3/31/10

State Of The Raptors

So you decide to sleep in and you wake up and Bryan Colangelo is on the radio taking calls from fans. In case you happen to be like me here is a link to it from the Fan 590. Colangelo has a lot of guts to come on the radio and do this given the state of the mood of fans right now. It would seem based on Colangelo's comments that he still seems committed to Triano. He even went as far as to say he has done a very good job and deserves to continue to learn. That is not something that I personally agree with but it would appear that Jay is safe based on those comments. If this team misses the playoff I have felt that it should be Jay's responsibility.

Chris Bosh and his situation is pretty much the same from what we have heard in the past. He says they have expressed to Chris that they want him to remain as the core player. If not he expects to partner with him and work on a sign and trade. He did make a point that Chris needs to take part of the responsibility for this team as well. He spoke about after All Star break there seems to be outside influences that have impacted on this team and Chris.

He referred to Antonie Wright as an enigma. He said that his season has been inconsistent. He likes what he is doing right now. He did not seem committed to Wright being back or not. suggesting there are other options out there. He continued to talk about the off-season and referenced Bosh as the big domino to the off-season plan.

He said about Demar DeRozan that he is the future for the Raptors at his position. He seems very pleased with his development and thinks based on his make up he can really improve. That being said he still thinks this team needs another athletic 2/3 or 3/4 moving forward.

He also said that the Point Guard Situation needs to be settled over they summer and did reference the T.J Ford/Calderon Situation. He said that this team needs to address that issue moving forward whether it be keeping both point guards or making a move if that is not the case.

He also addressed the Hedo topic off the top of the interview. Not really confirming the reports but basically saying that Hedo made a mistake. Saying he cost him self financially and cost his team by his actions. He endorsed how Triano handled the situation and said that Hedo feels bad about it and the team is moving forward leaving the issue behind them.

While still making it clear he would prefer a Chris Bosh being part of the future he said that regardless he is committed to improving this team. It would seem that is going to include Jay Triano despite the feeling of some that Triano may not be the right fit. He referenced what goes on behind close doors that he sees, which is all well and good, but at the end of the day at some point I feel your record is what it is. Colangelo clearly does not agree. One other thing of not for fans of Amir Johnson who also will be a free agent, Colangelo seems very happy with Amir and thinks that Johnson is happy with the role he has with the Raptors. He seemed much more positive about his return than in comparison to Wright.

As for the Raptors on the floor of late. They finally cracked through and got a win down the stretch in Charlotte. I think they were very lucky to do so. The same bad luck that cost them a win over Denver was reversed in Charlotte. Raymond Felton had a chance to tie that game and had he and Chandler been on the same page that game would have been tied then who knows. That being said the win over Charlotte was far more important for the Raptors at the end of the day. That win gave the Raptors the season series vs the Bobcats should that become a factor. Also good news last night as the Suns defeated the Bulls to give the Raptors a game and half lead for 8th. This on a day when Derrick Rose came out and guaranteed the Bulls will make the playoffs.

The Raptors have 3 games in front of them all vs lottery bound teams in the Clippers, Sixers and Warriors that are all must win games for the Raptors. After those 3 Raptors get the Cavs, Celtics and Hawks. None of those games being easy wins for them. I hear some saying the Raptors would be better off to miss the playoffs and avoid a first round sweep at the hands of the Cavs or if Raptors are fortunate the Magic. This would give the Raptors a first round draft pick and almost assure Chris Bosh exiting town. I am not willing to raise the white flag and surrender on Bosh or the playoffs. If this team is heading down the unfortunate path of having to rebuild yet again that one extra draft pick is not exactly going to turn things around right away. This may get a few people to go bonkers on me but even John Wall or Evan Turner for me are not guys that can turn around a franchise on their own . I would class this as a deep draft without a lot of good role player fits not franchise players. So having a pick in the first round would not excite me all that much.

I am not going to tell you that I think the Raptors can beat the Cavs. However if playing well and how they are capable of could that not make in a competitive series? I think so. I also think if the Raptors could have a series vs Cavs that would mean big time T.V Exposure. Lebron James will get you on prime time T.V slots. If Bosh can perform well in a series vs James would that be enough to get his juices flowing to come back to Toronto? Maybe it might. It is a last ditch shot in the dark like scenario but it could work. Maybe I am being optimistic or delusional but think if Bosh could have a good series against a team that is the favourite to win the East that could convince him to stick around.

As optimistic and intelligent as Bryan Colangelo may be I can not imagine this team being anywhere close to competitive without Bosh. There is just nothing that makes me believe that. The one thing I think Colangelo is going to have to do, Bosh or not is figure out some way to unload the Hedo, Andrea or Calderon contract. The combined sum of those players production vs the the amount of money being committed is just bad mathematics as far the NBA Cap goes. That must be corrected. I do agree with Colangelo that I am hopeful about the future for DeRozan. He is the future of this franchise if Bosh goes...it isn't Calderon, HeDO or Don't (or as I have recently referenced him the Vince Carter of Turkey) or Andrea Barganani.

But still 9 more games of a regular season and hopefully playoffs to deal with before we get to the off-season talk in full blast. I am down at Brooklyn's tonight 291 Queenston Road in Hamilton. For the Raptors and Clippers. So come on down and say hello and have some fun.

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