Filling in for Blake one last time as he’s off for the Sloan thing. On the Rapcast today is Tas Melas from The Basketball Jones as we talk some Raptors basketball. Topics include:

  • Getting into basketball in the mid-90s and about the temptation of watching games other than the Raptors (Judas!)
  • Tas wasn’t hugely excited about the Rudy Gay trade but now that we’ve seen a version of “Good Rudy” (oh, those game winners) and some “Bad Rudy” (eFG%, TS%, FG%, LMNOP%), has he warmed up to the trade?
  • The Raptors being locked in to the current crop of players for the next two years – that’s your good ‘ol “window of contention” so you best contend
  • Which of the current crop is the franchise relying on most to improve and become something special: Valanciunas, Ross, DeRozan, Lowry – the answer will surprise you
  • As we do every week, the Colangelo extension question is asked and as always, we hope for a different answer
  • Would trading Bargnani really mean a “turning of the page” for the franchise? What about Colangelo leaving? Is there even such a thing as turning the page?
  • Dwane Casey gets called on for his 4-Guard-Bargnani lineup, his substitutions, and refusing to play the hot hand
  • The problem with Bargnani coming off the bench and how handing him the “car to the keys” has backfired
  • Look at the poll on the site. What’s Colangelo planning to do in the summer? Does he even have a choice given the contracts he’s handed out?
  • Predictions for Indiana, Milwaukee and Golden State

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (24:25, 29 MB). Or just listen below:

Thanks to Tas for coming on and while I have you here, here’s something that caught my eye against Cleveland. There I am watching the fourth quarter thinking the Raptors might be gearing up to make a run and this play happens and ends my hopes. Usually I’d do a frame-by-frame breakdown of what went wrong here, but I think the video speaks for itself. In case you need a hint, everyone but DeRozan is a culprit here. What I’m trying to get at is that a team that’s trying to fight for a playoff spot against a poor and short-handed club on the road should never display a drop in concentration and communication such as this. Please also note everyone’s body language after the basket.

This is also the point where Dwane Casey finally decided to call a timeout, i.e., after a 13-0 run (quarter break in between).

  • Right Clique

    There is flexibility in the summer, problem is that it’s through a sign and trade. Somebody said it in a previous podcast and I agree, BC could throw big money at Redick and maybe even package Ross or Bargnani or TPE the other way to get three-pt shooting.

    Would love to see him land Millsap. Raps have no post-up big.

    • Nilanka15

      Throwing big money at Reddick would be Kapono all over again.

      I like the idea of improving our 3pt shooting, but not at the cost of “big money”…especially for such a 1-dimensional player.

      • unknown guest

        + who’s to say Ross can’t develop into a 3-point threat? 

  • play_tross_bench_aa

    I agree, League Pass makes it impossible to watch the Raps past January. The first two months of the season is when there’s hope, by Jan they’re out of it and that’s when heavy League Pass use starts for me.

    Thought it might be different after Gay trade but no dice.

  • Nolongeranon

    Colangelo extension is no guarantee.  If the Raptors stink up the rest of the way the board can’t justify keeping him on.  If the rest of the season is like the last two losses, there is no way the board will still sign him up.  Cue the “if not Colangelo then who?” bullshit.

  • Burnaby Ball

    Vancouver resident here who follows the Grizz with some bad news.  The Bad Rudy is the real Rudy.  He’s 26 and is the player he’s going to be for the rest of his career.  Here’s to me the difference between Memphis and Toronto’s thinking in this trade.

    Memphis: Acquire proven role player in Prince, knowing he’s not going to be better than what he’s shown thoughout his career and could be possibly worse.  Doesn’t take a lot of shots and plays within system.  Is cheaper and doesn’t take possessions off.

    Toronto: Acquire unsettled player in Gay who is known to play at less than 100%, and hope  he’s going to show more than what he’s shown in his first six years.

    If you guys think Bargnani is currently the player he’s going to be for the rest of his career, you have to think the same for Gay.  Can’t do a double-standard here.

    • Nilanka15

      For me, I’m fine if Gay stays exactly the way he is, with the exception of his shot selection.  I like the dynamic he brings to the team (shot creation, post up game, long arms on defense, late game clutch factor, etc)…I just don’t like some of his forced jumpers.  But then again, the forced jumpers isn’t restricted to Gay, it’s the entire team.

      • Arsenalist

        Shot-selection is a pretty hard thing to change.  It’s second-nature to a player.

        For me, it seems the guy plays in cruise control for 80% of the game.  When he decides to take it upon himself and “do the right thing”, he’s very effective.  There’s a couple plays in the Cavs fourth quarter where he posted up in left block for an And1 ,then drove off the screen for a hoop…you don’t see that enough from him even when you know he has it in him.

        • Nilanka15

          Agree on Gay’s post game.  Would love to see him operate down there MUCH more often.

          As for shot-selection, I disagree.  I think it can be improved through film sessions, combined with disciplinary actions.  Casey has never reduced a player’s minutes because of offensive mistakes (only defensive mistakes).

          I’m not suggesting that Gay will all-of-a-sudden become a model of efficiency.  I’m just saying that with “some” improvement (along with each and every member of the team), we could see an overall improvement in shot selection under Casey.  I don’t remember it being this bad in previous years under Casey, Triano or Smitch.

          • Theswirsky

            any aspect of a players game ‘can’ or ‘could’ be improved.  But how realistic is it that they will change and maintain that change years into their career?

            Burnaby made the comparison with Bargnani and I agree (not that they are the same type of player by any stetch but to the point of ‘change’ in general) – this has been the dream of the Bargnani boys.  He COULD change, he COULD be better, he COULD use his talents effectively… and all the nonesense I know you’ve heard before.

            Gay is who he is.  Expecting him to change in any sort of sustainable manner, while not impossible, is more of a pipe dream than anything.

            • Nilanka15

              I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said.  

              I don’t “expect” Gay to change, but as a fan, I’m hoping he’s able to cherish a few more possessions as he matures from a “young, talented player with upside” into an “established veteran leader/teacher”.  Right now, it seems like he’s stuck somewhere in between.

              • Steve

                But before you said you “see him as a superstar” and that the situation would be similar to James Harden leaving OKC and blowing up in Houston. These are your exact words Mitt Romnilanka.  :) ….Now you are flipflopping?? :) Now you are saying you “hope” this happens … before you said this will happen. :) Which one is it Flopfloplanka?? :) :) Next week you’ll be saying to trade him. ;0

                • Nilanka15

                  Nice try. 

                  Inaccurate, but nice try nonetheless.

                  “See him as a Superstar” was a statement of hope…not a factual claim.

                  As for the Harden comparison, I prefaced it by saying Gay would play better as a number 1 option in Toronto.  For all intents and purposes, this has been true.

                  Having said all that, it’s been a whopping 12 games.  Nothing has been proven either way…and my opinion of Gay hasn’t changed.

                  BTW, I’m starting to wonder if you’ve ever posted anything that wasn’t related to me.  It’s flattering and disturbing at the same time.

                • DumbassKicker

                  LOL, Nilanka even flipflops within a single post.

                  First,  “I prefaced it by saying Gay would play better as a number 1 option in
                  Toronto.  For all intents and purposes, this has been true.”
                  From Wiktionary: ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES: For every functional purpose; in every practical sense; in every important respect; practically speaking

                  Followed by “Having said all that, it’s been a whopping 12 games.  Nothing has been proven either way”.

                  So which is it? Nothing has been proven, or he has played better in every practical sense? Which of these two scenarios does chucking more, at worse percentages, fit into? I know, you’ll go with the “nothing has been proven”, as you covered your ass with that, even though it countered the previous statement.

                  He was already having a very down shooting year in Memphis, ..408 FG%, .310 3P%, but both have taken further dips with the Raps to .384 FG%, .255 3P%. We got him to score, so reasonably efficient shooting percentages  are a big part of “intents and purposes”, right? Both have been worse than Bargnani’s abysmal season averages. At this rate, all the fans that are so exited about Gay now, will turn on him soon after Bargnani is gone.

  • Jamshid

    This was a great Podcast. It really broke down what future looks like for this team. A very REALISTIC look at the next 2 years.