Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Miami Heat: The perfect antidote for a losing streak

Posted by Arsenalist on March 5, 2008

Toronto Raptors 108, Miami Heat 83

Going into this game nobody knew what to expect, after dropping three straight to depleted Indiana, undermanned Charlotte and then Orlando, the Raptors appeared primed to go 0-3 on the roadtrip. It’s a good thing Miami was the last stop. After the 32 point drubbing earlier in the year the money was on the Heat showing some pride and competing against a Bosh-less Raptors squad that’s been on the ropes this week, but the Heat resistance lasted about a quarter. Barely. And Riley was not happy.

Miami is a miserable team to watch; Dwyane Wade isn’t motivated enough to carry a team on his back just so he can save Miami from a last place finish and Shawn Marion’s days are spent trying to figure out if he should opt out or not. After all, will someone pay him 17M? The age old NBA question: get big money playing for a bad team or lesser money playing for a contender. The ironic part of that question is that Marion had it both, he was making a ridiculous salary in Phoenix while playing for a contender but wanted to “be the man” which he still isn’t since Wade is around. Nothing makes sense. They need to sit Wade and tank.

Maybe the Heat might’ve had a chance if Shawn Marion didn’t get shutdown by Jamario Moon who limited him to 5 points on 2-7 FG while swatting three of his shots. Naah, it wouldn’t have mattered, the Raptors were getting too many open looks without trying too hard. They shot 55% and Forderon racked up 18 assists, that’s 3 more than the entire Miami team. Jose Calderon got his shooting touch back and was his usual electric but controlled self in finding Rasho Nesterovic, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker for countless high-percentage jumpers. Miami didn’t have an answer for him nor did they have any idea on how to defend Rasho, they were conceding him space to shoot the 15 footer as if they thought it was his weakness. Rasho kindly made 8 of 12 FG attempts and constantly shook his head at how easy things were.

Andrea’s fall looked much worse than TJ’s and we’re lucky it’s nothing more than a loose tooth. He was hit flagrantly in mid-air by Alexander Johnson. After he blew by the initial defender, Johnson hit him in the face with an elbow which almost knocked him out. If that wasn’t bad enough, his head/neck were loose when he hit the floor and the head banged at least a couple times on the floor. The initial replay looked like a severe concussion and the look on his face was as if he’s just seen the white light. Turned out he was just shook up and rightfully so. I was glad to see him get up and hit two FTs before Dr. Larry Brown (anybody get this reference?) was called to see him. Side note here is that none of the Raptors stepped up to Johnson and reprimanded him for his idiotic foul. I was hoping Brezec would be on the floor so we could see some fireworks. What’s lost in all this is the aggressiveness with which Bargnani started the game, even though he missed his first couple shots he kept shooting and drove to the rim, ultimately earning a respectable percentage. They key is doing it consistently, and who are we kidding? We’re playing Miami.

So what should’ve been by all accounts a 2-1 roadtrip ends up 1-2. Not thaat bad. I’m more pissed off about the Indiana loss more than anything. We got Washington and Seattle coming up before we start the daunting West coast swing. Washington got killed at home by Orlando and will be looking to bounce back. It’s imperative that we win that game and avenge the Seattle embarrassment, that way even if we go 0-5 in our West coast swing, we’ll still be 3 games over .500. I know, it’s loser thinking but it’s very possible that we go winless or at best 1-4 on that trip. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Consistency is the key element which is missing from the Raptors. We have some very streaky players who can’t be relied upon to provide anything concrete on any given night. Just contrast Moon’s game from today and yesterday, or take Delfino’s horrendous shooting slump, Humphries erratic play and then of course there’s Andrea Bargnani. Some might argue that consistency is developed over time once a player finds himself and understands what he needs to do in order to achieve and maintain success. I’m doubtful that come playoff time, any of our inconsistent players will have become any better at maintaining a level of performance. I think a lot of this is reflects on the coaching that’s being done on this team and how well-defined players’ roles are. One of my biggest complaints about Sam is the lack of a set rotation. There are arguments both against and for this idea but the main advantage of it is that it allows the team to get into a rhythm, manages expectations and provides a roadmap. We should at least have an 8-man rotation which we start off with and see how things go from there. I mean, why was Joey on the bench till garbage time but got in the game in the first quarter yesterday? What’s the rationale at play? Now injuries to Ford and Bosh have thrown this off but I hope that come playoff time, we don’t pull the same shit we did against NJ last year.

There’s some talk about Jamario Moon not reading scouting reports and relying on his gut feel. I have to say this was one of the more disappointing things that I’ve read in the last little while. For a rookie who doesn’t know anything about the league and its players, I thought the scouting report would be your best friend. I wonder how Sam feels about this. Thoughts?

The Raptors get a big lead early, somewhat loosen the grip but maintain a 7-10 point cushion in the first half before blowing the Heat out in the third. I’ll be a lot happier if we win against Washington. This one was easy.

Later.

Liners:

* I would like to introduce yet another Raptors blog.

* Birdman pointed out this little moment in the Orlando game.

* TJ Ford’s got a problem with the backup job? You decide.

* If you didn’t get the Dr. Larry Brown reference, the Miami Heat announcer made the following announcement during the game which was clearly heard on TV: “Would Dr. Larry Brown please report to the Raptors locker room. The Raptors thank you.” It was right after the Bargnani injury. Speaking of the Heat announcer, the guy sure stays positive even when down 32.

* The more I look at this team, the more I’m convinced that we need to trade one of the two point guards (TJ Ford likely) to address a need. The only question remaining is what his market value will be given his injuries. If we’re getting low-balled in the offers, no reason to pull a trigger but if anything substantial or workable comes back, it wouldn’t make sense not to do it. After a while, having two solid PGs becomes an exercise in diminishing returns, there’s only so much of an advantage you can get from one position on the floor. I’d rather have an All-Star PG and a good solid SF rather than two All-Star guards, wouldn’t you?

* The crowd jeering Brezec after he missed that dunk after the play was over was too funny. This guy is comedy.

* I have to give the Top Rap to Anthony Parker for being damn competitive and even more damn consistent on this road-trip. The two losses hurt him more than anyone.

Not many Liners, do add your own.

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22 Responses to “Miami Heat: The perfect antidote for a losing streak”

  1. AltRaps said

    Night and day performance, but it has to be taken with a dash of Miami salt.

    Rasho needs to stay in the starting lineup. I think Jose feels comfortable with him and if he continues hitting that baseline jumper with any consistency, teams will be forced to think twice about doubling Bosh. He has been as consistent as Parker in the last few games and I never saw it coming, but we need to ride a hot hand until it cools. He played well athletically in a back-to-back….and his first double double as a Raptor (!).

    This Wizards game is a biggie and is something I’m really looking forward to.

  2. Ellie said

    Saw that fall of Andrea’s on the highlight reel before I even knew what the score was (didn’t see the game). So glad he wasn’t hurt. Last thing we need is another starter injured, even if his efforts are as changeable as the sea.

  3. David Moro said

    Actually, I think you’re wrong about Bargs in terms of consistency.

    Hear me out.

    You’re right, the RESULTS are inconsistent, but not the attitutde or the effort after his injury cleared up. The reason most people get annoyed is because:

    A) He was the number one pick so he gets no time to improve no matter what

    B) he misses shots that he made more last year because he IS trying to improve.

    C) He’s Euro and isn’t Primo gangster enough for the locals (read: white and not a dunker).

    In the last while, as pointed out by a sharp poster at RealGm, Bargs has shot close to 46-47% the last month. Sounds pretty consistent to me. This despite him seeming to miss more. He’s not nearly as inefficient as people like to imply.

    It has to be noted that his rebounds have gone up lately (not tonight, true, but generally he has been getting around 5,6,on many nights for the last month as well).

    His blocked shots totals have also come up. I notice his help D (see Jefferson, Richard) is also getting better (except on guard blowbyes when he is expected miracualously to cover from one of our horrific perimiter defenders.)

    He is driving more (regardless of what the result is on any given night–sometimes suceeding, sometimes not)and he is learning to refine that important part of his game. Even yesterday, he blew several chances and shot 2-12. But he kept at it and you see the results tonight. That is consistency.

    Only a few cheap fouls for actually trying to play D in the Orlando game kept him from staying on the floor to continue it. He sometimes is guilty of going too quickly. But again, only time and confidence are required to improve his finish.

    Because he’s not an north american dunk specialist like Gay or a finished college player (with a travel dribble) like Roy. He’s not even a Traditonal center from college like Aldridge (who doesnt even WANT to play center). HE HADN”T PLAYED THE POSITION BERFORE. Think about it. That upside is marvelous, while Roy, Gay and Aldridge have very little left to improve upon. Roy is great, but he;s not getting any better and is hurt all the time. Gay is ok, but is simply not dominant. He’ll be borderline all-star material. His dribble is too high for him to create his own shot. His numbers get inflated because Memphis doesn’t defend and tries to run like Phoenix.

    And no, Aldridge isn’t going to “fill out” anytime soon. Not that it’ll matter with Oden on the way…but we have BOSH. He is a better Aldridge anyway.

    Even though very few plays are run for him (because lets face it, that’s not how the Raptor’s offence works) Andrea is also learning to hit the step-in midrange shot and even the dropstep.

    Even Mitchell has gone on record to say the kid has to work on a lot more things than a traditional center does at the same time, due to his skill-set. He is refining the shooting, driving, defence (sometimes of perimiter players because of the team’s switching) PLUS the traditonal center stuff.

    When this kid puts it all together (and all the tests he did, whether high school wannabe stars at RealGM agree or not, say he will) he is going to be scary.

    People always say he never shows he was a number one pick. What a load of *****. How many centers do you know that can get 5 assists in a game (Bargs has mutltiple times)? How many centers do you know that can score near thirty on any given night on limited shot totals? People may not like that kind of center, but I guarantee you, other GM’s would love a shot at him.

    Remember: The results are inconsistent now, but the progress is sure, although not fast. Sure and steady wins the race. Mitchell knows that, and so should you.

  4. khandor said

    Once Pandora’s Box has been opened …

    http://www.thestar.com/Sports/NBA/article/309937

    the Genie will not be put back into the bottle.

  5. EastCoast said

    David Moro -I agree with a lot of what you said, and it’s why I’m not giving up on him. I think the effort has been there recently, but it does need to start coming together and producing better results more consistently. I see issues with how he’s used by Sam, as Arse pointed, out as leading to that, but also, if he can fight through those things and learn how to MAKE HIMSELF a factor, he’ll be an even better player for the adversity, (not to be confused with the appendix). I just think right now he doesn’t know when his looks are going to come and couple that with trying to be aggressive means he’s rushing shots. Now I don’t feel it’s necessary to belittle the year or accomplishments of Gay, Roy or Aldridge – they obviously don’t have as much to work on to be an effective player in the NBA as Bargs. Go ahead march up to BC and tell him what an awful job he’s done. Try and keep a straight face while you do it. I feel though, Bargs may be a year or two years behind, he will be much more effective in year three. That being said, Of the 14 teams that were in the lottery we performed with better records than the all but the Rockets and Jazz. I think all in all we came out of the draft pretty well. How often does the team that wins the lottery make the playoffs the next year, with the pick being an important piece. Maybe his development of his 5 spot game was shelved for a year in favour of the short terms gains he provided us to help win 20 more games than the year prior. When BC says evaluate in five years, maybe he’s not referring to it taking five years for Bargs to be good, but maybe in five years and he “is” good and “resigned” here, where as maybe other players would not be. You’ve taken them first overall while already having the franchise player to build around. Now admittedly in the cases of Aldridge and Roy, I don’t think that would have been an issue from what I’ve seen of those two, but I don’t know enough about Gay, and I’m glad we didn’t take Ammo or Thomas or Williams….

    And I would have liked to see some response from the guys when Andrea went down, it sure was scary for a while, but I’m used to it now.

    You can blow up the idea about us having great chemistry with the reports about ford that surfaced this morning. Perhaps it was all media hype the whole time? I kind of suspected that. Bosh, as the leader, misses opportunities, like backing jose for being an all star on TV, to be an even better leader. Also troubling is how he and Ford are supposedly close, yet we hear about and see TJ acting this way. Will Bosh step up and talk to TJ, IDK. I kind of doubt it. But Bosh is leading by example, an always has, I have to give him that. But I would like him to take ownership of the team.

  6. khandor said

    re: Bargnani

    At 23 yrs of age … this ‘kid’ is not a ‘kid’ at all … by European standards, he’s a seasoned ‘pro’ … who was simply assessed incorrectly by Colangelo & Co., in terms of his overall athleticism, body type, and skill level, relative to his position in the NBA.

    He’s already good at certain things; he’s going to get better at other things; and, then, there’s the things he’s not very good at, at all … and will, most likely, not improve much at doing, over the course of his career.

    Bargnani was a solid mid-Lottery pick … that’s all.

    The Raptors should not have taken him as the #1 Overall 2006 Draft Pick.

    Toronto should have traded down from the #1 spot … picked up an additional player (or two) and then picked whoever was available from Bargnani, Aldridge, Thomas, Roy or Gay.

    It was a no-brainer for a top tier NBA GM … who’s agenda is NOT making $$$ for his owner, being unnecessarily innovative, or expanding his boy-wonder reputation among the group of individuals who vote for the EOY Award.

    A fundamental TRUTH of the NBA is that … your team does not need to have a No. 1 Overall Draft Pick on its roster to win a Championship. If you do, that’s great … but it isn’t a necessity.

    But, when your team gets the No. 1 Overall Draft … what you better not do … is mess it up … by choosing a Non-superstar Big who never fulfils his ‘potential’ at the NBA level.

    Make this fundamental error … and your franchise is going nowhere fast in the next 10-yr period … because YOU BECOME POT COMMITTED to that poor No. 1 Overall Draft Selection, in the worst way possible.

  7. arsenalist said

    See, one of the bad things about making a post an hour after the game is that you can’t put links to articles that come out the next day. Don’t know what to do.

    We don’t know what that meeting between Ford and Mitchell was about and frankly I don’t care, here’s why: If he’s bitching about PT and not starting, great, more reason to trade him and acquire help elsewhere. If he’s actually accepted that role, that’s great too, we got a decent backup PG for now. And who knows, he might even start given some unforeseen turn of events. I think the part that makes me feel at a little ease is the last quote in that article which assures us that he won’t disrupt the team:

    “I think I’m an emotional person. But I think people look at me like I have a problem sometimes, when I really don’t. I’m fine.”

    David Moro, you’re right. The numbers when viewed at a certain angle do speak of him playing better of late. And I’m willing to show more patience with Bargnani and do acknowledge a lot of what you’re saying about him not being a polished NCAA product. But I disagree about the effort he’s put out over the course of the year. I think it’s fluctuated based on if he’s starting or not, based on who’s guarding him, whether he makes his first few shots etc. etc. Again, some of his inconsistence can be attributed to the insane distribution of his playing time across the four quarters but leaving that aside, I do question Andrea’s shot selection.

    At the halftime interview yesterday, his explanation on why he had a better first half than the Orlando game was something like this, “I don’t know, I take same shot, they go in today, yesterday they not go in”. I think the #1 reason for his inconsistent play has been his shot selection. He takes low percentage shots and people accept it because he’s supposed to be able to shoot lights out. Some of his threes yesterday were early in the clock and often the first option on the set, he made them so it doesn’t look that bad. Remember against the Knicks in NY, he launched a bomb 26ft bomb 7 seconds into the game? That’s my major problem with him, his bloody shot selection gets him in trouble and that’s where his percentages start falling.

    EastCoast, welcome. I don’t compare Bargnani to any other player. I wish we had drafted Roy but I’m not the type to pull out nightly numbers and yell out “Ha ha” ala Nelson from the Simpsons. BC’s done a good job of taking this team from the gutter and putting it in the playoffs by getting some talent around Bosh. But I have to mention Babcock because our two best players are holdovers from the Babcock era – Bosh and Calderon. So it’s not like BC had nothing to work with, he had the two main pieces there. I think he’s done a good job of creating a good .500 team in the East. That’s much better from the lottery I concede.

    BC’s roadmap to success is somewhat visible, the signings of Kapono, drafting of Bargnani, acquisition of Delfino and Garbajosa say something about what direction a GM is going in. I just sometimes question whether this team has the grit and toughness (as you yourself alluded to) that is required to win in the playoffs and in tight, intense games. A couple signings here and there could change all that and we’re all waiting for the next move by BC which will take this team from a .500 team in the East to maybe a consistent EC Final threat. Many of us were expecting this to happen at the trading deadline (maybe somewhat prematurely) because the current squad doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning a first round matchup. That didn’t happen so I’m willing to wait till the summer.

    After all, Bosh will bolt if he doesn’t get help on the boards and another real scoring option.

  8. khandor said

    FYI …

    No. 1 NBA Draft Choices

    Year Name Team School/Country

    2006 Andrea Bargnani Toronto Italy (???)
    2005 Andrew Bogut Milwaukee Utah (???)
    2004 Dwight Howard Orlando SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)
    2003 LeBron James Cleveland St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH)
    2002 Yao Ming Houston China
    2001 Kwame Brown Washington Glynn Academy (???)
    2000 Kenyon Martin New Jersey Nets Cincinnati
    1999 Elton Brand Chicago Bulls Duke (???)
    1998 Michael Olowokandi Los Angeles Clippers Pacific (Cal.) (???)
    1997 Tim Duncan San Antonio Wake Forest
    1996 Allen Iverson Philadelphia Georgetown
    1995 Joe Smith Golden State Maryland (???)
    1994 Glenn Robinson Milwaukee Purdue
    1993 Chris Webber Orlando Michigan (???)
    1992 Shaquille O’Neal Orlando Louisiana State
    1991 Larry Johnson Charlotte Nevada-Las Vegas
    1990 Derrick Coleman New Jersey Syracuse (???)
    1989 Pervis Ellison Sacramento Louisville (???)
    1988 Danny Manning L.A. Clippers Kansas (???)
    1987 David Robinson San Antonio Navy
    1986 Brad Daugherty Cleveland North Carolina
    1985 Patrick Ewing New York Georgetown
    1984 Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Houston
    1983 Ralph Sampson Houston Virginia
    1982 James Worthy L.A. Lakers North Carolina
    1981 Mark Aguirre Dallas DePaul
    1980 Joe Barry Carroll Golden State Purdue (???)
    1979 Magic Johnson L.A. Lakers Michigan State
    1978 Mychal Thompson Portland Minnesota (???)
    1977 Kent Benson Milwaukee Indiana (???)
    1976 John Lucas Houston Maryland
    1975 David Thompson Atlanta North Carolina State
    1974 Bill Walton Portland UCLA
    1973 Doug Collins Philadelphia Illinois State
    1972 LaRue Martin Portland Loyola-Chicago (???)
    1971 Austin Carr Cleveland Notre Dame
    1970 Bob Lanier Detroit St. Bonaventure
    1969 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee UCLA
    1968 Elvin Hayes Houston Houston
    1967 Jimmy Walker Detroit Providence
    1966 Cazzie Russell New York Michigan

    Here’s a simple question for you to consider.

    If Colangelo had re-signed MoPete last year and, therefore, didn’t sign Kapono … what do you think the W-L record would be right now for this year’s team?

    i) Better
    ii) Same
    iii) Worse

    and … while you’re thinking about that question … here’s the next one for you:

    “What was the reason MoPete wasn’t re-signed last season?”

  9. Birdman said

    Khandor, I think that MoPete question is a waste of time for two reasons.

    One, I actually have real work to do (DAMN YOU ARSENALIST for making this blog addictive!)

    Two, MoPete would make no difference to this team’s record at this point. I’m sure you’ll point out that he played good perimeter D and had a decent long-range jumper. But what you won’t recall is that he was GROSSLY inconsistent while he was on the floor and we have many players that fill his SG/SF role.

    What’s not to say that MoPete would have fallen out of favor with Smitch’s baffling rotation just like Kapono has? Anyways, let’s forget about him and address our current team.

    Our needs are simple: rebounding and toughness. I think that if we had a decent rebounder (or 2) to complement Bosh, the perimeter D would improve because Parker/Delfino/Calderon/TJ wouldn’t have to leave their man so often to offer help defense on the interior.

  10. Raps Fan said

    khandor: i don’t think the raptors would be any better or worse (1 or 2 games either way at the most), but what his resigning would have done was eliminate the kapono signing, which hasn’t been very good for the raps in terms of return.

  11. Wham said

    What is TJ doing? Did anybody ask him what the conversation was about? He already said he’s OK with Calderon starting the rest of the season so it can’t be about the starting job. And why is he involving upper management, WTF does he stand to gain by doing this in the middle of a 3-game losing streak coming off a shit game.

    David and EastCoast with good points and some good excuses for Bargnani. Yes, a BIG part of the problem is that he was drafted #1. If he was drafted 6th or 7th, we wouldn’t be having this nightly debate. As a #1 pick there are expectations and he’s failed to reach them so far so fans have a justifiable right to be pissed. Did Colangelo make a mistake in taking Bargnani #1? Yes. Would it have been a mistake if we trade down and picked him at 8? No. BC failed to manage that draft properly, you can’t deny that.

    I’m patient with Bargnani but I can afford to be a nightly critic too by pointing out all the stuff he gets right and wrong. And he is inconsistent, whether it’s in results or effort is irrelevant. I think you’re weighing on the side of “attitude and effort” too much, those have been suspect on many nights. Good news is that his overall play has gotten better, he happens to have a severe case of the good night, bad night, good night, bad night syndrome. Hopefully it will change.

    khandor, why are you caring about Mo Pete? Kapono was a suspect signing from the start, he’s struggled more than I thought though. Irrelevant IMHO.

  12. EastCoast said

    wham – how come i never see you on realgm anymore? are you under an hp gag order?

  13. […] – Arsenalist […]

  14. Dinosty said

    When the cut to the bench following Bargnani’s hit, Primoz was swearing up a storm while Hump was actually smiling/laughing (at something else I’m sure, but still). How does Sam not put Primoz in and say ‘next person to come into the paint goes down’? Or ‘next time you get close to Johnson, lay him out’? How do you not respond to an action like that? It’s mind-boggling.

  15. Wham said

    I’ve never even signed up on RealGM, you must have my nickname confused with somebody else.

    BTW Arsenalist, where’s PsyhicSpy, is he dead?

  16. cuzzy said

    oh man I was wanting a Primoz rumble so bad.

    I know the NBA frowns on the whole sticking up for your guy but I would of loved to see it.

    My opinion on the Ford/Calderon thing. It is media driven to make a split or controversy. Getting T.J. to say things and spin them to sound bad. It has to be hard for the guy to get hurt and lose his starting job and I think he is doing his best.

    Good question about Mo Pete. Is he even playing in NO?

    Say what you want about the guy but he hit big shots and took charges.

    I still don’t get why all of the Raps (Moon as well) are able to find time and room to shoot threes but Kapaono can’t.

    He was brought in to shoot em so shoot em.

    Tired of this BS talk of him taking what the game gives him. SHOOT SOME TRIPLES dude.

    I saw that FOrd thumb for Bargs to the end of the bench but I forgot about it. Great shot.

    Anyways, time to get rolling before we head west and lose.

    http://cuzoogle.com/2008/03/05/raps-beat-heat-real-shocker/

  17. khandor said

    The decision to let go ‘an asset’ like MoPete (rebounding defending Wing) in return for ‘an asset’ like Jason Kapono (3-pt shooting artist Wing) is a symptom of what ails the Raptors.

    The kool-aid drinking crowd among (us) Raptors fans, when it comes to assessing accurately the job done by Colangelo, in constructing this current team, is remarkable (but not really surprising, given the post-traumatic effect of the Babcock era).

    I know full well that my voice/opinion on this subject is not ever going to resonate with others until several more years go by and this team

    * makes the playoffs almost every season
    * never ever wins the championship
    * continually flips its assets in-the-name of profit-making for MLSE
    * and never (ever) makes over the proverbial ‘hump’

    just like the Phoenix Suns and the Maple Leafs

    prior to Colangelo skipping town for a better opportunity with another NBA team elsewhere.

    If/when these happen, maybe then others will finally begin to see the ‘correctness’ of my ‘way-out-there’, ‘unconventional’, thinking ‘outside-the-box’ observations about the 2006-to-2008 Toronto Raptors.

  18. Johnn19 said

    Regarding Bargnani: PATIENCE – PATIENCE – The only option. He was drafted by BC to play Center(that was stated at the time) as a project, the previews of potential are worth the wait.

    Raptors were expected to improve this year over last by player improvement, and some new players to win at least a playoff series, or two. So far they are 1 game better than last year after 60 games, while losing their starting PG (TJ) and SF (Garbo) and Bosh (from time to time) and look like a good bet for the playoffs. All that matters is for them to be in position to win in the playoffs.

    There can be no major changes untill the summer, or before the trading deadline next year when there will be $20mil in expiring contracts. For the team to take another step foreward they need a SF and SG who can score and defend, as well as an aggressive rebounder. All obvious improvements required to improve areas of current weakness, which BC is well aware of.

    Regarding Mitchell’s rotation: vs Orlando Rasho, Moon, AB, Delfino, Kapono shot 7/36 or 19% and vs Miami 26/46 or 56%. Is that the diff teams, PG play, or just inconsistent shooting, who do you play??
    The only consistent players are Calderon and Parker, the rest are a crapshoot as to what you will get on a given night so it’s a try it and see rotation.

  19. Lopez said

    Easy win. Even though now im starting to remember why i didnt really like tj ford, its because of his ballhogging mentality. Even though this game wasnt as bad as the Magic game, it still showed u that Tj ford is a ball hog. As for Andrea Bargnani, I think that fall was good for him, he needs to toughen up, this could be like the time that dirk got his teeth knocked out, and he became a better player after that.

  20. whyarewecalledraptors said

    Does anyone not remember people saying that eventually this was going to be Andrea’s team last season? Even Mitchell was quoted to say something to that effect.

    The problem with Andrea is that he is used to being th #1 guy who gets the ball when he wants. He isn’t getting that in the NBA (for now). Putting him on the bench earlier this season to fight through his slumps was a mistake because he is a rookie who thought he was a starter. Then putting him in the same lineup with guys like Humphries or Ford doesn’t help because they don’t look for him and rather take their own shots. Also, people telling him that he eventually has to play a style that he has never played before broke his rhythm.

    Andrea is going to get better. He is a smart player who is still experimenting with what skills he needs to use because he has a very wide range of skills. He is a little different than a guy like Calderon. IMO, Calderon should have been a starter a while ago but the way things have developed worked out perfectly for him. By being on the bench as a backup he was able to put a professional face on and develop all his “starter” skills without the pressure of learning on the job as a starter. I am not saying TJ is a bad or selfish player but I wouldn’t mind seeing what kind of trade value he has in the off season.

    This isn’t a knock on Andrea, but he couldn’t develop like Calderon did on the bench. He needs to be in the starting role and take his serious lumps to deal with poor performance. He needs to play with guys who know how to share the ball like Calderon and Bosh. There comes a point where people have high expectations then when you don’t perform everyone calls you a bust (see realgm). That media attention hurts for a while and the performance still doesn’t pick up and expectations continue to reduce. Eventually people expect nothing from you and use green fonts to highlight your shortcomings. Then when there are no expectations, performance picks up but is inconsistent. This is the phase we are at with Andrea. Give it a bit of time and he will find a groove that works for him. It may not be this season, but a whole summer to think about a crappy season can only help a smart player.

    Just give Andrea time. I still see him as an intelligent player who is fighting through rookie mistakes.

  21. Sam is COY said

    Johnn19 ; whyarewecalledraptors > so you really think Bargs can play the 5 in the NBA? If not now, then in a year or two?

    Johnn19 > I actually agree with you that the Raps might not even shake it up during the summer, and will instead wait til Feb of ’09 to make a major move.

    It will be way easier to see which teams will be willing to get a quality PG, or a 3 pt. threat to add to their arsenal.

    ***Look to Western teams that make an early exit, or, Eastern teams that are just that one player away of making a run for the play-offs*** Because they will be most likely to give something up for KaPOWnow, or Jose/TJ …

  22. khandor said

    If what I read today elsewhere on-line is in fact true … half of the teams in the NBA will have a swack of ‘cap space’ to fill in the summer 2009 free agent signing period … which means that the Raptors supposed ‘advantage’ in this area may well be highly over-rated, i.e. Toronto will be just one of many teams in the exact same situation.

    Possibly … just one of several kool-aid laced streams of thought put out there repeatedly by delusional Raptors fans/Colangelo apologists.

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