So I’ve come to the conclusion that when we see Jamaal Magloire in a Raptor game it has a lot more to do with what is not being done by our squad than it does with the need for Magloire to appear.
Magloire is tough. He gets out there and uses his physicality to punish the players he defends. You may beat him to the hoop, but you’re not gonna score. He’ll hammer you everytime.
The physical presence under the basket is not always there for the Raptors. Andrea Bargnani isn’t exactly a “banger”, Amir Johnson gets into foul trouble often and Ed Davis doesn’t always display his max effort on a consistent basis.
This is when Magloire comes in to show them all what you’re supposed to do when you’re protecting the rim. His presence also usually means we aren’t doing so well.
On Sunday night Harden, Durant and Westbrook used the Raptors defenders as pylons. Derozan couldn’t stop them, Forbes couldn’t stop them and Calderon sure as hell couldn’t stop them.
Once they got inside there wasn’t a big body to defend the rim. Gray, J. Johnson, Davis and Amir needed to step up and prevent three-point plays, easy layups, clear paths to the net and they did not.
The effort was not there. A 24-0 run for the Thunder in the third Quarter was evidence enough that whatever the Raptors were doing wasn’t working.
This year I have noticed that when the Raptors defense is falling apart, Dwane Casey calls on Magloire.
Magloire is a hometown favourite, having played his high school ball at Eastern Commerce in the Danforth village. He hasn’t played in many games this season, but when he does it is usually to send a message.
Usually he sends messages to opposing players to stay out of the lane or they’re gonna get hit hard. Tonight he was placed in the game to send a message to his own team.
“Man up”. ”Compete”. ”Challenge the opposition.”
No one on the Raptors could protect the paint, no one could guard the perimeter no one chose to flash some effort.
In comes Magloire. When you see him, you know someone isn’t doing their job. Tonight he should have been in there the entire game.
I’m not a fan of playing Magloire. He doesn’t fit into the long-term plans of this team and shouldn’t be taking time away from Amir, Davis, Alabi, or Johnson.
However, tonight I approved of his presence. Magloire was one of the only Raptors that didn’t resemble a pylon. He didn’t let players walk around him. He didn’t allow easy baskets to be scored on him.
Hopefully his effort and his unexpected playing time helped to send a message to his team. That kind of lackadaisical effort on the defensive end is not going to cut it. Whether it be against the Nets, the Cavs or the Thunder.
To get respect in this game you need to send a message loud and clear. On Sunday night the only Raptor able to do it was Magloire.
Despite the fact it took minutes away from other younger players, I applaud the use of Magloire tonight.
But may we never need to see him for extended minutes again.
The Zan Tabak Herald