Bryan Colangelo says Raptors play is 'Embarassing'
I wonder if the problems all came up with was Bargnani. This seems like a time when BC may make a desperation move to save his job. The raptors can't get much worse so how bad could a trade be?
LOS ANGELES—On the sun-baked campus of UCLA, with the players and coaches wandering to the bus after a couple of hours of practice, Bryan Colangelo summed up the state of the Raptors with little equivocation.
“This situation is, from all standards, unacceptable,” the team’s president and general manager said. “It’s disappointing, it’s embarrassing but this is where we find ourselves.”
Where the Raptors find themselves is in a funk of unimaginable proportions. They’ve reached the quarter mark of the NBA regular season with a dismal 4-16 record, they’ve lost nine of their last 10 games and the capitulation in Friday’s 131-99 drubbing in Salt Lake City was cause for enough concern that players and coaches held a 25-minute soul-searching session immediately after the game.
“It’s obviously something we are addressing, we continue to look and evaluate. Again, 4-16 is unacceptable,” Colangelo said.
Colangelo, who had long planned to join the team here at the end of a season-long road trip, was going to continue his fact-finding mission with a series of private sessions with some players and the coaching staff Saturday night.
“There’s been a lot of dialogue, a lot of discussion,” he said. “It’s constant evaluation of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and why we’re doing it.”
With a team going as poorly as the Raptors are, there are inevitable rumours circulating about trades and other roster moves and the future of the men in charge.
Colangelo, whose contract is not guaranteed past this year, and coach Dwane Casey, who has already had his 2013-14 option picked up, are the two most prominent targets for public angst.
But that’s no greater than the pressure they put on themselves.
“We’re all under a microscope now, as should be the case, including myself,” said Colangelo. “We clearly have to make this right.”
There might not be a quick fix, however. While rumours are abundant — most swirling around enigmatic forward Andrea Bargnani — the GM said he’s not going to make a move simply to make a move. He believes it’s prudent to take a calm and measured path in his constant discussions about improving the roster.
“We’re always pursuing every possible avenue to get better,” he said. “When teams struggle, it creates opportunity sometimes. Sharks begin circling and different things start popping up but you can’t believe everything that’s been written out there, you can’t focus on one thing or one player.
“You’ve got to look at this as a disappointing situation that we’re trying to make better.”
With Casey saying earlier Saturday that he wasn’t about to tinker with his starting lineup (although “minutes and rotations will change according to production,” the coach said), Colangelo defended the skill level of his team.
“I don’t believe this is a talent issue,” he said. “I think it’s a lack of focus, attention to detail, consistency of competing. We’ve shown flashes of very good basketball, just not good enough to pull out games when we need to pull them out.”
Casey said the post-game meeting in Salt Lake City didn’t unearth any new revelations about what’s wrong with the team. But he did say it was good to hear players come to the same conclusions the coaches have.
“It’s always good to hear them verbalize it and say it and speak to the issues that they feel are issues and, lo and behold, they’re the same issues that as a staff we saw and see,” he said.
“They tend to be honest when they’re talking about other players and the issues that are at hand — pretty brutally honest — and that’s what you want.
“You want guys to be honest and open.”