Another Loss and Another Blown Lead

There is a pattern developing here.

First the Raptors come out like gangbusters- shoot the ball with a high percentage, pound the ball inside with success, and put the boot to top flight teams: Portland, NJ, Dallas, even Boston. Next, the team begins to build some confidence. And lastly, they begin to jack up shots from all over the map (sometimes going 8 to 10 minutes without making a single field goal) and watch double digit leads and winnable games disappear and turn into losses. And the whole time the coach sits back and fiddles while Rome burns. I can’t take it anymore.

It’s time to fire Triano. NOW. TODAY.

He is not the answer. I mean, at his best, he is still not as good as Mitchell was at his worst. I know the TV commentators keep telling me that this team is playing better- but the truth is- THEY ARE NOT.

First off, they are losing more games, more often under Triano. Not only did they lose to OKC, but their record under Triano is similar to OKC and the Clips. Even worse is that they are losing in all the same painful ways that they were losing under SMITCH. Take last night’s game against Portland as an example.

Last night’s game against Portland is a perfect example of why this team is actually worse off with Triano than they were with Mitchell. This was another winnable game that disappeared in the third quarter as the Raptors fell in love with outside shooting and went away from pounding the ball inside (which of course is how they were able to build that 11 point half time lead). The Raps went 0-7 from behind the arc in the third quarter, settling for low percentage shots, and only scoring 10 points in the third quarter. If this was Mitchell who was coaching, the media would have tore a strip out of him for his inability to get his guys to come out of the locker room with energy after the half. And yet Triano escapes criticism.

The 4th quarter was almost unbearable to watch even though the Raptors were in this game until the final minute. Here are some observations I wrote down while watching the 4th quarter that looked eerily similar to the same issues the Raptors had under Mitchell.

The Blazers scored 33 fourth quarter points. That is more points than the Raptors scored in the entire second half.

How come no timeouts were called when Portland was making their run? Triano needed to be more active in slowing down the pace of the game, calming the crowd, cooling off Roy, and most importantly- calling play to get high percentage shots and ensure the ball was going into the low post.

Why the need to jack up 3s when ALL of the success was coming from inside and yet Kapono, Bargs, Parker, and Moon all took 3 pt attempts (and missed in the 4th quarter) that resulted in Portland breaking out and scoring almost untouched on the other end.

Again, Calderon’s defence was a difference maker. The inability of Calderon to contain opposing guards and prevent dribble penetration (Roy made him look useless- before Blake also abused him) killed any chance of this team making a run in the 4th quarter.

Why can’t this team get a rebound at a key moment? I swear I saw Pryzbilla grab a rebound at one point using one had while Bosh just stood there.

However, the most painful part of the 4th quarter was the teams’ inability to double Brandon Roy as he continued to make shot after shot after shot and go off for 18 fourth quarter points. This looked very similar to a loss in Boston earlier this season when Pierce went off for 20 in the 4th as SMITCH refused to double him and the Raps lost another winnable game.

Last night I was sick to stomach listening to the guys on Raptors TV talk about what a good game they played and how you can see the improvement under Triano.

I mean, “the guys played a good game last night.” Really? I guess this is true if you ignore the fact that Portland shot 50% from the field, that the Raps only scored 10 points in the third quarter and blew a double digit half time lead by giving up more points in the 4th than they were able to score in the entire second half.

So here’s my question:

Why is no one calling for Triano to get fired? I mean, last night was a serious example of him getting out coached and costing this team a winnable game. Let’s not forget that Chris Bosh has gone from an MVP candidate under Mitchell to a marginal all-star (at best) under Triano. Andrea Bargnani has gone from a legit young big playing with passion to being ridiculed and nicknamed Veggie lasagna on this site for being totally “meat” less playing under Triano. And the Raptors have gone from an underachieving team hovering around .500 under Michell to a complete disaster under Triano. WE LOST TO OKC!

Yes, this roster is still flawed. Everyone knows that this team needs an athletic swingman and more depth at the guard position. However, this roster, as is, IS good enough to win 48-52 games. The problem today is the same problem that existed on October 31st when the season started. This team needs a coach.

Will MLSE pony up and spend the money to bring in a guy like Jeff Van Gundy or Eddie Jordan? Well, no, not as long as the guys on Raptors TV keep talking about how the team looks better going 4-9 under Triano than they did under Mitchell. And certainly not as long as people on this site and elsewhere continue to blame Bosh. As if he was really the problem?

As always, standing in the key, Im the Dr. Ive got my feet planted and Im planning on taking a charge!


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