WARNING: I actually didn’t realize I was writing this post-game until halftime and after I had taken cold medicine because I felt like total crap. So if I am more incoherent than usual, please forgive me.

After giving Don Nelson and George Karl their 1000th win as coaches, the Toronto Raptors denied Rick Adelman from joining the exclusive club. A club that has fewer members than SNL’s Five Timers Club. It was nice, not only because it prevented the Raptors from being add to list of answers to trivia questions that include, “What team did Don Nelson beat to win 1000 games?”, “What team did George Karl beat to win 1000 games?” and “What team did Kobe Bryant score 81 points against?”. It was also nice because it gave some meaning to what would otherwise be a meaningless game.

Neither the Raptors nor the T-Wolves will make the playoffs, and about the only thing they’re fighting for now is draft seeding. And with the Raptors unlikely to retain their pick, I’m wondering how many Raptor fans even care.

Of course, now the Raptors are riding a two game winning streak, their longest in 20 games. The only danger now is that the Raptors start playing well, giving Bryan Colangelo more of a chance of returning next year to continue mismanaging the team and overpaying players.

But on to the game…

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a peculiar team. They have four point guards on the roster, the only shooting guard has knees worse than mine and who already retired once, their best three point shooter is probably their power forward and their best interior defender is their small forward.

Without a real shooting guard, 6’2 Luke Ridnour has been starting there for most of the season. If you’ve been following the Raptors at all this season, you should know that this pretty much guarantees a big game from DeMar DeRozan, who routinely feasts on undersized defenders.

I’ve been pretty critical of DeRozan over the last couple of seasons, but this year his post-up game has grown by leaps and bounds. And while he takes WAY too many long twos, still has poor ball handling skills and is a below average defenders, what he does do is take advantage of smaller defenders. And that’s exactly what he did against the T-Wolves.

While most of his shots still came from outside of the paint, he hit more than half his shots on the way to 25 points. On the downside, he only got to the line once. Not surprising since he only took took shots at the rim and only four in the paint. While did did score well and when the team needed him to, it was another inefficient night.

Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 11.53.01 PM Rudy Gay was the team’s leading scorer, with 26 point, his efficiency mirrored that of DeRozan’s, going 12-23 with only one free throw on the night. On the plus side, he seemed more engaged, after the first quarter, and got into the paint more than usual.

Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 11.52.43 PM

Speaking of Gay, I’d like to watch the game again and see what the ratio was of how many times Gay scored and then let his man easily drive by on the very next play. For a guy with his defensive ability, the number of times he let’s this happen is unforgivable.

Of course, the main reason for many of us to watch the game was to see Jonas Valaniunas. Before the game, it was announced that he had won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March, which seems like a great honour until you realize that most of the decent rookies are in the West, and the last Raptor that won it was Jamario Moon.

Jonas was going up against possibly the strongest player in the NBA, Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic is an absolute beast and the guy Blake Griffin said was the toughest player in the NBA to play against. I also don’t know if there’s a more underrated player in the league. This is a 7 foot center with pretty decent mobility who weighs in the neighbourhood of 280 lbs, most of which appears to be muscle. And he’s averaging 16.2 ppg and 8.8 rpg for the season. I’d say he’s easily a top ten center this year, yet you never hear anyone talking about him.

Jonas actually played Pekovic pretty well, and was able to score in double digits, yet again, but did have an off night on the boards, only managing 4 in 30 minutes. Still, considering what he was up against, you have to give him credit.

With Pekovic, you knew Aaron Gray was going to make an appearance and he didn’t disappoint. He definitely made an appearance. I was disappointed that I didn’t see his regular reaction whenever he’s called for a foul. I don’t recall another player arguing such obvious foul calls as Gray. Well, maybe Alan “Stink” Anderson, but despite playing in his hometown, Casey didn’t give him very many minutes.

So the Raptors won and are now a half game ahead of Washington for 10th place in the East.

Random thoughts for the game:

– When Andrei Kirilenko goes in to get his haircut, does he ask for the Tom Chambers?

– While the wife of T-Wolves owner, Glen Taylor, isn’t young, she’s quite attractive for her age. Taylor, on the other hand, was definitely not married for his looks.

–  I’ve really been intrigued about Derrick Williams as someone who might blossom on another team, and then I watched him slowly jog back on defense, well behind both teams. Twice.

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  • ppellico

    ” whenever he’s called for a foul. I don’t recall another player arguing such obvious foul calls as Gray.. ”
    Oh…come on! I guess you never see our fat point guard bitch? He complains even when HE loses the ball!
    He is the most crying baller I have ever seen.

    • Even more than VC?? Dang…

    • p00ka

      that scrub ass bitch (gray) barely makes it off the bench, not sure why you are so offended. Are you guys related? knowing white trash like you he is probably your cousin and your dad at the same time.

      • leftovercrack

        Wow. That’s incredibly racist

      • There’s a major difference between debating and what you’ve just done. It’s incredibly immature and makes you look far worse than anyone you’re trying to insult. My goal is for intelligent conversation in the comments section. This is not even in the same hemisphere as that.

        • ppellico

          well…he is sort or correct.
          I am white trash.

          • p00ka

            kudos to you for not going ballistic like tim. I didn’t even mean it, just did it for fun. PS I’ll probably refrain from this childish behaviour, but don’t bet on it.

        • p00ka

          oh timothy, I thought you learned in your time away from this site. Sometimes people are not looking for an intelligent discussion. They are just looking to knock people down a peg and have a little fun. Take me I’m not even the real p00ka, who goes my the name dumbasskicker now, and has succesfully gotten a heated lengthy response from you a little above. It’s best to just ignore trolls like us, or just laugh, because I thought my comment was pretty funny.

    • I like Gray. I think he should play more often, but he does seem to complain about some obvious calls.

      • ppellico

        I know you like Gray…I am just a little weary of his lack of ink and the fan tean worship for JV and all. I personally think he is far from the worship he is getting on the rap blogs.
        I see tons of miss assignments as well as poor footwork…
        But I know he has promise…his free throw percenbtage alone shows he should be given more freedom to shoot outside…and they are totally ignoring him under the basket.
        But they do most of their bigs…Gray included.
        But really…ihs complaining isn’t even close to being over the top.
        The whole NBA thing is complaining. And I think Gray does far less than most and in fact gets called for “reputation” fouls..mush like mst non star bigs do.
        But if you watch closely…and I know you do…the crying, the ref confronting, the flops….its all standard NBA proceedure. I don’t think a single foul goes by unargued….
        Its almost embarrassing to watch.
        I think every single player falls down after the slightest defense on a lay-up. Its rediculous.
        Gray is doing what is preached and practiced by every single player.

  • 511

    so … we’re commenting now on the relative attractiveness of team owners and their wives? Gotta say … a little eepy-cray to ee-may. If you know what I ean-may.

    • she is hot. I know you already googled her.

      • 511

        I probably would’ve, ya, if it’d just been her that was mentioned.

  • Ds

    Since the beginning of March, Big Val’s PER is around 19. Not bad for a rookie.

    • I’ve been praising Valanciunas endlessly this season, especially lately. I’ve got no problem with the selection at all. I just thought it funny that the last Raptor to win that award was Jamario Moon.

      Keep in mind, I was also rather out of it when I wrote it. I didn’t mention anything about how the game ended, how the Raptor’s bench actually outplayed the other bench and got them back in the 2nd quarter, and a few other things I realized I forgot to add. I don’t have medication often, I don’t tend handle it all that well.

  • Guy

    Is there any topic in which the Tim W does not find fault? Jonas being awarded ‘Rookie of the Month’ is actually a pretty good thing. But rather than offering simple congratulations & pointing out JV’s play warranted the award, Timmy does his best to minimize it, almost to the point of criticism, with references to the west rookies & Jamario Moon. Pretty freakin sad.

    • Ted

      Guess u didn’t read the rest of the article where he praises Val for holding his own against a top ten center? Also, when the raptors barely squeak a win past a team that we should win quite easily there should be criticism dealt.

      • Guy

        What does praising JV for his performance against Pekovic have to do with Timmy’s minimization, & essential dismissal, of JV’s RotM award?

        Who gives a rat’s ass if the better rookies are in the west? Does that mean Jonas didn’t play very well in March? Of course not. Does the fact no Raptor has won the RotM award since Jamario Moon mean JV didn’t play very well in March? No again. Mentioning those two things was nothing more than a cheap shot to minimize a well deserved award. Which begs the question, why were they even mentioned? This, quite obviously, is what my initial posting was about.

        As for whether it was a close win or an easy win…who cares? And considering Minny had played better the previous 10 games & TO was 10-27 on the road going in, what makes you believe it was supposed to be easy?

        • DumbassKicker

          I don’t know where and how it got started, but there’s a sad mentality that has become ingrained here, and it starts at the top with the majority of the writers. It’s almost like a contest of who can whine and bitch the most. If not management, the coach. If not coach, players. If not players, broadcasters. Now even shortchanging deserved awards. And if you call them out over that crap, you get the kind of response provided further up: “I’ve been praising Valanciunas endlessly this season, especially lately.”. Like wtf does that have to do the commentary today? And many of the kiddies here eat this crap up and spew it out over and over. Sickening. Life isn’t normal here unless something is being dissed.

          • that sounds an awful lot like whining/ranting to me.

          • Let’s look at things for a moment here, shall we?

            The Raptors franchise has the 4th lowest winning percentage of every franchise in the league, including the Charlotte Bobcats, who’ve only been in the league 9 years. They’re .406 winning percentage gives them an average of 33 wins a season. Of the teams that have been in existence at least as long as the Raptors, only the Clippers and Golden State have made the playoffs less, during that period.

            Both the Clippers and Golden State will make the playoffs this season, both have at least one All Star on their team, the Clippers have already won more games than the Raptors ever have, and Golden State is on pace to win the same number of games as the Raptors franchise high: 47 wins.

            This summer, the Raptors will have the 6th highest payroll in the league, no All Stars, are below average both offensively and defensively, are on pace to win FEWER games than their franchise average of 33 wins, and this year will be the longest playoff drought in franchise history.

            The guy who has mismanaged the team for the last 7 years is most likely returning, after having consistently gambled on the wrong players, overpaid overrated players and has made excuses year after year for the Raptors lack of success.

            And you think we whine and complain TOO MUCH?

            Are you kidding me?

            My question is, “Why aren’t you whining and complaining more?”

            Until Raptor fans stand up and demand excellence (or some semblance of it) from the team, we will never get it. If fans continue to keep trying to look for the bright side and try and temper criticism, there will be no reason for management to do anything different than what they’ve been doing.

            I have to say, I don’t understand this attitude of fans who just want to read about unicorns and rainbows. Who complain about too many negative stories (I’ve seen the same criticism on other sites). Maybe there are so many negative stories because the team is a major, major disappointment, and a lot of people are getting sick of the fact that it’s become normal. Too many people are accepting of the fact that this team perennially disappoints and does poorly.

            You want to accept losing? Fine. But don’t complain that others don’t.

      • Oh, the irony. Ignoring the good things and focusing on the criticism, while complaining about someone else ignoring the good things and focusing on the criticism. There’s just no pleasing some people, is there.

        On a side note, I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of Valanciunas this season, especially lately, but some people will ignore things like that in their search for criticism.

        Thanks for your support, by the way.

        • Guy

          Yes, it is ironic. It’s ironic that someone who posts so many comments filled with criticism is somehow offended if he’s on the receiving end.

          • I don’t mind criticism in the least. Intelligent criticism. I’ve had many good discussions with commenters who have disagreed with me, but done so in an intelligent, thoughtful way. I enjoy that. Your comments add nothing to the discussion, so I really don’t see why you keep making them.

            I’d like to keep the level of conversation up to an intelligent level, and if you have something intelligent to add, I’d love to hear it. Until then, you and the few others are just doing exactly what you’re complaining that I’m doing. Whining and bitching.

            • Guy

              Just because you don’t find a person’s criticism intelligent or adding something to the conversation, doesn’t make it so. But it’s exactly the kind of response I’ve come to expect from you on these boards. I read your comments, saw something I felt was unnecessary & quite cheap, & called you on it. Your response, as usual, was to not give a second’s thought to whether the criticism was valid, but to go on the defensive & criticize me for ignoring the things you perceive as ‘good’. Yes, right. Because it’s incumbent on the rest of us to pat you on the back for alllllllll the positive you bring to the table.

              Exactly the kind of response typical of someone who feels they have all the answers & are beyond reproach. You title your article’s ‘What the Raptors Should/Shouldn’t Do’. Those aren’t casual titles. It’s exactly the strategy you think needs to be taken to achieve success. How can anyone with no NBA Mgmt experience & whose strategy offers no guarantee of championship success have the audacity to say what must be done to win? Hard to figure, but you do.

              Whether you like the way criticism is presented is irrelevant because no one cares. If you don’t like it, don’t respond. But if you do respond, have the sac to consider the person offering the criticism has a point before leaping to the defensive.

              • Listen. I have no clue who you are. Don’t recall ever having a conversation with you previously. Yet just about every single one of your comments contains some sort of veiled, or obvious, insult towards me. And you complain that I shouldn’t criticize YOU? Really? Get a grip.

                Whether you enjoy my writing or not, I’m going to continue writing the same way with the same opinions, and it seems a lot of readers agree with me. So you might as well just buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  • ckh26

    Going to get on the bandwagon to make noise to try and sign Nicola Pekovic as a free agent. With him and JV paired .. that would look like a couple of moose sized Russian mob guys up on the front line. If that doesn’t help the PnR game nothing will. It will also clear some space for RG and DD to drive if the new duo throw a few elbows just to let folks know they’re around. If Ross can find the 3pt range on the outside or we can find a way to sing Kyle Korver we can become better than we are today. Might cost 10M .. 6 for Pec and 4 for Korver.
    Where do you find 10M.. amnesty the Pasta kid…. Sports is a tough business.

    • DumbassKicker

      lol, you were either born yesterday, or haven’t paid the least attention to what big men get in the NBA. Freaking Hump got $12M, and you thing Pecovic can be had for 6?