OK, its not really that bad- but at the present moment things are not looking good in Raptorland. So, fellow citizens of the Raptors Republic, lets sit back and try to get a little bit of perspective here.
You see, Ive had enough of people complaining about how bad this team is (and this includes my regular blogs at raptorstalk.com). Now, I know I have been one of Brian Colangelo’s most harsh critics over the last 7 months- but enough is enough.
- Yes, we are currently 10-17 and last in the Atlantic Division.
- Yes, we are 2-8 under Coach Triano in our last 10.
- Yes, it looks like Bosh is mailing it in, like Andrea has taken another step backwards, and that Joey Graham may be the best Raptor over the last month.
- Heck, we even miss Carlos Delfino!
BUT, I am not going to spend any more time criticizing this team as it is currently constructed. This team is what it is- and that currently is a team on pace to win 33 games and find itself drafting somewhere between 5-9 in the 2009 draft. Instead, I want to look at what happens next, because I think all citizens of the Republic can agree- THAT THIS CANT BE IT…THERE MUST BE MORE TO HAPPEN.
The season is not yet over. This team is not yet out of it. In fact, they are currently only 3 games out of the 8th spot in the East and 6 games out of 4th. But it is what happens NOW (and not two months from now) that will determine whether this team goes to the playoffs or the lottery. There is still alot of talent on this team- but the mood is not good- so what is BC’s next step?
In the spirit of dialog I want to open the floor to my fellow citizens here at Raptors Republic to talk about some of the ways that this team can turn it around.
FIRST- the ground rules:
For those of you who are going to propose trades -
- only legitimate trades proposals- that means no Joey Graham for Allen Iverson talk. BOoth teams have to “win” in the deal for it to be realistic.
- salaries got to match- so you have to do your homework. For a list of salaries click here and for the espn.com trade machine click here
- remember that lots of teams are trimming down for the 2010 free agent class, which includes not only Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, but also Amare, Dirk, Joe Johnson and others- so, many GMs are willing to deal guys for 2010 expiring contracts, like JO’s 23 million dollar contract.
Just because someone proposes a scenario you disagree with doesn’t make them a moron who has never watched a basketball game. Lets focus the talk here around basketball, players, stats, trades, systems, coaches, GMs, free agents and not on who the blogger is. And this includes language- lets leave the expletives, F-bombs, and derogatory comments and the rest of the garbage for 76ers blogs.
LASTLY- lets be realistic about what we actually have here in Toronto. Here’s my take on the current state of the franchise:
- GM- While I may not agree with most of BCs moves since he came to Toronto, he is a 2 time NBA executive of the year AND is regarded by most people in the NBA as one of the best minds in the game. Even though I have a phd, I’m pretty sure he knows more about the game than I do. The point is simply this- if ANYONE can turn this ship around, its him.
- Coach- Jay Triano is a good guy and probably a decent coach in the right scenario. He understands the game and appears to have many of the players buying into his system. He also inst afraid to tell his best players to smarten up. BUT, this is not the right scenario for him. Lets face it, the reason Triano, and not Alex English (the Hall of Famer, top 50 player of all time, member of one of the best run and gun teams of all time, and also an assistant with Sam Mitchell) is the coach is because he’s Canadian. This team would be better off with a more “legit” NBA coach. Say what you want about SMITCH, but he had his franchise guy playing at an MVP level and he also had the #1 overall pick playing like a top prospect before he got fired. Since he was axed, Bosh and Andrea have gone fishing. This team may say publicly that they are behind Triano- but their actions are saying something different. The dressing room needs a more legit presence. BUT Triano does have BCs word that he has the entire season to work this out and so, even though this is THE WRONG MOVE- it appears to be the direction BC wants to move in.
- Starters- regardless of who starts games these days in Raptorsland, this team only really has 3 legitimate NBA starters, who would start on more than half the teams in the league: Bosh, Calderon, and JO. Even if you dont like them or think they are soft, injury prone, or one dimensional- they are still all star calibre players and starters in most cities.
- “6th men”- One of the issues with this team is that it has several guys who fit this title but upon whom real expectations are placed. Both Anthony Parker and Jason Kapono could be considered legitimate 6th men on a title contending team but neither is really a solid NBA starter. Likewise, Joey Graham and Jamario Moon, and Kris Humphries are all solid bench rotational guys, or “role players” but none would really be the 6th man on a good NBA team, let alone a legit starter.
- TBD: In Ukic and Bargnani the Raps have two players where the jury is still out. Other teams would have interest in these guys- and the Raps would have an interest in keeping them- but mostly because they are still young, have some solid professional experience under their belts (from playing over seas) and continue to show “glimpses” of serious talent. Even when those glimpses are few and far between.
- Towel-waivers: Sometimes I wonder what ever became of Lamond Murray, Jerome Moiso, and Yogi Stewart- but then I remember that in some freakish scientific experiment their spirits were transplanted into the bodies of Hassan Adams, Nathan Jawai and Jake Voshkul. These guys dont really do much and wont garner much interest from another team.
So there you have it. Let the discussion begin.
The discussion about whether this team is going down hill is over. This team IS broken- the question now can we fix it- and if so how?
As always, standing in the key, Im the Dr., Ive got my feet planted and Im planning on taking a charge!