Posts Tagged ‘Mickael Pietrus

Raptors at Nuggets Points Per Game: Too little too late; The pieces don’t fit; All about effort; Time to move Bargnani to the bench

- December 4th, 2012

When you are 4-14, moral victories mean very little. It’s great that the Raptors dug deep and made a game out of what could have been a blowout. But does it really matter? The end result was still another loss. Instead of furiously battling back in games, how about showing up in every quarter for a change?

Toronto actually did well early, playing a decent first quarter, but the killer even in that quarter – and we won’t even talk about the nightmare of a second quarter that decided the game – the killer in the first was effort. You simply cannot get massacred on the offensive boards the way the Raptors were. The final stats showed 23 O-boards for Denver, 9 for the Raptors. The ratio was even worse after a quarter. That can’t happen. It’s unacceptable. The pieces don’t fit properly.

Some thoughts:

Toronto isn’t as talented as most of its opponents, and certainly not as talented as Denver … but, you can make up for some of that by playing hard and playing smart. Boxing out, making smart decisions, etc. Too often, this team doesn’t do that. Boneheaded errors lead to turnovers and fast break points the other way. Lack of effort leads to easy points created by offensive rebounding.

Andrea Bargnani had one of his better outings and still wasn’t a big plus for the team. Again, it’s time for a divorce. An important moment came at the half when he allowed Ty Lawson, a foot shorter, to grab an offensive rebound and turn that into a putback. Bargnani barely moved, barely tried to corral the rebound. The blame can be spread around though. Jonas Valanciunas had a fine start and was poor after that. Kyle Lowry had a terrible first half and a great second half. DeMar DeRozan might have been the best Raptor, but needed to be more aggressive. He got to the line just once. Jose Calderon struggled, Mickael Pietrus was a non-factor.

What would I do? Keeping in mind that nobody is just going to gift a talent upgrade to this team and assuming, as the whispers indicate, that the market for Bargnani is underwhelming at the moment … Put Ed Davis with the starters and let Bargnani provide scoring on the second unit with Calderon and Amir Johnson working off of him, as they have done well in the past.

The first group might be limited offensively, but it won’t get outworked and outrebounded as often since Davis is the team’s best rebounder and has become one of its best defenders. Let Lowry and DeRozan be the scorers. Let Pietrus bomb away from the corners, let Davis pick up the trash and let Valanciunas show a little more of his already impressive offensive game.

We’ve been over this, but let’s reiterate: Bargnani sets a bad example with his floundering effort level, with his lack of rebounding and with his wavering defensive abilities (to be fair, he was locked in for parts of the night defensively and was nowhere close to the worst offender in that category).

If you can’t deal him now, let him become a force off of the bench and give your starters a better chance of staying in games.

It’s not like the current setup is working.

A few positives:

The fight again was good to see, even if it was too little, too late.

Terrence Ross played well. Davis had an impact once he got some minutes. Lowry rebounded from his tough first half, to give the excellent Lawson fits at both ends. DeRozan did strong work on the boards.

That’s about it. Too many bad shots – Bargnani should not have taken that three late, but there were a lot of bad decisions by everybody. Too little attention to staying with energy players like Corey Brewer. Laughably bad effort on the glass.

The good news? Sacramento is a winnable game. The pieces fit even worse there and no team has more head cases per capita.

Running take on Friday’s NBA moves

- December 9th, 2011

I’m going to be updating this all day. Taking a look at what has gone down on another crazy day in the NBA:

  • Magic waive and use amnesty provision on Gilbert Arenas: Not a surprise Magic owed him $19.2 million U.S., $20.8 and $22.3 million, the most ridiculous contract in the league had to go. Also had to be done cap-wise in order to make a Big Baby Davis for Brandon Bass sign-and-trade work. Dropping Arenas allows the Magic to use the mid-level exception to upgrade, but can’t see how they do enough to convince Dwight Howard to stay. A wise move if Howard and Turkoglu are moved for prospects, short contracts and picks.
  • Lamar Odom and Chris Paul don’t report to training camp: Did anybody expect otherwise? These guys are pissed and rightly so. The league messed up on a massive scale in denying a finished Chris Paul deal (see previous blog post).
  • Brandon Roy forced into retirement due to knee woes: Brutal. A dark day for the NBA gets even darker. An interesting discussion on Twitter whether Raptor fans would have been happier with five years of Roy vs. who knows how many with Bargnani. The vast majority opted for five years with Roy.
  • Raptors acquire Mickael Pietrus for a heavily protected second. Phoenix signs Grant Hill: A good move for both sides. Toronto does Phoenix a favour and Bryan Colangelo gets a guy he’s been after forever. Raptors desperately need depth on the wing and Pietrus is a good fit. Meanwhile, Phoenix keeps Steve Nash happy.
  • Glen Big Baby Davis traded for Brandon Bass: Good move for both sides. Neither really fit in their previous locations. I prefer Bass, but Davis is a good friend of Howard’s.
  • Chuck Hayes signs with Sacramento for four years, $21.3 million: A good signing for the Kings. A tough veteran leader who play excellent post defence. Will be a nice fit beside DeMarcus Cousins and will gobble up a ton of offensive rebounds on a team that will take a ton of jump shots.
  • Sacramento gives Marcus Thornton five years, $40 million: I like Thornton, he’s a scorer, but this is more lunacy. He’s worth about what Hayes got, not nearly twice as much.
  • Nets allegedly have illegal meeting with Dwight Howard/Charlie Bell allegedly shows up drunk for DUI hearing: Idiots. All of them.
  • Waiting on Tyson Chandler to Knicks/Chauncey Billups being officially amnestied to comment.

Will be updated