Archive for the ‘Jarrett Jack’ Category

Jerryd Bayless

Season Stats (With the Raptors only): 60 GP, 22.4 MPG, 10 PPG, 42.9 FG%, 34.8 3PT% 81 FT%, 4 APG, 2.5 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 1.83 TO

Career Stats: 198 GP, 17.4 MPG, 7.6 PPG, 41 FG%, 32.1 3PT%, 81.7 FT%, 2.6 APG, 1.7 RPG, 0.4 SPG, 1.4 TO

When the Raptors traded Jarrett Jack and David Andersen to the Hornets in the early part of the season, I was disappointed that Jack’s valuable contract made him more movable than Jose Calderon. I also thought it would be nice to see a three-point legend, Peja Stojakovic, dawn a Raptors jersey.

But the thing that made the trade a no-doubter for me was the acquisition of Jerryd Bayless. I’ve always been high on Bayless, and still believe that he can be a starting point guard on a good team for years to come.

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The Raptors opened the last game of their home-stand in front of a smaller, sluggish crowd, and their go-to scorer was equally as sluggish. Andrea Bargnani looked to still be suffering from the flu in the first quarter, but luckily for the Raptors, other players came to play ball tonight.

DeMar DeRozan attacked the basket, James Johnson continued to be a steady contributor, Amir Johnson and Ed Davis provided their usual spark and Jose Calderon was absolutely lights out, racking up eight points and six assists in the first frame. The Raptors took a 27-20 lead into the second quarter, but the 14 704 in attendance either weren’t impressed yet or were being kept quiet by the whistle-happy refs.

Calderon continued to lead the charge to close out the half, as the Raptors outscored the Hornets 20-5 in the last six minutes of the second quarter, creating some energy in the building and taking a 57-42 lead into the half.

The balanced Raptors attack continued in the third quarter, as did the solid Toronto defence, leading to a 17-point lead at one point. But the 35-win Hornets were not about to fade away without a fight, and they closed the third quarter on a run of their own, cutting the deficit to 10 after three.

Ex-Raptors Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli started getting hot, and before we knew it, we had a three-point game early in the fourth quarter.

Just as they had done on Sunday against the Mavericks, it looked like the Raptors were ready to piss away another three solid quarters against a Western Conference playoff team.

Instead, Bargnani finally came to life, Amir, who finished with seven blocks, helped tighten up the defence and Calderon continued to torch the Hornets back-court, as the Raps did just enough to grab their 17th win of the season. The Hornets also didn’t do themselves any favours by missing a handful of layups and close-range “gimmes” in the fourth quarter.

Jerryd Bayless and Leandro Barbosa struggled to get anything going off of the bench, and Bargnani was missing in action for most of the night, but other than that, Raptors fans were given commendable performances from the rest of the roster.

Amir was great defensively and Ed Davis grabbed eight rebounds in 25 minutes, DeRozan struggled in the second half but continued to attack the rim and still finished with 17 points, and James Johnson turned in another impressive effort, finishing with 13 points, five boards, three assists and two blocks in just 21 minutes. Another positive stemming from James’ arrival is that it should motivate Sonny Weems to step his game up. Weems stepped up on Wednesday, pouring in 14 points in 20 minutes.

There were plenty of positives for the Raptors on this night, but none comparable to Jose Calderon. Jose thoroughly outplayed one of the best point guards on the planet, actually played defence and even pulled down seven rebounds to flirt with a triple-double for the second straight game. For the most part, Calderon has elevated his game to hang with some of the best point guards in the league this season.

And now the Raptors head to London, England, to give fans in Europe their first taste of top-flight NBA basketball, if you consider a meeting between teams that combine for a 34-87 record to be “top-flight.”

Raptors Player of the Game: Jose Calderon -38 Min, 22 Pts, 7-10 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 5-5 FT, 7 Reb, 16 Ast, 1 Stl

Hornets Player of the Game: David West -39 Min, 19 Pts, 7-17 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 5-6 FT, 10 Reb, 4 Ast

Goat of the Game: Emeka Okafor – 21 Min, 1 Pts, 0-5 FG, 1-2 FT, 7 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 1 TO (You could certainly make the case for Trevor Ariza and CP3 in this category)

Peja StojakovicToronto Raptors President/GM Bryan Colangelo is not held in particularly high regard these days. Here’s ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons on Colangelo: “He didn’t just ruin the Raptors these past four years; he shoved them down the stairs, beat them to death with a baseball bat and buried them in a sanitation site.” Considering the current state of the Raptors, it’s pretty hard to argue with that assessment. But what I will say about Colangelo is that he probably executes more surprising transactions than any other GM in the NBA. Whether or not they’re transactions that help his team is another story entirely.

I was at my parents’ house this morning and was discussing the state of the Raptors with my father. I told him that sometime this season, Colangelo was probably going to have to trade either Jarrett Jack or Jose Calderon and Jack was more likely to be shipped out because of his contract. Sure enough, Jack has apparently been traded to one of the elite teams in the NBA where he’ll backup the league’s best point guard. Assuming he cares more about winning than being in the starting lineup, this is a pretty good development for Jack.

As weird as it seems to identify Jarrett Jack as the “key player” in a trade, that seems to be the case here. While he’s had a rough start to this season, the Hornets obviously see him as an upgrade over Jerryd Bayless as Chris Paul’s backup. Since Paul’s contract expires in 2012 and there might not even be a 2011-12 NBA season because of Collective Bargaining Agreement issues, it’s understandable that the Hornets are trying to do whatever it takes to convince Paul that he should sign an extension with the team. Upgrading his backup is a smart move in that context.

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Ron Turenne/Getty Images

Jose, Amir and the rest of the Raptors had the ACC rocking on Friday night

Over 16 000 fans were on hand to see a dandy of a game inside the ACC on Friday night.

The Raptors got off to a good start, the Rockets kept up, and we had a solid back-and-forth ball game going all night.

Sure, the Raps had a couple of lapses here and there that resulted in Houston making some runs, but give credit to Jay Triano and the coaching staff for calling timely timeouts and switching up Toronto’s defensive schemes to stop those runs.

A 13-point first half lead for the Raptors had actually become a six-point deficit late in the third quarter, but the Raps recovered with a 7-0 run to end the third with a slim lead.

Then, for the second straight game, Toronto dominated the fourth quarter with (mostly) quality possessions and timely stops to pull away down the stretch.

The Raptors outscored the Rockets 31-22 in the fourth, as the liveliest ACC crowd of the young season cheered on.

It should be noted that in the last two fourth quarters combined, the Raptors have outscored their opponents 56-37. For a team that had so much trouble closing out games through the first few weeks of the season, perhaps the last couple of fourth quarters were indications of growth.

This was truly an all-around team-win for Toronto. Bargnani led the charge, but all nine players that saw action chipped in. Sonny was hot early and battled through foul trouble. DeMar decided to relentlessly attack the rim in the second half. Kleiza abused whoever was defending him. Amir and Reggie continued to do what they do, the dirty work. David Andersen consistently nailed his jumper from the top of the key, and the two point guards combined for 14 points and 15 assists, while committing only three turnovers.

Jose was the better point-man again tonight, but credit Jarrett Jack for sharing the rock and spreading the wealth when he realized his jumper was still M.I.A. Jack had eight dimes and just one turnover in 23 minutes.

One thing I wanted to mention tonight has to do with plus/minus. Usually, I know it’s a useless stat. But in a close ball game like tonight’s, when you look at the boxscore and see Amir Johsnon at +29, Calderon at +27, and Kleiza at +20, it has to mean something, no?

It’s a rather irrelevant point, but has anyone noticed the Raptors have been outstanding on Friday nights this season? They blew out Cleveland, stunned Orlando and slipped by the Rockets all in Friday night affairs, and their lone Friday night loss came in a great effort against the two-time defending champs in L.A.

Next up, the Celtics, who the Raptors haven’t beaten at the ACC since the 2006-07 season and the team who has won eight straight versus the Raptors. No one’s expecting a W, but it would be nice to see this young team at least stick around.

Raptors Player of the Game: Andrea Bargnani -36 Min, 26 Pts, 11-17 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 3-3 FT, 6 Reb, 4 Ast (Andrea looked unstoppable, offensively, tonight. Inside, outside, he had it all going)

Rockets Player of the Game: Kevin Martin – 40 Min, 31 Pts, 8-16 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 11-11 FT, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Goat of the Game: Chase Budinger – 14 Min, 0 Pts, 0-6 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 1 Reb, 2 TO (Not to mention, he was absolutely abused by Linas Kleiza in the post.)

Getty Images

Is that Andrea digging down on defence?

If you look at the final score and the box score, you would assume you missed a good, tight basketball game.

The truth is, it was a dud.

The game was ugly, especially the first half. It wasn’t even that one team played exceptional defence, but rather that both teams were brutal offensively. The poor shooting did make for a close game though, as neither team opened up a lead of more than seven.

The Raptors didn’t seem to have their legs under them for most of the night, and were out-hustled for three quarters. The only reason we still had a ball game to watch heading into the fourth quarter was because of the play of Andrea Bargnani and Sonny Weems. The two accounted for 59 percent (55 points) of Toronto’s offence tonight.

The fourth quarter was the difference-maker, as the Raps opened the final frame on a 6-0 run to take the lead, watched the Sixers jack up awful shot after awful shot down the stretch, then forced three turnovers in the final couple of minutes to seal it. A DeRozan steal with the Raptors up only one in the dying minutes seemed to be the clincher.

Overall in the fourth, Toronto outscored Philadelphia 25-15, including a 9-1 run in the final 3:20 to close the game.

Reggie Evans had his usual day at the office, grabbing 14 rebounds in 31 minutes and sparking the Raptors’ defence. Amir Johnson fouled out in the fourth quarter, but that’s something Jay should let him do almost every night. Amir brought his usual hustle and did contribute defensively in his 14 minutes of action.

At the point, Jose Calderon bounced back with a solid outing of 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Jose has played well for most of the last two weeks, but the other “head” of what was supposed to be a two-headed monster at the point has not.

Jarrett Jack continued to struggle. He forced poor shots on a night when he was bricking everything and took some cheap fouls. Effort is not something you have to worry about with Jarrett, but his play overall seems to have hit a rut.

On a side-note, has anyone else noticed that Jack runs a fast break with his head down? He often misses opportunities for easy assists because he either looks off guys like DeMar and Sonny running down the wings or fails to notice them at all.

A 2-2 road trip is probably what most would have considered the best-case scenario last week. With the schedule beginning to lighten up, the time is now for the Raptors to make a move up the standings. If they can’t get it done over the next month or so, they never will this season.

Raptors Player of the Game: Andrea Bargnani – 36 Min, 30 Pts, 12-18 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-6 FT, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

76ers Player of the Game: Elton Brand -40 Min, 27 Pts, 9-19 FG, 9-11 FT, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Goat of the Game: Jarrett Jack – 23 Min, 6 Pts, 2-13 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT, 1 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO