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Raptors 84, Knicks 110 – Box
Raptors blown out in New York. After winning the first two games of the season series in dramatic fashion, the Raptors dropped the last two on successive nights. The Knicks had maintained a comfortable distance for the majority of the Friday night game, almost giving the Raptors a way back in right at the end. On Saturday night, the story was quite different as it was a classic second-half blowout with the Knicks winning every quarter.

Terrence Ross and Landry Fields got the start as the Raptors tried to match up with the Chandler-less Knicks, hung around in the first quarter on account of fast break points, got let down by their individual and team defense in the second which served as the Knicks’ resurgence, and were blown out proper in the second half.

The need for analysis is zero here, but I would like to point to something that irked me to no end at halftime. Check out these two first-half stat lines:

Jonas: 1-1 FG, 14 minutes
Anderson: 4-8 FG, 17 minutes

Valanciunas ended up taking and making four shots while collecting eight rebounds on the night. Anderson ended up taking more than three times the shots that Valanciunas did (4 vs. 14 – Anderson shot chart, Valanciunas shot chart). Casey cannot possibly justify this kind of shot distribution, or more importantly, the low level of Valanciunas’ involvement in the Raptors offense. When Valanciunas does get the ball in any post-up situation, the Raptors’ set just has better balance because he is literally the only player the Raptors can hope to play inside-outside with. Amir Johnson never did develop his post-game to the point where you could initiate something from it, which leaves Valanciunas the prime candidate to blend your offense with something different, yet we don’t see a concerted effort made towards doing so.

Our other man of interest, Terrence Ross, had a better showing. He went 3-5 from long distance and although looked horrible handling the ball and with some of the decisions he made in transition (3 turnovers), it was a step up from what he has been all season: invisible. He notched 31 minutes which was great to see, and I’m thinking his near-term offensive goal is to be someone like Jordan Crawford, except hopefully with better defense.

We got a good look at Landry Fields the last couple games against Carmelo Anthony and nothing new was really learned. We all want to believe that he’s a guy who does the “little things” well, and for the last two nights he has played fairly sound defense against Anthony (yes, Fields isn’t entirely to blame for ‘Melo’s point totals). Most fans acknowledge that he can be of some use here and there, mostly as a specialist of some sort and perhaps more if he can sort out that silly looking jumper of his. The problem comes with the expectations set for him and when Devlin describes him as a “lock-down defender”, that’s where you start rolling your eyes.

The usual backcourt-tandem of DeRozan and Lowry had reasonably good offensive games, other than Lowry jacking a few ill-advised long-range bombs early in the shot-clock and DeRozan letting guys like Novak off the hook in one on situations. The problem on the night wasn’t really offense but on the other end. The Knicks were +9 on the glass and shot better than 51%. It would be lazy of me to chalk up the bad defense to effort alone so I won’t.

When you look at this Knick team, the two guys you don’t want beating you are Carmelo Anthony and J.R Smith. Yet, those are exactly the two guys who beat them (Anthony had 28, Smith had 25, and Martin had 18). There was zero adjustment from the night before when the three Knick leading scorers were, you guessed it, Anthony with 37, Martin with 19, and Smith with 14). I realize those are tough guys to cover at times, but I expect a coach like Dwane Casey, who is known for his defensive mind, to throw out a scheme that does SOMETHING which forces guys like Felton, Shumpert, Martin, Copeland, Novak, or Kidd to try and take the game over, kind of like other teams do with us and Anderson.

Leaving strategy aside, the actual execution on defense was poor as well. The transition defense was late, picking up shooters were poor, and basic scouting report stuff was ignored. For example, why Kenyon Martin is being played for the shot is beyond me. Why we are not sending a double to ‘Melo when he’s within his comfort turnaround range, but sending one when he’s 22-feet out is also worth of a raised eyebrow. If this was an important game with something on the line we’d talk about these things in greater detail.

  • nilanka

    vals getting the bargs snub.we have a bunch of low iq chuckers.how many times we see bargs flailing down low for a touch to get looked off by a chucker……same shit different day….now its vals turn.dudes 4 for 4 and had scrubs on him whole game…..this coaching staff is FKN SAD……a bunch of dumb low iq chuckers.

    • callBS

      not wrong. but nilanka? naw. don’t thinkso. he’s the original bargs hater.

      • Sangaman

        exaclty this Nilanka dude was primo on the Barg hater camp. How many times had long time Rap broadcaster and former player Leo Rautins mentioned the fact that fellow teammates (hogs) would not feed bargnani when he was hot . Same now for Valaciunas and Amir. Please trade Bargs to LA..where he can play with real pros and resurrect his career. Then Gay Lowry Anderson, Lucas etc can play moron street ball cheered by all their stupid fans.

        • ppellico

          what?
          you blaming Nilanka for calling out Barg’s earlier than the rest of the world?
          Seems that was more foward thnking than wrong.
          And in fact, Bargs is yet another outside chucker. When he has been in this year…all it adds is yet another shooter standing around the outside awaiting their chance to put it up.
          He isn;t exactly a threat to drive…and defenses learned this.

          • NyAlesund

            There is anarchy.

            That is the point. I don’t remember several games in which the ball was share among the guys. Sometimes we have appreciated this but it was a classical spring day in a long winter.

            I remember Bargs on fire ignored, Anderson on fire as well, even DeRozan, I saw players take their own shots without common sense and worst the coach did not do anything.

            It appears to me a some sort of anarchy in which everyone can do whatever he wants.

            When you have a team with 4/5 players with offensive talent the ideal situation is share the shots in which everyone is involved.

            I don’t know what Casey asks to the guys but it doesn’t work.

            Yesterday we had another example.

            We can complain AB, AA, DD, RG…….the real person we have to complain is Casey. He is the man in charge and if he is not able to take the control of the group is better to fire him. No excuse.

            About Anderson

            He is playing for the contract, I understand him, he needs to show his potential. But when the team is committed to give more space to the rookies, well there is not AA that can ruin the plan. Casey has to stick AA’s ass of the bench if he refuses to follow the instruction.

          • Nilanka15

            When the discussion isn’t involving Aaron Gray, you’re the voice of reason ;)

            Cheers.

  • Amigo

    No Bargnani to blame anymore….it’s hard to get more than 50 comments this days…

  • Milesboyer

    This team is becoming unwatchable – I miss the days of ball distribution with Calderon at the helm. I’m not sure Lowry has what it takes to be the permanent solution at PG, Derozan and Gay are a bad pairing as Chisolm mentioned in his article which leaves Amir and Val little hope of being used to their full potential.

    • Adriiian

      You never know what you got until it’s gone.
      Am I right? The fan base was taking Jose’s game for granted, saying he’s just a back-up. Be that as it may, but the team was actually fun to watch.

      • The Truth

        Most here respond to this argument with “yeah but look at all those losses Detroit is racking up”. Reality is however as much as they are sucking, our much improved Toronto Raptors are only 2 games up on them (arguably 3 before we effectively “shut it down” for the season).

  • http://twitter.com/ladybball75 claudia noordhoek

    we need a new coah…. bring SVG

  • DC

    Who actually cares about this team anymore. Until they fire colangelo, dc, bargnani, and gay this team sucks and isn’t worth being mentiones as more then a punchline in the NBA.

    • knickz

      I will always be a raptor fan but I’ve had enough! once bargs didn’t get moved at the deadline I threw the towel in on the season. watch bc use bargs injury as some excuse to have him on the roster next year.

      • wes mantooth

        bargs isnt even in the top 3 of biggest problems of this team

  • ckh26

    The sliver lining in this Hindenburg ending to the season is that the Colangelo/Casey era could be over. What we are seeing is what we will have on court for the next two years in team makeup and its sub .500… and that hangs around Collagellos neck. . The execution on court is positively fecal right now and as we fade to black on the 2012-13 season that lands with Casey. The raptors have become pretty much irrelevant on the toronto sports scene with the resurgance of the leafs and the promise of the blue jays. Conventional logic would demand a change in leadership of the dino’s if there is to be a change in fortunes for the raptors. To continue with the same leadership and hope for a different outcome is lunacy..

  • FAQ

    It’s every man for himself now to pad their personal stats so they can get traded to a stateside team with a good coach and real players. If BC thinks he can “build” a playoff contender with this bunch of scrubs and ego street ballers, he’s gone bonkers and must be replaced. MLSE had better start investing heavy $$$$ if they want to keep this NBA franchise in Moronto… believe it.

  • wes mantooth

    this organization as a whole is terrible. i know you just wrote it and ive also been writing it alot , but the jv thing is mind boggling! casey, lowry,anderson, bargs ,BC even DD all have to go. how did they let bc give away ed davis and jose for gay? we drafted demar instead of holiday , lawson and jennings cause we had jose. we were starting to play well and we had a guy that was perfect to run a team that needed to develop young players. instead we give away a first round pick to get an undersized over valued(talent wise) attitude problem that cant pass for his life! and bring in another ball chucking wing. 2 guys that teams seem to just give up on. wonder why?

    the only mandate for this team right now should be develop JV and figure out some plays for next year. instead this idiot lets allan “glen rice” anderson go out there and try to win a contract. i dont get it!! before the gay trade we were on the right track i dont understand how they let BC make such a sharp left turn into quick fix fuck ur team land! drafting jv and the amir deal are the only 2 things in 7 yrs that this guy has done right. the handling of bosh,, bargs , hedo , JO…the list is long! and at the end of the day BC didnt save his job or his team and we’re screwed, but at the very least he should be forcing casey to do the right thing with JV. of all the coaches he’s made play bargs you’d think he would be in caseys ear about this. sorry for the rant and the run on sentences i just woke up realizing how bad we are ! not just as a team but as an organization.

    i’ll say this.. if jv was on the spurs he’d be a roy candidate and twice as good as he is now. if splitter was a raptor he’d be darko milicic. loser organization. “its science”

  • WhiteVegas

    It’s not the end of the world guys. We lost to a pretty good (2nd in the East), surging (4 game win streak) NY Knicks team. We didn’t even have out best player, Gay, in the lineup. We weren’t supposed to win this game, and I’m not surprised it wasn’t close. If Gay is shut down for the rest of the season, we are going to have a lot of rough games like this.

    I know it’s depressing getting blown out like that, but look at it in context. Out top two paid players are injured (Gay, Bargs), and even with them we were a sorta .500 team. Without them we are depending on DeRozan and AA to carry the scoring load, and that is going to result is some blowouts.

    • wes mantooth

      nobody cares about the blowout! its about what the team has become. its become a place where guys like AA can come and hog the ball while trying to earn a contract as opposed to a place where we develop our young talent in an attempt to compete next year. AA shouldnt even be playing over fields let alone ross. we’re already committed to fields who is young enough that he still needs development. casey having AA out there chucking shots helps nobody but AA. if we were still in the race i wouldnt have as much of a problem with this, but we’re not!!we already know what AA can do! hes fine! the only reason i tune in now is to watch our young guys get better in hopes of catching a glimpse of what the future might hold, but seeing JV benched in fourth quarters and getting looked off by scrubs when hes rolling hard to the basket or working for position is just pathetic.
      casey seems to be clueless or simply has no control. either way its got to change.

      just a thought..does casey think that AA is so good and such a find that hes showing him some loyalty so he signs with us next year??
      thats real question. otherwise im so confused

      • WhiteVegas

        I’m confused as to why you’re upset.

        ” its become a place where guys like AA can come and hog the ball while trying to earn a contract as opposed to a place where we develop our young talent in an attempt to compete next year. AA shouldnt even be playing over fields let alone ross. we’re already committed to fields who is young enough that he still needs development.”

        JV, Ross and Fields all started and played over 30 minutes. What exactly are you upset about?

        • wes mantooth

          that AA takes way more shots then all those guys. do you not see that when u watch? the only reason fields started is because for some reason casey thinks he can guard melo and ross cause gay is hurt. this nonsense happens most nights. dont argue for the sake of it

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Van-Grungy/100000069253213 Van Grungy

    Never give up JV. Just imagine the hijinks this guy will get up to as his star rises.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1RO2P6XCDo

  • TheJohnBomb

    They’re trying so hard to increase Alan Anderson’s trade value. He’s definitely gone in the off-season. They’ll probably try to package him with bargnani to get a draft pick.

    • The Truth

      Alan Anderson doesn’t have a deal for 13/14 so he has 0 trade value for the Raptors, he is a free agent. I actually think they will re-sign him myself.

  • smh

    When is Arse gonna put in a full page newspaper spread “letter to mlse” to fire BC?