I’d call this rock bottom, but the saddest part is that I still think it can get worse.

Here are some thoughts on the game and the general state of this team right now:

Jazz 131, Raptors 99

Forget thoughts on the game tonight. This game was too much of a shitshow to break down individual performances or to pinpoint what specifically went wrong.

The Raptors got off to a strong start and looked like the team capable of running away with it early. They were up 10 against a Jazz team that was missing Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors and had to sit Paul Millsap early with foul trouble. Instead of being the aggressors and taking it to Utah, the Raptors seemed content and lackadaisical, which allowed the Jazz to not only stay in the game, but take control of it on pure hustle on the glass and movement on offence.

As three-pointer after three-pointer splashed down, the Raptors, to a man, threw in the towel. Even the couple of times they cut it down to 12 or 14 in the third quarter, you could just see that they didn’t have the fight in them tonight, and that’s seriously concerning for a team that’s already dug themselves quite a hole and should have been playing desperate basketball.

A bunch of disgusting memories will stay with me from this game. Calderon refusing to dive to the floor on the play that Davis hurt his finger on, Bargnani proving that he actually could give less of a shit than in previously embarrassing games (I realize his numbers were fine, but they don’t tell the story) Lowry jacking up ill-advised three-pointers with the Raptors trying to chip away, Valanciunas not looking as defensively focused as usual, Amir committing thoughtless fouls, DeRozan being stripped of a rebound under his own basket. It just went on and on and on.

In the end, the Raptors turned out what was by far the most pathetic display of basketball and overall effort in the Dwane Casey Era, and you have to wonder how much job security Casey has left after this one. As I mentioned on twitter at one point in the fourth quarter, this was the type of game that costs people their jobs. Blowouts happen from time to time in every sport at every level, but given how desperate this team should be playing right now and how shorthanded the Jazz were, this was unacceptable on so many levels and frankly embarrassing to watch for me as fan sitting in Toronto, let alone for the players on the floor in Utah and the coaching staff.

For the record, as disappointing and disheartening as this season has been so far, I don’t think Casey should be fired. Now, if the Raptors turn in another performance like this on Sunday or continue to dig themselves an embarrassing hole, then all bets are off. Similarly, if a new general manager waltzed in and wanted his own coach, I could understand that. But as far as I’m concerned, Bryan Colangelo should not have the green light to make a coaching change given the uncertainty surrounding his own job right now. If the organization feels a major change has to be made in terms of coaching/management, then I would hope Casey at least has a little more leash than B.C. does.

On the players’ side, there are certain individuals who most of us like and who we feel this team can build with going forward, and they should be pretty obvious. Then there are certain individuals who need to be shipped out of town, if for nothing else, to end not just a culture of losing, but a culture of being content with losing. We’ve gone into great detail about all of those players in the past, and we will continue to do so in the future, but tonight I’m concerned with this team as a whole, top to bottom on December 7, 2012.

And what we know right now is that this team either isn’t talented enough, isn’t focused enough or doesn’t want it enough. Either way, that makes them not good enough to win many games in the NBA, and given what we’ve seen thus far, no game on the schedule should be looked at as “winnable” until the Raptors prove they are capable of playing good basketball for more than a quarter or a game at a time

How this team comes out on Sunday in L.A. will be telling. It won’t necessarily matter in the win/loss column since no one expects Toronto to beat the Clippers at Staples Center or to even get back in any sort of playoff race at this point, but it certainly will matter from an overall compete-level standpoint. If they come out looking like they’ve waved the white flag on the season and get blown out again, it won’t matter that the Clippers were expected to win the game anyway.

Perhaps the only question for tonight is which Raptor goes all Shea Hillenbrand on us?

Comments (54)

  1. 3 coaches have suffered in Mitchell, Triano and now Casey with Bargnani and Calderon at the core. Makes me wonder if the coaching has been that bad all along. Comments? I will say Sam Mitchell was the only coach with enough balls to sit Colangelo’s bum buddy, Bargnani, when he refused to play team defence and for this he was fired when the team was 8-9. A record I’m sure Colangelo would kill to have started with this season.

    • As much as I like Bargnani and Calderon, I think they really should go NOW, and also Kleiza, they just simply don’t fit this team no more.

  2. This is disgusting. Can we organize a boycott? Literally, it wouldn’t be that hard to just get a petition going to boycott a specific home game, say, next week. Sure, you’d have the few corporate whores showing up in the platinums, but if all real fans could just agree to sit one game, and there are only 1000 or so ppl in the stands? That statement would have legit repercussions. It would be the biggest sports story of the year and would force action.

  3. Whatever happened to the Raptors and Casey’s vaunted defense?

  4. Boycott it is . What are the fans demands ? Colangelos nuts clipped ?

  5. It’s funny that since the dawn of the internet there has been endless talk about various ‘fan boycotts’ that of course for many reasons never happen.

    Surely at this point people would realize it’s just a waste of breath/characters.

  6. The ‘corporate whores’ are doing a great job staying away. Take a look at the lower-bowl when a non-marque team is in town.

    • What are the reasons it would be so hard? As long as it was organized well, I really don’t know if it would be so impossible.

  7. Yeah this game got me pretty angry. Actually so far, almost every raptors game this season got me real pissed, losing 1 to 3 points, bad calls, or losing by double digits. Our losses either are really close or a mile away. Fire BC get Alex A from Blue jays to find some fire sales lmao.

  8. really makes you wonder if Colangelo is the problem for the Raptors if it’s not the coaches..but it’s really hard to watch tonight’s game..i honestly didn’t watch the game until 6mins left in the 4th quarter but watch Kleiza getting rejected on a breakaway dunk by Evans from behind was just digusting…winning by 30 points,Evans still have the hustle and desire to stop Kleiza from getting a easy 2 points.That’s more desire than the five raptors players on the court at that moment combined

  9. MorganC, that is a great idea. If only there was a way to broadcast this idea to the entire city…

  10. Dwayne Casey should absolutely NOT be fired. He has nothing to work with. Thats all colangelos fault. Everyone knew coming into the season the sf position was a huge problem. Whats BC’s solution? Fields? Give me a fucking break. What is Calderon still doing on this team? He should have been traded in the offseason. Also, I have to say, I have no idea what people on this blog see in players like ed davis and amir johnson. They have very little offensive talent. know everyone likes to shit on bargs which is fair but replacing him with those two is not the solution. The team as whole is very limited talent wise which is a big problem in the nba. This isnt baseball. Talent is crucial in basketball as luck and hard work can only get you so far which this team doesnt have to begin with (deservedly so). Put it bluntly, the only players I would keep are JV and lowry. Maybe derozan but i think on a good team hes better suited to coming off the bench.

    • I agree it’s not Casey’s fault this team has not potential right now. Guys aren’totivared enough to play defense. They really have to shake things up get rid of a couple guys and get tough minded sedative players who could also score. It’s time for a trade. This game was horrible.

    • first off amir and davis play wayyy more defense than bagrnani, davis and amir are put in the game to hustle, rebound, block shots, alter shots defend the rim all those things bargnani does terribly, if you think those 2 are the problem more than bargnani than either your delusional or italian??…if colangelo trades bargnani for another power forward im going to puke we have depth there and were ok at the postion where we are hurting is at the 3 and the 5 spot, i like jv at the 5 but hes is not the answer right now not to mention coming off the bench for him is amir whos natural position is the 4 than you have aron grey who last night looked absolutly terrible on the court

  11. Maybe be like the wizards fans and give people money to go to a raptors game. National Raptors Ticket Giveaway day – on the condition that you bring a Fire Bryan Colangelo Banner

  12. Joseph, why do you put so much into how they come out against the Clippers on Sunday? This is something I’ve been noticing in your game recaps (saying how we’ll learn a lot by how they’ll respond in the next game and the next one and the next one and so forth) over the last couple of weeks especially after losses and I’m just trying to figure out what you mean by it.

    I mean, they can’t play worse than they did tonight and even if they keep it close or by some miracle of god, even pull out a win, it doesn’t just wipe away all the problems this team is currently facing. They are a badly broken team, I think we need to stop with the game by game analysis waiting for a small blip of good play and look at the big picture of how flawed this team currently is and how we go about fixing that. We shouldn’t be looking for reasons not to believe what we’ve seen so far this season, that would be a pretty dangerous thing to do.

    • I don’t think how they play on Sunday should erase anything. Jobs should be on the line and moves should be made regardless. I’m simply saying that if they come out with this bad of an effort on Sunday for the second game in a row, those jobs might be lost/moves might be made even sooner. Depending on how you look at things, some fans may say they want the team to get shelled again simply to force change. I can’t even say I blame those fans.

      • My goodness , you guys have actuall created a story line for the big game on Sunday. Im pumped , how will the world turn in Raptor land , Will the big Italian by fouled within two feet of the basket? Will Val wave and wave and wave to try and get the ball down low and everybody ignore the young lad and hoist contested jump shots? Will Derozan show up for his family in the stands? Will Ed Davis show his Id to the coach .. Im poppin the popcorn as we speak woooo hooooo go Raps

      • What protection do we have on that pick we traded for lowery?

  13. Being a fan of an organization with its’ problems (Lakers), those problems look minor when compared to the shit fest going on in Toronto. Bryan Colangelo needs to go before Dwayne Casey does. Colangelo is responsible for building this “team”; he should be the first to pay for the lack of performance.

    I know it would be a painful year….but….at this point, it’s best for the future of the Toronto Raptors for them to flat out suck to increase the chances of keeping their 2013 1st rd’er (and be able to draft Zeller or Noel or McLemore or Muhammed or whomever is worthy of an early pick.)

    If they can some how trade Bargnani for a better fitting piece AND still keep that pick…..

    • They’re going to have to give that pick up sometime over the next 5 years because this team isn’t making the playoffs for 5 straight seasons so I’d rather give it up this year on the brink of one of the worst drafts ever than say in 2014 (Wiggins/Parker draft) or beyond.

    • you mean that same pick that we gave up to get Lowry? we can only keep it if we are in the top 3 and knowing this teams heres whats going to happen .. at some point during this season be it towards the end or not they will go on a 10 game winning streak and put themselves back in contention for what you may ask? ahh yes a mid lottery pick as always. This team doesnt know how to win and doesnt know how to lose like we lost Barnes because of a coin toss when the Warriors were fully throwing games we decide to try and win it .. for what?! did we gain some big thing from winning the game? nope we got nothing no pride nothing, even when we win we lose like ffs this looks like a team that will always be stuck in limbo.

    • The chances of getting that pick is slim if they tanked. And that ain’t happening. But they way they’re playing who knows. Colangelo needs to pull off a big trade to keep his Job. Something that provides rebounding and defense!!!!!! Wow what a ridiculous game. Trade ab and ic and whoever else to get some players in toronto. I think the only untouchable players in raptors right now should be derozan Lowry Davis and valanciunas. That’s it trade everyone else and picks bring in some talent now!

  14. No one in this organization (MLSE), from top to bottom, is held accountable. No one. Surely, the fans deserve at least some accountability (if nothing else). When you have both Burke and Colangelo come out and say we are going to be competive for a playoff spot, that is an insult to the fans (or fight for an 8th seed). Toronto sports fans ought to expect the managment of the team try to build a winner. When your expectations are low and when there is no accountability, sadly, these are the results year after year. We support this product. We fill the seats, we buy the merchandise and the true fans pin their hopes on the team and buy false hope. We deserve better. The media constantly makes excuses for performances and losses. Bargnani can score his 20 points per game, and it’s a ‘silver lining’ (even though his leadership, defence, competitiveness, etc is beyond atrocious…he is a number 3 option on any other ‘decent’ team and only BC doesn’t see that). Casey preaches that accountability will be maintained throughout the season, and yet game after game, players are played according to the numerical value of their contracts rather than their performance. Who knows if he’s actually calling the shots or not. BC appears to be a pretty good salesman to the Board. How he can still have a job after his reign at the helm is beyond me. Tonight though, was an absolute disgrace. At the very least, the very least, Toronto fans at least would expect EFFORT on the floor….like someone actually cares. Some actual emotion….but alas, how saddening is it that we cannot even produce that effort. The fans of this city, at the very least, deserve some semblance of effort…

    I had to rant–apologies are in store if it’s come across as too harsh…

  15. HA, what has Utah lost once at home?? And Toronto should have won? What were they 7 point under dogs. With this heavy road schedule it’s obviously going to be easy and Casey will not go what a dumb thing to say.. Once team is healthy and playing a normal road/ home schedule they will turn it around. What a dumb post

  16. I understand the stipulations concerning the pick; merely suggesting what I feel would be best for the franchise. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Kyle Lowry asks for a trade between now and next year.

  17. just a joke lol , im so fed up with this team . cant change the culture of the team to defence untill you get barny and calderon outta here . worst defenders ever . blow by calderon and rely on barny for help defence lol . at this point bring back Rafael Araujo atleast he put his hands up haha

  18. After all the years watching the raptors game and them losing I must tell you this is by far the most painful season I had to watch Vince Carter leaving was less painful then this like damn my sister can put together a better team then Bryan Colangelo all he does is draft Fucked up European players like a goof ball something need to be done how long does it take to rebuild for crying out loud I bet the wnba can beat the raptors better of just send the them to the wnba after the jazz lost

  19. Are you guys new? You actually thought the addition of Kyle Lowry was going to save us? Lets take step back into reality. We’ve got a team full of europeans. They need to go (excluding JV). They needed to go years ago. It doesn’t matter what coach you have on the bench with these players they are just not going to win you enough games. Ship the euros out and play the rookies. How much worse could it possibly get?

    • Tell that to the Spurs. Check out who their best players are. How about the Mavericks and their European? The newest Rap from France as well. Actually if you look at the Raps their best players excluding DD and Lowry are all Europeans. These players will have no trouble landing a job starting on most teams. Instead of bringing ethnicity into this why not focus on the real problem. Not enough talent.

      • While I don’t even know how a persons nationality has any relevance, I’m quite curious if you know there is a difference between Europe and not-america?

        “Actually if you look at the Raps their best players excluding DD and Lowry are all Europeans.”

        and you managed to just prove a xenophobes point. Nice work.

  20. Wow, watching that game last night almost made me throw the remote at my new tv. I think everyone can agree, big changes need to be made, starting with trading premo pasta and sauce.

  21. Ownership needs to fire Colangelo ASAP before he does something stupid and desperate to try to save his job… again. He has been the primary problem with this franchise for the past few years.

    Bring in a new GM that is actually allowed to do a proper rebuild. Something the Raptors should have done the moment Bosh left.

  22. Can people please stop using the term compete-level? It’s competitive ability. Or playing up to the same level of competition as the opponents. I don’t care if it’s easier, it sounds horrible.

    I’m not even going to talk about the game, this team is so uninspiring right now.

  23. I wouldn’t worry about being blown out at this point in the season, because lets face it; this team doesn’t have the talent or most importantly the chemistry to win games. What I am worried about is how does Colangelo still have a job. Lets face it; the man simply hasn’t done anything to warrant him keeping his job. I would honestly like to see a petition to fire Colangelo out of Toronto; maybe the Score could put a link up?

    At least with B.C. out the Raptors might have a chance at drafting a player that fits into the teams dynamics, which I agree is in desperate need of an overhaul as well. This is all hypothetical though, because as I know the owners don’t care enough to put a winning product out on the floor so the team will continnue to be mediocre as it shoots itself in the foot with poor trade deals. I mean no wonder why this team is consistently bad. I know why; it’s because every year near the end they keep playing just enough to make it look like they’ve put some effort in and have a little heart.

    What I want to see; and hopefully some of you can agree with me on this one; is the Raptors tank and Colangelo fired . Trade Bargs, and trade Calderon, maybe for draft picks in a year that has some talent- 2014, and for the rest of the season the fans will know the team still cares about them, so they don’t have to go on with the false hope that this team, with its core can get better. I’d like to have faith in management of this team, but I don’t see any reason to believe this team is headed in the right direction.

  24. say good bye to lowry soon, bargs needs to go or come of the bench as a scorer, to rely on him to defend anyone is crazy, nevermind actual good basketball players, hes awful same with calderon, im not even mad at BC anymore im just sick and tired of being sick and tired, no inside presence on D, (as much as i like JV and amir, their just not enough, JV might be there eventually but not yet) feel bad for Casey, has no MEN to help with these young players, its him and the coaching staff and thats it, the last thing anyone wants is jose and bargs teaching JV how to play D…..

  25. It’s clear that Casey’s over his head, but the bigger problem is that high powered coaches and players don’t want to come to T.O. When Colangelo hired Casey I can’t believe he was his first choice. I’m not making excuses for Colangelo, but I think that’s a bigger problem than many want acknowledge.

  26. That game was just painful in every way.

    Bargs, Jose and Kleiza need to go. I’d be happy if they just simply traded them away for nothing at this point.

    Keep Casey. Sometimes game results truly depend on the players you have, not the coaching. Last nights game just looked like there was very little effort or desire from the players.

  27. The Utah game without Jefferson and Favours was a gift, and should’ve been an easy win. When Millsap was in early foul trouble, Utah had 2 bigs, and one was Jeremy Evans, who is pretty bad. We should’ve kept attacking inside and finished it early. Should’ve been an easy win. Talk about blowing it over and over and over!!!
    I’m scared to watch against the clippers. I’ve watched a lot of LAC games this year, and the Clippers second unit is pretty much just as good as the Raptors starters. Crawford, Bledsoe, Barnes, Odom… Prediction: Clippers 138, Raptors 76.

    • maybe when fields is back the raptors will improve. I am just curious what the locker room is like

  28. It is so funny how all these fans are coming out for bryan colangelo and andrea bargnani’s head. We all saw how better this team was defensively last year and we are talking about defensive numbers that we havent seen in years. Some fans were even pledging votes for andrea to make the all-star before he had the calf-injury. I agree the team is suppose to be an improvement from last year but what we all raptors fans have to realize that we have Valanciunas as our defensive anchor. A rookie who missed most of training camp . I am not saying Andrea Bargnani is not to blame for the lack of some defensive coverage but you we have to realize that in the current market bargnani’s offense is way worth more keeping than letting go for in instant gratification. Bottom line, bench Valanciunas and bring some veteran blood at the frontcourt that will bring respect and accountability in the paint.

  29. Ok let’s get something straight this teams problems lite far beyond bargs and jose, it’s ridiculous how many people blame bargs for everything that’s gone wrong, that being said bargs definitely needs to go but for the right pieces in return…I personally think there needs to be a Management and coaching change. I would also like see a tighter rotations, I still don’t see why people live Amir, Everytime he takes that jump shot I pray that it goes in please move him and get those mins to Ed. Do to some it up I want Jose,bargs,Amir,klieza gone asap

  30. We should also point fingers at Colangelo. It’s not just Coach Casey who should be worrying about his job. My concern is that Colangelo and his role should be questioned.

  31. At a certain point, after years of complete failure, MLSE has to do something, literally anything. The only ownership group that has had success in Toronto is Rogers (even though its been decades since the championships, at least they’ve shown some commitment to getting better) with the Jays who look golden right now. The leafs suck. The raptors are god-awful. TFC is horrible. There only positive rsults come from the Marlies. Whoopdy-f*ing-do.

  32. I have made a plan for the raptors to succeed in the future.
    First we trade Jose to Dallas or Cicago for a 15-20 pick. Then we trade bargs to one of the better lotto teams (Portland, Indiana, Detroit etc..) for a pick in the 10-15 range. Then we deal fields as a salary dump for a late first rounder to a team like Golden State. Currently we have the leagues 3rd worst record, but the Wiz and Cavs will improve when they get their pgs back. Hopefully we get a top 3 pick, giving us the 3rd, 11th, 18, and 23 picks (estimates).
    We use our top pick on Shabazz, take a big man prospect with our next pick, draft Kabongo to play backup pg, and then take another prospect late in the first round. In the off season we resign lowry to a long term deal, and using our cap space freed up we sign Josh Smith to a max deal.
    We start the 2013-2014 season with a line up of Lowry, Demar, Shabazz, Smith, Jonas.
    I might also suggest firing Casey, as I was a big fan last year…but this year we are blowing late leads, getting blown out, and playing no defense.

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