bailed the team out the past couple of games. If Melo didn’t shoot as poorly as Gay in this game and the Raps didn’t still manage to pull off a W, people would be rightly ripping into Gay right now. He forced way too many shots (nothing unusual) but he missed them pretty badly for the most part (front rim, etc.), which is somewhat unusual. At the same time, he stepped up on D and was thus somewhat able to compensate for the lack of scoring. If Lucas keeps playing the way he has been, then I wont feel a shred of remorse for the Calderon trade (not that I felt much before either). Bargs has gotta go though. Boozer would be so good for us…

    • BCBargnaniFieldsCaseyGots2Go!

      Melo got injured early in the game thus his shooting woes…might miss AS game.

      • 2damkule

        yeah, it must be serious if he’s contemplating sitting out the allstar game. 

        • FLUXLAND

           Except he already stated he is not missing it, as stated last night around 9 pm.  Way to keep up.

    • Hound

      Bargs for Boozer is the worst trade this team could make. It would go down as BC’s worse decision as a GM. If you think Bargs is bad, just watch Boozer’s defence. There is a reason Chicago wants to get rid of him. Also, if you want Boozer, just wait until the summer when Chicago amnestied him and then pick him up cheaper. If we trade for him, we are stuck with one of the worst contracts in the NBA. If you think Rudy has a bad contract, wait until you pay Carlos 16 million dollars a year to sit on the bench, and you can’t amnesty him. Omar Asik has the efficiency as Boozer and people laughed at Houston for signing him for 8mil.


    The key point of the game was Melo and Ty riding the pine while the Raps went on run and the Knick bench let its team down.

    Yeah, “great D” against a senior citizen team that didn’t even show up to play. Please. Coming of age deezzz nutzzz.

  • FAQ

    If Ratpors make it into the playoffs, they will look like a more desirable destination for US FA’s looking to play for a winning team…. and BC has given away draft picks until 2020 or something like that…..!

    Revived gossip:  Bulls still interested in Bargs for Boozer….. ya think?

    • BCBargnaniFieldsCaseyGots2Go!

      Just say no 2 Booz….

  • BCBargnaniFieldsCaseyGots2Go!

    Good W!!

  • tmk

    “Actually, Anderson always decides that it’s his time to shine…”
    That made laugh hard because it’s just so true.

  • Adam

    great article.. really well written. You should replace the shmuck who wrote the article for the Toronto Star. I swear he only watched the highlights on tsn.

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