Friday, November 23, 2007

The Raptors: Where Mediocrity Happens...

I am THE Raptor hear me roar!
If I haven't made the, Chris Bosh looks like a Raptor so its appropriate that he plays for the Raptors joke to you in person.... consider it made.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it is that is going wrong with the Raptors lately. How they managed to completely collapse against Golden State in the 4th quarter on Sunday, how they blew a 20 point lead against Dallas on Tuesday, why they can't seem to win at home, and whether or not they're going to be any better than last year.

A couple of weeks ago I suggested that I thought Sam Mitchell was a communist (equal playing time for all!). After spending some time looking through box scores in the last week or so I think I confirmed my hypothesis that good NBA teams play a solid 7-8-9 man rotation with a few guys filling in between 5 and 10 minutes a night. With Rasho, Garbo, and TJ Ford out on Wednesday in Memphis - this is exactly what happened - and.... drum roll please... they won! Obviously this isn't the whole answer for the Raps (I'm realistic they were playing Memphis), but it wouldn't be a bad place to start. However, my solution to pear down the rotation that says nothing about when everyone is healthy which is the right mix of guys....

This has lead me to start thinking more broadly about the characteristics necessary to build a championship ball club. So, a project I've given myself from now until, whenever (hopefully in time for the NBA Draft '08), is to read up on NBA dynasties and to try and figure out why they were able to be successful for an extended period. Also, my hope is to look at non-dynasties (i.e. I'm kind of excited to read Jack McCallum's book Seven Seconds of Less on the Phoenix Suns) to attempt to figure out what they're missing. I'm hoping this will turn into a report/essay that I can give to BC (Brian Colangelo) and win my rightful spot as assistant traveling secretary for the Raps.

At this point book recommendations are desperately needed.

Sidebar, this biography of Tim Duncan is short, but its far, far too funny not to read. Please, I'm begging you. Thanks to TrueHoop for passing this on.

Hopefully some comments on Cuff the Duke tomorrow.

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