Here’s a recap of the Washington game:

  • Pick ‘n roll where the roller didn’t roll when the ball-handler thought he would roll – turnover.
  • Pick ‘n roll where the ball-handler decided that pick ‘n rolls are dumb and took a 22-foot jumper – missed shot.
  • Screen set by big man, ball-handler decides to drive on the wrong side of the screen – confuses everyone, forced shot is missed.
  • Five guys standing around, one of them has the ball and the other four expect him to do something good. He throws up a brick.
  • Turnover – ball hits the back of Valanciunas’ head
  • Made shot.
  • Made shot. (ooh, it’s a run!)
  • Washington goes on 6-0 run, damn Bradley Beal
  • Isolation play where either Gay or Anderson decide to shoot a leaner from 19-feet. Missed.

That’s just the offense, but you get the idea. This was an ugly basketball game where the details are not worth repeating. Take the broader view here and you can slot this game as a typical one the Raptors have dropped over the years at home which serves to suck out any momentum that might’ve accumulated from previous good play. How a team can beat the Knicks, rest for two days and come up with a stinker at home against Washington speaks to the preparation levels and focus of the team. Maybe they started celebrating their recent form a bit too early. I don’t know, but what I do know is that this team, somehow, had the balls to play down to the level of their competition. I chalk it up to a bit of hubris which is silly for a 23-34 Eastern conference team to have.

[Related: Quick Reaction: Raptors 84 vs Wizards 90]

If you subscribe to the theory that we’re in a playoff race, then this was a “must win” in the sense that it’s a game that you’re favored to take by Vegas, expected to win by the fans, and is supposed to be a routine tick in the NBA schedule (I think that sound I heard were the Hollinger playoff odds crashing down). So what went wrong? Many things:

Offensive play-calling: You wouldn’t be holding Dwane Casey to Jerry Sloan standards if you expected the Raptors to have a singe play which doesn’t originate with a wing player poorly using a poorly set screen, getting into the 18-22 feet area, and then choking on what to do next. If it’s Gay in this situation, he usually hits the back-rim or throws a pass out to the wing which is either deflected or intercepted. If you’re Lowry, you either drive blindly/heroically to the rim or just pick up your dribble and look for rescue. If you’re DeRozan, you look behind you to see whether there’s a deer following you, and if you’re Bargnani, you fake like you’re going to drive, pull-up and pass. Or something like that.

What I’m getting at is that despite having decent offensive players in Lowry, DeRozan, Bargnani, and Gay (leave aside his horrid shot-selection for a bit), we’ve been unable to muster up any sort of consistent offense. Since Gay’s arrival, the team is shooting 43%, whereas before he got here they were at 44%. So basically there’s been little improvement. Now I realize FG% isn’t everything and that some of you are of the advanced stats frame of mind. So let’s look at the hallowed TS%. Since the Rudy Gay trade the Raptors TS% stands at 52.6%, prior to that it was 53.1%. Further confirmation that despite some late-game heroics, the offense has really remained the same, if not slightly stagnated. This is consistent with the eye-test of watching the team play. Rudy Gay’s heroics in stretches (late against Indiana, third quarter against New York) are well and good, but it tends to deflect attention away from the larger problem that the Raptors run an isolation-heavy offense with not nearly enough three-point shooting to space the floor.

Laziness on defense: Lately I can’t point to a tremendous amount of lazy play on defense as the team seems to have gotten a psychological lift from the Gay trade combined with the winning that ensued. Last night, though, it was plain to see that the Raptors felt they had this game owed to them and put in a disproportional amount of focus and effort on defense as warrants a team of their standing. Bradley Beal being a great rookie doesn’t excuse the ease at which he got around his cover to an open mid-range area to shoot 8-13 FG, or why a scrub like A.J Price is lighting us up from the wing. Kyle Lowry is the only wing defender that took his matchup personally and made a keyed in effort to contain his man, other than that it was back-tracking, hand-waving and a token presence that only meant to pretend that the defense was being played.

Lack of communication isn’t to be confused with laziness, except in cases where you’re lazy enough not to communicate. Maybe it was the tired legs (huh, they had two days off) or Washington’s sheer agility on the wings (c’mon now), whatever the case, it took no more than a move and a half for the Raptors to either concede a horrible mismatch (either in isolation or on the boards) or have the rug pulled from underneath them halfway through a play. You might be thinking why the defense is being put into question when Washington only shot 42%. That’s because Washington also played terrible basketball last night, highlighted by a ridiculous 19 turnovers.

Rebounding responsibilities: The four smalls and one big lineups that Casey has been trotting out haven’t been without their downside, and rebounding has been affected. Whenever you play one less big, the mentality on defense has to shift to really cleaning up the glass. This hasn’t quite happened. The Raptors are an average of -9 on the glass in their last six games, which in itself might be countered by a high shooting percentage or greater pace. However, it’s the offensive glass that’s worrying and is where the Raptors are a -5.5 in the same stretch. Nothing hurts like free possessions and when you’re giving up 5.5 a game, it’s a small miracle that you’re even in it.

Last night they were -10 overall, and a -4 for offensive rebounding in that key second quarter which slowly but surely shifted the tide in Washington’s favor. This is a broader issue of team rebounding and a single player need not be singled out because when you decide to play small-ball, it can’t just be about the offense. The problem here isn’t even that the Raptors aren’t bothering to box-out their checks or anything like that, it’s that the defense is either too stretched or incorrectly positioned to be in rebounding positions. Perhaps its because of lack of familiarity with each other, more likely, though, it’s that there isn’t a sustainable plan just yet on how to play the offensive brand of basketball Casey is intent on playing.

Lack of post-presence: Not that the Raptors were ever strong here to begin with, it’s that they now have zero presence in the post, especially since the number of DeRozan post-ups have gone down to zero, and Gay insists on playing the pick ‘n roll (and that too, horribly!). Pound-for-pound, our best post-up player is DeRozan and his go-to move is a fadeaway. Valanciunas is a long ways away in that department and it’s never been Johnson’s specialty either. Bargnani, believe it or not, is likely our best big man in the post and I don’t think there’s been a single play called over the last week and a half where the focus is to get him the rock in the block. We talk about “getting Andrea going”, I’d probably look here first.

So, not to sound all doom-and-gloom here, but when you lose to the Wizards at home it leaves you, sort of, scratching your head as to whether these guys even understand that they’re somewhat in a playoff race. The Raptors are now 6 back of Milwaukee in the loss column.

Steve’s podcast airs at 6am.

  • Adriiian

    We are doomed. (for mediocrity)

    • RapChap


      • Darien

        RG4 CB4

  • tom

    man, i was just thinking earlier today about how distant of a memory that 4-19 started seemed…. after tonight’s game it doesn’t seem so distant

    • Cottonclub

      this was absolutely a must win game.and we lost was  a disjointed horror……..i guess running up and down the court aimlessly and the more shats era is upon us again……………….playoff basketball is half court and plays are executed…we wouldnt win one game.

  • Destro

    Thing i noticed tonight is not enough up tempo offense,ugly game like tonight they shoulda been trying to run alot more in the 2nd half…I always say as much athletes and young legs we got we never run enough…

    Especially game like this where the offense stnk and shots werent goin down and guys were disinterested in running any kind of plays,shoulda got out and ran alot more to to try to get some easy buckets…

    • Gman

      Absolutely…I was at the game and was amazed how often they just walked the ball up the floor.  I mean why pressure Washington, right?  After all, they’re our guests.  Wow, was that ugly.

      • FLUXLAND

         Remember when you told us this was an OKC/Miami type offense? 

  • FAQ

    Jack Armstrong called it a “disjointed offense” early in the 4th quarter and saying that the Wizards are executing plays.  The fact is the TRaps just don’t have a functioning PG to run plays and control  the half-court game.  Now we can appreciate Jose’s playmaking abilities… he knew how to run the team.

    The only scoring threats are Demar, Rudy, Kyle and Lucas… the rest are inconsistent or incompetent.  The offense just degenerates into one-on-one efforts and hoping that it doesn’t become one-on-two or more.

    What we may be witnessing is the disintegration of the TRaps as the opposition stiffens up in the late season.  TRaps just don’t have the horses, and when the starters go lame …. well this is what you get… no surprise here.

    • Guy

      Is that the same Jose that, in 5 years as the starter, never once lead the Raptors to a winning record? 

      • Chris

        Not Jose’s fault douchebag. You cant blame ONE guy for not getting a TEAM to the playoffs.
        Although I think we are better off after the trade, you cant say the team ran worse before with Jose. In terms of the PG position (facilitator), Jose is the better PG over Lowry in terms of running the team. Hands down. Not even a debate here.

        • Guy

          Did I say it was all Jose’s fault? No, but if he’s the stud PG you say he is, then the team & it’s smoooooth running offense shouldn’t have posted over 100 losses the past 2 seasons should they you fuckin clown? 

          • chris

            You decided to single Jose out and made it sound like it was all his fault. The reality is that 2 maybe 3 starters for the Raps in those years would be starters on other teams. It’s not his fault. The talent level just hasn’t been there. Feel free to talk about the awesome talent we’ve and how Jose didn’t utilize them. As far as I’m concerned, he’s only brought out the best of the guys he’s played with. Unfortunately, our players bests have been mediocre.

      • Cottonclub

        one guy doesnt make a team….we have no lebrons or kobes or durants…those dont grow on trees.vince carter was the closest we had to that…..pinning anything on one player is absurd.

      • Guest

        Gotta love this “argument”.  Do you even watch basketball?  Or are you a fair-weather bandwagon jumper, because your logic belies your ignorance.  Your argument would make sense if the question was whether Calderon is a HoF level PG.  At least then, the argument would be that he wasn’t of such elite ability that he could carry any team, no matter the makeup, and how many players can do that?  BTW, just to further shine the light on your stupidity, in Fields’ two years as a starter, he led the Knicks to winning records both times.  What’s your point?

        • Guy

          You compare Fields to Calderon & then call me ignorant & stupid.  Did anyone, at any time, ever say Fields was a leader on the Knicks? Was he ever credited, at any time, with running a smooth offense & being a great facilitator? That’s one of the dumbest comparisons you could possibly make. Whatever credibility you think you have was flushed away with that lunacy. Congratulations. 

          Did I say anywhere that the team’s lack of success was entirely Jose’s fault?  Please point it out if I did. What’s stupid, and actually more cowardly, is touting Jose as this great facilitator that could really run an offense, but when someone points out the team was never above .500 with him as starter, you say ‘wellll, we didn’t say he was THAT good.’ 

          My point is, how effective Jose was at running the offense is irrelevant when you consider the team posted over 100 losses the past 2 seasons. You may have appreciated it looked smooth, but I tend to focus on the fact it never resulted in a lot of wins.  

          • SR

            The Fields comparo was obviously facetious.

  • Cottonclub

    im sorry to say but,Caseys coaching is pathetic, he has no offensive sets and has piss poor rotations that would befuddle rocket scientists.HE expends his coaching ability by jumping up and down barking out orders to players on where to be and what to do and on occasion he barks out the wrong advice and the opposing team gets a bucket and he shrugs like he just got scored on…….for the first time since 1995 and watchin every season, every game, i have absolutely no idea what his player rotations are going to be, game in game out…..he came in boisterous about this not being a democracy and that there would be a clear chain of command on offense.smh…….SO THIS ISO ISO ISO NO SET PLAYS, EVERY BALLER FOR HIMSELF, CHUCKING…thats what pound the rock has devolved to?………ffs.its sad…our pg,sg and sf have carte blanche to chuck away while our bigs are used with stepford wife style programming to clear out, and set screens(reducing our o rebound numbers which are down btw)this also completely negating amir,vals and bargs post skills(which they have in abundance)…..sad……………i play rec league ball every tuesday and thursday night…..our o is set and tight….rotations are known…play is pass happy and slick…we have fun.

    • Copywryter

      Amir, Val and Bargs do not have post skills in abundance. 

  • GoingBig

    I had wondered when we were going to have a hard look at the type of offence that was being run by Casey.  For example, earlier in the streak with Calderon and then with Lowry, you could see with the Time-out throw-ins – there was only one play. 
    These guys have to have some actual in-game offensive plays and patterns. Simple ball will only get you so far.  Having some pick-n-roll, having some threats other than iso will give that hero-style ball more room to succeed. 

    Hero-ball is ingrained much more in this team than before the Calderon-Gay Trade and is the new default.  In the Memphis loss you could see it in the 3rd and 4th quarter with Rudy Gay heading strongly into the basket but as the Memphis defence responded, he had no options – or at least could not think of one.  He was hugging that rock like he’d fallen in a river and was trying to save himself from going over the roaring falls.

    The defence was not there for a change.  In the Raps’ wins, especially the 1st win against the Knicks, you could see it wear down the Knicks.  We don’t see it in the stats but I think that when the Raps defend with energy that gives them the energy on the offence.

  • Copywryter

    I’m the last person to be optimistic about our chances, but this is the same Wizards team that beat the Heat. Bad games happen.

    Then again, the Wiz are terrible. Anyone else wonder how that team wins any games at all?

    Amir looks tired. Not having a quality defensive backup big like Davis is starting to show both on the stat sheet and on the TV.

    • Robertjclement

       Get your facts straight! Right now (with the return of John Wall) the Wizards are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. They have won their last three in a row and are 7-3 in their last ten.

      • Copywryter

        Keep your pants on I didn’t issue any facts. I said the Wizards are terrible. Did you watch the game? They have a disjointed offence and are turnover prone.  Hot streak or no, they are bad and have a line-up that isn’t going to win many games. 

        Sorry if saying that the Wizards are bad makes the Raptors look worse. 


       You know what will be funny? If/when the Wiz pass them in the standings.

  • raptorspoo

    Now, someone please convince me that Lowry is much better than Bayless or J.Jack.

    I can’t for the life of me find a reason why we would just throw away Jack or Bayless to pick up Lowry – giving up a lottery pick in the process.

    Goes along with my questions of:
    – why we wouldn’t trade Bosh earlier when he seemed to be a black hole and not someone to build your team around.
    – why we wouldn’t trade Bargs when he seemed such a defensive liability with a shoot or die offense.
    – (and some of you might not agree with me) but treat DD like a superstar when his ceiling is obviously a 5~6 man on a championship team.
    – why we would even attempt to trade for Nash
    – why we would trade for Gay when that would cap the team – which in turn would mean THIS would pretty much be your COMPLETE  ‘future championship team’ that will win it all… LMAO

    …and many many many more mind boggling questions…

    • Dan

       Sadly you can probably add how can Bryan get an extension this summer to that list too.

    • canuck_eh

      With all due respect, seems like a lot of Monday morning QBing going on here. Jack and Bayless didn’t work out and were traded. They’re experiencing some success now as sixth men coming off the bench, but that’s only after further development of their games (…and only in the last month or so has Jack put up some monster games.) I don’t lose too much sleep over their departures.

      Say what you will about Bosh, he’s a top-15 to talent in the league….as evidenced by his all-star selection. He put up solid numbers as a Raptor and now as the third option in Miami. He played excellent for the Heat in their first run to the finals. The criticism of him seems to exist in a vacuum – who should we have had in his place?

      I agree with the Bargs comment, but he didn’t really go south until this season. He didn’t get a franchise-guy contract, but was expected to be one.  (..refer to my comment about DD below.)

      DD is not treated like a superstar, as reflected by his pay. He was the best scoring option on a sh*tty offensive team…i.e. the best of the worst. Rudy’s arrival has opened the floor back up to him and in some games, e.g. last night, he’s the only guy who finds a way to score. All of his avgs are up this season, so what’s the beef?

      I think the Nash move was done to make the fans happy. He was never coming here, but BC put the onus on him to say no.

      Gay has been a solid addition so far – shooting % notwithstanding. We’ve beaten teams we shouldn’t have, lost a nail biter or two, and crapped the bed in one. What you’d expect, no?

      I’m as disappointed as the next fan, but the last month or so there have been signs of improvement, and plenty of young guys with upside that will be interesting to watch in the coming seasons.

      • Nilanka15


        Great post.

      • FLUXLAND

        So, on the Raptors these are starters, 1st options and HOFers if only given enough minutes, but on other teams much less so?

        Lesson learned I guess. 

        Now, if we can only give TRoss enough minutes, we can start the parade, right? Right.

        • DumbassKicker

          LOL, with all the common snarky little jabs, now this total non-sense invention of narrative not in the post you’re responding to, seems you’re really desperate for attention today.

          Come to think of it, that’s why you haunt the site all the time. Nothing says “look at me. give me some attention, any attention” more than coming to a team’s fan site sporting another team’s jersey, and criticizing anything and everything associated with said team.

          • FLUXLAND

            I return, come to think of it, that’s why you haunt the site all the time. Nothing
            says “look at me. give me some attention, any attention” by continually playing fan cop, dishing out your therapist analysis of those who post and diluting the team’s issue by comparing them to other crappy outfits , p00ka. 

            I mean, G** forbid someone would be critical of a team they follow, right?  If we can just all hold hands, ignore reality and cheer our team, they may actually win , right?

            Spare me, shill.

            • DumbassKicker

              LOL, you’re still hung up on shit I said 6 fn months ago, or is it that you’re just so fn desperate for a retort that you continue with this lame “fan cop” thing, ironically just as your new hang up is playing screen name cop. Pathetic little twerp.

              PS. Nobody suggested you can’t be critical, fool. The point is that’s all you do, while sporting another team’s jersey on a team’s fan site (“look at me”). In itself, who cares, but in case you’re still having a tough time grasping the whole, it’s the complete picture that screams “I need attention” and nobody else gives me enough, so I’ll spend my time coming here and whining and bitching like a little girl every day to get it.

              • Nilanka15

                DumbassKicker wasn’t here 6 months ago…but pOOka was….

                • DumbassKicker

                  Yup. Way to go sunshine, again. Feeling your screen name detective oats again, I see. Well, I guess I can understand such joy coming from a self-proclaimed shmuck that unclogs photocopiers. Don’t get too distracted now. Stay focused on the job and they’ll eventually promote you to paper loader and toner maintenance.

                • Nilanka15

                  “self proclaimed”?

                  Typical pOOka making shit up.

        • canuck_eh

          I am lost at how you came to that conclusion from my post, but according to what DumbassKicker has suggested, these nonsensical, strawman responses appear to be the norm for you.

          Lesson learned I guess. 

          • FLUXLAND

            You accuse people of Mondaymorning QBing when plenty (a few I guess) were calling them benchers before they even played a game for the Raps. Your post sounded/implied to me like you only came to that realization after their departure. 

            • canuck_eh

              Okay, you’ve lost me. Do you understand what the term Monday morning QB means?

      • raptorspoo

        The problem I have with what you’re saying and a lot of raptors fans are thinking is this…

        You guys are looking at it from and individual skills perspective. Is Gay, Bosh, etc good talent? Sure~ But it’s from a ‘building a championship team’ perspective that’s got me all flustered. BC and many fans alike are so short sighted.

        Yes, Bosh has won a ring and went to this years allstar game (off the selection of his coach and injuries) but his role had to be marginalized… and even still he is heavily criticized in Miami LOL. Top 15 talent? LOL.. I’ll give you 50 players i’d rather ‘build around’

        To respond to your comments:
        – DD is getting paid as much as Tony Parker / Steve Nash have been getting in their dominant years.
        – Bargs has always shown signs of defensive deficiency and a lack of fire
        – Gay… he left us with little wiggle room – meaning we are expecting this team to compete for the ring either now or in the near future… again LMAO

        Bottom line… I’m not looking for ‘signs of improvement’ … I’m looking for a realistic plan to win it all

        • canuck_eh

          That’s fine, I was addressing specific points about specific players raised by another poster – e.g. why didn’t we keep Bayless and Jack, Bosh should have been traded, etc. Nonetheless, I think you’re quibbling over “keeping/signing enough good talent” and “building a winner”. I have no doubt that chemistry and fit is key, I’m looking at you Lakers, but it never hurts to try and get the best guy possible at each position. In my reckoning, BC has done his best to do so. Did he shoot for the moon and fall on his face sometimes? Ball! But I don’t see FAs lined up at our border to be booed during home games. 

          What specific things would you have done differently to build a championship? Aldridge instead of Bargs? Not dumped TJ for Hibbert? Good ol’ hindsight.

          Bosh is criticized everywhere, mainly because of his odd, and at times, childish behavior. I was just down in Miami for the Lakers game, and it seemed like Heat fans were pretty happy with him. I know I’d take him back in Raptors’ red any day of the week. BTW – coaches across the league choose the all-star reserves…Spoelstra opted to start him. BS for sure, but I can’t fault him for it. It was Bosh’s eight appearance, so I guess he’s been fooling coaches for years. I look forward to your list of 50 guys. “LOL”

          To respond to your comments:

          – Parker earns $12.5M with the Spurs and Nash topped out at $13.2M with the Suns. Demar starts earning $9.5M next season, so perhaps you can help me with my math… We overpaid for Demar, but that’s mostly Toronto tax to keep him here; see Carter, Vince and Bosh, Chris.

          – I’m not going to put up much of a defense for Bargs – he’s playing like shite. A 7-footer who can shoot ain’t the worst thing to have in your pocket and at $10M it was worth a shot. Happy to see him go for something more than a bag of balls.

          – Who said anything about a ring this year or next? I think BC is stockpiling some good young talent that hopefully develops. I’ve heard more than one commentator suggest we’re the most exciting team in the league. Hopefully the new cap rules breakup some of the conglomerations of talent in the league, and Rogers decides to use a portion of my outlandish cable fees to bring some guys here.

          • vino

            Echo the positive attitude and the general common sense in all three posts. It has become hard to come by here on the boards…

            I wouldn’t go as far as labeling the Raps as the most exciting team in the league, but there is definitely more attention to Toronto with the Gay trade, Ross victory and the recent record.

            Good point about the new CBA breaking up some teams (Memphis comes immediately to mind, Altanta is next). Young/cheap talent is uber important and having #17 and #31 is super exciting in this sense. Not rings, but we should definitely be fighting for a 7 and up seed next year, which could give hope for a second round. I do not think any one in their right mind hopes for more out of the next season…

          • raptorspoo

            Look up how much Nash was getting paid during his MVP seasons or how much Parker was getting paid before this recent contract – or after how many championship? We’re paying DD like he’s won us something already..

            And if you’re listening… I’m not saying we shoulda kept jack or bayless. I actually didn’t want either in my starting lineup. My point was why rid them and pick up Lowry.

            I’d rather have Tony Allen on my team than Bosh and he’s not even in most ppls top 50. Only reason i’d take Bosh is because we got suckers like you who would give me five Allens for Bosh.

            How would i have built our team? Well for one, i would have tanked last year… Not by purposely losing but by trading DD and Bargs (while he was fooling ppl like you to believe in him) and let the younguns play through the fire with JC coaching them. And then pick a meaningful player with superstar potential – heck, we didnt even have to tank for that… we just passed him up.

            Sorry to mention this canuck_eh… It’s thinking like urs that make all our teams stuck in mediocrity. Don’t have the guts to grind it out and build a team. Always want instant gratification.

            • canuck_eh

              This conversation is travelling down the road to Pointlessville, but I’ll bite.

              There’s no point in comparing what Nash was paid by Phoenix in 2004 and Demar gets from Toronto in 2013. Whatever the case, at 30, Nash signed for six years at $63M. Kudos to him – he earned every penny of that contract and turned out to be a relative bargain. We bid against ourselves and locked Demar down at 23, for four years at $38M…what should he have got? $6M? Are you getting worked up over $3M? I recall a lot of bitching about Amir’s contract, but that’s looking like a pretty good deal these days.

              You wrote that we “…just threw away Jack and Bayless to get Lowry.” A. Sounds like you’re sad to see them go and B. Jack was traded in 2010, we got Lowry in 2012… I don’t understand how you’re connecting the two.

              We got Lowry because he was the best available point guard on the market and we needed to start planning for the future. He’s playing decent ball and seems pretty happy to be here. What was your plan? I’m a Calderon fan, but I think Lowry has potential to be better, if he’s not already. He’s certainly better than Jack and Bayless. What is your crystal ball telling you?

              Don’t know what to say about your choice of Allen over Bosh, when the latter wins (sorry, demolishes) the former in almost every conventional category players are measured by. Is there something you see that, you know, every coach in the league can’t? Take the hater blinders off my friend…

              Who would you have traded for DD and Bargs? Picks? From who? What contracts would you take back? See, the job of a GM is a little more complicated than: “tank the season”, “trade that bum”, “Casey sucks.” 

              And who did we pass up in the draft this year?

              And screw off with your instant gratification garbage. I’ve been with this team since Pinckney took the first tip… you think you’re more of a fan because you come on a message board and complain but offer nothing of substance? Why not share your thoughts with the tall foreheads down at the ACC and see if you can land BC’s job?

          • raptorspoo

            Here you go buddy…

            This is the start of my list on who i’d take over Bosh. I haven’t even left PFs yet and i’m on 12:

            Kevin Love,
            Blake Griffin
            LaMarcus Aldridge
            Dirk Nowitzki
            Zach Randolph
            Pau Gasol
            Amare Stoudemire
            DeMarcus Cousins
            Kevin Garnett
            Josh Smith
            Serge Ibaka
            Greg Monroe

        • DumbassKicker

          “we are expecting this team to compete for the ring either now or in the near future… again LMAO”

          It’s always a good thing when we can laugh at ourselves. You do realize these expectations you speak of are your own invention. Just saying own them, and don’t blame others for creating them.

          “I’m looking for a realistic plan to win it all”

          Ahh, the best laid plans of mice and men……….. I digress. There is no such Steps 1,2,3 plan that one can REALISTICALLY expect WILL “win it all”. If there was, everybody would be doing it. Managing an NBA team, like anything difficult in life, especially competing against the other 29 of only 30 of those jobs in the world, isn’t like fitting lego pieces together.

      • JerryGarcia

        Resonates …..I am riding this train looking forward to the curve.

      • NyAlesund

        I agree with you except on Bosh. He is not top 15………..

  • Ds

    Well, officially, as of today, Rudy Gay is shooting the worst TS% on the entire team (including the departed players), at 0.459. The saving grace is that the other team is getting 100.1 on offence when he’s on the floor, as compared to 109.2 when he’s off. So, his value is in the overall defence. Maybe less isos for him (until a last second shot?)?

  • mountio

    Can we please, please, please give up this ridiculus thought that we are making a playoff run and start planning for the future. T Ross’ minutes are a complete joke. AA should not be getting any time at all. JV’s minutes need to go up. 
    Sure, I admit that TR has looked a little (sometimes a lot) lost out there. But, how do you expect the guy to get any confidence when hes playing 5 mins a game if hes lucky??
    Last night was a perfect T Ross game. We couldnt buy a bucket for anything .. how about put a guy in who can actually score the ball? He did hit one 3, but was promptly pulled shortly thereafter. 
    Same thing for JV. We played the small lineup with AB at the give for a long time to start the 4th. JV should be getting those minutes .. (not that AB shouldnt play .. but if we are going to go one big, Id rather it be AJ or JV, who can actually rebound). 
    Ill repeat what Ive said here many times. This team has very little financial flexibility to improve. The only way we are going to be a somewhat legit contender is if TRoss AND JV develop into legit NBA players. As a result, enough with scrubs like AA (and LF) getting big minutes .. we need to forefeed TR and see what hes got. 

    • Kujo

      I couldn’t agree more. You took the words right out of my mouth.

      • DumbassKicker

        Did he take them out of your mouth the previous 101 times he spouted essentially the same naive rant?

        • mountio

          As long as AA keeps eating up minutes and TR keeps getting 5 mins per game, you will keep hearing it from me. If you are good with the raps peaking at a team that best case sneaks into the playoffs, then by all means .. lets give AA all the minutes we can. If you actually want the raps to be a good team .. then get on the T Ross train … 

          • DumbassKicker

            “If you are good with the raps peaking….”,,,, “If you actually want the raps to be a good team ..”

            So, unless I agree that you have the knowledge of Ross’s physical condition and skills, as well as his mental condition and skills, and that you have the leadership and coaching expertise at that level, to know what Ross needs for his best development, I’m satisfied with mediocrity and don’t want the Raps to be a good team.

            Wow! Though I appreciate the self-confidence and conviction in your opinions, your self righteous conclusions come from the wrong orifice. However silly the conclusions, my point was that your post demanding “more minutes for Ross, bench AA” has reached chant status, you’ve pounded away with it for the 102nd time. Enough already. What are you seeking followers to join in the chant? If bitching every day, about stuff you know shit about, works for you, you’re sad choice, but at least fn mix it up a bit.

            • FLUXLAND

              There is it. Typical. 

              • Nilanka15

                Classic pOOka and his “Casey knows best rant”

            • mountio

              I love it. We might as well shut down this board, because the posters (let alone the authors) dont have “knowledge of Ross’s physical condition and skills, as well as his mental condition and skills, and the leadership and coaching expertise at that level,” then they arent qualifed to post an opinion on a chat board?? On what planet does that make sense? 
              How is my knowledge or expertise any different than anyone else’s on here? It doesnt allow me to express an opinion??
              Im just a fan sitting at home with an opinion. Its pretty simple. We are going to have more success playing our #8 overall first round pick than a career d-leaguer. 
              I caveat my opinion (as Ive said many times) with the fact that AA has brought us some good minutes. When compared to MP or Dmac, I would play him all day every day. 
              But, to be successful in this league, you need to have elite level talent .. he just doesnt. T Ross does. Will T Ross develop that talent into being a legit NBA player? I dont know, nor does anyone else. But, we owe it to ourselves to find out. 

              • DumbassKicker

                Fuck, you clowns (you, Fuxhand, Nilballs) are lame, and fn dumb. I didn’t say you don’t have a right to an opinion about Ross’s playing time. Read what I say, idiot!. Do you need a fn picture to understand that I was responding to your opinion that unless I agree with your unqualified opinion, I’m satisfied with mediocrity and don’t want the Raptors to be a good team. What is it with you clowns? You can only grasp a few words at a time?

                • Nilanka15

                  Hahahahaha!  pOOka’s mind just exploded.

                  Make sure to contact Bargnani for his therapist’s number….

                • DumbassKicker

                  Nil balls strikes again. Has no rebuttal, so goes into infantile laughter, followed by a lame simpleton jab. You da man!!! Your photocopy room fellow shmucks will be proud of you!!

          • JerryGarcia

            T Ross Train……I like it…..

        • FLUXLAND

           “Woop, woop, that’s the sound of da police”Undermining anyone’s opinion if they do not have locker room access or direct quotes.

          • mountio

            not only locker room access and direct quotes, but an intimate understanding of players mindsets. Next time Ill flash my locker room access badge and psychiatric license prior to posting on a raptors chat board. 

            • DumbassKicker

              One more time, little dumbass one.

              You’re the one that stated that unless I agree with your “expert” opinion, I don’t know what’s right for the Raps to be good. That’s a rather pompous and presumptuous “opinion” of someone you know nothing about,  to say nothing about how out to lunch, and speaking out of your dumbass it is. My reply pointed a number of factors why your “Ross playing time” opinion is naive, but if it makes you feel better, carry on being a fool that thinks his opinion is the only right one, and that professionals that work with him every day understand less than you.

              • Nilanka15

                A whole lotta words saying nothing about basketball.  Typical pOOka.

                • DumbassKicker

                  Sadly, too much time needed to overcome reading comprehension problems of both you and mountmymom, but would you care to talk about Ross’s playing time instead? Oh,,,, wait,,,,,, that is what we had been talking about, though I’m sorry I didn’t keep it at a simplistic enough level that your mind can handle.

                  Carry on being a stalking troll if that lubes your tubes though. Makes me almost happy that I must have hurt you with a post or two. I’ve always had a big heart for dumb animals, but when they insist on sneaking up from behind like sniveling weasels, and on nipping at my  ankles…….

          • DumbassKicker

            You need pictures too, eh. DOH

    • redyraptor

      Dude get with the program. JV plays more minutes because he has earned it. If you’re the type of coach to just give a rookie playing time for playing sake please dont make suggestuions about the raps. Tross looks lost most night. Not to mention lazy. He has some work to do. Lets get this horrible loss out the way and maybe we make up for it in the indiana game and bucks on sat.

  • NikolaTesla1

    I don’t know what you guys are talking about. How can you not like offensive sets that put ALL 5 guys behind the 3 point line. If nothing else, it makes you tilt your head and think ‘well this is interesting’.

    1. I think other teams have figured out how to guard us, there has been a general trend toward ugliness the last 5-6 games.

    2. Did I mention the offense sets that has ALL 5 Raptors player standing behind the 3 point line?

    3. Beal>DD. While DD has made improvements he was playing against a rookie who is a lot smaller than him. He’ll get his points in these match-ups but to bad not all opposing SG’s are rookies and the size of Beal. Still DD’s cover certainly looked good this game. Even noticed Casey put Rudy on him…come on DD…really you can’t even guard a rookie?

    4. I actually like Andrea plying with Lowery, at least they tried to do something beside iso-ball.

  • Kujo

    This isolation heavy offense is hard to watch man.  Brutal.  We won’t win a lot games like this. 

    The Cleveland game will tell a lot.  Not to be all doom and gloom, but I can see a loosing streak coming.

  • Nate

    Thank God the Raptors lost, I know Arsenalist and half the members of this site were having withdrawal symptoms with nothing to complain and whine about. Whew, dodged a bullet there guys. As you were.

    • arsenalist

      Jesus, I don’t think we can do any right. Ever.

      • DumbassKicker

        On the bright side, that’s pretty much a badge of honour. Apparently “real fans” hate the management, hate the coaching, hate the players, hate the fans, hate the broadcasters, so perhaps this is a sign that RR bloggers are gaining “real fans” too.

      • Nate

        I bet you think that about the Raptors. Don’t write an article for public consumption and expect not to get some feedback. I really do enjoy the site and think yall do a great job but the negativity needs to stop, or at least relaxed just a bit. 

        • Copywryter

          I prefer it to naive rabid partisan honking.   

          • Nate

            And that’s why you’re a virgin.

        • FLUXLAND

           Oh, well.. if YOU and your buddy p00kdumbass think it needs to stop, we should all fall in line, right?

          What are you, eleven or just very sensitive?


      Awww! What’s the matter? No more RG game winners for you to drool over so you can talk about “contending”?

      Don’t worry, soon enough you’ll be able to talk about full training camps and how next year we will hit the ground running. 

      Dismissed. Carry on.

      • Nate

        Uh-oh. A guy named “Fluxland” with a Laker avatar on a Raptors fansite said I was dismissed! I’d better keep my mouth shut. I never “drooled” over Raptors W’s and never once said anything about contending. But the entire tone of this article (and I’d say majority of Ars ones) are overly negative and pessimistic. Why not just show what the faults are and how they can be addressed instead of openly bashing the team with sarcasm and lame jokes. Just a quick thought. 

        • arsenalist

          I addressed “what the faults are and how they can be addressed” point-by-point (e.g., Andrea in the post, lineups which cause rebounding issues, better communication).  

        • FLUXLAND

          Keep attacking the bloggers and that’s what you will get, twerp. Fans (regardless of stance) and bloggers are not the problem.

          And he did what you asked, except you read what you want to. You know, just a quick thought.

          As you were, Jerky.

  • Hound

    I totally agree with not having Bargs as the big when we go 4 smalls and 1 big. One thing I have noticed and I challenge all of you to watch, is that Bargs cover rarely ever gets an offensive board. It occurred to me that he rebounds like women do, where all they concentrate on is boxing out. They don’t rely on athleticism to get boards, nor do they agressively go after them. They take the approach that if everybody boxes out and pushes their man back, the ball will land on the floor and they can pick it up. It is ymca fundamentals.

    Watch Bargs and you will see him doing the exact thing. Boxing out, pushing his guy, tieing him up and then someone else gets the board. Most of the time on our end, it is our guy, sometimes it’s the opposition, but almost never it is Bargs man. That is why most the rebounds he ever gets, go right to him and fall in his lap. If the ball comes off the rim to him, he gets it. 

    Rebounding is as intinctive as it is desire. Bargs desire on the offensive end certainly can be questioned, but I believe more to the point is he has no rebounding instincts. Instead of boxing out and pushing back continually, he needs to secure positioning and then release to attack the ball.

    Not sure any of this will change, just an observation.

    • NyAlesund

       Bargs do this everytime. In fact if you see the stats about how many offensive rebs Bargs concedes to the players that he guards you can notice that he is one of the best in the league.

      For this reason Casey asks him to box out. And he does really well. If the rebs are grabbed by his teammates the job is done perfectly.

      Everytime I read people complaining about his inability to grab rebs, I always think they don’t know the basketball fundamentals and also don’t understand that the coach has to get the max possible from the guys.

      Aware the Andrea’s abilities and inabilities, he asks box out, good 1vs1 defence and better rotations (in that department we are far from a decent job). Offensively, he asks him to set screens, to put his man out of the paint area,  some jump shots from mid range and to be effective in some pnr when it happens.

      That is. We can blame him everytime, we can hate him today, tomorrow, forever but this guy has weaknes and qualities. Can we live with that? Yes I can until he is a Raptors’ player.

    • What the

      “he  rebounds like woman do” i always thought  Barney had a Punani now we know

  • SteveB

    One of the best post for a long time. I’m wondering are there few different people writing under “arsenalist” name?

  • 1234

    Best part of the game was seeing Rachel McAdams

  • Matt52

    The players certainly stunk it up last night but Casey was also out-coached.  

    • FAQ

      When you are trying to coach a bunch of low IQ monkeys, it’s likely you will be ‘out-coached’… ya think??!!!

      It seems as if Casey is sitting a lot on the bench instead of getting up on his feet… reminds me of Sam in his last days.

      Casey knows what the problem is, and certain players are ignoring him because they are incompetent and/or refuse to carry out his instructions.

       The root of the problem is Lowry inability to be a playmaking PG… soooo obvious…. because we all know how Jose played the game.  Of course the t.h.f.’s will point out Kyle’s shooting stats and their enjoyment watching him wildly driving to the basket… OoOoOoh.

      • What the

        FAQ  i don’t like the monkey part it not like saying PRIMO PASTA

        • What the

          or BARNEY BOOO BOOO


    Best post of the year – simply fantastic, Arse.  I partially wish you had ordered it in reverse, but it reads much better this way.

    JV is an energy guy off the bench; nothing more. I remember when BC would tell us:  “he’s going to suck the defense with him and create scoring opportunities. Good times.  

    • Nilanka15

      I blame the PGs/wings for JV.  He continues to roll hard, and is often times open, but is looked off many times.  Defences can cheat knowing he’s nothing but a decoy.  We gotta start feeding JV more often to keep the defence honest.

    • Copywryter

      He may be slightly more, like a bigger Tyler Hansbrough, but not soon.

  • FAQ

    Rudolph Gay must be thinking just about now “how did I land in this bad situation in Toronto”???!!!!

    • Copywryter

      He’s thinking he’ll just shoot his way out of it.

      • FAQ

        Sometimes it looks like he’d like to shoot himself having to endure the incompetence of TRat players.  The TRats are filled with scrubs not deserving of PT in the NBA.

  • Phat AlberG

    Andrea Bargnani need to put on a suit and Gray & Lacy should take his minutes & figure a way to get Val more touches, 1 a game is not cutting it.

    • trample54

      You’re talking crap. You know you want AB to go so just stop.

      • Phat AlberG

        Dude I was biggest Bargnani fan! But he’s lost it… I remember time when guys will give space and he kill them for there lacks defence.  But he’s playing scared and has no confidence it’s not all his fault, but he’s not helping us at all.  He’s done Toronto Raptors ruined this guy and the fan base.  

        • trample54

          I agree with you that the Raptors organization has ruined him, no question. His teammates lack sufficient trust in him that’s also part of it.

  • SR

    For argument’s sake, the Wiz are a top 10 defense and have been playing much, much better with Wall finding his groove back in the lineup.  I’m a little surprised that wasn’t accounted for in the original post.

    I agree with many issues pointed out here, but a little context would be helpful – the Raptors have had loads of roster turnover and have a lot of work to do – it would be a miracle if they didn’t.  

    This team needs more three point shooting.  One reason there’s not much ball movement is because there are no high percentage threats staked out on the perimeter.

    • FAQ

      … and it looks like Bargs has lost his ‘touch’ shooting from the arc.   Could his right elbow injury have robbed him of his outside shooting threat… and now with t.h.f.’s booing him, he’s lost his motivation too??

      Maybe he wants to be amnestied and walk away with $23 Million in his pocket … and maybe return to Europe and live amongst his own people in pastaland… ya think??

      • Cottonclub

        good for him….get him away from you classless dirtbags.

  • canuck_eh

    *Edited: As you can likely glean, this post was in response to raptorspoo’s list of players he’d take over Bosh…for whatever reason, my post ended up down here.

    As you were…

    Haha. Awesome. Well, that about sums things up. It’s basically a list of power forwards you know, right?

    Love? I’m a fan…great player on a lottery-bound team. Time in the infirmary is adding up.
    Griffin? Electrifying, one trick pony. Looked terrible against the Raptors without Paul. 
    Dirk? You know he’s 34 and just had his knee done, yes?
    Gasol? Injury-prone whiner. Must hold record for consecutive days on trading block.
    Amare? Have you watched a Knicks game this season? A shell.
    Cousins? Cuz you want a head case on the team.
    Garnett? The guy who said it’s his last all-star game? Hint: he’s retiring soon.
    Ibaka? I like him, but Bosh owned him in the game before the all-star break. Look it up.
    Greg Munroe? Putting up solid numbers on a terrible team.

    Bosh’s PER of over 20 as the Heat’s third option is impressive. You know they only play with one ball, right?

  • canuck_eh

    Haha. Awesome. Well, that about sums things up. It’s basically a list of power forwards you know, right?Love? I’m a fan…great player on a lottery-bound team. Time in the infirmary is adding up.
    Griffin? Electrifying, one trick pony. Looked terrible against the Raptors without Paul. 
    Dirk? You know he’s 34 and just had his knee done, yes?
    Gasol? Injury-prone whiner. Must hold record for consecutive days on trading block.
    Amare? Have you watched a Knicks game this season? A shell.
    Cousins? Cuz you want a head case on the team.
    Garnett? The guy who said it’s his last all-star game? Hint: he’s retiring soon.
    Ibake? I like him, but Bosh owned him in the game before the all-star break. Look it up.
    Greg Munroe? Putting up solid numbers on a terrible team.Bosh’s PER of over 20 as the Heat’s third option is impressive. You know they only play with one ball, right?