Despite their best efforts down the stretch, Brooklyn was unable to hand the Atlantic Division leading Juggernaut that is the Toronto Raptors a win last night. The Raptors vacillated back and forth between terrible and impressive play last night, until finally deciding with about three minutes left on the clock that they would actually like to win last night’s game. The Nets, content with 45 minutes of decent play and ever the gracious guests, spent those final three minutes wearing Raptors rally caps, and they came within 2 inches on an Amir Johnson 3-pointer of securing a loss and a happy home crowd. Alas, the dreams of a commanding Atlantic Division lead and a free single topping slice of Pizza Pizza from a participating Toronto Area location for fans retaining their ticket stubs was not meant to be. What follows is a list of the 10 things I took away from the game instead.

1. The TSN pre-game promo’s are out of control. They’re produced as emotionally gripping dramas with story-lines about a team that’s undergone drastic change and is now poised for greatness. It was unclear if I was about to watch a basketball game or a serialized network drama. Show me some highlights and story-lines to get me excited for the matchup and maybe learn something about recent team trends, but let’s not turn this in to the CW network please. So help me god, if Chad Michael Murray subs in off the bench, I will lose every conceivable fragment of the proverbial ‘it’.

2. Kyle Lowry is locked in to that spot midway down the left side of the 3pt arc. Like a white guy two-stepping at a wedding, it’s his home-base, and he is absolutely killing it! Lowry is very quietly having a really good season. He is embracing his role as a point guard well and  shooting the lights out in spot-up opportunities. He is still freelancing too much (though his defence and two key steals were huge in the 4th) and getting caught out of place on defence , but really, wouldn’t it be rude of him not to? Its kind of Amir’s thing to be the only guy who plays positionally disciplined defense. A true leader knows not to step on his teammates toes.

3. I’ve been making the case for more Jonas Valanciunas post looks. But Jonas needs to establish position in the post first. He routinely lets smaller guys push him too far out. Jonas Valanciunas is not better than Kevin Garnett. He is MUCH stronger than the grizzled ole’ vet though, and theres no reason for Garnett to be able to bully him five feet off the block.

4. I’m really enjoying Terrence Ross getting big minutes and making big contributions to the team. He struggled to guard Joe Johnson, which is a sentence that has been applied to almost every NBA shooting guard at some point over the last 9 seasons. He knocked down shots, got to the rim and continued to look like a nicely developing player.

5. Rudy Gay made a nice pass in the first quarter in the pick and roll to a rolling Amir Johnson. No, seriously though. Unfortunately, Amir was just as surprised as everyone watching at home as he recoiled in astonishment as the ball bounced out of bounds. He literally had not mentally prepared himself for a Rudy pass to the roll man. Feel free to draw your own conclusions here.

6. DeMar DeRozan is playing with as much offensive poise and confidence as I’ve ever seen from him. When the Raptors were the 3-10 team playing against Brooklyn a season ago, DeMar looked like a player uncomfortable carrying the offensive burden of being the number one scorer on a team and uninterested in trusting his own 3pt shot. His confidence, comfort and ability to deliver have all come a long way since then.

7. It’s almost fun to ironically watch Steve Novak on defence. I feel morally obliged to mention that Steve Novak had a nice offensive game here. He isn’t a bad basketball player by any means. He’s just unquestionably a DH. Brooklyn had some extended success running the heralded ‘run a pick and roll to get Novak to switch on to the ball handler, then have that ball handler score over Steve Novak’ offence.

8. The Raptors were curiously abandoning the 3 point line on defence. If you move the ball inside, kick out and then pass once, you will get all of the open 3 pointers against this team. I don’t know if this was  undisciplined individual play, a lazy zone scheme or a conscious decision to pack the paint. While the latter is a great defensive strategy against a shooting deficient team like Memphis, Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson probably aren’t he most ideal players to let set up for wide open jumpers.

9. The crowd started throwing some boos at Rudy Gay last night. What has happened to this Toronto crowd? Where did this sudden quick trigger booing come from? There are some serious unresolved anger issues with this fanbase.

Vince Carter hurt us. Our anger and vitriol was justified, and it felt good showing him. But now we boo any player who leaves. We’re better than that. We took Rafael Arajao (I know, we’re not supposed to bring up this name. I’m sorry) instead of Andre Igoudala. Then we showed patience with Andrea Bargnani. And then we showed more patience with Andrea Bargnani. And then we showed even more patience in Andrea Bargnani until finally, by the end of last year, our Primo-pasta-‘n-sauce induced rage finally boiled over. We’d been repressing our growing anger and holding our tongue when we should have spoken out for too long. It’s not healthy, and once we let it out, we couldn’t stop. I get it. I was a part of it. Even if it was an over-compensation, it needed to happen. Even if it got awkward and uncomfortable in the pre-season, it was something we had to work through. But at a certain point, we need to take some responsibility. It was our fault too for putting up with too much, but we shouldn’t over react now. That kind of knee-jerk passive aggression is unbecoming. It’s embarassing and it’s unproductive. You know what’s probably not going to boost Rudy Gay’s confidence? Booing him whenever he touches the ball when he’s having a bad night. Stomping on lemons is not how you make lemonade. If you can’t manage moral support, how about at least one season of suffering in muffled silence?

10. I loved Rudy Gay’s decision on the final play. I didn’t like the play, which was an example of the lack of creativity ‘give it to Rudy and just let him figure it out’ play that typically leads to him getting lost in the midst of a double or triple team. But when Garnett collapsed off of Johnson to Rudy for the inevitable double team, he dished out a perfect pass to Amir Johnson for an open corner three. That’s a great decision by Gay, and the best available shot on the floor in that 2 second window. It’s not always going to go in. Let’s not blame Gay for not taking the shot that everyone hounds him for taking all game though, because he made the right basketball play.

  • sitnonDfence

    Well said Sir. Refreshing to see people call it how it is and not how they want it to be. Also nice to see that im not the only one who can justify JV’s lack of touches with his lack of position. This isnt the first time, nor will it be the last. My major concern is his interior defense though. Offense will come , defense he was supposed to have. Im not so sure the untouchable tag fits at the moment.

    • robertparrish00

      Considering that Casey thinks the Raptors back up center is psycho T. JV is untouchable.

    • OldSkoolCool

      He get’s looked off when he has good position and gets forced into touches when he is a mile from the hoop…his teammates are in part to blame here

    • DrFunk

      yeah if he doesnt progress into the star everyone wants, years from now people will say we should’ve traded him for picks while value was so high and blown up the team like Bahston for the draft.

    • nyStef

      My opinion, it’s way off to be judging Jonas too harshly, right now. Do you remember how stupid you were with some things when you were 21? Well, maybe not you, but I do. Going up against Kevin Garnett, one of THE smartest and savviest players in the league — maybe ever (what other player knows how to get under an opponent’s skin better than KG does?) — I’d wager Jonas didn’t know if it was Tuesday or July for a while out there, with Garnett on him, doing what he does. As well, Jonas still gets pushed around by some of those big-heavy-dudes down in the pit and it’s gotta be discouraging at times. Let the pot simmer for a couple or so more years, he’ll get more of that ‘man-strength’ (which isn’t a myth for many) and he’ll dominate the block just the way we often expect him to, right now. Again, he’s only 21 yrs old. There’s still some subtle-but-profoundly-important growth to come yet for both his brain and his body. I’d wager large that when he’s 25 or so, he’s a monster.

      • FLUXLAND

        Will. Never. Happen.

        His lower body is not built to work in the post. He will always get bucked out of position. He can’t park and operate at all, not to mention anything he does takes about 45 minutes to develop. And building that upper body has only slowed him down and makes him tired.

        • nyStef

          Well, we’ll agree to disagree, then.

        • Milesboyer

          He’ll get better, maybe more in the Pau/Marc Gasol mold than as a pound it in low post scorer. One of his biggest problems right now is that he never, ever takes that 8-10 foot jump shot that the defence gives him and that he uses as a pump fake. Guess what JV, it you don’t ever shoot it, nobody will fall for your pump fake.

          • 2damkule

            except, everyone does fall for the fake, pretty much all the time. even when he’s faking at the 3-pt line. so, yeah, he’s gotta shoot it, but if people keep buying the fake, then use it. maybe the scouting report keys on the fact he’s a good FT shooter, so that gets into the heads of guys defending him (that he has range), and they need to respect it, even if he doesn’t actually shoot from outside the paint?

            • Milesboyer

              I don’t think you’re watching the same games as I am. Defenders fall for his fake about 1 out of every 10 times.

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

          Valanciunas is 21 years old. I don’t know many 21 year olds I can’t push around in the post, even if they’re stronger than me (which many are) because I have 20+ years of experience knowing how to use my body. That’s what you and others seem to forget. It’s not simply strength. It’s learning how to use that strength.

          • FLUXLAND

            Except this is not your Thursday night YMCA run. This is the NBA and there are people younger than JV who know how to use their body/strenght. But I know, this is TO, so JV has another 8 years before we can criticize his game, right?

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

              Where doesn’t matter. It’s simply age and experience. The more experienced you are, the better you are at using different tricks, leverage, etc, in order to get an advantage against bigger and stronger players. Being able to use your body is just like any other skill. It takes training and experience.

              Once in a while, you’ll get a freak of nature, but even Dwight Howard had to learn how to use his strength.

              There’s a reason Garnett can play center now, and not 10 years ago.

              I remember watching Yao Ming get completely bullied against a much shorter, non-NBA Canadian player back before he entered the league, and writing him off. He learned to use his strength. And so will Valanciunas.

              You’re 100% wrong on this one and you’ve got no basis on which to argue this point. Some of your other criticisms of Valanciunas have grounds for an argument, but not this one. As you must know, I’m not some homer who can’t stand any criticism of the team or players. Valanciunas deserves some criticism, but saying he will never, ever be able to work in the post is a ridiculous statement.

              • FLUXLAND

                It’s not about never, ever. It’s about how effectively and with what results that contribute to team success. It would be nice for this team to stop being a farm team.

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

                  Actually, you said this:

                  “Will. Never. Happen.His lower body is not built to work in the post. He will always get bucked out of position.”

                  If you didn’t mean it and just wanted to write something bold and brash, then expect a lot of flak for it.

                  I don’t expect Valanciunas to be a force this year and never did. He’s a 21 year old second year player big men. 99.9% of them struggle with the exact things that Valanciunas is struggling with. If you’re a team that wants to develop your talent, then you have to expect this.

                  Toronto isn’t a team that can import players in their prime. It’s not a prime destination and they don’t exactly have the elite talent that draws other players, as you well know.

                  The only reason the team could be classified as a farm team is because management has been so poor and never been able to build on any success the team had.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Will. Never. Happen. – in response to him being a “monster”.

                  I still stand by that he’s shown nothing that would require patience. He just doesn’t have it. Players that have been in the league less than him have shown more promise. You’re welcome to ride the TO “give him time and give him minutes” train, but I assure you I am not 100 percent wrong.

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

                  I have no idea whether he’s going to be a monster, or not. I’m not even sure what that means. I have consistently said that the ceiling for Valanciunas is probably a Brad Daugherty-type player (although not as good a passer), and definitely not and elite player.

                  But your argument about his lower body strength is bogus, and I’m pretty sure even you know it. I know you like to rattle people’s chains, but it gets a little ridiculous sometimes.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Not bogus at all. We just disagree, I don’t know how you’re looking at him and don’t see he will always be thrown out of position. He would need to get quicker to compensate, but he’s so slow right now, I don’t see how much quicker he can get.

                  And I don’t like to rattle anyone’s chains, I just see things that I disagree with, and I happen to be in the minority with my opinions. There’s nothing ridiculous about that.

      • ppellico

        ya…well all others are judged as quickly. Gray was traded in his second season.
        Look…I like JV. But let’s be real…he has been risen to saint levels and without any real proof. I HOPE he does grow…but real is real.
        And Casey is an idiot for allowing his center to be pushed around and not using another powerful seven footer sitting unused on the bench.
        And this fan base applauding Amir shooting 3s is just so idiotic and rap madness.
        I understand the need for a hot 3 point shooter…but to point at Amir as the option and promte that is STUPID.

    • FLUXLAND

      Amazing. So when a few of us were observing the exact same things about JV LATS YEAR, we were haterz.

      Now, suddenly, everyone sees he has no post game and that our paint gets abused.

      • 2damkule

        RIDE IT!

        • FLUXLAND

          Choclair? or Ginuwine? .. what do I win?

      • Dr. Scooby

        was that ‘lats’ or ‘last’?
        You’re right, JV will continue to be troll fodder for you.

        • FLUXLAND

          LOL.. much like I was getting trolled by the “real fans” LATS year?

  • Andrey

    Teach me that kind of optimism. Seriously it’ll probably help me in my life.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    “9. The crowd started throwing some boos at Rudy Gay last night. What has happened to this Toronto crowd? Where did this sudden quick trigger booing come from? There are some serious unresolved anger issues with this fanbase.”

    you are witnessing an intelligent fanbase that knows the ONLY time to voice displeasure is at the game when a ‘superstar’ paid player shits the bed.

    “You know what’s probably not going to boost Rudy Gay’s confidence?”

    Is Rudy Gay a grown man with a MAX contract? Fuck Rudy Gay and his confidence. No seriously Fuck HIM AND HIS SHITTY D-LEAGUE PLAY.

    “If you can’t manage moral support, how about at least one season of suffering in muffled silence?”

    You deserve a FUCK OFF as well for that.

    • Ion66

      Welcome to the “I get to be a dick any time I want, as long as I get to do it in a crowd, or on the Internet, and never face to face.” era. Some day poor and homeless people will come to our places of work, and boo us (even when we are sick) while shouting how we should bust our asses twice as hard, for whatever wage we make, because that might motivate us to work harder and do a better job. Honestly though, sick or not, Rudy does need to work on the turnovers. Maybe they should make him dribble the ball through a car-wash until he can do it without losing the handle.

      • Paul

        I think Chris Paul dribbles a tennis ball in each hand to improve his handles.
        Gay doesn’t look like he could corral a beach ball at this point.

        • rapierraptor

          Paul George made improving his ball handling his #1 off season priority. Rudy would be well served to do the same.

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

        People have been booing players at sporting events since probably they started sporting events. This is not a new phenomenon in the least. While I’m personally not a big fan of it, it’s something all professional athletes have to put up with because they play in front of crowd who pay to see them play. If you had a job where people paid to watch you work at your desk, then it’s their right to react appropriately if they feel they aren’t getting their money’s worth from you. Why anyone would pay to watch someone work at their desk, I don’t know.

  • ReaderYall

    I don’t think you can fault anyone for that final play except Dwayne Casey. The plan was literally “give it to a sick Rudy and let him work it out.” If that was the case, why was Amir in that position? Why was Novak in that position? They were literally both in the position you would want the other one in. And if you weren’t going to have Amir run a screen or go for a tip in, why not have Ross out there instead? The defender would be significantly less likely to leave Ross open to go for a double on Rudy…there were so many problems with that last play and none of it has to do with Rudy Gay. He actually made the right decision there and I really don’t see how anyone can fault him there. I actually still don’t know why Acy wasn’t dressed (and Stone was) to play this game with Amir, Tyler and Rudy sick…

    • DrFunk

      i think acy has a foot or ankle injury though. I get why having Amir out there if you re down by 2 but to have him jack a 3 with novak rebounding…. complete opposite of what should’ve happened.

  • Tinman

    Garnett has the smarts to handle any second year rookie

  • Tanks-a-lot

    Seen at the ESPN game discussion thread

    “Rudy Gay is Bizarro Lebron.”

  • DrFunk

    Good article! People are saying the last play was Gay’s fault he should’ve drove the other way and had Novak open but thats not his go-to side so casey should of had it reversed. iiiiii dont know, still hurt to watch. Jonas definitely had nightmares about this one beforehand, no second year player wants a Garnett assignment so I was not expecting this to be pretty for him. Demar s a stud! Gay is an awesome (4th quarter) player but for his contract vs what he actually brings to the table, im getting more and more OK with him being traded/walking so we can build around Demar as the ‘superstar’. hate to see the Booooos this early, bad for moral and (I wont say players’ confidence because I think Tanks-a-lot’s head’ll explode) self esteem? that amir PnR was HILARIOUS.

  • johng_3

    Yea Devlin makes it seem like the Raptors are about to embark on a 20 game winning or something in those TSN intros

  • a

    Rudy Gay needs to model his game as a defence first player. He has actually been not bad on the defensive end this year. I’d like to see him as a Igoudala type player. He is clutch in the 4th get him more looks then but in the first 3 quarters run plays for everyone else.

  • Rob Rousseau

    Don’t think the boos on Rudy are indicative of some profound change to how Toronto fans react to disappointing players. The fact was he was not having a great game, and then in the space of about 3 minutes he missed a dunk and turned the ball over twice, and people were annoyed.

  • Roarque

    The eleventh thing about last night:
    Every time DDR has a career night, the Raptors lose a close game. The Nets is the latest but what about the Trailblazers or the Rockets. When Rudy has a good night ( Memphis?) then the Raps win.
    Any explanation for this? Is there a reason why DDR is having these nights when the team loses?

    • FLUXLAND

      “Every time DDR has a career night, the Raptors lose a close game.” Shreef Abdur Rahim everyone!

      Also, how many points did DD score in the 4th on “career night”?

  • Hungarian Raptorsfan

    Ok! Rudy made the right decision, iny my opinion Casey made the wrong decision because i think Ausin Daye should play some minutes and he is much stronger 3pt shooter then Amir, and why didnt Casey put him, just for the last half minutes??

    • Ion66

      Even if he’s technically good, putting someone in who is sitting the game on the bench and cold as a fish on ice is a bad move.

      • beni

        But better than Amir’s 3! I hate them and i think everbody thinks the same

  • GKS

    JV is NOT stronger than KG. KG indeed looks thin but he is definitely stronger than JV. This is evident in that he still manages to set killer picks.

  • Rap fan 2

    I think the Nets must have gotten hold of the recent Chicago-Toronto game tapes. They were taking advantage of a weakness that we have in our interior defense. We got exposed! What happened to our inside presence? Regrets of not getting draft picks like Roy Hibbert and Andre Drummond come to the fore after games like this.

    Rudy Gay is not this bad. Something’s up with him. He’s done nothing to disrespect the Raptors or Toronto so he doesn’t deserve to be booed like that. But I guess it’s really hard to watch how much he’s struggling right now especially since people are paying good money to see the games at the ACC. Hopefully, he gets the message and snaps out of it.

    For the conspiracy theorists out there, perhaps Masai Ujiri has already notified Rudy that the Raptors might trade him so he’s simply rebelling and trying to sabotage any possible future deals by decreasing his own trade value.

    Let’s see how they do against Miami on Friday.

    I see changes coming for the Raptors.

    • 2damkule

      unfortunately, the thing that is likely ‘up’ with him is that this is probably closer to who he is (not just last night, but this season) than what people still project him to be based on what they thought he could/should be coming out of school.

  • Paul

    There is no justification for the last 30 seconds of this game.

    When you’re down 2 with 22 seconds left, you extend the game.

    A good team could have played this out for half an hour, continually fouling and using time outs to whittle away the advantage.

    We could have had three more possessions with 22 seconds left.

    Instead, what do we do? We let 12 seconds tick away, then get a gift from Livingston at the stripe, and we go for a three from a guy shooting 25%. How bout a two from Derozan or Lowry? Or at the very least, how about someone sets a pick so our play doesn’t just consist of a 37% fg shooter dribbling into a double team.

    If you want to get some perspective on the Raptors decision making, try watching the feed from the opposing team. The other commentators couldn’t believe what they were seeing. This team’s coaching is a joke, and we’re the only ones that aren’t in on it.

    • betterthancasey

      casey should back to high scholl coach!!!!

      • Raptorsss

        Maybe, you guys should actually watch Casey’s post-game interviews? I’d respect your criticism if you actually listen to what he has to say. Why did they let so many ticks go off the clock, before fouling? The play was to get a steal and failing that to foul, which is what happened.

        Did, you honestly believe that Casey drew up a play for an Amir game winning 3? As Casey said, the play called was a Gay isolation, they double teamed him so it was Gay’s decision to do what he wanted with the ball so he passed to an open Amir. Casey also mentioned that Derozan was open, which would of been the better option.

        I can’t respect your criticism unless you actually listen to the guy.

        • Mexiballer

          I couldn’t disagree more. Casey’s post game comments are irrelevant to those two poor coaching decisions made in the last 23.7 seconds. First…going for a steal first before fouling is a good decision in that time/score/situation.

          But the maximum amount of time that should be spent on a steal in that situation is 5 or 6 seconds. Maximum. If you can not quickly get a trap or steal, a foul should be given immediately, saving every precious second for extending the game. They let a full 12.5 seconds run off the clock before fouling. That left them 11.2 seconds on the game clock. They wasted more than half the remaining time. Had the Raptors fouled quicker they would have had another 7 or 8 seconds on the game clock and would have been able to foul again even after Amir’s missed corner three and still have an opportunity to even the game with a missed Brooklyn free throw, That is very bad clock management that no post game explanation can justify. Just bad coaching and lack of attention to detail. Second…of course the last play call wasnt designed for an Amir Johnson three. Thats the problem…there wasnt much of a design at all. All kinds of things can happen when you draw up a good play with motion and screens. Maybe get someone an open shot if the defence doesnt switch fast enough or someone gets caught up on a screen. Maybe a defensive break down and a back door slam or lay up…maybe an open three from Novak, Lowry or DeZoran when the defense helps out. Amir should have been underneath for an offensive rebound, not in the corner looking for a three…they were only down by two. But Rudy didnt start his move soon enough to leave enough time on the clock for an offensive rebound…something Casey should have instructed Rudy to do, and of course they’re only rebounder Amir was in the corner anyway. Instead the same old very unimaginative play was called. Iso Rudy…spread the floor and hope for the best. There needs to be a lot more thought and detail put into designing a game winning play than Dwayne Casey is able provide. Especially when so many N.B.A. games are decided in the last few minutes or few seconds of the game. So when I see 12.5 very important seconds being completely burned off the clock for no good reason..I groan. When I see Amir Johnson taking a three point shot to decide the game after a full time out and a designed play call…I groan again…in disbelief. No comments the coach can make afterward would change my mind that it is a lack of preparation and poor coaching that were responsible for the mistakes made in the last 23.7

          • Raptorsss

            A couple of things, I’m not defending any of his coaching decisions I just base my criticism on what his objectives were and whether it was a good or bad plan.

            Second, why do you guys give the head coach so much credit? Is he god? When a player makes a shot its because of the coach, when a player misses or screws up a play it’s because of the coach?

            You can debate the merits of whether trapping and going for a steal was the right plan, but the players aren’t watching the clock, and it isn’t Casey running out there fouling the ball handler, so of course it might be 7 or 8 seconds instead of 5 or 6. Was running an Iso Gay play a good play? Probably not, but was it Casey’s fault Gay over dribbled, was it Casey’s fault that Gay passed to Amir instead of Derozan?

            Honestly, I’ve seen some excellent break down and criticisms of the Raptors offense and defense in some blog posts, on this sight and other fan sites, but the comment sections make the fans look silly.

            • Mexiballer

              The coach isnt God but he is ultimately responsible for the players and the controllable decisions that they make on the floor. Casey has had this team for three seasons now. Thats more than enough time to go over situational basketball and clock management in detail with his players. The starting five should absolutely be prepared for those crucial end game situations when the clock comes into play. But how can Casey teach them how to manage the clock and when to foul when he apparently doesnt even understand it himself. Do you think a Popovich coached team would allow that much time to come off the clock before fouling or put the wrong player in the corner taking the final shot of the game? And yes…the players should be watching the clock. A quick glance at the clock is all they need. Besides they should have already known what to do when Brooklyn got the ball with 23.7 left. Thats completely on the coach.

        • mountio

          You can listen to him and he can be FLAT OUT WRONG. Remember the game at Charlotte when he thought not fouling would get them the ball back, and they just held it to the end, shot a 3 and the game was over? Ya, in the post game presser, he admitted, that was his strategy. Doesnt mean its not retarded.
          Same as last night .. going for the steal with 22 left is stupid. Seconds are valuable and you should foul right away. I was screaming at the TV.
          On the last play .. sure he intended the iso for Gay. Fine, but is that the best call? Even if it is, does it make sense to have Amir in the corner there vs Ross, Novak or DD?
          You are pointing out exactly the issue .. I listen to Casey, and unfortunately, he has no clue how to coach the x’and o’s – hes just horrific.
          The late game execution between him and Kidd last night was laughable

          • 2damkule

            going for the steal first is absolutely not stupid.

            what’s stupid is not fouling immediately if they aren’t able to get the steal (or a trap) right away.

            unless he’s trying to lose, for which tank nation is grateful.

            • mountio

              Semantics .. fine, maybe you try to steal right away then foul .. but he blew 10 seconds for no reason. That is totally illogical.

          • Raptorsss

            That is a perfect example and legitimate criticism. It tells me that someone saw what he was trying to do and that it was a mistake. When someone blames Casey for Gay over dribbling, a player not fouling soon enough or a player passing to the wrong the person. That’s what get’s me upset. Blame the coach, (like in the Charlotte game), where clearly his play wasn’t the right call. When a player makes a mistake, blame the player or blame the coach for putting unreasonable trust in that player.

  • Paul

    I say sell high on Derozan right now.
    Lowry might also fetch something from a team in need of pg help.
    Dump Gay for expiring deals (Detroit offer maybe?)
    If the above flotsam can yield a couple of picks or a young prospect its a win-win, because the only way we break into the top ten in this draft is with our own pick.
    Enough fucking around MU. Get it done.

    • nyStef

      Down-vote on the sell-high-on-DeRozan. The one thing he has done, consistently, is get better. Like, every season, all the time. I don’t see that ending just yet.

      Friday could be a good test. DeMar played sort of intimidated the last game against the Heat. But he keeps breaking barriers so … I’m curious. Regardless of how he does Friday night, his contract at this point, is a bargain, imo.

      And ya, sometimes it might seem he’s filling the basket after-the-fact or before the crunch but it’s all a part of growing into who he’ll ultimately be in this league. I like what I see enough to absolutely keep him a Raptor for right now.

      • 2damkule

        define ‘better,’ please.

        • nyStef

          Fair question. The thing he’s worked hardest on, shooting (obviously), is mostly what I’m talking about. It doesn’t all end there of course, but the improvements that he’s made in his shooting accuracy have been consistent and unrelenting, to where it looks like he’ll soon be considered a very serious 3 pt threat league-wide and a solid shooter from everywhere else that matters. The thing that draws me in regarding DeMar is that at 24, he’s improved himself a LOT (very few actually do that I’ve seen) and very steadily … and if he’s got enough gumption to chase that shooting ability down the way he has (and watching him, I think I can see how much he wants to emulate Kobe – yes, I said it), overall, I just really like what he’s made of. As I did when he was still new and introducing himself to the league. He’s tough. He’s motivated. And I really do suspect that he’ll keep improving, even in areas that he might still seem to be weak in. He hasn’t shown any willingness to settle for what he’s got … and I expect that trend to continue.

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

      I agree. The Raptors have never sold high on players, and while DeRozan is playing well, he’s still a one dimensional player who is a below average rebounder, passer and defender. Stick him on a contender and I’m not sure how he fits in.

      • Paul

        Arguably we sold high on Davis, but that hasn’t exactly worked out either.
        It’s maddening to see this team plod along like this.
        We are just a couple moves away from being in a very strong position.
        If we have Val + a top 5 pick this year + loads of cap space + all our future picks + 1 Knicks/Nuggets pick, the future is extremely bright.
        Also these moves will open up time for Ross who will either show himself to be a keeper, or at the very least increase his trade value exponentially.

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

          Selling high only works if you actually make a good trade. I never thought the Rudy Gay trade was good. To me, it just seemed like a desperation move made by a GM who wanted to save his job.

          • DJZone

            I would jump at the offer for Ed Davis and cap space right about now if I was the Raps GM.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Here’s my issue with the final play: Rudy’s decision to pass to an open Amir was preferable to trying to score over double/triple coverage. The bad part about the final play was that there should have been built in second and third options designed in the play that were higher percentage looks than Amir from three. It sounds like Duane just told Rudy, ‘we’ll get you ball at the top of the key, make something happen’. Whereas he should have said, ‘if help comes from X, Demar will be open in the corner, if it comes from Y, Steve will be open top of the key, if it comes from Z, Amir will be rolling to the basket’.

    Further there was practically no off the ball movement. Amir was standing in the corner the entire time, which allowed his man to sag off him and clog the lane. Couldn’t he have been asked to cut hard to the basket, or set an off the ball screen on Demar’s man to try and get Demar open in the corner. Coming out of a time out, with a chance to tie or win the game, I’d like to see some evidence of coaching.

  • AB4EYE

    Anyone check out what they have on NBA.com now where you can see every one of a players stats in video form? Here is the line to Rudy you can now watch every one of those bricks over or see how he got all those 7 TO.

    http://stats.nba.com/playerGameLogs.html?PlayerID=200752&pageNo=1&rowsPerPage=25

    It could be a helpful tool to look back on players games.

    • johng_3

      Not one game yet where he has shot at least 50%. I guess it wasn’t an eye problem

  • Louvens Remy

    Booooooooooooooooooo! (Not the article, just the Casey)

  • alvintrilliams

    Love the Game in 10 format. Well written

  • Louvens Remy

    Now they can’t use the flu excuse against Lebron. SMH. This team…just….can’t…get…it….right.

  • Sheptor

    valanciunas needs to gain some confidence in his jumper instead of trying to get his man to bite on his two fakes and then settling by going right every single time. I feel like he has the skill but lacks the confidence to criss his man up and go left on the baseline from the left block when he gets faced up. A little one dribble, fake like your going right to the rim and cross the big for a take on the baseline..either this or take your 10 footer…you can shoot over anyone.

  • DDon

    I thought both Gay and Amir sucked. Did they both have the flu? Then sit them both down! How about trading Gay for Bosch? He is already hated in TO. Really Gay can improve. If he stops dribbling into double teams, passes the ball and stops taking crazy shots. He actually is quite a good passer. And Jonas did not look good…but he is young…hope he is getting good coaching.