Posts Tagged ‘Leandro Barbosa’

So Deadline Day has come and gone, and although the Raptors may not have taken any of my trade suggestions, they do find themselves minus a couple of bench players. Anthony Carter and Leandro Barbosa are gone, and in return, we got…nobody. Hm.

Well, a second-round pick…and a trade exemption…Those are good things, right? And besides, now that Barbosa and Carter won’t be hogging bench minutes anymore, we get to see more of Butler and Forbes! Yay!

While I can’t say I’ll miss Anthony Carter (although it was fun to watch the old guy huff and puff his way down the court, only to get confused and pass the ball to the press table), I will miss Barbosa. He was an exciting player to watch; exciting in the way it’s exciting to ride an old wooden rollercoaster that is really fast, but a bit old, and might go off the rails and kill you at any moment.

Just for the heck of it, here’s my favourite Barbosa highlight, from his days in Phoenix:

All in all, it’s not really a bad deal for Toronto (go here for some more in-depth analysis), but just for once I’d like to see a trade where the Raptors trade a player and get an actual person in return.

So long, Leandro. We’ll miss you. If you make it to the playoffs, send us a postcard, ‘kay?

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Deadline Day is traditionally when clubs make exciting last-minute deals. Or when talented players demand out of Toronto.

As the NBA trade deadline approaches, teams are once again in wheeling-and-dealing mode: which players will move in search of a championship? Which owners will show enough knowledge of basketball chemistry to find the perfect fit? Which teams will find the missing piece that will propel them in the right direction as the playoffs loom on the horizon?

Since words like “playoffs”, “championship”, and sometimes even “basketball” aren’t things that generally come to mind when one ponders the Toronto Raptors, Deadline Day doesn’t quite carry the same excitement that it would in a city where the local team is trying to build a contender.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have some fun speculating about what might happen this March 15th. So here, for my own amusement and yours, is a list of some trades that I think might work out in the Raptors’ favour.

Trade Suggestion #1: Andrea Bargnani for David Letterman

This one works out for everybody. Think about it: Letterman spends his evenings sitting on the side, wearing a suit, watching Paul Schaeffer play. Bargnani spends his evenings sitting on the side, wearing a suit, watching the Raptors play. They’ve got all the experience they need to do each other’s jobs! Plus, Dave could lighten things up when coach Casey gets all heavy with his whole “defense” thing.

Late Night host David Letterman would be a great fit; as you can see here, he's already got more experience touching trophies than most Raptors.

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Trade Suggestion #2: Aaron Gray for Chuck Swirsky

Aaron Gray is a reminder of everything that’s wrong with the current Raptors. I love the guy. He tries hard. But he’s oafish, awkward, and has trouble making shots from further out than 6 inches.

Chuck Swirsky, on the other hand, is a reminder of better days. I think having The Swirsk at centre would really liven things up; he’s got a great low-post game, a shiny head, and an affinity for salami and cheese. This trade would be sick, wicked, and nasty.

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Trade Suggestion #3: Leandro Barbosa for a Loonie.

Why? Simple. A loonie is tough, well-rounded, and…wait for it…it’s good for four quarters!

Barbosa for a dollar: a trade that just makes cents. (Sorry.)

Toronto coach Dwane Casey, seen here estimating how many games the Raptors will win this season.

Record: 6-14 (2-8 over the past 10)

High point: Bargnani’s return. My goodness, the Raptors missed Bargnani. Winless without him, he came back to score 36 points against Phoenix, giving the Raps their first win against the Suns since about 1943. He helped them win again the next night…then left the game late with an injury. Awesome.

Low point: Jamaal Magloire airballing a free throw with the game on the line.

Stuff I’ve Noticed:

–          Technically, in terms of a player’s value to a team, Bargnani might be the league’s MVP.

–          Without Bargnani, the Raptors’ playbook goes something like this: Calderon dribbles up the court, looks around for a bit, sees zero passing options, pulls up for a jumper.

–          Sometimes Barbosa gets a little carried away.

Memorable Quote:
“Coming from the last three years winning 50 and 60 games a year and a championship, it’s tough.”
 – Coach Casey reflects on what it’s like to move from Dallas to Toronto, Jan. 20

Ah, the NBA.com highlight reel.  A nightly recap of the league’s prettiest passes, biggest blocks, and most deadly dunks. Or, sometimes, a nightly recap of how many times a given team managed to make the Raptors look bad.

Last night, an astonishing 50% of NBA.com’s top ten plays were shots of the Clippers beating the bejeepers out of the poor old Raps, who tallied their eighth straight loss. Here’s why I love the highlights above:

#10 – Griffin’s big alley-oop. Check the game clock on this one. It took exactly 15 seconds for the embarrassment to begin.

#7 – DeAndre mugs Davis. Oh, Ed Davis. I like the kid, and in some ways he reminds me of Chris Bosh. For example, the way he gets overpowered on the boards.

#5 – Billups no-look pass. See, the no-look pass is something the Raptors do all the time. Problem is, we keep forgetting that it’s the passer who’s not supposed to look, not the receiver. And let’s not forget that Billups wore a Raptors jersey once upon a time.

#4 – DeAndre blocks Barbosa. Ouch. Just…ouch.

#1 – DeAndre’s alley-oop. Just like Griffin’s dunk at #10, this one comes within the first minute of play, this time in the 3rd quarter. I guess the Raptors aren’t known for their quick starts.

So congratulations to the Clippers, for recording 50% of the night’s top plays. Who knows how many more highlights they would have grabbed if all-star guard Chris Paul had been in the lineup? Oh well. There’s always next time.

You’re welcome, Los Angeles.

Barbosa, scoring machine, and Bargnani, rebound king

Ever have one of those nights where you’re not sure if what’s happening is actually real? Where you actually start to believe that this might just be some strange dream?

That was tonight at the Air Canada Centre.

It started before tip-off, when it turned out that dozens of season seat holders (including me) had tickets that didn’t scan properly. We were told that we must have printed our tickets wrong, and that we wouldn’t be allowed entry. This kindly looking old man flew off the handle, yelling things like “loyalty” and “customer service” at the poor guy who worked for the Raptors and just happened to be in the way. I experienced a moment of inner hilarity when I almost said to the angry guy, “you do realize that you’re upset because this guy is stopping you from seeing…Toronto vs. Sacramento, right?”

Anyway, eventually we were allowed in. Which was great, because it was one of the weirdest (and worst-played) games in professional basketball history. Here’s the run-down:

– Sacramento was called for over-and-back on their first possession. Over-and-back? Is this junior high?

– The teams combined for 35 turnovers.

– Anthony Carter threw a pass to James Johnson, who wasn’t looking, and was quite surprised to hear it whiz by his nose, missing him by inches.

– I stopped counting the travelling violations after five.

– The Raptors’ leading scorer was…wait for it…Leandro Barbosa.

– The Raptors’ leading rebounder was Andrea Bargnani, despite missing most of the second half with an injury.

Amir Johnson hit a 3-pointer.

It was when Johnson hit his three that I started to wonder whether I had accidentally slipped into a parallel dimension. Where was I? Had I discovered a portal to another universe? Was this bizarro world? Then the Raptors threw the game away in the fourth quarter, and I knew that everything was okay. This was definitely the real world.

The Kings managed to scrape out an ugly road win, despite shooting only 37%.

You’re welcome, Sacramento.