Archive for the ‘Jamaal Magloire’ Category

Most assumed it was coming the day he was given a training camp invite and un-guaranteed contract, and on Saturday, the Raptors waived Jamaal Magloire after the veteran Canadian big man failed to see any pre-season minutes.

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Over the last month or so, ESPN has slowly unveiled their ranking of the Top 500 NBA players (from Eddy Curry to LeBron James) according to a panel of 104 “experts.” For the most part, I’d say they’ve got it right, but the method they used to get there – arbitrarily rating each player from 0-10 – is a little ridiculous.

Nonetheless, regardless of whether the rankings actually tell us anything about the “current quality of each player,” as panelists were asked to judge the players on, given that so many high profile NBA media people and insiders were involved in the ranking, the list does, at the very least, give us a good indication of how each player is perceived heading into the 2012-13 season.

For the purpose of this blog, I’ve compiled a list of where each Raptor ranked in the panel’s eyes, and have included the player each Raptor is preceded by and followed by, to give you an idea of the kind of company each Raptor is keeping in these rankings.

In addition, I’ve included where five Raptors (Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas) rank by position and where Toronto’s three rookies rank among first year players.

So without further ado, here’s how 104 ESPN-titled experts see the 16 Raptors compared to the rest of the NBA:

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We’ve known it’s been coming since last week, but the Raptors officially announced that they’ve re-signed Jamaal Magloire on Tuesday afternoon.

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We’re usually pretty good in terms of keeping on top of Raptors news, both big and small, that finds its way onto the web. But this little tidbit appears to have slipped through the cracks after the Raptors’ 96-72 loss in Miami on Wednesday night.

After the game, Fox Sports Florida’s post-game report featured some interesting comments from Dwane Casey and Jamaal Magloire about Magloire’s status for next season. While some of us may have thought Magloire’s homecoming this season was just that, a one-year homecoming to retire a Raptor, it appears we may have been a little presumptuous.

Here are some of the quotes from the report:

Magloire, on the possibility of retiring after this season: “There’s no chance of that.” Later, “I have a lot of gas left in the tank.

On the surface, you could assume that just because Jamaal wants to continue playing, it doesn’t mean that someone is necessarily willing to sign him, or that the someone will necessarily be the Raptors. But the post-game report also contains some quotes from coach Casey on the matter:

Casey on bringing Magloire back next season: “That’s our plan. We haven’t really sat down and talked about it. We haven’t made an offer to him. But that’s my hope and my plan.

Casey went on to talk about how Magloire has helped him out personally through the some of this season’s struggles, and how Jamaal has helped set the tone defensively.

Obviously nothing is set in stone, the final decision should be up to Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors’ management team, and above all, Magloire may not have as much “left in the tank” as he believes.

But at the end of the day, I don’t think bringing him back on another minimum deal for a year would really hurt, especially considering that he would probably see limited minutes (if any) as the team’s third centre and fifth or sixth big.

The way I see it, with the job Dwane Casey has done here, he deserves a couple of rewards, and if he feels having Jamaal Magloire around will help him continue to change the culture in Toronto and set some sort of defensive tone, then just oblige him, and let’s get on with it. After all, it’s not the worst thing in the world to have a character guy like Magloire in the dressing room in a season when two rookies are expected to be handed major roles, especially when one of them is a young centre.

The other thing to consider is that Magloire seems to have solid connections and good relationships with a lot of players around the NBA, and appears to be well respected, so perhaps his role as an ambassador to the city of Toronto can add some value in that respect, though that might just be wishful thinking on my part.

Unless the Raptors win the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, it’s looking like their rotation of bigs next season might be Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas, one (or both?) of Amir Johnson or Ed Davis, perhaps Aaron Gray or another veteran centre, then Magloire.

Then again, it’s April 20th, there are still three games left in the current season, and if there’s one thing we know Bryan Colangelo is capable of, it’s a major off-season overhaul.

Game No. 34: Rockets 88, Raptors 85

The Raptors started the second half of the 2011-2012 season in similar fashion to the way they played games in the first half. A slow start, a good effort to claw back into the game and make it interesting, not enough talent to close it out or grab a W.

Now here are some thoughts on the game.

1- What else is new? Despite finally figuring out how to play a first quarter at home, the Raptors continue to come out laying eggs in their opening quarters on the road. The rested Raptors looked more like the rusted Raptors early, beginning the contest with a two-for-11 shooting display over the first few minutes and six turnovers over the span of the first quarter. Not surprisingly, the Raps found themselves down 12 after one. Toronto has now gone 12 straight road games without winning a first quarter (last first quarter win came January 10 at Washington), a horrible road recipe for a young team low on talent.

2- James Johnson, DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis had the most noticeably positive games for the Raptors on this night, but Jamaal Magloire’s contribution in his 15 minutes of action should not go unmentioned. Magloire made himself a presence in the paint on both ends of the floor, set hard screens, grabbed some rebounds and brought a physicality that I believe changed the ball game early in the second quarter, the same way he did in the Raptors’ tough loss to the Lakers a few weeks ago. Jamaal was brought home to Toronto to provide a veteran presence and give the Raptors dependable spot minutes when called upon. As bad as he’s looked at times this season, it seems like he has finally settled into his role and is now simply doing his job. And that’s perfectly fine.

3- DeMar DeRozan had another nice night offensively, scoring 17 points on 14 field goal attempts to go along with a couple of boards, an assist, a steal and two blocks. DeRozan scored all of his points through the first three quarters, however, as he was curiously stapled to the bench for much of the fourth quarter. I’m not sure if Dwane Casey was unhappy with something about DeMar’s game tonight, if he was simply sticking with a lineup that had them in a close game down the stretch, or if it was all part of the Tank Nation “conspiracy” (sarcasm by the way, as I can’t see Casey stomaching a purposeful tank). Whatever it was,  DeMar didn’t know the reason either, or he did, and just wasn’t happy with it:

 

For the record, that tweet has now mysteriously disappeared. The NBA’s twitter policy does state that players can’t tweet until after they “have finished their responsibilities after games.” The game finished around 10:30. DeMar’s tweet was sent at 11:13. Hopefully one of the beat reporters can confirm soon enough whether DeMar completed his post-game responsibilities before tweeting. Either way, expect insane reaction, massive speculation and maybe even some confusion over what this tweet was really about, if we haven’t already figured it out.

4- Speaking of guys who were riding the pine down the stretch, Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless sat and watched for most of the fourth quarter while Anthony Carter and Leandro Barbosa patrolled the back court for Toronto. Again, part of that was probably just Casey sticking with a lineup that was working, but it obviously also had to do with Jose’s off night and Jerryd’s atrocious night. I didn’t think Calderon was that bad on the offensive side, but he wasn’t giving Casey much on the defensive end. As for Bayless, he had just four points (on six shots), two rebounds and two assists while committing an ugly five turnovers in only 12 minutes. Jerryd never looked like he had his head in this game.

5- Houston’s general success doesn’t shock me, as I did predict they’d be one of the eight teams that would make the playoffs out West, but I thought they would be the kind of team that has to scrap out games in late April to get in. That still may very well be the case, but as of right now, the Rockets are more concerned with getting home court in the first round than they are about just getting in. At 18-7 since January 13 and 21-14 overall, Houston is currently tied with the Lakers for fourth in the conference. They have no one scoring more than 18 points per game and no one grabbing even eight rebounds per game, but the Rockets are very well balanced, are obviously playing hard for Kevin McHale and are getting some outstanding point guard play from Kyle Lowry, who came into this game averaging 15.6 points, 7.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds and two steals per game, while boasting a Player Efficiency Rating over 20.

6- We’re all hoping that Ed Davis can finish off this season the way he finished strong in his rookie campaign last year, and Tuesday night in Houston was definitely a step in the right direction for him. Davis had been playing better heading into the All Star break, and continued his improved play tonight with five points on just two field goal attempts (made them both) and a ridiculous 15 rebounds (plus a block) in only 22 minutes of floor time. I don’t have a problem with how Amir Johnson played tonight, but given that Davis is starting to find some consistency and that I believe Amir’s energetic bursts are best suited off of the bench, I’d really like to see Ed get some starts until Bargnani is ready to return.

***

At the end of the day, the Raptors competed and had a chance to tie the game in the final minute on the road against one of the hottest teams in the NBA, and a team that looks like a playoff club in the Western Conference. In their last 11 games, the Raptors are just 3-8, but none of their eight losses have been by more than seven points and four of those defeats have finished as one-possession games. Tank Nation has to be smiling right now.

Raptors Player of the Game: James Johnson – 34 Min, 16 Pts, 6-12 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TO

Rockets Player of the Game: Kyle Lowry – 38 Min, 26 Pts, 8-12 FG, 4-4 3PT, 6-7 FT, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 TO

Make sure you come check out RaptorBlog on Wednesday, as we’ll post a great interview that theScore’s Glenn Schiiler recently did with Jose Calderon.