Had some technical problems for a while, but everything is back to normal and Mike Ganter and myself will be contributing to the blog again on a regular basis.
Quick thoughts for today, apologies for the rambling:
Been saying for years there is no point squeezing into the playoffs only to get killed in the first round – if that’s the peak for a team, ie. Raptors crushed in first round two years in a row, then went crashing back down to earth.
If you’re going to be bad, be terrible, don’t do it half-way. The Raptors were poised to go their usual route of ending somewere between 8-10 in the East before Reggie Evans went down. He was keeping them in games and on the treadmill. Without Evans and with an obscene amount of injuries following, the Raptors have fallen to where they need to be for the good of the franchise long-term.
Yes, this draft has been talked down as a weak one, but the odds say a top 4 talent is still going to help a ton, especially if his name is Kyrie Irving. Talent trumps all in the NBA and the Raptors desperately need talent.
- Those calling for Jay Triano’s head are hilariously misguided. No coach was going to get much out of this roster even if it was at full strength. Simply put, there aren’t enough defenders on the roster to reach .500, even at full strength. It has become crystal clear to these eyes that Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani – while both great offensive players – are a horrible combo defensively and cannot both be on the court at the same time against offensively competent opponents (or even the Cleveland Cavaliers!). Triano can’t do the impossible. How about seeing what he can do with a deep, talented roster that actually is capable of defending before running him out of town?
He isn’t getting gigs with USA Basketball because he’s a bad coach people (not to mention his success with Canada).
- What to do going forward if you’re Bryan Colangelo? He didn’t ask but I trade Calderon since you can live with Bargnani’s faults if you surround him with the right pieces because he is so special offensively but you can’t have both of them. Calderon is too brittle and defensively challenged to be counted on as the starter long-term. He has played great this season so is tradeable again.
Find the point guard of the future in the off-season either through the draft or the way Indiana did it (in getting Darren Collison through trade). Someone with the skill-set of Jrue Holiday, who gets after it offensively and also has a ton of upside athletically would be ideal.
Acquire assets like picks for Reggie Evans and/or Leandro Barbosa or for taking on a bad contract a team is desperate to get rid of (as long as it expires after the 2011-12 season 9ie. the Oklahoma City model).
Bayless can take over Barbosa’s role as scoring sixth man going forward. If you have Bayless, you can use the substantial money Barbosa makes more usefully elsewhere.