Saturday March 20 2010 – 10:14pm Eastern - East Rutherford, NJ 

Raptors @ Nets

Final Score:
100-90, Raptors (Toronto now 34-34)

“Smith and Jones” Player of the Game:
36 points
8 rebounds
16/27 FG
4/4 FT

“Alice Fazoolis” Player of the Game:
15 points
8 rebounds
4 assists
7/11 FG
Shout-out to the Nets:
22 points
7 assists
6 rebounds
8/19 FG
5/6 FT

Stats that stood out:
- Points in the Paint:  48-38, Toronto
- 2nd Chance Points:  15-14, NJ
- Fast Break Points:  10-7, Toronto
- TOR wins a 3rd quarter (32-19) for only the 2nd time since the all star break
- NJ is now 1-57 when trailing after 3 quarters (it was 80-70 Toronto after 3)
- Toronto out-rebounds NJ 47-42
- Bosh had 23 of 36 points in the 2nd half.
- Toronto holds NJ to only 39 points in the 2nd half

Thumbs Up:
- Bosh put the team on his shoulders for the first time in a long time.

Thumbs Down:
- Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani.  Turk was 1 for 9 (FG) in the 2nd half (though he did finish with a fairly solid 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 turnover).  Meanwhile, Bargnani was 2 for 5 (FG) overall … ending the game with 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 turnovers.  In the first half he had 0 points, 1 rebound, and 3 fouls.

Smith Says:
- “It’s not exactly like beating the 1995-96 Bulls but this was still a good win for Toronto anyway – a must-win considering Chicago’s victory in Philly tonight.”

Jones Says:
- “Finally a decisive 3rd quarter win for Toronto.  That was the difference in pushing the Raptors to the victory.”

Keep the 3-ball Streak Alive (928 games and counting):
- The Raptors were 4 of 17 from 3PT range

Next game:
- Raptors @ Timberwolves – Monday March 22 2010 – 8:00pm Eastern
- Tune in just after 8:00pm for the “Pizza Pizza” starting line ups (*no pre-game show for this broadcast)

25 Responses to “Toronto Wins In The Swamp”
  1. 1.

    Good Win by TO

    Miami just won agaisnt the Bobcats! so, the Raps need to keep on winning in order to get the 6th or 7th seat!

    - Raps Fan
  2. 2.

    fantastic blog and a great recap of the game (given that i pretty much missed all of it). keep up the great work on the play by play and on the Game Plan.

    - jocelyn
  3. 3.

    Please, please please…do NOT say this win is a “turning point” for this flailing team. Don’t do it. Back away from the keyboard…

    - brento.
  4. 4.

    They beat a team with 7 wins in 69 games! Who cares?
    Jersey has a .101 winning percentage. Jersey is 47(48?) games back. They are the WORST team in the league.
    Talk about a hollow victory.

    - Mr.Curious
  5. 5.

    Mr. Smith,

    Why do you and Jonesy use “the Mendoza Line” to refer to a .500 (50%) record? I can’t find any reference for this usage. “The Mendoza line” refers to a woeful batting average, just barely enough for a Major League professional to stay in the game but only if they contribute in other ways.

    It could easily be said that the NJ Nets are performing below the Mendoza Line as they may be en route to an NBA record-breaking losing season. Or, you might want to make an argument that Turkaglu is in danger of falling to that level of ineptness, at least relative to contract salary.

    But to use it as a marker between par and a slightly losing record would mean you are attempting to coin an entirely new use for the phrase, and frankly, I don’t like it. You are attempting to ascribe a meaning that does not parallel previous intepretations which relate the Mendoza line to the point between merely bad and awfully shameful.

    I hope you choose to stop using it, and if you don’t, I hope it never catches on as (IMHO) nothing good can come from it.

    - Zack Mackenzie
  6. 6.

    Not a great opponent but just as I’ve said there is no consolation in close losses to great teamns, a WIN is a win vs lousy teams.

    Bargnani continues to be a huge disappointment vs agressive centres. And one great effort followed by 4 mediocre ones does not a great centre make.

    I’m tired of seeing him have no fire, no intensity, no energy, no desire.

    This is not a case of a big guy LOOKING like he’s not putting in the effort like a Mario Lemieux. This is Bargnani actually not giving a rip…

    Let’s hope he’s due for his one in four decent games and breaks out against the Timberpuppies.

    Go Raps

    - Gary
  7. 7.

    This win is a “turning point” for the Raptors! :)

    - Raps Fan
  8. 8.

    What every Raps fan would love to hear about their team after a game:
    After losing to the Bucks last night,Chauncey Billups (Nuggets) was asked if he was surprised by their energy.
    “Huh-uh, especially not a Scott Skiles team,” Billups said. “I mean that’s one of the worst teams you can play in the regular season because he has them playing hard, diving on loose balls, it doesn’t matter if they played (the night)before of not.
    In my times playing against his teams, I just respect him a lot because he just gets his teams playing hard every single night.”
    Can we get Scott Skiles??????

    - Mr.Curious
  9. 9.

    After losing 5 in a row, winning 2 of 3 is a large improvement. We need to see it continuing thru the next 14 games.

    - Johnn19
  10. 10.

    While the game was ugly, a win is a win, and as a fan, I’ll take it.

    My thumbs up to Bosh for being CB4 and getting angry at the rim. Also, thumbs up to Marcu Banks for collecting the second of three technical fouls in the game for the Raps.

    Thumbs down to Turk for shutting it down after getting yanked.


    Thumbs way down to brento for being so pessimistic
    Is there anyhting you say/do that is positive?

    Something tells me that if the Raps went on a ten game winning streak, you would be the one to say that Bosh is still gonna leave and the team sucks and yadda yadda yadda.

    Find something positive and stop trying to bum out other fans with your shots at E Smith and me.

    If your game, I’ll take you under the rim and show you how to play.

    - T.J.
  11. 11.

    Grrrrrrrrr….Raps Fan


    - brento.
  12. 12.

    Note to moderators: It’s too bad that all comments have to be moderated before they appear. There is often a long time lag (hours)and then 4 comments will show up at once. It doesn’t make for a conversational flow and that’s why I think you’ll never get too many comments here on the blog. People just move on because they think no one’s interested or can’t spend time checking for replies.

    My 2 cents…thanks.

    - Mr.Curious
  13. 13.

    T.J…was that a stab at intimidation or a rather meak attempt at building your own shattered self-esteem?

    You wanna be a bully? You take that weak, pointless and childish drivel and treat yourself to an ice cream with your hoops pals. Find yourself another devoted, 10 year season seat holder to take out your frustrations on.

    I will be positive when there is something to be positive about. The goal of this franchise is to succeed. And, that has not happened. You want to question the facts? You go find the organization’s highlites and put together a little dissertation. Until then, keep your head buried deep in the sand.

    If you had been around here for more than a week, you’d be well aware that I have ALWAYS supported this team, both as a fan and a season seat holder. You would know I am ultimately fair when it comes to assessing the performances of the team’s players. If they show consistent effort, they get kudos from me. If they don’t – which is very often the case – they get chastised by me. It’s simple. Yet, somehow I’m not surprised you’re having difficulty figuring out my M.O.

    And, you obviously didn’t read my post from three days ago when I, yet again, stated that I believed Bosh would resign with the Raps…regardless of the team’s performance this season.

    And, you’d also know that I never take “shots” at Eric. It’s called an intellectual conversation. Both of us challenging each other. Both of us respecting each other. On a much higher level than you’ll likely ever see.

    And, when Eric opposes my ideas or evaluations, I don’t take the pathetic route of challenging/threatening him.

    If I bum you out, go find somewhere else to play.

    - brento.
  14. 14.

    And one more thing, TJ…a ten game win streak does not, in itself, indicate success. Far from it.

    Every team has ups and downs, including teams as successful as the LA Lakers. However, at the end of the season, when analyzing a team’s success (or lack of it), it comes down to how far the team advanced in the playoffs.

    Granted, if a team has been in the bottom five of the league for a decade (ie. Clippers, Supersonics and Hawks) and is trying to climb into the middle of the pack — sure, finding small successes within a season may be fruitful.

    However, that is NOT the case with this Raptors team. It is no longer a new franchise. It can no longer be commended for merely “making” the playoffs.

    So, I don’t care if they win 10 in a row. If they went on to lose in the first round of the playoffs, the win streak wouldn’t mean a thing in the offseason.

    - brento.
  15. 15.

    Mr. Curious, if you think that wasting for posts here is frustrating, try Wilner’s baseball blog. Sometimes DAYS elapse after a game and then 40-60 posts appear at once, long after you would assume any fans are interested.

    They do a decent job around here but the mods could be quicker, as Eric et al don’t have to read the posts before they hit the website.

    Game day boys! If Hedo and Bargnani read this, they might know they actually have to show up tonight and for the rest of the season.

    - Gary
  16. 16.

    Again brento, nothing positive. Must be nice to have all that money and still be miserable.

    Tell you what, why don’t I take your season seats, since you obviously don’t appreciate them.

    I have been around for more than a week as I have followed this team since day one. I just simply got fed up with your negativity and decided to respond.

    You can chat all you want about the bad aspects of this team, but if you are serious in your assumptions, cancel your season seats and stop reading this blog.

    While I agree with you in that this team has had mediocre succuss in the 15 years since it’s inception, what it has done is capture the fans of this country one by one. If you want to blame someone, blame Vince Carter and the American media/perception of our great country.

    Carter could have OWNED this country if he wanted, but someone said he could have done better. Then he was traded for a bag of balls and set the team back 5 years. Maybe it would have been different if Alonzo Mourning had have suited up.

    Maybe you can remember this is just a game, and it is you’re fault you feel scorned by the progress of this team. If you can’t find anything positive, what’s the point?

    - T.J.
  17. 17.

    Did you check out the recent games against Portland, Atlanta and OKC? They’re all good, young, talented, athletic teams that are poised to take that next step and go for it.
    The Raps SHOULD resemble these teams at this stage of their “upswing” cycle…
    But, here we are fighting for a playoff spot in the easy east.
    We’ve just made too many crucial mistakes in this building cycle.
    I don’t have much faith in this current core taking us to the promised land.

    - jim
  18. 18.

    Did I read correctly that Dwight Howard is only averaging 18.5 points per game this season. I think that’s under achieving yet I doubt the fans are booing him every night lol. Perhaps he misses Hedo more than we thought…and I’m not blind to Bosh’s shortcomings (few as they are) but he is having another monster year. It’s Turk and Bargs who have to learn from him to show up most EVERY NIGHT.

    2009/10 Double/Double leaders
    Dwight Howard 70 18.5 13.1 54
    Zach Randolph 69 20.8 11.9 49
    Carlos Boozer 67 19.4 11.2 46
    Chris Bosh 61 24.1 11.1 43
    David Lee 68 20.1 11.7 43

    - Gary
  19. 19.

    Zach Randolph, huh? Craaaaazy.

    Imagine having those five as your starters…who’d you want carrying the ball up the court?


    - brento.
  20. 20.

    A few things T.J.:

    (1) The Raptors have not had mediocre success. They have the 4th worst record in the history of the league and have won one playoff series in 15 years. That is not mediocre success. That is almost no success at all. How can you not see that?

    (2)The Raps were not set back 5 years when Vince Carter was traded. By then, his market value was at an alltime low, due to his brutal attitude, tripping on his own toes and crying on the court, and essentially whining his way out of town. He was traded for nothing because he was worth nothing; and, as we’ve all witnessed, his career has gone nowhere. He will retire just another incredible talent without any will or drive to become a champion.

    (3) Most importantly, the team (or teams) Bryan Colangelo has orchestrated have NOTHING to do with Vince Carter. Quit blaming this on Wince. Make Colangelo accountable for the mess he has made. In any other top basketball city (NY, LA, Chicago), Colangelo would have been kicked out of town by now). The free ride is over. Colangelo has been a massive bust. Unless the Raps somehow manage to win a series (!), Colangelo will have won ZERO series in four years. That is NOT mediocre success, my friend!

    (4)This team is not Canada’s team. I am sorry. I have two brothers living in two provinces outside of Ontario. Both have stated there is NO interest in the Raptors in their cities (Edmonton and Montreal). No buzz. Cousins in Winnipeg who have stated they never, ever hear anyone talking up the Raps at bars, restaurants, etc.

    In fact, I could argue there is zero buzz in TORONTO right now. Go to bars, TJ. See how much Raptors chatting there is going on. Very, very little.

    That’s what happens when a team just can’t find a way to find stability and success.

    I would be the first one in the happy line when this team got to the Conference Finals or NBA Finals. But perennial losers like Seattle (OKC)and Atlanta have flown by our franchise in terms of success and are making that move into the league’s top teams.

    And the Raps just keep sputtering along. And you wonder why I’m so negative???

    - brento.
  21. 21.


    Why do I always have to disagree :)

    Point one can’t be argued I guess. Your record is what it is.

    However, point 2 is not legit at all. NO WAY. You’ve got to be kidding me. The Vince trade absolutely set this team back. It was one of the (maybe THE) worst trades in NBA history and probably one of the worst trades in sports history. He isn’t garbage now and he wasn’t garbage then. Did you happen to see how he played in New Jersey for all of his years as a Net? You can’t look back on the best player in franchise history and say “we basically got NOTHING for him”

    And while you may not be impressed with what Bryan Colangelo has done — and while the team may not be a “championship contender” — this will be the 3rd time in 4 years that he’s been GM that the team has made the post-season. Don’t like him if you don’t want to but he has not created a “mess”

    Finally … I’ve personally met about 15-20 fans from Winnipeg here in Minnesota who DROVE 7-8 hours to see the Raptors. I met about 10 fans from Vancouver who flew down to San Fran for the Warriors game last week. Toronto still has a lot of work (and winning) to do to really be top-of-mind for sports fans in Canada on a CONSISTENT basis. But the base is there. There is a foundation in place and there are fans across the country. This IS Canada’s team … but there’s much work to be done to make it even stronger; even more-so

    - Eric Smith
  22. 22.

    Eric!!! I diagnose AMNESIA!!

    Do you not recall how many people were saying they would take the proverbial “bag of pucks” for Vince just before he was traded?!?!?!?

    I do. Very, very well. It was at the end of a terrible streak of Vince doing his darn best to ensure his market value was at an extreme low. Injuries. Whining. Statements to the media. Anything he could do to destroy whatever value he had left. And we, as fans, suffered greatly.

    About the Canada thing. Win. That’s all you gotta do to keep, and develop new, fans. It’s really that simple in a market like this. Well, that and show your fans that your players will carry an overtly positive work ethic into every game played…especially at home. That game last Friday was a microcosm of how this team has played far too often this season…and in past seasons.

    What are their deficiencies?

    Rebounds. Offensive rebounds. Points in the paint. Trips to the FT line (besides Bosh, of course). Steals.

    What do they have in common? Effort. Hustle. Commitment.

    If this team wants to continue to build a following in this country, it must do what Atlanta, OKC and other young, tough teams have done — show effort and stop whining about stuff. I’m so tired of the whining. It started with Vince and it never seems to end. Just get on the court and kick a**!! Enough with the Woah Canada, Woah Referees, Woah “I don’t touch the ball as much as I did in Orlando, Woah “I should be the starting PG…

    You want the TRUE CANADA’S TEAM? Look no further than the 85, 87, 89, 91(?), 93 and 94 Blue Jays. They were HOT…everyone across Canada (except, of course, for La Belle Province!” wanted a piece of them, and felt a sense of entitlement. And reveled in the ride from basement dwellers to contenders…to champions.

    You want to create “Canada’s Team”? Just win, baby. And, one playoff series is, simply, not enough.

    - brento.
  23. 23.

    And about the playoffs, Eric. If you’re going to lose in the playoffs in the first round, year after year…is that really progress? Something to build upon? The kind of basis from which you’d ask MLSE for a raise, or new contract as GM?

    No. No. No.

    What is with Toronto fans and their insistence that “making the playoffs” is something to hang their hats on????

    Half the league makes the playoffs. This isn’t baseball. I’m sure the players that lose in the first round don’t go home to their families and talk about how successful their season had been.

    You are REALLY digging when you need to pull the “3 out of 4 years in the playoffs” bit to support Colangelo.

    Big deal.

    Is it so criminal to expect more from my team?

    - brento.
  24. 24.

    I don’t know who you were talking to, but, NO, a “bag of pucks” wasn’t what Vince was worth.

    You’re wrong on this one Brento. Dead wrong.

    As for “winning curing all” … did I not say that when I talked about “much work” needing to be done?

    - Eric Smith
  25. 25.

    No it’s not criminal to expect more. You should. But “making the playoffs” is what it’s all about. You have NO clue what might happen when you get there.

    Do I expect them to advance or go to the Finals? No. But you never no. There are no guarantees.

    I’m not reaching in the “3 for 4″ fact. It’s legit.

    And, again, it’s far from the “mess” you claim it to be.

    Further to that … if we look at the BUSINESS for a second … making the playoffs IS what it’s all about — whether you’re 1st or 8th. That way you’re guaranteed at least 2 playoff gates ($$). Would you like to go even further — not only for wins but for more money? ABSOLUTELY. But making the playoffs does matter.

    The low number of playoff teams in baseball is a joke to me. It’s the reason fans in more than half of the league don’t care about their teams (because they’re so far out of it) in July or August and beyond.

    - Eric Smith
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