Two Steps Forward…

Those of you who are on the tanking train, the loss against Philadelphia was definitely a positive outcome, even if watching them get rocked by 18 points was not. They’re currently sitting in 5th place (although tied with Cleveland) which is right in the sweet spot, in my opinion.  In the last 20 years, the average place that won the lottery was 4.45. So the Raptors are in a pretty good spot.

Of course, the night could have been better for the Raptors. Both Cleveland and Sacramento won games they very could have won. Cleveland took Indiana to overtime, but lost. Meanwhile, Sacramento lost to one of the few teams in the league with a worse record than theirs, New Orleans.

The game was actually close until Jose Calderon got clobbered in the same eye he got clobbered in a week ago AND by the same team. Apparently they’ve figured out how much Calderon means to the success of the Raptors, especially one with literally one other double digit scorer on the floor.

Yes, that’s right. With Andrea Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless sitting out with injuries and Leandro Barbosa now plying his trade in Indiana, the Raptors only have two double digit scorers, Calderon and DeMar DeRozan. To make matters worse, Linas Kleiza’s reconstructed knee was bothering him, so he played 14 forgettable minutes.

Now, I’ve said on many occasions that scoring can come from anywhere, and it can, but any team is going to have trouble scoring when you basically remove 5 of their 6 top scorers AND their two top assist guys. Especially when their defense allows the other team to shoot 53% from the field.

Of course, all this is good news for fans dreaming of Anthony Davis being in a Raptors jersey next season.

Another plus for the game was Ed Davis’ double double in 33 minutes, which was the most he’d played in over 20 games. Davis not only went for 13 points and 13 rebounds, but passed for 5 assists, meaning he lead, or tied for the team lead, in points, rebounds and assists (in a game where 13 points is the team high). I wonder when the last time a Raptor did that…

The only other player of note was Allan Anderson who is trying desperately to play his way back onto a roster next season, and if the Raptors don’t draft a shooting guard this June, I’d have no problem if that teams was the Raptors. He’s climbed ahead of Gary Forbes, in the rotation with veteran play, good defense and good shooting. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Raptors had the two most unique eyebrows in the league, next season?

5 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward…

  1. Just a little pet peeve of mine – “the average place that won the lottery was 4.45.” When it comes to odds, previous performance has no impact on future results. The ‘sweetest spot’ would still be #1. Ofcourse the Bobcats destroyed anyone else’s chance of landing there and #5 is the 5th best spot to be, so thats not bad.

    Jose – while people have been, mistakenly, calling Bargnani the ‘best player’ on the team, we see time and time again Jose’s impact on a game(although I do need to give Bayless credit for his play during Jose’s injury). I’ll point out the OKC game where the Raptors scored a total of 7 points without Jose on the floor. 7!. He was a +13 in a game that the Raps lost by 15…..

    Ed Davis – this guy should have gotten more time this year. There are no shortage of games where he was playing well and still never topped his usual 18-20 minutes. I have no problems with Casey sitting a guy for not playing well, but they should also be rewarded for playing well.

  2. Tim W.

    You mentioned somewhere that the one NBA champion that didn’t have an All-NBA defensive big man had the best player in the game. What you didn’t mention was that best player in the game was an All-NBA Defensive First teamer in each of his championship years and his running mate was also an All-NBA Defensive First teamer in each of his championship years except 1991, when he was an All-NBA Defensive Second teamer. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

    • Sure, but only to turn around and trade Gasol for a prospect and/or high lottery pick. The last thing the Raptors should do is trade for a 32 year old ALl Star big man who will be a short cut to competitiveness, but who won’t be what the Raptors genuinely need: a player who will grow with the team, especially Valanciunas, and allow them to become contenders over the next decade.

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