Tag:Toronto Raptors
Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:11 pm

Game Changer: 11.22.10: In too deep

Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  


The combination of events that conspired in the Celtics' loss to the Raptors is pretty stunning. First, Rajon Rondo was missing due to injury, meaning the Celtics were without two starters. Then Andrea Bargnani had one of those games where he produces, and continues. with 18 at the half, the smart money says he finishes with 22. He finished with 29. Amir Johnson managed to not foul out. And in spite of all that, the Celtics were still up one with the ball. But instead of fouling Ray Allen, who would obviously drain the free throws, the Raptors managed to knock the ball loose, collect it, and score to take the lead.

And still the Celtics had a shot at it. They first tried inbounding to Ray Allen off a backdoor screen cutting to the corner, but were unable to get the angle, even as Leandro Barbosa slipped behind Allen. The Celtics called timeout and instead returned with Allen inbounding. They chose to go to Paul Pierce. Pierce rotated around to his sweet spot, the right elbow jumper. But take a look at where Pierce wound up instead:

Too deep. Pierce's spot is about two feet to his left. Not to say he can't hit this one, it was good defense and Pierce just missed it. But for him to be in that spot where he almost never misses, he over-drives.

That the Celtics lost this game isn't a huge deal. They were without their best playmaker, on the road, and they're clearly having trouble getting up for games. But they're now a game behind Orlando and only a game and a half in front of Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta. It's early, still, but the problem is that they could be ahead by a comfortable margin if they weren't losing games they have every reason to win.

For the Raps, I'm telling you, this team isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be.


Pau Gasol: 28 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists on 10-10 shooting.


Gilbert Arenas, 19 points, 16 assists, 4 rebounds.


Neither the Hornets nor Kings shot over 39% from the field last night in a gross 75-71 game. It was neither entertaining, nor appreciably well played. The rare combination of ugly and lazy.


The Lakers, when motivated, are really, really good. The end.

Posted on: November 22, 2010 10:12 am

Shootaround 11.22.10: Conspiracy and tragedy

Posted by Matt Moore

  • The Raptors are already considering a trade or buyout of Peja Stojakovic if he doesn't like his role in Toronto. Flipping Peja at the deadline along with the remaining Traded Player Exception they ahve from the Bosh deal could land them a significant chunk of assets if they find a team desperate enough for cap relief in a bad year. It's unlikely that they'll find a superstar out there, unless it's someone like Baron Davis, who if they trade for, they're only hurting themselves.
  • Celtics fans' explanations for losing to the Raptors? The fix is in !

Posted on: November 20, 2010 2:11 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Raptors / Hornets Trade Analysis

An analysis of the five-player trade between the Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Hornets involving Peja Stojakovic, Jerryd Bayless, Jarrett jack-bayless  Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks. Posted by Ben Golliver According to multiple reports, and confirmed by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger, the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets have agreed to exchange five players via trade. Toronto will send guard Jarrett Jack, guard Marcus Banks and big man David Andersen to New Orleans for guard Jerryd Bayless, who was recently acquired in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, and forward Peja Stojakovic. New Orleans Hornets
Stojakovic and his giant expiring contract were bound to be traded this season, and this trade signals that Hornets were happy to just unload the salary and reduce their cap number to get further under the luxury tax without looking to acquire a big-dollar asset in return in a larger package deal. That's smart cap management. The Hornets, despite their fast start, are still working to establish a backcourt rotation around all star point guard Chris Paul. Compared to Bayless, Jack is more of a "Monty Williams Type" of player and prototypical third guard that can defend two positions, he brings a better all-around game, and strength and toughness off the bench. Right now, he's a better defender and a better play-maker than Bayless, he's more mature and he runs an offense better. In terms of keeping Paul happy and making a playoff push in the short-term, Jack is the guy over Bayless. To make that upgrade, New Orleans takes on Jack's contract that runs this year plus two more at roughly $5 million a year. It might be a bit more than he's worth, but he's a solid rotation guard so it's not terrible by any means. Banks is not an impact player, and the good news for the Hornets is that his $4.8 million contract expires this season, so he's likely out of sight and out of mind this summer unless he really impresses. David Andersen, a jump-shooting 7-footer from Australia, has battled the "soft" label so far throughout his NBA career, and in typical fashion the "soft" label has beaten him down. His contract runs through next season but is not fully guaranteed, so his long-term future in New Orleans is also questionable.  This trade is a good reminder that large expiring contracts are probably over-valued in the public mind. Here a $14 million expiring contract was outright dumped to facilitate a swap of back-up quality guards, and nothing more. Toronto Raptors The Raptors had been rumored to trade one of their point guards -- Jose Calderon or Jarrett Jack -- for months, because there wasn't room for both, but this seems like a strange, bad way to make that inevitable move. Stojakovich, for all intents and purposes, is done as an NBA player, so the main reason to trade for him would be to unload a massive contract by receiving his expiring deal. The Raptors didn't do that here, shedding only expiring and/or partially guaranteed contracts along with the future money owed to Jack, which wasn't all that significant. The best defense of this trade from Toronto's perspective is that they love the potential of Bayless, who is still waiting for the right opportunity to strut his lottery talent. But Bayless presents many of the same fit issues for Toronto that Jack did, as his skillset is not especially complementary to Calderon and fellow guard Leandro Barbosa.  Toronto needs defense in the backcourt, and Bayless is a downgrade from Jack in that department right now. The Raptors also need someone to help guide the development of promising wings DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, and Bayless isn't known for his play-making or passing abilities. Like Barbosa, Bayless is best as a scorer off the dribble. How many of those guys do you need, especially when your centerpiece is a floor-stretching post man? Get ready, Raptors fans, to watch Bayless blow by his man to the glass as Andrea Bargnani stands at the free throw line with his hands up, wondering where the ball disappeared to.  The big upside regarding Bayless is his contract: he's still on his rookie deal and he has shown flashes of legitimate top-end talent and scoring ability, thanks to a solid first step and an ability to get to the free throw line. He'll have all the time in the world to reach his potential in Toronto, which has arguably the worst roster in the league before this trade, and just made it worse. The only way to salvage this deal is to create an environment where Bayless can really blossom, as his potential is the only on-court asset acquired. Therefore, you would hope Toronto has more moves coming in the immediate future, perhaps flipping Stojakovic's contract for a quality piece at the trade deadline, which could make this trade look totally different if it netted an impact piece.  You also have to wonder why the Raptors stuck with the highly-paid Jose Calderon over Jack. Perhaps his contract was too difficult to move.  Winners and Losers 

The winners are GM Dell Demps and his Hornets owners, from a financial perspective, and Jack for getting to leave a bad situation for a winning situation and a coach with whom he is familiar. The losers here are Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, who just moved a solid trade asset to downgrade at the position in the short term, and Jerryd Bayless, who goes from fighting for minutes in a crowded backcourt on two winning teams this year to fighting for minutes in a crowded backcourt on a terrible team.  NBA fans are also winners here because of this oddity: this trade marks the second time in 2.5 years that Jarrett Jack and Jerryd Bayless were exchanged for each other. On draft night 2008, the Indiana Pacers selected Bayless and traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers for Jarrett Jack and the rights to Brandon Rush.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: November 20, 2010 2:14 pm

Report: Hornets and Raptors close to trade

Trade being discussed to send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to Toronto for Jarrett Jack, David Andersen, Marcus Banks. Posted by Matt Moore

UPDATE 2:07PM: CBSSports.com confirms the trade is done, talks with the league will occur this afternoon. Bizarre.

Ken Berger confirms that the Hornets save $4.6 million immediately, which gets them off the cap and allows them to look at options at the deadline. The Raptors, in addition to getting Peja's expiring contract they can move before the deadline, save $4.7 million next year.

We'll have more analysis in a bit.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune , a bizarre Euro site via HoopsHype.com , and ESPN are reporting that the New Orleans Hornets are close to a trade that would send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to the Toronto Raptors for Jarrett Jack, Marcus Banks, and David Andersen. It is a baffling trade from about a hundred angles. We'll go over some of them here while the two fight over how much money the Hornets have to send the Raptors.

  • The Hornets are 10-1, not exactly in need of a bump-up, and having Bayless as a change of speed, dynamic scorer off the bench was a good thing for them. Getting Jack gives them a veteran defender and solid backup point guard in a more traditional mold, but it also means they get a B+ point guard in salary and talent for a spot they only have about 15-20 minutes or less for a night due to them having the best point guard on the planet.
  • Moving Peja right now means they lose the ability to swap him at the trade deadline, when his $14-million-plus expiring contract is likely to have more value than it does now. That kind of expiring change can help you fill in a lot of holes when teams decide they need to cut payroll dramatically. Teams will also know more about how the CBA talks are headed after the All-Star break. 
  • For the Raptors, it's just as puzzling. Bayless is a terrific young talent and having Peja's expiring are both good things. But this puts Jose Calderon firmly in the starter's role for point guard, and he's a defensive sieve. They get smaller at the guard positions, and just try and imagine a Jerryd Bayless and Leandro Barbosa backcourt. They would represent the Lollipop Guild for crying out loud.
  • As Bayless can't be moved until December 23rd, Bruce Arthur of the National Post reports via Twitter that the deal may be set up as one of those "agreed all together, executed in parts" type deals where the Raptors would use part of their Chris Bosh trade exception to acquire Bayless.
  • Andersen's not a terrible center, he's really not in a league that has so few good ones, but he's redundant with Aaron Gray on the roster.
  • Marcus Banks is barely alive in NBA terms.
  • The Raptors will at least be fun to watch, and with Willie Green becoming the entrenched backup to Marco Bellinelli (who saw either of those things happening this year?), Bayless and Peja were expendable. This isn't really about losing vital assets for the Hornets, it's about not capitalizing on bigger opportunities. But at 10-1, I guess Dell Demps and Monty Williams have earned the right to bet with House money a bit. 
  • ESPN also reports via Twitter that Jack is a close personal friend of CP3, which could explain this as a further move to make the superstar happy.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:02 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:44 pm

Bosh: Watching Dwyane Wade and LeBron James win

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh got a win in his first game against his former team, the Toronto Raptors, but he did more watching than playing. Posted by Ben Golliver


There Chris Bosh is, in the background of a picture taken earlier this year, laughing along with Miami Heat stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Do Wade and James even know he's there? If Bosh was cropped out, and the Heat were a "Big 2," would life in South Beach be any different? Harsh questions, sure, and it's still very early this season. But the headline from tonight's 109-100 Miami Heat victory over the Toronto Raptors wasn't Bosh's revenge against his former team. It was Bosh sitting and watching from the bench in crunch time, and not smiling this time, as Wade and James exacted revenge on his behalf. Wade: 31 points, eight rebounds, two assists. James: 23 points, two rebounds, 11 assists, two steals. And, then, Bosh: 12 points, six rebounds and four assists on the night, plagued by foul trouble against one of the weakest overall front lines in the NBA. Playing just 21 minutes, he literally did more watching than playing on the evening.  Even worse news for Bosh: his absence was barely noticed, as bruisers like Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony filled in more than adequately. Bosh managed a few highlights -- he had a fantastic and-one move in isolation against Raptors backup big man David Andersen, who is barely an NBA player -- but otherwise the story on Saturday night was pretty much the same as it has been in recent games. The play went on around Bosh: a passerby with a great view of his spectacular teammates on offense, a passive witness on defense and the boards. There are many theories as to what is causing Bosh's funk. New teammates. New systems. New role. And, perhaps, questions about his physique. Raptors color man Jack Armstrong raised that last issue on the broadcast tonight, saying, " I dont think he looks as big and strong and has as much stamina, watching him play so far this year."  Of course there was going to be an adjustment period.  But how, exactly, will Bosh fit once that period is over? His primary skill, working one-on-one in isolation, is not nearly as valuable in Miami as it was in Toronto, given that Miami has two better isolation players on its roster. As it stands, Bosh is practically a liability on the boards -- he is averaging more than 3 rebounds per game below his career average of 9.3 so far -- with most of his rebounds coming uncontested tonight. On defense, he's been mostly a non-factor, with both Wade and James influencing far more plays over the course of a game than Bosh does. The good news for Miami is that they got back on a winning foot, improving to 6-4 on the season by outlasting a scrappy Toronto team that played with a lot of heart on the second half of a tough back-to-back. But the Bosh question will continue to hang over this team until the entire group is clicking on all cylinders. Beating bad teams and splitting against good teams isn't the mark of a champion. And that's where the Heat stand right now, even with strong starts to the season from Wade and James. Bosh was brought in to be the difference-maker, a playoff x-factor. Through 10 games, he's barely in the picture.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:56 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Monta Ellis takes hard fall, leaves court injured

Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis fell to the floor in bizarre fashion and left the court due to injury. Posted by Ben Golliver Just yesterday, we were singing the praises of Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis, who has upped his efficiency this season and has been leading the NBA in scoring through its opening week and a half.  Tonight, in the closing minutes of Golden State's game against the Raptors in Toronto, Ellis drove to the basket and took a nasty, weird spill after having his lay-up attempt contested by Raptors wing DeMar DeRozan and big man Amir Johnson. Here's video of the fall. Ellis contorts backwards on the landing, with his left leg and back appearing to absorb the impact in abnormal fashion. He lay nearly motionless on the hardwood for more than a minute, as Warriors training staff members tended to him. He was then helped off the court very gingerly and taken to the locker room.  Ellis did not re-enter the game, which Golden State won 109-102. This post will update with any injury news as soon as it becomes available.  Updates: 
  • Holly MacKenzie of The Score reports from Toronto on Twitter that Ellis is "currently getting X-rays on lower back."
  • Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter that the results of the MRI "will be available in morning. He's staying in Toronto tonight." The rest of the Warriors went on to New York City for Wednesday's game against the Knicks.
Posted on: November 7, 2010 7:19 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:33 pm

Houston Rockets won't sign Erick Dampier

Free agent center Erick Dampier reportedly will not sign with the Houston Rockets. Posted by Ben Golliver A little over a week ago, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that free agent center Erick Dampier had agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets for their biannual exception. The plan was for Dampier to step in and play some serious minutes now that Houston's franchise center Yao Ming is having his playing time strictly limited as he recovers from a foot injury that caused him to miss last season. Those plans have apparently changed. To make room for Dampier, the Rockets would have had to trade or release a player, and all signs pointed to guard Jermaine Taylor as being the odd man out. But the Houston Chronicle says not so fast
The Rockets told second-year guard Jermaine Taylor on Sunday they would not release him because they no longer planned to sign center Erick Dampier, Taylor’s agent Michael Whitaker said before Sunday’s game.
“I was actually told that I’m here to stay,” Taylor said. “They told me I was here."
Update: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms Monday morning that Dampier will not sign with the Rockets. As we noted earlier Sunday, the Rockets are off to a nightmare 0-5 start and have been beset by injuries up and down the roster. So what's next for Dampier? Who knows. It took forever for him to settle on the Rockets and now the wait is on once again. A number of other teams had been linked to Dampier, including the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 1:42 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:31 pm

Lakers put down Raptors with late-game execution

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors on Friday night thanks to some clinical late-game execution. Posted by Ben Golliverpau-gasol

Friday night in Los Angeles we learned once again that a disinterested, more talented veteran team can hold off an upstart, motivated younger team simply by virtue of reliable late-game execution. The undefeated Los Angeles Lakers (6-0), who at times looked like they were going through the motions, received a solid test from a struggling Toronto Raptors team (1-4) that played like they have nothing to lose, because they don't.  A monster 38-point second quarter put Toronto on top at halftime, but the Laker attack continued to churn and churn and churn down the stretch, and the Raptors, despite receiving double-digit contributions from six different players, simply could not keep pace. This game turned on identity. The Lakers know themselves so well it's probably annoying. Their fourth-quarter offensive plays were as bread-and-butter as it gets. Baseline jumper from point guard Derek Fisher. Free throws from guard Kobe Bryant, who finished with 23 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals. Eight fourth-quarter points from Pau Gasol, who played entirely above his Toronto opponents on his way to 30 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. His points came about as efficiently as possible: two close-in looks and four free throws. On the flip side, the Raptors couldn't consistently get winning looks at the hoop, and they couldn't keep track of possession when it mattered most. During the final eight minutes of the game, Forward Amir Johnson missed a number of contested attempts near the rim, wing DeMar DeRozan was whistled for a careless charge, point guard Jose Calderon had a sloppy turnover, post Andrea Bargnani settled for multiple jumpers, and DeRozan and guard Leandro Barbosa both settled for, and missed, contested 3-point attempts.  It felt, at times, like directionless abandon, with both everybody and nobody stepping up for the Raptors offensively.  Aside from a meaningless Jarrett Jack 3-pointer as time expired, the Raptors were outscored 18-14 in the final 7:57 of the fourth quarter. In a nip-and-tuck affair, that was your ballgame. Chalk up another win for a strong title contender and put this in the books as another learning experience for a lottery-team.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com