Dwane Casey

I don’t want to speak for the hopes and desires of all Raptors fans throughout this season, but in my mind, sensible Raptors fans want the team to play competitive games and show some promise for the future while still losing most of their games so they get a high pick in a loaded draft. If you’re part of “my group”, then you were pretty happy with the Raptors’ dramatic two-point loss to the Lakers this afternoon.

Here are my six thoughts on Game No. 29: Lakers 94, Raptors 92.

1. I frequently claim that Kobe Bryant’s clutch reputation is somewhat overrated, but he certainly has a history of hitting big shots to beat this particular team. He made today’s winning basket with 4.2 seconds left, and he killed the Raptors with this clutch dagger on March 9, 2010:

2. In 455 previous NBA games, Jose Calderon’s career high for points in a game was 27 on February 11 of last year. Today, he set a new personal best with 30 points in just 18 field goal attempts. While it obviously wasn’t Jose’s fault the Raptors lost this game, it’s interesting to note that the Raptors have lost three out of the four games in his career in which he scored 25 points or more. I also think it’s worth noting that Jose is the only Raptor who can have a game like this and nobody really wants to talk about it. I’ll let you discuss among yourselves the reasons for that. I also think it’s interesting that Calderon played arguably the best game of his career against a team that really should have figured out a way to trade for him a long time ago.

3. The Raptors would have won today if DeMar DeRozan had played halfway-decent, but he finished with a putrid eight points on 2-for-13 shooting from the field. It’s not like he was settling for ill-advised jumpshots, since only five of his shots were taken outside the paint. Bizarrely, he set his own career-high with seven assists, topping his previous high of five dimes.

4. Is Amir Johnson still having personal problems? He didn’t take a single field goal attempt in 16 minutes and had just two rebounds and a steal today. A lot of people were critical of Bryan Colangelo for signing him to a five-year, $30 million contract in the 2010 off-season, but I felt like he had done a lot to silence those critics with his play last season. Many of you probably know that I’ve been a big supporter of Amir throughout his career, but I can’t defend the way he’s played this season.

5. I’ve ripped Jamaal Magloire a lot this season but he’s one of the main reasons the Raptors were even in this game after they fell behind by 15 points after a quarter. He had four points, seven rebounds, and he was plus-12 in just 15 minutes today. After entering the game three minutes into the second quarter, he did a great job boxing out Andrew Bynum and setting screens for his teammates. If he can provide that kind of contribution a lot more often, he might have a future in this league after this season.

6. Yeah, I know Rasual Butler called a timeout on that critical inbounds attempt and the officials missed it, resulting in a five-second violation. Let’s not lose sight of the real issue here: Why was this responsibilty given to Rasual freakin’ Butler in the first place? And for what it’s worth, DeRozan was open but I suspect the called play was to get the ball to Calderon, who was being smothered by Kobe. If this season mattered to me, I suppose I’d be filled with outrage over the missed time-out, but I’m taking a long-term visionary approach to these games. And let me reiterate: Rasual Butler is a terrible NBA player.

Raptors Player of the Game: Jose Calderon — 30 Pts, 13-18 FG, 4-4 3Pt, 6 Ast, 2 Reb,

Lakers Player of the Game: Pau Gasol — 16 Pts, 6-15 FG, 4-4 FT, 17 Reb, 6 Ast

Comments (10)

  1. I think it’s a pretty simple reason why the Raptors lose when Calderon scores a lot. If Calderon is scoring a lot, it means that he’s been forced to because no one else is. If no one else is scoring, then chances are the Raptors won’t win.

    It reminds me of something Isiah Thomas said. He said if he’s scoring a lot, you know his team is in trouble.

    And I’m not sure why you think this was Calderon’s best game. His 30 points was obviously great, but I’d much rather take my PG dishing out 14 assists with no turnovers, like he did against Boston. I thought that was a much more impressive game.

    As for DeRozan, his scoring was poor, but by dishing out 7 assists and playing very good defense, he’s beginning to show he can contribute more than just scoring, something that is important if he ever wants to be more than a decent player on a bad team.

    • Tim W;
      I understand your point but who is going to score then?
      Kleiza scored 15 that game , the other option is DeRozan.
      imagine without calderon it would have been a blow out for us.

      • I’m not saying Calderon didn’t have a great game, and that he wasn’t the reason the Raptors were in the game, but 30 points from your PG is not more impressive than 14 assists and no turnovers.


  3. Liked just about everything about the game, even the outcome.
    Davis and Derozan found ways to contribute.

    Jose gave the Lakers something to think about

  4. Just in time for our own Linsanity Experience: chink balla ???? Really. Try getting that sign up at ACC tomorrow.


  5. Everyone has been trying to give Lin a nickname for the past week when he used it for his Xanga user name since he was 15.

  6. Well said, I agree with all your points.

  7. Bah previous comment was supposed to be in reply to Tim W.

    Since we missed the last shot anyway, I don’t reckon the timeout fiasco had much real importance in the end. It ended up being 3.7 seconds versus 4, and we’d have probably ended up with something like that DeRozan longshot anyway.

    Tank nation is all well and good, but you can’t tell me it wouldn’t have been sweet to put down the Celtics and Lakers in a row.

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