This is your warning: I totally mailed in this recap.

A few things came up.

First off, I was only able to keep a half-eye on the game while I was at work. The NCAA Final Four games were on, and quite frankly, they were more interesting than an early-April contest between the surprisingly upstart Bucks, and the effort-challenged Raptors.

Second, after the shellacking the Raptors laid on the Pacers on Friday night, I made the mistake of mentally writing this game off as an easy win. Evidently, so did the Raptors.

Third, I must admit that I caught nary a wink of the first half. Every now and then, I peeked over at the boxscore, only to be ashamed and horrified at the prospect of the Raptors losing to the Bucks. My disgust with the Raptors game created the perfect opportunity for a dinner break. Word to the wise: Hero Burger is really expensive, but they’ll make you a delicious burger, and in my experience, burgers taste better than paper money.

Finally, I was covering for Zarar at the last second. You see, Zarar has a family, a beautiful wife, two adorable kids (including a newborn, which has presumably cut into his sleeping time like knives cut into things that are soft), the sum of which totals a life. Conversely, I neglect my family, I have no wife, zero kids (that I know of), and ultimately, very little life to speak of. Life trumps blogging every single time.

However, Zarar was kind enough to share with me his notes for the first half, of which I will further relay to you. They say brevity is the soul of wit, which makes Zarar the point of tangency between the late, great Christopher Hitchens, and the immortal Paulie Galtierri of The Sopranos.

JV bossing

DD handles suck

No pressure on perimeter – miss Lowry

Bucks converting mistakes to transition chances, about the only thing they do well

Bucks length a problem on defense

So, I must apologize once more, as I did not give this recap the verve and play-by-play analysis that this game most certainly did not deserve.

In short, the Raptors could be excused for their effort, as they were on the second night of a travelling back-to-back without two of their three best players in Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry. Although DeRozan struggled with the go-go gadget length of the Bucks, he managed to score when it counted in the clutch, and his backcourt partner in crime, Greivis Vasquez, managed to pick up the slack, scoring 26 points on just 15 field goal attempts.

Or, that’s the glass half-full viewpoint.

In the eyes of a pessimist, the game exposed some of the Raptors’ biggest problems.

The book on DeRozan is out – stick a lengthy defender on him, who can manage to stay in front of him, and not bite on his pump fakes. Bucks forward Khris Middleton managed to do this to great effect, keeping DeMar to 7-for-19 shooting. A cursory glance around the NBA playoff picture reveals three such defenders in the Nets (Andrei Kirilenko), Bobcats (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) and Wizards (Trevor Ariza).

Similarly, the answer for Hayes is to exploit him in pick-and-roll situations. Much like the Raptors did with Roy Hibbert, Hayes’ lack of lateral quickness renders his effectiveness in defending the pick-and-roll to that of a stump in a field. I’m not entirely sure if that last simile was a thing, but it is now. Replace the word “Hayes” with “Vasquez”, and this statement is equally as valid.

Of course, neither viewpoint is entirely correct, nor entirely wrong. As they say, the truth lays somewhere in the middle. Or, I’m falling prey to the common logical fallacy of false equivalence. Either way, you’re getting my unfiltered thoughts on this post because I’m trying my darnest to fill a thousand word recap.

The efforts of Greivis Vasquez could not be understated, as he really did bail out DeRozan’s poor shooting night. He started the third quarter on fire, and single-handedly erased the Raptors’ 9 point halftime deficit. He scored eight points in just under three minutes to start the third, including a pair of triples. DeRozan would take two steps into the lane, look for Vasquez’s defender to leave him for a half-step, and rifle over a pass to Vasquez for a spot-up in-rhythm. Greivis netted his other two points in this mini-spurt by effortlessly gliding into the lane, and dropping his patented floater in the lane.

Of course, for every three points Vasquez scored on the night, he gave back two to Bucks guard Brandon Knight, who went from #RIPBrandonKnight to dunking all over Jonas Valanciunas, in rather emphatic fashion. Notice on that play, Greivis was completely crossed up, and left his sophomore big-man all alone on an island. Thems the breaks when Vasquez is on the court, and thankfully, he gaveth more than he tooketh last night.

The game remained close all the way down to its final minutes. With Patrick Patterson’s shot failing to fall, Chuck Hayes got the assignment to flank Jonas Valanciunas in the frontcourt to close out the game. Despite being the shortest big on the court, Hayes was able to use his veteran guile and his rambunctious bulk to ensnare defensive rebounds. His effort is to be particularly noted, as some dude named Jeff Adrien repeatedly pillaged the Raptors on the boards, which perplexed me because I had no idea that he even existed. I mean, I don’t like to brag or anything, but I feel like I’m pretty attuned with the goings on in the NBA these days, yet I didn’t know this angry-looking fellow who managed to score 15 points, and grab 10 rebounds against my Raptors.

The Raptors showed improved crunch-time execution, and managed to close out the game. DeRozan had success anytime he drove to the basket, and Jonas was extremely effective against the smaller Bucks bigs. More than anything else, the Raptors were able to run actual offensive sets, whereas the Bucks’ offense was buoyed by phantom loose ball fouls on Jonas Valanciunas. His reaction was similar to mine.

Direct Link

Thankfully, the Raptors were able to pull out the victory thanks to some clutch free-throw shooting on the parts of Ross and DeRozan. Credit goes to DeRozan for putting the Raptors up for good by pump-faking Middleton into the air, and colliding into him to earn a pair of trips to the line. In previous years, he did not have the savvy and presence in mind to make the move, which makes for a convenient analogy to conclude this game recap.

Like DeRozan, the Raptors have steadily matured throughout the season, and their incremental improvements have amounted to the difference between wins and losses in tight games, as evidenced by their last three contests. Perhaps that takeaway is far too positive for a four-point win against the Bucks, but it is 2:20 AM and quite frankly, I’m really bad at writing conclusions.

  • Nerius

    Continuing the discussion on initiating contact, I loved De Colo’s and-1 at the end of 3, good basketball IQ in my eyes. I don’t know if links work, but it is 3rd video here: http://on.nba.com/1jjtoKZ

    • GoingBig

      Ya, he slowed down enough to get the bump from behind.

    • DandB

      Excellent find, good point. I loved De Colo’s play from the first time he took the floor for the Raps, I personally think he’s a better option on both ends than Salmons, by far. Better playmaker, quicker on d.

      • GetLicks

        Seems to have a surprisingly good mid-range game too from what I’ve seen.

      • Roarque

        What DanB said. <;)))))< sucked in the 2nd half. Liked the threes in the first tho.

      • Mexiballer

        He makes some jaw dropping passes too. There was this one pass he made to Salmons in the corner for an open three. He was off balance, falling out of bounds on the baseline surround by three Bucks. I had to rewind it and watch again to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

  • Guest

    Great GIF. I laughed when I saw him do that during the game.

    • unknown

      Looks like he’s catching up on GofT before tonight’s season premiere, and just saw the beginning of the Red Wedding.

    • hotshot

      His face is like “really?! poor ref he forgot his blind helping dog at home”

  • some random guy

    It was hard to watch, I hate it when Leo is commentating. But the game it self was also hard to watch, especially after a great game against the Pacers.

  • afrocarter

    I only had half an eye on this game, as well (I was in between episodes of Spaced). I would watch for 5-7 min, then click away thinking “The Raptors ultimately have more discipline and will execute down the stretch; no need to worry.” Then I missed the last 10 seconds or so because Sportsnet sucks.

  • FLUXLAND

    38 PIP in the 1st half! 30 f 8! Playoffs?!

    Good point about DD and AK47 being on him; now imagine the same method applied to KL. Yikes!

    • Ogi

      Relax man, it was a game the team took too lightly. This won’t be the type of game we bring to the playoffs. Friday nights is much more likely

      • FLUXLAND

        I don’t think you can just pretend things are not happening and assume Friday night (a slumping team) is what will transpire in the playoffs,

        • Ogi

          Lol you conveniently pretend that all the positive things that happen aren’t happening. Check some pacers blogs, their fans all agree that the team actually played well that game

          • FLUXLAND

            Nah, I just don’t think the “positive” outweighs the “negative”. And I am not pretending the Pacers were firing at all cylinders. I think the Raps closed out the game fairly well, but how much of that has to do with prevailing over an on point Pacers team as opposed to the Pacers playing sub-par, is where we disagree, it seems.

            • Ogi

              Considering how young the team is, the way they’ve been closing out is at least promising. And they step up to competition consistently

              • FLUXLAND

                Uggh, not the age argument!

                I’ll agree to the last part, I am just not sold on the overall execution. I don’ think it will translate into the POs very well.

                • Ogi

                  Lol why not? Experience is important.

                • FLUXLAND

                  It is, agreed. Do you think they have enough PO experience?

                • Ogi

                  No, I’m not arguing that they’re gonna win the ring lol. I’m just happy to see them get some exp in the playoffs

                • FLUXLAND

                  I think that experience is only valuable if you’re winning in the playoffs. I know you are aware of many players with 1st round exits, that never got past that point or not often.

                • nutcup

                  You have been running this bs scenario all season. This team plays good defense . They play unselfish offensive ball since the trade. They are coached by a championship winning coach. They have a solid bench. All of this translates into a guaranteed first round win. I think they will lose the second round but it will be a hard fought tough series. But in my world after 5 years of no play offs every game in the play offs helps our young players going forward. But Fuxtard I’m sure you will discount everything I have said here and give my team no chance. I relish laughing at you.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Just can’t resist the slander, eh? LOL. All good.

                  I don’t put much stock into the regular season. I don’t think they get out of the first round, but if they do, I will be the first one on here to praise your “wisdom and foresight”, while laughing along side you at my “ignorance”. Until then…

                • Steverino

                  I couldn’t care less if they lose in the first round or second. I watch basketball for entertainment and this season has been the most entertaining for me. Of course, I’d like them to win. And I’ll be pissed when they lose. But it’s still been a fun run.

                • FLUXLAND

                  How they play will be far more important over the result of series. I would like to see someone break out and have a great playoff run, I just don’t see who that could be. No one has been consistent enough this year to think anyone will.

                • Rapchat

                  But, I thought you said you don’t put much stock into the regular season? Now, you don’t see any Raptor having a break out playoffs because “no one is consistent enough this year to think anyone will”? HAHAHA Using the regular season to gauge potential playoff performance?? A bit of a contradiction there. By your own theory, and based on the fact that this Raps team has never been to the playoffs, you have absolutely ZERO idea how they are going to do. Right?

                • Ogi

                  Yeah but the first step is getting to the playoffs.

                • nutcup

                  Who cares what you think fuxtard , lololol

                • Rapchat

                  Pacers weren’t firing on all cylinders? How many starters did they have out? We beat them with half a starting unit and thats what you choose to say…the Pacers weren’t firing on all cylinders….HAHAHAHAHA. Despite them admitting they played well, assuming your right and they could’ve have played better and actually beat us with half our starters out, even then, all is says is they needed to have their BEST game to beat us with out 2 of our starters. Fearsome bunch they are.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Umm, what he meant is that the Pacer fans said the Raptors played well. Are you confused?

                  Everyone that’s actually paying attention knows the Pacers are playing well below their abilities.

                  In a 7 games series, you think the Raptors can win against their BEST?

                • Rapchat

                  Actually paying attention? I make my living paying attention. A very very lucrative living. I know Indy is slumping and yes, I think we can beat the Pacers with both teams playing their best in 7 games. Will it happen? We shall see. The Pacers have to get as good as us again to find out. Like this, we win in 5-6.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Your living somehow has any bearing on any of this, how exactly?

                  Yes, we will see. And I disagree – both teams playing their best, the Pacers win.

                • Rapchat

                  You made a dumb assumption that I was confused and wasn’t paying attention. I was pointing out that my attention span is one of my best qualities and make a very good living off it. Of all things, my attention span should not be questioned. Now you know. Regarding the Pacers, you think they’re gonna miraculously be in top shape for the playoffs? I don’t.

                • FLUXLAND

                  It certainly seem that way when your reading comprehension failed you up there. “Despite them admitting they played well” Btw, babysitting is not considered lucrative.

                  I’m thinking it’s plausible they will put their drama aside once they have something to play for.

                • Rapchat

                  Plausible? Right…like anything I suppose. Where is your research to back this up? You ask for research when others make claims. Where’s yours to suggest that INDY will pull together? Don’t just tell me you have a feeling.. To suggest that INDY CURRENTLY being a national joke isn’t something to play for is stupid. They are embarrassed and desperate and its obvious. If they can’t pull it together now, it’s not going to happen in the playoffs in my opinion.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I ask for research when others make claims? No, that’s p00ka.

                  It’s an opinion, just like it is yours that it is not going to happen. Do you have research to suggest it won’t? Let’s not play that game.

                  Why would it be so far fetched that they’ve grown disinterested in the regular season and once they have something real to play for they will click. Why are you being so negative all the time? : )

                  And unlike the Raptors they have something to prove – they could get swept, while people like you will dismiss it as growing pain or something along those lines.

                • Rapchat

                  People like me? HAHAHA.. Swept? HAHAHAHA…tell me more about me and this plausible sweep nostradamus?… I bet you thought we’d lose to HOU and INDY last week too? I’m not saying your theory is far fetched. Never did. However I for one believe that current trends affect the future, and currently, Indy is shyte. Plausible sure, but you can’t say probable. I wouldn’t put my money on Indy in any round right now would you? Since were talking about “plausible” and “why would it be so far fetched”, isn’t is plausible that the Raps beat Indy if we meet them? Yes. Yes it is, so this “plausible” debate works every which way.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I would but my money on the team with playoff experience before the one without. No doubt.

                  I think it is far more likely that they get it together, before the Raps make the second round.

                  Not to say your choice of looking at it in invalid, it just seems you like the underdog more.

                • Steverino

                  I think they started to play poorly after the trades were made. I never understand why really good teams risk making trades. Chemistry is a funny thing. If you’re right, the Pacers were really disinterested today. 23 points in the first half against Atlanta? Losing by 19? It’s gonna be tough to just turn it on again.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Yeah, who knows… maybe trouble was brewing already and they decided to make a change sooner, rather than look back and say should have.

                  They’ve played pretty well all year. Every team has an ugly stretch and to some degree I think they were waiting for it to happen. I agree, it will be tough… IIRC, the Lakers had a brutal March in 2001 and ended up going 15-1 in the playoffs. The Pacers will have to get it together quick, but I think it’s very conceivable they wake up. Roy really needs to wake up, I don’t know why he’s moving around like he has a 200lb weight around his neck.

                • Rapchat

                  INDIANA- 11 points in the first quarter, followed by a jaw dropping 12 in the second at HOME to ATLANTA?? Spanked by 19… HIBBERT 0 0 0 0 0 Benched 2nd half???? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA This is the team you spent all day defending.. HAHAHA..Yeah, they look sweet for the taking alright. Better pray my friend… This is going to be fun.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Yup, and I am still taking Indiana over TO. : )

                • Steverino

                  Ha! FLUXLAND calling someone out for poor reading comprehension! Oh, the irony!

                • FLUXLAND

                  I knew you would enjoy that! LOL.

                • Steverino

                  But that’s in the future. Why not just wait to see what happens? You’ve got a 50-50 chance you’re right.

      • nutcup

        Lolol Ogi , Fuxtard is a troll, the only thing he does is run down this team , no matter how we win it just isn’t good enough . Hes the largest douchebag on here , most of us just swat him around like a kitten with a new ball, don’t take anything he says seriously , hes just a troll.

        • Ogi

          Lol I know but its always fun to entertain his bs when I have a few moments to spare

          • FLUXLAND

            AND you’re capable of doing so without name calling! Kudos, to you Sir.

            • Ogi

              :)

    • guest

      Did you go on the Nets’ forum and bash their 4-point win over Philly last night?

      • FLUXLAND

        No, I figured you took care of that?

  • robertparish00

    At the end that Rod Blackout killed me. Sorry had to do that.

  • bobmasa

    FREE LANDRY FIELDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Roarque

      It is impossible to believe that Landry is so bad that he’s clumped together with July Bikes at the end of the bench. This dude can play D and everyone knows it sooo whazzup Dwane? Who does he need to fuck to get on the floor when nights like the Bucks happen?

  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    “Rambunctious bulk”- well played good sir

  • ConflictOfInterest

    William Lou: Failing to mention the fact that Sportsnet cut out the final plays while also working for theScore (owned by Rogers) seems terribly suspicious. Care to elaborate?

    • DDayLewis

      TheScore inc is not owned, nor affiliated in any way with Rogers. Check your facts, bud.

      • Fact checker
        • DDayLewis

          That’s score media, a separate company that was purchased by rogers and bell in 2012. The score inc is an independent media company. Nice research, bud.
          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheScore_Inc.

          • Mindlessness

            Um… yeah… Score Media’s biggest asset was The Score…

            • DDayLewis

              Yes, and now theScore inc is an independent company. What is so hard about this concept? I don’t work for Rogers.

              • Mindessness

                Oh wait, yeah, you’re right.

              • Rapchat

                Sorry to say but this is the funniest post today. HAHAHA What a lynch mob… Yeah and why aren’t the RAPS getting more coverage WILLIAM LOU?????????? But seriously I almost ripped my tv off the wall when that shyte happened

      • Duke

        How the hell did you not know this being in journalism? Happened months ago

        • Duke

          Wow my bad, just checked the link. Happened in 2012, can’t believe it’s been that long already.

  • HogyG

    I’m not sure why everyone keep heckling DeMar’s handles? It seems like fans and writers alike take note of every time he loses the ball, but here’s some food for thought. If you compare the entire Raptors team, DeMar has the second lowest TOV% at 9.4! Only Steve Novak turns the ball over less per 100 possessions and let’s be honest, if that man dribbled 1/4 as much as DeRozan he’d cease to be 1st. To add perspective, Paul George has a TOV% of 12.6, Kevin Durant has a TOV% of 12.5, LBJ has a TOV% of 14.5 this season and in the 17 years Kobe has played in the NBA he’s only been lower then DeMar’s mark this season once while averaging 11.6 overall. Before people criticize anymore, try to do some research first.

    • Duke

      Thank you! I seem to remember a certain RR writer saying he couldn’t dribble his way out of the YMCA. I’d love to see him school all the amateur pros 1 on 1

    • FLUXLAND

      Interesting.

      Did you also happen to look up how many touches per game each player gets?

      And how does TOV% really indicate his level of skill when it comes to handling the ball?

      It’s fun to throw numbers around, but there seems there’s an awful lot you are ignoring in your err… “analysis”.

      • HogyG

        Feel free to enlighten us then if you feel differently.

        As far as I understand, TOV% is the amount of times a player turns the ball over per 100 possessions. The amount of times a player touches the ball is already factored in with the “per 100 possessions” part of the stat.

        • FLUXLAND

          You brought it up, I would expect you to know what you are talking about.

          Are you sure it’s possessions or plays? So does that mean touches or plays during which they are on the floor? I don’t know, I am asking you because you are throwing around the term, and you did the research, right?

          Also, does that number account for when those TOs occur? I think the people you are telling to do the research seem to notice his turnovers occur during during crucial moments of the game.

          Why did you randomly pick 3 HOFs to make your comparison? Do you think that’s fair, considering the vast discrepancy in talent and skills?

          • HogyG

            You are the one implying I missed something, so the onus is on you to prove that.

            The players I chose are considered some of the best in the game, they are all are used as a closer for their team, which is what DeRozan is used for as well. George, Durant and LBJ have all been mentioned as potential MVP this season, so clearly people have no problems with their game or handles. Who are you trying implying it’s unfair for?

            • FLUXLAND

              No, it’s not. You brought it up, you claimed people need to do research. Now when you are being asked a direct question, (because if you are asking others to do research, I assume you did yours), you are putting it on me?

              I already explained to you why it is unfair in the last paragraph. The fact they are all used as closers (debatable) has very little meaning in the discussion, unless you can provide numbers that I already asked you for.

              Like i said, it’s fun to just throw around numbers (as some claim that you have done research) but you are not telling us much at all, other than attempting to group DD with some HOFs (while ignoring other aspects of their game) and claiming his TOV% is an indication of the level of his handle skills. Basically, you have proved nothing at all.

              • HogyG

                I asked you WHO its unfair for, not why.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Ummm.. those HOFs? And anyone trying to understand what point you are trying to make.

              • mediumcat

                He was talking about TOV% in the context of criticism towards Demar. Thats all. . If you want to criticize TOV% as a stat then look it up yourself and share the information with the rest of us, since you seem to be so passionate about it. instead of bashing some guy who made a solid contribution to the discussion. Learn to make a point without acting like a child.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No, he’s using TOV% as an indication of his ball handling ability. If he’s going to do that, I would expect him to do the research and be educated on what that stat is all about; especially when he is claiming others are not doing so.

                  I am asking him relevant questions about things he brought up, (that’s called expanding the discussion) you are just getting sensitive and want to steer the discussion in a direction that has nothing to do with basketball. Learn to make a point without acting like a child or at least try to stay within the parameters of the topic.

                • mediumcat

                  … wow

                • nutcup

                  lolol Fuxtard still thinks we should trade Demar and Lowry JV and TRoss so that we can become like the Lakers and get a high draft pick lololol , hes fun to have around for a giggle.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Trade DD, please. Like, yesterday.

                  We could have had Harden for JV! I would have packed his bags for him.

                • Rapchat

                  HAHAHA go on the Houston site and see what they’re fans think of Harden. Indy/George same thing. You’re a pussy cat in comparison…

                • GetLicks

                  You’re an idiot. The only noticeable difference between Harden & Derozan is that Harden shoots a bit better percentage from 3. But I wouldn’t expect someone who doesn’t know shit about ball to actually be aware of that. Dumbass

                • Tanks-a-lot

                  What good is Harden on a team choosing to have zero options at Center?

                • FLUXLAND

                  Right. Because that need wouldn’t have been addressed?

                  Imagine we drafted AD! Harden and AD over DD and JV? Yes, please. Any day of the week.

                • GetLicks

                  So we’re going to play the ‘Imagine we drafted…’ game and use that as a valid argument as to why our players are no good and not worth cheering for? You are a sad man, FLUX

                • GetLicks

                  And where did that magical #1 pick come from to pick up AD? You’re hilarious. This isn’t NBA2K

                • FLUXLAND

                  ? Ross was drafted with AD still on the board.

                • GetLicks

                  Nevermind, thought you meant Davis.

                • FLUXLAND

                  All good. Just curb the name calling, it makes for a far better discussion without it.

                • GetLicks

                  Agreed and I will refrain from it.

                • FLUXLAND

                  You suggested trading DD and JV… that would involve some what ifs, son.

                • GetLicks

                  Records in the last 59 games (Rudy trade):

                  Houston: 39-20
                  Toronto: 39-20

                  Team Offensive/Defensive Rating:

                  Houston : 110.6/105.7 (6th, 12th)
                  Toronto: 108.2/104.8 (10th, 9th)

                  Individual Stats:

                  Harden: 23.2 PER, 0.619 TS%, 7.0 TRB%, 26 AST%, 2 STL%, 15.3 TOV%, 27.9 USG%
                  Derozan: 18.5 PER, 0.53 TS%, 6.6 TRB%, 19 AST%, 1.5 STL%, 9.4 TOV%, 28.1 USG%

                  I’m not going to sit here and say I wouldn’t take Harden over Derozan, but there isn’t a big gap between them. Like I said, Harden shoots a better pctg from 3, so his PER & TS% are higher. But after that it’s a wash. Harden is a little better in the rest of the categories, but turns the ball over more then Derozan with the same usage rate. Factor in that Derozan isn’t playing with a perennial all-star Centre in Howard and is more of a focus for opposing defences, & they’re not that different. Then if you consider their salaries:

                  Harden: $60.1 million (2013-2017)
                  Derozan: $38 million (2013-2017)

                  You could even argue Derozan may prove to be the better value player.

                  So why do you constantly bash Derozan and paint him in a negative light on here? And at the same time, gush over Harden and how he’s an such an elite talent? And with that said, I do think harden is an elite talent, but I can also see the worth and positives about Derozan. Too many ppl on here comparing players head-to-head and picking extreme sides. Why can’t we like and appreciate both? And that goes for anyone.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Nice post, for real.

                  But, are you going to share the playoff stats, as well? In a playoff matchup, who do you take? I would argue the gap is much wider, considering ball handling skills and shooting the 3 for that position. What about their IQ? Would you still take DD? Look at that TS% too.

                  I just can’t compare players purely from a stat angle. It’s a real discredit to the game. I mean, there has to be a reason why you consider one elite and the other not, even though their stats are “not that different”, right?

                  You see it as painting, I call it not over estimating.

                • GetLicks

                  In a playoff matchup as of right now, I take Harden for the simple fact that he came into the league and got major playoff experience because he was a 3rd/4th wheel on a great team with 2 superstars. But that’s not to say Derozan can’t get there, his path to the playoffs has just been much more difficult. But with playoff experience comes growth and learning.

                • GetLicks

                  And I never said Derozan was the better player. I prefer Harden, but I love and respect Derozan for his work ethic and how it’s finally starting to pay off for this city. This is by far the best basketball I’ve seen since the good VC days, and DD has been a big part of it.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I know you didn’t, all good. It was a fair stat analysis, on your end.

                  I can appreciate that, but you shouldn’t expect other people too see him in the same light or appreciate him the same way. I just happen to think his production is easily replaceable. It’s cool if people disagree.

                  I don’t really concern myself with what they do off the court, I look for results on it. We just have different views/expectations about that and that’s call too.

                • GetLicks

                  But that’s the thing though, I never expected him to become an elite talent. He came into the league and all he could do was dunk. I’ve seen him work on different parts of his game and turn into a leader, and I respect that cause not everyone can do that successfully (see Carmelo Anthony). Do I wish he could defend a bit better, hit the 3 more often and handle the ball better? Of course. But he (and the rest of this team) are likeable, have great chemistry and fight relentlessly each game. Those are attributes that stats can’t evaluate and people can’t coach…and I appreciate it. That’s all, even if we do have flaws.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Like I said, I am not taking away anything from how you want to take it all in. I just don’t think you should be slamming people that disagree with you.

                  I for one am not a fan of the farm team thing that you described above. DD could have worked on all those things in the NBDL or somewhere else. And his growth has been so minutely incremental over 5 years – even you are still hoping he improves various aspects of him game, after all this time. I am really not going to get into a leader debate, I don’t think his game warrants that label. Believe me, I realize you disagree.

                  It would be nice if, for once, there could be someone closer to a finished product or even a few players as such to enjoy watching. It may even help attract other players here. No one of significance wants to join a team that is constantly “growing”.

                • GetLicks

                  But that’s the reality of the situation. And 2 starting pieces that could very well end up being better than Derozan. You can’t be so impatient when you have a 21 and 22 year old as key players. Growth is just part of the game and something ppl need to be patient with. It’s just worse cause it feels like we haven’t taken the next step for so long (raptors). If someone told me you could have a 50-win team, with a 2nd year Ross & Valanciunas showing what they have this season, and our fairly young and experienced team about to taste valuable playoff exp for the first time, I’d take it over tanking/hoping any day of the week. I’m sure most fans would. You obviously don’t agree but that’s ok. As long as opinions are respected and the condescending tones stop, it’s all good.

                • GetLicks

                  Inexperienced team***

                • onemanweave

                  Flux, don’t go getting all humble and fair-minded on us. You’ll ruin what little entertainment value your posts provide. As to you not being the topic, au contraire big guy, you are always the topic when you post — at least in the world Flux inhabits. So-o-o-o-o obvious.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Send me a cheque, I’ll autograph that FLUX comments poster for your girlfriend. : )

                • onemanweave

                  The only check you need is a reality check.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I’ve been hearing that for years, and I never end up eating crow… so, we will see, right? : )

                • Steverino

                  Nice post. Let’s see more of those respectful disagreements!

                • Steverino

                  “We”? Homer. (I’m actually all for trading DeRozan, too, but not for Harden. Although it’s interesting you think Harden is so good his team has “no chance” — your words — without Dwight Howard.)

                • FLUXLAND

                  : ) To be clear, it was regards to winning it all. I do not think that happens without him in the lineup.

                • Rapchat

                  I would say his initial comment had enough research in it to warrant writing the comment. I didn’t know those stats, weather they actually say something about his true handle ability or are a more general possession stat, I didn’t know that and find it interesting, which was your first words in your first statement. Now, if you actually thought it was interesting why don’t you add your own stats to say what you want to say to enlighten as HogyG was at least trying to do instead of repeatedly challenging the initial comment. Prove him wrong, or move along. Now, for my comment on DD. I think his handle IS kinda shyte haha. No stats. Demar bobbles the ball an AWFUL lot. Yeah he finds ways to hold on to it MOST times but I have noticed it going off his knee or foot a lot in crucial moments. When he gets nervous, it shows in his dribble. Whatever his stats are, they can clearly be improved.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No offense to him or you, but I wouldn’t call that research. That seems like cherry picking players – arguably the best in the game, with a far superior skillset – and comparing their numbers with something that doesn’t seem to account for a few vvery critical things, in order to prove… I am not even sure what. A poor attempt to portray his hero in a positive light?

                  That’ s why I started asking questions. There’s nothing for me to prove “wrong”, I was asking for further proof of his claims,. As far as challenging him.. that’s juts a poor choice of words. But in your parlance it was him that challenged those who believe DD’s handles are suspect and then had the audacity to claim they do not do research, as if no one watches the games.

                • HogyG

                  The Facts

                  · Paul George, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James are all considered by most to be better than DeMar DeRozan

                  · turnovers are an excellent way to look back to evaluate people’s handle from a statistical standpoint. Sorry I couldn’t find the “handles” stats at basketballreference.com

                  · DeMar has played more minutes than any player in the NBA this season (2880), with Kevin Durant being third (2846) Paul George being seventh (2785) and Lebron James being 12th (2708)

                  · If you’d prefer the Minutes per game Durant is 2nd with 38.5, DeRozan is third with 38.4, LBJ is 7th with 37.6 and George is 16th at 36.2 per game.

                  · All have more total turnovers than DeMar DeRozan. Kevin Durant has the 3rd most in the NBA with 265, Lebron James is 4th with 252, and Paul George is is 13th in the NBA 218. Demar is 35th with 165.

                  · If you look at a per minute basis, Durant is 11th worst in the NBA with 0.09, LBJ is 12th also with 0.09, Paul George is 27th at 0.08 and DeMar ranks 96 at only 0.06.

                  · When you look at a per game basis, Kevin to rent is the sixth worst in the NBA at 3.58 game, Lebron James is seventh with 3.50, his 18th with 2.83 and DeMar is ranked 45th at 2.23 per game.

                  · I chose those players because, Like DeMar, they all play small forward, have a similar minutes per game, all have the ball in their hands throughout the game and are arguably the three best in the league in their position. Who better to put him up against then his elite peers to see if he stacks up? In fact I thought there was no better comparison than Paul George who ranks 11th in usage with 28.2 and DeMar who ranks 12th with 28.1.

                  · But perhaps there is a comparable guard throughout the league you feel matches up to him better. Note- rankings below are still for throughout the entire NBA:

                  – James Harden – 3.70 per game(3rd), 0.10 per minute (8th), 248 total (6th)

                  – Jeff Teague – 3.07 per game (14th), 0.09 per minute (10th), 221 total (11th)

                  – Kyrie Irving – 2.75 per game (22nd), 0.08 per minute (31st), 184 total (26th)

                  – Goran Dragic – 2.83 per game (17th), 0.08 per minute (24th), 204 total (16th)

                  – Ricky Rubio – 2.67 per game (23rd), 0.08 per minute (23rd) , 203 total (17th)

                  – Steph Curry – 3.73 per game (2nd), 0.10 per minute (5th), 272 total (2nd)

                  – Kemba Walker – 2.36 per game (38th), 0.07 per minute (70th), 165 (35th)

                  – Damien Lillard – 2.38 per game (37th), 0.07 per minute (69th), 183 total (28th)

                  – Dion Waiters – 2.26 per game (43rd), 0.08 per minute (37th), 149 total (49th)

                  – Russell Westbrook – 3.95 per game (1st), 0.13 per minute (1st), 162 (39th)

                  – Monta Ellis – 3.23 per game (11th), 0.09 per minute (16th), 249 total (5th)

                  – John Wall – 3.68 per game (4th), 0.10 per minute (6th), 283 total (1st)

                  – Gordon Hayward – 2.76 per game (21st), 0.08 per minute (38th), 196 total (23rd)

                  You have officially been schooled! Class dismissed.

                • FLUXLAND

                  You wasted a lot of time there.Again, you didn’t show us anything that we cannot look up ourselves. If anything you are repeating yourself.

                  “from a statistical point:” – how is that an actual assessment of his handling skills? Does that stat encompass the many possible scenarios of how TOs occur? What about the number of touches?

                  And you are still ignoring the enormous skillet discrepancy – do you think the difference would allow those players to take more risk? And if so, what is the point of you comparison? Their position is not enough to take the leap you are making.

                  Class dismissed? Please, it never even started.

                • HogyG

                  That’s because you refuse to show up for class and don’t understand the subject. Now run along, its clearly past your bedtime.

                • FLUXLAND

                  That’s your reply? LOL! Nice research there Prof. What’s that called? Cut and Paste?

                • Steverino

                  Oh, I see. You want him to provide stats that no one else is able to look up. Got it. You start out asking honest questions (albeit with cheap shots), ask him to show his work, he does and you dismiss it. We get your game, FLUXLAND. Part of intellectual discussion is an honest give and take. Conceding points is part of it. It doesn’t mean you have to change your opinion, but respect your opponent, as it were, especially if they go to the trouble of providing more information. Don’t just be a douche 24/7.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Dude! C’mon, I was all open to the discussion, but he didn’t answer a single relative question I asked. All he did is copy paste info I could have looked up myself. I then asked again and got that cheese reply. There was nothing to concede, because he proved nothing, at all.

                • Guest

                  Dude if you can’t read into those stats and figure out the picture for yourself, then your not intelligent enough to deal with any numbers outside of ppg and shit.

                • FLUXLAND

                  So, because I don’t buy into stats like you do, that makes me less intelligent? Interesting theory.

                • Rapchat

                  Did you see numbers beside those players? I did. Those were stats. Stats that I’d have to research if I wanted to know those things. Regardless of who the players are. “A poor attempt to portray his hero in a positive light?”..Um its a fan site, again, warranted. His good intention was the most important part of his post dude, unlike yours.

                • FLUXLAND

                  It’s called being unbiased when assessing a team.

                • Rapchat

                  Who the F### are you to tell people how to assess anything. What makes you good at it? Your current NBA job? You certainly havn’t shown an ability to asses anything to warrant critique of others. Asses yourself and be un biased, that I’d be impressed with.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I have made many claims on here over the years that have proven correct. I don’t need to asses anything, you on the other hand need to be less emotional..it’s clouding your ability to comprehend the topic at hand, which by the was, is not me.

                • Rapchat

                  Emotional? HAHAHA Dude, this is pure entertainment. Its great that over the years you’ve been nostradamus, but I don’t see that now, which is all that matters. You have no idea how BITTER you sound.

                • Steverino

                  Such clear, rational thought. We can only hope to emulate you.

                • Steverino

                  It’s all how you frame it.

                • GetLicks

                  Why is it always negative with you? And why is it that when someone says something positive about Demar, it’s cause he’s a homer who blindly loves his hero Derozan? You need to grow the fuck up man. Do you have nothing better to do with your sorry excuse for a life? I seriously think you may have mental problems that need to be addressed.

                • Steverino

                  Agreed. I didn’t get the sense the original poster was hero-worshipping. It was a fairly straightforward take.

                • Guest

                  Dude you are so confused, or the biggest troll. I’ be embarrassed either way.
                  People were ripping Demars handle, which I generally agree with. However, dude threw out the point that for every possession Demar is a part of (made shot, missed shot, turnover, assist I believe), he turns it over 9.4% or whatever buddy said. That is lower than three players considered some of the best in the game.
                  Is TO% a complete indictment of someones handle? No. However, as weak as your handle may be, if you don’t turn it over people won’t be too stressed out, so its a good indication of how often you lose the ball due to our handle.
                  Therefore, the stat he threw out is quite interested. Now, the others have better handles, so the turnovers likely come from throwing more passes throughout the game because their teams offences run through them even more directly than demar.
                  Your whole stirng o questioning what it means shows you have no knowledge or context to add to anything, and just argue to argue. Say something meaningful.

                • FLUXLAND

                  You should be embarrassed for typing that.

                  First of all, where are you getting the info on what constitutes possession in that formula? I don’t even think it is possession, it may be play.

                  Exactly, it is not a complete indictment – so how much weight can one put into the stat? Do you even comprehend under how many different circumstances a TO can transpire? Unless you can break down the different scenarios.. what’s the point of that stat?

                  And last and probably most important, what sense did it make to compare him to those players? None. In another post someone compared harden and dd stats wise and said they were similar, but then claimed one is elite and the other is not. So, what’s the point of certain stats? If you haven’t caught on, I am not a stat person. Throwing around numbers doesn’t make your claim any more valid.

                  Everything is said is meaningful, you just don’t want to acknowledgment the reality of what i am saying..you have said absolutley nothing further to explain or expand on his claim. You only said all he did in another way.. so who is arguing just to argue? Please, spare me and say something I haven’t read already.

                  His post and yours are what lacks context or meaning. Just pulling out a stat, cherry pick a bunch of guys that shouldn’t even be in the same conversation as that players and then call me a troll? GTFOH.

                • Steverino

                  Yeah, just unbiased expanding of the discussion. You make it personal from your very first response by putting “analysis” in quotation marks. That’s belittling and shows that you don’t just want an honest discussion on the subject. So to you, sir, you should also learn to make a point without acting like a child.

                • FLUXLAND

                  The “analysis” was there because there wasn’t one. I don’t even know what that was, TBH. Just picking 3 or 4 players that do not belong in the discussion together, to claim DD doesn’t have poor handles?

  • Stef 511

    Getting the win was harder than it should’ve been but who didn’t see that as being not that unlikely? The Bucks *are* an NBA team after all and that shit’ll happen all the time. But they closed the deal when they needed to, it’s in the books and that’s that. What excites me for what’s-to-come (playoffs) is that with Casey at the helm, with NBA Championship experience in his pocket, and considering how he’s gotten these guys to play together — ‘for each other’ as I read somewhere yesterday (I think) — underscored in a huge way with the victory over the Pacers Friday night, this team looks like they’re gonna have the right combination of hunger, belief in what they can do, as well as real trust in their coach (which is not always a given) to give whoever-it-is they meet in the first round, a dogfight. And *that*, I wouldn’t have believed during the first weeks of this season. Exciting times.

    Speaking of Casey, I think he’s a terrific coach. A lot of things could probably be mentioned to argue how not-good he is (and I’ll even think some of them at times) but, imo, we could be doing a lot worse than having Dwane Casey at the helm, doing what he’s done and what he does. Re that (Casey), I notice that when TRoss gets mentioned in relation to Colangelo’s days, Casey’s involvement with TRoss getting picked when he did isn’t generally mentioned, that I’ve seen. I think it’s worth remembering that it was Dwane Casey who spent a lot of time out west scouting Terrence Ross and (even) getting to know his family and what kind of guy TRoss is all ‘round .. and then spent considerable effort (as I recall reading about at the time) persuading BC that he’d be the right choice for that valuable draft pick. BC pulled the trigger in the end so he gets whatever credit that he should, to be sure, but Casey was the catalyst that made it happen. I say this only because it’s easy to see that if TRoss ever figures out how good he could really be .. and (then, maybe) develops a hunger to actually be that good … he’ll be *goddamn* dangerous. For a long time. Would love to see that happen.

    • Roarque

      Good post Stef 511

    • Bendit

      I have seen similar mention of Casey re the Ross pick. In case you are not aware, Casey’s off season home is the Seattle area and Univ. of Washington (Ross went there) is nearby which makes the more intimate connection more plausible with his coaches as well.

      • Stef 511

        Now that you mention it, ya .. I think I knew that. That’d explain all the scouting I thought I remembered reading about Casey doing on TRoss. However it happened, good pick, I’d say, even if some nights more than others .. though the off-nights are getting fewer between I think. But I like to think he’ll get *all* the way there. Cuz if he does, ho-ly cow.

        • mountio

          All of this is true .. and Casey deserves some credit for the pick, which makes it all the more confusing when he refused to play him decent mins until the Gay trade happened and still loves to give his mins to Salmons.

          • Stef 511

            I know what you mean. But .. maybe it’s just that Casey is so hard-core / old-school re young players and how they have to sometimes *sit* in order to learn.

            • Stef 511

              For example, I have moments watching JV develop — and thinking about how often there was criticism about Casey not playing him certain times last year and earlier this season (often agreed with that criticism) — when I tip my cap to Casey, thinking ‘maybe you were right, Dwane’, seeing how nicely JV is coming along.

              And the same might be true with TRoss and how he’s been learning the game. Casey knows better than we do (after all) how good TRoss can (and maybe, will) be, seeing him in the gym every day. So .. it’s not impossible that Casey just refuses to give in to TRoss’s ‘laziness’ (or whatever he sees on the floor during games that makes him put TRoss on the bench, in order to teach him) and play Salmons, even though TRoss would seem (to us) to be the better option. Gotta be something like that, I think.

  • GameBreaker

    A wins a win. Ugly or pretty. Bottom line. Go Raps!!

  • wheygurey

    People need to stop with this “GV gave up as many as he scored” narrative. Yes, he got crossed once or twice by the point guard (because that NEVER happens to anyone in this league) but that was it. He got beat 3 times total. I watched the whole replay, just because I wanted to see wtf people were on about. Yes, the cross that one time was a poster, but other than that, he did a good job either doubling his man or running him into help. Of course, the high hedging and trapping the Raptors do left the bottom side open, so the Bucks did a nice job of exploiting that to a degree.

    I suppose you could count the transition buckets, but that seems a bit petty, as no one really got back and took some bad shots. Since GV was making his, I don’t think you can blame him. In fact, the worst defensive stretch the team had in the second was largely when he WASN’T on the floor. If someone else takes a bad shot so everyone is retreating, watching them get blown by isn’t the best way to evaluate defense. That was the THE major problem, along with Demar’s inability to keep Middleton from getting inside; largely due to his girth.

    People need to stop thinking so individually about skill-set and watch what is actually happening within the team concept. Calderon was definitely porous, much worse than Vasquez, but both are excellent team defenders, that can get steals and run the team really well. Yes, he got crossed. That wasn’t really a major play in the game…but sure, it makes him look bad.

    • GLF

      EXACTLY! People are acting like Knight went off or something. When I look at the boxscore Knight played well but he didn’t kill us. Also I watched the whole game live and I DD was MUCH worse defensively GV. DD man was 6-9. He barely missed.

      • Steverino

        Yes, but what the naysayers will tell you, ad infinitum, is that Vasquez’s man would drive by him, which drew help from the Raptor forwards, allowing the Bucks guard to pass to the Bucks forwards, who had big games. It’s a no-win argument. Vasquez is damned if his man has a high scoring game, and he’s damned if the forwards have high scoring games. Nice analysis by wheygurey. (I also liked Lou’s write-up.)

    • Tanks-a-lot

      That was the worst team in the league and he had a good game scoring wise. kudos to him.

      If he YOLOs in the playoffs instead of focusing on running the whole offence, and it costs us, I will hate him.

      • Steverino

        The biggest YOLO on the team is DeRozan. Not sure why Vasquez gets the bad rap.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          That might make sense if DeRozan didn’t get to the line as much as he does.

  • tonious35

    A quarter heart? This seemed more like three-quarter hearts of a recap. Not bad.

  • Mexiballer

    Is there anyway to get a GIF posted of DeColo’s crazy difficult accurate falling out of bounds pass to Salmons at the 11.20 mark of the 4th quarter?

  • Haim not Feldman

    The Raps may have crossed another milestone in this year of culture change. It may not be that they played down to the competition but the competition played up to them. It’s typical for other teams and fanbases to want to beat successful organizations like the Cowboys, Yankees, Lakers and Leafs. Oops, sorry! I meant Canadiens. Go Raps! Other teams are gunning for you and want to beat your azz. Get 50 wins and make them envy you more!

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    the team must target 50 wins would be a hug confidence boost for the team

  • guest

    honestly fluxland is such a fuxktard