Monday musings

- October 18th, 2010

Let’s start with Canada Basketball, before moving on to the Raptors and the NBA in general.

- Leo Rautins is going to get a two-year extension today. A lot of fans might not be happy with the move, but the organization has shown a commitment to Leo and the Dalembert incident aside – he has done a passable job with the team. He got them into the World Championship when nobody thought they’d get there. Yes, they were pretty terrible once there, but they weren’t exactly running out an imposing roster. Let’s see what he can do with some talent, before we write him off.

The one problem with that line of thinking is I have heard chatter from a handful of people who happen to have the ears of some of Canada’s up-and-coming star-calibre prospects, and the word is some of them would prefer to play for a younger coach that they have more of a connection with. That would make developmental coach Greg Francis the guy in my eyes, but I’ve heard he might not be who they want to play for either. Who is? No idea.

I’m going to side with Canada basketball on this one. You can’t have the players running the show, no matter how talented and promising they are. Once they start calling the shots on any team, you’re done. Ask the Raptors how letting Carter or Bosh run things went.

Leo has improved as a coach over the years and he will have to get a lot better yet in order to last the next two years. He will be the guy that will try to get Canada into the 2012 London Olympics. It is possible, but more realistic is 2014 (worlds in Spain) and beyond. By that point, Canada, talent-wise, should be top 5 or 6 in the world. Right now we’re more like 15-25.

- As for the Raptors, still not feeling the Jose Calderon, Reggie Evans version of the starting lineup. I see the logic – Evans’ rebounding helps make up for Bargnani’s failings in that regard and Amir Johnson is rolling with the second unit, but I’d still rather see Johnson – who also plays great with Bargnani – starting.

The argument for Calderon is he isn’t doing terrible, he doesn’t turn the ball over and Jarrett Jack is running the bench brigade brilliantly. I understand that, but at this point, to me, Jack is a much better player than Calderon, particularly defensively and I think it is going to get ugly if Calderon is starting against guys like Paul, Williams, Rondo, Collison, Holiday, and on and on. He’s far more suited to guarding backup point guards.

- Time to admit I was wrong about Linas Kleiza. He is a much better player now than he was before heading over to Europe. I was judging him on his years in Denver. He’s not the same guy. Is it crazy to think Kleiza might be the team’s best player? I don’t think so. He can score in a variety of ways, hits the boards and competes hard, is a good passer and isn’t completely useless defensively.

- Still can’t believe Phoenix agreed to (A) Take Turkoglu and (B) send back Barbosa. Highway robbery. I feel bad for Steve Nash. By next year at the latest I expect him to be sent elsewhere. He will get extremely frustrated trying to carry Turkoglu on his back.

Categories: Basketball

Subscribe to the post

Leave a comment

 characters available