Game Recap: Raptors 109, 76ers 96

Yup, a win. A win where the Raptors scored more than 100 points, while managing to shoot a good free-throw percentage, and getting a lot of aggressive stops with blocks and steals.

Yet, I’m still feeling largely unsatisfied with this win. It’s important to remember that this is the Philadelphia 76ers, a team the Raptors have already managed to beat twice this year. They were also just coming off a back-to-back night against the Bucks, and were already on a four game losing streak. That being said, they have been a troublesome lot as they have consistently given the Raptors rebounding fits over the past few match-ups. In fact, I’d like to point out that the 76ers kind of look like the Raptors did immediately post the Vince Carter trade. They have the ability to play extremely well and take you out of games if you’re not careful, but they have a lot of lapses.

Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the positives for this game. For one thing, Jason Kapono got more touches, and surprised, got to contribute a little more on the scoreboard. Delfino also managed to throw in a few points after shaving that New Years growth he had from the previous game. The Raptors also got some good production from Joey Graham, who finally managed to get to the rim and rock it pretty hard. Of course, not to be outdone, Jamario Moon managed to five emphatic blocked shots and scored a little as well. Finally, Calderon, Parker, and Bosh continued to anchor the Raptors starters and provide the consistency needed in the NBA.

So overall, it looked like a really solid effort, right? Well, a few things should trouble us faithful. The Raptors rebounding woes continue as they only managed to net 34 rebounds compared to the 76er’s 41. Even scarier is that the 76ers managed to grab 17 offensive boards compared to the Raptors’ 6. Not to mention the Raptors didn’t manage to get to the free throw line all that often, and had to shoot a blistering 55% against a bad defensive team in order to reach 109 points! The question, therefore, has to come up: “Are the Raptors turning a corner, or playing just as poorly against weak competition?” Unfortunately, this game indicates the latter rather than the former. At 55%, you expect your team to score in the hundreds automatically, which the Raptors managed to do, largely thanks to a high 3-point shooting outburst.  Nevertheless, there’s no real easy solution for the Raptors.  Their backup point guard of-the-day, Juan Dixon, has tried to do somewhat of serviceable job, but he just doesn’t seem to be able to get the ball to the right hands, nor can he hit his own shot consistently enough.  So instead, you have Jose playing 40 minutes, which is definitely not going to be a long term solution.  We, as fans, should also be prepared that TJ Ford’s return may not necessarily mean a return to status quo.  For one thing, I don’t believe that we’ll see Ford be as much of a threat from inside the paint as we once saw before.  The nature of the game is that he’s going to get bumped if he tries to go inside, in traffic to get an easy layup.  If teams know he’s not going inside, one has to wonder how much of a threat he will be since his outside shot is not the greatest.  It’s really not all that surprising then, that the rumour of the day has the Raptors buying out Roko Ukic’s contract next year, when it becomes less expensive for both the player and the Raptors.  However, that’s just next year.  At the end of the day, there’s no real easy solution for Bryan Colangelo here, but something has to be done soon, because giving even a second string point guard more time to get acclimated with his teammates is essential to insure success for this club, and there just isn’t all that much more time or games between now and the playoffs.

Next Game: Toronto @ New York

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9 thoughts on “Game Recap: Raptors 109, 76ers 96

  1. I felt uneasy watching the game last night and agree that they only managed to beat a bad team on a losing streak on a back-to-back. What’s more worrisome is that I’m starting to lose faith in Bargnani, who looked completely lost, afraid to shoot, unable to rebound. Maybe, as others have intimated, he’ll never be a 5 in the NBA; and we should go back to Rasho instead if we want to stay in the race. Bryan C. needs to do something, and soon!

  2. I think Tfan is overreacting a little bit. Andrea didn’t look terrible across the board, but he didn’t play his best, either. Keep in mind that Andrea gets the quick hook playing on this team. If he were elsewhere, he’d be able to play through bad stretches. This team is too deep and has Rasho patiently waiting on the bench. Andrea won’t develop as quickly this way.

    The game was fun to watch, but if Toronto had played that game against anyone else, it would probably have been a L instead of a W.

  3. Tfan/Chris – As far as Bargs is concerned, I wish he didn’t post up as much when Bosh is out on the floor. He should be a driver/shooter during those times, and then when Bosh gets out, he can begin to post in the middle. A lot of times, you see both Bosh and Bargs trying to establish a presence inside, but it never really works out. In addition, he doesn’t get many touches at times, and as a result, it looks like he’s really unproductive. Rebounding, I agree, has to improve, but that often has to come with his vision as far as being able to read when a shot is going up, and I don’t think he’s figured it out yet.

  4. Still to this day i say we should of passed on Andrea and taken Aldridge.

    Heres a couple of quick points

    Andrea cant rebound
    Andrea is not a starter in this league
    Andrea is inconsistant and at times looks lost
    Andrea cant battle for rebounds with more muscular players
    Andrea is too frail a player

    Rasho should be starting over him every game because rasho helps out on the block and is a legimite passer down low. Rasho has my vote to be the starter the remainder of the year. Andrea needs to wake up, rebound and show some emotion on the court sometimes. I just hope that Andrea doesnt turn into a Lenny Wilkins where he let everything go and looked like he didnt care.

    Kinnon- I agree that it takes vision to rebound but if your not willing to battle and protect your own basket, they your hopes of grabbing a rebound are slim to none. Andrea is a work in progress, question is how long are we willing to wait ?

  5. How long are we (Colangelo ) willing to wait for Bargnani ?
    I would guess 2 to 3 years to become the Centre they want. Some NBA players dont mature untill 26/27, Andrea is 22 in his 2nd year in NBA, being asked to learn a new position he has never played. What do you expect, that he will dominate just because he’s a #1 ?

  6. Brendan, I was OK with the pick and I don’t expect him to dominate this early, but I do expect progress from last year, which hasn’t happened. Yes, Kinnon, he’s not getting enough touches even when he’s demanding the ball. Deep down, I still want him to succeed, I’m just venting my frustrations.

  7. I’d wait at least another year. Getting timing down for those kinda things takes time, and Andrea’s not an idiot. It’s just not instinctual. There are a lot of times when I’m sure that you’ve got so many things running through your head that you keep going through a checklist rather than just going through things naturally. It’s not an easy answer, but it’s flashes of what we’ve seen this year that give me hope. Those games where he goes and gets the ball and drives to the hoop are what we want and should see from a great player of the future, while not having his skills now is detrimental, it’s important to note we had Bosh for 3 years before we have him in a position where he can do some of the things that we expect from Bargs.

    And yes, I agree that Rasho is far more important than most people would like to admit. I’ve told Ryan as much last year before I started doing the recaps, and I hope I’ve stressed his importance enough this year as well. Fans don’t seem to give him enough credit. However, I don’t want to throw Bargs onto a second unit that is so disorganized right now. I think his mental make up has been much more frail this year, and it’s not the demotion that I’m worried about, but the bad habits that come from the second unit that I’m worried about.

  8. wow, talk about over reacting on bargs…

    1) He didn’t play much because of foul trouble. Bosh had the same problem in the first half yet no one’s yapping about his game.

    2) A big reason for Barg’s foul trouble is the flu like symptoms he’s battling through. The logical thinking would dictate that flu symptoms were making him sluggish and had him dragging a bit on the defensive side (no pun intended, his feet were slower than normal which prevented him from sliding into position and messed up his timing).

    Raptors fans need to realize that between injuries and other stuff this season it’s a rough season. I just can’t stand fans giving up on a player after a tough 30 games in his second season (Blazers fans were doing a similar thing with B Roy earlier this season and the kid was healthy). I hope you all sprain an ankle trying to jump back on his bandwagon…

  9. a 7 foot center who is averaging 3.5 rebounds is a very big problem. It is not over reacting when i see such a number like this. Last year he only averaged 3.9. This is very unacceptable.

    As for injuries i guess your talking about ford right ? Calderon has stepped up to all star status in his absence. Yes we dont have a backup to calderon (which hurts us) but we are still being competitive. Ford may not see action for a while so we have to stick with the product that we have. It could be worse, you could be a leafs fan !!

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