3 in the Key: Knicks vs Raptors

Can we even trade Primo Pasta for tickets to Enigma? - USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors face off against a Knicks team that has lost three in a row. However, Raptorland is all in a tizzy about what didn't happen during yesterday's trade deadline.

Yes, Sebastian Telfair is a Raptor, and we may, or may not be down another draft pick since it's conditional.

And well, the general consensus is that this move isn't really going to do a heck of a lot to the Raptors, one way or another.

However, the major talk is about the trade that didn't happen.

You know, the one where we shipped out Mr. Primo Pasta.

The one that everyone was waiting for since Bryan Colangelo said that the Rudy Gay trade was only a taste of the trades to come.

The one that some have been waiting for since Chris Bosh left town.

Well, it didn't happen.

The scary thing is what do the Raptors do now? I think it's pretty unanimous across the board that Andrea Bargnani needs to be shipped out of town before the city of T.O. gets all "Hoffa" up in his grill, but what can you do? His trade value is obviously at an all time low. If we're to believe the rumours before the deadline, Bargnani was worth as high as a Carlos Boozer, and as low as a Spencer Hawes.

Which is to say between a giant questionable contract and a marginal big man.

Do you now play Bargnani 25 minutes like last game, hoping he turns it around in the last little bit of the season so you can do something in the off season?

Do you wait it out, pack it in this year, and hope he comes back hungry next year, while enduring the slings and arrows of Raptors fans across the country?

Do you waive his contract and cut your losses, hoping to sign a free agent?

These questions are going to continue to hang over the franchise now that our "enigma of enigmas" is still with the team. That's where you're going to have trouble for the rest of this season.

Is your goal to showcase Bargnani so you can move him at the end of the season for better value, possibly to the detriment of some wins? That's going to be the question every time Bargnani hits the floor and is given more than 10 minutes of play time.

Tonight though, the Raptors face a New York Knicks team at home who are hoping to avenge their recent loss to the Raptors. Will Bargnani see the same kind of burn he did in our loss to the Grizzlies?

Well, there are more pressing matters to attend to other than Bargs

1) Inoffensive Offense - A big concern around these parts was that Rudy Gay's true shooting percentage was only comparable to DeMar DeRozan's. Since the trade, we've seen Rudy go up and down in his percentage, and DeMar has been slightly more consistent of the two.

Nevertheless, last game, both were ineffective against the Grizzlies' stifling defense. New York's defense is a different story and I hope both will get back on track. Both have to get back to what has made them successful, and that means attacking the basket harder, while continuing to move the ball in the offense.

2) JV vs the World - I'm expecting a rematch of the last game at MSG, which means we'll need Jonas Valanciunas on his A-game tonight. Jonas has been doing a great job playing with fouls and you get the feeling he's gotta stay in this game down the stretch. Yes, Amir Johnson and Aaron Gray will need to mix it up as well, but I think a lot will ride on JV's ability to elevate his game.

On the other side of the fence, Tyson Chandler is a handful and if Carmelo starts again at the PF position like he has lately, the Raptors will need another outstanding game from fields. Also, with the Knicks signing Kenyon Martin, JV may need to face up against a new enemy. The Raptors can ill afford to be out rebounded 52-35 again.

3) Consistency - The Raptors have been playing stronger defense and need to keep up that hard work. Defense requires focus and attention to detail and it's nice to see that the Raptors did play some good defense against the Grizzlies. It's gotta continue and the good thing is, the Raptors have done it to the Knicks before. Here's hoping they can string another win streak together.

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