The Raptors, in a game that had many positive aspects found a way to lose again in double overtime to a more talented San Antonio Spurs team at the ACC. I can accept that and honestly you should too. Here is what isn’t acceptable. You have Andrea Bargnani just playing as terrible as he possibly could on offense. On the other hand you have Ed Davis having a career night his best as a Raptor. I am even willing to concede riding Bargnani till the end of regulation. However in overtime to not play Ed Davis and tell Andrea Bargnani it is not your night take a seat is 100% unacceptable.
One of the things I have many times praised Dwane Casey for in this blog is bringing back some sense of accountability to this team. It was something that under Jay Triano quite frankly that was non-existent. Today after the game when Casey was asked about Andrea and why he continued to play in overtime his response was this.
“Andrea is our guy come hell or high water.”
Well 3-11 might not exactly be hell but it damn sure isn’t paradise either. If you are going to tell this team to Pound the Rock and keeping fighting hard you can’t allow Andrea Bargnani to have some kind of immunity from that. The one sequence that just complete was a green light to give Bargnani the hook was when he drove had his shot blocked and than kept possession and went to the corner passed to Jose and got a quick return pass to brick a three. That was it right there.
I think why I am so upset is so many guys did have great efforts in this game. Jose Calderon was not one of them and the fact that is the only mention of that you will read from me likely illustrates my anger. Ed Davis had a career night as Raptor his best by far as member of this franchise. What is the message to him? What is the message to Kyle Lowry that came back early from a bone bruise to try and help this team? What is the message to DeMar DeRozan who after a bad night for him in Detroit came back to lead the team with 29 points.
Andrea Bargnani just gives off the impression on and off the floor that he could careless. I honestly think I could count on two hands the amount of times I have felt Andrea cared in now 7 years here and have fingers left over.
One of the oldest basketball expressions or even a sport expression I can recall is your best player needs to be your hardest worker. That guy Casey is going to hell with and taking all of us with him is not that guy. It is guys like DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. It could even be said of others. However the one thing that is crystal clear as we sit with coach number three is that is NOT ANDREA BARGNANI.
Dwane Casey, Bryan Colangelo or God coming down on this earth could not convince me otherwise.
The Raptors are playing a serious game of chicken with their passionate hardcore fan base. They are fed up with Andrea Bargnani for the most part and these people have been through a lot. Today was a sellout at the ACC. If the Raptors hope to have these in the future they need to address this Andrea Bargnani situation once and for all.
It is not the way Dwane Casey suggests that we all go on ride to hell with a guy that doesn’t particularly care. If Casey keeps on this path will Andrea remain and will move on to coach number 4? People hated how Sam Mitchell treated Andrea Bargnani but in some ways maybe Sam saw what we all see even now. A guy that just is what he is and is not going to bust his ass or even lift a finger to change.
This has to become DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry’s team and it needs to happen sooner rather than later. The Raptors will not only miss the playoffs they will likely lose a lot more in terms of their hardcore base support which has been angry in the past but not to this level. People are fed up with false hope and false expectations and they need someone to blame. Andrea Bargnani by his lack of effort sets himself up to be the poster boy for that displeasure.
Josh and I will have more on the week that was in Raptorland on TWIR tomorrow. Also have interviews with DeMar DeRozan, Cory Joesph and Eric Smith on the program. The game? Spurs won it 111-106 in double OT. 4 straight loss for the Dinos as things have got pretty bleak with no end in sight.