February 18, 2013 by bronasvalanciunas
For most, the All-Star break represents a mid-season opportunity to slide into an ether-induced coma for a week and forget all that has gone wrong with their team in the season so far. However, for a few select masochists, the break is a time to painfully revisit the performances of the players on their team. This blog post is for those masochists.
Player Grades: As a general rule, 5 out of 10 means a player has done what I expected of him this season.
Quincy Acy: When the season started, I wasn’t even sure he was real. Now there are days when I wake up thinking he’s the only thing that’s real. When I hit the side of the garbage can when trying to throw away a pineapple he puts away the rebound. When the cable company tries to call my house he blocks it. His is the beard I hide behind when I find myself in an awkward situation at a party.
Grade: 5 out of 5 Subwoofers.
Alan Anderson: He began the season as a stink-faced nobody and has morphed into the Raptors’ most potent scorer off the bench. He still takes way too many shots, and he’s nowhere as mean as he looks, but our team is better for having signed Alan Anderson.
Grade: 8 out of 10 Scowls.
Andrea Bargnani: Has regressed. His field goal percentage, rebounding and points totals are his lowest since his sophomore season. His injury galvanized the team and his facial expressions (ranging from dazed right through to confused) consistently bother me.
Grade: 3 out of 20 bowls of PRIMO pasta. Half a can of PRIMO sauce.
Demar Derozan: His game is undoubtedly improving, as he drives more and takes fewer late game jump shots. The arrival of Rudy Gay could help him get easier scoring opportunities as well, with opposing defenses focusing on Rudy.
Grade: 66 out of 100 scraggly chin hairs.
Landry Fields: Underwhelming. When your most memorable play of the season is an unsportsmanlike garbage time alley-oop to get a double double, you’re not worth $20 million over three years.
Grade: 5 out of 18 creepy PlayStation advertisements.
Rudy Gay: The Raptors are a much better team with Rudy Gay. He’s not going to live up to his contract, but at least now we have someone to give the ball to in the fourth quarter. No longer moping around in Memphis, here’s hoping he can return to his form from a couple of seasons ago.
Aaron Gray: The league’s best bowl cut on the league’s slowest man.
Grade: 1 slow-motion lay-up and 2 turnovers.
Hamed Haddadi: Hamed Haddadi may or may not be locked up in Bryan Colangelo’s basement writing his own obituary.
Grade: Incomplete, because no one knows where he is.
Amir Johnson: He works hard every game, and his partnership with Ed Davis during December and January was a key part of Raptors best stretch this season. It makes me smile every time he hits a long jump shot. Plus he shaved the Raptors logo into his head, which was both hilarious and disturbing.
Grade: 12 out of 15 mouthguard-related ejections.
Linas Kleiza: How do you grade a man that both impresses you with his bravado and makes you cringe with his bad puns? It doesn’t matter, because Linas Kleiza is not that man. From what I’ve seen of Kleiza this season, he’s inebriated most of the time on the bench, which probably helps team spirit.
Grade: 1 out of 5 barfights. Though in truth, Linas Kleiza wins all his barfights.
Kyle Lowry: He started out so hot this season, but has turned back into the player we all thought he was, and not the player Bryan Colangelo thought he was. Now that Jose has moved on, Kyle Lowry can use his empty locker at the gym.
Grade: 1 out of 2 t-shirt sleeves.
John Lucas III: In a startling coincidence, our two point guards come one after the other on the Raptors’ alphabetical roster. John Lucas has actually been shooting the ball really well recently, and his high-pitched voice can occasionally motivate the second unit, making up for his generally aimless dribbling and nonexistent passing.
Grade: 1700 out of 3000 pairs of shoes.
Mikael Pietrus: Makes me laugh. Makes me cry.
Grade: (2 shooter’s sleeves)+(4 headbands)+(2 wristbands)+(compression shorts)+(5 things to put on your calves)+(something to chew)-(1 NBA quality player)= Mikael Pietrus
Terrence Ross: He won the dunk contest the other day, boys! Yee-haw. His combination of athleticism and shooting ability could one day make him a very decent NBA player, and when he’s hot, it’s bloody exciting. Most of the time he is cold.
Grade: 3 out of 7 narrowly avoided ballboy-related lawsuits.
Jonas Valanciunas: His boundless enthusiasm makes up for his occasional rookie cluelessness. The game against Indiana showed it will take more than just Tyler Hansbrough to knock him out of the limelight. My biggest regret of the season is that I didn’t buy a JV bobblehead.
Grade: 7 out of 9 toothy grins.
The Lost Souls: Here are posthumous grades for the Raptors who didn’t make it to the All-Star break.
Jose Calderon: After management tried to slide him onto the bench by bringing in Kyle Lowry, he won back the starting spot with his professional attitude and scholarly approach to running the Raptors’ offense. He still has the second best assists-to-turnover ratio in the league. But what else would you expect from one of the greatest Raptors EVER?
Grade: 5 o’clock shadow (out of 6 o’clock shadow).
Ed Davis: We sold him as he was blooming. Watch him wilt in Memphis. I miss his rebounding, but not his free throw form. Word on the street is that he failed to escape from Folsom prison in 1934.
Grade: 7 out of 8 boring personalities.
Dominic McGuire: Why’d we get rid of him!!! He was so good at defense!!
Grade: 0 out of 1. Dominic McGuire is graded on a binary scale because he’s the kind of player you would get if you set all of someone’s attributes to 0 on a computer game.