Where Is That New Improved D?

To paraphrase the "Rock" Dwayne Johnson...What in the blue hell was that last night? I know it is just pre-season and if you allow 75 points or 124 ultimately it means the same. But still, I can't help but be disappointed from the fact the Houston Rockets played pinball with the A.C.C scoreboard. This team was suppose to be better on the defensive end. The Rockets scored 30+ in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters on route to a 124-112 win at the ACC. The best quarter of defense produced the result of giving up 28. So how do you manage to give up 124 points? Giving up a ton of 3 pointers will help, Shane Battier was 8 of 9 behind that arc and Ariza was 3 for 5, in total the Rockets were 13 of 23 for 56.5%.

Now I admit that I did not to get to see this whole nightmare from beginning to end. I was covering Bearcats and Bulls for The Score in college football. However I saw most of the first quarter and most of the second half. It was more than enough time to access that the Raptors D was not getting the job done. I know that it was a second night of a back to back. I know that Hedo is just getting up to speed. He left the game after 22 minutes to head to the locker room for treatment. All of the resting and treatment stuff makes my stomach turn when I think about that 5 year 53 million dollar contract. But hopefully it all pays off when it counts on the 28th. When you project out though the deal it just does not give you confidence. Hedo will be playing at the World Championships next summer you would have to bet as they are being hosted in Turkey. So will we have to go through this all again next season? I sure hope not.

I don't want to get to deep into thing not having seen the entire game. That being said it seem clear the issues in this one and they were same old issues. Teams make 3 pointers and the defense failing. These things have to change and change quickly, if the Raptors have ideas of being a higher seed in the playoff mix. I know it is only the pre-season but that was eye opening and awful last night. When Antonie Wright gets back in that will help but he is just one guy and is not going to have that big an impact to correct that mess from last night.

I will move on to happier things now. First happy things is I will be going to the ACC to cover the game between the Raptors and the Celtics. It has been great to start building a relationship with the Raptors. I understand what a privilege it is to cover any pro sports team. I am excited to have another opportunity. It should be a very interesting game to see how the Raptors adjust after playing the Celtics on just Wednesday.

I am also happy to be taking part in our annual Yahoo Fantasy draft. It starts at 6:30pm and good luck to all of you that are taking part in that. 20 teams strong and it should be lots of fun. Not like the Leafs playing dodgeball fun...but fun none the less.


  1. Second unit looks quite sharp. Pleasant surprise is Weems, Johnson too. It will take some time to get things rolling offensively.

    Defense sucks big time though. Isn't that Iavaroni guy defense specialist? I think it will take some time for this team to gel, as we only have 3 guys from the last year. They better hurry up as season is starting soon.

  2. Don't worry. Bryan Colangelo is a mastermind. If the team is 20-26 at the allstar break, look for him to make some moves at the deadline and start rebuilding the team again.

  3. Let's hope that is not the case. There is no question the Raps sked in front loaded though.

  4. The Raptors lack the defensive talent required to be even a mediocre defensive team ... nevermind a good one ... so long as Bargnani is the starting center and playing 35 minutes a night.

    The Raptors don't have enough defensive ability on the perimeter to hide Bargnani. The talent, the options, just aren't there for the Raptors. Not like, say the Rockets, who could roll out Shane Battier, Trevor Ariza and Kyle Lowry (even then, Bargnani would hurt their defense badly).

    Switch Amir Johnson with Bargnani and the Raptors could be an above average defensive team next season.