Too Close For Comfort

Here are my few random thoughts on a Raptors-Cleveland game that was far too close for comfort…

– It’s much more difficult to watch the Raptors (almost) win when you want them to lose, than to watch them lose when you want them to win. Why? Because most regular season losses can be usually made up the next game. They usually don’t mean much long term. But a win right now could affect the team for the next decade.

– The last time I cheered for Antawn Jamison, I think he was playing at North Carolina.

– The last two years, DeMar DeRozan has started slowly and then finished strong. Why? Could it be those pointless pro-am games he plays in where no one plays defense?

– What the hell got into Byron Scott? Did one of the refs try and bang his wife, because his anger seemed to come out of nowhere. And was he pissed.

– What can Ed Davis do to get more minutes? He grabbed the same number of rebounds as Bargnani in literally half the time, and played good defense.

– Is it just me, or were you surprised that Aaron Gray only had 5 fouls when he did?  It seemed like WAY more. And he always has the same reaction when he gets called, like he’s surprised and disappointed at the same time. He should be used to it by now.

– So what the hell is going on with James Johnson? Casey holding him out two games? I mean, I like JJ, but if Casey’s holding him out to lose games, I don’t think he’s THAT vital to the Raptors.

In my last post, I said that both teams would have trouble reaching 85 points. Damn, did I get that right,

– While the Raptors are still 7th in the race for the lottery, New Jersey won against Washington putting the Raptors only a half game behind/ahead of them for 6th.

10 thoughts on “Too Close For Comfort

  1. What can Ed Davis do to get more minutes?

    Uh, maybe score? If rebounding is the only thing he can do reasonably well (and keep in mind that on many nights he disappears in this department and is inconsistent as hell) then he doesn’t deserve to get more minutes. His defence is also inconsistent, yet you have the audacity to compare him to Bargnani, who at least is 10X the scorer Davis is?

    Tim, if it were up to you, this team would be full of Ed Davises, all defence, no offence, and getting outscored by 50 every game.

    • Rex,

      Your last statement is incredibly ridiculous and laughable at best. I have no idea WHERE you get the idea that I don’t value offense. Certainly not from my continued defense of Jose Calderon, over the years, because of his ability to make those around him better on offense. The fact is that I value BOTH offense and defense. While I don’t believe everyone needs to be able to score well, I do believe that everyone should be able to defend, especially if they are a big. Anyone who has ever played basketball should know the importance of a front line that can defend, just as much as the importance of a big man who can score. Perhaps you don’t play. That’s fine, if you don’t, but you learn a lot more about basketball if you do.

  2. I can’t stand watching bargnani play, he is so inconsistent defensively and rebounds below average. He also seems to be much slower and settling for jumpers more as the season wears on……….even though he is doing a much better job of getting to the line this year.

    I think I could settle for Thomas Robinson if we don’t end up getting Anthony Davis. Thoughts Tim?

    Bargnani for Josh Smith? I’ve heard smith is unhappy and wants out of atlanta. Smith is a tweener, but im not sure if he can adapt to playing the SF position.

    • It’s not that he seems to be settling for more jumpers. He actually is. As of April 1st, a whopping 83% of his shots are jumpers, which is a slightly higher percentage than last season, which most felt was a disappointment for him. Earlier in the season, the percentage of jumpshots was much lower. I can’t remember the specific number but I believe it was in the low 70s. Players almost always revert to what they’re most comfortable doing. Bargnani is most comfortable on the perimeter taking jumpers. There’s nothing wrong with that, as he’s quite good at it, but that’s not something you want from your first or probably even second option.

      Robinson will probably be a very decent pro, but if Im Colangelo and I don’t get a top two pick, I’d offer up everything I”ve got (except Valanciunas) to get either Kidd-Gilchrist or, preferably, Davis. The last thing they need is another player who has the potential to be a good, but not great, player.

      I think Smith can definitely play SF. In fact I think he’s been playing out of position for most of his career. I don’t know if I’d want to take on that headache, though.

  3. Im not sure I agree with Andrea shooting jumpers b/c he is comfortable with it, I think it is a fitness issue (that can never be resolved),as I type this he is sitting the second half out against OKC with “calf tightness”, but we both arrived at the same conclusion.

  4. “The fact is that I value BOTH offense and defense.”

    Yeah right, I’ve never heard you criticize anyone on the Raptors, or in the league for that matter, for any shortcomings they have offensively, but when it involves defence you’ll jump on it. Both are very important parts of a GREAT player’s repertoire, but the Raptors don’t have any great players, yet if they play defence but provide no offence, you’ll give them a free pass and praise them til’ heaven high, and if vice versa (poor defence, great offence), you’ll bash them. Great consistency you have going there.

    Playing basketball has nothing to do with what me or you know about the game, unless one of us does it professionally (none of us do), and not in the backyard with our family and friends. There are many that haven’t played a lick of it, but are strong followers/observers and understand the importance of defence and offence and much more. I see no consistency with you in these two facets of basketball, if you’re a bigger fan of one over the other, that’s fine, but I don’t think I can ever recall you ripping on someone for being a bad scorer.

    And yes, I don’t need to hear your whole spiel on how this is not the site where you praise players etc., but if you want some constructive criticism, at least be objective and not-overly critical to a point where it sounds like incessant whining, ie. complaining when the Raps win as if it’s under their control, and thinking it’s the end of the world if the Raptors don’t land Davis with them being on the proverbial treadmill forever. Relax, there’s an Anthony Davis clone in next year’s draft by the name of Nerlens Noel if it makes you feel any better. And one last thing, if the Raps don’t land Davis, and are stuck in perpetual mediocrity and it’s stressin’ you out, follow the Thunder, there’s a franchise that’s in great shape and should have you worry-free for years.

    • Ah, where to begin. First off, if you’re going to make sweeping accusations about someone, make sure you aren’t doing it on their blog where they can point to actual proof that you’re full of crap.

      Bargnani on several occasions for relying too much on his jumper, not posting up enough…
      …not getting to the line enough…

      Jerryd Bayless, Russell Westbrook and countless other “PGs” for their inability to run an offense and be a real PG…

      Oklahoma as an entire team for not having a credible low post scoring threat…

      DeMar DeRozan for his inability to take contact at the offensive end…

      And that’s just a few. Why the hell do you think I was so against the Raptors drafting guys like Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and Avery Bradley? It certainly wasn’t due to their defense, of which all are, at the very least, decent at. It’s because I had serious questions about their offense. And why I don’t like shoot first PGs in general. And why I desperately wanted to trade Bargnani for Ricky Rubio? And why I wanted the Raptors to draft Enes Kanter? Or why I wanted to keep Marco Belinelli?

      I mean, Christ, you read a few of my posts (emphasis apparently on a few) and suddenly you think you KNOW me? Are you kidding me?

      I also think it’s ironic that you’re ripping me for not criticizing people’s offense, and then in the next paragraph whining about my “incessant whining” and criticism of the team. Talk about inconsistency.

      As for telling me to become a fan of another team, it reminds me a lot of a lot of those redneck Americans who tell other Americans who criticize the US to “love it or leave it”. I criticize because I’m a fan and I want what’s best for the team. And by the way, if you think that Nerlens Noel is an Anthony Davis clone, then I really question your basketball acumen. One of the reasons I really like Davis is ability and potential to effect the game at BOTH ends of the court. Noel, at this point, is pretty much just defense and rebounding.

  5. I’m not going to get into petty links where you more or less posted about an aspect of offense rather than it as a whole. Criticizing guys like Westbrook for not being a true PG is just as moot as he makes his team better and is truly one of the game’s elite. So really, I thought you’d come up with something better than just 4 posts out of a possible 500 or so is it?

    No, I think guys like Knight, Walker were passed up because they simply weren’t the best available pick at the 5th spot in the draft, they didn’t have a high ceiling in terms of offense either. Trading Bargnani for Rubio is a lame way of supporting yourself as this is something all Raptors fans would support, and hey Rubio plays better defence than Bargnani. So relax.

    I’m not whining about your incessant whining, I posted about your incessant whining. Just like the Raptors (in your case) I don’t have to force myself to read some of your drivel, I have the FREEDOM to walk away and go elsewhere, just like you do with the Raptors, and I wonder what it’s like to follow something that stresses you out so much to the point where you write 1500 word essays about how much you despise them. You criticize because your a fan, fine, but when it becomes repetitive, and overly-critical (like blaming the Raptors for winning, really?) it sounds like utter whining.

    Noel turns 18 tomorrow, did you just do a quick Google search on him or have you heard of him beforehand? I’m guessing the former. Same measurements as A-Davis except a bit taller, and like Davis, his defensive game is miles ahead of his offensive game. For Noel, it’s soft hands, smooth touch, lots of potential, but still developing. Hey, sounds like A.Davis before he played a game of college B-ball. Hey, if we miss out on Noel, how about Shabazz Muhammad, lots of great talent next year, so why don’t you hold back on that sky-is-falling attitude of yours, and those -we’re-in-deep-shit-if-we-don’t-get-anthony-davis isms of yours. RE-LAX.

    • Rex,

      I’m not quite sure what exactly what you’re looking for here. I gave you a sample of evidence to show that your assertion isn’t true. I’m not going to give you a full list. And just because you disagree with my criticism, doesn’t mean it’s not a criticism. I think Russell Westbrook will hold Oklahoma back more than he’ll help in the playoffs because of his decision making on the offensive end.

      As for Knight, Walker, et al, I’m not suggesting they were passed on because of their offensive limitations at PG, but that’s why I was against drafting them. You’re asking for my criticism of player’s offense, and I gave you some. And the main reason I wanted Rubio was because I felt he would help the Raptor’s offense far more than Bargnani.

      And my point about the whining crack was to show that it’s in the eye of the beholder. What you call whining about the Raptors, I simply call criticism of them. And criticizing me for it can be construed as whining.

      And as BP has already pointed out, this year will be it for the Raptors, most likely, because the chances of a borderline playoff team getting the top pick is minuscule, and that’s most likely where the Raptors will be next year.

      Besides, Noel certainly has basic similarities to Davis, especially physically, but when you look deeper there are major differences. Davis had the advantage of playing PG for most of his basketball development, which has given him a much better handle and passing ability than most big men. Noel simply doesn’t have those types of skills. And it’s pretty fair to say that we simply won’t know whether Noel pans out like Davis did. Andre Drummond was, at least, as highly rated as Noel was, when he was in high school, but now there are serious questions about him. One of the things that makes Davis so special was the development he showed in four or five shorts months at Kentucky. He went from being a possible #1 pick to being compared to Tim Duncan.

      Lastly, I’ve written 16 posts since the season started. That’s it. It so happens that the most of what I’ve felt like talking about has to do with the rebuild and the draft. That’s what happens during a “lost” season like this one. I find it funny that the couple of people who take issue with my topics bring up stress, yet they’re usually the one’s who seem stressed. I write on here as an outlet. It’s not as if I spend all my time thinking about this sort of thing. When I do, and have time, that’s when I write. So, like 16 times in the last four months. You were the one who jumped on me with your “Tim, if it were up to you, this team would be full of Ed Davises, all defence, no offence, and getting outscored by 50 every game.” comment. Maybe you need a blog as an outlet, too.

  6. Rex, “next year”??

    There won’t be a next year. The Raptors may actually contend for a playoff spot next year, there will be no chance for a top pick in the next draft, like there is now.

    The time to try and get a top pick is now, or never. Which is why they need to do whatever it takes to get one, even if it means sacrificing meaningless wins against teams like Cleveland.

    Like most Raptors fans, I believe Tim and myself see losing as the only hope of getting a player like Davis to help turn the franchise into a contender. Right now, they could make the playoffs but will never get to that elite level as is.

    Would you call just making the playoffs a successful rebuild? I wouldn’t.

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