Let’s get the good/bad news out of the way depending on which side of the Mitchell war you’re on. Bryan Colangelo has given Sam Mitchell the vote of confidence and says he has no plans of dismissing a “playoff coach” and that even the idea is “ludicrous”. To those of you who think Mitchell was a problem, Colangelo clearly disagrees, so there:

“All things should be put to rest right now when I say that I have absolutely no intention of making a coaching change at this time”

So much for FireSamMitchell.com, I’d say FireAvery.com has a better chance of coming through. If you wanted to see Sam Mitchell get fired, your only hope is in the “at this time” portion of the above quote. As AltRaps pointed out to me, he did say something very similar about Charlie V before shipping him out last summer so there is some hope. Mitchell’s grade is a C- in my book, to summarize it one sentence, he doesn’t have the X’s and O’s knowledge to lead a Euro-style team and is thus the wrong coach for the squad.

Colangelo also acknowledged the need for a second consistent 20-point scorer and defensive and rebounding help:

“We need to address our defence and rebounding areas, we need to address the development of a young player like Andrea Bargnani, we need to look for another 20-point scorer to facilitate that scoring load. We certainly need to get some more help for Chris Bosh, whether it’s protecting himself in the paint, getting a little more of a presence in there, to just getting him another scorer to shoulder some of that burden.”

Funny part about that quote is that we had the exact same needs at the end of the 06-07 season. Go figure.

Chris Bosh’s review of Bargnani’s season was as pinpoint an analysis you’ll find anywhere on the web. It has to bug Bosh that Bargnani hasn’t been able to carry his weight on the frontline and continually leaves him exposed by either not providing help or not boxing out. Bosh with some very wise yet obvious words for The Godfather Fredo:

“He has to develop the mentality to get down low, get some easy baskets, block some shots, get some rebounds. Be a force in the game if you’re not making shots. That’s how you have to be. You have to play defence, you have to rebound, you have to always be a factor. If your shot’s not falling, that doesn’t take away your success in the game.”

Bargnani’s got a long summer ahead of him, all our hopes are on the big man camp teaching him a thing or two while John Lucas toughens him up by sharing the same bed, eating out of the same bowl and pissing while holding hands. Colangelo’s ideal summer involves Bargnani transforming into the year two Dirk Nowitzki who averaged 17.5/6.5. That might be a stretch, I’ll settle for 14/6. If he’s not showing a serious improvement on both ends of the floor next year, we can’t waste time waiting for him.

From the same Globe piece we learn that TJ Ford does not see himself coming off the bench:

“ I think where I’m at right now in my NBA career, I consider myself a starter and I don’t see myself coming off the bench for 82 games”

Contrast this with Calderon’s quote:

“I want to win. I don’t want to be a starter or not a starter, I want a ring. I’m Jose, I want to be a winner.”

Fuckin eh. The smart money’s on TJ being shipped for that second scorer Colangelo admits the team needs. I love TJ as a talent but it has become clear that Sam Mitchell can’t harness him and channel his skill properly. There’s too many erratic stretches in the game for my liking and the argument that his teammates can’t “keep up with him” can only go so far. TJ Ford will end up having a fine NBA career, it’s just going to happen somewhere else, somewhere where he’s got the run ‘n gun offense around him – maybe Phoenix? Anyway, I highly doubt Colangelo even makes the Villanueva/Ford trade if he had properly evaluated what he had in Calderon.

If you’re a fan of the Spanish basketball team, there’s some terrible, terrible news. Jorge Garbajosa will not be playing for you as long as he’s with the Raptors. That could be one year or one minute. Frankly, I’m a bit tired of hearing Garbajosa’s absence being used as a reason for the lack of grittiness and defense on this year’s team. He’s a good player, not a game changer, he’ll never dominate the glass or help out consistently with 8-9 rebounds and a shot block or two. His jumpshot is mediocre and although he’s a great team defender, his man-defense is at Joey Graham levels. Yes, I said that. If we start next season with Garbajosa as the anchor of our defense, we’re in trouble.

There is some good news, with the Hawks, Sixers, Wizards and Cleveland all on the rise its always great to see a conference team bury themselves a little deep. This time its the Charlotte Bobcats that will get a first-hand look at Larry Brown’s vagina. I wonder what Michael Jordan’s interview process is, he goes from hiring a headcase with no experience to hiring the biggest drama queen the NBA coaching scene has ever witnessed.

If you want some final grades to get some closure, check out the Posted Sports blog again. Why is Rasho only getting a B? He only did everything that was asked of him.

Here’s my report card with a one line explanation:

  • Andrea Bargnani, F: Sucked.
  • Maceo Baston, N/A: I hear he’s great in practice.
  • Chris Bosh, B: Carried team in the season but fell short in the playoffs.
  • Primoz Brezec, N/A: Nice to meet you.
  • Jose Calderon, A-: If it weren’t for him, we miss the playoffs.
  • T.J. Ford, C: Great before he got injured, tried too hard when he came back.
  • Jorge Garbajosa, N/A: Where pointless injuries in meaningless games happen.
  • Joey Graham, C: Didn’t get a consistent run to do anything worth grading. A C still sounds fair.
  • Kris Humphries, B: When duty called he delivered, some of the time.
  • Jason Kapono, C-: Not enough 3s to spread the defense.
  • Jamario Moon, B: Our best defender and that says a lot. Needs to drive more.
  • Rasho Nesterovic, A: No complaints whatsoever.
  • Anthony Parker, C: Too inconsistent on offense, way too inconsistent on defense.
  • Sam Mitchell, C-: Two plays does not make a coach.

Till tomorrow.

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