Sunday’s win over the Nets was a red herring. It’s going to be a festival of losing in Toronto while the Raptors wait for Andrea Bargnani to return. The Raptors adorably kept it close until halfway through the second quarter, but then the much more talented Hawks turned up the heat and coasted to a comfortable 23-point win.

Presumably, you’re here to read my thoughts on this bummer of a game. All right, if you insist.

1. Joe Johnson had averaged 30 points in his previous three games against the Raptors and he dropped another 30 on them tonight, on 13-of-18 shooting. No one Raptor deserves the brunt of the blame for this, since Dwane Casey tried to use different guys on him with no success whatsoever. It’s clear that nobody on this team can guard him.

2. DeMar DeRozan obviously didn’t have a great night (nine points on 3-for-9 shooting in 34 minutes) but it didn’t seem like his teammates were making much of an effort to get him the ball. Hey, it’s not like he was coming off his best game of the season going into tonight. Oh, wait…

3. Ed Davis was the lone bright spot for the Raptors tonight. He finished with his first double-double of the season and showed the kind of hustle that he needs to exhibit to earn minutes from Dwane Casey.

4. I noticed that some people still boo Tracy McGrady at the Air Canada Centre. Really? It’s been over a decade. I think Jennifer Aniston will get over Brad Pitt before some Raptors fans will get over a player who doesn’t pledge allegiance to their franchise for life.

5. I wasn’t aware that Kirk Hinrich was rocking the safety goggles now, but there isn’t another NBA player who I would be less surprised to see wearing those. He could start shooting free throws underhanded, Rick Barry style, and I wouldn’t blink.

6. The Hawks are now 9-2 since they lost Al Horford — arguably their best player — to a torn pectoral muscle. It seems like they’re being overlooked as a darkhorse contender in the East, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want it any other way. They’ve got some of that same kind of steeze that the Mavericks had during the 2010-11 regular season. Of course, there is one fairly significant difference between the two teams. Joe’s a’ight, but he ain’t Dirk.

Raptors Player of the Game: Ed Davis — 26 MP, 11 Pts, 4-6 FG, 3-3 FT, 11 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Hawks Player of the Game: Joe Johnson — 30 MP, 30 Pts, 13-18 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT, 2 Reb, 4 Ast,

Comments (4)

  1. Scott, where do you think Ed fits in regards to the Raptors future? Would packaging him+Barbosa/Calderon for a high first round pick make sense? The Raptors would then Have a front court of Bargnani/Valanciunas backed up by Amir/Alabi. The starting five could look like this:

    Bayless
    Derozan
    Gilchrist
    Bargnani
    Valanciunas

    With the first three off the bench being:
    J.Johnson (Energy, blocks)
    A. Johnson (Keeps him fresh)
    J. lamb/Other draft pick (James Harden, eat your heart out*)

    Would that be plausible? Am I rosterbating to much?

    Yeah, probably, but I like the look of that.

    *I’m being facetious here

  2. I don’t think any combination of Ed, Calderon or Barbosa nets a first-round pick. None of these players are franchise changers, and teams drafting in the lottery have to hope that they’re getting a player who might be. I’m more interested in figuring out a way to convert Calderon into an expiring contract so the Raptors have more cap room next off-season.

  3. Calderon is ideally a backup PG earning somewhere around $4-5M a year. I like the guy but he’s making way too much. When he isn’t aggressive and isn’t hitting his shot, he’s so much worse, and unfortunately for him his jumper has never really returned from a couple seasons ago when he was lights out. I’m all for trading him for an expiring contract, but I don’t see why a team bites on that contract this year. He’s just not good enough. This team needs a new PG badly, and Bayless ain’t it either. I don’t want a PG who can’t see the floor.

    WTF is up with Amir lately? He took the bandage off his right hand but I don’t even know what that injury was. His body language is off. His hustle is off.

  4. Just last year Ed was regarded as one of the better picks of his draft class and projected as a rock solid starting PF going forward. Now he can’t even net a low first round pick … this upcoming draft is deep, but it’s not THAT deep. Ed should have a stretch where he flirts with a double double once again and his value will come back to a more realistic level.

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