As a coach, you want to pick your spots when to rip into your team. For Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, this is his spot.
Toronto's fourth quarter defense against the Magic Sunday was as pathetic a performance for a "playoff caliber" team as you will see. Call it whatever you want – wretched, dreadful, embarrassing, soft, token, Matador, Red Sea, Swinging Gate - whatever negative descriptive term you want to use will work. Then multiply it by 10, add five expletives, three thrown chairs and a smashed white board. It was that bad.
However, he's also got to be careful about laying all of this at the players' feet. The Raptors are the NBA's worst defensive team, and if a team is this bad on D, the blame is shared by the coaches and players. This is a flawed scheme they can't win with. Toronto cannot make the big stops in close games with their current defensive style and effort level.
But, first and foremost, you have to look at the effort level. From Chris Bosh's soft, token hedges on ballscreens, to Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack floating out to semi-contest three-points shots, to Andrea Bargnani playing two-hand touch, the Raptors do not have anything resembling a competitive nature on the defensive end.