Alright, let’s say you didn’t watch the game last night, and I told you that the Raptors, as a team, had ten assists on the night against the Howard/Harden-led Houston Rockets.

Then, imagine if I told you the team’s three starting perimeter players went a combined 23 for 78, and Jonas Valanciunas fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Then, imagine if I told you that despite all that, this game still went into double overtime. You’d tell me that made no sense, right?

Well, you’d be right. It didn’t. And after that one, I’m desperate for some structure in my life. So, rather than a willy-nilly post-game recap, let’s go with one of my favourite sports column gimmicks: it’s time for the good, the bad, and the ugly, Raptors/Rockets edition.

(Spoiler alert: Rudy Gay does not end up in “The Good”)

The Good

  • Defensively, the Raptors were as solid as they’ve been all season. The Raps’ struggles defending the high pick-and-roll have been well-documented and have clearly made their way onto other teams’ scouting reports by now: for the duration of the game, it seemed that Houston’s entire half-court offense revolved around setting a high screen and either throwing to a driving Dwight Howard or jump shooting. The strategy paid off in the first half with plenty of open looks and late rotations (including one memorable James Harden four-point play), but the effort level by the visitors increased dramatically in the second half. Rather than trying to fight through screens against Houston’s twin towers, the Raptor wings started using their length to disrupt passing lanes, and out-stole the Rockets on the night 12-8 after being down 6-3 in that category in the first half.
  • Terrence Ross, in particular, was impressive on the defensive end. In the second half and through both overtimes until he fouled out, he was the primary defender on James Harden, and visibly disrupted him with his length and effort. Yes, he’s still raw, and there were still moments in this game where he had you scratching your head (a corner-three off a fast break with Houston’s lone defender playing him tight sticks out in my mind), but on the whole, it was one of his more impressive nights on the year. He’s beginning to look more confident on both ends of the floor, and given the way he was blown-by on a regular basis last season, that’s a really exciting development. Here’s hoping his role on this team continues to increase: last year, I was convinced that at least some of his struggles were due to inconsistent playing time, and I’m hopeful that as he becomes a bigger and bigger part of this team’s strategy, we’ll see games like this more often. Of course, he could just love playing in Houston (remember this game last year?).
  • For most Raptor fans, the expected Jonas Valanciunas/Dwight Howard matchup was the main event, and Jonas more than held his own against his all-NBA foe. His touch around the rim is really impressive, and he seems to have a nose for the ball on the offensive glass (7 on the night). He’s clearly still got room to grow: saddled with early foul trouble, he became either overly passive on defence or just couldn’t handle Dwight Howard’s athleticism in the block at times; and his head-fake/two dribble drive is becoming a bit predictable. That being said, he generally acquitted himself quite well against one of the game’s best big men despite his minutes being limited due to foul trouble, which has to be an exciting sign, no matter the game’s result.
  • Dwight Buycks seems to have secured the backup point guard spot on the team for the time being, and last night, he showed what he can bring to the team: tough defence and reasonable-if-occassionally-ball-stopping offensive decision-making. His work defensively, particularly on James Harden, allowed Casey to use him in a 2-point guard lineup in the second quarter. Is he the best backup in the NBA? No, of course not. Is he serviceable? Yes. Yes he is. And given what we’ve seen from the Raptors’ backup point guards this season thus far, that’s worthy of a spot in the “good” column.
  • As a whole, the level of grit/swagger displayed by the Raptors last night was extremely impressive. Say what you will about Dwayne Casey’s offensive schemes (and I will), but he’s clearly got the team buying into the attitude he’s looking to instill in the locker room. The toughness of the Raptors defensively and on the offensive glass (particularly Amir Johnson after Jonas fouled out) cannot be fun for other teams to play on a night by night basis – it sure didn’t look fun for the Rockets last night, and the Raptors did well to rally from down 17 despite some really poor offensive decision-making/shooting.

The Bad

  • I never thought I’d say this, but I was begging for Aaron Gray to get some burn last night after watching the Rockets eviscerate the Raptors’ small-ball lineup in the first half. After Jonas hit the bench in the first quarter with two quick fouls, Casey’s lineup of choice seemed to include Amir Johnson at center and either Landry Fields or Rudy Gay manning the power forward spot, and both had severe difficulty on the defensive end, despite a couple of nice weak-side blocks by Gay. A team like Houston is able to get away with one big on the floor due to the size and skills players like Dwight Howard and Omer Asik possess when it comes to help defence – the Raptors, not so much. It became obvious early that when anyone besides Amir or Jonas was switched onto either Howard or Asik, the only possible defence was to foul – not a bad strategy, given their free-throw shooting prowess, but not one that you’d hope your team has to employ. It was pretty clear last night that the Raps need another big big-man – Tyler Hansbrough, in particular, looked like when you’re playing a pick-up game at a family reunion and your little cousin gets switched onto your 6 foot 5 uncle.
  • The shot selection of the Raptors, generally, was not a pretty thing to watch. Far too often – particularly when Buycks/Gay/DeMar were all on the floor at the same time – the offence resembled a pick-up game where everyone’s looking to get theirs with no regard for spacing, the shot clock, or off-ball cuts in the least. In my game notes, I wrote: “this team has too many players who play superstar ball, but not enough superstars.” Never a good sign.

The Ugly

  • Rudy Gay: 11 for 37 (the most shot attempts of his career, by the way). DeMar DeRozan: 6 for 25. Those numbers not ugly enough for you? Fair enough, let’s look at some shot charts. Here’s Rudy’s:
Rudy Shot Chart

And here’s DeMar’s:

DeMar shot chart

Now, by my count, that’s 7 shots made for Gay outside of the key out of 19 attempts, and 3 for DeMar on 12. Not displayed in these charts, either, are the amount of time spent in an offensive set before either player seemingly settled for a difficult shot – it seemed like nearly every player on the Raptors save Jonas was allergic to passing at times, and it made the offence really, really difficult to watch at different times during the game. When either player attempted to take it inside (more often early on, when the plan seemed to be to get Howard/Asik in foul trouble, and then less frequently as the game went along), the predictability of their games rang through: Gay was blocked three times, DeRozan six. The amount of assists between them? An almost-unfathomable three (in over 100 combined minutes of game-time!). Yes, complain about the reffing/non-calls against both players all you want (and I’ll get to the reffing in a second), but not being bailed out by a referee doesn’t excuse a poor offensive possession, and these two players simply took far too many of them last game for the team’s top two scoring options. After last night’s game, I’m more convinced than ever that one of these players needs to move in order for the Raptors to take the next step offensively – one black hole on offence can be dealt with, two is simply devastating to a team’s flow in a game like this.

  • No “ugly” list can be complete without mentioning the refereeing in last night’s game, which bordered on atrocious. Non-calls and ghost calls reared their heads for both teams – with two questionable calls against Lowry late in the game being perhaps the most game-altering, but certainly not the only ones. It certainly didn’t help what was already a clunky game offensively, but it did affect the Raptors more definitively than the Rockets due to their offensive strategy (or lack thereof, at times) of driving the lane and looking for contact against Howard/Asik or playing in one-on-one situations. Honestly, even with all the difficult to digest statistics to look through from this game, the Raptors could have conceivably won it in regulation with a bit more consistent refereeing. When I asked my Dad what he thought I should write about this game, he texted me to “say that if the refs weren’t biased, this would have been over even with the stupid shots.. Just my opinion.” It says a lot about the general insanity of the proceedings of last night that he’s probably right. Alas, though, they didn’t, and so I get to post this awesome photo of Amir Johnson clicking his heels here, instead of at the top of the article (GIF here):
BY11B9yCYAEWmL6
  • Dwayne Casey might be a great defensive coach, and a great motivator, but he desperately – desperately – needs to give up the late game play calling/time management responsibilities to somebody else. Two examples: with 35 seconds left in regulation and the game tied, the Raptors inbounded the ball to Rudy Gay, who, instead of working for a quick possession and potential 2-for-1, dribbled at the perimeter for 19 seconds before shooting a contested three; and with 6 seconds left in overtime, the Raptors could only manage a Gay ISO three that miraculously went in. It’s tough to watch, and it’s not a sustainable method for success. Leo Rautins, who was generally excruciating last night to listen to, managed to drop a nugget of truth in the middle of his nonsensical rambling: in the fourth quarter with the Raptors down 9, he simply said that all the team had to do “was get hot” to get back into the game.Unfortunately, this appears to be the coaching staff’s plan A, B, and C as well, which is great for the Riggin’ for Wiggins bandwagon and bad for the #playoffs crowd.

The Optimistic (bonus!)

  • Did we see good basketball last night? No. Did we see the Raptors’ two sophomore players play solid games against All-Star counterparts, and the team manage to grit their way to an entertaining if confusing double-overtime loss against a team generally thought of as a contender? Yeah, we did. And you know what, in Raptorland, sometimes that’s enough. If we’re headed for more of last season this year, let’s see some improvement, let’s have some fun, and let’s enjoy the fact that Rudy Gay can blow up Twitter until Masai manages to find a trading partner.
  • Matt Berdan Belvin

    Too bad there isn’t a combined Derozan and Gay shot chart, there would be more X’s than Taylor Swifts dating history.

    • c_bcm

      Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • AxlT

    Thought I saw a tweet somewhere that Rudys shooting was second in most shots for the least points in NBA history. What is it with this team and historically bad NBA performances? From our ‘stars’ no less

    • Ian Reynolds

      It was the fewest points ever scored while taking 36 shots or more. Is that what you were referring to?

      • AxlT

        Yeah, hard to believe Casey stuck with it … it’s nuts … the three at the buzzer was epic though

  • Sud

    How the hell is any team going to win when their best players shoot a combined 27.4%?? This offense is worse than High School Varsity.

    • Nilanka15

      Junior Varsity….

      • Tanks-a-lot

        Bantam

    • OldSkoolCool

      Who says they are our best players? Our best win producers have been Amir and Lowry last year…

  • c_bcm

    Did you even watch the game? Casey wasn’t calling the last plays. Revisionist history to fit the general trend of the writers on this site which is to rip on everyone on this team, even after a very exciting hard fought game against a top 5 team. smdh.

    • Nilanka15

      Who was calling the plays then?

      • c_bcm

        Looked like Tom Sterner. He had the clipboard and it was his voice in the huddle. But his back was to me, so I can’t be certain it was him. But it definitely wasn’t Casery.

        • sitnonDfence

          The one at the end of regualtion where demar was inbounding the ball and had to call a time out for fear of 5 second violation was Casey, when that fell apart Nick Nurse took the huddle, and not much else happened…
          Which leads me to believe that its equal parts poor quality and poor execution.

          • c_bcm

            There’s no doubt that poor execution is contributing. Its just not so simple as “Casey can’t draw up a play”. Anyone can say that…most of us do. But that emotional knee-jerk reaction is very rarely an accurate account of what happend.

            All i’m saying is that we should elevate the quality of discourse about this team.

            • Tanks-a-lot

              Well, as long as ticket holders come and give us the Inside Stuff we are much richer for that.

    • Tanks-a-lot
      • c_bcm

        bid of a fluid situation at the early stage of the season, no?

    • Louvens Remy

      Yo. It’s says “Head Coach” on his resume. He’s accountable for not doing anything to change the pattern. No one cares about the assistant coaches. He should slap Nick Nurse, or Sterner for drawing up incompetent plays then. But he doesn’t. In my opinion, I think its equal parts horrible coaching and non existent execution by MJ and Scottie…er I mean DD and Rudy.

      • c_bcm

        Fair enough. Accountability ultimately is with Tim Leiweke. Fire TL for the the lack of offence in last nights game!!!!

        • ezz_bee

          Agreed, TL has is ultimately accountable, if he doesn’t right this ship within the next year I will start calling for his head.

          • c_bcm

            I was being facetious.

  • The Sandman

    What confused me the most was the lack of involvement of Amir and Jonas in the offence. You have two capable big men who were putting in work all night, yet we chose to rely on our wings and inconsistent wings at that. Agreed completely that Rudy or Demar needs to be moved, ASAP.

    • c_bcm

      By your logic, its the coaches problem, not the players. Unless you are saying that the players need to be removed so that the coaches can’t play them…?

      But I agree with regards to involing JV in the offence more. I don’t really like him drawn so far out in the high post. Its supposed to create driving lanes for the wings, but it doesn’t work because he isn’t a threat from out there. However, he has shown an ability to hit mid post shots a’la Duncan-esque kiss off the glass. more of this please.

      • The Sandman

        I believe it is above all else a coaching problem. How do you make inconsistent wing players consistent? You give them clean looks and set up an offense that makes them available. Iso after Iso after Iso and Rudy draining the shot clock play after play wouldn’t happen if we got the bigs involved in an inside-out game. It would also limit Gay’s shot attempts and force him to work to get open. We can’t get by on 10 assists in a 58 minute game and Chucky Gay needs to stop chucking.

        • c_bcm

          Agreed. But what are they supposed to do? Don’t you coach the players that you have and try to leverage their skillsets?

          Something else that isn’t discussed much is the idea of giving Gay as much of a chance to increase his trade value as possible.

  • Rap fan 2

    Great points made. Perhaps we can limit Demar and Rudy’s total shots taken per game to 15 each for now and give Jonas 20 to 25 shots. Give 15 to Amir. Jonas and Amir play closer to the basket and tend to be more efficient as a result. They would end up getting more free throws as well.

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Even the Houston announcers were shocked at how few FT attempts Amir Johnson has so far this season.

    • FLUXLAND

      Is it that difficult to understand the pecking order? For the 100th time, this is not HS basketball. Look at the payroll, look at years served, note respective/perceived reputation around the L and future agendas – this will tell you who, as Kobe would say, eats first.

      1 Rudy
      2 DD/Kyle
      3 Everyone else.

      Seriously, people need to cut out the continual outrage and disbelief over how touches and minutes are distributed, it’s basic NBA stuff.

      • 2damkule

        you’ll have to forgive raptor fans for thinking they’ve been watching HS ball. but yeah, as sad as it is, agree 100%…only strongly managed/coached teams get around this hierarchy of shot distribution.

        • FLUXLAND

          Exactly, and even under that stipulation, the players have to believe the other players around them are equally or more talented. Otherwise, it’s iso streetball with refs around.

          There were a handful of games last year where Rudy gave the ball to DD near end of games, only to watch him dribble around and pass it back. Since then, I don’t think Rudy holds DD in high regard. But hey, it’s just Rudy “struggling the right way”,only a matter of time before he caters to DD, as per Tim Smith.

          • 2damkule

            yup…ball’s a funny thing, you take a player out of one situation & put him in another, and he’s a completely different player. take kawhi out of SA, and he’s still a dynamic & talented player, but he’s probably trying to figure out his role on a team like TO (who I’d give a 3% chance of figuring out how to use him effectively), and isn’t nearly the player he’s become in SA. conversely, put rudy in a system like SA, with strong coaching, and stable vets, where there’s not only a fairly clear pecking order, but a ‘WAY’ things are done & a level of accountability not seen on many teams (especially now, in a superstar-driven league) and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him become a far more efficient & all-around player (and if he didn’t, it’s not as though SA would let him negatively impact them).

            • Louvens Remy

              I agree….except for DJ Augustin. Also Corey Joseph is the new DJ Augustin. Can’t wait for the Raps to get him…

            • FLUXLAND

              It’s really like that. One can also look at all the names elite teams/coaches take on their teams, that “fans” around here would scoff at due to to being a “headcase”. Your Jax, Beasley, Birdman, MWP, etc.

              Just an indictment against who has the level of expertise and tools to get through to those players and maximize their ability and who’s scared of the task, or lacks the ability to do so. This all, of course, begs the questions.. is it the players, or is it management and coaching that’s responsible for what transpires on the floor? Ah well, I guess it’s just easier to say we got new management so the future can only be rainbows and unicorns, while we blame the players for the game outcomes.

            • Rap fan 2

              You hit the nail on the head here. If Rudy and Demar were shooting at a FG% of around 50% or better we wouldn’t be having this discussion. There’s only a limited number of possessions per game that each team is entitled to. If you are missing around 70 to 65% of your possessions than you are going to have to defend the other team so well that they end up scoring worst or you are getting way more extra possessions than the opposing team. Right now we don’t have any top 25 or 50 player all time who can dominate the offense. Would it not make sense to play a team oriented offensive system that teams like the Heat and Spurs incorporate to help breakdown the opposing teams defense so that you end up with more easier shots. If you look at Lebron James most of his shots are made at the rim. It’s like putting in golf. A 13 foot putt is a lot harder than a 3 foot putt. The Heat try to set him up for a drive or a dunk at the rim as the first option. He shoots from the 3 point line but that’s not his forte. Opposing teams would rather he shoot from out there than dunking at the rim and or getting to the free throw line. The other thing to notice about Lebron James game is that he’s getting way more assists than Rudy or Demar. When was the last time Rudy or Demar got a triple double. Lebron is unselfish. He’s passing to a team mate for an easier shot.

          • Raptor Realist

            What the hell are you Talking about. Rudy Gay needs to go. He is shooting like 35% on this season out of 160 shots. With his 33.3% 3fg% he is shooting an ineffecient 38.8% eFG %. Last season he Shot 41.6% which still sucks. The year before he shot 45%. Do I see a trend?? Yes… Demar is also getting sucked into his Ball hog playstyle because he is trying to be better than Rudy. Now lets look at JV. Hes made 33 out of 66 shots. 50%… He also is a young up coming talent who will still get better… Amire is shooting 38 out of 67 = 56.7% FG and Hell he even has a better 3FG% then rudy… 5 out of 14 = 35.7%. Lets look at the +/- Now. Amire = +35 on the season. Jonas = + 10. Rudy Gay = -12. We played shitty teams like Atlanta/boston/milwaukee/utah and he is still MINUS. DD = +2 and shooting 38.8% eFG% which is pretty much identical to Rudy Gay. DD on the Ups and Gay on the Downs. We essentially have two of the same player. Gay needs to go but no one can take him cause hes not worth the huge contract.

            • FLUXLAND

              I am talking about the reality of how the NBA works. You are talking about fantasy bball.

              • Raptor Realist

                Gay sucked in Memphis as well. That is why he got traded. He is exact same as DD. Yes give him to SA he will better as any player will be… The point is I am not talking about Fantasy BBALL. I am talking about winning games. Have you been watching? Do you see how many fade away jump shots he took? Do you see his wide open 3 FG that he aired?? I agree Rudy and DD are our best players (Right now) but when you are shooting Terrible all season maybe it is time to pass and tune it down to 15-20 shots a game?? They keep playing 1 on 1 basketball and shoot terrible.
                JV just needs to learn to stay out of trouble and defend without fouling. Did you see his left handed hook yesterday. This guy has talent and works harder than all of our players. He deserves to gets more shots.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No, no he doesn’t. On a team where two guys are getting paid 10M plus/year to score, my last concern is if the 7 foot C is getting his. The team is currently 25th in PIP. I really could care less about his offensive repertoire, when his D leaves much to be desired.

                  And I still think you are ignoring that Rudy and DD have to justify their contracts, do you think they will do so by passing the ball? Fantasy, indeed.

                • Raptor Realist

                  Lebron doesnt shoot a billion shots. He actually Gets his team involved and passes. You get Paid To influence your team to victory, not to shoot a lot and score. Look at Howard, all he does is Dunk Rebound and play defense. He helps the rockets win. Rudy Gay hasn’t shown me anything over the last 30 games to show me he deserves his contract or to be an allstar…

                • FLUXLAND

                  Really, he’s show you nothing? I am not a Rudy apologist by any stretch, but the guy’s done plenty (especially when playing vs top teams) do get the attention of some GMs. I assure you some of the are thinking he’s not in the right environment and doing his best to play his way out of TO.

                  Hey, at least we agree bigs help on the D end.

                • Raptor Realist

                  Hes ok on the D.

                  Lebron still makes him look like a bitch.
                  http://nba.si.com/2013/11/06/lebron-james-dances-heat-raptors/

                  His Efficiency -12 tells me that he gets scored on more then scores, and I know the stat isn’t perfect but If you – every game that does tell me something…

                • Raptor Realist

                  Do you think The Nba isn’t laughing at them right now? Their Value is dropping every game they shoot like this. I read on Houston papers that they are sure glad they don’t have Rudy gay. You need to wake up dude. Are you Rudy Gay? or his friend? Be honest? Do you think he is getting paid to suck?? If you do get paid as a scorer, are you getting paid to shoot a thousand shots at a low percentage? I don’t think so. Quit giving me this bullshit about they have played the longest and paid the most. Just cause you paid the most doesnt make you good. Lebron is Well Under rudy Gay and he is triple the player…

                  You sir are in LALA land and need to wake up. You will see that he will be traded and we will get nothing for him.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No, Sir I am not in LALA land or a Rudy apologist. But I can guarantee you his value is not dropping and no one is laughing- if anything other GMs see him playing his ass off around a bunch of D leaguers and trying to play his way out of TO. Who exactly do you want him to pass the ball to?

                  If anything, you are in LALA land because you think GMs are looking at stat sheets instead of watching the games.

                  Really? Lebron? Say, have you noticed who’s on Lebrons team – as in, he has every reason to pass the ball?

                • cdhall

                  LeBron and Wade DO!!!!

                • Ian Reynolds

                  Your points about why they’re shooting (contracts, pecking order, and so on) are true but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Just because some idiots paid Rudy 18 million a year he gets to take as many dumb shots as he wants?

                  If Rudy believes guys aren’t as talented as him, and he doesn’t want to pass to them, that’s too bad. He’s a crappy shooter, he’s always been a crappy shooter, and he’s always refused to take responsibility for his continued failures. Fantasy or not, he’s hurting the team more than helping. He needs to tone it down for the sake of his trade value, if not for the sake of trying to win.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I didn’t say it was OK, did I? I was pointing out as to why it happens and why people need to tone down the continual outrage over it. Because what exactly is that doing?

                • Ian Reynolds

                  Yes we know why it happens, but people SHOULD be outraged over it. We should make more and more noise so maybe it’ll get through their thick brains that it’s a terrible idea.

                  It’s not ignorance of the league. It’s a belief that it’s stupid and it doesn’t work.

                  What’s the point of saying “What exactly is that doing?” about something? What exactly is the point of discussing sports at all, if that’s your attitude towards it?

                  “You can’t change it so let’s not talk about it at all.” “He can’t hear you cheering for him at home so what’s the point of even cheering?”

                • FLUXLAND

                  So, wait I’m confused. You didn’t answer the question.. what exactly IS it doing? Do you really believe you cheering at home makes a difference? Or are you just going to boil it all down what’s the point of.. everything?

                • Raptor Realist

                  FLUX I have been watching The NBA and Raptors for last decade too. I see how it works. What Rudy Gay is doing, doesn’t work, and if he continues to play like this. No one will want him on there team. It doesn’t matter how much you get paid or athleticism if you are too stupid to pass and continue to take terrible shots early in the shot clock or miss dunks and layups. If you think everyone on the team is D League players then you crazy. All the other players on the team have better efficiency. Who really is the D League player?? Cough Gay.

              • ezz_bee

                I’m going to nitpick on this one, I’m happy to concede you point in regards to DD and Bargs, but Amir has reduced his fouls/36 EVERY season for the last SIX seasons, and in FIVE of those SIX seasons he played more minutes/game than the preceding season. So in the case of Amir Johnson the “more minutes” argument has come true.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I could nitpick that as well, but what’s the use. Ultimately it’s Amir… the what option? Is that making or breaking the W/L column?

      • Louvens Remy

        The first two are eating and then puking right after. What a waste of good food.

      • OldSkoolCool

        That would be fine and dandy, if DD and Gay deserved to take 62 shots in a game, but neither have these guys have ever made the all-star game, so what makes them the best players we have??

        • FLUXLAND

          Errrr, so let’s trying this again.. payroll, years served, reputation, agenda.

          So, let’s take Rudy. Highest paid, 2nd most year served, easily the most skilled on the team, looking for another contract = most touches.

          Notice, there’s nothing in there about how he’s using his skills, which I think you are looking for with the word “deserved”. What do you think should be the basis for deserved? How they played the previous game? And do you really expect any player over the age of 23 to change his game in any way or would you think they will keep doing what’s given them the 6 figure paychecks?

          • ezz_bee

            I agree with your general point that players who make the most money get the most minutes/touches even if it is not the most effective/efficient use of minutes and/or touches. Sam Mitchell claims (and I’m inclined to believe him) that Bryan Coangelo did this to him with Bargnani.

            However, my problem with you line of thinking is this. As a fan, does it matter to me what the unspoken rules are? As a fan I believe it is my right to demand that management and coaches do their utmost to win (and win can be defined in a number of ways, as in, win now, tank to win later, and organic growth), AND if I feel they aren’t doing that, then I have the right to complain about it!

            Also, for me, there comes a time, when the “well this is how the NBA works” argument just doesn’t fly. Now the team currently holds the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, so I have no problem someone believing that the status quo is fine, even if I don’t. However, if the raps go on a losing streak without subsequent winning streaks so that they find themselves 9th or lower, I just don’t see how anyone can continue with the “This is how the NBA works” argument, because, it OBVIOUSLY isn’t working for us. At it most silly and fundamental it’s the “if the rest of the NBA was jumping of a bridge should the Raptors do it as well?” If your winning then sure, play by other people’s rules, but if your losing, and have no real shot of contending, what’s the incentive to just do what everyone else is doing?

            Lastly, and this is the only question that really care whether you answer it or not, but do you honestly believe that Ujiri of Lewieke who use the rational “that’s just how the league works” to justify sub-optimum performance? Because, TL’s stated mission is championship, and regardless of whether you feel the raps are meeting your expectations they certainly aren’t on pace to meet TL’s goal with the roster currently constructed and currently playing the way they are.

            • FLUXLAND

              To be short, I think Timmy is selling tickets and kool aid.

      • onemanwave

        Most shots taken this season: K. Love,25; K. Durant, 24, LeBron, 20; Rudy Gay, 37. Thank you for your timely lecture on how the NBA really works.
        You did not eat first because of years served or because of your perceived reputation. You were an only child.

        • FLUXLAND

          Did you try really hard to ignore the teammates those guys have or does that not play well with your argument? Rudy doesn’t see anyone worthy passing to… wake up. You weren’t the only child, but you were the only one wearing a helmet and getting on the short bus.

          • onemanweave

            Like Minnesota is a powerhouse? And without Westbrook OKC isn’t crawling with other top-flight scoring options. And LeBron and Durant are the two best scorers in the world, which RG certainly isn’t. Thanks for the insight, Red. You really understand how things work. Also you have sensible parents.

      • cdhall

        I thought this was a TEAM game!! Shouldn’t # 1 and 2 make 3 better???

  • robertparrish00

    The optimistic bonus was what I took away from this game too. JV and TRoss played great. I thought this would be a blow out and think this is a nice confidence booster for this squad. No need to hang our heads today!

    Only wished more white panther. How do you not use up his fouls hacking Howard.

  • Uncle_Si

    I just read some of DD’s comments about last night. Basically hour thinks the answer is to keep shooting because he and gay ‘normally’ make those shots. Ummm…..i just threw up in my mouth and I’m on the verge of my head exploding. That comment says so much about Caseys game plan and the mentality of those 2. No wonder they don’t pass Casey doesn’t want them to! Maybe a couple of outlet passes out of double and triple teams would give you better looks the next time down. When I know dd and gay aren’t going to pass it’s easy to double and triple team them.

    CASEY MUST GO. Or at least be demoted to assistant coach. Let him run the defence. But this man is Cleary clueless on the offensive end. I’m sick of his bs rhetoric about efficient shots and ball movement. That’s clearly just him saying what he thinks they should do and the product is an affirmation of his incompetence.

    • guest

      I definitely think Casey is our #1 liability right now. There’s definite talent on this team but it isn’t being used the right way.

  • 2damkule

    this is just rudy & DD proving all the stat-heads and their silly advanced metrics so, so wrong. NERDS!

  • youradherre

    No Rudy or Demar here lol…http://teespring.com/raptors

  • youradherre

    No Rudy or Demar on here lol…. teespring.com/raptors

  • oioi

    The bad part is I could picture Casey saying to Rudy “I dont care if you shoot 0-37, the ball’s gonna be in your hands and I don’t care what you do with it”

    • Nilanka15

      I have little doubt that Casey is most definitely saying that to Rudy (and DeMar).

  • Ds

    Here are, since the 1976-1977 ABA/NBA merger, the teams with the worst FGM/Assist ratio:

    1. San Diego Clippers – 1978-79: 41.46%
    2. New York Nets: 1976-77: 45.93%
    3. Toronto Raptors – 2013-14: 45.96%
    4. New Jersey Nets – 1988-98: 46.72%
    5. Denver Nuggets: 1991-92:

    • Louvens Remy

      Elite company. We made it!!

      • 2damkule

        haha…reach for the stars. still, quite a bit of work to do to get to #1, but if they focus on the goal, then ANYTHING IS POSSSSSIIBBBBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

  • elkabong

    i am glad someone else was pissed with the non existent 2 for 1 that was staring us in the face.i totally flipped out when Rudy stood still watching the clock run down,that to me was the biggest Casey FU of the night and there were plenty!

    is it just me or has anyone ever seen a bigger collection of players that have no clue as to how to set a screen? people want to see different sets and offensive plays but how are you gonna get it done with this group? there a bazillion times a game when these guys get in trouble on the dribble and there is no one coming to help even,isn’t some of that just basic basketball regardless of the play call? why aren’t the coaches working on this? it’s just painful to watch JV try and set a screen and he’s getting into foul trouble because of it. so why isn’t the coaching staff making this a priority lesson? it seems to me until we get a coach that understands how to teach and run a better offensive scheme we are stuck with the school yard iso get your own crap we are seeing now

    • 2damkule

      agree…some of it is experience, some of it is simple timing. JV, for example, is a hard roller, but he leaves his pick juuuust a bit too soon (perhaps he feels the need to compensate for the superior speed/athleticism of the NBA vs. Euro ball?). there’s also a dependency on the ball-handler to put his big in a good position to set the pick…he’s gotta cut close enough that his man can’t just jump the pick, and that means he has to wait for the big to get out far enough. what often happens is the ball handler gets impatient and makes his move before the big is set, and the whole play becomes useless.

      • FLUXLAND

        (perhaps he feels the need to compensate for the superior speed/athleticism of the NBA vs. Euro ball?)

        Ding bleeping ding.

        I also enjoy him carrying over the Linas Kleiza tradition of the incredulous look and arm flailing combo, as if he wasn’t even in the same stratosphere when the infraction occurred.

        • 2damkule

          look, i’m not gonna get into it with you re. JV, you think one thing, i think another. but still…21. 2nd year. potential. that’s all. no one is (or should be) proclaiming him a saviour, and i don’t include myself among those who consider him ‘untouchable.’ i just think he deserves the benefit of the doubt, and a year to develop in what should be a ‘play for the future’ season, before making sweeping judgments one way or another about him.

          • FLUXLAND

            Believe me, I understand the consensus. And I would hold the same if I saw things from him that merit that belief. I really cannot understand why on a team where we are paying 2 guys crazy money to score, we are worried about the C getting his, when he should be worried about rebounding and playing D. It makes no sense at all. Bigs are 1st and foremost there for defense, but maybe this is not the case in TO.

            The small irony for me here is that you used to destroy Bargs for being 7 feet and not rebounding, but JV gets a pass AND needs more touches.

            • DDayLewis

              Wait, you’re aware that Valanciunas grabs twice the % of available rebounds as compared to Bargnani, right?

              http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=bargnan01&y1=2014&p2=valanjo01&y2=2014

              • FLUXLAND

                Yes, I am. And that is nice. But if you are watching the games, you are also aware the timing of the rebounds, right? I am sure that you saw the sequence last night where Dwight grabs the O rebound, they meet on the other other end, Dwight out rebounds him again, and fouls out JV.

                When he needs to rebound, in key moments of the game, he NEVER brings the ball down. Stats cannot capture that. “Stats are like a bikini – they show you a lot, but not everything”

                (It was more about the 7 footer rebounding thing, than Bargs vs JV)

                • DDayLewis

                  Ohh, I get it. He’s not a “clutch” rebounder. He just grabs garbage rebounds, like the 7 offensive boards he grabbed tonight against two of the very best rebounders in the league.

                • FLUXLAND

                  LOL… that must be the “nose for the ball”, right ? Or is that learning when your teammates will miss? Against two guys that were sleepwalking through a game? No, no.. I don’t think you get it at all.

                • set

                  You’re either dunce or you’re pretending to be one.

                • 2damkule

                  confirmation bias?

                • FLUXLAND

                  Ummm.. how about understanding the difference between falling in your lap/area rebounds and rebounds you have not business getting? Or pulling down boards and tipping them around, half time getting them, half the time them ending up in the opponents hands. He puts up the numbers, but his rebounding is not game changing or of any impact.

                  How often is he out rebounded by Gay or Kyle and he’s the C?

                • 2damkule

                  first off, all i’m saying is that you have a particular perception about JV and his rebounding (believing, for whatever reason, that he’s not a ‘clutch’ rebounder). whatever. confirmation bias simply implies that you make note of those ‘easy’ rebounds, because it supports your theory, and ignore and/or discard evidence to the contrary.

                  this is not at all a strange argument coming from an unabashed kobe fan, someone who is perceived as clutch, but for whom the numbers suggest otherwise. because, you know, the baskets at the end count for more points than the ones at the beginning of the game. especially if you ignore that had those points been made earlier, it might not be a close game at the end.

                  anyway, to suggest that JV (or any player, really) rebounding the ball doesn’t help the team win is rather short-sighted. but that’s beside the point…you seem to be arguing that he’s not a good rebounder (suggesting he’s frequently out-rebounded by gay/lowry), but given that you also believe that him rebounding at a good rate doesn’t help the team win, i’m struggling to understand what it is you’re actually arguing?

                  we could go around in circles on this all day, but it seems rather pointless. JV’s not perfect, and 99% of raptor fans realize that, but to suggest that he’s some inherently flawed player who’s never going to amount to much just seems like an extreme counter-reaction to an argument that doesn’t really exist.

                • FLUXLAND

                  What evidence to the contrary? When has he grabbed a board that falls into the “didn’t have business grabbing”? Are you suggesting he’ss more of a banger than an opportunist? I disagree.

                  As well as we disagree on the timing on buckets. It’s not about counting more, but impact on the game and opposing team. I suppose “dagger shot” means nothing to you, and that’ s fine.

                  It’s not a question of helping, it’s a question of making a difference. Are you saying someone else couldn’t as easily receive those same rebounds?

                  Time will tell how extreme this may be, let’s recall I’ve heard the same song and dance about DD and here we are 5 years later.

                • ezz_bee

                  “Are you saying someone else couldn’t as easily receive those same rebounds?”

                  YES! Based on rebound percentage, JV is statistically more likely to get those rebounds than more than half the league’s other C/PFs.

                  So again, YES!

                • One relaxed dude

                  FLUXLAND, you’re one persistent dude. I kind of have respect to people who stick to their own opinion but not this time. This argument has been the most pointless I’ve seen in a long time. You take so much time and energy to shit all over some young kid and you basically repeat yourself post after post with some ridiculous arguments… You obviously think that you’re smarter than everyone else here with your insights about basketball. But basketball is just a game and, like the British say, it’s not rocket science, every fan gets it more or less and everything else is just a matter of opinion. Things you or I say, is an opinion, so take it easy and don’t act like the things you say are some sort of firm and undeniable truth. And, oh, I guess that you’re still going to reply, because, and I’m just guessing, you like to have the last word.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Thanks for the polite advice. For the record, I wasn’t repeating myself as much as clearing up to the people replying.

                • 2damkule

                  but if you’re going to apply some magical ‘clutchiness’ label to rebounds, you have to do it for EVERYONE. so, every one of howard’s 24 boards were of ‘greater value’ because he had no business getting them, or did maybe some just ‘fall’ to him? that’s how all stats, in all sports are – they aren’t weighted by timing, or difficulty…a point is a point, an assist an assist.

                  and no, i’m not one who believes that points have more value at one point of the game vs. another, they are all just points. if your star player goes 3-20 for the first 47:58, but hits the game winning 3 with .02 on the clock, does that make him a clutch shooter?

                  look, as i said earlier, you’re a kobe fan, so i’m not surprised that you adhere to the mythologizing of ‘clutch.’ that’s fine…certainly not worth getting into a dumb internet debate over.

                  as for JV…this is, obviously, your hill for this year, and you’ll defend it ’till the end. you zeroed in on the hot-button topic that you know is going to promote debate among raptor fans, and you’re going to ride that horse until it collapses. congratulations. at least you’re not a troll.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No, not every one… two specifically, and hopefully you know which ones I am referring to. I am a little surprised you think there’s no difference due to timing or difficulty.

                  Yeah, to me that’s a clutch shooter. And that was my belief before Kobe, not that clutch shooting has anything, in fact nothing, to do with being a Kobe fan. He’s the last of the true great players with the exception of maybe Durant.

                  The only thing I am zeroing in how after all these years the fanbase, as you said before.. shooting fish in a barrel..but it’s certainly irking how the kool aid flows and because of it we still get what we get – the DDs and Gays of the L.

                • One relaxed fella

                  FLUXLAND, you’re the guy who probably has the most negativity towards JV. I’m not one of those fans who think that JV is the next Raptors big star or something like that, but I’d say he shows a lot of positive things. Jeeez, I don’t know who should deserve more criticism, the two brick layers or a guy like JV. For everything that JV did well in that game you still have an argument to turn that into something negative. He got 7 O rebounds, but, hey, he’s not a clutch rebounder and those 7 O rebounds were because Asik and Howard were sleepwalking through the game. Great insight, man.

                • FLUXLAND

                  He’s showing you positive things or things that are to be expected and you are over valuing them? Doing the basics does not make you the next big star or something like that. He doesn’t deserve criticism, but he doesn’t deserve the FREE JV cries, when he’s doing nothing extraordinary. I’m not negative, I just don’t believe the hype.

                  7 O rebounds in a game where the brick layers put up 1 gazillion shots? And D12 pulled down 20 plus? I guess we’re impressed differently.

                • DDayLewis

                  The bare minimum?!?!

                  He grabbed 13 rebounds in 30 minutes. How is that the minimum?

                • FLUXLAND

                  He’s a 7 footer and got 13 R in 30 MIN in a game where 2 players on his own team put up 62 shots. And you are impressed. Carry on…

                • DDayLewis

                  You know, I don’t think your “7 footer” stat means anything because it’s just a number, so your argument holds no water.

                  My discourse of debate is consistent with yours.

                  BTW: Tim Duncan, a 7 footer, has never averaged 13 rebounds in a season, and he used to play near 40 minutes per game. Clearly, by your standards, he’s not an impressive rebounder.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Last I checked JV is not averaging 7 this year. And I don’t really care what Tim Duncan is doing, while ignoring he’s not a C, nor 7 feet.

                • DDayLewis

                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                  Ergo, him averaging 7 rebounds per game means nothing.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Wow, really irked by that quote, eh?

                  In a game where the opposing C got well over 20, and his teammates built a castle of bricks, means.. little?

                • DDayLewis

                  Not at all. It’s so useful, especially because I can apply it like a logic blanket around everything I disagree with so my stunted little arguments can bask in the warmth of it’s own ignorance!

                  Rebounding rate: % of rebounds grabbed out of total rebounds available. This controls for pace and for differences in possessions.

                  But hey, what’s this in my pocket? Oh look! It’s my trusty logic blanket:

                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                • FLUXLAND

                  I tried explaining above… it’s more than just “he grabbed x amount of rebounds out of x amount of available rebounds” When and against who…I gave you an example form last night where he needed to rebound and D12 denied him twice and fouled him out. You can keep ignoring that all you want and pull out of your pocket the old rebounding rate … it doesn’t change the fact his rebounding has little to no impact on the outcome of games – AND again, as I’ve asked you earlier, does him rebounding more (>5) lead to wins? But hey look, look over here the numbers man, the numbers are FACTS… how can you argue against them even if the failed to encompass x amount of other variables. THEY ARE FACTS, for crying out loud!!

                • DDayLewis

                  Wow, your claim includes a number?

                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                  But let’s play along for a second. You’re saying that the Raptors lose more when Valanciunas grabs more than 5 rebounds in a game. Correlation HAS to equal causation, right? Dammit JV! Stop grabbing rebounds!

                  Like for example, 90% of car accidents involve 4 wheeled cars, so ergo, having four wheels on your car causes accidents! Well excuseee me while I go remove a tire from my car.

                • FLUXLAND

                  “You’re saying that the Raptors lose more when Valanciunas grabs more than 5 rebounds in a game.”

                  LMAO… now that’s really creative way of readingwhatiwant to. Please, show me where I said that? Or is this just the symptoms of someone who looks at numbers and chooses how to interpret them and then claims FACTS!!

                  Wow, that last part is … ironic, to say the least. A stat guy manipulating to present claims as FACT. Thanks for playing!!

                • DDayLewis

                  You’re right. You never said that. You said this instead “it doesn’t change the fact his rebounding has little to no impact on the outcome of games – AND again, as I’ve asked you earlier, does him rebounding more (>5) lead to wins?”

                  Which isn’t the same thing. I was wrong. I misread your statement.

                • ezz_bee

                  Here’s the thing though, over time any player is playing against different players and in different scenarios. So although not every rebound is equal, rebound % over time is a very good measure of a person rebounding ability. JV is a good rebounder, and him losing two key rebounds doesn’t mean that he will lose all key rebound into eternity. In fact, as he plays more and gets a feel for the game, I would argue that the odds of him grabbing those key rebounds goes up and not down.

                • FLUXLAND

                  He’s a good rebounder on a team that shoots poorly. Meh. And we will see about eternity, I am not holding my breath of him getting key rebounds.

                • Kovalainnen

                  Usually castle of brick builders is more beneficial for defensive team, because basketball is the game, where teams gets more defensive rebounds than offensive boards (because attacking team has to take lower risk and better back to defense in case to not be punished in fast break than take their chances to grab the ball and start possession from zero), so why the hell do you think that JV, Amir and the others should rebound most of that 60 missed bricks? These brick layers increased Houston rebounds more than Raptors and there’s no miracle, but you’re acting like it should be opposite :)

                • FLUXLAND

                  Where did I say I think that he should have grabbed more? The point was simple..there were 62 shots by 2 of his teammates alone, and I am supposed to be blown away by 7 O boards? Shouldn’t 5 be expected especially when he’s more familiar with his teammates than the opposition?

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  When you complained that Valanciunas only grabbed 13 rebounds in a game where the Raptors missed 76 shots, I think it can be assumed that you’re saying he should have grabbed more.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Well, you can assume all you want, I’ve already stated that a. I never said he should grabbed more and b. I clarified the point was it’s nothing to be excited about and used as an argument – in f ct the rebounds were something someone else brought up to begin with, not me. Unless you can point to a statement of mine where I used the word ONLY or complained. I stated a fact. And claimed it was not impressed as the person pointing to it. I guess I will assume you missed the part where I state he doesn’t deserve criticism.

                  Assume away all you want, if it fits your argument, but don’t claim I said thing that I never said.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I’m not sure I see the point of this discussion. You seem to be intentionally argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, and you seem to be changing the focus of what you’re arguing when evidence to the contrary is brought up.

                  I’m out.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  You said earlier that stats don’t capture everything, but your argument seems to be based on the fact he’s not getting enough rebounds statistically. And you do realize that Howard played 15 more minutes in the game than Valanciunas, don’t you? That’s 50% more minutes than Valanciunas.

                  In a game where the second best rebounder in the NBA, and easily THE best over the last decade, grabbed .53 rebounds per minute, Valanciunas, who is just 21 years old and in just his second season, grabbed .43 rebounds per minute. If he had played the same number of minutes Howard did, then that would equal 19 rebounds. And that’s while he’s playing against the best rebounder of the last decade.

                  Right now, he’s rebounding at a similar rate as Derrick Favors, Andre Drummond, Serge Ibaka, Marcin Gortat and Al Horford, all players currently in the top 15 in the league in rpg, but who all play 8-10 more mpg than Valanciunas. And he’s improved on his rebounding over last season, which was an area of concern last season.

                  I understand being critical of Valanciunas, but you seem to being criticizing him for not living up to the unrealistic expectations of a very small percentage of Raptor fans who see him as a future franchise player. And I’m not sure why.

                  Does Valanciunas need work defensively and improve his rebounding, passing and other aspects of his game? Absolutely. But he’s 21 years old and he’s developing very well. He’s improving in the areas he needs to

                  I also don’t understand your criticism of fans who want to see him shoot more. Yes, both Gay and DeRozan make more money, but when they shoot as inefficiently as they have been, shouldn’t you want a more efficient player taking more shots?

                • FLUXLAND

                  You should want that from a basketball POV, the point was more about how the NBA works and it being a business. And him shooting more doesn’t mean his efficiency will hold up. What consistant moves does he have in his arsenal as a C that justify more touches?

                  As for JV rebounding, it’s no about the total # of rebounds or comparisons to other players. It’s about making a difference…actually having impact. I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned that and it keeps getting ignored. Right now it looks great, sure, but I cannot wait until January and see where those # are at and more importantly how do they translate to team success. We’ve all seen CB4 get his double doubles for years and it lead to nothing except for him justifying that contract and getting a ticket to MIA.

                  As far as him vs JV… I am sure you watched the game, and when it mattered D12 got all the rebounds that were crucial. That’s what makes a great rebounder, not just volume.

                • DDayLewis

                  Right, like when Dwight failed to get that rebound at the end of the fourth, and Amir was able to tie the game.

                  Not crucial.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Now we’re talking about Amir? The ultimate stat darling/garbage man?

                  Crucial like the rebound Dwight snatched and had no business grabbing and subsequently got JV to foul out? Irrelevant, right.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  The fact that Gay gets the most shots because he makes the most money isn’t something we should complain about because it’s business? isn’t that the whole problem with bad teams? Isn’t that a thing we SHOULD complain about?

                  As for the rebounding, I’m not sure why you suggest he doesn’t make an impact. Before Valanciunas fouled out, he got a number of big rebounds.

                  But that’s just one game. It is difficult to grab crucial rebounds when you’re on the bench at the end of games, which is where Valanciunas is, most of the time.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Oh no no.. you can complain all you want, I don’t think it changes the reality of how teams work. And the problem is not the players, it’s the management acquiring said players/combination of player or coaches incapable of utilizing the players skills in a manner that makes the player happy. But, by all means, keep blaming Rudy if that turns your crank,

                  OK, well, please provide me with the evidence his rebounding has an impact on the outcome of games. Does him getting high rebounding numbers translate to wins. It’s really not that complicated to understand what I am suggesting.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  When a player goes 11 for 37, he is to blame. Yes, the coach is also to blame, for not telling him to stop, but after 7 seasons in the NBA, a player should understand shot selection better than Gay does.

                  As for blaming management, Ujiri didn’t acquire Gay or DeRozan, and unless he refuses to trade them over the course of the season, I’m not yet ready to blame him.

                  As for rebounding, I already said that Valanciunas is usually on the bench at the end of games, so it’s hard to impact the outcome of games, isn’t it? But you also can’t say that’s his fault.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Sure, you can blame him. But you are asking a guy to change what’s gotten him close to 20 M a year, on a team where he’s the most talented and skilled player. If anything, he’s bent on winning so bad he’s willing to take a ridiculous amount of shots. I don’t even see his teammates complaining, do you?

                  You don’t have to blame either, blame ownership..they sign off on these moves and they hire the management.

                  He had a chance last night and not only got out rebounded back to back but fouled out. Not about blame, it’s about earning minutes, not them being handed to you.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  What got Gay $20 million is his potential to become an elite player, which he never fulfilled, partly due to his inability to understand the difference between a good shot and a bad shot. It’s also due to his inability to make his teammates better, something that is hard to do when you’re taking bad shot after bad shot instead of passing to players who are more open and score more efficiently than you do.

                  So it seems you’re defending Gay and criticizing Valanciunas, over last night’s game? Is that correct?

                • FLUXLAND

                  Incorrect. I’m not defending Gay (that’s twice now you’ve made that assertion). I am merely stating I understand why he is taking those shots.

                  I am not criticizing JV, I am not gushing over his performance nor am I demanding he gets more minutes. This all stemmed from 7 footers grabbing rebounds and rolled into his rebounding being of consequence.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Actually, I only made that assertion once. If someone else did, too, then maybe that’s a sign you are actually defending him, whether or not you meant to or not.

                  And you also seem to be criticizing Valanciunas. Otherwise why would you be having this discussion with a number of people?

                • FLUXLAND

                  Not at all, there is difference between understanding and justifying/defending. Sorry if that’s a little blurry to you. And no, the fact two people draw the same conclusion doesn’t mean i am ACTUALLY defending him, at all.

                  Well, if you followed the conversation, it’s about not glorifying him and not making assumptions based on doing what he’s paid do. I do not see one critical statement about him anywhere in anything I wrote.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  And I don’t see how shooting 37 times when you’ve only made 11 times is defendable. I understand why Bargnani doesn’t rebound, shoots a poor percentage and plays bad defense. It’s because he has a low basketball IQ, poor rebounding and defensive instincts and not a lot of drive. So what?

                • Ed

                  Check the stats of other bigs in the league, compare them, it will shut you up. “Nothing extraordinary….” Jesus, worse than an Miami fan…

                • FLUXLAND

                  Why? Those bigs play on the Raptors?

                • RRRR

                  Doing the basics right does not make u a big star? Lol
                  Guess you are not a fan of Tim Duncan. Guess he would probably be overhyped if he had Gay shooting bricks all night in SA? Learning the fundamentals of the game as a big is the most important thing… I think JV is setting a great foundation to climb the superstar ladder.

                • DDayLewis
                • FLUXLAND

                  I thought we already went over this – re:stats. There’s no sense in us going back and forth when you are clearly convinced stats capture everything. Riddle me this, when he gets more rebounds does the team win more?

                  Again, when you are the C and you’re out rebounded by your PG or any other player on your team…I’m not putting much stock into your rebounding #’s making any difference other than your agent being happy.

                • DDayLewis

                  Oh, so because you magically waved your hand and discarded all numbers, therefore they’re all invalidated? Sweet.

                  What does that even mean, “more rebounds”? More rebounds that who?

                  What point guard is outrebounding Jonas?

                • FLUXLAND

                  You’re the stats guy, how often does someone on his team has more R than him and he’s the C.
                  And how often does his rebounding prowess lead to wins?

                  It has nothing do with me waving my hands, as I said to you previously, and let me try one more time. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                  More rebouds = > than 5.

                • DDayLewis

                  No thank you. I’m not going to fetch numbers for you because it’s useless as long as you can magically wave your hand and give the “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                • FLUXLAND

                  Well, rest assured I looked them up, so maybe my claims are based on fact.

                  And that was given by Einstein, no me.

                • DDayLewis

                  Well you can present your numbers, and I have this awesome quote from Einstein for you:

                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                • FLUXLAND

                  Impasse? Tres bien.

                  PS I don’t have present them, you can easily look them up and prove me wrong, as you’ve done thus far by throwing around numbers and ignoring context – like the number of shots that went up last night.

                • DDayLewis

                  Merci.

                  Right, because presenting rebound rate, which specifically controls for variation in possessions
                  (ie shots taken), didn’t satisfy you.

                • FLUXLAND

                  It didn’t. Because I look at beyond that and ask myself under what circumstances did those R happen? What Q of the game, game score, momentum, against who.. but riiight. none of that matters because we can just throw our hands up and magically discared things that numbers cannot capture, then average it all out and make claims like “all the number indicate…”

                • DDayLewis

                  Ahh, momentum. A classic something “that can’t be counted”, but counts. There was clearly a rebounding momentum in this game! Of course. That exists, and I, silly me, forgot to include it in my assessments. Gosh darnit!

                  Here’s my attempt to atone. In 22 out of 29 minutes JV played, the Raptors outrebounded, or equalled their opponents in rebounding percentage (and yes, this controls for all the shots put up by Toronto).

                  Wait, I know your response:

                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                • FLUXLAND

                  The difference is that I understand your limited view – filtering multiple events and circumstances into a single number, yet you cannot acknowledge those circumstance exist and invalidate your simplistic argument.

                  You cannot atone, when we come form different places, hence only an impasse is possible.

                • DDayLewis

                  Ahh, you’re doing that thing where you make claims about my beliefs and positions, and trap me inside your invisible box. Help! I’m trapped in your logic! I can’t escape because everything’s backwards!

                  But let me try again. Based on the information from here, Jonas and Dwight shared the floor for a long stretch at the start of the first, and at the third:

                  http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20131111&game=TORHOU

                  Findings from first quarter (6 minutes): JV – 5 boards, Howard – 0

                  Findings from third quarter (5 minutes): JV – 1 rebound, Howard – 0

                • FLUXLAND

                  So in other words, Howard was sleeping walking through the game, as I mentioned earlier? Excellent, I’m glad we’ve come to this mutual understanding. Say, can you find anything about that sequence were D12 – 2 boards, JV – 0 boards and fouled out, or are you just going to keep pulling up the homer stats?

                  You’re doing that thing where you think stats tell the whole story and because you’re using numbers to prove it, everything else is irrefutable and didn’t happen. FACTS people I have FACTS backed by numbers!!

                  Wait, wait you must be in that group of people that think possessions in the 1st q are the same as possessions in the 4th regardless of score and anything else.

                • DDayLewis

                  Yeah, Howard who grabbed 24 boards, was sleepwalking through the game, therefore everything is invalidated. Thanks.

                  “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

                • FLUXLAND

                  Yes, sleepwalking. –

                  From TheDreamShake…

                  “The second quarter saw Dwight Howard come alive,” but hey let’s talk about the 1st and 3rd q where I boy looked good. And ignore the repeatedly referenced sequence where he got schooled and the game mattered. Homer, much?

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  If you’re calling DDayLewis a homer, you don’t know him very well AT ALL. Just because he’s disagreeing with you doesn’t mean he’s a homer. That’s as bad as when people call you a hater, something neither he or I have done, if you’ll notice.

                • FLUXLAND

                  He’s left me no choice, by cherry picking stats that fit his argument and ignore stats that fall under the same criteria but don’t fit his contention. Also, the implication was that he’s acting like one, not that he is one.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  You’re cherry picking stats, too. Comparing a player’s stats who played 30 minutes against the stats of a player who played 45 minutes? That’s not cherry picking?

                  And to say he left you no choice does yourself a disservice. And him.

                • FLUXLAND

                  see below..

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Why do you not take into consideration how many minutes a player plays? Valanciunas averages 25 mpg, compared to Gay at 35, DeRozan at 37 and Lowry at 33.

                  Last year, Derrick Favors averaged just 7.1 rpg, and this year he’s averaging 10. Did he improve his rebounding? Actually no. His rebounding rate has gone down slightly, this year.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Actually, I do. And I don’t look at how many but when. Believe me, I’m the first guy to say more minutes do not not mean more productivity. I thought I’ve made that abundantly clear, it’s you and the rest that think more minutes = more development = better players.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Uh, I never claimed that Valaciunas should be playing more. I may be one of the few around here who doesn’t begrudge Casey playing him fewer minutes. Limiting a young players minutes allows them to focus more on being productive and doing more of the right things when they’re on the floor. They learn fewer bad habits, that way,

                  My problem is that all your arguments don’t seem to take into consideration how many minutes a player plays. Howard grabbed 24 rebounds compared to Valanciunas’ 13, but you ignore Howard played 15 more minutes a game.

                  You complain that Valanciunas is only grabbing 7 rpg when you seem to ignore the fact that he’s also only playing 25 mpg and his rebounding rate is actually good, and improved over last season, so rebounding does not appear to be the problem you seem to be saying it is.

                  Did Howard grab a couple of rebounds that Valanciunas could have gotten? Sure. But Howard is a 10 year veteran and one of the best big men in the last decade. Valanciunas is a 21 year old second year player. That’s going to happen.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Sorry, were did I complain about it? My point was that it only doesn’t impress me as much as it does DDay. Also, I don’t have a problem with it, I simply don’t see how any of his rebounds impact the game. Listen, I am glad his numbers are going up, his agent is happy and the Raps will sell more jerseys, but none of that has anything to do with the team racking up Ws.

                  And the number of minutes are not as relevant as what you are doing with those minutes. It’s the DD argument all over again.. the guys has been gifted all the minutes he can ask for and how has that played out for the team?

                  And this is not just about going up vs Howard… clearly I am not going by one game.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  How exactly are his rebounds not impacting games as much as someone else who rebounds at the same rate? And how is he supposed to impact the game from the bench?

                  I also don’t understand how you can say he’s been “gifted” minutes. He’s averaging 25 per game and he’s one of the most productive players on the team when he’s on the floor. That’s not being gifted minutes. When you’re playing 37 mpg while shooting 36% from the floor and playing below average defense is being gifted minutes. When you’re playing 35 mpg while going 11 of 37 in a game and turning the ball over twice as much as you dole out assists is being gifted minutes.

                  Valanciunas is one of the few players on the team that is not being gifted minutes.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I guess you are not watching the games. AGAIN and for the last time… certain rebounds impact games more than others. See the sequence where D12 schooled him. I don’t look as all rebounds as the same, like you statheads do.

                  The gifting was in reference to the people asking for more minutes, not saying he was being gifted minutes. Again, he does nothing warranting minutes in the clutch, much like DD didn’t.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I’m not watching the games? Just because I disagree doesn’t mean I’m not watching the games. It means I don’t agree. And of course there was a sequence you can point to where Howard schooled Valanciunas. Howard is an All NBA veteran and Valanciunas is a 21 year old second year player. If Howard didn’t school Valanciunas on several occasions, then if I was a Rockets fan, I would be VERY worried.

                  Overall, Valanciunas played pretty well against Howard. Not great, but good. And considering his age and experience, that’s to be expected.

                  As for Valanciunas not being gifted minutes, if he’s played well for the rest of the game, how would him playing in the fourth be gifting him minutes?

                  When he’s been allowed to play in the fourth, Valanciunas has usually done very well. Or don’t you watch games…..

                • FLUXLAND

                  Why would you worry about Howard vs JV as Rockets fan? LOL. In a game where Howard was half engaged and the Rockets are still trying to figure out how to use him, nothing JV had is to be taken seriously.

                  He fouls and fails on D far too often for anything that he does offensively to warrant minutes in the 4th. And he has done well in the fourth vs what teams and under what circumstances? Trust me I watch the games..and I certainly do not see what you see.

                • ppellico

                  however…it might just be that Jonas is a high rebounder because his shooters are a high miss percentage.
                  If the team hit a lot…rebounds would be fewer.
                  But I d agree with his pic comments posted above. He does leave early and this does have a lot to do with his ball ahndlers. It is, as you remarked above..htier responsibility to allow the big to get the pic set AND cut correctly.
                  But this timing and help was never given to any big…and so JV is just another bit of damaged goods left by our team. No matter what big sets the pic…these guards always move early and poorly.
                  and players are giving up about moving without the ball since they now realize they likely will never see the ball….
                  look..this preseason and early on I was alone expressing horror with the casey team. there were even truly faithful here acting as if this could be a good year. playoffs were even mentioned.
                  Um…the fan drinks you have are powerful.
                  Casey sucked all last year with his game management. He is old enough that he is not going to suddenly get a spark of brilliance and begin to think coaching correctly.
                  HE is the issue. His wings are horrible. He has lost his team…well, he lost them last season.

                • 2damkule

                  that’s some interesting revisionist history you’re using there. congratulations, BTW, for being the ONLY one on RR who thought the raps were mediocre.

                • ppellico

                  2damaged…
                  never used the word mediocre. you are a coward and very likely one of those that honk horns from the safety of a moving car….then swiftly drive off.
                  the internet is your car.

            • 2damkule

              ah, that bit about bargs is not true, and you know it. i held out hope for him well into season 4. and you can’t try to compare the two (JV & Bargs) in terms of D/rebounding and expect to be taken seriously…JV’s a better rebounder when he’s asleep. he had almost as many boards last night going against howard/aski than bargs has all season.

              look, like i said, i agree with you in principle…this is a nothing year, and i simply want to see him develop in all facets (and he certainly has a lot of developing to do). but…i guess i just see more signs that he’s got a little something-something to his game than you. it’s not about ‘getting his,’ but if he’s effective, i’m not sure who it benefits (if, y’know, they’re trying to win games) by going away from him, which seems to be a conscious decision? i mean, if nothing else, use him – or the threat he presents in the post – to free up some space for DD/gay, so maybe those comically inefficient long-2’s have a slightly higher chance of finding the bottom of the basket?

            • ezz_bee

              I’ve watched a lot of JV games under 18 tourney, int’l and with the raps. I’ve seen possessions where he’s pressured other teams pgs and wings on the perimeter and shut them down. I’ve never seen him take possessions off, and no one has every said anything other than high motor about him (unless you are claiming that he doesn’t have a high motor) he rebounds pretty well (7 offense boards in the game). I just do NOT get the bargnani comparisons. His defense needs work, but he has demonstrated that at other levels the ability to be a defensive FORCE, which is why I and many others think he has the ability to do it in the NBA. As far as barg’s goes, it was FOUR YEARS before anyone starting saying, “maybe he isn’t going to improve” and we’ve had huge debates on the forums about Demar being who his is, now that he’s logged 10,000 minutes.

              JV is in his second year, he’s only played 1689 in the league. It’s not just Raps fans who are high on this kid, there are a lot of smart basketball minds (Zach Lowe, for one) who also see the potential.

              JV gets the hype that he does from the NBA crowd because a lot of people think his floor is above average on BOTH sides of the ball, which in the NBA is a rarity among big men.

              I just don’t see how comparison’s between JV and Bargs are anything but a troll.

              • FLUXLAND

                There wasn’t a comparison.. i already explained if you read all the comments. It was about 7 footers.

                Btw, I really could care less about anything he does outside the NBA – it has no bearing.

                Rest assured I will be watching all of his minutes, like I have everyone’s. And lots of smart basketball minds said a lot about DD. I wouldn’t spend much time reading something someone is saying to sell basketball, as that’s their income.

      • elkabong

        a “bit” tooooooo soon? oh my goodness you are lucky if you get him to be still for 1/2 a heartbeat on a pick and roll. i don’t know if he’s all excited cuz it’s my turn to get the ball or he’s fixated on getting from point A to point B in the play diagram. either way he seems to have no concept as to why it works only when executed correctly. as to his high screens i just loved Leo telling the world the ball handler needs to wait for the screen to develop when what i just saw was JV coming in too early so the defender simply moved away and now we have a 7 foot pylon sitting 3-4 feet from the ball handler’s defender so what the frick was the ball handler supposed to do? again he seems to not understand the aspects of timing and proper positioning so this is basic basketball that can and should be taught so i wonder why it seems to be getting little to no attention

  • K.J.P

    That play call to end regulation……I was screaming at both Rudy and Cassey. That was so bad!

    • Aevo

      What – you’re not a fan of the patented Rudy-Gay-Do-2-Crossovers-Then-Chuck?

    • johng_3

      LOL I didn’t see one screen during that play for anybody. Just everybody running around

    • Ian Reynolds

      Casey said that he had called a play, but Rudy went away from it to take that shot.

  • ppellico

    I have read all the blogs and postings about last night’s loss.
    And only now was there a mention of Gray’s not having been played. Good job.
    Is the fan bball IQ that low? Look…I get it…most don’t like Gray. I get that everyone loves the running players. Everyone loves scoring and just mentions D.
    But look it up…use your cmputers. Gray does well against Howard and big centers.
    He always has.
    So what in hell are you keeping him around for IF on a night like last night annd against players he does well against…why does he not even get time???
    He got put in after 5 games on the bench for 5 minutes. He played poorly with subs…so now he gets benched forever. Casey…what are you doing?????
    Casey sucks and until it is admitted and faced up to…why bother rooting?
    And another thing. It is so absolutely kick ass funny watching fans hate a player…then LOVE him when he is your guy.
    You mean to tell me nobody here thought Psycho T was wrongwith many of his hits last night?
    You gonna try to say you would have accepted this if it was on your players
    No way…but now that the punk is hitting on the opposition…all is good and the past is forgiven.
    What BS.

    • 2damkule

      badabadap-da-da!!

      i know, it’s so weird when stories are written about a basketball game, and they DON’T focus on how/why a back-up big averaging 4 mpgs (and who’s only gotten into 3/8 games).

      that being said…yes, he should have played, even if it was for just a few minutes, because, seriously, what’s the worst that could happen. all that being said, you have no idea how he would have done, so to assume he would have made a difference is perhaps a stretch.

      and holy shit, why do you keep creating these strawman arguments, like ‘everyone’ ‘loves’ the DD’s & rudy’s on this team? have you been reading this site at all, or do you just do a , type ‘gray’, and if no results pop-up, just move on?

      further…yeah, how TOTALLY odd it is that a formerly hated player is (begrudgingly) accepted when he joins ‘your’ team. don’t worry, the adoration for psycho is 99% because he’s not on another team, and thus, can’t inflict his particular medieval tactics on raptor players. we’ll go back to unabashedly (and rightfully) hating him for being a no-talent hack when he’s no longer with the team.

    • johng_3

      Dammit why did you have to mention Aaron Gray in the article. You know this guy is going to ride on Gray all night for some reason.

  • Derek

    So Boston & Philly, two teams expected to be “tanking” hardcore this year, both have a better record than the Raps through 8 games. With a full compliment of players and a maxed out payroll, we’re still fighting to be an 8th-10th place team. Please Masai, for the love of all that’s good, please blow this thing up and do a proper rebuild. This isn’t about getting Wiggins. That would be great, but not likely to happen. It is possible to get a franchise player to pair with Jonas drafting somewhere in the top 8, and get our salary cap under control, so that we’re not massively overpaying players who can’t produce.

  • Louvens Remy

    Most shots Michael Jordan ever had:

    A. 43 in regulation again against Orlando in 1990 In that game he scored 49.

    B. 49 in an OT in Orlando in 1993.
    In that 49 shot game (OT) Jordan was 27-49 from the field and 9-11 from the line, scoring 64 points. He had 6 rebounds and 1 assist. He played 47 minutes in that game…the Magic defeated the Bulls 128-124 in OT

    Lesson: Rudy Gay should never EVER shoot more than 20x in a game, let alone 37.

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