This is the kind of stuff that will get a guy benched

The Raptors dug themselves another hole, rallied to grab a late fourth quarter lead, then found a way to lose another close one.

Let’s get to some thoughts on the game:

Kings 107, Raptors 100

- When Dwane Casey made the decision to ride Andrea Bargnani in overtime against the Spurs despite his cold shooting night while Ed Davis sat on the bench, fans second guessed the decision and ranted about it, but also quickly forgot about it. They might not let it slide so quickly this time, nor should they. Bargnani was his usual lifeless self for most of the night, and his lack of effort played a big part in why the Raptors dug themselves a 13-point hole. Ed Davis, on the other hand, recorded a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes, and played a big part in the huge run the Raptors made to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Davis replaced Bargnani at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter with the Raptors down 72-60. Bargnani replaced Davis at the 7:06 mark of the fourth quarter with the team up 87-86. To summarize, over a ten-and-a-half minute span, the Raptors outscored the Kings 27-14 with Bargnani on the bench. So any claim from Dwane Casey or anyone else about the Raps needing Andrea on the floor for offensive purposes or for floor spacing is absolutely ridiculous. The Raptors were just fine with Bargnani riding the pine, and that should have been the end of it.

- While I don’t usually put too much stock into plus/minus, I think the stat tells a damning story tonight. Davis was a team-leading +9. Bargnani was a team-worst -18. Again, Davis gave the Raptors everything they could have asked for and deserves a ton of credit. You know what he apparently didn’t deserve, though? Crunch time minutes.

- The Kings absolutely abused the Raptors in the paint, and that was largely the story of this game, as Sacramento finished with a 56-30 advantage in that area.

- We started to see some signs against the Suns that Kyle Lowry might have been turning the corner towards being 100 per cent healthy again. We certainly saw those signs against the Nuggets. Those suspicions were confirmed tonight in Sacramento, as Lowry finished with a sparkling line of 34 points, 11 assists and five rebounds while going a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Over the last two games, Lowry is averaging 29 points, nine assists and four rebounds while converting all 23 of his free throw attempts.

Safe to say he’s back?

- So who saw Mickael Pietrus going off for 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting?

He scored, he attacked, he rebounded, he defended. Pietrus was great for the Raptors tonight and earned every bit of his nearly 40 minutes of floor time. I obviously don’t expect this from Mickael every night, but if he can continue to get back into game shape and settle into his role here, he can be an important player for this team as a glue-guy.

- DeMar DeRozan had a tough night at the office offensively (7/16 FG, 0/2 FT), but he continued to show his all around development by recording five rebounds, four blocks and two steals to contribute in other areas of the game. The Raptors need him to score more than he did tonight, but it’s nice to see that DeMar looks for other ways to impact a game if it’s not working for him.

Raptors Player Of the Game: Kyle Lowry – 34 Pts, 9/20 FG, 4/9 3PT, 12/12 FT, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO in 38:02

Kings Player Of the Game: DeMarcus Cousins – 25 Pts, 11/18 FG, 0/1 3PT, 3/3 FT, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 4 TO in 36:32

I now fully expect this team to head back home after this five-game road trip with a 4-18 record – 5-17 at best. At that point, forget about playoff dreams or even trying to crawl back into the picture. The only thing left to play for will be individual jobs and respectability.

Comments (20)

  1. I hope they return home 4-18, what’s the point of picking up a win at this point when the team has repeatedly resorted to the same old bad habits (and puzzling line-up related decisions) they’ve displayed most of this season even following their wins. One win isn’t going to change the outlook for this team at this point.

    We’re a bit past the point of preaching patience, you can’t aim for the playoffs and be sitting with one of the three worst records in the league without someone being held accountable or some drastic changes being contemplated.

    What a soul crushing situation.

  2. It’s good to see the kings’ 3rd n 4th year talent showing our 7th year, 1st overall pick, how to get it done. Mrs Bargnani is a 6th man at BEST.

    It’s time for Calderon to come strictly off the bench, none of this 2pg nonsense, and for AB to be traded. If this doesn’t happen, Colangelo should be fired. I’m sick of seeing the same old bullshit with this team, largely thanks to Bargnani.

  3. It’s comical for me to hear the same people who were addiment in their position that “last years edition of the Toronto raptors would have been a legitimate playoff contender if Andrea had been healthy” now say stupid things like “I’m sick of seeing the same old bullshit with this team, largely thanks to Bargnani.”

    Yes he doesn’t rebound,( although if you look at team rebound rates with him on the floor you may be surprised) yes he’s not always aggressive,and yes his help D is AWFUL. But seriously blaming one individual for 16 years of futility… Cut the man some slack!!!

    • It’s not (entirely) comical because the level of play form Bargnani last year is totally different than this year. I’m of the belief that if he had played the whole season, he would’ve fallen back into his inconsistent and listless ways but that’s not how last year played out so it’s just speculation.

      The point is, right now, he’s been mostly garbage this year and on nights where he plays this way, there’s no reason he should be out there when there’s a better option, which was Ed in this case. Other nights it might be another player. Bargnani isn’t the type of elite player with the track record that supports putting him out there on off nights. He hasn’t responded to the confidence Casey’s shwoing in him, maybe riding the pine will but I doubt it.

      Whenever I listen to the other team’s broadcasters during a Raps game, they almost always talk about Bargs’ “uniqyue skill set” being a 7 footer who can “shoot”. If ppl actually believe that around the league, maybe he can be pawned off on someone.

    • Uhh who are you and when did I say the raps would have been a playoff contender if bargnani was healthy last year?

      His play was on a different level last year, and if you can’t see that then you obviously don’t watch the games.

      And who said I was blaming him for 16 years of futility? I’m sick of seeing bargnani dogging it when I know he can play better. I’m sick of seeing stat lines like the one he posted last night. I’m sick of seeing him get abused in the paint and not rotate properly to help.

      I think your post was ranting for the sake of ranting to be honest. If you can’t see that much of the team’s struggles this year should be blamed on Bargnani, you don’t know a thing about basketball.

      And progress of jimmer? Lol gimme a break. Just cause he’s a fan favourite with a weird name, doesn’t mean he’s gonna be the next superstar.

      • I didn’t mean you specifically, just people in general, and you’re quote was readily available.

  4. On a side note… i am sad, and frankly a tiny bit surprised at how jimmer has progressed. I always kind of thought he’d develop into a solid role player, think jj reddick, but from what I saw tonight… Not looking too good!

  5. I think it’s time to blow this entire team up. Build around Lowry. I would even move DeRozan.. his shooting puts the Raptors at a disadvantage; he puts up WAY too many bricks. Time to move BC as well and build through the draft.

    • What will you do when Lowry has a stretch of bad games? Trade him too?

      • Not even close to an apt analogy. Lowry had a stretch of bad games just recently and he makes suspect decisions every game but he doesn’t coast thru games, he competes relentessly, maybe sometimes even too much.

    • Uhh 7-16 is HARDLY a brutal, brick-shooting night. It’s not good but when you’re doing other things on the floor to help your team win, its acceptable. Go look at some Durant stats from his first few years. He used to take 25 shots to get 20-25 points. It’s sad that some raptor fans are passing blame to guys like Derozan, when AB was 3-13, with 3 whole rebounds and a whopping -18.

  6. Yes Joseph, Ed davis is the answer to all the raptor’s problems!
    (altough he might have been last night, you must admit his ceiling is a rotation guy at best)

    I also doubt the theory of floor spacing is ridiculous. But, hey I’m not Phil Jackson.

    I do agree with you however that rotations were suspect and AB should have been on the bench in the 4th. This coaching staff must evolve or parish.

    Horrible game. worst Ive seen in years, but the Raptors have way larger problems than #7.

    I am asking an honest question here so anyone answer. Do you guys think that the Kings won that game because their roster is more talented than ours?

    • I don’t think that Joseph’s saying Ed is a savior or anything close to that and it just happens that there have been a couple of occassions where Ed’s had good games and was pulled for Bargs on an off night, so Ed’s been the guy being pointed to as being robbed of minutes.

      The point, I think, is that when your team’s not winning, it makes no sense to take out guys who are performing well for those that aren’t at crucial points in the game because they’re your “proven scorers” or whatever.

  7. Can’t even beat Sacramento….

    I’ve been a fan for a long time but have now finally given up caring about the team. I used to never miss a game but now hardly bother any more. They’ve just been too bad, and too indifferent, for too long. Get back to me when they can, at the very least, win a first-round playoff series. Ciao!

  8. As long as we have lackadaisical don’t-give-a-shit becuase I still get paid attitude of Miss Andrea we will never win anything. Colangelo needs to swallow some of that planet sized ego of his and get rid of him he’s a cancer on this team. Davis may not be as natural talented but at least he’s hungry to succeed which is 80% of being successful in anything.

  9. I don’t live in Toronto anymore… can someone tell me when / if the media take Casey to task for his substitutions? Specifically, “why would you take ED out and put in AB, when ED helped changed the game from a 10 point deficit to a lead, and AB wasn’t doing shit?” Taking ED out and putting AB in directly led to this loss. SOMEONE PLEASE ASK THE COACH!

  10. Build around Lowry, Val, Davis and Ross . Every other player and staff member is expendable, including DD , Casey and especially Colangelo. Start tank nation right now . And change the franchise brand to Huskies .

    • I’d like to know why you think DD is expendable..and what makes you think Ross, 2-3 years down the road, would be a significant upgrade??

  11. Because he can shoot . Athletically they are the same . Ross has a higher ceiling because he can shoot . Kind of an important attribute for a 2 guard bud .

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