The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Hapless Nets blown out….again

Posted by Arsenalist on February 13, 2008

New Jersey Nets 91, Toronto Raptors 109

What I don’t like about a win like this is that gives fans a false sense of how good this team is, once you look at this game in the context of the Clippers and Spurs game, you get the true feel of things. So let’s enjoy this win for what it’s worth: a 48 minute practice session against a disinterested Nets team recovering from losing their key playmaker. Despite missing Kidd one would bet on the Nets to mount some form of resistance through Carter or Jefferson, but neither had a say in the game and this one became an academic matter at the end of the half. The only question that remained was if the fans would continue to mercilessly boo Carter. They did. After all these years the hate for Carter still remains poignant. If it had died down a little, it was freshly renewed in last year’s playoffs and looks to be a fixture for years to come.

This game wasn’t a measuring stick of any kind but it was comforting to see the Raptors take care of business early and not allow the Nets to hang around in the game and give themselves a chance late. In other words, we didn’t let them pull off a repeat of the Clipper game. Parker’s defense on Carter was good but ultimately it was VC that shut VC down and the Raptors were glad he did. Official Raptor-killer Richard Jefferson might feel the effects of the departed Kidd the most, RJ was nowhere near doing his usual thing of slashing to the rim, running in transition or moving without the ball. It’s just not same when you’re relying on Marcus Williams to spot you.

It’s been a long time since the Raptors have run the pick ‘n roll with this much ease; we talk about Sam Mitchell being a suspect coach but to see the way Lawrence Frank’s team approached our only play was ridiculous. The Nets refused to honor the screener in any way and always went with the ball leaving the former open. This forced a rather lethargic and lazy rotation which the crisp and energetic Raptors took full advantage of. Jose Calderon’s abuse of Marcus Williams in the second quarter combined with Andrea Bargnani’s 8-point spurt in the same frame put this game well out of reach. Bargnani only had three rebounds but was involved in the early battle for boards when it really counted, he finished with 14 impact points on 4-9 FG.

With no Mikki Moore in there, Chris Bosh has little trouble navigating around the statue-like Nets interior defense. Never will Bosh get 27 points so easily, the best the Nets could do was put Stromile Swift on him who believes the two options for a defender on the pick ‘n roll are “stand” and “wait”. Josh Boone might be a decent NBA’er some day but tonight he was as immobile as a stop sign. The two plays that characterized this game was Calderon catching the Nets defense fast asleep on Moon and Bosh backdoor alley-oops which are sure to further clog Lawrence Frank’s arteries. Jamario Moon: Although Richard Jefferson showed him a few things in this one, he had an overall solid game and showed a strong affinity towards the rim while displaying a proclivity towards rebouding. He only had one ill-advised jumper (which he made) and passed up a few opportunities to shoot a deep jumper by making the natural swing pass.

A word about Carlos Delfino: he doesn’t play the game the right way. He’s a fundamentally sound player who has his wits about him but he gets suckered into taking some pretty bad shots that make you cringe. You saw this against San Antonio and again today. Sure, hitting deep bombs once in a while might make up for some of it it but he’s got to realize he’s a streaky shooter and not a great one, so the percentages will always be against him. He took 7 threes today! That’s the same amount as Parker, Kapono and Calderon combined who are are better shooters than him. The coaching staff needs to harness him a little and make him understand that his strengths are going inside and slashing. We have enough jump shooters on the team. Defensively, I have no complaints with him but he’s got to get it under control on the other end.

It’s a nice way of going into All-Star weekend but the Clipper loss is still stinging. We might end up with a 45 win season but that doesn’t mean we’re well-prepared for a first-round battle against Cleveland, Orlando or even Washington. Bryan Colangelo needs to improve this team defensively and although he’s always “on the phone” and “looking to improve the Raptors”, he better make a move that addresses our need for an interior defender so that we can finally replace Antonio Davis. It’s highly unrealistic to ask Bosh to be the defensive stopper while also carrying the brunt of the scoring load. You might get away with it playing meaningless regular season games but in a 7-game series we’ll make life very easy for the opposing coach by being so reliant on Bosh.

Jose Calderon’s emerging as our legit second scorer and I do mean legit, if him and Bargnani can provide complimentary scoring to a consistent Bosh, we might have a chance in the playoffs. But Bosh being consistent and Bargnani scoring and rebounding will be “ifs” in any first round series, the only guy I would rely on to actually produce is Jose. But we all know the weaknesses of our PG combo – ultimately they’re vulnerable on the perimeter which mean we need to hide their weaknesses. Which in-turn means we need to get an interior presence who can dissuade opposing PGs from attacking the heart of our defense thus creating havoc on the rotations. If you thought our rotations and close-outs are suspect on the perimeter, they’re twice as bad in the paint. The other option might be to change some of our defensive philosophies by playing a little more zone and forcing the offense to react to you – but my faith in Sam isn’t that strong.

The ball’s in Colangelo’s court.

Jason Kidd Trade

The Nets have agreed to trade Kidd and Allen for Devin Harris, Jerry Stackhouse, Maurice Ager and the expiring contracts of DeSagana Diop and Devean George. It’s a good deal for both sides, the Nets get a good young point guard in Devin Harris and trade a player who didn’t want to be on the team while Dallas gets a hall-of-famer. But if the Mavs think they can now compete with the Lakers, Suns or Spurs, they’re strongly mistaken. Anyway, all was going well until you hear that Devean George has blocked the trade by invoking his no-trade clause which got me thinking, How the fuck does Devean George have a no-trade clause? Aren’t those reserved for great players who want some security, and not for scrubs that live off Kobe and Dirk? Either way though, Rod Thorn’s a trigger-happy GM that sees a problem and goes about fixing it, he had to trade Kidd and he did. I want to give him some credit for snagging Devin Harris but then again he did acquire Stromile Swift.


* The Nets dressed 9 players. 8 really, it’s hard to say Vince was competing.

* Jay Triano coached this game and I liked his substitution patterns, timeouts and the way he was pushing the Raptors to get into their sets early.

* The Nets had one bright spot and it was the fossil himself, Darrell Armstrong making some high-energy plays which momentarily cut the Raptors lead to 8 in the second quarter.

* Chris Bosh hit some pretty unreal fadeaways which if he would’ve missed you would’ve been like, “Whaaaaaaa?”

* Some people talk about winning regular season games as an act of revenge for a playoff loss. It doesn’t work like that, until we beat the Nets in a series, last year will string.

* Really, there’s not much to talk about in this game.

* Jose Calderon is The Top Rap. I’m a big TJ guy but Calderon needs to start for now.

* Did you guys ever see me on TV in Game 4 last year?

It might be the All-Star break but I’m not going anywhere, another post tomorrow.


33 Responses to “Hapless Nets blown out….again”

  1. all they gave up for swift was collins, i would make that trade any day of the week. as far as calderon goes…i hate to say…but i think tj lost his starting role. i still don’t concede that tj would flourish given the minutes caldeorn has been getting, but what are the raptors really going to do? tj is out of game shape, and calderon has been playing off the chain. if he could only play some defense, he’s an all-star for sure next year. especially if kidd get’s traded out of the east.

    this team wont win a playoff series against cleveland, they might take beat washington, but chances are they don’t face each other. I dont see cleveland slipping that far. bc wont make a trade, so mitchell is going to have to figure something out defensively. i dont think they guys can play zone. perimeter defense and rotating are much more paramount in the zone, i dont think the raptors can make that transition consistently enough to win a series.

    i agree about not getting excited about this team. that kidd trade really deflated him. he is the heart and soul of this squad.

  2. […] I have to say about this game, it was pretty boring and sucked the life out of me. I’m sure Arsenalist and Dinosty will have more interesting things to say than me. Expect a video podcast on the […]

  3. mark said

    Jay is way better coach than Sam! Much better substitutions tonight. Also Sam only knows how to call one play…pick n roll.
    sam sucks

  4. Luke said

    Glad to see the all-star break with the Raptors over 500. 45 wins sounds reasonable, as it is right now we can take Cleveland, Washington or even Orlando to 6 or 7 games but winning the series is another matter.

    Analysis of Delfino is true, he’s a good player who’s too inconsistent because he’s lazy on offense. He’ll jack the shot up without looking for other options first, I think Sam should be as hard on him as he is with Hump, Moon or Graham. If Hump or Graham make a mistake, they get the hook but Delfino chucking is allowed.

    We gotta sweep February, maybe we lose to Magic but that’s about it.

  5. Eddy said

    I thought the exact same thing when they mentioned the Kidd trade was still in the air. That would be insane if the deal is nixed cuz a guy like Devean George has a no trade clause in his contract. Who else has this type deal on their contracts?

  6. […] – Arsenalist […]

  7. Sam is COY said

    I thought Kobe was the only guy with a no-trade. Devean George? WTF? I, for one, won’t miss seeing Kidd on the Nets. Is Carter next to go?

    LOL, @ Carter still getting booed. I understand a lot of people think this is dumb and pointless, but, so what, I enjoy it. Many fans south of the border think we’re passionless up here anyways.

    Is it just me, or did JC play like a man possessed? > you really still think TJ should start? Really? Is it because of the “unwritten” rule about not losing a spot due to injury?

    On the downside of the JC talk, is it just me, or did old man Darrell Armstrong give him fits? Maybe he can show JC how to defend. I think I’d rather have his old ass than DMart.

    Any other thoughts/rumours on who else is going where?

  8. Sam is COY: i was trying to say that i think tj actually wont get back his starting spot. given the way calderon is playing, and that tj isn’t really in game shape (will take another 8-10 games at the least to get back to form), there is no way the raptors will take a step back, and let things get messed with tj at the helm.

    i also said that if tj had the minutes calderon had, he would be scoring more points, and have an assist or two less. i still think tj is better, but he wont be starting this season, in mho.

    armstrong really gave jc fits last night. he stole the ball twice on inbounds plays, and forced a couple tough inbounds plays. incredible that the guy is like 40. he is much more useful than krispy kreme…errr martin.

  9. Sam is COY said > *sigh* Yeah, as pissed as I was at Armstrongs seemingly over-aggressive style last night, it made me think that he seemed like the only guy showing a pulse on that team. Do you know if he is a good “locker-room” guy? Maye we can grab him for Kreme :)

    I hear you about TJ VS min. played. Although I’ve shifted towards JC more (control vs speed) on what I’ve seen this season. Still, having TJ off the bench would be great.

    Any further word on TJ’s wrist injury? Seems weird that he’s injured again though.

  10. PapiJulio said

    Not much to say….pretty boring game to watch….glad we didn’t get spanked by a depleated team.

    Does Jay Triano get a stat for a being a head coach in the NBA for that game?? First Canadian head coach. With a win… good stuff Triano!!!

    Once again Shaq create a wave in the league. Where Shaq goes, the talent is far behind him. Unbeleavable how 1 player can have the ability to affect the entire league when he is traded. He is TRUELY a freak of nature, still!!

    Arsenalist—> On Carlos Delfino…. he does get a little too trigger happy. Maybe him & Moon have been hanging out to much lately.

    Ooooowwww… Devan George… played in the warm climates most of his career. I don’t think he wants to go north to the colder climate at this point in his career. Plus, probably doens’t want to play with VC. Funny how someone gave Devan George the ‘no-trade’ clause in his contract. Devan must have a good agent.

  11. Frederik said

    nice win to go into all-star-break. jose is playin so sick lately. I’m really looking forward to see all the raps at the ASG.

  12. PsychicSpy said

    The Devean George veto is not something his agent negotiated. It’s part of the CBA. The GMs screwed this one up. It helps a lot to know the rules if you are gonna run an NBA team:

    “Under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, a player who has “early Bird rights” at the end of a contract — like George has this year — has veto power over a trade because he’d lose those rights if dealt. By keeping them, Dallas could exceed the salary cap to re-sign him.”

  13. arsenalist said

    ^^ So George wants to keep those rights because he thinks that Dallas will go over the salary cap just to sign him? Is he high?

  14. Sam is COY said

    PsychicSpy > good find

    arsenalist > lol, bet he’s really popular in Dallas now as well

  15. PsychicSpy said

    Dallas should have thrown Devean George a bone… instead of acting like he has no rights under the CBA. The fact that these “rights”, in this case, have no monetary value… is not the issue.

  16. arsenalist said

    It looks like Donnie Nelson didn’t read the rules before making the trade. Part of me wants Kidd to stay in NJ so that I can enjoy the awkwardness of things. Lawrence Frank said it was time to move on and Kidd obviously hates playing in NJ – should make for a great ending to the season.

  17. Sam is COY said

    arsenalist > I was thinking that very thing, when chuck announced the deal had been nixed. I wonder if he would just sit out the rest of the season? Would NJ accept a lesser deal from any other team just to trade him? What a mess.

  18. Johnn19 said

    Jose Calderon is the MVP player of the Raptors 1st half.

    Jose Calderon is the starting PG of the future for Raptors.

    When Calderon improves his defense he has the upside potential
    to be a top 2/3 PG in the NBA in 2/3 years.

    Currently #1 in the NBA @ PG in fg% 54.6; 3fg% 47.7; FT 91.9%;
    ATO 5.5 & 4th in ast 10.0, as a starting PG for 37 games.
    In his 3rd year in the NBA and first 37 games a a starter.

  19. Crank said

    LOL at that video. I’m guessing you’re the guy in the middle. Props for making that trip.

  20. arsenalist said

    That was an awesome trip (except for the result). I took some vids/pics too, here’s the post for that game:

  21. PapiJulio said

    PsychicSpy–> “early Bird rights”

    I never knew. Quite the insight. What are the Nets going to do now I wonder. Somebody getting in shit I bet.

    If Kidd does go to the west will it open up a spot on the All-Star team in the East for Calderon??? If a deal is made before this weekend then Kidd may no longer be in the East…..right??

  22. PapiJulio said

    Plus… I read in my local paper that Stackhouse’s remaining contract will be bought out, but he’ll return to Dallas after the imposing deal. I going to do some diggin’, unless someone else can confirm it….

  23. arsenalist said

    Here it is man:

    Jerry Stackhouse, who is injured, also would have been in the deal although there’s a chance he would have returned to Dallas as part of a buyout. Moe Ager, first-round draft picks this summer and in 2010, along with cash (a maximum of $3 million) would have completed the deal from the Mavericks’ end. They also would have acquired Malik Allen and Antoine Wright with Kidd.

  24. PsychicSpy said

    “If Kidd does go to the west will it open up a spot on the All-Star team…”

    According to Chuck during last night’s broadcast… since Kidd was VOTED IN by the fans to start… he starts for the East regardless of the status of the Dallas deal.

    According to Chuck, even if Kidd plays for Dallas tonight… he starts for the East in the All-Star Game.

    It’s only an exhibition game. And one that needs major changes. See Bill Simmons for good ideas… the main one being: Internationals vs Americans.

  25. […] Chris Bosh had 27 points, Jose Calderon had 22 points and 12 assists and the Toronto Raptors beat the New Jersey Nets, who were playing without Jason Kidd, 109-91. […]

  26. arsenalist said

    Yeah, I read that Psychic. I don’t think we’re there yet, NHL tried that and it worked there because pretty the number of foreign plays is just huge. I think we’re still a few years away from that, if it happens right now you’ll see guys like Darko make the all-star team which is crazy.

    On a similar note, apparently Eddie Johnson wants to put a limit on the number of foreign players in the league which is an absolutely ridiculous idea.

  27. PapiJulio said

    Damn…. I though maybe Calderon still had a chance. Thanks for the post on Stackhouse Arsenalist. By the way… I just seen the Video of you guys burning VC jursey.

    1 Ticket to See Raptors- $89
    Piece of Pizza & Drink at the Game- $10
    Parking- $6 Undergound Parking instead of $20 Out Front of ACC

    The Burning of Vince Carter Jursey …… Priceless…..

    P.S. If anybody goes to see a game park underground for $6. If you go to main entrance at “Jack Astors Bar and Grill” intersection ‘Front st. & University” you’ll see the Pedistran entrance. The steps go down into the sidewalk. The vehicle entrance is a street over on ‘York St.’

  28. PsychicSpy said

    Personally, I would like to see an All-Star game billed as Soft Euro Jump Shooters vs Athletic American Slashers. Bet on the latter.

    And I may as well post my Kapono conspiracy theories…
    since Psychic Spy will be ascending to the Mothership for the All-Star break.

    Why does Kapono decline to shoot so often? Why does Kapono pass to inferior shooters… rather than take any kind of contested or difficult shot?

    First, let’s look at how often Elite 3 Point Shooters
    shoot the 3. If you take the Top 10 NBA 3 Point PCT
    minus Kapono… these 9 guys average a 3 for every 8.0
    minutes of play (range is 5.3 Stojavik to 16.6 Hamilton). So a low number = chucker.

    Now let’s look at Raptors minutes/3 where 8.0 is “correct”… in order of chucking:

    Delfino 6.1
    Bargs 7.8
    Parker 8.2
    Kapono 10.4
    Calderon 13.2

    So only ONE real chucker on Raps = Chuckfino. Parker
    and Bargs shoot exactly the right amount of 3s. Let’s
    leave PG Jose out of this. But Kapono shoots 30% less
    3s than the Elite average.

    My Kapono Theory

    Kapono totally cherry picks his 3s to keep his PCT around 0.500. This is a brilliant career strategy for a one dimensional player. Jason has parlayed this cherry
    picking into a BIG contract from BC. The guy knows how to play the NBA career game.

    The problem with Kapono’s strategy? He will likely miss contested, high pressure 3s at crunch time. Or not be on the floor.

    If someone told you is October that Kapono would not hit a single game winning shot before the All-Star break… it would be hard to believe.

  29. arsenalist said

    Hard to argue with Kapono’s selective shots except early in the year when people were giving him space he was shooting whenever he could. I remember him pulling up in transition, leaning in and always taking the corner shot. I think it might have something to do with people crowding him. He is a sly little dog though, I remember reading some of his quotes when that story about NBAers blowing all their money in five years came out and he looked to have a very astute sense of where he wants his future/career to go.

  30. can you find that article arsenalist? the newest is sprewell’s yacht got seized for a missed mortgage payment or something. he is really the biggest idiot in history turning down that 3yr/$21m contract, i wrote an article about it:

    sorry to plug my article, but he pissed me off when he said he had to feed his family.

  31. arsenalist said

    Here you go man:

  32. nolagunner said

    I just want to add that I’m pleased that the quality of the writing here is starting to attract the quality of discussion that it deserves.
    As a Raps fan in exile (New Orleans) and a Gunner, it’s just so sweet that this exists.

  33. cuzzy said

    Of course you are not going anywhere, we need to pump up Moon!!

    look forward to reading more.

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