The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Nice, why can’t the Raptors always play like this

Posted by Arsenalist on December 12, 2007

Dallas Mavericks 76, Toronto Raptors 92

Just finished watching the Dallas game which I had handpicked as a win, that’s right man, you should’ve taken the +4. Enough good things happened in Atlanta which led me to believe that we’d win this one with or without TJ Ford. See, coming up with a recipe for a Raptor wins tonight was simple: tighten up the defense on Dirk, keep them off the boards and play solid perimeter defense on Howard/Terry while also guarding against their pick ‘n roll which they switch 1-3. On the other end, make CB4 drive to the rim (should be a constant in every game) and hit our outside shots after moving the ball. I know, it’s all easier said than done but when all of these things actually happen in the same game, it’s too good to be a Raptors fan.

This game wasn’t close past the second quarter and every Dallas run was answered with good defense and a timely hoop and often that hoop came from Kris Humphries who has made it a personal business of cleaning up the remains of Bargnani rejections. If Humphries can provide the energy and rebounding he did today, he’ll be an excellent contrast to the finesse of Rasho and could get his points off the confusion Bosh creates when he drives to the rim and happens to miss. In other words, a solid garbage man who can finish, rebound and play unrelenting defense.

Chris Bosh

Am I sick for sometimes wishing that Chris Bosh’s jumpers miss? I just want to see him take his man off the dribble every time and drive to the rim to either score or draw a foul. I hardly care if he gets rejected as long as he drives, he’s too quick for 90% of the PFs that try to guard him and I just see it as a waste of an opportunity every time he passes out of single coverage or takes an 18 footer. I know I’m being a bit dramatic but my point is that he should take the jumper as a last resort or when the defense is giving him enough space and completely taking away the drive. Just a thought.

Jason Kapono

I was observing Kapono on the last play of the third quarter and trying to notice how a three point shooter who everyone knows can shoot can possibly get open. He managed to create some space by simply going to the farthest corner of the court and his defender was barely 4 feet away when he caught the ball. His release was so quick that a) it had no chance of being blocked and b) it was perfect. I always try to compare Kapono with another great shooter, Steve Kerr. Kerr who holds the NBA record for highest 3FG percentage, was a different kind of shooter. When He caught the ball his feet needed to be set well before that in order for him to make a shot. Kapono can actually set his feet extremely quickly thus enabling him to have a quicker release. That’s why you see him coming in transition and just PLANT his feet at the arc and just catch and release. The amount of time it takes him to get into his shooting motion is insane. Possibly as quick as Dell Curry.

Andrea Bargnani

He looks really bad out there and I start to cringe every time he does his fake-the-three-and-take-an-off-balance-20-footer, somebody should tell him to either just drive all the way to the rim or just take the jumper, this in-between thing will never work. I still think he’s going to come out of his funk and have a solid year for us, at least by hitting threes and playing good man-defense. My main concern for Bargnani has always been with the coaching (or lack thereof) he’s receiving.

At his young age the thing he needs the most is coaching and instruction so that he can understand the game and get the fundamentals right (footwork, post-moves, using screens, decisions in the key etc.), the rest will come later. I’m not sure he’s getting that with the Raps right now. Over the past year, his offensive arsenal hasn’t improved at all which is cause for a little concern and his decisions in the low-post are suspect to say the least. The only area of improvement in his game is his man-defense and the effort he’s sometime shown in attacking the rim, but that’s effort not actual ability. Rudy Gay anyone? I’m just joking, I’ll stick with the horse I have, hopefully it’s not a foolish decision.


* Good to see TJ’s back, he says he’s out for at least 7 days. No problem, we have Calderon.

* How about Leo Rautins saying Dallas should blow the current team up because of the scars of the GS series and NBA finals. I think he’s way off.

* “I’m not a bum man!” – Kris Humphries in the PG interview when asked whether this is the first time he’s had his name changed.

* I counted at least five air-balls tonight.

* Does Eddie Jones look fat or what?

* Penny Hardaway got released by the Heat. I was rooting for him.

* This is guaranteed to make you laugh.

Next up we’re at Indiana, another game that’s begging to be had. More coverage here. Later. Feed.

12 Responses to “Nice, why can’t the Raptors always play like this”

  1. john said

    An excellent result even without TJ Ford. This is how great team work can overcome any odds.

    I hope this great run continues for the Raptors. As for DELFINO, I’ll leave that to you guys to give me some comments here

  2. Eddy said

    This was a solid win. The last couple of games we’ve been winning have been convincing wins (although last night’s wasn’t as enjoyable for obvious reasons). Tonight, every lead wasn’t safe and historically Dallas has always found a way to come back and bite us in the ass. Your right about being able to sustain their runs, credits to Humps. Holding Dallas to 72 points was storyline to this game.

  3. Italiano said

    Agreed on CB4. Anytime he takes a jumper from more than 15 feet in my head I’m thinking “nooo………!” When it goes in it’s a relief but when it doesn’t it counts as a bad shot attempt. It’s hard to see talent not being used correctly.

  4. RapsFan said

    Would have to totally agree on your assessment on Bargs, definitely out of sync with his shots not falling, taking that funky mid ranged jump shot that he isn’t comfortable with and missing his opportunity for the usual 3. But at least he is putting on some decent defense. I wish Smitch would play him more often so he can get his confidence and grove back.

    Good win tonight, was kind of nervous for da raps entering the 3rd period, scared that it would be deja vou all over again. Good thing we were able to respond with a few lucky breaks and sealed the deal.

  5. PsychicSpy said

    Smitch on Bargs, “He has been working on his own, running and stuff…” Why are we not told SPECIFICALLY what is being done to help our #1 pick stop embarrassing himself several times every game? Why has Colangelo not addressed this with the media?

  6. arsenalist said

    PsychicSpy, I don’t even care if I’m not told what’s being done with Bargnani. I just wait for the results on the floor and so far they’re just not coming. And embarrassing is the right word to use when you see his play of late. But I have a long leash with Bargnani and will give him time to come back into the groove of things and (hopefully) contribute in a major way.

  7. Sam is COY said

    90% agree on CB4, 10% still thinks a good jumper isn’t a bad tool to have (although I think your point is that as long as he keeps driving/getting in deep 7 out of 10 times, it’s ok to take a jumper every now and then).

    Hump. Love the Hump, Moon, Delfino thing we got going. Lots of energy and hustle. I keep wondering what could be had he not been called for BS fouls early in other games. Looking at at lot of his swats, rebounds, put backs last night, a lot of those have been called against him the past few games (same with Moon, Delfino).

    Here is wishing that when “big name” teams come to town, the refs keep thier whistles in their pockets and let the teams win the games.

  8. Raps Fan said

    i agree on bosh as well. but i dont feel relief when he hits the shot. what jump shooting doesn’t satisfy is getting to the free throw line. why are the raptors last in ft attempts? cause they shoot, not drive.

    clearly we are a jump shooting team, but i think bosh should leave those, to the shooters on the wings. he needs to drive to the basket, and open up the floor, so the shooters get more shots. i mean come on, kapono had 5 attempts last night. he averages just over 7 fg’s a game! shooting 53%, he should be getting at least 5-6 more shots a game.

    as for bargnani, i really don’t think smitch knows what to do for him. don nelson was the right guy for dirk, and i think someone in that mold would be good for andrea. he needs to step up though, i’m embarassed for the guy. it is great he is playing better defense, but he was acquired for his offense, and he hasn’t shown it consistently enough to justify the # 1 pick, when others from last year are playing so well, in bigger roles.

  9. aaaa said

    umm Raptors scored 92 points not 82, give them a little more credit :P

  10. Sam is COY said

    I get you Raps Fan, I feel the same way everytime we settle for a jumpshot against a team that doesn’t exactly have good interior D.

    And I agree that Kapono needs to get more shots as well.

  11. […] ripping themselves for playing poorly. In this case, the Mavericks defensive breakdowns. As some point out, air balls and overweight players don’t help either. Maybe it’s time for some of these […]

  12. coach said

    maybe tj’s injury was a blessibg in disguise.the raps move the ball very well without him . thanks al !

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