One more to go

81 down, 1 to go. Raptors close out the year hosting the Heat at the ACC.

How fitting, that on the last game of the year, we play Chris Bosh; a season removed as our franchise player. To say that this season was a long one would be an understatement. Fan interest is the lowest I’ve seen in quite a while, yet, we have a great online Raptor community here at RR, and are very thankful for your daily support regardless of whether you agree with what’s written or not. The discussions here at RR are what makes this a great site, not my blabbering.

Tonight’s game will not be answering any questions about the team we might have, and should by no means change our perception of them regardless of the outcome. The Heat have locked up 2nd in the East and look poised to make a run at the championship, especially considering Bynum hyper-extended his knee again last night. So don’t expect to see the Miami Thrice play heavy minutes.

There is a lot to talk about, speculate on and argue too for the next couple months, but I have a few random thoughts I need to get out:

Bryan Colangelo

We shouldn’t hate too much on the job BryCo did for us this season. Is he a top-tier GM in the league? Maybe. What we do know is that he took a damn good shot at changing this teams complexion last summer.

It’s quite hard to make deals work in the NBA, and after coming up short twice, his cards were all out on the table which didn’t help him make positive moves with the vultures circling. The Raptors were a hair away from fielding a starting day lineup of:

Jarred Jack
DeMar DeRozan
Boris Diaw
Andrea Bargnani
Tyson Chandler

Leandro Barbosa
Sonny Weems
Linas Kleiza
Amir Johnson
Ed Davis
…and a couple scrubs

That’s a damn good lineup if you ask me, and one that would be playoff bound. The great part of that lineup would be that Andrea and DeMar would still be used as primary scorers, but there would have been enough of everything else to make-up for each of the starters deficiencies. I don’t want us to lose sight of this fact, it was Michael Jordan who screwed us, not Colangelo (at least this season).

Jay Triano

Still not sold on him as a head coach, but in all fairness, he didn’t have a whole lot to work with. I called a 30-win or so team at the start of the year, and even that was generous. This team was too inexperienced with too many guys who didn’t have a specific role to play. If BryCo gets re-signed, Triano probably has half a season to change perceptions about the team, or he’ll be gone. If D’Antoni is on the market this summer…the rest writes itself.


I do have a great deal of respect for how the team competed on a nightly basis. While we ripped to shreds individual performances from game-to-game, they did play hard as a unit.
The fact of the matter is that the team didn’t have enough complementary pieces to find the right mix with. It all goes back to the failed off-season moves. You mean to tell me that we would be so down on Bargnani if he was flanked by Diaw and Chandler on a nightly basis? Those two would have been perfect compliments, there is no question…sigh…

Ontario Teachers Pension Fund

While I’m looking forward to them bankrolling my retirement (wifee is a teacher), they have no business owning professional sports franchises in a great city dying for championship calibre play. Do us all a favor and sell your stake to another billionaire who is committed to building championship calibre teams, and be done with it.

So there’s a game tonight, and a win or loss shouldn’t affect the final standings since the Wizards own the tie-breaker (they sit a game ahead of us, but are playing the Cavaliers). I’d like to see this bunch end the year with a win, meaningless as it is. The post-game wrap-up Colangelo will (should) give is the most important event tonight, don’t flip the game off until that goes down. Should be good for a couple weeks of discussion and dissection.

Thanks for putting up with me for another season; lots more rants, opinions, draft, free agency and trade coverage to follow through the summer, regardless of a lockout.

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