landry fields forever
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 17.01.11
Raptors' mid-season report card
Looking back at the NBA season’s first half
Jay Triano C+
With a limited arsenal sorely lacking in experience, Triano is getting as much out of this roster as possible. On very few occasions has effort been a problem, and that being the largest measuring stick, Triano gets a better than passing grade for his efforts. He and his staff have brought Bargnani and DeRozan along with each player showing improvement. Rookie Ed Davis has progressed. Outside of a few publicly uttered curses, Triano has kept his composure throughout this injury-riddled season and done what’s best for the team’s future. Defensively, his team continues to leak oil, but that too is much more a case of the personnel at his disposal than it is an indictment of his coaching abilities.
Bryan Colangelo C-
Colangelo’s in-season moves to date has consisted of trading Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks to New Orleans for Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic. Moving Jack was a good move for the Raptors as it finally established a firm pecking order in the point guard rotation. In Bayless, Colangelo has acquired a player with a definite upside and a potential successor to Calderon. Bringing in Linas Kleiza has not paid the kind of dividends expected, although that is more than offset with unloading Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa. The to-do list though remains a long one for the Raptors GM. Among the cards he has yet to play are a rebounding phenom in Reggie Evans and a slick, veteran three-point shooting threat in Peja Stojakovic, not to mention about $12-million remaining on that trade exception from the Chris Bosh team to facilitate those moves. How much he accomplishes with those assets will swing the grade pretty drastically one way or the other before the season is over.
CLEARING THE LANE
General manager Bryan Colangelo, a surprise arrival in Washington on Saturday night to see his charges, could be a busy many in the next six weeks.
He’s got a few trading chips — the expiring contracts of Peja Stojakovic and Reggie Evans, about $12.2 million left in the Chris Bosh trade exception — that he can use to acquire “assets” between now and the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
Colangelo has vowed to be active in his rebuilding of a young, unproven roster and he’ll be looking for other young players and draft picks, primarily, as he goes shopping.
He’s already made one significant move; others should follow.
New Orleans vs. Toronto
The Toronto Raptors will be without Leandro Barbosa (strained right hamstring) on this week’s five-game road trip, which continues with stops Monday in New Orleans, Wednesday in San Antonio, Friday in Orlando and Saturday in Miami. Not good. The Raps don’t have the size to go up against the NBA’s elite teams but they can create some turmoil when they go with a smaller, athletic lineup.
Monday’s game between the Raptors and Hornets will be a matchup between guards Jose Calderon and Chris Paul – two of the best in the game at assist-to-turnover ratio since 2007-2008:
Jose Calderon, 4.55
Chris Paul, 4.14
Jason Kidd, 3.47
Steve Blake, 3.11
Rajon Rondo, 3.10
(Minimum: 800 assists; source: Toronto Raptors Media Relations.)
Toronto, 2-7 in its last nine overall, started its five-game road trip without Leandro Barbosa, who did not travel with the team after straining his right hamstring in Friday night's loss to Detroit. Barbosa was averaging 20.3 points in his last four games prior to getting hurt.
The Raptors - also missing Jerryd Bayless, Sonny Weems, Peja Stojakovic and Reggie Evans - could be in for another difficult game after playing with only eight healthy bodies Saturday.
"We knew it was only going to be, like, seven or eight players we had out there," said Jose Calderon, who had 21 points, 15 assists, and a career high-tying nine rebounds. "We knew we'd have to play a lot of minutes. We played good for a long time. Maybe at the end the legs didn't respond as well as we needed to."
Andrea Bargnani, leading the team with 22.0 points per game, continued his recent scoring surge with 25 on Saturday. He is averaging 28.0 points during his last four games.
But while New Orleans ranks among the best defensive teams in the league, the Raptors come in as one of the worst - especially on the road, where they are averaging 110.0 points allowed in their last five contests, with opponents shooting 51.0 percent in that stretch.
Hornets guard Marco Belinelli is questionable to face the Raptors, who traded him to New Orleans for Julian Wright over the summer, after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.