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Archive for the ‘Bargnani isn’t 7 feet tall’ tag

Starting the year off right

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The Raptors won two games in January. Better than I remembered, actually. I thought they only beat the lowly Cavaliers, back on January 5th. But there was that magical Sunday afternoon, January 9th, when DeMar DeRozan scored 28, and Andrea Bargnani 30, against the Sacramento Kings, when the Raptors last tasted victory. They may never win again.

Twelve straight losses. At what point, exactly, does Bryan Colangelo fire Jay Triano? Is there a magic number? Say, a 15-game losing streak? Twenty, a nice and nasty round number? I wonder. And at what point does Colangelo himself get fired? I can’t imagine the suits at MLSE are looking to the Raptors’ final 33 games to make a decision regarding their lame duck GM. Bottom line: Do something. Shine the Wayne Embry signal into the Toronto night sky, if you must. Anything.

All that being said, I’ve grown rather fond of Triano. At the very least, he at least acts like he gives a damn, and that’s more than you can say for his players some nights. Surprising to absolutely no one, it was Triano who was most upset at Indiana’s Darren Collison for jacking a three with a second left on the clock in an already decided game Monday night. If I had to choose one of Triano and Colangelo moving forward, I might just pick Triano.

Let’s say for a minute, though, that Colangelo does get re-signed. Does he get a raise? How the hell do you spin that on the paying public? So many questions!

Earlier today, The Score’s Scott Carefoot tweeted a link to a rather depressing Sports Illustrated article, “On Andrea Bargnani and the East’s other pathetic team,” by Zach Lowe. That “other pathetic team” would be the Raptors, hence the whole depressive vibe of the piece. But at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A couple of lights, actually: Ed Davis’ strong play, and the team’s 2011 first-round pick in tow. And, yes, it does feel fantastic to be able to write that.

Finally, on Bargnani: Since he began averaging more than 30 minutes on the floor per month, dating back to January 2009, Il Mago’s never had a poorer shooting month from the floor — 40.9% — and from beyond the arc — 27.9% — than January 2011. If that performance isn’t the definition of bad timing, I’m not sure what is.

Here’s to the next 11 months. Cheers.

Addendum:

Great column here by the National Post’s Bruce Arthur. Losing is okay. Losing is better than okay; it’s good. Losing is productive. And that bodes well, because lord knows we’re used to it around here.

I hate to say use the following, I really do, but: The Raptors are who we thought they were. Perhaps there won’t be any changes. Perhaps Triano and Colangelo will both be around next year, and maybe even the next year after that. Why not?

More good news: DeMar DeRozan’s off to the Rookie Challenge. And that’s exciting. I’m excited. I think. Yes, I am.

Image courtesy Andrew Stark.

Written by Navin Vaswani

February 1st, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Rebounding for two

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Reggie Evans is a rebounding guru. It’s almost religious, the way he goes about his business.

Twenty-two rebounds. In one game. Three more than all of his teammates. Fifteen in the first half. Five fewer than the entire Philadelphia 76ers starting lineup. Or, if you’d like to look at it this way: Twenty-two rebounds, as many as Andrea Bargnani has grabbed in his last 5 games combined.

But I don’t like to look at it that way.

Bargnani will never rebound enough. It’s best to accept him for who he is, love him, and move on. Plus, Evans is rebounding for two. Per 36 minutes, Reggie is averaging the fewest points (4.9), but the most rebounds (16.3), of his career. Combined, per 36 minutes, Bargnani and Evans are good for more than 20 rebounds. Good enough. Andrea will score, Reggie will rebound.

In conclusion:¬†Reginald Jamaal Evans must never, ever leave. Thanks to his exploits, and the work of Amir Johnson, the¬†power forward position is the only productive one the Raptors boast, and it isn’t even close.

Finally, a Canada Goose-inspired warm welcome to Jerryd Bayless. In his debut, the backup point guard combined with Jose Calderon for 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 11 assists, five rebounds, and only two turnovers, reminding me of the good old Caldeford days. It’s surely all downhill from here.

Four wins in a row. A half-game out of a playoff spot. Only two games behind the Miami Heat.

Image of Reggie doin’ work courtesy of Reuters, via daylife.

Written by Navin Vaswani

November 25th, 2010 at 2:38 am