Good morning.

Yesterday I suggested that raptors.com edited out Bargnani’s comment about his scoring being more complicated than defense and rebounding. After reading yesterday’s post, Jay Satur of raptors.com got hold of me on Twitter (here and here) saying that the Raptors would never ask the web people to do that, and that Bargnani’s video was “cut off” for whatever reason but posted at 5PM. Sure enough, here’s the full video. Make what you will out of it, I already said that Bargnani’s comments were not malicious but a product of poor English. I totally understand poor command of the English language getting you into trouble, sometimes when a hammered blogger stumbles his way to Ginger, instead of ordering the 3-5-9, he blurts out 35-59 which is totally not springrolls and a beef sandwich. Food poisoning ensues.

Moving on, you have a subscription to Forbes magazine? Me neither. I mean, I used to steal one from my dentist’s office and pretend to read it on the subway in hopes of impressing girls but it never worked, probably because I looked too smart and unapproachable, it couldn’t have been my looks, no way. Luckily for us, the web came along and demystified these magazines. Like this. It says the Raptors are the least cost-efficient team in the league.

The San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors have roughly comparable payrolls, but the similarities end there: San Antonio won 61 games and ranks fourth in cost-effectiveness, while the woeful 22-win Raptors were the least cost-effective NBA team. Toronto was 90% less cost-effective than the league median. Chris Bosh’s departure for Miami certainly contributed to this.

Their calculations are based on what a roster’s productivity is compared to their salary. PER/Salary, or WP48/Salary. Something along those lines. What the analysis fails to consider is what the ROI on what the Raptors spend is. Honestly, Liston could probably crap that piece out in fifteen minutes.

Jay Triano’s long-ass interview was your typical end-of-season recap, here’s some tidbits:

On why everyone is so happy.

It’s hard to believe you had 22 wins and the guys are as positive as they are but the reality of our guys it that they know the situation, they’re young players in the league, they’re infant in their careers.

On asking Andrea Bargnani to rebound and play defense.

Is it asking a home-run hitter to bunt? Possibly, but he’s got to have that part of his game if we’re going to be successful. He can find a way to score 22 points, but do you want to score 22 points and have 22 wins? He doesn’t. So that hopefully becomes a motivator for him. If not, then the young players that have developed behind him will start eating into playing time, and playing time is probably the biggest motivator in the league.

Ah yes, Jay Triano is finally coming around to what Sam Mitchell had been doing a long time ago: giving minutes based on play, not on pedigree. This is the #1 complaint against the Raptors organization and why Bryan Colangelo is so disliked by parts of the fan-base. Also, that baseball analogy is off, Bargnani reminds me of ex-Bluejay Billy Koch, he might come in and get five strikeouts in two innings, but he’s also going to give up three hits, two walks and the lead. Some closer.

On Bargnani saying his natural position is power forward.

He is a five, defensively, he’s not offensively.

Translation: he has a hope in hell of guarding big lumbering centers using his height, but when matched against an agile power forward, fuggedaboutit.

On getting better defensively.

They will get better because of the experience. But to get better drastically like we have to, we’ll have to have a better system in place and better defensive players. These guys are not opposed to doing the work, it’s a toughness factor, it’s a strength issue. We talked to every one of our guys about getting stronger. DeMar has to get stronger, when DeMar played against physical players, he was less effective. When Amir played against physical players, he was less effective. Ed Davis obviously has to get stronger. I know we’re infant in our years of experience, but we’re also very infant when you look at us standing besides teams, we look like the JV team sometimes…we have to get better at that, we have to get bigger, we have to get stronger.

What should the exodus look like in order for those better defensive players to come in?

If you suffered through yesterday’s Rapcast (audio entirely my fault), you know there was a big discussion on Jay Triano and his abilities as head coach of a rebuilding team. Questions were asked of Triano, questions like whether he commands enough respect, is taken seriously, holds players accountable, has his strategies right, knows the difference between butter and I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter. I felt that he’s gotten the proper effort out of players who listen to what he preaches, in other words, it’s a question of talent and not coaching. The 30th ranked defense looks terrible on his resume, but that’s not reflective of his motivational abilities, but of his inexperience at the NBA level.

Is he Colangelo’s man on the inside? Yes. Does Colangelo influence him? Probably. Would it really have mattered who the coach was last season in terms of player development? Not much. The talent on the roster is what it is – sub-par and until that is fixed, there isn’t much sense bashing the coach. He did what was needed which is give players the playing time to prove themselves, some did and some didn’t. His puzzling treatment of Solomon Alabi and Julian Wright got him some criticism, but other than that you have to say his allocation of playing time was straightforward. He should be held accountable for the defensive ineptitude, but so do Alex English, Eric Hughes and P.J Carlesimo. Triano doesn’t strike me as a guy who, like Sam Mitchell was accused of, pays little heed to his assistants. All in all, for a rebuilding year where nothing was expected, Triano played the part.

Liston is back with an article tomorrow. Not sure what he can analyze at this point, so pay close attention to his charts tomorrow because I’m pretty sure they’re just copied from the weather network. One last thing, the people called for it so there’s playoff chat on RR during the games.

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