Time to hit the 'Panic' button?
I am interested in the fan's base prospective in lieu of what transcribed since the start of the season, and here are the most intriguing matters, in my opinion:
1. The Defense: Toronto coach has been lauded for as a career defensive schematics guru. It is obvious so far that defense on our team is incompetent and subpar to be competing on a NBA level. Where is the disconnect?
2. The Roster: announced by the GM as the formidable collection of young prospects, it is hard to give any credit to this claim after this poor start. And this claim is not made just because of the losses. It was made because there is a lack of effort, hustle, intensity, and definitive lack of collective and cohesion. Seems like this GM is making mistake after mistake in the drafts, and can not trade for even marginal talent. Bitterness comes from the fact that Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, Ross, Acy, and also Valanciunas are either not talented and consistent, or athletic enough to be a competent part of a NBA team first-five squad. Imagine either one of them on any other team - would they be playing in the first five? The rest of the cast is a 'make-do'. If a temporary loss of only one player (Lowry) is deemed a cause for the no-show of the whole team in two consecutive games, how good is this team then? Last night while watching the pathetic Dallas team thriving against Raptors, I thought that I wish we had again PJ Tucker, Joey Graham, and Joey Dorsey, and hell yes, Reggie Evans on the team - they would at least show a speckle of pride and defense. What to do with this roster?
3. Jump Shot vs. Penetration: Vast percentage of the offensive plays are done from a single player ISO (isolation against the defender and a prayer that the ball will somehow get in). In essence, this team is doing the same thing as it did in the final 2 years of the Vince Carter era - which was easy to defend and led to defeating results. I have been monitoring the modus operandi of Kyle Lowry - career off-dribble penetrator to basket now looks to shoot as much as possible, and some of those shots came from far, far above the arc - that is not the reflection of the expanding range, I think. The rest of the team is static, mostly in the corners, awaiting the ball so that they could chunk it out. Why is jump shooting with no remorse so cheap in Toronto?
4. Direction: I do not see a strong player base, exciting prospects and a futuristic and developmental direction, provided by the team leadership. Rebuild mode seems to be permanent and persistent. Both GM and the coach are very eloquent and capable making excuses, calling this team 'young', 'up and coming'. Unfortunately, and as a true Toronto citizen and team fan, I think that this is not true. In my opinion, this team needs help at all the aspects which define the game of basketball: agility, athleticism, experience, and team spirit. What do you think are the strategic and tactical needs overall for the Toronto Raptors?
Thank you all for comments.... I thought I would be spilling out much more vitriol after OKC and Dallas games.