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One of these men is an NBA centre; the other is not

If you’re not a hardcore Raptors fan or Bucks fan, then I hope to God you didn’t tune in to this ball game between a 14-27 team and a 19-30 team. Because believe me, the two teams played to their…um…potential.

First of all, the game was played in front of a dead-silent building, “filled” with 11 975 fans and the players on the floor did nothing to excite them. From a Raptors perspective, this game was downright ugly.

Sure, DeMar DeRozan got off to another hot start, Amir Johnson crashed the glass and Leandro Barbosa made his return. But as a team, the Raptors shot 16-of-45 from the field in the first half, and struggled to score 38 points in the half. Luckily for them, the Bucks were almost just as awful, and so the Raps trailed by just two at the break.

If there was a play to sum up the first half, it came in the first quarter. Amir Johnson grabbed an offensive rebound, three times in a row on one possession, and all of them came off of a Jose Calderon miss. And that brings us to Calderon, who may have had the worst quarter of his career in the first 12 minutes. Jose went 0-for-6, with zero points, one assist and three turnovers, and it was only a sign of things to come.

Again though, the Raptors were lucky, as they came out of the half down 40-38 in a game that they should have been out of already.

The third quarter was incredibly frustrating to watch as a basketball fan, let alone a Raptors fan. Forget that the Raps only scored 20 in the quarter or that both teams were sloppy. What was frustrating was that it took 11-and-a-half minutes to get the only Raptor that was shooting well, DeRozan, a shot in the third quarter. And it took a three-on-one fast break to get him that shot attempt.

Instead, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon clanked jumper after jumper while DeRozan wasted away in the corner. Now I know that part of the problem is that DeMar needs to be more assertive and demanding on offence, but as a teammate, when you know only one guy on your team is feeling it on a particular night, how do Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Sonny Weems combine for 46 shot attempts (of which they combined for just 13 makes), while DeRozan gets just 13? It doesn’t add up, and I don’t know whether to attribute it to poor coaching, ignorant/negligent players, or just overall stupidity from all involved.

Back to the game itself. I could mislead you by telling you that the Raptors were in a close, eight point game heading into the fourth quarter, or I could tell you the truth. Everyone who has watched this team this season could tell that towards the end of the third quarter, the wheels began to fall off, and the Bucks were about to take total control in the fourth.

Lo and behold, just three minutes into the fourth, we had a 13-point game, and mere minutes later, the Bucks were holding a very comfortable 18-point lead. In the end, the Raptors managed just 16 points in that final quarter, and actually outdid themselves (in a craptacular way) by scoring less in the second half than they did in that lousy first half. This all led to the final 18-point margin of defeat.

No matter how you slice it, the Raptors never had their heads in this game.

Aside from DeRozan, who finished with 18 points, I thought Amir Johnson brought his usual hustle to the table and Leandro Barbosa had a decent return from injury.

Amir was hampered by some familiar foul trouble and had an uncharacteristically inefficient night on the offensive end, but he, at least, looked alive on the floor and did grab 11 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Barbosa finished just 4-of-11 from the field, but he made a few nice plays and showed a willingness to attack the paint that hasn’t been seen around these parts since Barbosa went down a few weeks ago.

And if you’re thinking, “what about DeRozan attacking the paint?” Then I must remind you that DeMar has now gone three straight games without a single free throw attempt.

Oh, and before I leave you, how about this? After setting an NBA record with at least one three-pointer made in 986 consecutive games, the Raptors fell a little bit short of that record in their latest streak. On Tuesday night in Milwaukee, Toronto’s new three-point streak ended…at six games. There’s a reason this team is dead last in three-point shooting.

Raptors Player of the Game: DeMar DeRozan -39 Min, 18 Pts, 9-13 FG, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Bucks Player of the Game: Andrew Bogut – 30 Min, 14 Pts, 6-8 FG, 2-3 FT, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

Goat of the Game: Jose Calderon – 32 Min, 6 Pts, 2-15 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 6 TO

Comments (10)

  1. This team is such a joke now. Earlier in the year we were playing some nice team basketball, and even though we weren’t winning we were close in most games and really fun to watch. I can’t even watch this selfish crap anymore. We have a team full of chuckers and a coach who continues to encourage them. BC better turn this around in the next year or two, starting with the coach, or else we will lose DeRozen and any other talent we have on this team. Bleak.

  2. Amir could have had about five more boards but was butterfingers all night… Not sure I agree about the shot attempts… Jose was getting wide open looks, have to take those… Meanwhile derozan was not being allowed to move and did not handle the double and triple teams at all well when he got the ball… And refs were weird, calling walks and a five count yet ignoring all kinds of contact in the paint on both teams… Just a turd of a game for all involved…

  3. How many field goal attempts is Bargnani on pace for? It is getting borderline insane.

    It sucks that this organization is being held hostage by a myopic executive hell bent on making his number one pick from 5 years ago work as the focal point of this team.

    Only way to make this stop is to cut the cord with Colangelo because he’s not going to trade Bargnani.

  4. I didn’t see the game, but looking at the box score it seems like you’re lumping Bargnani in with Calderon and Weems unfairly. He was 9-21, not great but not awful.

    You could just have easily said DeRozan, Calderon, Weems and Johnson combined for 45 shot attempts, of which they made only 14.

  5. I have to go with IkeKrizzule on this one. Lumping Andrea in with Calderon & Weems (and conveniently forgetting Johnson’s 1 for 7), is irresponsible stat reporting.

    When Andrea was off (in the second half), one had to get the feeling Raptor offense was nowhere to be found. From the start of the 3rd Quarter, and for the next 9 shot attempts, Bargnani added 14 points – bringing the Raptors to within 6 points. At that point, there was still 10:45 left in the game.

    From that point on, Raptors missed 9 straight shots (one of them by Bargnani). That was where the game got away for good.

  6. My point wasn’t about this game or even this season. I’m not too concerned about wins and losses but it is alarming that we’re trying to build a team around a player who can’t even efficiently do the one thing he’s been given credit for doing well.

  7. From what I saw, Andrea had about a six-minute span in the third quarter, if that, where he made shots and attacked the basket. The rest of the game was him settling for jumpers and turning the ball over as he attempted to drive. It wasn’t his worst game, but was nowhere near good enough to avoid criticism either.
    As for Amir’s 1-for-7, I don’t think there was a shot I didn’t like him taking, and he didn’t go crazy, trying to shoot his way out of his problems like Andrea or Sonny.
    And I do agree that Jose had a lot of open looks in the first half, but his third quarter was filled with forced jumpers with a hand in his face.
    As usual, thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. Ikekrizzule, RapthoseLeafs,
    don’t you see there’s a plain and simple prejudice at the base of everything that has been written here? Don’t you see there’s an “editorial way” they’ve chosen for fitting the taste of all the frustrated babies coming up here to drink the usual daily dose of bias?
    Don’t you see, all over, that characteristic sense of Double Standards always at work? Isn’t it enough for you to read that 1 for 7 (for Amir J.) is okay, and 9 for 21 (well over 40%, for Bargs) is not?
    Don’t you hear that, when Bargs doesn’t touch the ball he’s a not-assertive asshole (so, his fault anyway) and when the same happens to Derozan is just “poor coaching, ignorant/negligent players, or just overall stupidity from all involved”?
    These people are not reliable anymore, cause – in the midst of this mess – they’ve chosen to stop reporting and start and brand new job: appeasing the more perverted feelings in their base readers. That’s what I sincerely feel. Cheers

  9. CdG, I respect your opinions, but I believe you may have missed that I actually wrote that part of the problem with DeRozan is that he “needs to be more assertive and demanding on offence.”
    Also, I am not a Bargnani hater, nor do I have an agenda against him. He is a phenomenal talent that I have been following since his teenage years playing in Italy. I believe he has the natural talent and potential to be a perennial All Star and dominant player. But his consistency and effort limit him from reaching that potential, and that’s a sad fact.
    The fact that we often do document this lack of effort and inconsistency should not mean we should refrain from doing so after the 20th or 30th time. If Andrea’s play continues to warrant us writing about him in this way, then I would predict that you can expect more of it.
    Thanks again.

  10. how about this…let’s now stop all forms of journalism, pseudo-journalism, blogging, columns, op-ed pieces, news tickers, Q&A’s and online comments about the Raptor Organization until they can put a respectable product on the floor. enough is enough, this team is garbage.

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