Raptors 83, Bucks 100 – Box
Two nights ago the Raptors won a close one in Minnesota. Last night they got blown out of the water in MIlwaukee. My reaction to both games was the same, and if yours is any different you should check yourself. These games mean nothing and most of the players suiting up are treating it as such. All we’ve learned from this season is that the Raptors can hang with the bad teams and lose to the better ones. And that was true before and after the trade. It’s the very definition of mediocrity, and the only exceptions are a win here and there against the Knicks or Clippers.

Milwaukee was in complete control from the first to the end of the third, which is when the lead was 25 points. The Raptor made the token garbage-time “run” to make it less humiliating. You can check the box score for the low-lights such as Rudy Gay’s 1-10 FG shooting performance, or you could take your pick from DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry etc. Even the lone bright spot of late, Jonas Valanciunas, suffered a poor game as the Bucks tested the Raptors to a man in transition and came out on top. Ironically enough, the team the Raptors were chasing for that final playoff spot clinched it right in front of their eyes in resounding fashion.

[Also read: Quick Reaction: Raptors 83 vs Bucks 100]

DeRozan found Ellis tougher than he had Ridnour the night before, and Gay stayed on the perimeter against Daniels, and never did assert himself. The third quarter surge that he’s come up with a couple times this year never materialized. Maybe his back is bothering him, and if so, shut him down because there’s zero reason he should be playing. The defense was non-existent, both in transition and in half-court. Effort was a major factor as is expected in a game as pointless as this. Maybe preventing Milwaukee from clinching a playoff spot might’ve been motivation, but that wasn’t clearly the case. The Bucks beat the Raptors in every single major statistical category here: rebounding, FG%, assists, turnovers, blocks, FTM…

Looking ahead to the off-season, and given the lack of flexibility on the roster (BTW, where’s the DeRozan’s worth $10M crowd?), I’m even pondering whether this is the year we do want that first round pick. It might be the only way we have a chance to add a quality player. Then again Bryan Colangelo was apparently in Italy scouting some people. Or looking for a job. Both are equally believable.

The Raptors strategy of building a team from other team’s rejected parts is backfiring fast, making the earlier strategy of playing out the season with Davis/Valanciunas/Ross/DeRozan and adding a piece or two in the off-season look rather attractive. The odds now are that the Raptors do a variant of one of the following:

  1. Stay the course and bring this team back to training camp. The same results will be repeated, as teams around the Raptors aren’t exactly going to take a major step back (maybe Boston or Philly, but Detroit will get better).
  2. Bargnani has zero trade value and we would have to trade an actual asset just to get rid of him (or amnesty him). The guy that Colangelo is likely to move in another gamble is DeRozan, and nobody would quite shed a tear, except that Terrence Ross’ terrible play has resulted with the Raptors having no insurance there. That won’t stop Colangelo to try to move DeRozan for someone that used to be something.
  3. Adding Carl Landry and selling him as the missing piece, while bring back Jose Calderon as an official backup. Or something.

Either way, the core of Gay and Lowry will return which means it’s those two guys that the Raptors are going to lean on to improve the current pathetic state of the club. I think Lowry can turn it around and become a productive member of this team. I’m not sold on Gay, this theory of him adding weight in the summer and returning next season as an All-Star type player is ridiculous (sorry, Leo).

I’m kind of sad there’s no draft to look forward to, because that’s sort of kept us going between April all the way to June.

  • Ds

    What this team is missing is a “share-the-ball” mentality. It is soooo easy to game plan against them.
    1. If DeRozan has the ball, stay close to him. He’ll rise up and try a contested 20-foot jumper or run into traffic and lose the ball.
    2. If Gay has the ball, stay close to him. He’ll rise up and try a contested 20-foot jumper or run into traffic and lose the ball.

    3. If Anderson has the ball, give him a tiny little space and let him shoot from 20-feet.
    4. If Ross has the ball, don’t guard him. Just let him shoot air balls.
    5. If Landry has the ball, don’t guard him. He’ll either clank it or, most likely, hesitate then pass the ball with 4 seconds on the shot clock.

    • Milesboyer

      You forgot a couple of others –
      If Lowry has the ball don’t worry, he’ll dribble around slowly looking for his best friend Gay to rise up and take a contested jump shot.
      If Telfair has the ball don’t worry, he’ll dribble out the shot clock until there’s 5 sec. left, pass to Alan Anderson who will shimmy shake to no avail and take a quick shot with 1 sec. left on the clock.

    • James Mike

      Raptors have shot takers not play makers. You can see it every time Fields cuts and is WIDE open and doesn’t get the pass. Don’t agree with #5. Fields actually has a pretty good % since the trade. You as most of the armchair experts who write these blogs probably never played and only see points scored as a measure for performance. Fields is the smartest player on a team full of self interested low IQ players who doesn’t know the word team and what it means to makes players around them better.

      • Roarque

        So you want to rank the Raptors in terms of basketball IQ?

        I’ll give you Landry Fields, Jose Calderone, Jonas Valanciunis, Ed Davis and Alan Anderson but those five guys won’t win the the NBA because their combined IQ also needs the talent that Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRosen and Andrea Bargnani bring to the winning formula. The bottom line is that the Raps need a blend of brains and hand-to-eye motor skills properly motivated and coached to win in this league. There are a few high IQ and high Skills players on this team. I happen to think Amir Johnson is one and that Jonas Valanciunis may be another and Rudy Gay (properly motivated) is a third. That’s what I call a good start.

        BUT – you need to get Jose Calderone back. Offer him the coaching job in 2016. He and his family want that and deserve it. He’s been coaching this team from the PG position for 3-4 years already. Can’t you see the writing on the wall?

  • Tee

    Bad coaching no game plan.
    On tired legs they should have gone half court more.
    Poor timeouts too.

    Ah well

  • Pele

    Mediocrity for the Raptors goes beyond the players, and rests squarely on the shoulders of that waste of a flapping foreskin named Brian Colangelo.

    MLSE Pres Anselmi shuffled the deck with the Leafs (Nonis, Carlyle), and TFC (Payne, Nelson) and there is signs of a competitive product in the future.

    BC overpaid for Gay. Should have packaged AA and Gray, not Davis. Every other GM who has been successful sees BC for what he is. They rape him in trade negotiations; they get what they want, and Brian overpays.

    I’ve come to realize that Chris Douche was much more intelligent than I originally thought. He played BC like a banjo, and Toronto got nothing in return. Stupid Stupid Stupid

    Another example, going for Nash and ending up with an overpaid Fields. Stupid Stupid Stupid. Why the hell were we going for Nash in the first place? Should a rebuilding Leafs add Jagr to build for the future? Stupid Stupid Stupid.

    I’ve been going over his trades, drafts etc,…it all adds up to a big waste of time. Brian Colangelo should be greeter at WalMart, not a GM of an NBA franchise. His mediocrity is the problem.

    • http://www.facebook.com/peter.godzina Peter Godzina

      Been saying this since that O’Neal trade that Colangelo has no long term vision, and relies on the hope of a quick fix. How many times has the roster been overhauled during his tenure? How many worthless has-beens has he overpaid? How many moves has he made that were nothing more than PR moves/ways of appeasing the commoners? Now this team is in complete disarray, the budget is destroyed, and he’ll more than likely trade Derozan for another nobody, while keeping Gay and Lowry as our (laughable) core.

      • Adriiian

        Oh, man, too many times I’ve heard the words “were not rebuilding, were retooling.”
        What a stupid fuck.


      It’s BRYAN. B.R.Y.A.N., FFS!!

      The Raptors are a financial facilitating vehicle for the NBA; like a Bad Debt Expense account, just eating shitty contracts. And a farm team/international marketing machine. Nothing more or less.

  • HolyCraptors.com

    Milwaukee clinches a playoff spot with the win. 1806 days since last Raptors’ playoff appearance.

  • Paul

    Just imagine if Colangelo had not made the Gay trade or the Lowry trade.

    Going into this summer we would have:
    – a high first rounder (probably top five, had we not acquired Lowry)
    – Significant cap space, assuming we let Calderon, Telfair, Pietrus, and Anderson walk (and Kleiza and Gray exercise their options), our cap number would be 48-50M, and we could amnesty Bargs to bring that number down to 37-39M!!!
    – a loaded front court, with Davis still having a yr on his rookie deal

    Then we could either use the pick, or the cap space to bring in a point guard, or we really go for broke, sign a cheap point guard, and try to get a top pick in 2014 as well.
    Sometimes it’s better to do nothing. Actually, that’s what true
    rebuilding is. It’s being patient and waiting for the right time to
    The talking heads are wrong when they say this fan base can’t take a rebuild. This underestimates out intelligence as fans. After years of smoke and mirrors, I would find a true rebuild exciting, especially the opportunity to see real, legit, all star talent develop as a group in Toronto. I could stomach some growing pains knowing that the end product actually had a chance of doing something in this league.

    • amigo

      That’s looks like Charlotte Bobcats

      • smh

        I’d take Cho > Colangeloed, and without MJ as ownership

  • trample54

    And we were supposed to be better with Rudy, Lowry and Derozan?

    • Andre Julian Ward

      we are better

  • DumbassKicker

    “BTW, where’s the DeRozan’s worth $10M crowd?”

    Since he’s not making that yet, it’s only fair to judge whether he’s worth it or not when he is. Until then, his play is certainly open to criticism, but if salary is brought into it,he’s making $3.3M


      What on Earth are you babbling about, man? What are you implying? That this is the summer he “works hard” and “comes back 10 times the player he is”? Are you saying he is putting in only 3.3M worth of effort right now? And if that’s the case, does that mean he’s holding back his vast skill set?

      Your post makes zippo sense. Stop your shill shenanigans.

      • DumbassKicker

        Though your hyperbolic imagined implications are amusing, what I`m really saying is that clowns like you should be snipped so that you can`t breed any more like you.

        • FLUXLAND

          As long as we agree that you criticize people (fans) that are criticizing and believe that the organization or anyone associated with should not be criticized. This is the definition of a shill; your entire shtick, otherwise, makes no sense at all.

  • Roarque

    I like what I see in the Raptors for 2013/14:
    Starting 5 can compete with any starting 5 in the NBA as Lowry, DeRosen, Gay, Bargnani and Valanciunis with Amir as the 6th man ( C or PF) and Fields as the alternate 6th man ( SF or SG )
    Bench will score well against most other NBA benches as Calderone, TRoss, Fields, Acy and Amir.
    Veteran support from some of Anderson, Gray,Telfair and Lucas
    The key is to re-acquire Jose Calderone with a promise of a future assistant coaching slot in 2016 and that should be a must do for the General Manager.
    This line up gives the coaching staff the ability to sit any player who decides to loaf.
    Don’t want to play D tonight Andrea? No problem! Take a seat. Amir? You’re in at at the 4.
    Having trouble with the tight coverage Kyle? No problem! Jose? Want to play PG for 15 minutes? You’re in at the 1.
    Val gets two quick fouls in five minutes? No problem! Take a seat. Aaron? Give me 10 minutes will you bud?
    Could be fun for a Greg Popovich style head coach.
    One important detail: Stop worrying about being their friend, coach. These are litlle boys here. You need to treat them as little boys. If they don’t want to play hard then they can sit and stare at the TV camera as it pans the players who’re sitting in their warm ups.There’s no way you get to be interviewed by Rob or Leo after the game if you spend it sitting on your butt.

    • Darien

      That team ends up where we are now. No playoffs, no picks. 7 years and counting.

  • raptorspoo

    Just get rid of BC already!!

    I’m getting anxiety just awaiting the decision on his contract.