The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch


Posted by Arsenalist on December 15, 2007

Toronto Raptors 104, Indiana Pacers 93

I’ll say little about the game because if you saw it you know it was a gutsy effort on the road that speaks volumes about the potential for this club. If you didn’t see it, maybe can help you out. Down 17 in the third quarter this had all the ingredients of a loss that might make you wonder if we can ever shed the .500 mark: bad defense, stagnant offense, confined to the perimeter, you know, the usual. That’s when the defense picked up after the injection of Carlos Delfino and that’s when Jason Kapono and Jose Calderon led the charge that brought us back into the game. After that it was just riding Kapono’s hot outside shooting for a big road win.

Let’s dedicate this post to Jason Kapono. Not since Dell Curry have I seen a trigger man with a release like Kapono’s. And even then I might argue that Kapono’s is better because he’s shot-ready faster than Curry was. A debate for another day. Just take a look at the sweet stroke:

Indiana dominated this game for the better part of the evening and if it weren’t for Kapono getting hot from the outside and Kris Humphries escalating his interior defense on Jermaine O’Neal while also scoring in the paint, this was going to be a loss. CB4 kept us in this game early by playing smart interior basketball and was our primary rebounding force all the way until the end. Enough can’t be said about Kris Humphries and his contribution on both ends of the floor, you expect the defense but when you get the offense it just gets sweeter.

Contrast Hump’s plays with that of Bargnani’s (two very bad looking offensive fouls) and you notice a man playing with confidence and a man who is unsure of what he wants to do on the floor. It’s getting a little embarrassing watching Bargnani out there and although I STILL think he’ll get out of his funk and end up contributing to this team, he looks very, very confused out there. Hopefully him and the coaching staff can sort things out and get him game-ready but as Jack Armstrong said, “a lot of this game is played between the ears” and I’m not sure of Bargnani’s mental makeup. This stretch is the first test of his NBA career and so far he’s not handling it well, we’ll see how he does in the big Boston game coming up.

Good to be a Raps fan, solid fight-back win in Indiana where it looked like we’d get blown out at one point. I didn’t even talk about Calderon because we’re all so used to him being brilliant that it doesn’t even get mentioned anymore.


* Example of Chuck Swirsky’s hypocrisy: Chuck questions Jim O’Brien decision for not taking out O’Neal with three fouls. Jack Armstrong mentions Sam Mitchell’s done the same with Bosh. Chuck changes topic.

* Jamaal Tinsley is a very good player who Jose Calderon had issues guarding. Lucky for us whatever damage Tinsley did, Jose countered.

* Chris Bosh took too many jumpers to start the fourth quarter. I know it’s overly critical but Bosh should be driving to the rim 90% of the time.

* I’ll bet money on Jose Calderon draining a wide open three over Anthony Parker.

* If Kris Humphries starts draining that 15 footer, he’ll average 15pts a game this year.

* Juan Dixon played well in limited minutes, his spell in the second quarter kept the Raps in the game.

* I don’t want to see Jamario Moon shooting after he hesitates, those never go in.

* Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino, Carlos Delfino…..

14 Responses to “Kapowned!”

  1. John said

    Great night Jason Kapono. As for Carlos Delfino……

    You’ll just have to check this out

  2. SAMisCOY said

    *What happened to AP? Oh well, at least he still contributes by passing well and guarding the right spots. Still wishe he regains his shooting form.

    *Would Kapono or Delfino be a better option to start at the 2 spot?

    *When did Hump get a jumper? His shot was actually sweet looking last night! I guess that comes along with confidence?

    *Moon has an ugly shot, but I think you sort of live with that a bit, in that he makes up for it in blocks, rebounds, and just pure defensive hustle.

  3. PsychicSpy said

    I remember that over-the-top, homoerotic RealGM thread last summer… with Andrea standing sweaty, smiling and pumped with his buddy. Well, that sweat was obviously not from working out. No extra muscle on our 7 ft PF/C. Must have better things to do.

    In sharp contrast, guys are risking their lives with steroids to achieve excellence and stay on top. The real world is ALL about your competition, Andrea. And your competition is NEVER standing still. (2006 Bargs >> Hump, 2007 Hump >> Bargs).

  4. Red Rebounder said

    Andrea looks lost out there an he doesn’t help himself by keeping his head down and staring at the floor instead of reading the defense. He’s got bust written all over him.

    @PsychicSpy: I hope you’re not advocating that Andrea use steroids.

  5. PsychicSpy said

    RR, I am not advocating the use of steroids. Just pointing out that the use of steroids usually indicates a TOTAL commitment to excellence, because steroids only matter in the context of a killer workout regimen. Bonds and Clemens were obsessed. MJ and Kobe obsessed. No sign of Andrea having that drive.

  6. Raps Fan said

    solid game. we all have been calling for kapono to get more minutes/shots, and what happens when he does…he has a great game, and the Raptors win.

    Couple thoughts from last night:

    1. they can’t expect comebacks like that to happen regularly. they need to come out and play hard from the tip, especially in these sorts of games where the team is top tier.
    2. bosh shot the ball a bit more than i would have liked. aside from foster, no one on that team can keep up with him on the drive, and he doesn’t exploit that enough.
    3. kapono and delfino need more minutes.
    4. martin should never play over dixon again, NEVER EVER EVER!
    5. i don’t think humphries shooting from 15 is a good idea. we have guys who do that much better, although he is making more of them.
    6. moon is starting to come down to the earth (well, not starting, is coming down).
    7. andrea needs a coach who knows what to do with him.

  7. Raps Fan said

    as for kapono/delfino starting at 2, i say no. parker sometimes is invisible offensively, but he is a starter, not a guy coming off the bench. kapono’s defense isn’t good enough to start, and i think delfino should start at the 3 over moon.

  8. Lopez said

    I was so shocked when we made a comeback in this game becuz if u know the raptors, then u know that last year or even earlier this year this would have just gotten worse as the game went on for us(See The Bucks game from earlier this season)! And for Kapono he’s been shooting like this all season, he just hasnt gotten as many shots as he got 2nite becuz Delfino has been taking a lot of shots. As for Kris Humphries its nice to see him playing well a little more consistently becuz he normally has one good game and disappears! Calderon should start when Tj gets back for the sake of the team and Tj’s health! Hopefully we dont get down by 17 against the Celtics becuz we definitely wont come back!

  9. Scott said

    It’s a shame that our only #1 pick in history is slowly but surely proving that he didn’t deserve it. He is a soft Euro, nothing more. Sure, he can shoot. Full stop. A one talent player should never be taken number one.
    Cluck Jerksky just needs to stop. I can appreciate the fact he is an MLSE employee and he is (achem) required to speak highly of the team, but it has gone beyond acceptable. The example you point out is one of 8-10 hypocritical comments a game. I never realized how bad he was until I checked out League Pass a few years ago. I am now convinced he is more of a homer than even Heinsohn. We all felt bad for Ford, but when he was on the floor, the commentary by Cluck made it sound like TJ was hit by an aluminum bat that Horford picked up from Bill Laimbeer at courtside.

  10. SAMisCOY said

    Wow. Let’s give Bargs at least another year or two before we start calling him a bust. Yes he’s slid, and looks lost, but it’s not easy to just slide in and be expected to do something when no one really knows what his role is really supposed to be.

    Is/was he deserving of the #1 pick? No. I didn’t think so then, I don’t now. I do believe they could have traded down and still have gotten him at maybe 5th spot? But what’s done is done.

    What he needs is the right coach/mentor (ala Nowitzki), and a more defined role on the team.

  11. […] Moving on to some Raptor bites: the fallout from the TJ incident and lack of back up of teammates continues here and in a well done fashion. Not surprisingly, it says here that Jose Calderon is the best bargain in the NBA, being 10th in assists and first overall in assist/turnover ratio. $2.5 million this year…wonder what he will ask for next year? Dell Curry has been gone for years, but Jason Kapono has taken his place. Great video and another well aimed shot at Cluck Jerksky over here. […]

  12. Quagz said

    SAMisCOY, you’re contradicting yourself. You’re asking people not to call Bargnani a bust but you admit that he shouldn’t have been a #1 pick. The definition of a bust in this case is not being worthy of the #1 pick. The way he’s playing right now he’s not even worthy of being a lottery pick. I hope I’m wrong but the way he’s progressed so far indicates that his learning ability is very slow and will never be a “great” player as the media machine would have you believe.

  13. Scott said

    I agree, Quagz. It’s pretty disappointing. Of course, that being said, if we went with, say, LaMarcus, we would have 2 key players with foot issues that may be on-going. Granted, who knows what will happen to Bargs. For such a young guy, his injury history is disconcerting.

  14. Raps Fan said

    i wouldn’t have drafted bargnani at # 1, but he still isn’t a bust. he just needs the right coaching. mitchell isn’t the right coach for this guy. he has done a decent job with a few of the other guys, but bargnani is a different beast.

    he is playing worse than last season though, because of the expectations we have put on him. let’s see if he gets an invite to the rookie/sophomore game this year.

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