Game On: Raptors @ Hornets

Published: January 17, 2011

Toronto Raptors (13-27) at New Orleans Hornets (25-16)

Offensive Efficiency Ratings: Hornets 102.5 (19th), Raptors: 104.3 (15th)

Defensive Efficiency Ratings: Hornets 99.7 (5th), Raptors: 109.3 (28th)

Pace: Hornets 91.5 (29th) , Raptors 96.3 (9th)

The Raptors come to New Orleans for an afternoon game on Martin Luther King Junior day. Tip off is at 2:00 ct, and the Hornets desperately need to pack the house. With four games left to trigger a lease extension, they need to average 15241 fans per game for the rest of the month.

I spoke with Sam Holako from Raptors Republic about the game:

You have now witnessed the glory of Jerryd Bayless and Julian Wright. Have they shown anything that makes you think New Orleans may one day regret giving them up?

Bayless has had a few really nice games for the Raptors, and most of us appreciate how aggressive he is off the bounce. The guy can really stand to learn a lot from Calderon and has the makings of a solid back-up point in the NBA. The best part is that he makes half of what Jarrett Jack does for about the same level of production. Wright on the other hand hasn’t had as big an impact as Bayless has, but he has a much bigger cult following. The guy is one of the best defenders the Raptors have, but doesn’t see the floor when a defensive player is needed during certain games/situations.To make matters worse for fans, every time he sees the floor, he makes things happen. However, the hornets wont be regretting giving them up, they definitely aren’t top level talent.

With a record of 13-27, Toronto is within shouting distance of both the playoffs and the worst record in the league. Is this one of those years that you just blow everything up and hope that you wind up drafting a stud, or would the fans prefer the team tries to make a run at the playoffs?
The reason the Raptors are a treadmill team (a couple wins between the playoffs and last in the league) is the lack of talent. Sure, DeRozan, Bargnani and Calderon are good players, but they have proven that they need lots of help. I speak for a lot of fans who wish for a top 3 pick the next couple of seasons until things start to turn around for this team. No one wants to see this team sneak into the playoffs and get thumped 4-0 in the 1st round.

What are your thoughts on Bargnani’s defense? Is that an area where he’s still improving or is it essentially just a lost cause?

Brutal, the guy is absolutely a brutal defender and rebounder (the other team can’t score when you have the ball right?). He’s been in the league for 5 years now, so this is pretty much what we’re going to see from him. I think what bothers me the most is not that he’s a poor defender, but that he doesn’t even freaking care to try to give it a proper go, It’s very aggravating.
People tend to liken what is happening with Carmelo Anthony and Denver to what could one day happen to Chris Paul and New Orleans. I happen to think that if Chris Paul departs, it will play out similarly to what happened with Chris Bosh and Toronto. Which do you think is better for a franchise overall; to have an unhappy star who publicly desires to be traded before his deal is up, or to have a quiet star who leaves when his deal expires?
I had actually fooled myself into thinking that Bosh would stay after flirting with other offers for some reason. Now I’m violently jaded, and fully believe both Carmelo and Paul will be playing for other teams rather soon. I think this is an interesting question since I’m of the belief that you always have to be buying to be successful in this league. For example; the Sonics traded a very productive Gary Payton to Milwaukee for Ray Allen. At the time of the trade, Payton was averaging 21pts 9ast, but his career quickly faded a few years after that. We all know how good Ray Allen’s been for the last decade, no brainer trade now that you look at it.

Both the scenarios you describe are bad for a franchise, since you always have to replace your talent and not get hosed in the process. If I were the Hornets, I would look at moving Paul very quickly while his value is sky high, and still under contract for another full season after this.

As for your question, if I were to choose, I’d want a quiet star who leaves when his deal expires, much like Amare did with the Suns; but spend the cap space much more effectively.

InjuriesToronto:Reggie Evans – Out
Peja Stojakovic – Out
Leandro Barbosa – Out
Sonny Weems – Day to day
Jerryd Bayless – Day to day
Jose Calderon – Day to day

New Orleans: Marco Belinelli – Day to day

Enjoy the game!

Notes from the Arena


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