Raptors fight, fall short against Lakers

With Andrea Bargnani out, that was about as close as this Raptors team could have played the Lakers. The Raptors rose to the occasion in the first quarter, bent but didn't completely break in the second, mounted a challenge in the third, and ran out of gas in the face of experience in the fourth.

Lakers 120, Raptors 110 – Box

With Andrea Bargnani out, that was about as close as this Raptors team could have played the Lakers. The Raptors rose to the occasion in the first quarter, bent but didn’t completely break in the second, mounted a challenge in the third, and ran out of gas in the face of experience in the fourth. Repeating the success seen on this floor against the Lakers last season would have been a tall order even with Bargnani, but without a consistent offensive force the Raptors succumbed to timely Laker runs despite a rather effective zone defense paying dividends.

With Bargnani nursing knee and ankle issues, young Ed Davis (his initials are his first name!) got the start alongside LA-boy Amir Johnson, who became the story of the first quarter. His first quarter shot-chart does the talking for me, let me just add it’s safe to say that his jumper has improved from last year. Sure, it takes about three whole seconds to release and everybody in the audience wonders why Amir is reaching into his shirt pocket, but it seems to go in a lot of the time. Speaking of time, over time he’s going to figure out how to speed up the release and maybe unleash it off a bounce, otherwise he risks getting stuck with a Camby-type jumper.

Johnson didn’t carry the load by himself, he had help in the form of Linas Kleiza who wasn’t getting much respect for Ron Artest. The artist-turned-model was roaming on defense leaving Kleiza with open shots, the lumbering Lithuanian missed his first couple shots but soon gathered his wits to knock down some jumpers. He had 7 in the first quarter and was on his way to his second-straight stellar game (11-21 FG, 26 pts, 10 reb). The Raptors ball movement was full of risks that were paying off and included sweeping cross-court passes, skip passes touching Laker nails, bounce passes in traffic and the lot. The finishing at the end of the movement was at a 60% clip and the Raptors ended the quarter on a 12-5 run, a quarter in which they notched 10 assists.

The only frowns descending on my face were due to Sam texting me from Heathrow about how he was using a public washroom as a honeymoon bed. That and DeMar DeRozan being torched like a…well…torch. I understand it’s Kobe Bryant and he’s made more posters than Imaginus, but c’mon man, you have to play with a little more passion on defense. Kobe went around him like he literally wasn’t there three times, so much so that the ACC crowd let out a collective “Ooooohhhh..ugghh…eeee”. Never good when that happens. This was his best defensive coverage of Kobe all night. Even then, Raps up 6.

Bayless got the reins towards the end of the first and start of second, and didn’t quite get himself in the game. Couple of issues with him. First, he picks up his dribble prematurely, this is a cardinal sin for a point guard and one that pisses off every single one of your teammates. He needs to work on that, and honestly I don’t think there are many better than Calderon to learn from in that regard. Second, pick out potential pass options before you drive, not once you get there. He had a really nice steal and pass to Amir Johnson, too bad that was it (18 min, 4 pts, 2 ast).

The bench for both teams in the second unit was quite a mashup. The Lakers had Luke Walton, Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Andrew Bynum, while the Raptors countered with Barbosa, Bayless, Davis, Wright and Alabi. I had some concerns about where the offense was supposed to come from for the Raptors, but I figured the Lakers would struggle as well and things would even out. It was looking to be that way until the Lakers brought back Pau Gasol for Bynum, with the Raptors bringing back DeRozan and Johnson. The Lakers worked exceptionally well off of Gasol, got some run-outs and had a two point lead at the 6 minute mark. This was to be expected, the Raptors couldn’t have possibly continued shooting 60% against the Lakers set defense and interior length and so they began to crumble.

Johnson was being hampered by a sore back and Triano surprisingly opted to go small against the Lakers with Kleiza at the four and Dorsey/Davis at the five. That didn’t prove wise against a frontline of Odom and Gasol, and the Lakers hammered the Raptors on the boards in the second quarter on their way to a 46-35 advantage. The Raptors weren’t getting any second chance opportunities and when that happens, any miss is made to look that much worse. With the offense sputtering, the Raptors surrendered the lead and went in to halftime down 57-49.

Jay Triano must have requisitioned DeMar DeRozan to at least let his teammates know that he was in attendance and the young man took it to heart. He dropped 19 in the third quarter against the likes of Barnes and Brown. The Raptors went into their often-used 2-3 zone and much to one’s surprise, the Lakers had a tough time figuring it out, especially the “3” part of it. They committed turnovers which lead to points and the Raptors managed to cut the lead to 73-68 with 5 minutes to play in the third. Shannon Brown then hit two momentum-killing threes, the latter of which extended the Laker lead to 84-76 late in the third quarter. It’s hard to complain when you put up 30 against the Lakers in a quarter, but I have to say that the offense wasn’t as team-oriented since DeRozan was pretty much going at it on his own. The stat that reflects this is that after getting 10 assists in the first quarter, the Raptors only managed 10 for the rest of the game.

By now the bigs were having real trouble dealing with LA’s size and the word ‘fatigue’ was being thrown around a lot by Jack Armstrong. Ed Davis was looking like a boxer fighting for his life in the 9th round, and Joey Dorsey’s hustle and guile could not overcome the sheer length of the LA frontline. It was always going to be tough, even with Barbosa doing all he can to spur the offense and inject some energy on the other end. His buzzer-beating three at the end of the third cut it to a 7 point lead, and rekindled faint hope of a comeback.

A realistic chance at making this one close evaporated fairly early in the fourth when Barbosa (3-12, 11 points) missed two good looks from three, Dorsey committed a turnover, and the Raptors sent LA to the line because they simply couldn’t defend their inside-out and intelligent passing game. It was a fifteen point lead at 9:52 and from here on out it was going to be impossible.

All in all, a decent effort from a short-handed team. Jose Calderon (20 points, 12 assists) deserves special mention, take a look at his shot-chart, that jumper is on target. Wild take: Trade him. His trade value is sky-high right now and who knows when he’s going to get injured next, strike while the iron is hot. It’s definitely not the move to make if you’re trying to rack up wins this year, and it will also hamper the development of Bayless who can learn a lot from Jose, but hey, it’s an option.

Ed Davis will be a decent player in this league, I like his motor and how he goes after every shot, he had 3 rebounds in 17 minutes and could have had more if it weren’t for his timing issues and a couple balls bouncing off his hands. You can see that the lack of conditioning and training camp gets to him at time, and the banging he received took a bit of a toll on him physically. Triano reached out to Alabi who will only be remembered for being turned around on a ball-fake by Shannon Brown. The interior defense and activity-level by the Raptors bigs in the first quarter was perfect, after that it seemed to dip and I’ll give the Lakers credit instead of slagging on the Raptors.

Just like most of the Raptors games this year it was an enjoyable one to watch. The Raptors are 7th in the league in pace and have played entertaining team-basketball for most of the season, even when Bargnani is dominating the ball. They’re on pace for about 29 wins right now, the eight seeded Sixers are on course for 33 wins and a playoff spot. Yes, it’s that kind of year in the East and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that if the Raptors play like they did last night, they’ll actually have a shot at returning to the post-season in a rebuilding year. In a sense, that would be truly remarkable.

367 thoughts on “Raptors fight, fall short against Lakers”

  1. This is the type of game that frustrates the hell out of me to watch. Amir shows that he can impact a game without silly fouls. I noticed that he and DeRo usually save their best games for their hometown LA. The problem is that Amir isnt mentally focused and has brain cramps when it comes to fouling. DeMar on the other hand just isn’t that good in my opinion, yet a game like today makes me wonder “what if?” Anyways it seems as though Kleiza is finding his zone and all of a sudden the questions regarding BC and big contracts have stopped.

  2. Why is it that when we realize one of our players is good we think it’s time to trade him?? Don’t we want good players?? Why are we so concerned with developing crappy players when we have good ones who are playing well? Yeah, I understand it’s for the future, and Calderon gets injured… But come on. He’s great for this team. And why do we think we should get rid of Bargnani now that he’s finally good? I’d rather keep the good players, and with their leadership, develop the couple that show promise.

    • Not sure where this came from, but the thing is that it’s not simply about acquiring talented players. It’s about acquiring one’s that will help you win. Players with fatal flaws generally don’t help you win. And the reason now is a good time to trade Bargnani is because his value is at an all time high. Trading him for a talented player who is also going to help you win is best for the team.

      • Trading Bargnani? Wouldn’t the exact logic you posted apply to trading Calderon as well? I’m not saying we should trade either, in the post I simply mentioned that Calderon’s strong play of late had to have raised his previously low trade value.

        It seems to me you’re picking and choosing.

        • Sorry I wasn’t referring to your post when I mentioned Bargnani. I just mean Raptors fans in general. I’ve seen people on here call for him to be traded when he plays well. I see your point that Calderon’s trade value is currently high, but I just think we should be glad that his value is high for what it means to OUR team. I’m just saying we should be excited about his good play and leadership and not instantly start looking to get rid of him.

          • You committed the capital sin of implying that Andrea is a good player , a leader and worth keeping . That kind of comment is enough to send Timmy blood pressure up and he need to remind us that we will never win a championship with Andrea on the team . For him , trading Andrea is the only way we can ever hope to win a championship . What about the other rotation players ? are they of championship caliber ? if not then explain to us dear Timmy how we are going about replacing them all with championship caliber players , it should be easy for you to tell us since you know so much about basketball.

        • Well, I am picking and choosing. Teams can win with a poor defensive PG. They can’t win with a big man whose a poor defensive player and rebounder. Besides, does anyone really expect Calderon to be the starting PG 2 years from now? He’s good for the team now because he helps the other young players develop offensively by getting them the ball in a position to score. Jerryd Bayless can’t do that, as we’ve seen. Bargnani is considered a core player, and that’s frightening to me. He shouldn’t be because you’re ALWAYS going to be at a disadvantage with him on the floor.

          If the Raptors are to be really successful, neither Calderon nor Bargnani should be starting 2 or 3 years from now. Right now, however, Calderon’s presence is good for the development of the young players. Bargnani is a valuable trade asset that should be used when his value is high.

              • No one on the roster is as fatally flawed as Bargnani, or as valuable on the trade market. And the players I would trade for, draft and sign would be players who have high basketball IQs and aren’t liabilities on either end of the floor. Kleiza and Barbosa are the next two players I would look to trade, as they really have no place i the future of the team and could fetch something good in return. The rest of the players I’m content with waiting and seeing how they develop. They’re young and you can’t build a Championship team overnight.

                I know your question was meant to be a snide comment, but I figured I’d answer it anyway.

                • fatally flawed? Give me a break! So when Demar, Sonny and Amir go 15 games looking completely lost, have one good game against the Lakers, you don’t deem that to be “fatally flawed”? The only think “fatally flawed” is your constant bashing of Bargnani when he is the only thing keeping us from being a complete laughing stock.

                • Are you suggesting that DeMar and Sonny took 1.5 years to reach the same ceiling that Bargnani took 5 years to reach? You can’t be serious with this comment.

                  If by 2014, DeMar and Sonny are the same players they are today, they’d be considered “fatally flawed” too. They’re still in their evaluation stage of their careers. Bargnani is now in his prime. There’s a difference.

                • It did not take 5 years for Bargs to develop, by his third season, Bargs showed he could score consistently, however the offence was Bosh centric. I highly doubt that Sonny or Demar will all of a sudden be able to hit an open shot consistently if they haven’t learned so by now. Also the post was regarding whether or not to trade Bargnani, which no one can argue will all but sink this franchise into laughing stock status.

                • I’m not buying the “Bosh-centric” argument. I can just as easily suggest that DeMar and Sonny are currently suffering from a “Bargnani-centric” offense. But obviously, judging a player only when he’s the focal point of an offense, doesn’t make much sense. And besides, Bargnani still averaged 14 FGA and 35 mpg (which is plenty) last year.

                  Also, like most Bargnani fans, you’re only speaking of his offensive improvement. His defense and rebounding hasn’t shown much improvement at all over the years (the New Jersey game aside).

                  And lastly, you speak of Bargnani’s “consistent” offense being around since his 3rd year. But in reality, he’s still an extremely inconsistent offensive player. Even as a fan, you can’t tell me with any certainty whether he’s going to shoot 4-17 (24%), or 12-17 (70%) on any given night. This is the one thing I find most frustrating about Bargnani…his inconsistency.

                • There you go again “Sonny/Demar” — #24 aka YMCA will be begging for minutes is/when ‘he gets back (to what I dunno)’ … Don’t be so blind in that you have been a Weems apologist to admit that HE ABSOLUTELY SUCKS– You’ve said “DeMar will never be this, never be that…” as if you hold the crystal ball of Nilanka (see: in his own world)…

                  Truth is the wing guy you should be saying, “Never this/Never that” is Sonny–I repeat again and again til you can’t hear it, SONNY WEEMS IS NOT AN NBA PLAYER… I’m guessing you didn’t watch the 3rdQ yesterday–lemme guess that was Sonny Weems and not DeMar DeRozan scoring 19 in the Q and not pushing the issue in the 4th when Kleiza had it goin’!!! It had to be because you tend to think they’re the same player, playa!

                • Are you serious?? You talk about defense and rebounding in regards to Bargnani, but have nothing to say regarding how pathetic the effort on defense and on the boards is for Sonny and Demar? Give me a break, if you’re going to knock a guy be consistent with your criticism. Demar and Sonny consistently get beat off the dribble and are late closing on 3’s which is why our perimeter sucks so bad.

                • Again, if DeRozan and Weems have not improved their defense and rebounding in a year or two, then I’ll be the first one to criticize them. One question, did you criticize Bargnani during his second season? The one where he started 53 games, including 40 in a row. The one where he shot a lower percentage than both DeRozan and Weems, rebounded at about the same rate as DeRozan and Weems and played, at least, as bad defense? I’m just curious what your opinion was at that time of Bargnani.

                • Yes I did actually,however I will confess to believing I still thought he had more to offer. I just don’t see that in DeRozan, but that doesnt mean I want him traded. I’d rather give him one more season before we cut ties. As for Sonny, I have absolutely no faith in him and any team that pays him more then 3 million a season is crazy. Very selfish player who doesn’t know how to operate in the raps system. This is his third season and he hasnt shown much of anything. I just hope we are able to snag a stud SF in the draft.

                • Well, I see more in DeRozan in his second season than I did in Bargnani in his second season. Do I think that DeRozan will be the scorer that Bargnani is? Probably not, but scoring is only a small part of the game. Still, DeRozan does have a lot of potential on offense because of his ability to get to the line. In basketball, it’s not necessarily how many ways you can score, but how well you can do it on a consistent basis. Players that get to the line tend to score more consistently than players who don’t.

                  And I don’t see any fatal flaws in DeRozan that I did in Bargnani. DeRozan’s weaknesses can be easily worked on. A jumpshot is an easy thing to learn. Ball handling is also easy to work on. His defense has improved over last season, and he’s shown an ability to be a good defender, just not on a consistent basis.

                  As for Weems, he barely played his first season, and has only played 106 games in total (including this year), which is actually only 3 more than DeRozan has played. He’s definitely got some offensive skills that should give him a long NBA career, as long as he continues to develop them. I don’t foresee him being a starter on a good team, but he’s got the potential to be a good role player if he improves his defense and rebounding. I liken him a little to Shannon Brown, who has carved out a niche for himself. They’re both highly athletic players who don’t have the overall game to be a good starter, but Brown as focused on the things he’s good at to help his team.

                • A jump shot is an easy thing to learn? You cant be serious. I actually like Demar and would love for him to evolve but he will never be a good jump shooter. A jump shot is not easy to learn, it is something that would have been developed by now. Also Bargnani isnt just a stand still shooter, he gets to the line quite often through pump fakes, drives to the basket and through his post up game. Variety on your offence is essential if you plan on being successful at it because teams and defenses will figure you out and take away your strengths.

                  Also when has Demar shown anything on defense? This is what puzzles me. You say that you see all this potential in Demar, yet he offers little on both ends of the floor. I still believe he can improve, but how can you praise his `contribution`to the team and find bright spots, but the blinders come on when talking about Bargnani.

                • Yes, a jumpshot is an easy thing to learn. This isn’t exactly revolutionary here. The jumpshot is the easiest offensive skill to learn. Just on the Raptors, Amir has vastly improved his jumpshot. The examples I’ve used in the past were Bruce Bowen and Jason Kidd. Derrick Rose added a 3 point shot this year after having no range last year. All it takes is repetition. Hell, they taught Manute Bol how to shoot the three on a semi-consistent basis.

                  I suggest you watch DeRozan for a couple of games. On offense, I think it’s pretty obvious where his potential is. He’s good at finding seems in the defense and is very good at getting to the line. These are two very important skills to be a good scorer.

                  On defense, he is incredibly inconsistent, but goes through stretches where he DOES play good defense. Not pretty good but good.

                  And I don’t think DeRozan contributes very much to the team this year, but he’s barely into his second year on a rebuilding team. I’ve said it many times, but you apparently ignore it: If DeRozan still shows the same problems after four years, I’ll be the first one in line to send him out of town. What am I not seeing from Bargnani? Is he still a very bad defender after 4.5 years? Does he still hurt the team if he’s not scoring? What am I missing here?

                • What you`re missing is the fact that he does score, along with open up the floor and create for others so that players like DeRozan get such open looks. That`s why he isnt a liability and DeRozan and Weems are because, as it stands, they cant do any of the above.

                • Yes, WHEN Bargnani is scoring well, he opens up the floor. But the problem is when is doesn’t score at least 26 ppg, he’s such a liability on the other end of the court that he hurts the team. When he’s not scoring, he doesn’t have at all the same effect on the offensive end. You simply can’t have core players that do that. Not if you want to win on a consistent basis.

                  Right now, I wouldn’t argue against the fact that DeRozan and Weems are liabilities when they aren’t scoring. And as I’ve said, ad nauseum, if they’re still like that in a year or two, I’ll be the first in line to ship them out of town.

                • Beside Howard who would be the centre flawless that you all are talkin’ about ? Noah ? gimme a break !
                  “you’re ALWAYS going to be at a disadvantage with him on the floor.”

                  Timmy go back to the curling business , Basketball it’s not for you …and Nilanka as well he’s annoying as much!

                • What are you talking about I’ve never tried curling before. Are you saying that because you’re using a generalization to describe what you think a Canadian does? Real smart.

                  And I’ve never suggested a flawless big man is required. Just one who isn’t a liability on either end of the floor. Let’s make a list…

                  Brook Lopez
                  Joakim Noah
                  Roy Hibbert
                  Andrew Bogut
                  Dwight Howard
                  Al Horford
                  Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum
                  Marcin Gortat
                  Chris Kaman (barely)
                  Tim Duncan/Dejuan Blair
                  Tyson Chandler/Brendan Haywood
                  Emeka Okafor
                  Marc Gasol

                  That’s 14 teams that have centers who aren’t a liability on either end of the court- in other words they aren’t going to hurt you when they are on the court, most of the time. And I didn’t include guys like Darko Milicic who I wouldn’t consider liabilities, but who aren’t currently, or usually, averaging double digits in scoring or who, like Chandler, isn’t an efficient scorer despite not scoring a lot.

                • Hibbert tonight …3 reb 2 points 3 turnover wow !
                  Lopez has his ass kicked by Bargnani, not long time ago …
                  Bogut tonight 5 reb 5 points 1 turnovers after 3 quarters
                  Chandler tonight 10 reb 8 points 1 turnover … would you trade Bargnani for any of this guys …really?
                  The others top dogs are making much more money than Bargnani and there’s more than one who is not even as good as Bargnani !

                  About curling nothing to do with Canadians I live and love in Canada , I was just suggesting another sport , it’s pretty easy to understand !

                • Hibbert, Lopez, Bogut and Chandler all are at least as productive as Bargnani is, and they aren’t liabilities on either end of the court. Hibbert is the type of player who can get 3 rebounds and 2 points and not hurt his team because he can still play good defense. Lopez still scored 20 points, shooting over 50%, and blocked 4 shots in the game against the Raptors.

                  Besides, the fact is that NONE OF THEM ARE LIABILITIES. Bargnani is. What part of that aren’t you understanding?

                  I got your curling reference, mostly because it’s something you’ve tried to insult me and others with in the past. It seems to be your goto insult when you disagree with someone but don’t know how to debate them. It’s a little old and wasn’t funny to begin with.

                • “Lopez still scored 20 points, shooting over 50%, and blocked 4 shots in the game against the Raptors.”

                  Most of them against Amir and the rookie ….Bargnani did a good job on defense that day with some clutch blocks e rebounds in the 4 quarter…look his defense is not that bad , he’s getting better each day, sometimes he gets lazy but not like in the past , if he will be good on the defense side of his game half as good Howard or KG he would not be just a great player he would be UNIQUE !!!

                • Lopez scored just as much on Bargnani as he did on Amir. Bargnani, however, had more help because they double teamed Lopez whenever he got the ball, in the second half, and used the zone to keep the ball out of his hands.

                  And yes, Bargnani’s defense is bad. There’s no way you can get away from that. But it’s his team defense that is the worst. It’s awful. And I think it might be worse now than it was in the past. I certainly don’t see an improvement.

                • Bah! I don’t see the “team” doing a better job without him also ! worst not better!
                  good luck for your search of a better player for the same money of Bargnani, I know u are probably missing Bosh … and honestly I can u judge Bargnani ‘s team defense when few people on the team can keep their men in front of them …let’s wait the end of the season these are the first 3 months of a new chapter about Bargnani as a Raptors player !!
                  forget the past he did not really had the chances that you think he had!
                  I rather build around Bargnani than Bosh!

                • Wow Tim, Lopez scored 20 points, which at least half of which were on Bargnani. If that game, which was clear to anyone that Bargs is far better can’t convince you, then you truly have the blinders on. That game doesn’t event deserve justification because it was so lopsided in Bargnani’s favor.

                • Are you seriously going to use ONE GAME to prove your point??? What a joke!!! There’s nothing more that needs to be said to reply to you. It was ONE GAME!

                  Remember that Washington game when Bargnani made JaVale McGee look like Oscar Robertson??? What a joke!!!

                • Remind me again what JaVale McGee is averaging? Now compare that to Bargnani you may begin to understand why Bargnani is more valuable. The same can be said for Brooks Lopez. Once again, if I’m so out of touch with reality, then why do experts agree with me regarding Bargnani?

                • For a scholar, you didn’t seem to understand that I brought up that Washington game as evidence that one game doesn’t tell the whole story. Although, I’m not at all surprised you missed that point.

                  And which “experts” are you referring to? Ian Eagle from the YES Network? He must’ve actually went to broadcasting school, learned about lighting, microphones, and makeup, to make him such a credible knowledge of defensive big men [rolling eyes].

                • Yeah, the circumstances following the game had nothing to do with his glowing review, right? Are you capable of forming your own opinion, are you just a life long follower?

                • My goodness if you’re too stupid to not know what my opinion is by now then no one can help you. I’m just supporting my opinion with those of a professional.

                • For god sake !!! Bargnani spend his first 3 years on the bench and behind Bosh!!! and Mitch was even using him as a 3 c’mon , just shut it both of you!!!!

                • You better go back and look at the stats from the last three seasons. In his 2nd season, he started 53 games, including 40 in a row, averaging nearly 30 mpg during that stretch. In his third season he started 59 games including every single one after Jermaine O’Neal was traded away. Before you tell people to “shut”, make sure you know the facts.

                • Yes he was starting with not license to live trough his mistakes ….strange way to develop his game ! De Rozan did not have such treatment.

                • In his 2nd season he started 40 games in a row while playing nearly 30 mpg. I’d say he was being given a chance. And Sam Mitchell has been gone since the first month of his third season. Hard to say he wasn’t given a chance to develop his game under the 2+ years Triano has been coaching the team, is it?

                  And I’d say there are a lot of coaches that would have done the same thing with Bargnani as Mitchell did. Guys like Popovich, Sloan and Jackson generally don’t put up with poor defense for very long.

                • Actually, he’s completely wrong. Bargnani played 25.1, 23.9 and 31.4 mpg his first three seasons. Last year DeRozan played 21.6 mpg. It seems you’re wrong on both counts.

                • maybe Bargnani was not that bad after all even if was playing out of position most of the times!
                  We can’t say the same about De Rozan or Amir !

                • How was he playing out of position? Other than playing SF for a couple of months when Jermaine O’Neal was a Raptors, he’s been a center, which is his best position.

                • Yes he’s the moron, yet you come on here and swear at people. I guess we should refer to you as scholarly for that language.

                • Dear Dr. John-P (Ph.D),

                  Bargnani’s not that good. Sorry to burst your infatuated, extremist, fanatic bubble.

                  Real basketball isn’t a video game. You NEED to play defense to be an effective player. A big man who doesn’t protect the paint, is a complete waste of space. You can’t hide him at PF because PFs are still expected to ROTATE! Do you get it (I would use the word ‘capiche’ here, but that apparently makes me a racist)?

                • When did I refer you as a racist. Perhaps a more appropriate term would be “illiterate”. Also could you name a team that won a championship without a primary scorer who could draw double teams, open up the floor and create for others. Real basketball isn’t 5 idiots who can play and rebound, beating the other team 3-2.

                • Listen newbie (Ph.D), that racist remark wasn’t in reference to you.

                  Like the rest of the infatuated, extremist, fanatics, you’re completely, and utterly unable to realize that rebuilding is a PROCESS. Instead, you assume that people like myself, are suggesting we remove Bargnani from the situation, and not make a single transaction following it. You assume that if we trade Bargnani, BC will then sit on his ass, with his feet on his desk, arms behind his head, while smoking a cigar.

                  I COMPLETE AGREE that you need a primary scorer to win championships. You need a guy who can consistently draw double-teams to free up shots for his teammates. But if that player is a post player who can’t play defense, you have a FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED team. That scoring threat has to come from the wing, period. Name me one single championship team with a primary scoring big man who couldn’t defend the paint.

                • What part of a big man being a bad defender and rebounder is not fatally flawed? If the Raptors had a starting PG who couldn’t run an offense or handle the ball, I’d call him fatally flawed, too.

                  It seems to me that you don’t really understand what I mean by fatally flawed.

                  Amir is more productive than Bargnani is, but his main flaw is he can’t stay on the court on a consistent basis because he fouls. It’s not a fatal flaw, though, because when he’s actually on the court, he helps the team on both ends of the court and is rarely a liability.

                  DeRozan and Weems are inconsistent. They’re also both basically in their second year in the league and DeRozan is just 2.5 years out of high school. If either one of them are as inconsistent as they are now and haven’t improved their defense, I would call them fatally flawed, too. But there is nothing in either one’s game that I see as a fatal flaw- something that consistently hurts the team when they are on the court and something they cannot overcome.

                  Bargnani is a gifted offensive player who actually hurts the team on the defensive end, especially if he’s not scoring. In four and a half years, I’ve seen very little improvement in those areas. THAT’s a fatal flaw.

                  I really don’t understand why you are taking this so personally. You jump on me for my criticism of Bargnani, but you have jumped on me each and every time for it. You’re just as liable as I am. Believe it or not, I don’t share your opinion of Bargnani. I think his deficiencies outweigh his abilities.

            • My favourite trade proposal is Bargnani for Rubio, one of the T-Wolves’ big men and a first round pick. I don’t think a deal necessarily HAS to be done before the trade deadline, and it will be a lot easier to deal him after the season. Also, the Raptors are most likely NOT going to get a good big man in return. That wouldn’t make much sense for the other team.

          • same old Tim here.
            We should not trade either Jose or Andrea right now as they are the only legit starters we have. Jose is the only real point guard we have and unless we get another that’s better he should stay.
            Trading Bargnani is just plain dumb as most times he’s the only player keeping our games exciting and respectable. He is the only player on this team talented enough to start that is also getting better all the time, as Jose has peaked.
            Also Tim did you even watch yeterday’s game? You say DeMar’s jumper is starting to fall…can you tell me where exactly that is happening at a decent clip?
            Also I too am interested in hearing who you would trade Bargs for and how you would build that so called championship team that Bargs is not good enough for. Apparently you know more that B.C. and other G.M.’s so please show us your stuff!

            • “most times he’s the only player keeping our games exciting and respectable”

              and what about the times he comes back off the bench and the Raps lose leads? I’m assuming some are going to completely ignore how often it happens… or everything that shows bargs is actually a net negative (as a whole, not necessarily on any one single night).

              Option 1) get Bargs to try on a regular basis. If someone can do this he will be a quality player, and a legit star on any team. It is the difference between this team being good and this team being nothing of importance in the the long term… if this doesn’t happen you lead into:

              option 2a) Tighten the leash on him. If he is not putting in an effort, or being productive on both ends he needs to take a seat. If he’s hot and/or working hard on D/the boards then he stays out. Same rules that should apply to any other player on the team. Yet somehow Bargs is above this without any sort of track record that leads one to believe he deserves it.

              option 2b) trade him while his value is high. What can or will be gotten for him is obviously not available, as nobody here is a gm or privy to inside discussion. But if he is as ‘good’ as some of you would like others to believe, there will be some GM to take him and give a good return. In all honesty maybe this is exactly what he needs, say a coach like Rivers or Sloan (just examples) who will make him play the way he needs to for a team to be successful. I guarantee as of right now if he played for Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Utah, San Antonio… he’d have his ass glued to that bench each time he watches an opponent make a lay up right beside him.

              • just curious though, what player would you target on getting for Bargs? I mean, its easy to say “trade him” and offer nothing else. Lets have a name of a number of players you would target on getting for Bargs who could help the Raps. I’m interested in hearing the opinions of those who want to trade Andrea.

                • Like I said… I have no idea who is available or what GMs would give up.

                  I’m not talking the Kris Humphries route that Cesco seems to think others would support. I’d be thinking more a Noah, healthy Bynum (which probably doesn’t and won’t ever exist), Paul Milsap, Hedo Turkoglu, maybe even a Serge Ibaka + picks

                  again its all relative to whats available at any one time, how much other GMs would value him and what they would offer. I’m not saying just hand him over to another team and say thanks for taking him (hence the option 2b). And before people get their panties in a bunch those were just examples… since they were specifically asked for.

                  PS one of those guys I’m not serious about

                • no no wait wait, just to make it clear: am i really reading that you would trade Bargnani for Turkoglu? You know just to make sure before I start pissing in my pants for the laughter

                • I have a feeling you must be a decendent of Sherlock Holmes as your powers of observation are astounding.

                  Ok ok I’m being a douche now but seriously…..

                • Wow it is really astounding how ignorant some Toronto Basketball fans are. Some of you really don’t understand what we have.

                • Yet you are one of the people who has no idea what he’s talking about. I laugh at how everyone from players, coaches and commentators who have been around this game and understand it appreciate how special a player Bargs is, but some of our very own fans miss the point.

                • It’s a situation explained by the fact that the entire world is impressed by scoring. It’s how everyone evaluates a player. The PPG stat gets FAAAAAAAR more weight (whether it’s warranted or not) than any other single statistical category. Bargnani’s a great offensive player no doubt, but he’s still a very one-dimensional player.

                  On the other hand, players like Kendrick Perkins, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Marc Gasol, etc., aren’t going to drop 30 pts on any given night, but given their rebounds, blocks, team & individual defense, are probably much more valuable to their respective teams than Bargnani is to the Raptors. But they don’t get the hype from other players, coaches, media members, “experts” because they don’t score as well…and scoring gets far too much credit in the David Stern era.

                • Nilanka all of the guys you just mentioned play a different game than Bargnani and are great players, but that does not mean Bargnani is not. Those guys need to be grouped with offensive players to stay on the floor, and Bargnani would be really special grouped with a defensive specialist like one of those guys.

                • Yes professional players, coaches and analysts get so mesmerized by offence that they absolutely forget about other aspects of the game. Give me a break, some of you have such an ego that you genuinely believe you know more then professionals.

                • You’re level of ignorance is actually offensive. Do you even know what cliche means? When they are talking about how special Bargnani is, they are specifically referring to him. How is that cliche?

                • So you have heard of cliches. Good for you.

                  “We lost to the better team”

                  “We gotta do a better job of staying focused”

                  “We played a full 48 minutes tonight”

                  According to Dr. John_P (Ph.D), these phrases are to be taken seriously, you know, because they actually came out of people’s mouths. If someone said it, it MUST be true.

                  After playing the Mavs, when a Toronto reporter sticks a mic in front of Nowitzki’s face and asks him his opinion of Bargnani, what do you think he’s going to say??? “Bargnani’s a douchbag who doesn’t play defense!” What up, you infatuated, extremist, fanatic!

                • Bargs has averaged just over 7 boards a game since Reggie has been out which is decent, and has put up 21 points per game as well.
                  Get over yourself

                • Pizzaman why would he bother to acknowledge that, as it would only prove how ignorant he really is. Tim after all is more knowledgeable then any NBA Coach, GM or announcer. After all he posts 10x a day on RR so that must count for something.

                • I would like to see him answer his own ridiculous post below on what makes a championship type player and who exactly we have that fits that mold of his since our best player clearly does not.
                  I’m not holding my breath though because he cannot answer that and put himself into a checkmate!

                • Why would you say that? Pizzaman is a moron and pretty much everyone knows that. Getting in line behind him does you no favours. Shall we start an insult party here? Or do we want to talk basketball? It’s up to you.

                • Timmy pretty much everyone is you and a couple of your pals…I’ll give you some help here that’s not pretty much everyone…that’s a few.
                  Actually pretty much everyone here knows you are a moron, a loser and a blogger who’s about as succesful as Khandor with as many followers.
                  Too bad you don’t really have a team to cheer for, and your family thinks you’re a loser.

                • Are you kidding me you have no problem calling me ignorant and when I do the same you get all sensitive. Also to refer to Pizzaman as a moron and then asking if we should start an insult party`is even more evidence of your hypocrisy. Why is he a `moron`? Is it because he believes in building around your best player? Yeah when has that ever worked in Basketball before? The point of my post is that there is a reason why 29 other teams all would love to have Bargnani and why EXPERTS all praise his game.

                • John_P
                  Timmy has been a hypocrite ever since he started posting on this site.
                  He routinely talks down to others like only he knows basketball, he calls people derogatory names, and yet when someone calls him something he says they’re immature.
                  Virtually all his posts are a way to slam Bargnani and really nothing else, yet he pretends to be a basketball aficionado and professes to really only be here to talk basketball. We all know he has only one purpose in life, and it’s getting real old and Bargnani will eventually make him go away as well.
                  Timmy somehow is more intelligent and knows more about basketball than all the coaches, GM’s and real sports writers.

                • “Timmy somehow is more intelligent and knows more about basketball than all the coaches, GM’s and real sports writers.”

                  No, just you. Although so does my 6 year old. Even she would never say that Kareem was a weak defender- no I’m not letting that go.

                • My non-insult to insult comment ratio is higher than yours or Pizzaman. WAY higher. And I usually ignore the first four or five insults before I respond. Neither of you do that.

                  And my calling him a moron has absolutely nothing to do with his opinion, but the fact that he can’t write a comment without insulting and can’t debate a subject intelligently. Plus, he called Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a weak defender.

                  “The point of my post is that there is a reason why 29 other teams all would love to have Bargnani and why EXPERTS all praise his game.”

                  Really? ALL 29 teams would love to have him on their team? As more than a role player off the bench? Where’s your evidence? And there are at least as many experts who don’t ignore his deficiencies. Or do they not count?

                • Names please. I have a longer list of those that appreciate his qualities. Also make sure that the quotes are within the last 12 months and not some Sam Mitchell quote from 2006.

                • I understand you obviously dont know who is available but at least it puts your arguments in context by naming players you think may be had for Andrea.

                  My one problem with trading Andrea this year is that the team is 3 years away from being any good. If you trade Andrea now who is to say the player(s) you get would stick around till the raps are ready to contend.
                  Besides, I think there are more pressing needs the team needs to address first. Come 2-3 years from now, if what Andrea brings to the team is redundant, I think then may be the prudent time to consider trading him for a piece we are still missing.

                  Lastly, and I guess this is more directed to Tim’s view, but I think the argument “you cant win with a weak defensive centre” and then point to the recent champions is a flawed arguement. You’re gonna look at the champions for the previous 20 years and say the one quality they all have in common is a defensive centre? The NBA is a superstars’ league. Without one, you have no chance of winning.

                • “If you trade Andrea now who is to say the player(s) you get would stick around till the raps are ready to contend.”

                  can you say for all certainty Andrea will stick around? that he won’t get hurt? that his play won’t drop off a cliff? the same unknowns apply to most players. I’ll give you Andrea seems like a guy with no interest in moving, and giving the multiculturalism in Toronto it makes sense.

                  “but I think the argument “you cant win with a weak defensive centre” and then point to the recent champions is a flawed arguement”

                  I don’t think its that flawed. I think its pretty accurate to be honest. None of the teams have weak defensive centers. They may not always have ‘the best’ center, but they were all guys who can defend and rebound. Use their body, play smart and efficient. You can look at the greats like Shaq, Duncan/Robinson… or even the guys like Wennington and Longley.

                  Its definetely a superstars league there is no doubt… but I don’t think that eliminates the possibility of having a great team without one. The Pistons did it when nobody thought the Lakers could be beat. They did with D, hardwork and efficiency.

                • I think Andrea is locked up for 5 years, no? The other unknowns apply to everyone else as you correctly mentioned (will they get hurt, will their level of play diminish etc etc). At least with Bargniani we know he’s here for 5 years and at a reasonable contract.

                  I think the first thing the championship teams have in common is they are fueled by their superstar. Regardless weather that superstar is a 1,2,3,4 or 5 a championship team needs its star. I dont think you can say the predominant commonality is a defensive centre and then group Longley and Wennington in with Shaq and Duncan. Without Kobe, without Wade, without Pierce the recent winners would not have won. No brainer. Can the same be said if Boston didn’t have Perkins, or if the Lakers didn’t have Bynum? A championship team needs a legitimate superstar more than it needs a defensive force in the middle, in my opinion (of course its totally kickass to have both).

                  All this being said, do I think Andrea is that calibre a player? No, of course not. Do we need a guy to rebound and play defense and do the dirty work down low? Of course. Do we need this player right now and this stage of the team’s development? No. Do we need to acquire this player at the expense of Andrea. I dont think so. Does acquiring this type of player and developing him mean Andrea will no longer be useful in TO? Again, I think no.

                  Who know what the team will look like in 2-3 years. Now is way too early be make definative statements about any one player and their future with the raps, in my opinion.

                • I agree a superstar is important (generally speaking) and which position may or may not be relevant (generally its seems to be a guard, but I don’t think its limited). The reason I grouped guys like Longley and Shaq together is because they did the little things right. Now Shaq is clearly far superior to Longley, no questions there. But guys like Luc Longley had no problems giving a hard foul when it was needed, boxing out, fight in the blocks and simply play tall. He isn’t going to shut anyone down, or block alot of shots etc, but rather make life more difficult for the other team. And thats all Bargs needs to do to. He doesn’t have to be great… just do the little things on D to make the opponents life more difficult.

                  And he can do them, I’ve seen it. The 4th quarter against Detroit he was doing it, in the 4th against NJ he was doing it, and then randomly in games (OKC and Was. he did regularily). But he either is unwilling or unable to do it consistently… and its something that there is no reason to not do consistently. I’m ok with him not shooting greater than 50% on a nightly basis… I’m not ok with him watching a guy waltz to the net.

                  Anyways, like I initially posted I’d rather see him improve there first… I’m just not convinced he is willing (?) to. I hope I’m wrong.

                • Well said. This is the biggest (there are a few) flaw in the trade Bargs for a 10 and 8 defensive specialist argument. Do championship teams have these guys? Yes. But, much, much more importantly, they have great scorers (usually more than one). Without these scorers on those teams, these guys are just another nameless NBA 4-man, And there are many more of them available than there are elite scorers. Thats why guys like AB go first in the draft, and guys like Dujan Blair and Kendrick Perkins dont. The raps right now have one guy that might have a championship level skill (Bargs scoring) and no one else that resembles a key component on a great team. To scrap him now would be the biggest mistake we ever made. If all of a sudden we find a couple Wades and Kobes in the draft and we are still losing with AB beside them, Im more than happy to trade Bargs and shore up our defensive skills. Until then, lets take the logical route and build around our best player to see what happens ..

                • If you hadn’t lost all credibility before, this pretty much kills it. You just called Kareem a weak defender. This is a guy who has been on 11 first or second All Defensive teams in his career and you’re calling him a weak defender. Even by the end of his career, despite not having the quickness, he’d forgotten more about how to play defense than Bargnani will ever know.

                  I seriously can’t believe you just said that. And I can’t believe someone actually agreed with you.

                • the funniest thing about your comment is that 3 people actually like/or agree with ur completely dumb statement.

                • Wow Pizzaman…we now know not to that you don’t know anything about basketball outside of Toronto. You’re the ultimate homer. Bargnani for PM!

                • I’m not necessarily in the trade Bargnani camp, as we don’t know who it could fetch in return, however the GM has gone on record to say that Andrea is the player asked about most in trade talks so I’m sure the offers would be decent especially if GM’s feel think those supporters who feel Bargnani is a star in the making .

      • If your goal is to lose all credibility as a franchise and sink to a level lower then the clippers/nets, then by all means listen to Tim and trade Bargnani. If however you are actually interested in building a winner, then trading a 25 year old stud center who is signed under a manageable contract is just dumb.

        • If you want to build a mediocre team that repeats the same mistakes over and over by building with another flawed big man, then by all means ignore me. If you don’t care about winning Championships and simply want to watch a fun team that will entertain you, then I suggest you listen to guys like John_P.

          • “If you don’t care about winning Championships and simply want to watch a fun team that will entertain you…”

            I’d love it if the Raps won a championship, but I’ll probably be dead before that happens. So watching a fun team that entertains is fine with me.

          • Tim you come one here and suggest that trading Bargnani will turn this team into a championship contender, yet you have not identified how that will work exactly. Will trading Bargnani all of a sudden mean that Sonny and Demar will stick open shots and play good perimeter D? Will trading Bargnani mean Amir will grow a brain and learn how to stay out of foul trouble? Maybe for this team to grow they should actually keep the blue chip prospect, and abandon the “young ones” who will soon be known as the unemployed ones” if they don’t start contributing.

            • EXCUSE ME? When did I suggest trading Bargnani would turn the Raptors into a Championship team? This isn’t difficult to understand. What I have been saying is that you can’t win a Championship with him. I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever suggested that by trading him you would turn the team into a Championship contender. Please don’t put words in my mouth. It’s ignorant and insulting. And extremely bad form if you want an intelligent debate.

              And I actually HAVE suggested how you would try and build a Championship team. It’s not a plan that will work overnight. It takes patience and development. It means keeping the players that fit the mould of a Championship player, and that’s someone with a high basketball IQ, someone who isn’t a liability on either end of the court, and someone who does the little things that win games. It means trading players you don’t want when they have their highest value.

              Trading Bargnani, despite what you falsely claim I say, is not a fix all, and I’ve never even suggested it is. It’s a step to an end goal and an important one, but it’s a step, nonetheless.

              • Tim you’re a hypocrite!!
                Who on the Raptors exactly fits the mold of a championship player since you brought this up? I would love to see you name some. Who here has all you say High IQ, no liability either end, does the little things?
                Show me and the others how Bargnani does not fit your mold, but the others all do!!
                This is your big chance to prove you’re not just a Bargnani hater.
                We’re all waiting!!!

                • Normally I ignore your posts because I tend not to get into debates with 5 year olds, but I’m in a giving mood, so….

                  Right now, I see three players who I can see three players eventual rotational players on a contending team. Amir, Calderon and Ed Davis. Both Amir and Calderon are fantastic role players who would be excellent bench players on a contender, because they understand how to play roles and are efficient in what they do. Davis has a high basketball IQ and potential, but obviously needs to develop more.

                  Kleiza, Barbosa and Bargnani are borderline, in my book. They all certainly have talent, but all of them hurt their team if they’re not scoring. Not a good attribute for a role player.

                  DeRozan might one day have the potential to be a good player, but he’s got a year or two to develop before I’d judge him on that.

                  Weems is pretty much the same as DeRozan, but with a lower ceiling. Whereas DeRozan has a chance to be a good starter, in my opinion, I see Weems’ future as a bench player on a contender, at best.

                  Bayless: See Weems.

                  So there you have it. Does that answer your question? And since I answered yours, care to respond to my comment about you calling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a weak defensive player?

                • Timmy I’m glad you’re finally in a giving mood, because I think part of your problem is you’ve been taking it for far too long so the other might be a good switch if you can find someone willing.
                  Meantime considering you know everything I also like Jose on a good team, and Amir is ok at best, and how you know that Davis is championship caliber already is amazing since he’s played only a few games.
                  Championship teams need good scorers and you just dismissed three of our best, and DeRozan, Weems and Bayless have proven nothing yet.
                  All you’ve proven to me is that you stick guys wherever you like based on your high knowledge of the game.
                  What about the IQ you mentioned and Amir in the same sentence??
                  I would bet that Bargnani has the highest IQ on this team and if not it would be Jose or Kleiza, possibly Barbosa. I do not see much IQ in Amir, DeRozan, Weems or YOU!

                • I notice you didn’t comment about Kareem. You’re spectacular at avoiding.

                  And as I already stated about DeRozan and Weems, they’re both basically in their second year. I give them more time to develop and judge them later. Amir doesn’t have an extremely high basketball IQ, but it is high enough that he knows what to do on both ends of the court. He helps the team on defense and his offense is incredibly efficient. I can easily see him being a 20-25 mpg player on a contender. I certainly wouldn’t start him until he cuts down on his fouls.

                  And I really don’t see how a guy who doesn’t seem to have a clue of what to do on defense and who averages has an assist to turnover ratio of 0.6 has a high basketball IQ. That’s lower than Amir Johnson, DeRozan and Weems. In fact it’s the 2nd lowest on the team behind only Kleiza. IQ requires knowledge of both ends of the court, as well.

                  “I do not see much IQ in Amir, DeRozan, Weems or YOU!”

                  Well, at least I’m not an emotional retard who apparently can’t write a comment without including an insult.

                • Tim could you remind me how many years has Amir been in the league? Does he still take stupid fouls and cant stay on the floor?

                • The reason behind my last post by the way is you like to slam Andrea for being in the league 4.5 years and averaging 22 pts and 6 reb, yet praise Amir who has been in the league 5.5 years and averages 10 pts and 6 reb. Also his numbers are indicative of his play, because he can`t stay on the floor because of stupid fouls.

                • The big difference is because Amir isn’t a liability when he’s on the court. He’s incredibly productive at both ends, and not just when he’s scoring. Amir produces on offense, rebounds and plays defense. The team is better when he is on the floor. His problem of fouling only hurts the team because it prevents him from staying on the floor. On a team where he only needs to play 20-25 mpg, that’s not a problem. For this reason, I have can easily see Amir being a rotation player on a contender.

                  And while Bargnani can stay on the floor longer than Amir, it doesn’t mean he helps the team more. It just means what he does, he does more of. He helps the team on offense, but he also gives up A LOT of points and hurts the team on defense. To me, and a lot of people, he hurts the team more than he helps it.

                  And to continue to conversation above, where we were running out of room, I don’t keep track of experts who agree with my opinion of Bargnani, but I recall a couple of ESPN columnists, a couple of advanced stat gurus, and several others, all of whose opinion I respect.

                • Tim you`re absolutely right, Bargnani doesn’t help the team at all`when he`s on the court, at least not as much as Amir. Take for instance last week, when one of those centers you mentioned as being better the Bargnani (Lopez), got eaten alive by Bargs in the second half to lead a comeback for the Raps. These fools on here will have you believe that just because Andrea scored all the points and defended the post well that he was the best player, when in fact I saw Amir out muscle someone for a rebound. Do you remember which play I`m talking about Tim, it totally turned the game around. Also have to agree with you that I`d much rather have Lopez then Bargnani. Even though he had less points, less rebounds, was less influential and got schooled by a guy who was playing hurt, I`m convinced that the Toronto weather caused him to catch a cold and thats why he wasn’t his usual dominant self.

                • “Tim you`re absolutely right, Bargnani doesn’t help the team at all”

                  Please stop being a dick. I never said he doesn’t help at all and you fucking well know it. If you want me to make up shit and say that you said it I’m more than happy to. If, on the other hand, you actually want to have a conversation then stop saying shit like that and pretending I said it.

                  As for your statement, Amir isn’t a center and isn’t big enough to defend guys like Lopez. I never claimed he was. And the game against New Jersey was certainly not a typical game for either Amir or Bargnani. If we’re going to pick and choose games, why not the Laker game in L.A, when Bargnani struggled against the Laker front line and Amir played really well? Why can’t we choose that game? Or the game against Boston when he got 17 and 11, while Bargnani only managed 2 rebounds?

                • Yes because KG maybe was busy stopping Bargnani? we are talkin’ about a future hall fame who said Bargnani we’ll be a future elite player in the NBA …
                  Bargnani in the past played quiet well against the Lakers!

                • Actually I wasnt picking and choosing games, I just used that game because you specifically identified Lopez as someone worth trading for. In order to make a case for Amir you better pick and choose games because the stats don’t lie.

                  Bargnani – 23pts, 6reb.

                  Amir – 10pts, 6reb.

                • Proving that Bargnani is a better offensive player than Amir is as strong as suggesting Reggie Miller is a better shooter than Sonny Weems. Way to state the obvious.

                • Right, that has nothing to do with their minutes played, right? Clearly, both Bargnani and Amir are equally skilled in the art of rebounding. Are you even watching games, or just reading boxscores?

                • Once again, since you need it to be repeated, the reason why Amir is playing less then Bargnani has everything to do with ability and Basketball IQ. There is no one standing in his way.

                • I notice that you’ve avoided the issue of how long Amir has been in the league, seeing as how thats your number one argument against Bargs and used in favor of Weems and Demar. So whats Amir`s excuse, that after 5.5 seasons he`s still committing these fouls and not helping his team? Explain how his contribution of 10 pts and 6 reb mean more to this team then Bargs at 22 and 6?

                • I’ve already commented on why I’m not as hard on Amir- because when he’s on the court he’s not a liability. The fact that a Bargnani is on the floor longer simply means he’s hurting his team on defense longer. Amir does not hurt his team when he’s on the floor. Let’s look at it from a positive/negative perspective (not a +/- one). If Bargnani gives your team .7 points per minute, but gives up .8, then him staying on the floor doesn’t help the team win more. It actually hurts it more the longer he is on the court. Amir may not help your team score as much, say .4 points per minute, but he also gives up fewer points, like say .3.

                  Simple stats don’t tell you everything. Corey Maggette is a great scorer, and even averaged 22 and 6 one year when he was with the Clippers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that his poor defense was negated.

                  Zach Randolph averaged 23 and 10 in his last year in Portland, but the last year he saw the playoffs he averaged 16 mpg. One big reason is despite what numbers the guy puts up, having him on the court isn’t necessarily a good thing.

                  And the fact is that Amir played 11 games in his first two seasons, and before Amir got to Toronto, he never averaged more than 17 mpg or played more than 63 games in a season. Bargnani, at his lowest, played 23.9 mpg in his second season.

                  Bargnani has played nearly 10,000 minutes in the NBA, which is more than twice as many as Amir, who has played less than 4,000.

                • “Bargnani has played nearly 10,000 minutes in the NBA, which is more than twice as many as Amir, who has played less than 4,000.”

                  I wonder why?

                • There are a few reasons. Bargnani is a number one pick, so his development is a high priority to the organization. No one wants a Darko situation. Amir was a second round pick.

                  Also, he was on a team that missed the playoffs as much as it made them, and never went past the first round. Amir was playing on a contender that didn’t allow for his development at the cost of losing games.

                  Bargnani was also on a less talented team which meant he had more chance to play. Amir was playing behind guys like Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace and Antonio McDyess.

                  Lastly, obviously fouls is an issue, but mostly just with Toronto. He didn’t play enough in Detroit to get into much foul trouble, nor was his foul trouble a problem since they had so many talented big men.

                  So there you go. Or were you just being trite?

                • “Bargnani has played nearly 10,000 minutes in the NBA, which is more than twice as many as Amir, who has played less than 4,000.“

                  That is exactly why Bargnani is a better player. There is a reason why he`s on the court and Amir isn’t and it has everything to do with ability, IQ and general impact on the game. Whats even funnier about this point that is that Bargs has more then doubled Amir in minutes, despite the fact that he`s been in the league one less season. Thank you for proving my point Tim.

                • So you can take a quote out of context and ignore the rest of the statement. Good for you. I didn’t prove your point, by the way. By your logic, Jonny Flynn is a better player than Ty Lawson because he’s played more mpg than Lawson.

                • Are Johnny Flynn and Ty Lawson on the same team? No they are not, whereas Bargnani and Amir are. Who does Amir have to fight for minutes? No one, he’s just unable to make a contribution because of constant foul trouble and therefore offers very little to this team.

              • Well Tim if its necessary to trade Bargnani, your best player, to reach this end goal, then naturally it would make sense to trade everyone because they are worse. What a lovely solution to the problem.

                Oh and thank you for the insight in suggesting that “building a championship team is a process”. I had no idea that was the case. However usually when you start such a process, you look to keep your stars and add pieces to compliment them.

                • It’s not necessary to trade your best player to build a Championship team. Again, I never said that. You are either willfully of ignorantly twisting my words. I’ve already explained on this page and on other occasions why I would trade Bargnani over other players, so I see no point in doing it again.

                  And building a Championship team generally requires you to build around the RIGHT players. You don’t just build around a player because he’s your best one. That’s not very smart, especially if that player is as flawed as Bargnani is.

          • Tim perhaps we should try in desperation to win a championship and make a trade like Orlado just did??
            Take back Hedo the bum and his awful contract just to get Richardson?
            Orlando will not be a better team without Pietrus and Gortat.
            Desperation moves do not usually work.
            Also trying to win a championship does not usually start with trading your best player.

            • Actually, if you go and read my blog…
              …you’ll see that I gave Orlando a C- for the deal and didn’t like the trades for them.

              And as I’ve said before, the fact that Bargnani is the best player on the team (which is debatable) says more about the lack of talent on the Raptors than it does about how good Bargnani is.

              And not that Oklahoma has won anything yet, but they traded Ray Allen and let Rashard Lewis go to Orlando in order to build their team.

              Los Angeles traded their best player, in Vlade Divac, to be able to draft Kobe Bryant.

              San Antonio trade their best player, in Alvin Robertson, away in order to build around rookie Davis Robinson.

              Building a contender requires tough choices and sometimes means you trade away talented players because they aren’t going to help you achieve your ultimate goal.

              • didn’t los angeles have Magic on their team then, as well as cebalos. + they also had eldon campbell so trading vlade “daddy” didn’t leave them with a huge hole in the middle.

                if raps trade andrea, that leaves us with a possible 4/5 combination of, johnson, who has difficulty staying on the court, davis, who I’m loving so far but is a rook, dorsey, and alabi, who I like…as a guy to hand out the towels during timeouts.

                Trading Andrea now, and not getting back the inside presence you’re looking for doesn’t address the need you’ve been focusing on.

                • A 36 year old Magic briefly came back, but he was a shadow of his former self. Yes, Cebalos was on the team, as was Elden, but Vlade was a 27 year old highly skilled center who was just starting to come into his prime. It was a HUGE gamble.

                  And dealing Bargnani has absolutely nothing with making the team better right now. What the team needs right now is pretty much irrelevant. This is a lottery team that is going to lose either way. Obviously you don’t want to leave your big men out to dry, but you can still make deals to get a temporary solution. My suggestion of Bargnani for Rubio, a T-Wolves center and a 1st rounder would bring some size back. A guy like Pekovic or Koufus obviously isn’t the longterm solution as the starting center, but they can fill in until they become a backup to someone better- perhaps even Ed Davis, if he fills out a lot more.

                • it was a gamble but they still had some pieces to fall back on if that trade didn’t work out. I forgot to mention nick the quick, and a young eddie jones, as well. I think a larger gamble would be to trade andrea, now, for pieces that you hope would stick around for 5 years. This being said, if you can land rubio, a large body, and the timberwolves first round pick that would certainly get my consideration (depending upon how rubio is doing overseas and how likely he is to come to n.america). I’m not saying I would 100% make the deal but one would have to consider it.

                  Lastly, I gotta admit, after reading your comments regarding Andrea, I am surprised you think they’d offer such a package.

                • voy,

                  FIrst let me thank you for being able to enter into a debate intelligently and without resorting to insults. Rare around here.

                  And yes, the Lakers certainly did have more talent than the Raptors do. In some ways, though, it was more difficult for the Lakers because they were a playoff team. But Jerry West realized that the team was battling mediocrity and needed a change. Imagine if the Raptors were a playoff team and traded a skilled center entering the prime of his career for the 13th pick in the draft?

                  And as for your surprise, I don’t hate Bargnani. I think he’s a very skilled offensive player. Unfortunately the more you watch him the more you realize how much of a liability he also is. And there are a lot of teams that love to take chances on guys like that. And there are also a lot of teams whose main goal is to put out an entertaining team that competes, but doesn’t necessarily contend for a title. You can ask Charles Barkley about that. I think there would be plenty of teams that overlook Bargnani’s weaknesses because he puts up good stats and looks good. Look how many teams Zach Randolph has been on and he had a bad reputation and horrible contract.

                • “voy,

                  First let me thank you for being able to enter into a debate intelligently and without resorting to insults. Rare around here.“

                  Considering you`re the ring leader of such banter. If you cant handle the insults then you might consider not using them yourself. This is one of the examples throughout this blog of how you contradict yourself.

                • Please point to one occasion when I insulted someone first. Actually, I’d like to see one instance where I insulted someone without having been insulted 5 or 6 times first.

              • I agree with most of what you’re saying Tim: this team isn’t winning for the next couple seasons with or without Bargs. If we can scrape together some assets I think we should strike while the iron is hot – even though that would pain me because it is actually super fun to cheer for an awkward, 7′ tall white dude with the same terrible facial hair as me. I’d miss him, but I think I’d like to watch playoff games where I’m not cheering for everyone in the arena to just drop dead.

                Now though, even though I agree with your point (although one could point out that it used to be very common knowledge amongst the great basketball minds that you couldn’t win with a guard as your best player/main scorer, excepting only West of course) let’s not skew bball history to make it.

                LA traded Vlade to Charlotte because they were halfway towards signing Shaq that summer (they were the only ones who were going to pay him what he wanted as he was basically considered a diva, plus he wanted to be somewhere where he could be more than just a basketball player as evidenced by every single quote he made during that time). It was by no means a 100% sure thing in June, but a very calculated move with very low risk (for reasons aforementioned) and very high reward. I also don’t think anyone would ever say “Don’t trade Bargs to have a chance at the next LBJ/Garnett if we’re only 90% sure we can sign Dwight Howard!”.

                David Robison was being hailed as the next Alcindor at the time of his drafting, Robertson was trash compared to what David was supposed to be, plus Alvin (God bless him for scoring our first points) was an old, old man. But, let’s not forget it didn’t work out until Robinson got hurt for a season, the Spurs sank to the bottom of the league and landed Mr. Tim Duncan.

                Ray Allen was old balls and the team saw Green in the draft and thought that was their guy going forward. If the ball hadn’t bounced their way and they never got Durant or Westbrook in subsequent years that would’ve been a huge, huge mistake – they basically tanked to get where they are (which this team can apparently do with or without Bargs). And if “letting Rashard Lewis go” is not paying him $20,000,000.00, okay.

                • In retrospect, that Shaq signing probably wasn’t as sure of a thing as my 7 year old mind thought it was. Maybe I’m wrong on that one.

                • As you mention below, the Shaq signing was not a sure thing at all. In fact at the time of the trade, they hadn’t been able to even speak to him to gauge his interest since they agreed to the trade on draft night (but it didn’t go through until later due to salary issues).

                  And you’re right that those situations were different, but the fact is that each of those teams made big risks because they felt it was the right move to become contenders.

            • You acknowledge the importance of defensive players in Pietrus and Gortat, but have no problem overlooking Bargnani glaring defensive deficiencies. What gives???

          • Pretty sure everyone is missing the point that Bargnani doesn’t necessarily have to be good on defense on a championship team. He has to be decent, ya, but not Dwight Howard good or Shaq good. Look at the Mavs. Look at the magic. Have you ever seen Rashard Lewis play defense once? Both these teams made the finals, losing to superior teams at the time, but still beating out quality competition. Bargnani can be a key piece, we just need a supplementary center or PF that’s a great defender/rebounder. A Marcus Camby type guy.

            • I agree that Bargnani doesn’t have to be good to be on a Championship team. Just decent. Unfortunately he’s still a long way off from being decent. Right now he’s a liability on the defensive end. And that’s unacceptable, and since there’s been very little improvement in this area in nearly 4.5 years, I don’t foresee him becoming a decent defender.

              And Rashard Lewis was actually an underrated team defender. He certainly wasn’t a stopper, by any means, but he knew what to do and where to go. Orlando also never won a title, though.

              Dirk is also a better defender than people give him credit for because he knows how to play team defense. Still, Dallas is probably not the team you want to bring up. Yes, they’ve gotten to the Finals, but they’ve also been one of the most underperforming teams in the playoffs in the last decade, in part because they didn’t have a solid defense. They’ve lost in the first round twice while being the 1st and 2nd seed. And the time they did get to the Finals, they became the first team to lose four games in a row after winning the first two. And Miami won 8 fewer regular season games than Dallas did, so it’s hard to say they were a superior team.

              The fact is that it’s easier to trade Bargnani away and find another elite scorer who’s not a liability on the defensive end than it is to win a Championship with a big man who’s a poor defender and rebounder. I know this is a thought that upsets a lot of Raptor fans, which is probably why people react the way they do when the prospect of trading him comes up. It doesn’t make it not true, though.

        • why would this team ‘lose’ credibility? why would the Raps sink lower than the nets or clip? There is no evidence to say thats true as Bargs has rarely missed any games. The 2 he did this year were against elite teams, and I’m not sure losing those says much about this team.

          Yet if you look back over the past 5 years, this team has progressively gotten worse defensively as Bargs sees more and more time and more usage on the floor.

          There is also absolutely nothing that classifies Bargs as a ‘stud’ center.

          • Just amazing that we fall for this crap….. The reason GM’s ask about Barg’s is that he is a big time player who they feel will be even better on their team. I am a season ticket holder and go primarily to see what Bargnani can do on a particular night as he is the one player with the highest ceiling.

            Tell you what I am a Bargs fan but will trade him for:
            Rubio/Love – We throw in Bayless
            Blake Griffin
            No way Noah (injury notwithstanding).
            Chris Paul
            Rajon Rondo/Perkins – Again throw in Bayless

            Just to try and sound as stoopid as you……

            • Bargnani is pretty much at his ceiling already. He may be a 25 ppg player one day, but is he ever going to average 10 rpg? No. Is he ever going to block 3 shots per game? No. Is he ever going to be a great help defender? No. So I’m not sure what “ceiling” you speak of. Bargnani is pretty much as good as he’s going to get right now. It’s been 5 years. He’s no longer a project.

              • is he ever going to bake us cookies and rub our tummies as we fall asleep. no. how many players avg 21 points, 10 rebs and 3 blocks a game. are these the standards you’re holding andrea to?

                Who would you trade andrea for, Nilanka?

                • AnthonyF mentioned Bargnani had the highest “ceiling”…meaning out of every player on the Raptors, Bargnani has the MOST upside compared to today. My post was ENTIRELY in reply to that statement.

                  Regardless, I’m not going to mention any names to trade for Bargnani because:

                  1. I really have no idea what fair value for him is. There have been zero discussion of actual rumours which would give the fans an accurate indication of how other GM’s value Bargnani.

                  2. No matter what players I suggest, you’re likely response would either be:
                  a. “We can’t get player-X, he’s worth far more than Bargnani”. OR
                  b. “We can’t get player-Y, he’s worth far less than Bargnani”.

                  3. He’s a BYC player. He’s not going anywhere this year, period.

                • “Ceiling” implies that he (at his peak) will be better than anyone else at their peak, not that they have the most upside compared to where they are today (that would be another term – something like “upside”).
                  In terms of his celing, if he does go to 25 ppg and 10 rpg and improves his D (even just a little) – that makes him a legit all-star. I think even the haters have to admit thats POSSIBLE (you can argue how likely, but considering hes only a few ppg and a couple of rpg behind that lately).

                  I dont know of any other raptor that you can say with a straight face that even has the potential (in our wildest dreams) to be a legit all star. Thus, bargs has the highest ceiling on the team

            • AnthonyF,

              It’s great that you’re a season ticket holder for the Raptors. Good for you. I think you’re like a lot of people who derive enjoyment out of watching what Bargnani does on the offensive end. I think the majority of Raptor fans really don’t understand the intricacies of the game, and probably don’t even notice the things that Bargnani does and doesn’t do that really hurt his team. The majority of them probably have no clue that there hasn’t been one Championship team in the last 30+ years that has had a starting big man who was a liability on defense and on the boards. They probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a Princeton offense and a triangle offense. Or why shot blocking does not necessarily equate to good defense.

              • Tim could you tell me the last championship team that won without a star who would consistently score and draw double teams? I’m curious what team in the last years has won with a bunch of lunch bucket defenders who cant create their own offense?

                • Easy. None. What’s your point? Last time a checked, the Raptors were still years away from being a contender, and in that time, hopefully the Raptors will be able to find scorers who aren’t also liabilities. If not, then they’ve got a lot more to worry about.

                • Actually he is, but so is Demar, Sonny and pretty much everyone else. Unlike you I value people who ca actually stay on the court and contribute to his team. Or are you suggesting that Amir has basketball IQ after proving otherwise over 5.5 years?

                • As I said, if DeMar and Sonny are still liabilities on defense in a year or so, I’d want them off them team, too.

                  And Amir knows what to do on offense and defense. He scores efficiently and helps the team on defense. I’d say that’s a fairly high basketball IQ. It’s too bad he hasn’t figured out how to stay on the court longer, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that when he’s on it, he’s almost always a positive factor.

                • How is he helping the team from the bench? Why is it that Amir who has been in the league for longer doesnt receive the criticism? Another example of your hypocrisy.

                • No I can read just fine, however you seem to be unable to understand that he isn’t helping this team from the bench, therefore his contribution is minimal. That’s more a reflection of your comprehension skills.

                • He’s averaging 28 mpg over the last 10 games. Hardly compromising his team from the bench. You may be able to read just fine, Dr. John_P (Ph.D), but your inability to interpret stats is shameful for a scholar like yourself.

                • No, shameful is completely ignoring defense. For the infatuated, extremist, fanatics, when someone brings up the concept of defensive basketball, it’s the equivalent of speaking in German. Defense is such a foreign concept to you, that you literally have no idea what I’m talking about.

                  See there’s this thing called defense. It’s the part of the game that unfolds when the other team has the ball. I know you fast forward those sequences when you PVRing, but resist the urge for tomorrow’s game. Take a look at how Amir fights for position, attacks the glass, challenges shots, and commits hard fouls. Then watch Bargnani put on his metador costume.

                • HAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s all I have to say. Stick to video games pal. You are clearly new to the sport of basketball.

                • that last comment by you is a perfect example of why you know nothing about basketball. After pointing out a fact that he did lead the team in blocks, your reply is “hahahaha”. What does that even mean? Did he not lead the team in blocks the last 2 years, Mr. Wizard of Defense?

                • Pointing out blocks shows that you can’t be any older than 15 years, have never played on a successful basketball team, have never watched a successful basketball team, and most likely, became a Raptor fan in 2006 (when Bargnani was drafted).

                  I can’t believe I actually have to explain this to you, but blocking shots is hardly the be-all-and-end-all of defense. Look at guys like Battier, Bowen, Artest, Rodman, etc, none of which were great shot-blockers. But each one is/was a great defender. They’re positionally sound, force bad shots, boxed out on rebounds (even if nowhere near the ball), are quick on their rotations, and just play intelligent ball on the defensive end. Bargs does none of those things…but hey, he blocks 1 shot a game!!! YIPPEEE!!! Put him on the all-defensive team!!!

                  The Raptors are 29th in team blocks. Leading the team in this stat says jack shit.

                  Does that justify my “hahahah” response???

                • Actually I never mentioned that it was the be all and end all, thats you putting words in my mouth, something you were quick to condemn me for. I also never once said that Bargnani is a good defender, just that he lead the team in blocks. Perhaps you should practice what you preach. Also i didn’t realize you needed to be 15 to be able to look up stats, I thought was a skill you acquired at a young age and carried with you in life.

                • As Nilanka mentioned, you seem to be ignoring Amir’s defensive contributions. And I hope you’re not suggesting that blocking shots equates to good defense, because I think you know that it does not. If that’s the case, then Javale McGee would be a much better defender than Joakim Noah because he blocks a lot more shots a game.

                  In truth, blocks and steals are two of the worst ways to tell how good a defender a player is, and I’m pretty sure you know that.

                  Besides, Amir is actually blocking more shots, even in his limited minutes, than Bargnani, so even if you don’t agree (which I would be surprised about) then your argument still holds no water.

                • I never said it meant good defense, I was merely pointing out a fact. Also he did lead the team in blocks last season and the one before that so it does hold water.

                • The point is that you consistently point out that no championship team has won without a strong defending / rebounding big man (which AB isnt), but conveniently neglect to mention the much more important point, that no championship team has ever won without an elite scorer who can draw a double team (which AB is). Both happen to be true, but the elite scorer is the much more important factor in terms of the team success (and a much more rare skill to find).
                  The general consensus here is that we have a guy with a championship skill, and your advice is to ditch him for defending / rebounding big man (because you see more than the “simple” fans who only understand ppg).
                  So – when the basis of your argument is components required to build a contender, how can you dodge the question on whether or not an elite scorer is one of those components?

                • I’ve never dodged the question of whether or not you need an elite scorer. You do. I said as much. But you also need big men who aren’t liabilities on the defensive end. If your elite scorer is also a big man who’s a liability on the defensive end, that pretty much negates the fact that he’s an elite scorer. In fact, the only elite scorer who has ever won a Championship who was also a liability on the defensive end was Isiah Thomas, and he played with three of the greatest defensive players of all time.

                  The fact is, I’d rather find another elite scorer who isn’t a liability on the defensive end, and try and trade Bargnani for something of value.

                  And yes, I do realize I come across as arrogant. It’s a defense mechanism that comes out when faced with the utter stupidity that I sometimes come across on this board. I apologize to those who don’t fall into that category.

                • Fair enough. We obviously agree on the end goal, but disagree on the best path to get there. There is no question that a defensive big man is a key component to a contender. I would argue you can get there with Bargs playing alongside that person (and AB improving his own D a little as well, as he has shown the ability to from time to time). I would also argue, that once we get to that point (ie have at least one, likely two elite scoring options, wings that can shoot the 3, a strong PG that can defend), we can find a defensive big man without too much trouble. Im not sure, however, that we can just “find” elite scoring options – there just arent that NBA players with enough skill to legitimately draw a double team – and AB is one of them.
                  To me, it makes more sense to a) focus on acquiring the skills that are hardest to find and b) work around what we have (for example, if we had an elite defending big man who could also score, an elite scoring wing or an elite PG – Id be happy to start with them) but we dont.
                  To me, if you dump AB, you are back to square one in terms of having no one with a championship skill on this team. Maybe you need to take one step back to take two forward, but if I was running the team, Id keep AB and look for other pieces around him, rather than rolling the dice multiple times. We will see whether Im right or not ..

                • Didn’t we try the idea of building around a finesse big man already? Shouldn’t we learn from our previous mistakes? Instead of hiding/covering up deficiencies, shouldn’t we aim higher?

                  I understand your worry about taking a step back, but if Bargnani is traded, we’d be getting value in return. If what the fanboys say is true, there are a lot of GMs out there who would gladly take Bargs. His contract is very manageable. And unlike the Bosh situation, Colangelo won’t be caught with his pants down. We won’t be desperate to trade. Colangelo would be dealing from a position of power, and could very well benefit from a bidding war for Bargnani’s services. Depending on who we get back, we may not need to take a step back at all.

                  But obviously, this hypothetical scenario can’t begin until the summer, when Bargs’ BYC status expires.

                • The big difference to me, is that Bosh, while he put up good offensive numbers – he almost never drew a double team (and thus didnt make the rest of the team better by getting guys open shots, allowing them to catch their man lunging at them to beat them off the dribble, etc.). He also couldnt really create his own shot (or at least a good shot, not an 18 foot jumper) in clutch situation – thus couldnt help us win the close games.
                  Bargs, (even early in his career, just with no consistency, and certainly this year) has shown an ability to either punish his defender or draw a double team. This is critical to having a functioning offense. (btw, a PG who can beat his man off the dribble and force help D accomplishes the same thing .. unfortunately we dont have that).
                  As for D, agree that neither Bosh or Bargs are ideal – but as described above, Bargs can have a MUCH greater impact on the overall team offense than Bosh could.
                  Again, if we had a CP, Wade, Kobe, Westbrook, etc elite scorer who could also D up and we werent winning with him and Bargs, id ditch Bargs in a second. But, we dont.
                  As for a trade – I do think we could get value – Im just not sure how much value, and I sure wouldnt trade him for a 10 and 8 defensive specialist. If we could get a young, semi-elite scoring wing (or PG/big man for that matter) who can also play D, then dial it up – just not sure we can …

                • Actually, Bosh attracted double teams every single time he touched the ball for the last 5 years (since Carter was traded). That was the whole reason to surround Bosh with shooters (Parker, Kapono, Calderon, Garbajosa, Turkoglu, Belinelli, etc.).

                • Every single time he touched the ball (typically at the high post) he held it, held it, held it .. and then either put up the jumper or tried to beat his man off the bounce. Every once in a while when he was really hot, he attracted a double, but thats it. We did surround him with shooters, but the reason it didnt work is that he couldnt attract a consistent double team. Thats why its a shame that our team team doesnt have enough shooters (outisde of Kleiza who is hopefully kicking out of his funk) and Jose (whose man doesnt double as much as the wingmen) to take advantage of AB’s ability to get a double team in the post.

                • Bosh did have a tendency to hold the ball for too long, but if you’re suggesting he wasn’t doubled often, you’ve got a very selective memory.

            • hahaha – where does he rank in fg%?, turnovers? rebounds? blocks or steals? how about any advanced stat?

              ahhh true, only points count.

              • There is also absolutely nothing that classifies Bargs as a ‘stud’ center

                mhhhhh, so now we agree that there is at least one indicator that says he is elite in some aspect of the game, which makes your previous statement….how to say it….irrelevant?

          • Last year team with Christine in it was 30th in points allowed (110 points) . This year , they are allowing 105 points and there are 4 teams worse than them . Could we safely assume that the ‘franchise’ player was a little bit weak defensively? .

              • It’s a lot easier when you can lump two different things together and call it the same.

                Besides, Miami is clearly struggling defensively with that albatross Bosh playing big minutes.

              • Nilanka , read what swirtsky had to say about the team getting progressively worse defensively with Andrea playing more minutes . I was trying to point out that this year team is better defensively than last year.

  3. DeRozan had a few defensive lapses, but he also had more defensive possessions where he defended Kobe well. He seems to be improving his defense, which is the main thing. And I notice his jumper is falling with a bit more regularity, now, which is opening up his drives a bit more.

    From what we’ve seen from Davis so far, the games he struggles are the ones where he has to face the big, strong big men like the Lakers and Chicago. It’s no surprise the guy needs to add about 20 lbs of muscle. Lack of bulk is probably his biggest weakness, right now.

    A lot of people jumped on the Bayless bandwagon far too quickly. He’s showed promise, but he hasn’t shown the ability to really be a PG, yet. The Chicago game and Laker game were very similar, in that they went up against much more talented teams who play excellent defense. The difference is against L.A they had Calderon, and thus were competitive, at least when he was on the floor.

    • Bayless need to learn the advanced basic of being a PG.
      Once he does that, we have a very good backup, may be even a starter. All the mistakes I can see comes from his mind , phisically he ha the tools to do it.

      • Bargnani can be a Hall of Fame player if he learns how to be a good defensive player and rebounder. Of course, the chance of that happening is slim to none. Learning how to be an instinctual PG who can run an offense is not easy, which is why far, far more players fail to make the transition that Bayless is attempting to do. I think he’s got a chance to be a good third guard, but I see little chance of him ever understanding the PG position enough to be a real starter.

        • Tim,your constant Bargs bashing is truly becoming tiresome,is Bargs all that and a bag of chips? hell no !!! but he is what he is,I’m not prepared to give up on a player when he is finally after all these years starting to pay dividends.Does he have shortcomings? yup.But I will say that Bynum never would of had his day yesterday had it not been for Bargs sitting out…his big man one on one defence isn’t bad its his help defense that lags behind .
          I like the strides that he is showing ,passing out of double teams,passing to someone who can actually be seen as a threat.I am not tribal honking here…but can you imagine Bargs playing within a system a la Jazz or Spurs,look what it did for the red rocket.
          Sorry,I understand these sites are great for letting off steam,but at times wen I read the authors name,I get prepared to hear the same old,trade this guy and trade that guy,for once can we just enjoy the ‘potential for what it is.
          I’m in the Bargs is a building block that firmly must stay.

          • How was I bashing Bargnani. My comment was in reference to Bayless. I was going to say something similar about DeRozan, but there were too many things he needed to work on. Geez, read the whole thing, next time. Some of you guys are WAAAAAYYYYYYY too sensitive.

            • or maybe is because you sound like a broken record?
              I am saying this for you since the rare times that yoou don’t talk about Bargnani I happen to enjoy your comments and share a good 90% of them, but those times are way too sporadic.
              It would be way more interesting to read your comments if you were not undertaking this antiBargnani crusade.

              • You know what’s funny, is that my initial comments ARE generally not just about Bargnani, like the initial comment in this thread. Out of my three initial comments one was about Bargnani, one was about DeRozan, Davis and Bayless and another was just about Bayless. The one that got the most response was the one about Bargnani. When people reply to me, if they aren’t morons, I usually respond. One person responded to my other comments.

                The reason it seems like I’m on a crusade is that if ANYONE says anything about Bargnani, it sets off a firestorm of comments even if I’m not involved (and usually I’m not, believe it or not). If I do comment, I get about 3 or 4 people responding, and I respond to them.

                My comment about Bayless, DeRozan and Davis got ONE response. That’s the difference.

                • Tim, you knew damn well that using Bargnani negatively in your Bayless post was going to ilicit a response, that you would get “a firestorm of comments.” This all seems a little disingenuous.

                • So what if he mentions Bargnani? Are bloggers not allowed to voice their opinion? I know, I know, he’s always leading the anti-Bargnani crusade…..just like there are bloggers on this site that will ALWAYS come to his defence and praise him at every opportunity but disapear when he has one of his “inconsitent” games.

                  Why do so many people take offence to anything that doesn’t reflect Andrea in a positive light? Who cares? I’ve seen much better players then Andrea B get criticized by their fans, regularly.

                  By the way, how come the big guy can play against N.J and look fantastic but can’t suit up for the Bulls or Lakers sandwiched in between?? hmmmmmmm, lol.

                  I hope he gets better in time for……Detroit. lol

                • sleepz I think you’re trying hard again to make a comparison to your favourite pussy ( RuPaul).
                  You still have not got over him obviously, because sorry but Bargnani will never be the pussy RuPaul is and was. Bargs must be hurting good to have sat, whereas RuPaul was a quitter.
                  Also Bargs has a gorgeous girlfriend, and RuPaul has a milk mustache from his buds, and another bald forehead girl like the one he knocked up last year.

                • Sleepz and I have had more than a few heated debates about Bosh… but I will say he is nothing like you guys.

                  Absolutely insulting, hypocritical, and rude. Pure emotion dictating what you think. The complete irony in Cesco talking about Palinbots (and the followers she has) and you posting in that thread is absolutely amazing.

                • LOL, did Bosh even come up in my comment? lol. You’re making some huge and erroneous assumptions.

                  You’re trying too hard pizzaman and starting to act like you are Andrea’s gorgeous girlfriend.

                  You guys need to stop getting upset about those bloggers that don’t praise Bargnani. Why do you care that they don’t see him the same way as you do? They are not talking about your mom…..only a basketball player. Way too emotional.

                • They’re all infatuated, extremist, fanatics bro. They’re the Scientologists of Raptor fans. Every night, in a secret location, they gather around in a candle-lit room, citing Bargnani prayers, while wearing dark cloaks, held up with rope belts. They have the number 7 tattooed on their necks, and make it their life’s mission to seek out and “fight” anyone who might not think positively of their beloved leader.

                • Nilanka isn’t it funny how you know those words so well you recite them over and over. I wonder if that’s because while the fanboys are meeting to defend Bargnani, you’re going to your other meetings with the guys you actually describe above plotting for the cause?
                  You sir are a fucking moron of the highest class, and there are no virgins waiting for you, but only a room full of guys to ram you and Timmy where you like it the most.

                • The big question is, “why does using Bargnani negatively elicit SUCH an emotional response?”

                  Some of the fans’ responses would be appropriate when defending criticism of the Pope, Obama, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, or the Dalai Lama. Bargnani is just a basketball player who only plays half the game (all offensive, no defense).

                  Tim’s post might come across as disingenuous, but the Bargnani love fest is nothing short of infatuated, extremist, fanaticism.

                • at least the people who defend Bargnani are defending someone who is worthy of it, unlike you who believes that Sonny actually belongs in the NBA.

                • Weems is not playing better in in his first 106 games. Correct me if I`m wrong, but wasn’t Bargnani as a rookie, coming off a serious injury, thrust into the playoffs the Raptors best scorer in games 4,5 and 6 because Bosh wilted and they needed to rely on a rookie. Let me know when Weems did that in his first 106 games?

                • Bargnani has never had a serious injury in his NBA career. He had an appendectomy, but was well recovered by time the playoffs came. And he lead the team in scoring in one game. Not three. In his second season, he averaged 6.4 ppg on .333 shooting and 1.4 rpg during the playoffs.

                  And the Raptors have never been to the playoffs, in partly due to Bargnani not playing well when Bosh went down with injury. Again, though, it’s about way more than scoring.

                • Well when you haven`t played for a while,and all of a sudden are thrust into a playoff game, then you`re conditioning isn’t where it needs to be. Also I love your simplistic stance as to why they haven’t been to the playoffs since, it all Bargnani`s fault. This si precisely why no one can take you seriously, talk about the most biased and speculative argument as to why they’ve missed the playoffs.

                • Who hadn’t played for a while and was thrust into a playoff game?

                  “Also I love your simplistic stance as to why they haven’t been to the playoffs since, it all Bargnani`s fault.”

                  Again, stop twisting my words. This is getting to be a habit. This was my exact statement:

                  “And the Raptors have never been to the playoffs, in partly due to Bargnani not playing well when Bosh went down with injury.”

                  Ignoring the typo, it’s pretty clear “partly due” does NOT mean “all Bargnani’s fault.” Ironic since you’re talking about taking a person seriously and being biased. Was the fact that the Raptors missed the playoffs NOT partly due to Bargnani not stepping up when Bosh went down? They missed the playoffs by one game. Partly due means there were other reasons and players at fault, but fault must be shared with Bargnani because many expected he’d step up when Bosh went down and he didn’t.

                  Sorry, but you piss me off a little when you try to put words in my mouth in order to insult me. This is the third or fourth time you’ve done this. I suggest you stop because you’re starting to lose a whole lot of credibility with me, and I’m guessing with others, as well.

                • How is that an excuse? he was out for 2 months, and then cam back and performed in the playoffs, despite his conditioning not being up to speed. How many excuses would you need to make for Amir, Demar and Sonny?

                • Check back with me in 2 years regarding Sonny and DeMar, and I’ll let you know. Why do the infatuated, extremist, fanatics not realize that players are evaluated based on their level of NBA experience, something that both Sonny and DeMar have very LITTLE of.

                  As for Amir, he’s not going to be a huge part of this franchise going forward. Every team needs role players, and that’s exactly what he is. I don’t like his contract, but in the grand scheme of things, his situation is hardly crippling for the franchise.

                  Bargnani playing 35 mpg for the next 4 years most definitely is crippling. After 4.5 years, he is what he is. He’s not going to get any better defensively. We’ll never be a playoff contender if we can’t stop anyone.

                  Sonny and DeMar can still learn to play defense. Bargnani has seen it all already, and hasn’t learned a lick from his experience.

                  Lastly, did Bargnani have an appendectomy last year when RuPaul apparently broke his face? Seems to me, that would’ve been the perfect opportunity to step up and lead this team to just one more win (i.e. all that was needed to secure the 8th seed).

                • There you go again scholar, putting words in other’s mouths. A very cowardly tactic, I must say.

                  Just admit that Bargnani dropped a golden opportunity to step out of Bosh’s shadow, and he failed miserably. What excuse do you have for his mediocre play down the stretch last season? Did his dog die? I could add it to the list if you’d like. We’d then be up to 714.

                • Why was it Bargnani who “dropped a golden opportunity” and not Demar, Sonny or Amir. Don’t worry I’m not expecting an intelligent response from you.

                • WOWOWOWOWOW! You are such a retard it’s not funny. EXPERIENCE man! EXPERIENCE! All players are NOT evaluated equally. Young players need time to learn from their mistakes. Stop playing NBA2K11. It’s skewing your perception of reality.

                  I’m still flabbergasted at the infatuated, extremist fanatics’ inability to comprehend that Bargnani has far more weight on his shoulders than any other player, and thus deserves the most credit/blame when the Raps win/lose. Right that last sentence down and post it on your monitor. Otherwise, you’ll continue to bring up the young gunz in a horribly weak attempt to justify Bargnani’s shortcomings.

                • No one is justifying his defense, just his role on the team and how valuable he is. Just another example of you not knowing what the fuck you’re talking about and acting as if you’re some basketball wizard.

                • actually there is no Bargs lovefest, but actually a Bargs hatefest that some of us real fans feel obligated to defend to show people that not everyone is a moron and knows nothing about basketball.

                • Honestly, I figured people would actually understand the meaning of my statement and not have a hissy fit because I mentioned the B-word. As I mentioned, I was going to use DeRozan as an example, the Bargnani one was simply easier.

                • Tim you’re full of shit. You turn everything into a why Bargnani sucks post..all you have to do is look at your posts, and your joke of a blog.
                  The reason so many of us defend him is because your shit is old and you’re an idiot

                • Seriously Tim who are you kidding? When literally every post somehow trashes Bargnani, it’s pretty clear what your agenda is.

                • “Literally every post”? That is a complete and utter lie. If you’re going to lie in your post s then you lose complete credibility and I have absolutely nothing to say to you. When you do that you’re no better than guys like Pizzaman who behaves like an immature 12 year old and adds absolutely nothing to the conversation.

                • Well now its clear who the liar is and I ask what makes you think you`re better then Pizzaman, myself or anyone else for that matter? Must be the same ego that believes you know more then NBA experts.

                • I don’t think I’m better than anyone, but I’m certainly more mature than people like Pizzaman who constantly insults people who disagree with him. And why am I a liar? You stated that literally every post of mine was about Bargnani. That is a lie.

                  The fact is that the comments I make about Bargnani get far, far more attention than my comments about other things. On this same page, I also had a discussion about DeRozan and OJ Mayo, and their upsides, as well as a discussion about Jerryd Bayless. I also initially talked about Ed Davis, but no one commented about that. It’s not my fault that my comments about Bargnani get the most replies.

                  Seriously, though, can’t we dispense with the insults? You seem to be at least attempting to engage in an intelligent conversation, which is why I’ve continued this. If you were Pizzaman or FAQ or one of those other guys, I would have started ignoring you long ago.

                • You may not be interested in insulting anyone, but you have at times. And there’s a big difference between arguing something passionately and simply being a dick. Guys like Pizzaman are dicks because they insult right away and continue to do so simply because you disagree with them. It’s one reason I take long breaks from this place. They simply have no ability to form a coherent argument, so use the schoolyard tactic of hurling insults in order to make up for this fact.

                  I respect you when you are arguing intelligently, but calling me a hypocrite and putting words in my mouth to try and prove your point cross the line, and do you no favours.

                • Well, please tell me how I’ve contradicted myself? And I’ve never actually called you a hypocrite, but each and every time I insulted you, it was in response to you doing it to me. Again, I’d put up my non-insult to insult comment ratio up against you or any of the insult-spewing commenters like Pizzaman.

                  I’m pretty much done with this conversation because it’s devolved into something I generally want no part of.

                • Do you consider putting words in people’s mouths, witty? If you so, Dr. John_P (Ph.D), you’re the smartest man/woman I’ve ever met.

                  This board is FILLED with posts of you twisting and manipulating people’s replies, all in an effort to protect your beloved Bargnani.

                  Let me ask you this, if you’re NOT an infatuated, extremist, fanatic, why not explain why you so strongly defend a player, who you’ve never met, has never loaned you money, has never pulled you out of a well, or baked your a pie? Bargnani is NOT your mother. He DOESN’T need you to stick up for him just because some (deservingly) criticize him. There’s a difference on opinion on RR regarding Bargnani, but only you (and your loyal following of infatuated, extremist, fanatics) have a problem tolerating those opinions. Wake up!

                • Well wouldn’t that make you an extremist if you fight so hard to post against Bargnani? It’s comical debating with such a moron.

                • There’s nothing extremist about calling out a shitty defensive player. But it is extremist to conveniently overlook his shortcomings.

                  I very well admit that Bargnani’s offensive game as crazy good. Does that sound extremist? But you (the extremist) has never stated the obvious, that Bargnani is a complete pylon on the other end of the court.

                • Actually by lame i mean weak and unsatisfactory. Unlike you, I don’t use words out of context and am able to comprehend what they mean.

                • Dude, you know more about Tim’s blog than even Tim does. You’re the biggest closet Tim fan around. You know Tim’s blog like the back of your hand based on how often you bring it up here. Yet you claim nobody reads it. Make sense man!

  4. 5min left in the fourth Kleiza had an open three after hitting one previouly, and a chance to put the game to within 3. He clanked it. That was the momentum killer

  5. A) These Raptors aren’t going to peak for another three years.
    B) We’re going to get a swing that scares people in that time.
    C) We’re going to get a real dynamic PG.
    D) We’re going to get a real solid C.
    Bye, bye Evans, Stojakovic, Bargnani & Kleiza.

      • Nilanka, actually there are allot of reasons that I kept him. First, he’s our only real PG. The other’s are SGs pretending to be PGs. Secondly, he is good for our developing young players. Thirdly, he’s also a good team player. He handled the TJFord situation well. He’s handled the botched Charlotte trade situation equally well. We can afford to keep him, get one or two new young PGs for him to mentor, and maybe someday make him a player-coach. Oh, yea, I also want him to entice Marc Gasol to sign with us as an RFA.

        • Interesting take. But keep in mind that it doesn’t really matter what Gasol wants. If the Griz want to keep him, all they have to do is match our offer. It’s Chris Wallace who needs to be convinced, not Gasol 😉

  6. Could we slow up the ‘trade Bargnani ‘ train for a few weeks? He had a heck of a game last time out. His defence was the best I’ve seen from him. Is this the big step forward? Probably not, but I’d like to make sure. You talk as though trading him for a good, consistent, young, defensively sound, rebounding machine is doable. Other gm’s MIGHT be looking to unload THEIR problem children. Let’s see if he can build on what he gave us last time out unless they INSIST on trading Bogut for him.

    • You’re probably not going to be able to trade Bargnani for a big, rebounding, defensive big center. It probably wouldn’t make sense for another team to trade one away for Bargnani, unless they have a surplus of them, which most teams simply don’t have.

      • He is a true center with defensive ability, strong rebounder, toughness and some moves in the post. FIND pieces to compliment him. However, it’s like Tim W. said, no one’s gonna trade Bogut for any of our players unless Rob Babcock makes a comeback. That was my point.

  7. we should remember we also need to keep players that dont mind playing here, its of no use to trade for players that ultimately dont want to be here.

  8. I’m intrigued by the idea of trading Calderon. But you’re either for it, or against it, depending on what your goals are for this year’s team. If you want to win as many games as possible, and potentially make a run at the 8th seed, you keep him.

    But if you believe in rebuilding quickly, you trade Calderon now (while his stock is high), to collect as many “assets” as possible. I’m not saying that Bayless is our future PG…all I’m saying is that Calderon definitely isn’t.

    • What you say here probably does make sense, but I’d really hate to see this team without Jose right now, in part for the wins this year, yes, but more so because of the overall class and leadership on the floor that he seems to be exuding, more now than ever before. I suspect the intangible effects and benefits of his anchoring presence on the rest of the team are greater than we might even see. Maybe I’m romanticizing it too much but I fear these guys would be lost without him and that it’d be more damaging in the long run to not have him here. It’s how I’m thinking at this moment, anyway.

    • I’m not sure trading Calderon is whats best for this team.

      He is clearly a leader out there… he runs an offense extremely efficiently… he has never relied on athleticism/speed to be the player he is, which to me indicates he can play alot longer than most… he is a team player…. and any team, even a young building team, needs some experience to help ‘teach’ them. (Its one of the reason I think the Nets have had such problems while having alot of ‘talent’, just a complete lack of experience.) Not to mention if Bayless becomes the next PG, or some other is picked up, you have a solid and reliable back up to use… who you know won’t make a fuss about how he is used. As a bonus, Amir and him are excellent together.

      Now I know people don’t like his contract, but its half done now, the Raps have no contractual issues for a few years… and as long as he is offered a reasonable contract when it ends, I don’t see him chasing $ when its up.

  9. Intriguing game all around… What if Calderon does get traded, does it mean that the total rebuild is in effect and every1 on the roster not named Davis/DeRozan is up for a trade, where does this place Triano??? Are the brass finally willing to pony up for a serious coach with pedigree–I think time and again, we’re missing the focus in that we don’t really know what kind of talent we’ve got because the coaching is a couple degrees above awful!!!

    I mean, how did Sonny Weems even get the chance to be a Young1… Why on earth was Kleiza not told to sit down, as the Celts have done with Rondo, to rest up and that he wouldn’t lose his starting gig due to injury and lack of talent at SF on this roster? Also, Amir is not starting calibre, and is best suited coming off the bench, how long will it take for them to recognize? I just know that some of these guys have a bit more to give with a better scheme and more accountability…

    • KJ-B, I’ve got …
      Davis, Johnson & a new starting C up front,
      Sonny, DeMar & a new starting swing,
      Calderon, Bayless & a young, quick real PG …
      in three years.

    • DeRozan should never be considered an ‘untouchable’ in trade scenarios. I hear all the talk about he’s developing and he’s a young player but he’s a 2 guard whose handles are below average and his shot is wonky. I can’t begin to tally all of the mid-range airballs he’s shot this year.

    • that wasn’t that hot a dunk, i think. and its debatable whether it was “on” bayless. Either way, it certainly didn’t deserve Farmar’s post dunk reaction. But I guess if you’re a shit player shooting 38% you take what you can get.

        • calderon wouldn’t have acted like a punk for dunking as someone ran beside the basket. Granted, my persective may be biased as I’ve always hated “ears” farmar. matt barnes, too. i’m pretty sure everytime either of them get a basket a baby dolphin gets trapped in a tuna fishing net.

      • I’d say it was most definitely ON Bayless and the reason he reacted the way he did was because Bayless undercut him, which I’m guessing Farmar took issue with. And Farmar isn’t a great player, but he’s got a couple of rings, which is more than anyone on the Raptors.

  10. Call of the night had to be Jack, “When the Lakers are in town, it’s like Christmas Mass…you see people show up who you never see the rest of the year”. Brilliant!

  11. What could we possibly get for Calderon? The only teams that would trade for him are contenders/”we need to win right now” teams that are in desperate need of starting or backup PG play (and hence willing to absorb his contract)… and I can’t think of a single one that has enough young pieces that they would be willing to part with in exchange for Jose that makes it worth giving away the classiest player the Raps have. The Thunder aren’t giving up Serge, the Bulls aren’t giving up Taj (especially with the Noah injury), … could the Raps lift Mayo off of the Griz?

    Anybody have ideas?

    • I still think that Mayo has waaaaaay more upside than DeMar does. I like DeMar’s work ethic, but it’s hard to see 20 ppg from him one day.

      Other options (off the top of my head) for could be:
      – Marvin Williams
      – Anderson Varejao
      – Rodrigue Beaubois
      – Austin Daye
      – Shannon Brown
      – Chris Douglas-Roberts
      – Kevin Love
      – Eddy Curry ($11 million expiring deal)
      – Wilson Chandler
      – James Harden
      – Robin Lopez
      – Rudy Fernandez
      – Andray Blatche

      *DISCLAIMER* – I made no attempt to match salaries. This list simply comprises players who are relatively young, relatively inexpensive, and still have room to grow.

      • Nilanka, my list is:
        Philadelphia’s Iguodala
        Charlotte’s Wallace
        Grizzlies’ Gay
        Warriors’ Ellis
        (Probably not the Hawks’ Crawford
        nor the Pacers Granger)

        • Ellis is not being traded, not this season anyway – new ownership can afford him and he’s a fan favourite (I’ve heard a few ESPN sources say this anyway).

          By the time this team is ready to compete Wallace’s body will be shot – he would have been a good addition to last year’s team but not this one going forward.

          Iggy: maybe… but that is a huge contract… and why does Philly trade it’s franchise and take Calderon’s contract when it’s not much less of a burden?

          Gay: they just signed him to a max contract! He’s their cornerstone. Mayo is 10000000 times more gettable.

          • wienermobile89, since Charlotte & Golden State are out of the playoffs right now, who knows what the GMs are willing to agree to. I don’t … and you don’t …

            • Warriors are still in rebuild mode (then again, when HAVEN’T they been in rebuild mode?). And Charlotte is just a mess. MJ has no idea what he’s doing with that team.

      • I agree 100% on the Mayo comment; but I remember reading that they are making him available if the right deal came along. I’d gladly ship out Weems/DD/Caldy for Mayo and a bad contract.

        The only two players on that list that make it worth it for both teams are Williams and Beaubois. Atlanta desperately needs to replace/backup Bibby but for a high priced perennial disappointment I’m not sure it’s totally worth. Beaubois would be super nice: the Mavs are basically on the cusp and Beaubois isn’t quite there yet, so they might actually do that deal (they’re basically all in anyway with all those vets).

        Quickly going through the rest: the Cavs have no incentive to swap Jose and Varejao at all, Daye/Brown/CDR can’t alone aren’t worth it alone and can’t really be packaged with anything that would make it so, there’s no effing way we are getting Kevin Love for anything we have (he’s average 20 and 15!), Curry: the Raps are already sitting on ~20 million in expirings I’m not sure how 11 more helps us, we’re not getting Robin or Harden (the Suns LOVE Robin and have Dragic behind Nash for the eventual rebuild, the Thunder have stated publicly that they are not looking to take potentially bad contracts and mess up their flexibility as evidence by them not trading for Camby last season when that might have pushed them over the top); Blatche/Fernandez: yuck. Both total head cases, although Fernandez might be happier here.

          • True, I would love to think it’s possible but even Kahn is smart enough to fire Rambis before he ships out the white man’s answer to Moses Malone.

            • bah too much love for Love… another big that doesn’t defend. Lots of other things to like about his game, but D ain’t one of em.

              • Oh man, he’s terrible back there for sure but he actually cleans up the other team’s misses and create extra possesions on offense. I mean, it’s hard to find a guy who wants nothing more than to set screens and fight down low for put backs. He’s basically Reggie Evans with a far, far more proficient offensive game, and I think that’s a player any team would want as their second/third best guy.

                • oh yeah his rebounding is great. He has some skill on offense (but still not very efficient). Maybe in a few years….

                • You are pathetic….. Love is hitting 3’s averaging 21.1 ppg and 15.7 rpg….. Yep another terrible player. You and Tim have something about white guys who can’t jump?????

                • who said he was terrible? I didn’t.

                  I said he’s not a good defender, and he’s not. I said he’s not very efficient, and he’s not. Why do you think Rambis was sitting him early on?

                  I said nothing about his race. But glad that somehow matters to you…

                • Theswirsky what you’re looking for i.e. the perfect player does not exist. You would be better off sticking to the I hate Bargnani stuff because at least we get that you hate him, but trying to justify why by continually saying he has to do everything right, while no one else on this team does or can do that is absurd.
                  Cannot believe you have found the one negative in Kevin Love’s game but you managed to dig deep anyway.
                  You have yet to understand that basketball players at any position who are great at everything are pretty pretty rare indeed.
                  Let’s look at the Championship Lakers starters:
                  Kobe : great at everything and the best basketball player on the planet!
                  decent defender but not great, ok offensive player but not great, clutch in the 4th quarter, great team player but not by any means a standout point guard but works ok because Kobe is so great.
                  Artest: a great defender, one of the best at his position, yet average or below that on offense
                  Gasol: a great player both ways and the best big man in the game
                  Odom : a very good offensive player, and an average defender, and often times listless and looks like he’s sleeping even though he can be a stud when he wants to
                  Let’s also look at Bynum:
                  good all around player, decent defender, rebounder, and ok on offense under the hoop
                  Fact is they all compliment each other. Who on this team compliments Bargnani?

                • who said I’m looking for the perfect player. I don’t hate Bargnani. I never said he has to do everything right. Goodness you guys make so many assumptions about these things. Keep putting words in other peoples mouths and then assume that its true.

                  This thread isn’t even about Bargnani. You and AnthonyF brought him up… yet you criticize Tim W. for always preaching ‘hate’ on Bargs.

                  Man you guys are ridiculous.

                • There’s a Common lyric that goes: “If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, it don’t mean that I’m hating.”

                  Not sure why having issues with a players game equates to hating? No one hates Bargnani here (I’m assuming). But more than a few are disgusted with the poor defence and aversion to boards that he displays on the court. From a teammate perspective alone, I could see it being difficult to go to war with a dude who you think might not be giving his all, or not willing to defend better for the sake of the team. That being said, criticizing a players game and hating him for personal reasons are too entirely different things.

                  I hope everyone will realize that this is just about ball and should remain as such. All the hatred stuff should be left alone, by everyone.

                • “You and Tim have something about white guys who can’t jump?????”

                  Uh, can we not paint untrue picture of people? Or perhaps I should start alluding to your white power beliefs? No, I thought not. And your assumption makes no sense when you take into consideration I’ve been a constant defender of Calderon.

                  And I like Love, but he’s got no place on the Raptors are are already loaded with rebounding PFs. And the more he plays on a team like the T-Wolves, the worse his defense seems to be becoming. When he came out of UCLA, he was actually a pretty good defender, but I’ve seen very little of it this year.

                  And I do have something against big men who don’t defend and/or rebound, regardless of their skin colour.

      • I think Mayo is a better player right now, but I’m not sure how much upside he has. He’s gotten worse every year he’s been in the league, and I haven’t seen any improvements in his game, so much so that he’s now been replaced in the starting lineup by a rookie.

        I’d hang on to DeRozan for at least another year to see how he continues to develop. His ability to get to the line at such a high rate is a very good indicator that who has the potential to be a good scorer. Obviously he needs to work on his jumper and ball handling ability, but I think it’s way too early give up on him. And it goes against my belief of trading players at the height of their trade value.

        • I think Mayo has just been in a bad situation. There aren’t enough shots to go around in Memphis between Gay, Randolph, Connelly and himself. He plays tough D, has shown flashes of being a good/great scorer and hasn’t been the huge turd in the locker room people were worried he would be coming out of college. I think he is a classic change of scenery guy, espcially coming here where he’d be the second option.

          Of course, arguing either way (DD > OJ long term or the other way around) is 100% speculative, but I feel like OJ is worth going after now if he is available.

          • I think he’s probably shown more maturity than people expected, that’s for sure. I do like Mayo, but I’m just worried he’s one of those types of players that peaks early in his career. I do think he’d probably look better on a better team, which is probably a good sign.

    • While we’re at it, maybe we should also be discussing potential 2011 free agents. After all, we’ve got some expiring deals in the form of Peja, Evans, and Weems (approx. $21 million total), and it’s possible they’re not traded, and instead are left to come off the books at the end of the season.

      There are some decent names out there:
      – Jamal Crawford
      – Kendrick Perkins
      – Tyson Chandler
      – Tayshaun Prince
      – Shane Battier
      – Aaron Brooks (restricted)
      – Marc Gasol (restricted)
      – Jeff Green (restricted)
      – Jason Richardson
      – Greg Oden
      – Sam Dalembert
      – Carl Landry
      – Andrei Kirilenko

  12. Yea I have also noticed the Camby like release on Johnson’s jumpers and the fact that he takes a long time to shoot it.

    I think he is still be cautious about shooting these shots because of his “garbage man” tag. It seems to me that the more he shoots and makes them the quicker his release will become.

    What he needs to do offensively is improve the accuracy of his hook shot and develop a turn around jump shot.

    The Raptors ball rotation needs a ton of work with respect to speeding it up. I wouldn’t look for much if any improvement on ball rotation while Bayless, the second coming of Jack, is on the court.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with him taking 1 or 2 a game… of course if he’s hitting them maybe another one. Not sure I want to see him taking 3s when it can be avoided though.

      Keep the defense honest, take a few to the hole… but make sure he is around to do what he does best. Run the floor, run to the net and crash the offensive glass.

  13. As usual after a loss, i think the best is to trade Bargs and Calderon. The are allways responsable 4 everything. They play well, so please trade both. They play bad, so please thade both. They dind’t play? Ohhhh than please trade both! What a bullshit. . ;-)))

    • Quick trivia question: Name the 2 longest serving Raptors who are currently in their prime, and have very little room to improve their game as their careers progress?

        • Yes, you’re correct. In other words, all this trade talk has EVERYTHING to do with the continent Calderon and Bargnani were born in, and NOTHING to do with how they fit in the rebuild.

          Thanks for playing today. You’ll also be receiving the home version of the game.

            • as a nice addition to your negative opinion for Andrea Bargnani. Every single comment you wrote about Bargnani is nothing more nor less than – sarcasm, but on your account, my friend. Your stand about Bargnani is so exclusive that it is – sarcasm by itself. Wake up Nilanka, your ideas about Bargnani’s trade has so many flaws and it is absolutelly one dimensional texts, that it is – sarcasm by itself.

              Being THE critic for the sake of critisizing someone, tells more about critic than about object of critics.

  14. I believe that a defensive center will be part of the solution to rebuild this team . Him and Andrea will form a top bigs twosome . That and good picks and their development and improvements of the young ones we now have will make this team a contender .

      • If this was exactly what BC thinks, he would’ve moved Bargs to PF already. Wouldn’t it make sense to have Bargnani play as many minutes as possible at the position he’s “destined” to play? Again, make sense man!

  15. I watched the game then saw the replay later on.

    DeRozan is going to sick, maybe not a true leader. But the guy put up 18 (i think) in the 3rd.

    If you were looking at it from an outsider’s point of view all his points were active and a result of driving/improvising inside and towards the paint.

    At times he looked almost unstoppable.

    When this kid develops a jumpshot he is going to be a star.

    • “they truly are the scum of this world……”
      I don’t care if you are a canadian rassist or u.s. or european or whatever. You are simply a stupid rassist.
      p.s. wich insults do you mean?
      p.s. p.s. = post scriptum, this is not an insult (please google)
      p.s. i’m not italian but i hate people like you.

    • Actually someone who hides behind a screen name and hurls racial slurs is the scum of the world. I only pray that you`re not Canadian, although I fear that you probably are.

      • holy crap, some you guys seem to have difficulty picking up nuances in the written word.

        the comment by ‘bargs.is.okay.’ was meant as jest, and the ‘insult’ at the end was simply to highlight his point. kee-rist.

  16. Every day the same bullshit.. Every day this “trade Bargs” and trade this and..
    If the haters like this or not, Bargs is the best player -with Calderon- of this team.
    you would trade him? Please do that, i think Bargs would also like to be traded.

  17. Read through bunch of these posts, its really late, I’m pretty drunk and this is fucking hilarious. That Tim guy put like 500 posts thinking he knows more than half the world. I posted back how teams maybe haven’t won the championship, but made it pretty far with defensive liabilities (Mavs, Magic, e.t.c) and hell, besides Timmy D the spurs didn’t have a great defensive PF/C (depending on what you position you consider Tim) the last couple of championships they won, but still did it. You really only need 1 true defensive center to win, although having two 7 footers ala lakers does help. I mean, sure Bargnanis not a super star but hes the only guy on our team who actually can take command of games, gives u a winning chance, and while there are nights where his lack of defense outways the offense, but it goes both ways. Just like there are nights where good player throw up way too many shoots, eventhough they aren’t feeling it, and it hurts their teams.

    • Rebuild. Rebuild. Rebuild (if I say it 3 times, maybe it’ll sink in).

      Part of rebuilding is evaluating, evaluating, evaluating. DeRozan, Weems, Amir, Bayless, Davis and Alabi are being evaluated, evaluated, evaluated. Bargnani on the other hand, is past this evaluation stage. He will never be a good defensive player. In fact, he’s a god-awful defensive player.

      He’s scoring like a machine right now, which is only going to increase his value. Once his BYC status expires at season’s end, our best bet is to trade him while his value is at an alltime high. He’s playing big minutes on a shitty team. His numbers will eventually come back down (like Bosh), so it’s best we move him before that happens, and collect pieces who can actually contribute on BOTH ends of the floor.

        • You’re just begging me to make you look like a retard, so I’ll comply.

          Amir was drafted by a championship calibre team. As Tim pointed out, he was playing behind Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace and Antonio McDyess. Plus he was playing for a coach who isn’t exactly easy on kids (see Darko).

          Are you suggesting that Amir is the exact player he is now that he was in Detroit? C’mon now, even someone as smart as you should realize he’s a better player these days. His situation has dramatically changed since the trade.

          On the other hand, Bargnani’s situation (regarding his defense, and ONLY his defense) hasn’t changed in 4.5 years. He’s had every summer to work on it, no improvements. Get your head out of your ass, you infatuated, extremist, fanatic.

          • Actually in your attempt to make me look bad, you continue to make yourself look like an idiot. Amir has every opportunity to average over 35 minutes a game, and the only reason he doesnt is because of his basketball IQ. I would that the opportunity to play with a championship team would have shed some light. Yet in 5.5 years he still hasn’t learned how to stay on the floor.

            FYI the “infatuated, extremist, fanatic” is lame.

            • You continue to arm me with ammunition for great rebuttals. Kudos!

              Amir’s foul trouble has to do with his instincts, not his apparent lack of IQ. He knows where to be on the floor at the right times, knows when to take a shot, and when not to, knows how to find the seem on the PNR, sets good screens, runs the floor hard every time to free up lanes on the break, etc. That’s pretty good IQ if you ask me. He just needs to fight his innate urge to reach. It’s an aggression issue with Amir, not an IQ issue. But thanks for trying.

              • If you can’t control yourself and can’t resist a foul then that has everything to do with IQ. Thanks for trying however you seem to have similar deficiencies in regards to IQ.

                • Actually, it’s not. Instinct comes before methodical reasoning/decision making. But again, nice try.

                  Just admit you’re wrong man. You’re digging yourself deeper and deeper into the realm of lunacy. There is NOTHING you can do/say to convince anyone that Bargnani is even an average defender. He’s downright awful. Plain and simple. But he blocks 1 shot per game. HOOORAAAAY!!!

                • What about the mental inability to rotate when you’re supposed to rotate, box out when a shot’s in the air, and call out screens to your teammates? Since Bargnani suffers on all these fronts, yet has been told AND shown countless times how to correct them, by your logic, isn’t Bargnani lacking basketball IQ as well?

                • Actually he isn’t, because unlike Amir he is actually able to stay in games and not hurt his team because of foul trouble. Being unable to defend on a high level has more to do with ability on the defensive end. However he more then makes up for it on the offensive end, something we cant say about any of your “young ones”.

    • I’m going to ignore the insult since you admit you’re drunk and I’m assuming you’re not really a dick like that comment would make you.

      And I’ve never, ever, ever said that you need two great defensive big men to win a Championship. Please don’t do what John_P does and put words in my mouth I never said. What I said is that a team with a weak defensive and rebounding big man has never won an NBA Championship. Big difference.

      That said, I’m pretty sure the Spurs had good defensive and rebounding big men playing beside Tim Duncan every time they won a Championship.
      – Francisco Elson and Fabricio Oberto were both very good rebounders and good defenders when they won in 2007.
      – Nesterovis and Nazr Mohammed were both good defenders and rebounders when they won in 2005.
      – David Robinson was obviously a very good rebounder and defender when they won the other two times.

      The big men, other than David Robinson, were not gifted offensively, but did two things well which helped the Spurs win (and which made Popovich start them) and that defense and rebounding.

      Orlando had the best defensive big man in probably the last decade (if not more), and they still got trounced in the Finals by the Lakers, 4-1. And while Rashard Lewis is a bad rebounder, he’s a decent defender.

      Dallas made it to the Finals with Dirk averaging 9 rpg and Dampier, and have been the only team in the Finals to lose 4 in a row after winning the first two. And they’ve lost twice in the first round despite being the 1st and 2nd seed. They generally underachieve in the playoffs. And Dirk is a much better defender than Bargnani is.

      Yes, Bargnani is the Raptors best offensive player and might be their best player. That says way more about the roster than it does about him. And he’s a huge liability on defense. I, as well as a whole lot of other people, believe that defense is a necessity if you want any chance of winning a Championship.

      There are a lot of people here who don’t seem to put a lot of emphasis on defense, or feel it’s something that can be covered up. The problem with trying to cover up a bad defensive player is that they are eventually exposed, and the playoffs is where it usually happens. When teams play against a team with a poor defensive player over a 7 game series, one of the things they do is design plays to expose that player on defense. Anyone who has watched the playoffs has seen this.

      If that makes people think I know more than everyone else, so be it. It doesn’t make it not true, though.

      • Firstly, “Francisco Elson and Fabricio Oberto were both very good rebounders and good defenders” and “Nesterovis and Nazr Mohammed were both good defenders and rebounders” is also ridiculous. Nazr Mohammed was talked of as largely a bust for most of his career, and Farbico Oberto is dirty, but not a good rebounder or defender. And Elson? Really? Dirk also is not a very good defender, and Bargnani is averaging 7 boards a night without Reggie right? Rashard is also WAY WAY WAY worse of a defender than Bargnani, as he can’t even guard 1 on 1 let alone help defense. Bargnani can at least guard his man occasionally well. I’m not trying to defend Bragnani, I’m not his biggest fan, but this is getting ridiculous. The Raptors are nowhere near a championship. The only way they’ll make the playoffs in the next three years is if the east stays terrible and we keep Bargnani on our team. We trade him, and we’re a lock for a lottery pick, but just ask the 76ers, the Grizzlies, the Pistons e.t.c how that went for them. The only thing is, they have actual other talent to fall back on (Gay, Igoudala, Pistons had a great team at that time). Lets say we trade Bargs, get a Darko in the next draft, a Thabeet in the other and than a Livingston the next. That will kill the franchise, and even if we get a good player, who knows if they want to stay when their contracts up.

        Right now, Bargs is a good scorer, with inconsistent play on both ends, that sometimes helps the team and sometimes hurts the team. Take an example of Amar’e. The guy barely tried on defense last year (although this year he is making an improvement) and you go around and see how many people will tell you he was a liability. The guy still isn’t a great defender, he rebounds sure, but puts up 4 turnovers a game. Every player has their positives and negatives. Bargnani obviously doesn’t have the positives of Stat, and maybe has some more negatives, but that doesn’t mean teams do not want him. Every team needs different kinds of players, and as the ‘experts’ say, bringing one good defensive guy doesn’t necessarily improve your defense. Its an effort thing, as well a coaching thing and a system thing. Like at the bulls. They called timeouts after easy lay-ups. If the raps did that, we would be out of Timeouts before the first half of the first quarter was out. No one, except for maybe Amir and Evans, have shown dedication to defense on a consistent basis. Artest has a very balanced game where he can be a good scorer and a good defensive guy. Now try and argue and tell me you’d rather have him than Melo, who’s defense isn’t fantastic, but can score like an MF.

        Talking about what fits and doesn’t fit on a championship team when thinking about the raptors is crazy. I really can’t say if Bargnani would fit on a championship team, as I think the main detractor from his game is his lack of effort. Consistent effort (which needs a certain kind of cultural and a good coach to bring out, neither of which we have) makes Bargnani a valuable player. Superstar? no, probably never. Allstar? maybe one day. Solid right now? Yes. You have to rebuild through the draft and free agency, but taking a shot on a good pick by trading a relatively young, talented player, is pretty risky, and if it goes wrong, could mean the death of the franchise.

        Comparing Amir to Bargs is also ridiculous. I really like Amirs game, and regardless of the all the fouling trouble, I think hes a good player. However, hes not on the same level as Bargs, and he would never be asked to do the same things. Hes supposed to shoot over 50%, he plays inside and most of his buckets are hussle points. Every team needs a guy like this, just like they need a guy who can score. Not saying Amir is worse than Bargnani, just has a different role. Can’t have five kobes on a team, and you can’t have five Big Bens on your team, its about versatility.

        I’m going to finish with one question. Would you watch the raptors if they had a starting lineup of Bayless, DD, Wright, Amir, Davis and put up 60 points a night? By the way, this would be the best possible defensive unit we could put out in my opinion, guess you could throw Evan in there, and we’d still get torched every night.

        • Also forgot to mention that Stat is playing with an SF at PF (chandler) and they are still winning. It also pads his rebounding, and they have a guard who has the second highest rebounds on that team. Are they championship caliber? No, but lots of championship teams wouldn’t mind Stat or Landry Fields on their team.

          Fields was the fucking steal of the draft. Ten times better now than our entire roster of guards and SF. Wish we had him

      • I never put words in your mouth Tim. The truth is when you’re backed into a corner and don’t know how to defend yourself, you just accuse people of putting words in your mouth.

  18. Timmy has nothing else to do because as he said above even his 6 year old is probably sick of his shit, but posts 500 times all defending his Bargnani is
    a liability bullshit, his rants and raves of how everyone insults instead of debates, while he calls people morons, retards, dicks, etc.. but somehow he’s a good person and the only one who knows more than everyone else.
    He asks others to prove stuff, yet he has no proof of anything, and cannot even come up with half a dozen true NBA professional GM’s, or coaches who agree with him about Bargnani, saying he remembers a couple here and a guy there.
    Also I like the team, am entertained almost every game which I was not during the RuPaul era, and am getting my moneys worth for my seats which I’ve bought since inception while Timmy sits in his bedroom typing all night instead of playing with his kids or letting his wife abuse him with that strapon he bought her.
    Fact is Timmy has no proof of anything, and what he spews is his opinion just like all of us who watch have opinions, but his condescending nature and tone always comes off like hes a professional rather than a shitty blogger without a life.
    Timmy says he does not hate Bargnani, and that his posts are not virtually all about Bargnani, yet we all know 95% of what he posts refer to Bargnani in some negative way which is his sole purpose. Timmy says Bargnani is more of a liability than anything else on the team, and states when Bargnani is not scoring 26 points or more he’s a liability over and over. Where does he gets the 26 points shit? He makes shit up like it’s a fact all the time.
    Also Timmy has done a piss poor job of explaining he’s not here to simply slam Bargnani, and the facts show he does not come here and post 500 times slamming Weems, DeRozan, Jose, Amir, Kleiza, Barbosa, Bayless, Evans and the rest of the Raptors who last I looked had way more liabilities this season than Bargnani has.
    He defends Amir who has been in the league longer and is still at best a sub who might see a few minutes on his so called championship teams. DeRozan has done nothing yet but show some promise and athleticism, yet no slams for his shitty defense, and the fact his jumper is worse than mine, and that he rarely can finish at the rim, or that he has not learned to make a pass yet even though he has started every Raptor game and been given way more slack than Bargs ever got.
    Evans while I love him for his energy was a huge liability on the offensive end yet Timmy never said a word because at the time his wife was using the strapon and he found it tough to type.
    He never blogged about how bad Kleiza or Weems have been, and always defended Jose even when he sucked the big one.
    The difference Timmy is I don’t come here to slam any of those guys because I’m a fan, where you only have one real purpose outside of taking it in the ass whenever you are not curling!!

  19. Man, even just scanning through all that took a while. Found myself wondering if any other team has fans as nutty and as committed about it all as ours seem to be. Hard to imagine. What is it about Bargs that causes such polar opposites in opinion and the apparent gut-churning angst to type so many thousands of words that invariably strive to not only make the point but also insult – sometimes subtly and often very much not so – the person who disagrees? Don’t get me wrong; the wild interaction on this board today was entertaining in a strange way … maybe because it’s easy to see that each viewpoint has elements of what I think of as ‘truth’ … and I suspect most posters do, as well. To my mind, it has more to do with perspective, or how closely one looks at it from.

    For me, now that (as I believe at this moment) Bargnani has turned the biggest corner that we’ve yet to see him turn, I find it quite easy to sit back and watch to see how it (his growth) continues to unfold this year. My opinion – and that’s all it is – that it would be silly to even think about trading Bargnani right now is because that with the progress that he’s really shown in these last weeks (and really, that’s all it’s been), I have to wonder how good he is going to end up being? Right or wrong, I kind of throw out the last four or five years, because the dynamics of HIS world has so changed this season, really, we can’t know just how deeply this ‘tweak’ that we’ve been seeing the result of, truly goes. To my eyes, we’re even seeing defensive improvements in his game these days (some games, but increasing in frequency), including his nose for the rebound. More and more, the days of watching Bargnani seeing rebounds that he should easily grab just going by him like he’s in a daze, are becoming a thing of the past. To stay actively pissed at him for all those years of seeing him stand there, oblivious to rebound-able balls, might just be counter-productive when attempting to assess what it is we have here with him now, and moving forward. In a nutshell, I don’t think he’s the same player that he was … and with the unique skill-set that he has, combined with the league-experience that is now built-in, as well as what I would say is his increasing belief in his own abilities to dominate … nobody can REALLY KNOW just how good he’s going to get. Again, the clearer view of what he is as a player can only be seen (imo) if we judge him by what we’re seeing now … and only now.

    The other factor that I consider has more to do with the constant poker game that I imagine is the life of the NBA GM … and specifically, our GM, whether it’s Colangelo or whoever. We have a situation here that nobody else has to even think about … and that is, we’re in a different country than what every other team is and more importantly, a different country than what every U.S. born player is from. What that means is that in most cases, like it or not, U.S. born players will eventually and (near) inevitably prefer to play out the fantasies that drove them to become who they are, in their home country, the U.S.A. While it’s possible to build a team that players will eventually WANT to play on (because it’s so good), really, that reality is tougher to get to with U.S. born players, because in each of their respective PERFECT worlds – what they imagine to be perfect (and the ‘imagine’ part is key) – they are playing on a team that is in their own home country. And unfortunately for us, that cannot be the Raptors. For the most part, I believe this to be quite true … and to go into the building of a successful team-of-the-future, blithely unaware of it is to just be kidding yourself.

    I like to think that Colangelo understands this … and when you think about it, it might help to explain the seemingly stubborn viewpoint he’s apparently had when it comes to the subject of Bargnani. Bargnani didn’t grow up dreaming of winning NBA Championships for whatever-team in any-town USA, the way most every other (U.S. born) player in the league unquestionably did … so the likelihood of being able to keep him here once he’s ‘all grown up’ is far FAR greater than it is for (almost) any other player that we could select from on draft-day. If he continues to grow and get better in the mode that he now seems to be switched on to, with the right pieces added to the team, maybe, it’s more LIKELY (‘likelihood’ has much to do with this thinking … just like in poker) that this is the best way — among whatever available ‘ways’ there currently are — to one day contend for a championship. As I see it, anyway.

    • Thank you. Perspective all around is a wonderful thing.

      I agree with you in that I think most fans and regular posters on this site are sitting on either side of this over-the-top debate, either laughing uproariously or wondering who these nutbars are that are fighting tooth-and-nail over the future of a rebuilding basketball franchise. Most of us can probably see *some* of what both sides are saying, but are either less passionate or have more perspective on the relative importance of the debate to bother wading in.

      I’m on the same page as 511 re: Bargnani. He HAS been improving through the course of this season and has shown some tantalizing glimpses on both the D and O ends that indicate some remaining ceiling. So saying he’s reached his potential and is no longer worth the further evaluation that is being afforded to Weems, Demar, and Amir is where the detractors’ stance falls off. Which is fine, but the blinders mean that reasoned debate is all but impossible. It’s to the point that I now almost think that if Bargnani finished this season with a 25 and 8 average, Nilanka and Tim would still be saying he’s fundamentally flawed and should be shipped out for the best return on the dollar ASAP, while his stock is high.

      On the other side of the equation, you have the cescos, John_Ps, and Pizzamen of the world, who, while they will admit Bargnani’s current defensive liabilities, won’t ever settle into a reasonable debate, either.

      If we could get rid of the extremists on either side, the debate over how to improve the Raptors going forward would be an interesting one. As it is, it holds little interest, only great entertainment value for the peanut gallery.

      I’ve always respected Tim’s opinion, even when, like on Bargnani, I don’t agree. because it’s generally well-reasoned and presented, and is usually quite professional. But having witnessed the last couple of weeks of diatribe on both sides, I almost feel sad that he let himself be dragged in. It’s undermined what was becoming a decent reputation for Tim as a Raptor blogger.

      There are some things that both sides should be able to agree on:

      – the Raptors are “rebuilding”. This roster is not close to contending for a championship. They should be dedicated to the process of evaluating ALL players on the roster to determine their fit for a rebuilt team that hopes to contend within the next 3-5 years.

      – Andrea is currently the most talented offensive player on the roster. He is making a VERY reasonable salary for the next 5 years for his *current* performance, notwithstanding any remaining ceiling. If improves even minimally on the boards and as a help defender, he will be a ridiculous bargain.

      – Sonny and Demar certainly deserve the remainder of this year to show continued improvement before judging their fit for this team. But the returns so far are no more indicative of ‘continuous improvement’ than Bargnani’s in his early seasons. Grain of salt here for the Bargs detractors and Demar/Sonny proponents.

      It’s as simple as that. Let things develop this season and see where the chips fall in the summer. We’ll all have a much better idea by then of what kind of players DD, Weems, and Johnson are going to be, as well as how much improvement Andrea is really capable of. And a lot of flexibility to make the changes that have become obviously necessary at that point.

      My opinion at this time, given the evidence so far, is that Bargs can be a very productive player on a contending team, either as a starter or 6th man. And that Weems is likely no more than a bench player. And that Demar can be a starter in this league, but he needs a major confidence/ego upgrade to ever become a Vince-like impact player (I hope he fulfills that promise, but am skeptical at the moment). And that Amir’s salary is just about right for the role I see him eventually having: 20-25 minutes backup PF, but I really doubt he’ll ever be much more.

      All that said, I fully expect to be proven wrong on at least 2 of the 4 guys I just mentioned. My ego won’t allow me to state unequivocally that I know how any of these guys are going to turn out, cause realistically, I don’t and I can’t. No one here can. That’s the other beauty of watching these guys go at it on here on a daily basis. Everyone SO sure they know what’s best… 😉

      • “I’ve always respected Tim’s opinion, even when, like on Bargnani, I don’t agree. because it’s generally well-reasoned and presented, and is usually quite professional. But having witnessed the last couple of weeks of diatribe on both sides, I almost feel sad that he let himself be dragged in. It’s undermined what was becoming a decent reputation for Tim as a Raptor blogger.”

        And that’s why I’m done with this whole thing. I agree I should never have been dragged into all of this. This is what happens when you are desperately trying to procrastinate (as opposed to not trying to procrastinate?). Thanks for the reality check. I needed that.

        • Tim , it is impossible for you to procrastinate as there are too many posters here that do not want to be converted to your way of thinking regarding the future of the Raptors . I know you love an intelligent dialogue but as soon as someone comment positively on Andrea , you start going that extra length to prove that Andrea is someone that has to go before the Raps can entertain ideas of championship . Many of your comments are a reaction to positive comments about Andrea and other people are reacting to your comments . It is a vicious circle , you cannot help it and other cannot help it either . Try to procrastinate if you can .

          • …what a mess. i don’t have the energy for this. but cesco, don’t you feel that it’s slightly hypocritical to call out tim for posting negatively about bargs in response to a positive post about him, when you & quite a few others post just as vociferously in response to his posts?

            • It is not hypocritical , Andrea is the top player on the team , and I don’t think the majority want to see him traded any time soon. Tim has the right to the opposite opinion of course but because it is about letting go of our top player (for so many) the reaction from comments pro or con Bargnani is very strong and everyone has to say their two cents worth on the matter . Expressing those two cents are important to all of us .

        • reality check is Timmy you pretty much started the whole freakin mess turning this into anotherf anti Bargnani crusade when the article and posts were nothing of the sort. Just another day in the life of Timmy, and his 500 posts.

      • jimmie Very Well said and I agree with pretty much everything you said. In addition yes it is childish to go back and forth, yet from where I sit most guys comment on everything Raptors, yet Timmy looks for any reason whatsoever whether Bargs name is mentioned or not to start the same bullshit he spews every time he’s here. Fact is and everyone knows he’s wrong about Bargnani but cannot admit it. The furthest he’ll go is to occasionally say Bargs is a good scorer, yet he critisizes him for everything he let’s others get away with over and over. The team is fun to watch and is rebuilding and Bargs belongs in that rebuild as much or more as any other current Raptor, both because he’s currently the best we have, and because he’s still getting better.

    • Point taken about the difficulty of having American players squash their American dreams to play in Canada. But couldn’t you take it one step further and suggest that a guy like Wade, who grew up in Chicago, would’ve “dreamed” about playing for the Bulls? And a guy like Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina, would dream about playing for the then Hornets?

      My point? That maturity and winning creates new dreams for players. In the same way that I no longer dream about being a race car driver, players realize the NBA is a place or employment, not fantasy land. The young players may take a while to come to this realization, but I’m sure a large portion of the players’ union knows the reality of the situation.

      • I can only guess – or follow my own intuition – about that. I suspect that for a kid growing up in the US, even if his favorite team growing up is not the (American) one he’s eventually drafted by or traded to, it wouldn’t be nearly as much in conflict with the deep-seated dreams of his youth as it would be if he found himself suddenly playing ‘up in Canada’.

        While both Vince and CB did sign extensions with the Raptors, they each found reasons after that first re-signed contract had been fulfilled (Vince, not so much) to leave. While both re-signs CAN be pointed to as examples of players choosing to stay, it’s possible that they hadn’t yet reached quite where they wanted or really needed to be as players to take the next big step of fulfilling whatever their own dreams really were.

        I also think that when it comes to players who make it all the way to the big leagues, we’re talking about people who dream bigger and in more detailed ways than what many of us do … and some of those details might be substantial parts of the driving force that gets them to where they get to be. And none of them (I would suggest) grow up dreaming of playing in any city outside of the U.S.A.

        If they’re winning or contending, that probably WOULD go a long way to overcoming whatever unconscious (or conscious) desires to play in their home-country that they may harbor … but if it’s anything less than winning or contending, I think it’s going to be too easy for it to be in the back of a US born player’s mind, that really, all things being equal, he’d rather be playing ‘at home’ … home being anywhere where the Stars and Stripes fly. (Having gone to school in the States as a young ‘un and having spent time there off and on since – and having family there – I can attest that the pull for those born in the US is a particularly strong one … at least, in my opinion. And weather – or the perception of it – has a little something to do with their thinking as well.)

        It didn’t surprise me all that much when I read of Bosh, once he was officially gone, speaking of ‘the differences’ that he was always aware of, here in Toronto. I mean, he even went as far as saying that it smelled different here (for crying out loud). While I’m sure he didn’t actually mean that as an insult, it’s kind of curious that he wouldn’t first think of the differences in ‘smell’ between a place like say, Milwaukee as compared to almost anywhere else in the world. (And that’s just one of many places that could be used as an example that would be far more different in smell – I can’t believe I’m saying those words – than what Toronto is.)

        Anyway, wrote more than I planned to and I’m kind of rambling, but … you get what I’m saying … I think.

        • I’m not disagreeing with anything you said. Everything mentioned could very well be true.

          But when I think about other pro leagues, like the CFL (where most players are American, yet embrace their new homes), or the NHL (where European players have no problem converting to North American standards of living), there are examples that say the contrary.

          Do you think it’s something specific about American born BASKETBALL players’ psyches, compared to athletes from other sports?

          • Good question. I don’t know what the answer is but I doubt there’s anything specifically different between American born basketball players’ psyches and those of athletes from other sports. Whatever differences that may seem to be (if any) might have more to do with the NBA culture, in general. Because slices of that ‘culture’ still see the Raptors as a bit of an outpost. (After Sunday’s game, I went to the site of one of the LA newspapers to see what was being said about the Raps and while there’d been nothing written to that moment about the game, I did scan an in-game blog that was still up and it seemed apparent that many commenters didn’t take the Raptors too seriously at all – couldn’t really blame them for that – but some comments were of the nature of, quoting one, “why do the Raptors even exist?”. Hardly a solid measuring tool, but … you get the drift.)

            Re the CFL, the different attitudes that US born football players would have (again, if any) might have something to do with the CFL being uniquely Canadian, and that maybe football players go into it knowing that if they don’t make it in the NFL, the CFL isn’t such a bad option. (?) And hockey players growing up dreaming of getting to the top – the NHL – would know from day one that if they get there, it’ll be somewhere in North America, with Canadian teams being almost as likely a possibility. (And hockey is one game where Canada has more than a little prestige.)

            The part of my original post that mentioned this was somewhat gut-feel-speculating on my part, you understand, so … that’s all I really have on it. If the Raptors can get themselves to a point of being considered possible contenders, all of this (I think) goes out the window, at least for the most part. Which is probably why – as much as anything – we so hate to see players like Vince and Bosh choose to take their talents elsewhere when they do.

            In reality, we’re probably turning the corner on this a little more every day. Getting players who claim to want to be here like Bayless for example, might help the cause by sparking others in time to think in similar ways. And hey, if it’s going to take players who’ve felt they couldn’t find a home elsewhere to choose to be happy here, it’s a start. But it’s still a ways from being on an absolutely level playing field with the rest of the league, imo. Until we’re contending or near it, it’ll be just that little bit (in some cases, more) tougher to be seen as somewhere a US born star player in their prime wants to be as much as they might, any other team. So growing the team to the point of possible contenders is the tricky part. Notwithstanding last night’s rotten game against the Pistons, we could be on the right track right now … but I’m not always as sure as I might be on other days.

  20. Pizzaman, Tim_W, Nilanka, John_P, –>>Y’ALL MADE MY MORNING!!!<<– aIN't nuthin' in the whole wide world like the Republic at Christmas time… I think we should all meet @ Real Sports and exchange giftS!!! Any ideas lOl…… :~)<

    • If Bargnani made a guest appearance at this event, Pizzaman, cesco, John_P, sangaman, AnthonyF, Joshua Reynods, matt hardy, IlMago43, and the rest of the fanboys will claim that the Rapture is upon us.

            • Hey man, although you’re a fan, you have to admit he’s lost on defense way more often than not. Yes, he’s a magician with the ball in his hands, but clueless without the ball.

            • And just for the record, I cheer and pump my fist just as hard as the fanboys when Bargnani plays well. Seeing him dive for loose balls, and draw charges was a thing of beauty against the Nets. I just wish he could bring that defensive effort every game, and not just when Sam Mitchell is in town.

  21. Freaking hilarious. Just when you think 511 and Jimmie have restored sanity and order to the RR, all those called out in two of the all-time greatest posts chime in to continue the debate as if those two posts never happened. Serenity now!!!

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